I know most of you probably think that Windows 8 and its Metro interface are an abomination.That is understandable,you were brought up on the Start Button diet. But once you get past that blind hatred, as I myself have discovered, there is a wealth of experience to be had with the proliferation of Windows 8 Apps. By the way even I do not understand the distinction between Apps and applications.
In my pedagogical escapades I came across a list of apps that I feel every Zimbabwean ought to have. Some of these have Android and iOS ports but I only tested and used them on Win 8 so I will not guarantee they will work as well on these other devices.
1. Weather bug
Weather bug is a power app that lets you choose your weather station of choice. Most apps will simply want your zip code and source the data from Yahoo or some other source without letting you choose the closest weather station. The result is wild and inaccurate forecast. In Harare we only have one functional weather station of course, Kutsaga. Using this weather station I have been able to get amazing forecasts and even managed to get advance warning of a freak storm 4 days in advance. The app has a notifications features that will allow you to receive notifications for set weather conditions which would be handy when you need that umbrella. It also has a maps feature gives you access to various weather satellites if you really want to know what a cyclone looks like from space.
Ever heard an interesting song in a kombie that you really liked. Perhaps you could not catch the lyrics which could be in some unintelligible Jamaican dialect. If you wanted to know the name of that song Shazam comes to the rescue. Just launch the app play the music close to your laptop or smartphone and it will use your laptop’s microphone,internet connection and some advanced algorithm to determine the title of the track and the artist. This is all pretty amazing but all the magic stops when your Urban Grooves and local Gospel tracks are added to the mix. Zimbabwean music like everything else Zimbabwean is not really online.
They say pronunciation differs but it should not differ. I have heard Zimbabweans mispronounce the word often often enough if I had a dollar for every one of this occasion I would be richer than William Gates. Also did you know there are over a hundred thousand words in the English language? A grade seven pupil knows 2 500 words, an O-level student 7 000 words, college graduate at least 25 000. Shakespeare used 35 000 different words. AED helps you join the platinum Shakespearian realm, of which I am a member, by providing an easy to access an extensive dictionary as well as access to both American and British pronunciations.
We have all heard about the virtues of the Amazon kindle but when it comes to using the written word on your desktop you are left in the cold until you meet Nook. The App gives you access to over 3 million books and magazines. Since this cuts out all those local and international middlemen it ensures that you get your novels or magazines at competitive prices. Let’s be honest here no shop is ever going to stock the Linux Journal, Halo or the Photoshop magazine not many Zimbabweans are interested in that. You can always use Nook to get these and other magazines like National Geographic and Newspapers like the Economist.
Like everyone else I use Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Drive and sometimes I am bewildered with all those desktop apps and services this is not helped at all by the fact that I have multiple Google accounts. RainbowDriveintegrates all these services and supports multiple logins for each service whilst providing an uniform app to use to browse your cloud files.
If you have any other apps that you want to review or recommend please email me or leave the app name and/or link in the comment section.
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