Meta apps system

browser app market

I love Hootsuite on my Android. It provides both functionality and ergonomy. It doesn’t just make it easier to tweet, it also makes it really easier to manage new and existing contacts. Thanks to the flexibility of the Android OS, it’s become easier to handle my tweeting experience on my phone than on a top-based computer. Example:

I write for the french blog Twitteradar. To measure the impact of my posts (and those of others), I use the email functionality of Backtweets, thus I can identify all the folks that tweet my articles. From my mobile email inbox, when I click on a twitter.com link to view the profile of a person that retweeted me, instead of opening that profile in my mobile browser, it does so directly in my Hootsuite app. From there, I can follow/unfollow them with the Twitter account of my choice.

This great functionality allows me to build my Twitter communities on the go.

Why am I serenading you on this rather small piece of functionality? I just read Fred Wilson’s A VC: The Always Logged In Experience, and I was so pleased to read that he shares the same vision of a meta apps system. As I described above, the meta apps philosophy is already there, and with tech leaders such as Wilson feeling inspired by that philosophy, I think the meta apps approach will become a reality real soon.

The Selective Twitter Status Application Evolves

Selective tweets logo

To duplicate your Twitter updates automatically onto Facebook you have two pretty nice applications out there: the Selective Twitter Status and Smart Twitter. I will go over the Smart Twitter application later, and focus on some new gears I found inside the Selective Twitter App since I covered it about a year ago.

First, just like the Smart Twitter app, the Selective Twitter status application has an option to install the app for your profile or for your professional page. This is pretty cool considering that you probably don’t have the same communications needs for those two types of pages.

Originally, the idea of the Selective Twitter Status app was only to post the Twitter updates that contained the hashtag #fb to Facebook. However, as you can see below, this basic feature evolved a bit:

selective twitter settings

Now, you can put the #fb hashtag anywhere in the tweet. You can also insert a prefix, and a link to your Twitter profile. I am not a big fan of duplicating my Twitter tream onto Facebook. However, I really like to publish links on my pages that I source on Twitter. I personally use Hootsuite to post from Twitter to Facebook, but this app could be a better fit for some of you out there.

Top 10 Youtube Applications

youtube

If we gathered all the videos contained in Youtube’s servers, we would have enough to fill up the Grand Canyon. This is just a figure of speech to accentuate the fact that Youtube’s infinite video directory is beyond a single man’s reach. Luckily, all the videos are very well indexed by the Youtube engine, and its API enables developers to leverage this technology to create specific products. If you are a video marketer, a developer exploring Youtube’s possibilities, or simply a Youtuber looking for new experiences, here is a list of the top 10 apps developed on top of the Youtube API that brings fresh ideas to the mind.

Captiontube

Captiontube is the must-use application to add captions to your videos. Sign in with your Google Account, import your videos, and enjoy the smooth video dashboard that lets you easily transcribe your audio into text. Grab the output file, and upload it on to Youtube. On the list of services that helps you create subtitles for Youtube, Captiontube definitely sits on top.

Atten.me

Atten.me is an interesting concept where video thumbnails are laid out on a page, each with a size that (I think) represent their popularity. The viewing experience gets good when you click in the background of a video page. Really smooth! Unfortunately, there are a lot of bugs with the embeds.

Youtube Fast Search

This application is the most innovative when it comes to searching videos on Youtube. On the left side, there is a search box, and thumbnails of video results. You can drag/drop thumbnail into top-right side video player to watch the video. While watching the video, you can make a new search without reloading the page or the video playing. You can easily widescreen-view videos by clicking on it. And finally you can drag/drop the videos in the bottom-right side playlist. Unfortunately, dropping videos in the playlist is the only thing you can do with it: You cannot save your selection and import it to Youtube for example (at least not yet).

TubeGraph

In the totally offbeat category, we have TubeGraph, a site that asks you to measure your level of interest for the video as it is playing. I think it could be a valuable tool for small video creators who wish to evaluate the impact of their creations with peers online. Here is me watching a 45-second clip of the Simpsons in Spanish:

Youtube Battles

Youtube Battles is a masterpiece in terms of embeds integration in a dynamic design. The service simply serves you two videos, and you vote for the one you prefer. I don’t see the purpose of this, but it is yet another way to discover good Youtube vids.

TubeSpoke

For all of you iPhone owners out there, TubeSpoke sounds like the ultimate app to manage your Youtube account on the go: TubeSpoke lets you manage your YouTube account by tracking the new videos added to your subscriptions and letting you subscribe to users, channels or query tags. It lets you create or remove your subscriptions on the fly and it also manage your playlists by letting you create and remove your playlists. Watch all the new videos you are interested in and archive them by adding them to a local favorite list, your youtube favorites playlist or any of the playlist available in your account. Track your subscriptions and keep your favorite videos organized in your youtube account. This is the first time I wish I had an iPhone!

YearLongMarathon

From the creator: “With so many years of video on YouTube, I decided to put together a one year marathon of back-to-back Youtube videos. YLM is the result of this ridiculous idea.” Well, it seems from the blog that the marathon lasted 5 days before abandon, the video player is not working anymore, but you have to give the man credit for being creative.

Totlol

Parents, you thought that Youtube was a place for adults. Well, apply a few filters to the experience, and you get Totlol, the place for your kids to watch Youtube-powered videos. Totlol is powered by its users who submit the Youtube videos themselves to the community, and give it the appropriate age attribution. Parents can create an account, turn on parental control, and let their kids browse through the playlists of videos. You can also submit videos from your own Youtube channel, a little hint for video creators targeting kids.

Youtube Doubler

The Youtube Doubler simply lets you place two videos side-by-side, and watch them at the same time. The creator of the Youtube Doubler also created the HDADD viewing experience, which I find awesome! Half a year ago, I got really inspired by the Doubler, and tried to create my own wide-screen video player by following Youtube Doubler’s model. A warning for all developers: it is impossible to perfectly synchronize two Youtube videos!

TubeMogul

Undeniably, TubeMogul is the API king of all video platforms, Youtube included. This service lets you upload a video once to their server, and they do the job of uploading it to all the different video platforms of your choice. Additionally, it retrieves valuable traffic data like views, comments, ratings. They even launched a marketplace for video creators and advertisers to connect.

You will notice that I haven’t included all applications that let you: 1. Watch Youtube videos on your desktop; 2. Upload videos; 3. Transform documents into videos, simply because there are too many of them, and what they offer is blah in terms of video discovery.

Below is a secret document that gives you all the specs about the Youtube API, in case you want to create your own Youtube application. Remember to send me a link when you’re done!

Overview of the YouTube APIs

G1 Apps: Google Analytics on Android

android growth

android growth

Even on the go, I need to get a detailed overview of my traffic at any time. I am a Getclicky user (with a g analytics account as a backup), but the Clicky site is not really optimized for a mobile experience. I turned to the Android app market to see what was available to explore my traffic, and two free apps (I have that free lunch philosophy) popped up that offer to track your traffic through Google Analytics: Droid Analytics and mAnalytics. I tested how both perform, and here is the result of the battle:

Droid Analytics vs mAnalytics

mAnalytics

mAnalytics has a very simple and intuitive user interface. You start with the list of your site; after selecting one, select your date/date range; see your traffic in terms of visits/pageviews/pages-visit/bounce rate/average-time-on-site/%new-visits.
Unfortunately, that’s about it for mAnalytics. Maybe online marketing beginners will find a benefit to such a simple application, but the app isn’t attractive enough to compete with a browser-based experience.

Droid Analytics

Droid Analytics also starts with the list of your sites. Once inside a site’s analytics, you can press the “view as graph” button to see your page views, visitors, visits, bounce rate, average time on site or page views per visits on a graph. You can see hourly stats, weekly, monthly, yearly, or use the date range selector.
The visual experience that Droid Analytics offers takes the analytics experience up a notch. mAnalytics is already down, but Droid Analytics keeps kicking its opponent with this feature: For each Website tracked, you can also view their top keywords, top countries, top sources of traffic, top search engines, top referring sites, and top browsers. I personally really like the top keywords option. It’s a nice way to remind you how people find your site while you are waiting at the bus stop, and reflecting upon your online marketing strategy.
Droid Analytics also has a paid version (0.99 euro). Eventually, if you like the app, you will have to pay as the free version is only a 24-hour trial. The app has a 5-star average rating, and the comments are all very enthusiastic.

The alternative is Mobile GA for Android, but the app is $2.99, it only has 3 stars, and the comments are not really positive, so I didn’t even bother to try it out.

Top 10 G1 Apps

android

android

Back in January, I wrote about the best g1 apps that could be found in the market. Since that date, a lot of new apps came up, and the Cupcakes update also changed a few rules. So what are the essential apps you need on your Android phone to get the most out of it ?

App Manager

The first app you want to install from the market is the App Manager. From this app, you can launch, uninstall, copy to SD or search the app in the market. You can also backup all of your applications to the SD card in a few clicks. Most importantly, you can easily install apps from your SD card, which is the gateway to downloading any app you want online and putting it on your phone.

Scoreboard

The simple app was developed by Google. This app allows you to keep track of all of your favorite sports team through your phone’s notifications system. It takes about half an hour to set it up, but then you don’t have to worry about it ever again, and sports results come to you live automatically.

Babble

Babble is the only Facebook app I know for the g1 that runs smoothly. From Babble, you can easily access your friends’ feeds, and drop comments on your friends’ updates. Uploading photos and videos to your profile are also part of the experience. The developer also added a quick ‘log out/log in as a different user’ button, which is quite smart !

MyTracks

I just love this application. Through your phone’s GPS, MyTracks will record your position while you are on the go. I personally use it to compare how I perform when I rollerblade to work. I think most people use it for their biking or walking hikes. Once you are done recording, MyTracks creates an KML file and a map on your Google’s MyMaps account. You can then easily share this map’s URL or embed it anywhere you want.

Glympse

At first sight, Glympse is very similar to MyTracks (or Latitude, Google geolocation-based social network). Glympse is different because it lets you easily share your location live with the person(s) you want, during the amount of time you want. The persons who receive the Glympse can see your location in real-time on a map, from a computer or on a phone.

Twidroyd

I am not a super active Twitter user, but anytime I want to interact with the Twitter platform only, Twidroyd has been the best app to let me easily tweet and read tweets. From my friends’ feeds page, I can ‘reply’, ‘show profile’, ‘favorite’, ‘retweet’ or ‘send direct message’ to any item displayed. You can also search Twitter for fresh content about a specific subject, see what’s hot on Twitterverse.com and access your favorite items. In the settings (and this is what I like), you can enable notifications for different kinds of events, chose your photo hosting provider, chose your url shortener, and much much more…

Androzip

Androzip is the best and easiest way to bundle documents in a ZIP file (ZIP, GZIP, TAR). From within the app, you can easily select several documents, ZIP’em, and send it to whoever you want. Must-have if you want to manage a lot of documents through your phone.

S3Anywhere

If you have an S3 Amazon account, you will love this app. It lets you easily access any bucket of your account, and provides the upload/download functions to share files between your cloud hard disk and your phone. It becomes interesting when you consider that you can access your documents on S3, ZIP them with Androzip, and send them from your gmail app to anyone you want.

MyAccount

It’s the app from T-Mobile to keep track of your account’s balance. It’s very simple, but I think it is the first time you can access your account balance info from your phone in one click. Must-have!

Metal Detector

The metal detector… detects metal. It acts like a magnet and guides you to the closest source of metal around you. From the settings, you can define the sensitivity of the detector (more sensitive also means more battery used). This is not an essential app to have, but the technology it is built on is pretty interesting. By putting a magnet in a phone, it is the first time that we have a phone that can directly interact with your surrounding environment. It is the cornerstone to a generation of smarter phones (yep, even smarter than what we already have today).