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AMSOURCE APP REVIEWS - MAY 2015

Thursday 4th June 2015
We kicked off our app of the month reviews at the start of May here at amsource by picking an app each that we each used on the regular, or a new interesting app that we had been playing around with.

The apps that were up for review were – Spotify, Leeds Amber Cars, Sky go, Sky news, Fyuse and pic stitch.

Here’s what we thought of each…



FYUSE

Fyuse is a ‘spacial photography’ app which lets users capture and share interactive representations of the world.

The Fyuse moto is -‘why squeeze a complex world into a tiny square frame?’ Fyuse allows users to take panoramas, immersive selfies and full 360 views of the things that matter to you.

The app has its own personal gallery and social network as well as integration with Twitter and Facebook so you can share all your cool shots with your mates.

What we thought

User experience of the app was good and easy to use. We liked how it was integrated with other social media channels as it makes it quick and easy to share the 360 photos you have taken quickly.

Gives a whole new side to regular panorama photos – feels like your actually there.

We did find that it can be difficult to take some photos to get the right image so sometimes takes a few attempts.  Is better for still panorama’s rather than photo’s that have multiple moving objects.

“Really cool app and one of a kind! Takes some getting used to but definitely one that I’ve been excited to show people.”

“The integration with social media is good, but obviously can’t integrate into desktop – all needs to be mobile.”

“Cool product but I don’t find it that easy to use on my iPhone so I haven’t got the most out of it yet.”

“Great app, but I do think that you have to have some sort of technical knowledge to use it and I also think you need WiFi / 3G to use.“

“I think that once you have used it a couple of times you really do get the hang of the app and I love the results that you get.”


Would you recommend to a friend?

Yes we would, could definitely be the ‘next big thing’.

 

SPOTIFY

Spotify is an online music streaming service that allows subscribers to access a massive catalogue of music.

Users can search for any track, artist or album and listen for free across all device platforms. Make and share playlists for just about everything.

Users have the option to listen for free with ads or opt to go for Spotify premium for £11 a month which allows users to listen advert- free and listen offline with better sound quality.

What we thought

Easy to navigate and find the artist you are looking for. It’s good that you can follow music artists as well so you are always up to date on new material from the artists you’re interested in.

Loved the top lists feature which allows users to check the top 100 songs / albums in the country of your choice and also the tops songs / albums in the genres of your choice.

Great how the app is can be integrated with Facebook making it easy to share the playlists you have made with your friends.

Some of us were using on a premium basis – was great to be able to access your favourite playlists and tunes even when you don’t have 4g or Wi-Fi. Will be great for plane journeys.

“A negative point to consider – Taylor Swift hasn’t allowed Spotify access to her music catalogue #gutted.”

“Love it!! Easy to use and really easy to make your own playlist if you have a range of different music tastes.”

“Also negative if not using premium there are a lot of adverts.”


“I love Spotify, it’s so useful to have so much music in one place which I can just stick on in the background when I’m getting ready to go out, etc. The only negative factor is that I’m not a premium member, which means there are regular adverts, you can only skip up to 5 tracks that you don’t like in an hour, and you can only “shuffle” the music list rather than select individual tracks to play. I use it all the time so I should just pay for premium membership really!”

Would you recommend to a friend?

Yes. It’s a must have app for those that love music and want to access a wide range of artists on the move.


PIC STITCH

Is a free app which allows users to quickly combine multiple photos into one ‘beautifully framed picture?’

‘Stitch packs a simple design with a powerful editor to give you everything you could possibly want to make your photo’s simply amazing’

The app has over 245 different picture layouts, making users spoilt for choice with how to use their pictures.

Once you made your masterpiece pic stitch makes it easy for you to share quickly with friends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or just to save into your personal photo album.

“I find the app a bit too complex to use and very frustrating. I have used similar apps in the past which seemed to be far more user friendly and quicker. Too many options of lay out too, it took me ages to choose and the lay out and then my pictures didn’t upload. Not the app for me thank you.”

What we thought

In general we found it quite easy to use. Was nice that the app allows different filters on pictures much like those used on Instagram to give your pictures a different more interesting look.

One of us used it to make a birthday card for a friend and it worked really well.

Negative point to consider is that there are lots of pop up adverts diverting you away from pic stitch meaning you have to re-open the app at least once with every use which can get irritating.

“Found it easy to use, good app, lots of design options”

“I love pic stitch – perfect for creating a collage for Instagram, easily lets you save it to your photo album and it’s free.”

“This app is really simple to use and I’m a lover of Instagram, so it’s really useful for attaching multiple pictures in one!”

Some of us didn’t like it …

“I find the app a bit too complex to use and very frustrating. I have used similar apps in the past which seemed to be far more user friendly and quicker. Too many options of lay out too, it took me ages to choose and the lay out and then my pictures didn’t upload. Not the app for me thank you.”


Would you recommend to a friend?

Yes. Those who enjoy taking lots of photos and enjoy sharing multiple pics with friends at a time.




LEEDS AMBER CARS

This free app provided by Leeds based taxi firm amber cars allows users to book a taxi in under 10 seconds and experience exclusive priority service from the largest taxi firm in the city.

Users can place a booking directly on the app map and see how many cars there are in the vicinity to you.

No cash? No problem. Amber recently integrated visa / credit payments for app users making it even easier for people to use their services. No more stopping at the cash machine.

The app has integrated GPS which allows you to track your car once is has been dispatched on the map and call your driver if need be.

What we thought

The general feeling for this app is that it’s really convenient. Cars were nearly always on time or when they said they we’re                 going to arrive.

There is now a ‘no cash’ service - perfect if you are in a rush and don’t have any cash on you. No more fumbling around your bag for change.

Upon exiting your car you’re sent a push notification confirming the fare you paid in cash or the amount that will be debited from your account. You are also sent an email to the email address associated with your account with a log of your driver, their registration and a map view of the journey you took and how much it cost. Which we thought was great customer service.

Push notifications and tracking services we thought we’re good as you knew exactly when to head outside to get in your taxi as you would be told when your taxi was arriving. No more standing in the rain with no idea waiting for a taxi that said it would be there but is not.

“Found the app easy to use, I like the option of card payment but I opted to pay in the car – I had some concerns over security.  When I booked it was quiet, so would be interesting to use when very busy to see how the app communicates and manages a high volume of bookings”

“I use Amber a lot and I love that they introduced a card payment option which put them on par with Uber! Only negative is the small surcharge they charge for paying on card which isn’t mentioned, I only realised they were taking this out when I checked my bank!”

“Great little app, really easy to use and once you have submitted your card details you don’t need to pay cash! Excellent and very accurate tracking system, no more waiting around.”


Would you recommend to a friend?

Yes, for those living in Leeds it’s a definite must have.




SKY NEWS

Their motto ‘Sky news – the first for breaking news’

With over 3 million downloads, this award winning free sky news mobile app provides users with relevant news from the UK and all over the world.

Users can ‘delve deeper’ with image galleries, live blogs, graphs interactive pictures all exclusively for smartphone.

Users are kept in the know from news stories from the news room with sections for UK news, world news, politics, business, showbiz, strange news and technology. Catering to every user on the spectrum.

What we thought

Easy to navigate and find what you needed to find easily. The push notifications we’re good – keeping you in the know of what’s going on all the time.

Video bulletins we’re a nice added feature for someone who likes to be able to see exactly what is going on.

“Easy to use and loads of content that’s updated regularly.” 

“Favourite news app by far, but during the election it wasn’t regularly updated so I do wonder how ‘Breaking’ the ‘Breaking news’ really is. Sharing news stories to your social media is very easy. “

“Really easy to use, user friendly as I would call it, the notifications really keep you up to date on current affairs! Also love the little tune it plays when your phone isn’t on silent.”


Would you recommend to a friend?

Yes those who like to be kept in the know of news going on around the world from a reliable source.



SKY GO

Sky go an award winning mobile video service that lets users watch the shows they love from Sky whenever they want and wherever you want – providing they have 3g or Wi-Fi. And at no extra cost for sky TV customers.

What we thought


It’s easy to use, easy to navigate, option of live TV and also movies and box sets.  Lots of channels to choose from. Because its live TV it does drain your battery quickly and you need clear consistent signal or ideally Wi-Fi or you suffer performance issues.

You have to pay if not a subscriber to the full sky package.  The mobile/iPad version is far better than the online version which we did find that it has access and buffer issues sometimes (probably because it uses Microsoft Silverlight!).

“Easy to use, added service for something we already pay for, keeps my daughter happy and you can register multiple devices for one account.”

Would you recommend to a friend?

Yes, definitely a must have app for sky tv subscribers.


Have your say...

Have you got these apps? What are your thoughts on them? Have you downloaded a new app that you can’t stop playing with?


Let us know what apps you think we should review next. We’d love to hear from you @amsourcetech.
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