Appy Monday – Phlok

Phlok – Connecting Local People with Local Business.

Phlok is all about connecting local people with local business. It’s a unique Irish social media platform that rewards you for shopping local, it’s also a free app available in the app store and Google Play.

Every merchant and business that you see on Phlok, gives you the availability to collect Phlok points. These points are a virtual currency and worth real money (1,000 points = €1). Just from signing up, you receive 2,000 points! Phlok points are unique, in that you can collect and spend them in any participating Phlok store by simply clicking on your points total at the top of the screen and follow the simple instructions.

You can collect Phlok points by checking into locations, following Phlok businesses and making purchases in Phlok stores. It is quite addictive building up your Phlok points and you can also collect points by inviting your friends to join! With the app, you can check out where your friends have checked in and see how you compare with their phlok points, it has most certainly has brought out that competitive streak in me!

Phlok is very much a social media platform with a focus on shopping local. When you sign up with Phlok you set up your profile and it gives you the option of signing in through email or facebook. Once logged in, the app uses your GPS to locate business using Phlok close to you. Your mobile will even automatically alert you when you are near an offer! It also has a map option, so that you can search locations and business to see what other offers are in place. You can see a live feed of people who have checked-in and received points in doing so. There is also the option to send group or private messages to people in your ‘Phlok’.

Each business also has a profile, with information such as address, phone number, website and what their latest offer is etc. and they can also update their status with relevant information to their customers that will appear in your news-feed/activity page.

Phlok has numerous different local businesses signed up to bring you a wide variety of different categories that will benefit all users of Phlok. There are local businesses from bars to motoring to butchers to clothes shops all signed up, wanting to pass on the reward for encouraging you to shop local. Phlok can only grow stronger and in the coming months you will see it rolling out into more counties across Ireland and abroad. Recently is has landed in the UK and only last week gained press coverage in Ilkley.

Another great app to come from the Emerald Isle, definite one to download and watch this Phlok grow! 

 

Check out Phlok’s blog here.

 

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Appy Monday – Ultimate Rugby App

Coming up to the Ultimate Rugby Apps first birthday in October, I thought it would be a good choice for this weeks blog edition of Appy Monday.

The Ultimate Rugby app was released in October 2012 and is the brainchild of rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll and software entrepreneur Ray Nolan. The app is not just geared towards Irish rugby fans, but rugby fans Worldwide as the go-to app for Rugby. Not only does it cover the national competitions such as the Aviva Premiership, RaboDirect Pro 12, the Heineken Cup, the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship it is also reporting on Tier 1 European and Southern Hemisphere tournaments.

The app itself, is one of the most easy to use sports app’s I have used in quite a while. The Ultimate Rugby app gives you a choice to select whichever teams/players/tournaments from the menu to bring you to all the current and past information relevant to your selection. Ultimate Rugby app has all the news surrounding a match. All you have to do is click on a match and you have news, such as a twitter feed, team overview and profiles, live feed commentary from Ultimate Rugby’s own commentators/journalists and the score updates from the game and live updates of the league tables all from within the app. Users can even comment on each score of the game, proved to be quite entertaining when watching a game at home on your own! When the match is over, you get the match stats for each game also.

What I really love here are the team profiles, they give you everything you need to know outside of a specific game. Where they are in different tournaments, past and current. Also linked to individual team members profiles, with playing position, bio, age/height/weight info, links to their own websites & social media, recent matches stats and past teams they played with.

This app is a definite must for all rugby fans. Download now to be up to date with the current goings on in the RaboDirect Pro 12. By the time the Heineken Cup kicks off in just under 2 weeks, you will be a pro navigating the app!

Click here to download the android version.

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Appy Monday – Publin

It was only a matter of time before Publin released their app after the success that they have received with their facebook and Twitter following.

Publin is the new free app to find pubs and drinks promotions that are on in and around the city. The app gives you the option of searching for a particular pub or you can use the GPS on your phone to locate pubs close to you and give you information on those pubs such as drink prices, offers, wifi, opening hours, disabled toilets, craft beer etc. You can also search pubs by amenities, for example beer gardens, handy for those (rare) sunny Sunday sessions! All this information in one handy app.

The app is also linked with their facebook and twitter feeds, so that you can keep up to date with the daily deals that are currently going on in the city. Publin seem to have a good relationship with the different pubs around the city, who will contact Publin about their offers.

The creators have plans to further develop the app to include deals from pubs, event listing and other entertainment. 

 

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Appy Monday – PhotoGrid

It’s a well know fact that Google Play and the App Store are overrun with different photo apps to choose from. Which, if you are/were like me in the beginning of my smartphone days, found the app store a little daunting with all the choice of different apps/tools to edit your pictures. So when I came across this little gem I had to share!

PhotoGrid – the best collage maker’ is an absolute beaut of a collage app! Not only is it the only go-to app to combine your photos into paneled, framed collages, is has a very easy to use interface, which ensures that when you are creating your collage you get to have fun in doing so and not get bogged down with the technicalities!

First, you choose which mode you want to use for your collage, they have several options here available: Grid HD, Free HD, High, Wide and Single HD. Secondly, you select the pictures (max 9) you want from the gallery on your phone or the cloud -facebook, Instagram, Flikr, Dropbox or google image. PhotoGrid lets you choose a layout or it will select one and if you are not happy with it all you have to do is shake your phone to rearrange the layout!

What I really love about the app is that you can hone in on each of the images and move them around to fit as you wish, and rotate and flip each picture, add filters, borders, frames and text. You can be as creative as you like!

Once you are happy with your collage, you can download it, save it and share it on all social platforms!

 

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Appy Monday – Sunrise Calendar

This weeks app is a wonderful calendar app called Sunrise Calendar. Created by the New York-based startup Sunrise, founded by Pierre Valade and Jeremy Le Van, two designers who worked on Foursquare, the app is lovingly designed, not just from the perspective of how it looks, but how it functions. It pulls in your events from Google Calendar & Facebook, even allowing you to RSVP to events you’ve been invited to.

Sunrise - your new calendar app

This app has some lovely uses for facebook integration as well, with friends birthdays being automatically added into your calendar. Sunrise isn’t only restricted to Google and Facebook events though, you can create events in the app, with maps integration to get directions, and some lovely soft alerts for your events. The future is bright for Sunrise, with new features such as notes, recurring events and more integration with social media.

Sunrise is so far only available, free, on the iTunes App Store, but the creators have said “We want to bring Sunrise to new platforms and we want Sunrise to connect to more services.” We’re hopeful that an android version of this beautiful little app will be coming soon.

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Virtual Knee Surgery App

I am a self-professed geek who loves nothing more than learning more useless information. I also suffer from chronic knee pain as a result of a break whilst taking part in a trampoline experiment in the summer of 2008! When I came across the Virtual Knee Surgery App on the Google Play store on Sunday evening, I could not resist downloading it after all it was free what had I to lose!

The graphics on this app are great, as a senior doctor talks you through everything from reading the x-ray, surgery preparation, and on to the gory details of slitting the skin, hammering and drilling and stitching up when done. A very realistic insight into knee surgery! I found the game very informative; it asked questions to make me understand why each step is done. Not letting the user proceed until they have the correct answer to why an action is done. One of the purposes of this app is to put knee surgery patients minds at ease… another purpose is simply to engage eager minds who want to spend 10 minutes learning some pointless information. The app is free on the Google Play store, and right now I am off to download its sister app Virtual Heart Surgery.

 

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Appy Monday – Blendoku

This is one for anyone who likes puzzles, colours, and a challenge. Blendoku is a free, colour-blending puzzle game by Lonely Few

The game involves sorting colours by shade and colour to fit a grid, seems simple doesn’t it? Don’t worry, Blendoku’s difficulty ranges from simple to master levels, where you must change from one colour to the next through twists and turns on the board, and there are plenty of levels to keep you occupied on those long commutes into work or simply when you’ve got a few minutes to relax. Blendoku is suitable for everyone, from the casual gamer, to kids, to more experienced gamers, and anyone looking to challenge their colour matching skills.

Blendoku features over 475 levels, with a secret negative mode, which provides a new challenge for levels already beaten, a leaderboard and badges for those who can get a perfect score, there are even extra level packs that you can buy for €1.79, each containing 150 more levels, sorted by difficulty.

Check out the official gameplay video here:

Blendoku is available on both the Google play store and the iTunes app store.

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Appy Monday – Hailo

We’ve all struggled to flag down a taxi, at one time or another. St. Patrick’s day, Halloween, or even just a regular Friday night, you can be left standing out on the curb, in the cold, for what seems like an eternity before you manage to commandeer yourself one of those elusive, fluorescent lit chariots. Even ordering one from your own home to head out on the town can be a labour in itself! 

Hailo changes all that. You sign in to the app, with the usual account creation mumbo-jumbo, and it uses wi-fi, gps or your internet connection to not only locate you, but also the closest available taxi to you. 

It gives you an estimated time of arrival, details on the driver, and the ability to select what type of cab you need (whether it be standard or 6-seater, etc.). It even allows you to choose whether to pay in cash, or to set up your account with a credit or debit card. So you can get home, even if you don’t have any money on you! 

It’s fantastically simple to use, free to download, and performs beautifully. No calling, organising, or any fuss. Just flick it on, and within a couple of clicks you’ll have your transport provided in a few short minutes. 

You can’t get home without it! 

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Appy Monday – MyFitnessPal

Losing weight and getting fit isn’t easy, we all know that. A good diet and willpower are key to success. There’s only one source of willpower, but there are almost too many supposedly “good” diets out there; each telling you they’re the one that’s right for you. 

MyFitnessPal is different. It’s a huge, community driven source of dietary information. It doesn’t pretend to be a miracle cure. Instead, it provides you with nutritional information about the foods you eat and the calories you burn, allowing you to make correct decisions about your eating habits. It educates you.

The app provides you with a recommended calorie intake for the day, based on your physical information, and gradually lowers it as your weight drops. In effect, it’s a calorie counter, and a food diary, but it’s more than that.

You put in your current weight, your goal weight, and then track the food you eat each day, quickly selecting it from an extensive database. You can even scan in barcodes for quick and easy addition to the diary. The calories are reduced from your daily total, showing you what you have left to eat for the day.

You can eat what you want, but if you have a slice of chocolate cake for breakfast, you’d better be prepared to go hungry for the rest of the day!

It’s all about helping you teach yourself good habits. It’s a guide, based on your life, and because you’re the one that’s inputting the information it’s instantly tailored to you. You can create set meals, add your own recipes to the database, and ask others in the community for advice.

The app takes a realistic approach to assisting you in your goals. It knows that each day is different. That you won’t always get the opportunity to eat healthy, or plan your meals. It’s not going to tell you that you have to do 200 push-ups each day, or run 10 miles; it’s not a dictator.

MyFitnessPal provides you with the knowledge you need to help yourself make the correct decisions. Combine this app with any increase in exercise, drink tonnes of water and be patient. Success will come and happiness will follow!

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Social Platform Phlok to create 100 jobs with $600,000 investment

Phlok Helping People Shop Local!

 

Irish owned Social Platform Phlok, are delighted to announce the creation of 100 new jobs over the coming 18 months following investment of $600,000.

With the investment of $600,000 from private and institutional investors, Phlok will be recruiting over 100 new staff in the areas of Software Development, Sales, Training and Account Management over the coming months across the island of Ireland.

Phlok is a unique rewards platform that offers end-users the opportunity to earn virtual currency as they interact with businesses on Phlok. Paul Graham (CEO) said, “Gaining these investors allows us to execute on our vision to assist local businesses to attract consumers back to their main streets.  Phlok’s goal is to connect local businesses with local people incentivising consumers to Shop Local.

 

Having launched just six months ago Phlok has already gained 300 businesses throughout Ireland including shops, restaurants, bars, off licenses, pharmacies, coffee shops, car dealerships, clothes retailers and even clairvoyants. Phlok businesses have already witnessed in excess of €200,000 worth of sales and over 10,000,000 social media impressions occur through Phlok’s innovative platform.

A unique social media concept, Phlok is the new web and smartphone platform that incentivises consumers with virtual currency (Phlok points), collectable and spendable with any business on the Phlok network. Businesses worry less about their social media presence as their customers are promoting them when collecting their Phlok points and consumers gain more than Phlok points, they are exposed to exclusive promotions that local businesses can target them with from time to time. The innovation with Phlok is the ability to collect immense value as a consumer without it costing any individual business more than a few cents. Phlok points accumulate extremely quickly and can become quite addictive, bringing people back to Main Street more often. 

Paul added “We established Phlok to be the key digital incentive platform and become pervasive in the marketplace. Phlok is becoming an additional integral element of the business to business and business to consumer economy.  Our overall aim is to get local customers to transact more often with local business and support an ongoing vibrant community. Phlok makes the term ‘Shop Local’ make sense

The impact that Phlok can have on a business is extremely measurable. Phlok’s Business Control Panel gives simple to use and vital information on the people that have connected with them on the Phlok platform. Not only, can they see who is connected to them, but they get visibiity of key consumer data based on spending habits with the ability to communicate individually or by demographic group when encouraging them to try their service or product.

Phlok is not targeted at a specific demographic, in the past six months statistics have shown a range of user profiles expanding across all ages, professions and geographical areas.Phlok uses virtual currency incentives to make social media easy and profitable for businesses giving consumers a reason to shop local.

To download Phlok, click here

Phlok for business, click here 

To visit the main Phlok website, click here 

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Appy Monday – SwiftKey Keyboard

This week I downloaded the SwiftKey Keyboard as it was half price (€1.99) in the Google Play store. For a long time I have had issues using the standard issue keyboard on my Samsung Galaxy. Many people have texted me back acknowledging my badly predicted words, mixed up spelling and general confusion of my seemingly encrypted messages. According to the reviews on the Google Play store Swiftkey Keyboard was going to be the answer to my problems.

SwiftKey is currently the Google Play Editors’ Choice app and number one in the paid app category. What makes this keyboard different from the many others available is the apps capability of understanding not just the patterns in your typing style, but also how different words work together. Swiftkey Keyboard is weirdly accurate at predicting the next word in your sentences giving you a choice of three words on top of the keyboard to save you typing it out. The more you use Swiftkey the more accurate it gets learning from your use of words in email, texts and social media.

One of the best features of the Swiftkey app is its Flow technology, flow allows you to input words by holding your finger down and dragging it along the screen like swype. Flow allows you to continue typing even inputting spaces so you can type multiple words with out lifting your finger from the screen, this can be tricky at first but after a while you will gain some speed and will be sending your messages as quick, but more accurately than ever.

I was so happy with this app, that i actually just typed this blog post using it! You can download SwiftKey from Google Play Store Here

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Appy Monday – Sonic The Hedgehog

 

Searching through the Google Play store over the weekend I thought all my Christmases had come at once when I came across Sonic the Hedgehog as the number 4 paid app. Retailing at just €2.85 (€2.69 on iTunes) it was a steal for 90’s gaming addicts such as myself! Sonic was the preferred game of my childhood. We were a Sega Mega Drive family, My boyfriend’s a Nintendo/Mario man! This game is sure to keep us occupied for a few hours.

The original Sonic The Hedgehog was released on the SEGA Mega Drive in 1991, the game including sound track has been completely remastered for mobile, with new additional features that include widescreen support with a frame speed of 60 frames per second, as well as access to online leaderboards, achievements and a time trial mode. Another great addition to the game is the ability to play as Tails and Sonic after unlocking with sonic first.

Download from Google Play Store Here or Download from iTunes Here

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