New app aims to connect people in real life
The irony of an app to help you spend time with friends in real life is probably not lost on you, but that’s the goal of Ketchuppp. It’s a proximity-based social networking app that uses GPS tracking and pinging you when one of your friends (from your contact list) is nearby. The idea is that then you can suggest meeting for a quick “ketch-up” (groan). But just because the app uses GPS doesn’t mean its broadcasting your location—it just tells you when someone is around. It does not pinpoint you on a map. You can also block people and set three different visibility settings. Kind of an interesting concept!
Apple’s Tuesday releases
This event was so well covered, I doubt you missed the news about the new (free) OS update, the new iPads, the software now included on the iPads, and the new MacBook Pros and Mac Pro. But, if you’re looking for a nice overview check out TechCrunch’s wonderful summary.
And assuming you heard the news about the iPad Air, you’re likely to be as amused by this cartoon as I was:
Get closer to your TV with the Xbox One Kinect…maybe
Rumor has it that the Xbox One Kinect sensor will have a smaller minimum distance than previous Kinects. The current model requires a 6’ minimum distance from the screen and the new, allegedly, only requires 4.6”. If it’s true, it’s sure to open up some gaming possibilities for those who don’t have large family/living rooms. On November 22nd, when the Xbox One is released, we’ll know for sure.
Billboard magazine is reporting that YouTube will soon be launching its own subscription music service. Like Spotify and Pandora, there will be a paid, ad-free tier, and a free version with ads. Time will tell if it’s actually going to happen.
The smartest smart lock around?
CNET reviewed what looks to be a pretty cool Bluetooth enabled lock. It’s called the Kwikset Kevo and it will let you unlock your deadbolt just by tapping on it—if you’ve got your Bluetooth 4.0 enabled smartphone in your pocket. If you don’t have a smartphone, the Kevo comes with a keychain fob so you can have the same functionality (or you could use the keys it comes with). What sounds cool about this one is that you have to calibrate the sensor so it can learn when you’re inside the house and when you’re outside the house. After all, you don’t want your phone that’s sitting on the kitchen table to allow anyone to walk right into your house. Check out CNET’s quite extensive review if you think you’re ready to upgrade your old-school deadbolt.
Fitbit Force review
Two, actually. First, The Verge spent some time with it. The guy doing the reviewing seemed to think about the device from only his perspective (wishing it was a fully-realized personal health system), but he did like it. The second, from Mashable, is a bit more balanced but she too liked it. Both make it sound like it’s the fitness tracker to beat right now. Sure, neither one of them loved the often-criticized wristband clasp, but they agree that it’s easy to use and gives you good data. I know some of you hate to think about the holidays already, but I suspect this is going to be a hot item (I think it’s going to make my list!).
Origami food packaging
A Rhode Island School of Design student was inspired to create better packaging for her fast food after having one frozen hand from her soda, and a bag with a soggy burger and fries in the other. She managed to create, from a single piece of cardboard, a carrier for it all. It has an ingenious handle from which all of the food cleverly, and safely, hangs. It looks genius (and you can read about it on Wired).
Spooky Friday fun
Mashable has collected the 20 scariest Google Maps sightings just in time for Halloween. I was pleased to see they included explanations for images, some of which originally created quite an uproar when they were found.