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ZDNet App Wrap: 9 January 2012

There are always cool new apps coming out, so it's hard to keep up. <i>ZDNet Australia</i> brings you a taste of some of the apps that have surfaced or been updated recently.
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Topic: Mobility
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(Credit: CBS — Aust)

ShiftSmart

Price: $0.99
Platform: iOS (iPhone)

If you're a shift worker, you might want to take a look at this app. It does all kinds of cool things that will make your life easier, such as setting a shift pattern for your own specific needs, alarms that can be programmed to move with your shift pattern, overtime tracking, a training diary and workplace-incident tracking. Best of all, if you have a specific requirement that the app doesn't fulfil, the developer welcomes your suggestions so that they can make sure ShiftSmart will do what you need.

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(Credit: Averotek)

Ask Ziggy

Price: Free
Platform: Windows Phone 7

Ask Ziggy is like Siri for Windows Phone. Ask Ziggy a question! Or to dial your mum for you! Or to update your Facebook! Well, so it claims; at the moment, it seems to be limited to Bing searches, and seems to have a bit of trouble with the Australian accent, so maybe not.

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(Credit: VHA)

My Vodafone

Price: Free
Platform: Android

Vodafone customers on Android now have an official app from Vodafone to keep track of their mobile usage. It allows them to view account usage, view bill and payments, check account details, find stores, view network updates and contact the company.

Post-paid customers with a My Vodafone username and password can access the full functionality of the app. Prepaid customers can download the app, but have to go to the mobile version of the My Vodafone site for account services, where they can log in.

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(Credit: LogMeIn)

LogMeIn

Price: Free
Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

LogMeIn has now released a free mobile app for users to access desktops remotely based on the LogMeIn Ignition app. The new free app allows users to remotely view, access and control their PCs or Macs from their iPad or iPhone. It works with LogMeIn's free remote-access offering, LogMeIn Free. The app lets users access and control an unlimited amount of PCs and Macs from their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, as well as run computer-based applications, like Salesforce and Microsoft Office, or view remote files.

Users can upgrade to LogMeIn Pro to have additional features.

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(Credit: Nanocrowd)

Nanocrowd

Price: Free
Platform: iPad

Nanocrowd is a video-discovery app for the iPad that approaches the problem of finding you a movie to watch in a new way. Rather than collecting your viewing history and asking you to rank what you've seen, Nanocrowd lets you start with one movie, and then it tries to tease out what it is about that film that you're liking right now. Then it finds more like that.

For example, if you say you liked District 9, the app will give you a list of three-word options to narrow down recommendations that spawn from that. Choose "Gory Aliens Monster", and the app will recommend Altered and Horror Planet. Or select "Space Humans Humanity" and you'll get Contact and Blade Runner. It's easy to see how both lists are related to the seed movie, yet they clearly address two different moods that someone who likes District 9 might be in.

The app can launch a streaming app on your iPhone, or it can kick off a search on iTunes or the Amazon site. Nanocrowd created its categories by analysing the words that people use on other reviews sites to describe movies.

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(Credit: rozap)

Boycott SOPA

Price: Free
Platform: Android

SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act in the US) has a lot of people up in arms. This app is designed to help you avoid SOPA-supporting products to show your support for the voting down of the bill by letting you scan barcodes, and identifying whether a product is created by, or intimately related to, SOPA-supporting companies.

The app developers say that there are currently over 800 brands on their list. We tried some products. Many of them (for example Dettol, Dove deodorant, Mount Franklin water) weren't recognised by the app, but Coke was identified as being related to SOPA-supporting companies, while Twinings tea was given the tick.

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(Credit: Department of Business and Innovation)

VicEvents

Price: Free
Platform: iOS, Android

VicEvents lists Victorian events, letting people find things to go to by data, location or category.

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(Credit:Matthew Roberts)

Vocal — Vocally control your computer

Price: $1.99
Platform: iOS (iPhone)

Vocal uses the voice-recognition feature on the iPhone 4S (and manual text entry on other devices) to navigate and use your Mac, controlling any application through command recognition. The makers of the app are happy to add commands when requested. You do need to have Vocal for Mac installed for it to work, however.

Rafe Needleman contributed to this article.

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