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Name: GO SMS Pro

Platform(s): Android

Price: Free

Mission: Make texting fun for Android

To be blunt, the stock SMS app for Android is boring and short on features. It sends your texts and that’s about it. Compared to iMessage, the stock SMS app looks a plain No. 2 pencil.

Android users deserve more.

They deserve a powerful app packed full of extra functionality. They deserve pop-up quick reply boxes and the ability to put a password on their SMS app to keep their nosy friends out of their business! They deserve themes to keep things festive and, perhaps most importantly, EMOJI because they deserve to have some fun too.

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Let’s get one thing straight – when trying to focus on a mediocre PowerPoint, we find nothing more irritating than

No, Professor, Im laughing because English is soo fun.

"No, Professor, I'm laughing because your powerpoint is soo fun."

an ESPN video flickering in our field of vision. But sometimes, despite the demand for undivided attention in class, one finds they just have to be on top of that ending eBay auction, or is overcome with burning desire to catch up with an exciting new Clog post. If you’re going to indulge your ADD symptoms – and we know you inevitably will, you slacker – here are some ways to do it discreetly, without bothering the rest of us (or earning a dirty look from your GSI).

Turn your brightness down. We’d prefer our last sight read more »


Picture this:

Can more invasive social contact by others indicate shrinking boundaries around privacy?

Can more invasive social contact by others indicate shrinking boundaries around our privacy?

It’s nearly 10 p.m., and you’re at home, brushing your teeth. Your iPhone starts screaming. You snap to attention, no thanks to that inherent anxiety that accompanies living as a young single woman in an urban environment. You grudgingly answer the phone, hoping to be greeted by an automated pharmacy reminder’s monotone, and not a friend needing a ride at this time of night. Instead, it’s some dude asking if you’ve heard about Prop Something for the third time and if you have a few minutes to talk. You grit your teeth and try muster up some manners.

Sound like last night? Join the club.
As you all know elections are today, November 6th. While we’re excited to be casting our ballots, we believe we can speak for nearly all in lamenting over the amount of recent “encouragement” we’ve received to cast those votes. Just this week alone, we’ve received half a dozen calls from local campaigns encouraging either a vote for a particular candidate, or a yea or nay on a particular measure (We’re looking at you, “Yes on Prop 32″-ers.) It’s a given that building support through direct contact methods like telephone calls is far from new, but we’d like to make a case for some boundaries around the use of those methods. Call us old-fashioned, but we fondly regard that old (and apparently outdated) custom of refraining from calling a lady after dark.

Typing

For all you Android users lusting for the ability to send texts from your computer, the Mighty Text Android app and web app are a fantastic solution. You no longer have to lust for an iMessage like situation. Sure you could set up Google Voice, but it’s a hassle. You either have to get a new number or port your number to Google. Mighty Text only takes seconds to set up and it changes your life.

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You may have seen some of the “Date My School” fliers recently posted around campus.
Date my school? What? Like back in the 90’s where TV commercials showed kids professing their love for breakfast cereal, only to have a sibling tease, “then why don’t you marry it?” Well, turns out DateMySchool.com is actually a student-oriented dating site (like Match.com or OKCupid.com), but it’s exclusively for current college students and alumni. Created by Jean Myer and Balazs Alexa of Brooklyn, NY, the new site aims to network like-minded undergrads and graduates looking for everything from “cuddling” to “long-term dating.” (Yes, cuddling is a checkable item under a user’s “looking for” section.) read more »


Don't Forget About AndroidWe all love our overpriced “i” products, but let’s make sure Apple’s little brother Android isn’t left out. When you’re not trying to simulate the droid sound with your voice and trying to rule the world with your phone like they do in the commercials, you might recall that it’s a phone. With apps. A rather smart cookie, your Droid has plenty to offer you besides a completely customizable home screen interface – take that, iPhone – but that’s off topic. Presenting the best and least expensive stuff in the Play Store for Cal students:

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Sometimes trying to keep organized at Berkeley makes us feel the way we do when we’re holding our Tully’s and sense a sneeze coming on – helpless! Hopefully these useful apps for the iPhone – all of which are free – will help put a lid on that life of yours. (To download, open iTunes and click on the iTunes Store tab, then search by app name.)

NextBus – Tells you the next arriving buses according to your location using GPS technology and includes all AC Transit buses, but also the Lawrence Lab and other loop buses too.

ASUC – An assortment of great campus-related tools for students from the ASUC. We especially love the real-time monitors that display how full places like RSF and the campus libraries are.

UCBearWALK – Request a Bearwalk escort from your phone, or track North/South Night Safety Shuttles in real time.

UC Berkeley Mobile – Created by the university itself, this app features helpful, general course information and library tools for current students. It’s also especially handy for incoming students (or even visiting family) with features like interactive maps, tour information and upcoming events.

Now that you’re stocked up on Berkeley-grade productivity tools read more »



Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Android apps know more about you than you think. In fact, they know much more about you than they should.

That’s what Erika Chin, a UC Berkeley Computer Science graduate student, and fellow security researcher, Yekaterina Tsipenyuk O’Neil, reported at this year’s DEFCON. Over 30% of Android apps are “overprivileged,” they say, which means they have access to information that they don’t need to function.

But … we don’t mean to go all luddite on you now. We grew up on healthy diets of Nintendo and AIM, too.

On that note, nProgress just launched the new student-specific app, ntro, for UC Berkeley students, to facilitate quasi-serendipitous encounters that wouldn’t otherwise occur. App users can find others based on common interests. What that will mean is no more headaches over forming last-minute study groups, locating student group meetings or finding musicians to form highly successful Grammy-award-winning bands with … maybe.

Image source: MP4Nation
Def Con 19: Android apps ask for too much power [Consumer Reports]
Students experiment with new app [Daily Cal]


facebookThat is, aside from providing a platform for people to boast about all of the mind-numbingly inane things they did that day. Now you don’t even have to switch browser tabs to learn how to fund your college education and chat up that cute kid from your Econ class at the same time.

In January 2012 Facebook is set to launch a new application that allows you to learn all about grants, loans, FAFSA and other financial aid information.

The application uses demographic information to instruct students on their financial aid choices and in addition provides the option to discuss the financial aid procedure with Facebook friends. With any luck this app might actually help to alleviate the rage-inducing headache that is FAFSA.

Image Source: vincos under Creative Commons
Financial Aid Facebook App? Program Promises to Help You Find Money For College [Huffington Post]


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Oh yeah, there’s an app for that. As a master’s final project for the Berkeley School of Information, student Ljuba Miljkovic made a transportation app called “Transporter” (nothing to do with Jason Statham) that is now available on iTunes.

The app tells you the real-time departures of buses and trains, but it also goes one step further: informing you what time you will arrive at your destination once you’re in transit. It also allows you to bookmark your favorite/most used lines and stops. It works for SF MUNI, AC Transit, and BART. (Especially useful with the new bus schedule, eh?)

The man himself described the problem with transportation: “We discovered that riding public transit often produces a generalized sense of anxiety,” Miljkovic observed, “rooted perhaps in one’s loss of control.” Yeah, that or the crazy guy at the front of the bus loudly voicing his opinion that television will destroy America.

Either way, the app is FREE and you can download it here. Say thank you to Miljkovic.

Image source: marvin L under Creative Commons
Student project “Transporter” debuts on ITunes Store [UC Berkeley School of Information]