Check out the latest and greatest apps for Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and iPhone this week.
Android App of the Week – ZoomKee
ZoomKee is another approach at typing on a narrow keyboard, especially if you’re typing in portrait mode. Unlike many other alternate keyboards, T\the benefits of ZoomKee won’t kick in until after you’re done typing something.
The developers rightly point out that typing in portrait mode usually results in lots of typos. ZoomKee focuses on that problem. Auto-correct will take care of a lot of those typos, so ZoomKee specializes in the things that auto-correct won’t help with, like names and addresses – things not found in the dictionary.
If you have a word you need to correct, you can move the cursor to it, then hit the zoom button on the ZoomKee keyboard. That will zoom the keyboard in on the first letter you typed, while showing all the letters in that word in a bar above the keyboard. From there, you can quickly pick out the letters you need to correct. The keyboard will zoom in on the part of the keyboard containing that letter, and you can tap the correct one. The idea is that most typos result from accidentally hitting a key adjacent to the one you were aiming for, because of how narrow the keys are on those portrait mode keyboards.
If you need to, you can scroll to the other side of the keyboard by swiping to the left or right. There are also a few other tricks, like holding down space bar to split one word into two. ZoomKee also features its own predictive text system. There are a few other zoom options you can try, too, including a fisheye view.
ZoomKee is available on Google Play now for free, but the developers say that’s for a limited time only.
iPhone App of the Week: Urgent Care
It’s starting to look like the flu is winding down, but you might as well be prepared just in case it nails you on its way out.
Urgent Care is a new app from GreatCall, but it’s very similar to GreatCall’s previous LiveNurse app. You’ll still be able to use the app to call a registered nurse for consultation, and the same symptom checker and A.D.A.M. medical dictionary are present.
In fact, it looks like it’s pretty much the same app, with a slight image makeover, but there are a couple of important changes. After calling a nurse and answering basic consultation questions, you can arrange to have an actual medical doctor call you back for further discussion of your symptoms. GreatCall says those doctors will be able to prescribe common medications, although I’m not sure I would take that step before seeing a doctor in person.
Also, rather than the service having a monthly $3.99 subscription fee, each call made to a Live Nurse will cost $3.99. That’s good news if you want to use the app and aren’t necessarily interested in contacting a nurse, because the app itself is still a free download. You can get it here on the iTunes App Store.
Windows 8 App of the Week – Valentine Cards
You can celebrate Valentine’s Day like it’s third grade with the Windows 8 Valentine Cards app. There won’t be any superheroes or ponies, but you will be able to fish through 240 clipart images to create just the right card for your Valentine this year. You’ll also be able to upload your own images to use as backgrounds for the cards, and you can take a new picture from within the app.
After the background image and clipart is set, you can toy around with fonts, write a short message, and adjust the color settings. Then, you can share your labor of love using the Charms bar.
The Valentine Cards app is available for free on the Windows Store.
BlackBerry App of the Week – Untappd
Untappd is focused on finding you places to go and beers to drink in your local area. It’s a social app, too – you’ll be able to see which craft beers are trending based on the ratings and activity of other people around you using the app.
You can also make friends on the app, and see what they have been drinking. You can look at their ratings and recommendations, then leave your own for whatever brew you’re sampling. Over time, you can earn badges and receive personalized recommendations, based on what you and your friends have tried and liked.
Untappd is available now for free on BlackBerry World.
Windows Phone App of the Week – Spotify
Good news for Windows Phone 8 users – Spotify has made its way to Microsoft’s new mobile operating system. If you used the Spotify app on older versions of Windows Phone, it’s the same deal – you can build your own playlists and music library, share recommendations with friends, and save playlists for offline listening.
Like any other mobile version of Spotify, you’ll need to pay for a premium account before using the app, which is $9.99 per month – you won’t be able to use the free radio service by itself. Spotify is offering a 48-hour free trial of the premium service, but you can extend that to a 30-day trial by following the instructions that Spotify will email to you.
Spotify is available now as a free download on the Windows Phone Store.