Via.Me: The Social Media App that Does it All

Via.me, a new social publishing platform from developers RadiumOne, launched on March 1st. The app enables you to publish content to different social media accounts, without having to log in to separate websites or apps to do so. The first of its kind on the app market, Via.me shares text, video, images and voice notes with a single tap. In a world where very few people have just one social media account, and businesses are utilizing social networks for publicity and promotional purposes, Via.me is a useful tool for professionals and consumers alike.

via

Instead of adding another social network an already crowded market, Via.me provides an easy way to publish to several different networks at once. As well as being compatible with the big name networks Facebook and Twitter, Via.me also rivals the mega-popular photo app, Instagram, with 17 built-in photo filters that enable users to edit and stylise their photos before sharing them.

Designed for both consumers and businesses, Via.me helps people send information to their networks faster and with more convenience. Users can view comments others leave on their posts through the app, and it also provides detailed analysis and statistics for brands and businesses on their social media presence and reach.

Users can create an account at www.via.me and publish to any of their social networking profiles from a computer, in addition to using the app. Both the app and desktop versions are simple to use, with a sleek, intuitive interface, and allow users to choose which websites they want to publish to with each individual post.

We created a great product that not only is fun to use for consumers, but becomes a game changer for brands and publishers,” said Gurbaksh Chahal, CEO of RadiumOne. “Via.me is the easy, simple solution that enables publishing multiple types of content from one place across all your social profiles.

Via.me is currently only available as for iPhone and as a desktop app, however RadiumOne are looking to release the app to other platforms in the near future. The app is free and available from the iTunes store. To fine out more, visit www.via.me, or watch a short video that demonstrates the app here.

Share a gift with shareagift.com

Fancy contributing towards Cliff Richard’s 71st birthday present, or coughing up 200 quid towards a beach holiday for Julia Roberts? No, me neither.

These are some of the gift pages set up at shareagift.com. And while no one has felt the need to dig deep for these multimillionaires, the site does have a very useful purpose.

shareagift

When I got married, we thought we’d got the wedding gift list sorted. Like lots of couples, we actually had most of the things we needed so we didn’t really need lots of little things.

What we really wanted were the bigger things that we couldn’t really afford ourselves, so I suggested that everyone just buy us John Lewis vouchers – however, as I should well know by now, families never listen (and we had the added complication of family members from outside the UK who had never heard of John Lewis), and we ended up with a load of vouchers from all kinds of shops.
If only Justine Angelli had been around all those years ago, she would have had that lot sorted in an instant.

Justine is the brains behind shareagift.com, which is a combination of gift list and social networking site.

The idea is that all contributions to a gift are pooled into a central resource until the fund is reached. It means that you can put in as little or as much as you can afford, and friends and family from around the world can all take part.

Once the correct total is reached, gifts can be bought from the site’s affiliate partners, or transferred as cash to be used elsewhere.

Justine Angelli said: “In this economic era, people are tired of waste. Instead of giving a token gift a recipient may not like, Shareagift allows groups of people to easily pool their hard-earned cash and put it towards that one great gift a person really does want. It’s the most simple, fun and secure way for people to share the cost of any gift, of any kind, from anywhere in the world.”

One person has to organise the initial page, and then the site does the rest – it even sends out automatic reminders as the deadline approaches. Anyone who has tried to organise a large group of people into buying a gift, and has had to call or email them to remind them to pay by a certain date, or indeed has ended up forking out the money first and then having to get it back from the rest of the group, will be really glad to see a site like this put into action.

For more details head to the site at www.shareagift.com.

Blurb iOS app: Share your stories in an instant

Blurb

One of the great things about all this technology we have at our fingertips is that we can share instantly with friends and family – maybe post up some pictures from a party, or share a video of a family event with relatives who couldn’t make it.

But sometimes all that uploading and fiddling about can be a bit of a pain. Enter Blurb, a mobile app that allows you to gather all your images, video and audio into one ‘story’, which can be posted on to your Facebook or Twitter account, emailed and put up on the Blurb site (you can choose to make your story private or public), all at the tap of a screen.

Blurb is best known for its book making service, which allows users to create and print their own books online. The makers have taken this one step forward into the online mobile arena with the advent of Blurb Mobile.

The app is really quick and simple to use – you choose to create a story, type in the title and you’re off. You can upload images from your existing library, or choose to take a still shot or video and automatically add that.

Then you can edit them – cropping, rotating, scaling and so on, and arrange them in the order you want – all really easy thanks to drag and drop. It is also possible to add geotagging, so the story can be linked to a map location.

Once you’re done, you can choose to add voice and text captions, and opt for one of seven colour themes (in the free app – more are available if you pay for the full version of the app).

What really impressed me about Blurb is its simplicity. One of the reasons I fail to put up images onto Facebook is that I never seem to have time to download images from my camera and the longer I leave it, the more of a mammoth task it becomes. Something like Blurb, which works quickly and easily, is a great advantage and I can envisage users getting really into ‘reportage’ mode and uploading stories every day.

The app is available for free for the iPhone, while an upgrade to the full version with extra functions is £1.19.

More on the app at www.blurb.com

Nero saves the day: Nero 10 Platinum HD

Nero is an ambitious word. It’s tried to grab as many varied uses as possible: Crazed Roman Emperor, corporate coffee-joint, the New England Role-playing Organisation. For over 300 million users, however, the word is more familiar for burning CDs. Recently, the company behind the Nero Burning ROM software has become every bit as ambitious as the name it uses. Enter Nero 10 Multimedia Suite PLATINUM HD – your ultimate solution to CD burning, video editing, media-organising and system back-up’ing.

There’s so much included in the new Nero 10 PLATINUM HD package that it’s difficult to find somewhere to start. Perhaps the best bet is to begin with the software which left our jaws a’gaping:

Nero

Nero Vision Xtra: HD Editing for the Family
Although Vision Xtra originally joined the Nero 10 family back in April, this HD update has really brought the program into its own. The major upgrades are the ability to playback Blu-ray discs and the addition of “Nero Creative Packs”.
Blu-ray playback adds to the software’s existing Blu-ray options – authoring and HD editing, to make the package the complete HD circle: play, edit and create. It’s nice that the features are all enclosed in one place – even in the infinitely simple iLife you’d have to switch between programs to author a disc (and in iLife Blu-ray is unsupported).

In terms of video editing, the program’s closest competitor is another Apple product: iMovie HD. Vision Xtra has definitely taken inspiration from the simplicity of Apple’s editing software. You won’t find the plethora of options you’d get on Final Cut or Premier Pro, but you also won’t have to spend three hours YouTube’ing tutorials.

As well as adding 50 new transitions and 30 effects, part of the “Nero Creative Packs”, the new edition adds a template for picture-in-picture. Sixty-six templates, to be exact. Simply drop a template onto the editing timeline, drag in some clips and you’ll have a nifty PiP effect in no time.

With the myriad of new effects and transitions, Nero decided that it’d be a good idea to create a “favourites” menu. If you like a particular effect, or want a coherent video style, this not only speeds up editing, but removes the annoyance of scrolling through menus time and time again.

Behind the scenes, they’ve also beefed up the software. You can now export movies in Flash format, as well as PowerPoint video. There’s also added support for multi-core CPUs, NVIDA GPUs and background rendering, improving the preview quality immensely. Although there is no native 64-bit support, Nero engineers were quick to inform us that for video editing, the performance gains from 64-bit architecture would be minimal.

The mixture of powerful editing tools and a simple interface means that for families, or people without much spare time, putting together a movie is painless. Sure, you won’t see James Cameron authoring Avatar 2: A Bit of a Cash In on it. But for home users, the simplicity encourages you to give it a try – to turn those holiday clips into a video, rather than mere hard drive filler.

MediaHub: Possibly the Simplest Way to Transfer Media, Ever
MediaHub lets you store all your videos, pictures and music in one place. It does this by importing information from iTunes and Windows Media Player, as well as Windows 7 libraries. And it plays Blu-ray discs.

It’s also mighty fast. If you set it as your default image viewer, the loading time is as instant as Windows Preview. You then click the “MediaHub” button at the bottom, and it’ll boot up a bunch of editing options – “enhance, adjust, effects”. It also has tools to auto-enhance, remove red eye, crop, put together a little slideshow, e-mail a photo to a friend (and it scales it down for you, which is pretty neat). Really, it’s all a bit Picasa, except with less options and plug-ins, and better video file support.

The real selling point is the “Move It Plug-in”. If this has been done before, it has never been done as well as this. Every time you plug in an external device, be it an iPhone or a camcorder, MediaHub takes note. It then lets you re-encode media on-the-fly, specifically to that device’s resolution and playback options.

In essence, it automatically optimises any media for playback on your devices. You’ll get the best possible picture, the least possible disk usage, the most possible battery life from your gadget and the easiest conversion ever.

The Other Stuff:
There are a bunch of other updates around the included software, including a command-line interface for Burning ROM and faster performance in Back It Up, but these are really specialist areas and optimisations, rather than the features that have kept us impressed.

For £79.99, it’s quite the bargain – especially when you factor in the estimated cost of £11 per unit for a Blu-ray license. What’s really tempting, however, is if you already own the old Nero 10, because updating will only cost you a cool £19.99.

TWIG: Lecci Headphone Splitter, Artificial Moving Ski Slope and iPad USB charger

The Week in Gadgets

Camera makers were unveiling new models at a dizzying rate during this week’s Photokina and we’ll be taking a look at some of these in the coming week. We’ve also got a chance to play with some of the “hot” new Christmas gadgets coming your way – including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, though we still can’t tell you what it costs.

Y-headphone-splitter

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best and I fell in love with the Lecci Headphone Splitter. Sometimes one of the best thing about new music is sharing the experience with a friend – it’s at the core of Apple’s new Ping social network or Last.fm. For those of you with more conventional friends, that you actually meet in the flesh, it’s easier to share music with but also loaded with it’s own challenges. How well do you have to know someone before you share earphones? Especially a nice deep pair of inner ears? Instead of choosing between that and menacing everyone else on the bus with your tinny built in speakers, Lecci have made a little Headphone Splitter with a keyring attachment. Simply plug it into your PMP and … well you’ve seen the picture you can work out how it works. Yours for £5.95 from Gizoo.

Sometimes simple ideas get complicated. Ideas like “I want a ski slope in my living room.” We’ve all thought about, sure. But Skiplex Ltd went a little further and made the Artificial Moving Ski Slope – a continous moving ski slope that can mimic baby slopes or black runs. You will of course need a spare room the size of a squash court. And £176,250. You can probably pop it next to your F1 Simulator. Yours from thepresentfinder.

LINDY-iPad-USB

Love your iPad, hate the way it refuses to charge on certain USB ports? LINDY electronics would like you to part with £9.99 to solve that problem. The LINDY USB charging adaptor (which works with all Apple devices) does what it says on the tin. Whilst you can adapt some motherboards to charge iPads you probably can’t be bothered and £9.99 isn’t a great deal for restoring “charge anywhere” convience.