Tech + Health

12.13.13

This Week’s Hot Apps: Dec. 13, 2013

From a cat that tells you the weather to a new feature in Instagram, check out the week’s hot apps.

Apps may come and apps may go, but this week’s hot apps should stick around.

Poncho: More of a service than a simple app, Poncho is my go-to weather app at least twice a day. Also: She’s a cat. Developed by a small but growing team at New York City’s betaworks, Poncho manifests itself as a twice-daily email or text—it’s your pick. Cute, sassy, and concise, Poncho forecasts the day’s weather better than any standalone weather app I’ve ever had (recent email: “Well... it’s not getting warmer. Temps drop to the low 20s tonight so prepare your bed. Extra blankets! Extra cats! Keep it warm!”). Get Poncho.

Hour of Code: There are plenty of ways to waste your time on a smartphone. Codecademy’s Hour of Code iPhone app ain’t one of them. Its premise: Spend one hour with the app to learn the basics of coding. “Codecademy was originally built for someone like me to learn how to code,” its co-founder, Zach Simms, told The Guardian. “Now, we want to help provide an easy way for people to get the programming skills they need to learn skills, start businesses, and find new jobs.” Download the iPhone app.

Instagram: You’ve probably heard—heck, you probably use—this photo-sharing app now owned by Facebook, but have you seen its latest update? Starting this week, Instagram will have a new feature called Instagram Direct, which allows users to privately share photos and videos with up to 15 of their friends. Sure, you can do this same thing on any number of other apps available in the app store, but none of them have Nashville (the filter). Plus, where else can you stalk your kids and go on tour with Snoop Dogg at the same time? On Instagram, of course.

Phish on Demand: The greatest band now has the greatest music app. Phish on Demand lets phans of The Phish from Vermont listen to any song, from any show, in the history of the band’s 30-year dominance of live music. How we lived so long without their archives sitting readily at our fingertips is a mystery. Get it here.

Circle: Circle is a local social network. This means you can get news and information about events happening near you! It’s a pretty simple idea, but the implications if this thing really takes off are huge. Try it, and you may find it’s a better-refined, more relevant Facebook the moment you step out your door. Download Circle for your iPhone.

Jukely: Jukely, which just came out of beta in a handful of cities last month (Austin, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle), connects friends and the concerts they should go to based on similar musical interests. Looking for a little extra? Jukely has been known to slip its users onto the guest list—or reward them with free tickets. It’s cool. You’re with the band. Download Jukely here.