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Google’s New App Will Take You on a Field Trip


Google Thursday launched an app called Field Trip, “your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you.”

Working in the background on your Android phone, the app pops up a card on your handset when it thinks you’re around something interesting. A map view within the app can also help you seek out locations around you on your own.

Field Trip suggests places and experiences that fall under a number of categories: Architecture, Historic Places & Events, Lifestyle, Offers & Deals, Food Drinks & Fun, Movie Locations, Outdoor Art and Obscure Places of Interest around you. Information for the cards comes from trend-setting publications such as Thrillist, Zagat, Songkick and Atlas Obscura.

Ranging from a history lesson about a building you walk by each day, to a recommendation on where to get lunch, information about locations pops up as you walk by rather than you having to seek it out. This way, the app might help you uncover something you didn’t even know you were looking for.

The frequency you receive Field Trip notifications can be selected from three different app modes.

If you have a Bluetooth headset connected to your phone, you can have it read information about locationswhile you’re walking. The app can also detect when you’re driving and audibly tell you about places as you’re passing.

If you find a great new location using Field Trip, you can also share it with friends on social networks such as Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

The smartphone-optimized app is available now for Android phones, with an iOS version expected in the future.

Check out the video below for a look at Field Trip in action.

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How to Follow Hurricane Sandy Online


As Hurricane Sandy continues to whip across the Eastern Seaboard, there are many ways to stay up to date with the latest news online, from watching dozens of webcams of the storm from landmarks such as the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge to interactive hurricane tracking maps and following key accounts on Twitter.

“Staying connected to family, friends, community members, local and federal authorities, as well as organizations such as the Red Cross via social tools during Hurricane Sandy is encouraged,” Wendy Harman of The American Red Cross told Mashable. “These tools can be a lifeline to valuable information, comfort and resources.”


New York Webcam

Although the storm isn’t expected to hit New York City until Monday afternoon, webcams are already capturing the high winds across Manhattan and its outer boroughs, as well as the Jersey Shore (Atlantic City) and Long Island, N.Y. In addition, the National Weather Service has a livestream set up, and BreakingLive has launched a “Sandycam.” For a full list of feeds, including those set up in Virginia Beach and Maryland, click here.

Interactive Maps

WunderMap Hurricane Sandy

The Weather Channel has an interactive map, which highlights Hurricane Sandy’s path, speed and movement with data in real-time. Meanwhile, the Wunderground map lets you type in your zip code for data specific to your location and reveals relevant pictures of the storm in your region.

For a look at wind across various regions, this Wind Map — developed by two Google computer scientists — is updated each hour from the National Weather Service’s forecast database. Wind movement is shown in white and grey strands.

Storm Coverage

The Weather Channel is making it easy to watch live coverage with its streaming YouTube channel. Meanwhile, the New York Times City Center is posting videos from Mayor Bloomberg, tweets about flooding and other updates in one centralized hub.



Hurricane Tracker app for iOS: Stay on top of forecasts, tweets from storm centers and meteorologist and data from the National Hurricane Center.

iMap Weather Radio for iOS and Android: Track storm activity in your location and keep tabs of other regions with this app. iMap Weather Radio also issues alerts to keep you updated as they happen, and even connects you to local weather television broadcasts.

Red Cross for iOS and Android: The app includes a wealth of information about what to do in case of an emergency, how to find the closest Red Cross shelter and let friends and family know you’re safe in a click of a button.

For more details on apps in emergency situations — such as the Flashlight app, which turns your smartphone into a continuous glow of light — click here.

Twitter and Facebook

Whether you’re tracking the hurricane in the at-risk regions or elsewhere, here’s a list of key Twitter accounts to keep you updated — as long as you have Internet connectivity:

Meanwhile, among the key accounts to follow on Facebook for updates are the National Hurricane Center, the Red Cross and The Weather Channel.

More Coverage of Hurricane Sandy

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Pogoseat App Spares You From Seat-Swapping Humiliation on Gameday


It’s a familiar scenario for any sports fan: Go to the game and settle into your nosebleed seats, only to spot a bunch of empty primo spots closer to the action. So you give it a few minutes, and then move down. Everything is awesome and you’re engrossed in the game — until an usher shows up and asks to see your ticket stubs. Red-faced, you’re forced to take the walk of shame back to the boondocks.

Pogoseat aims to kill that humiliation once and for all.

The California startup allows fans to upgrade to better seats while at the game, and lets teams recoup some of the money lost on good tickets that go unsold. Pogoseat just launched in the App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, and co-founder Evan Owens tells Mashable he expects the free app to be available for Android devices within the next week.

Here’s how you’d use it at a game: First, notice a slew of empty seats, and decide to see what’s out there. Then, fire up the app and sign in using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or a separate Pogoseat account. Peruse the app for available upgrades — which, in many cases, will be dynamically priced to provide discounts closer to game time or after the action starts — and pay the difference between your new seats and the old ones using PayPal, Amazon or credit card. Your new ticket will be delivered electronically, giving you the green light to prance down to your new location. Pogoseat and the team split the money you pay for the upgrade.

“When you’re actually there in the moment with your fellow fans around, you’re much more willing to pull your wallet out and pay for that better seat,” co-founder Abel Cuskelly says.

Pogoseat comes embedded in the Golden State Warriors’ official team app, its first ongoing partnership with a professional team. The company has also done one-off deals with Stanford football, and is aiming to finalize partnerships with up to 10 more NBA teams this season, as well as a few NFL franchises during the second half of the pro-football season.

Pogoseat was named “Next Wave Shopping and Commerce Winner” at last month’s iMedia Breakthrough Summit in Austin, which has helped lead to increased attention from non-sports brands, the app’s co-founders say. A phone carrier, for example, could pay for upgrades for a few dozen customers. It would then send texts informing them about the promotion, resulting in more publicity should customers choose to share the deal via their social networks.

Pogoseat raised $500,000 in seed funding last year, and is currently in the midst of raising another comparable seed round.

Would you use Pogoseat? Let us know in the comments below.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, adamkaz

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It’s Time To Stop Dating Bros And Start Dating Pros, Introducing BeLinked

Tired of talking to a bro at a bar, only to find out later that he works at Subway? Sick of picking up the tab when your date “conveniently” forgets his wallet at home? Do you find yourself saying, “No I don’t want no scrubs, a scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me?” Then you’re in luck.

BeLinked is a new and improved dating app that matches you to guys through your LinkedIn network, so you can finally snag the CEO you’ve always dreamed of.

Here’s how you use it:

1. Sign up with your LinkedIn Profile. The app will pull your photo, name, and age. If you don’t have a LinkedIn you really should get on that unless you want to end up like Warner at the end of Legally Blonde: without honors, without a job offer and without a boyfriend.

2. Add a tagline and share info about your industry and school. You thought you’d never use your Tinder bio again, but you were wrong!

3. Choose your dating preferences. They’re filtered by gender, age, distance, industry and school. Shouts out to the girls who’re sick of being called picky because they’ll only date 28-year-old investment bankers who went to an Ivy.

4. Swipe through your matches just like you would on Tinder or another similar app. Once you get matched you’ll be able to chat with the pro of your dreams, aka no chubby bald dudes messaging you like, “Hey gorgeous, you remind me of my pinky toe cause I wanna bang u on every surface!” …I mean unless you’re into that.

5. Match your friends. Now you can be your own Millionaire Matchmaker with BeLinked’s “BeIntroduced” feature, which lets you recommend potential matches to your friends by text or email. Our main betch Patti had better watch out.

Some more things to keep in mind

– BeLinked doesn’t only go through your immediate matches, and will never post to LinkedIn. TG because I don’t need another app threatening my career prospects, my Facebook is incriminating enough.

– All your activity is anonymous. So like you won’t get blackballed from your industry of choice by some butthurt bro who was mad you gave him a hard pass.

– You can download BeLinked on your iPhone today! Sorry, Android, nobody likes you.






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25 Free Apps That Are Making The World A Better Place

Change the world with just one click.

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1. Feedie turns #foodporn into lunches for kids.

Feedie turns #foodporn into lunches for kids.

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Feedie / Via

For every food photo taken at a participating restaurant and shared via social media, 25 cents will be donated to the app’s nonprofit parent company, The Lunchbox Fund, which provides meals to students in rural South Africa. Currently available for iPhones. See restaurant list and get the app here.

2. Donate a Photo gives $1 for every photo you share via their free app.


Save the Children teamed up with Johnson & Johnson to create this app where your photo shares equal donations. You can donate up to one photo a day, and they will never be used for commercial purposes. Available for iPhone.

3. HTC Power to Give lets you donate your phone’s spare computing power for scientific research.


By downloading the app, plugging in your Android phone and connecting to Wi-Fi, your phone’s spare computing power becomes part of a huge grid that provides power to a scientific project of your choice, like researching cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, or understanding climate change, or searching for extra-terrestrial life. More info here.

4. Charity Miles donates money to your favorite charity for every mile you walk, run or bike.


By tracking your progress and donating for each mile, this free app allows you to make every step count. Once you pick your charity and upload your results to social media, Charity Miles will donate 10 cents per mile for biking and 25 cents per mile for walkers and runners. Available for iPhone and Android.

5. GoodGuide helps you find healthy, socially responsible products while you shop.


The app’s barcode scanning feature lets you quickly access GoodGuide’s science-based health, environment and social ratings for over 170,000 products available in the U.S. Available on iTunes and Google Play.

6. Check In For Good is like FourSquare where each check-in raises money.

Check In For Good is like FourSquare where each check-in raises money.

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When you check-in at participating businesses, that business donates $1 to a cause of your choosing and in turn you get coupons and incentives to go back again. Win-win. Available for iPhone and Android.

7. iRecycle is an easy-to-use app that tells you how and where to recycle anything.


Available for Android here.

8. Seafood Watch helps you find ocean-friendly fish at grocery stores and restaurants near you.


Started by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, this app helps consumers and restaurants make responsible and informed choices about their seafood purchases. The database lists fish that are caught or farmed in environmentally responsible ways and if those aren’t available, they will suggest good alternatives. Available for iPhone and Android.

9. My Life As a Refugee is a game designed to spread awareness about refugee issues worldwide.


In the time it takes to download this game, eight people are forced to flee their homes because of war, persecution, or terror. This game designed by the UN Refugee Agency aims to raise awareness about these issues. Available on Android and iPhone.

10. One Today shows you a new cause every day where you can donate or match friends’ donations.


Run by Google, this app is an easy way to learn about and contribute to causes from all over the world. Available on Google Play and iTunes.

11. Budge Challenge turns friendly bets into charitable giving.


Whether it’s a silly bet or a real game of chess, Budge lets you create challenges between friends where the loser has to donate to charity. It’s basically a win-win. Available for iPhone here.

12. Instead is a micro-donation app that shows you what you can donate by giving up everyday luxuries.


Available for iPhones here.

13. FoodCircles is like Groupon, but with a charity-donation twist.

FoodCircles is like Groupon, but with a charity-donation twist.

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Using the app you “buy” specific dishes for a minimum donation of $1 that goes to provide full meals or days worth of food for children. Most current restaurants are near the company’s home base of Michigan, but they are looking to expand. Find out more and get the app here.

14. True Food lets you check foods for genetically modified ingredients.


Available for iPhone and Android.

15. Link-SF is a mobile site that helps those who need it find housing, food and medical attention.

Link-SF is a mobile site that helps those who need it find housing, food and medical attention.

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California has one of the largest homeless populations in the country, and they recently started a program to provide web-enabled phones free of charge to low and no-income individuals. This mobile-optimized site uses location-based services to find the nearest necessities that are open and nearby. See the site here.

16. Volunteer Match is a location-based app that shows you nearby volunteer opportunities.


Currently available for iPhones, this app curates over 97,000 organizations to help you find the volunteer opportunity that’s right for you. More info here.

17. Get Rich or Die Smoking shows you how much money you save for quitting smoking.


This app is designed to help people quit smoking by offering rewards, showing the health benefits and the cost incentives for quitting. Available for Android.

18. Save the Children Earthquake Response is a simulation game that spreads awareness about disaster relief.

Save the Children Earthquake Response is a simulation game that spreads awareness about disaster relief.

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Available for iPhone.

19. Tree Planet 2 is a virtual game that pays for a real tree to be planted for each game version.

Tree Planet 2 is a virtual game that pays for a real tree to be planted for each game version.

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Since the first version of this game was released, Tree Planet has funded over 340,000 real trees in 13 forests. Directions are in Korean but the game is easy to use. Available for Android.

20. DonorReminder is a simple app that lets regular blood donors track their giving schedule.


Available for iPhone.

21. SeeClickFix lets citizens report, track and discuss municipal issues in their neighborhood.

SeeClickFix lets citizens report, track and discuss municipal issues in their neighborhood.

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It’s like a mobile 311. You use your camera and the GPS to alert the government or whoever is responsible about issues of health and safety, then track the progress. Available for all devices and browsers. Learn more here.

22. PaperKarma lets you scan junk mail and unsubscribes you from that mailing list for good.


Available for iPhone and Android, this app helps save millions of pounds of paper by eliminating junk mail.

23. Free2Work allows you to scan barcodes and get info on that company’s history of forced and child labor.

Free2Work allows you to scan barcodes and get info on that company's history of forced and child labor.

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Free2Work grades are a measure of a company’s efforts to make sure that child and forced labor do not exist in its supply chain. The app is currently under review for release in both the iTunes and Android stores. See more here.

24. HelpBridge lets users send messages to emergency contacts and browse volunteer opportunities during crisis situations.


The HelpBridge app from Microsoft aims to simplify disaster communication by notifying loved ones of your location and status during a disaster. You can also donate to relief organizations and see where volunteers are needed. Available for Windows, iPhone and Android. More info here.

25. Acts of Kindness suggests small things you can do every day to make a positive difference.


Available from iTunes.

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9 Tech Tools That Make City Living a Snap


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Trove Rethinks Social News Discovery


Trove, the social news discovery app first created by the Washington Post‘s digital team, relaunched a completely overhauled suite of iOS apps Wednesday.

The app’s concept is similar to news aggregation apps like Zite and Flipboard in that it provides users with curated stories based specific topics. (A “trove” is a curated list of stories based around a single topic.)

But unlike these apps, Trove doesn’t rely on algorithms to predict relevant stories. Instead, each topic is managed by an individual curator who hand-picks each story.

The goal, says CEO Vijay Ravindran, is to reduce signal noise and help readers find all the stories they care about.

“The product is really built on this principle: Readers have a diverse set of interests from fun to serious,” he said. “We’re going to connect them with curators who are sharing those same interests so there’s an opportunity for them to get this really high quality content experience.”

Currently, troves are selected and organized by beta curators who are experts in a given field. The “Top Science News” trove, for example, is curated by Science magazine, and “Farm to Table” by former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelshon. But any user can curate any topic.

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Image: Trove

“The system favors curators who are actively picking and who are amassing larger and larger followers,” Ravindra added. “Over time, we think quality will go to the top fairly naturally.”

Trove’s team is headed up by Ravindra and Slashdot founder Rob Malda, who serves as product lead. Based on their editorial roots and close ties with The Washington Post, ensuring the credibility of individual sources was an important step in the app’s development.

All of Trove’s stories are culled from a list of 15,000 sources, each of which has been vetted by an editor. Users can also submit new sources to Trove for editorial approval.

The app is available for iPhone and iPad, with an Android app planned for later this year.

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Everything You Need to Know About the New Twitter

Twitter rolled out on Tuesday a series of design updates aimed to add more personality to member pages. Photos have been brought to the forefront and room has been made for Facebook Timeline-like cover images.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo first unveiled the updates during morning news program The Today Show — an unlikely stage for a tech company that is continually introducing new features and designs. Since the announcement was coupled with a short segment about Twitter’s growth and success, it was likely part of an effort to introduce the platform to a greater audience not yet using the site.

“Today’s changes are all about bringing that personality forward. More media forward, more photos forward,” Costolo said on the show. “So it’s much easier to see these media experiences and flip through them.”

The company also announced new apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices.

Behind the Header Photo

Member profile photos have been moved from the top left to a spot in the center of the page. Users can upload a long horizontal “header” image that resembles the cover photo concept currently used on Facebook and Google+. Existing profile pictures are embedded in the center of the header.


“The page itself has been reoriented to play up other visuals as well: Your avatar is no longer tucked in the corner, but will display front and center,” Twitter said in a statement. “The photo stream, too, has been moved up, and will now be accessible on the apps.”

How to Add a Header

First, visit your profile — the page that’s labeled “Me,” not your homepage — either on or via your mobile app. To add a header photo, visit and select a photo from your existing library or port in a new one. To upload a header photo from a mobile app, visit to the “Me” tab, click the settings button (gear), tap “Edit profile” and then “Header.”

Note: After selecting a picture, you’ll need to scale it to size. The original image size can’t surpass 1252×626 pixels (with a max file size of five megabytes) and anything less than 640 pixels won’t look great.

App Upgrades

The iPhone app looks similar to what we’ve seen in the past, particularly in regards to the news feed and navigation. The “Me” section has been optimized for a header photo, however.

Meanwhile, the iPad app received a whole new user interface. In addition to highlighting a header photo and giving uploaded photos a bigger display area, you no longer have to swipe to reveal the sidebar. It also gives greater prominence to media — images now appear full-screen and links show up within the tweets when expanded. The company called the iPad app more than just an upgrade.

“We’ve rebuilt the app from the ground up to make it fast, beautiful and easy to use,” Twitter said in a statement.

Twitter also noted that the news represents “our mobile-first strategy.”

User Reaction

Mashable conducted a poll after the news was announced to gauge user feedback, and 47% said they loved the emphasis on photos and the new header. About 27% said cover pictures are “so 2011,” while 25% said they were indifferent.

Header Inspiration

While you think about how you want your new header to look, check out our gallery of early adopters.

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‘The Bachelor’ Host Chris Harrison Releases Video Dating App

People often say they know within the first minute of meeting someone whether they feel a spark or potential love connection. But with online dating, it can take days or weeks of courting and chatting before finally getting face-to-face time. And even then, there’s no guarantee of feeling any chemistry.

To bypass this issue, Chris Harrison — the host of ABC’s popular dating shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette — and series creator Mike Fleiss launched a new dating app called At First Sight, which centers around video profiles. They are aiming to give users a deeper look at members, beyond just pictures.

“We looked at dating sites and what could make them better for people looking for relationship and how can people get a better sense of who is on the other side,” Harrison told Mashable. “We thought about the power of video when casting seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and seeing firsthand how quickly it allows you to get a sense of person.”

Unlike flipping through pictures on an online dating site, users can browse videos and then visit those users’ profiles for more information.

“Instead of a slew of static photos and long profiles, people can scroll through videos of a potential date for a firsthand look and decide for themselves if there is potential chemistry,” Harrison said. “It’s like going on 100 coffee dates without leaving your house.”

At First Sight — now available on iOS and Android devices — also combines chat and social features, so you can send messages directly through the app. Although a video-chat function doesn’t exist just yet, a user could, in theory, ask another member for a virtual date via FaceTime, Skype or Google Hangout.

The app also uses algorithms to help members find the best matches for their personalities and interests.

“People can view online dating as a last resort and kind of a crapshoot,” Harrison added. “We want to change that.”

Although he already has a profile up on the app, Harrison doesn’t have any interest in becoming the star of The Bachelor in the future.

“I don’t think it’s really for me,” Harrison said. “I’m not really the type of guy that dates out loud, lives out loud. On top of that, having been behind the curtain and helped produce this, it would be so hard to be genuine and go through it with any sense of naiveté. You kind of have to have that innocence to be the bachelor or the bachelorette.”

To get the app now, click here.

Do you think video profiles will help people find better connections online? Let us know in the comments below.

Image via Tiffany Rose/Getty Images

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5 Apps to Digitize Your Business Cards

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

Granted, it might be easier to accept a physical, paper business card, but you still have to enter that person’s email address and phone number into your contact book. Instead, import or share business cards with two or three taps to eliminate post-event busy work.

These five mobile apps either scan paper business cards into the cloud for easy organization or shun paper all together, so you can manage contacts from your smartphone.


How do you handle business cards in today’s digitally inclined climate? Which app do you find the easiest? Share your tips in the comments below.