Achieving “Happiness” With Your Smartphone!

 

The app is actually part of a research project, launched by Harvard researcher Matt Killingsworth. It’s more than just a traditional mood tracker, it’s more like a mood analyzer. The aim of the app (and the project) is to better understand what causes our happiness.

To use the app, sign up with your email address. Then, answer a couple of general questions about how you feel:

  • How satisfied are you with your life as a whole?
  • On average, during the moments of your life how do you feel?

After that, the app will send you periodic alerts asking about what you’re doing in that moment, how you feel, and so on. It will ask if you have to do whatever task you’re doing, and if you actually want to do that task. After a few of these sessions, you’ll get a report that gives you an idea of not only when you’re happy (which is what a regular mood tracker does), but what correlates with (and maybe even causes) your happiness.

The app is totally free and doesn’t ask for money later or bombard you with any advertisements, and that’s because it’s just for research. Unfortunately, that also means there’s no Android version in the works. Of course, it also means the app will use your demographic information and answers in the study, but your personal information will never be shared, and the app protects your data with SSL encryption (here’s their full privacy policy).

To try it for yourself go here.

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App Focus – Qello

App FocusWhen I want to relax and get away and perhaps travel to another time I enjoy spinning vinyl records and from time to time watch a music concert on Blu-Ray, Netflix or Amazon and a few others. Music documentary’s are also enticing to me. Last year I first stumbled upon a app called Qello. This app has actually improved a lot during the past year. This app which is really best described as Netflix for Music is truly amazing. You can search for artists and bands that you really like, and it will offer you suggestions based on your favorites.

Previewing a concert is free, and if you like it you can sign up for All Access. It’s only $4.99 per month which is roughly half the cost of Netflix. You even get a week free trial. Qello is available on most streaming services like Amazon Fire, Roku, Apple TV, Google TV as well as on IOS, Android, Windows Phone, Samsung Smart TV’s and PlayStation.

Qello makes selecting the perfect content for you a cinch with its easy navigation system. You can search by artist, genre and decade (starting in 1960 through to today), or by manually typing in the name of whatever you are looking for. A quick search in the classic rock genre brings up videos from Queen live in Montreal, Billy Joel Live at Yankee Stadium among countless others. If you like documentaries a brand new documentary about the history of the band Kansas is available.

If you enjoy relaxing at home and watching old (and new) concerts as well as music documentaries then Qello is definitely the app for you.

Check out Qello here.

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App Focus – Random

App FocusToday we launch a new regular feature on our little tech blog. With “App Focus” we will, from time to time take a look at some apps out there you may have missed, and may want to check out. Apps for iOS, Android and even Windows Phone will all get their time to shine here as we try to focus on apps you may be missing but should check out.


Here you can see choosing the random category of "outer space" offers additional random categories related to outer space.

Here you can see choosing the random category of “outer space” offers additional random categories related to outer space.

Random is an iOS app that describes itself as allowing you to “Explore the web anonymously. Change the way you understand the world around you.”

Does it work as promised?

The latest version of Random brings a a fluid ‘topic hop’ function that displays articles based on your preferences, along with a random post to pique your interest.

The interface is very similar to StumbleUpon. As you move through articles, you can see the topic that has led to the content Random suggests you read. Topics linked to your selection are highlighted so you can skip to those easily.

After I used Random for a little while, I must say I was a little disappointed at the lack of, well actual randomness.

When you open the app at first, the topics suggested are definitely widespread and include some offbeat genres like ‘fetish’ or ‘myth’. I fell into my routine by picking a topic I interested in (tech news, obviously) and found the usual barrage of posts I could just have easily found using my RSS reader or Zite or Flipboard.

However upon additional use, I found that when I was done with reading my regular news, I went back to the app and was more inclined to choose the offbeat topics.

Random is probably best experienced when you are commuting, travelling or when you simply have some time to kill and have already got your news fix for the day.

Download Random for your iOS device here.

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