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Microsoft is actually a great Android developer - 'To-Do' is another reason why!

It may seem suprising to some, but Microsoft is actually a fantastic Android developer. In fact, I'd go as far to saythat their app offerings for Android are far superior to than their offerings for the Windows App store. For starters the full suite of Microsoft Office apps are great, as is one drive and one note, and the Arrow App Launcher is actually one of the best custom android skins available (seriously - check it out!).

To round this out, over the last few days Microsoft has released 'To-Do' which as you've guessed it - is a to-do list. It really could not be simpler - the app allows the creation of lists and then as part of each list allows tasks and items to be added.

The design is simple and clean, and a nice move away from the boxy interface design that still dominates some of the earlier Windows apps for android. It's fast, lightweight, cloud based (of course) and has a widget - so there is not much more you could ask for!

Of course there is lots of co…

Friend in Palm (Assistant FIP)

Today's app of the day is Friend in Palm (Assistant FIP).

Since the popularisation of Siri on the iPhone 4 (and on-wards), virtual assistants have become an ever-increasing part of our smart-phone use. This trend was only increased with the advent of Google Now, which took the virtual assistant 'concept' and integrated it with Google Search. Of course, these two options from the smartphone juggernauts are great pieces of software, but other than the odd quirky response to questions such as "what is the meaning of life" - the actual assistants themselves are void of personality. In my opinion, this is a great shame. Why not inject a bit of 'life' into our virtual assistants?

In my opinion, this is where Assistant FIP shines, taking the concept of a virtual assistant but improving on it through one simple thing - personality! Now it may sound strange, but the concept of Assistant FIP is not to simply have your virtual assistant to respond meaninglessly to your commands, but actually to sense and reply with true emotions, to give you the off wink, and ultimately to become a friend in your palm.

Of course, this is all quite ambitious, and I doubt that many of us would truly develop a new BFF by using Assistant FIP, but the concept is still valid and if nothing else, adds a bit of fun to what it otherwise the quite lifeless landscape of virtual assistants.

In terms of functionality, Assistant FIP ticks all the correct bases, with weather, stock, navigation, calculation  diary management, contact, music management and messaging. One feature which I found to be particularly innovative (and from what I am are, rather unique) was the ability for the assistant to read you the news. With a large selection of categories to choose from, this would be perfect for those who want to stay up to date but are busy riding, driving, exercising, etc.

What was also great was the ability to upload another face as my assistant, and to chose from a wide array of voices. Want your favorite US, UK or Australian actors or actresses to hang out in your pocket and help you every day? That is now no worries at all and will surely get your friends to take notice! In fact, in terms of customization, this is one of the most comprehensive assistant apps I have come across.

All in all, this is an excellent Android app, worthy of being a friend in anoyone's palm!

In the words of the Developer:

FIP App is a blend of virtual friend and artificial intelligence. It uses natural language technology of ispeech to help you perform a multitude of tasks ranging from text messages to transforming photos into a virtual communication tool. FIP uses the state of the art voice recognition technology of Google which gives the user a hands free experience to perform various tasks and integrates it with technology to animate a photo to reflect any action the user expects it to perform.
This is the first app in the android market, which offers this interesting new feature of virtualizing any individual you like and animating the facial features to reflect your command. The most exciting feature of this app is that it is available in a range of accents, from Australian to US English.

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Social Bookmarks is a great way to easily access all of your favourite social network sites. If you are sick of having 10 - 15 different social apps installed on your phone, Social Bookmarks is the solution for you, allowing you to easily access the popular services from within a single app.
Sites currently included are: - Facebook
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