Smartphones are real boxes of surprises if they were equipped with the right applications and that is why every week the SAPO TEK team reserves a part of their time looking for the best news, or discovering apps that are no longer new but that bring useful features , or good moments of distraction. For iOS and Android smartphones or tablets.
This week there aren't many games in the range of apps chosen, but you'll find an app that uses smartphone processing to help research treatments for COVID-19, while another promises to help fight procrastination. Go through the list of applications and see which ones may be useful for you.
Fed up with background noise in videoconferences and important calls? Krisp can help
In addition to being compatible with several types of microphones and speakers, Krisp can be used in combination with more than 800 applications, including Skype, Zoom, Discord, Cisco WebEx and Google Hangouts.
The transition to remote work is not always easy, especially when there are many noisy distractions at home: from restless children to noisy neighbors, as well as pets asking for attention. In addition to having a negative impact on the level of concentration, the noise ends up hampering situations such as videoconferences or important calls.
Krisp is a noise reduction application that promises to help you bring a little more peace to virtual meetings. If you are working in a particularly noisy environment, you only need to press a button to focus attention on your voice or that of the participants.
The secret behind Krisp is in artificial intelligence. The company that created the application trained a machine learning model, the krispNet DDN, to recognize people's voices through the microphone. The AI is able to detect all disruptive outside noise and eliminate it from the audio being transmitted.
See the Krisp app in action
The company claims that the application is compatible with any type of microphone, headset and speakers. In addition, Krisp can be used in combination with more than 800 applications, including Skype, Zoom, Discord, Cisco WebEx and Google Hangouts. Thinking about who needs some help connecting Krisp to different platforms, the company's YouTube channel has several simple tutorials.
The application is available for Windows and MacOS, as well as Chrome and iOS. Krisp's mobile application also has a calendar of virtual meetings so you don't lose track of the thread.
In addition to the free mode, with 120 minutes a week of noise cancellation at no additional cost, Krisp offers several paid modalities. Pro mode, for example, has unlimited minutes and supports up to three different devices for 3.33 dollars per month.
Turn your smartphone into an electronic pedalboard and do music with this application
The Finnish app found creative use in the smartphone's proximity sensor.
It's called Beats and Loops, it was developed by a Finnish company, and it can be a practical (and inexpensive) solution for anyone looking for a pedalboard. The app is available for iOS and Android and does exactly what it promises: turns your phone into a virtual pedalboard.
The app uses the smartphone's proximity sensor to enable interaction with the user. In practice, it is possible to start a beat or loop as soon as you approach the foot of the equipment. It goes without saying that it is convenient to place the phone on the floor and support the foot on the heel to avoid stepping on the display.
The proximity sensor normally used to deactivate the screen during calls, to prevent the user's face from pressing any option while the smartphone is touching the face. Kovaluu, the company responsible for the app, writes that the sensor can be used for other purposes, this product being a good example of this.
The app has 50 drum presets and other musical excerpts that can be used in your own musical compositions. You can still record music, loop it and continue creating over it. Kovaluu clarifies that the phone's microphone is enough to make these recordings which, according to the company, are automatically tuned to the beat.
In addition to these tools, the app also features a metronome and a tuner. Beats and Loops costs 4.09 euros for Android and 4.49 euros for iOS.
fan of NASA and SpaceX stories? There is a game where you can build space rockets
The Rocket Star proposal encourages players to develop new space technologies and launch rockets into space to discover other planets.
Rocket Star is a simulation game that puts the player in the shoes of a chairman responsible for a rocket factory. The objective is to explore the space business, hiring the best talents to work for the company, researching new technologies and building new rocket models to send them even further and discover new planets.
As the objectives are met, it will have to expand the facilities and research new components for the ships, as well as increase the production of rockets. It is possible to visit the Moon, Mars, Jpiter, but these planets in our galaxy are only the beginning of space adventure. The game has a system that allows to give orders to the team, which even absent from the match continues to work. When he returns, he has collected new technologies and money with the missions meanwhile completed.
In addition to the factory simulation work, players must manage the space program, accepting missions such as sending satellites or building bases on other planets. But to ensure that the company evolves, having to hire scientists and entrepreneurs with new ideas to explore. But perhaps most interestingly, the possibility for players to create their dream rocket and compete with Elon Musk and his Spaceship.
You can download the game for free on Android and iOS versions.
How can you assist in investigating COVID-19 while sleeping? The DreamLab app the answer
The proposal is relatively accessible: download the free application and charge the smartphone overnight while having the app active. So be feeding a virtual supercomputer that analyzes millions of data related to the pandemic.
DreamLab was developed in 2015 by the Vodafone Australia Foundation to support research projects on cancer, but in the middle of the pandemic it gains a new purpose. The Portuguese can help scientists at Imperial College London to speed up their research on the treatment of COVID-19, by installing the app and doing something they can normally do: charge the smartphone while they sleep, but having the application active.
The app combines artificial intelligence with the processing power of smartphones, creating a virtual supercomputer capable of analyzing millions of data. In this way, while charging your mobile phone, you are "powering" the Imperial College London system.
With the algorithm now being reprogrammed to be used in the COVID-19 combat, the great advantage of this app is "speed and ease of processing", guarantees Vodafone in a statement. "While a computer connected 24 hours a day would take decades to process this data, a network of 100,000 smartphones, with the application active at night, can do the same job in just two months," he explains.
In a first phase, the research project aims to identify medicines and food molecules with antiviral properties. With the conclusion of this collection, it is intended to optimize the combination between these drugs and food, to improve their effectiveness in the treatment of the coronavirus. The researchers believe that, in the long run, this work could accelerate access to effective drugs and allow personalized treatments against the new coronavirus.
All Portuguese can thus contribute to this investigation by downloading the free app for iOS and Android, available in 10 other countries, including Spain and Italy. The company recommends using Wi-Fi when using this app, but guarantees that Vodafone customers will not be charged for the mobile data used by this application.
Solve mysteries and puzzles to find your way out of Great Escapes
As the name suggests, this is a game where you have to escape from a certain situation. Something that will only be possible if you can solve the mysteries presented.
Great Escapes places players in certain spaces where it is necessary to escape, by solving puzzles and other challenges, but unlike other titles of the same genre, with overly obtuse puzzles, designed to force you to pay for tips, in this case tips are all free
Instead of 50 rooms and countless ads, the creators of Great Escapes prefer to use packages that bring together several rooms, well designed and thought out, guarantee.
Another outstanding feature is the Glitch Camera, a photo camera that allows you to take pictures of everything you find that catches your eye, to gather and analyze clues and where you can take notes that will help you solve the puzzles.
Great Escapes is a free downloadable game and is available for Android and iOS.
Escape online procrastination and increase productivity with the FocusMe app
As I spend more time at home, the temptation to spend the whole day scrolling on social media or surfing the web increases. FocusMe allows you to block the use of certain applications or websites and also establish limits that adapt to the user's needs.
It is not always easy to escape the endless distractions of the Internet, and now that staying at home has become more common, falling into the black hole of online procrastination turns out to be a frequent occurrence for many. Whether you're trying to stay focused on work or a personal project, FocusMe can help you escape distractions and increase productivity.
Through FocusMe you can block the use of certain applications in a simple way. The application also allows the user to set limits that adapt to his needs. The user only needs to choose the applications in question and indicate the limit that he wants to establish, whether it be just one hour or several days.
Thinking of those who feel the temptation to circumvent the rules and try to access, for example, social networks through the browser, FocusMe can also be configured to work in most browsers.
FocusMe is available for Android and can be found free on the PlayStore. In addition, the application has a desktop version. Although not free, FocusMe for Windows or macOS has more advanced features, such as a schedule where the user can set limits in advance, a timer for those using the Pomodoro productivity technique or even access to usage statistics.