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Pause

Apps

Is this the most ridiculous app yet? Quite possibly, as it’s an app designed to, er, stop you using apps. Hmmm.

The idea behind Pause is that people are spending too much time staring at their phones, which is true. However, is the best way to curb your app usage downloading another app? It’s an odd idea, and one that is made to sound even worse by its truly toe-curling slogan: “Pause the digital. Start the real” (how about you pause your bullshit and start creating something halfway f**king useful? Twats).

Anyway, the app’s main function is simply tracking how long you keep your phone in flight mode. That’s literally about it. You tell your phone what activity you plan to do – cook a meal, go for a run, delete this ludicrous app from your phone – then turn flight mode on, to stop you getting distracted from your chosen task. “It is that easy,” runs the blurb, overlooking the fact that it’d be even easier to just not download the app at all and simply put the phone into airplane mode on your own. Or just turn your phone off and save your battery from being drained by pointless applications.

Are there any other features? Well, Pause allows you to compare how much time you spend not using your phone to any of your Facebook friends stupid enough to have also downloaded it. “It might not be a drug,” say the makers, “but a digital based addiction can still keep you away from your real life”. That’s true, but this still involves you using your phone, only in a way that stops you getting any pleasure out of it. Going along with their drug analogy, that basically makes Pause digital methadone.

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Soundhalo

Soundhalo
soundhalo app alt-j As the prevalence of smartphones increases, as does the prevalence of dickheads blocking your view at gigs as they shakily attempt to record it for posterity. This not only shows complete ignorance of the presence of other audience members, but also of the fact that it's virtually impossible to record anything but a blurry, badly-lit mess on the majority of phones. The practice has clearly started to wind up bands as well, with Savages and, somewhat more forcefully, Yeah Yeah Yeahs urging fans to refrain from waving their shitty Samsungs all over the shop. Alt-J presumably feel the same, as they agreed to be the first band to showcase Soundhalo, an app that allows you to watch high-quality footage of a gig after leaving, without having to block anyone's view in the process. If the clip below is anything to go by, then these videos will be worth paying for (you can preview them for free). While obviously the creators are going to put extra effort into making the first example of a Soundhalo video especially impressive, there's no denying that the footage and editing are top-notch (although the use of slo-mo might get a bit irritating over an entire gig). I remember the Pixies offering professionally recorded CDs of their reunion gigs to attendees in a bid to deter bootleggers, with some success. If Soundhalo can convince enough bands to sign up, this could go so much further...
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