April 4, 2014
The article titled PageZephyr Search on Markzware offers a brief tutorial to PageZephyr Search, an OS X application that allows for the search and view of InDesign documents. The article’s audience is any InDesign user frustrated by the inability to search with a word or phrase from an InDesign document from years past. PageZephyr Search indexes all InDesign documents on the user’s PC to make them searchable. It can also highlight a selected word in a document, and copy a text to your clipboard to make it useable elsewhere. The article also offers this customer testimonial from book designer Matthew MacKay,
“PZ is a one trick pony-and that is a good thing, because it does one trick exceeding well. It saved me hours recently when I was trying to find a version of a three year old InDesign file. I am a book designer, and often receive chapters from other designers. When I need to find a file, I can fire up PZ, go make a coffee and come back and see the file ready for me to work on.”
McKay also points out that PageZephyr Search protects him from his own file naming system (or non-system, as it may be.) If you are interested in testing the service before purchasing it, the demo option might appeal to you. You can try the demo for 15 days and evaluate its usefulness before making a final purchase.
Chelsea Kerwin, April 04, 2014
April 1, 2014
Information can be an enigma, which is probably why the developers named their new app that. Visiting the Enigma Web site opens on a picture of either New York or London with the headline “navigate the world of public data.” It is an intriguing idea that one would think could be accomplished with search engine or academic database. Then again when you think about the process and how time consuming it is, it would be handy to have a search engine that did most of the work for you.
Enigma was built as a solution to this problem. The company says they have:
“Enigma is amassing the largest collection of public data produced by governments, universities, companies, and organizations. Concentrating all of this data provides new insights into economies, companies, places and individuals.”
Enigma’s services do come with a fee, however. They offer public data search and quick analytics for free with sign-up, but if you want API access and online support you need to upgrade to plans that start at $195/month. The data search must be gold, when you consider that many of these records are available for the public. It is worth exploring to see how the service differs from a basic search engine, but it is hard to sign up. The registration page is finicky.
March 28, 2014
The article on re/code.net titled Mixpanel: How Addictive Is Your App? presents a new analytic report called Addiction. Under a picture of a wrist cuffed to the smartphone it holds, the article cheerfully explains that fifty percent of social app users engage with the service for over five hours a day. Enterprise apps are used more during the business day, and messaging apps show a lesser addiction in their users, supporting the idea that people are now using social media apps for most of their communications. The article explains,
“Addiction adds an extra layer of insight that allows companies to analyze user behavior on an even deeper level. One thing that’s clear is that addiction is inextricably linked to function: If your product is a social app that people don’t use more than once a day, that’s a red flag — and not one you would have previously been able to catch if you relied solely on Retention.”
The article stipulates that the most important feature of Addiction is that it enables companies to visualize how “embedded” their service is in user’s daily schedules. This will allow them to better follow the effect of their smallest adjustments in the app and really see how their customers react. Whether or not this is a dangerous ability is not considered.
Chelsea Kerwin, March 28, 2014
February 27, 2014
The article titled The Seasonal Recipe App: Tapping into the Mental Model on Comperio’s blog explores the new demo app aimed at helping Norwegians find food in nature. According to the article, the app will allow for searching by places where one might find certain foods and when in the year one would be most successful. They would also be able to search for recipes by the ingredients they have found. The article explains,
“Since a lot of people in Norway actually go into the nature and forage, fetch, pick, shoot and fish their own food, we wanted to divide into some of the most typical and normal places where you can find those types of food. We then have two variables for our search: Place where you find the food and Time of year (Month)…. The places we’ve chosen [are] The sea, the farm, the garden, the forest, the mountain.”
The app shows a query matrix organized by types of ingredients. The app uses Elasticsearch in order to combine all of the types of information, from the foods grown in the area of the user, the time of year and the recipes themselves, according to the article Sourcing Local Food with Comperio Search, Qbox.io, and Elasticsearch on Qbox.
Chelsea Kerwin, February 27, 2014
February 14, 2014
The name of the game for SharePoint 2013 is customization. And while research shows that customization directly correlates to improve satisfaction with SharePoint, it is a time consuming process. So while companies want to invest in customization, they also welcome tips or tricks to streamline the process. Search Content Management addresses this topic in their article, “Easing SharePoint development with Quick Apps for SharePoint.”
“This feature, which Microsoft calls Apps for SharePoint (formerly Web Apps for SharePoint) reduces in-house application design burdens considerably. Placing code within Apps for SharePoint relieves the app designer from having to code from scratch workflows, metadata access and usage. A custom app can access the existing SharePoint code for that functionality without extra effort.”
Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and frequently covers SharePoint on his Web service, ArnoldIT.com. He finds that customization is a highly valued feature of SharePoint 2013, and many companies are looking to third party add-ons to help deliver customization quality and efficiency.
Emily Rae Aldridge, February 14, 2014
February 5, 2014
Software in 2014, the article on the blog Tbray.org offers a state of the software construction. The overall news is positive from the article, with satisfied server developers and good tools for constructing software. The question the article poses is where 2014 will lead in terms of client-side software, and the answer is uncertain. The article suggests that HTTP is universally acceptable and easy to use while almost everything is “built with an MVC or equivalent level of abstraction” in spite of some apps still being created in PHP and Spring. The article posits that storage options are also multiple and strong. However, it also gets into the client-side difficulties the industry faces in the coming years.
The article states:
“When I said “Mobile sucks”, I wasn’t talking about engineering suckage… Crucially, for most of the things you’d want to put in a UI, there’s usually a single canonical solid well-debugged way to do it, which is the top result for the appropriate question on both Google and StackOverflow. But look at all the energy going into browser tech; surely it’s going to catch up with mobile tech any day now?”
The article offers no easy forecasts for the future of the client side. The redundancies in Web, iOS and Android, the mobile form factors among other mobile issues are all problems without simple answers. We are curious what Tim Bray would say about enterprise search software.
Chelsea Kerwin, February 05, 2014
December 26, 2013
Zillow is a popular real estate database for people interested in purchasing a home, but it is not handy when it comes to finding smaller or temporary living quarters. Life Hacker has the scoop on a new app for people on the hunt for the perfect apartment or a rental home, “Lovely Puts Your Search For a Perfect Apartment On Your Phone.” The Lovely app, which recently launched for Android, gives people access to listings, photos, top-down Google map views, and ability to apply directly for housing.
The article states:
“The app looks sharp, and makes picking out listings on a map easy. Tell Lovely what you’re looking for in an apartment and how much you want to spend, and you’re good to go. You can easily identify the newest listings by their colors on the map or in your list, and you can set up alerts so you get push notifications when a new listing appears that meets your criteria.”
Another great feature for Lovely is the “Renter’s Card” that includes your personal information and renting history to be sent out to landlords and pre-apply for the apartment you have to act immediately on or lose it. Real estate shopping just got a whole lot more exciting and personable with this app. On a technical spec, where are the Lovely people getting their information from to maintain relevancy?
Whitney Grace, December 26, 2013
December 22, 2013
To what pressing issue is IBM now applying Watson’s superior (artificial) intellect? Why, to shopping, of course. Business Insider reports, “IBM’s Jeopardy-Winning Supercomputer Will Power a ‘Cognitive, Expert Personal Shopper’ App Next Year.” Writer Dylan Love was especially taken by one app on the horizon from a firm called Fluid Retail.
He quotes IBM Watson Solutions VP Stephen Gold:
“Fluid, which builds online shopping experiences for retail businesses to drive customer engagement and conversion, is developing the Fluid Expert Personal Shopper powered by IBM Watson. The app calls upon Watson’s ability to understand the nuances of human language and uncover answers from Big Data. Consumers who use Fluid’s app will interact with rich media and dialogue with Watson, as their newfound cognitive, expert personal shopper. The Fluid app incorporates the information users share and questions they ask to help them make smart, satisfying purchases by putting a knowledgeable sales associate in the hands of consumers, on demand.”
What happened to game shows, fighting cancer, and plain old search? Watson‘s game-show career may be over, and we would certainly like to see more of the tech applied to search. However, IBM is still running with the medical-field advances. One Watson-powered app due out next year, called Hippocrates (PDF), will streamline the process of researching medical device purchases for healthcare facilities. Another, CaféWell Concierge, is being developed by health-management company Welltok. The app will create personalized health itineraries for Welltok users.
So, I guess shopping is not the most pressing area on which Watson is working, just the one able to grab headlines. Isn’t that a relief?
Cynthia Murrell, December 22, 2013
November 29, 2013
The article on MakeUseOf titled SayHi Translate Is Quite Possibly The Closest Thing To Star Trek’s Universal Translator promotes the Iphone app SayHi as the best translation app available. At one $1.99, the app provides translations between some 40 languages (more are available with the premium version). The user says their phrase slowly and clearly into the phone, hits done and waits a few seconds for the phrase to appear in the original and translated languages. At the same time the app reads out the translation so that the person you are attempting to communicate with can hear it as well.
The article explains:
“The star allows you to create a list of favourite phrases (accessible from the star icon at the very top of the screen). The arrow is the usual iOS sharing options (email, iMessage, Twitter, Facebook, etc), the arrow pointing right enables you to play the phrase back again if you need to hear it again, and the trash-can deletes the phrase from the screen.”
The author even claims that SayHi beats out the Google Translate app, although that may become an issue of personal preference. Ultimately, these resources are a must-have for people traveling in foreign countries where they don’t speak the language. (And in galaxies far far away?)
Chelsea Kerwin, November 29, 2013
November 25, 2013
Has Google has found a way to monetize translation? This is not the basic Google Translate we all know and utilize; Google is now connecting Android developers with third parties who sell higher-quality translation services. The Next Web tells us about the program in, “Google Launches App Translation Service, Lets Android Developers Buy Translations from Pre-Qualified Vendors.” Writer Emil Protalinski explains:
“The new offering lets developers browse a list of third-party vendors pre-qualified by Google to offer high-quality translation at ‘competitive prices.’ Best of all, the service is integrated straight into the Google Play Developer Console (it’s at the bottom of the APK section). Developers simply need to get their APK ready for translation, upload the strings they want translated, select their target languages, and choose a vendor based on time and price. When the translations are ready, developers can easily import them back into their app using the ADT Translation Manager Plugin.”
Along with updating their app with the new translation, developers can otherwise localize their Google Play listing. (See Google’s Localization Checklist for advice on adapting software for a particular region.) The App Translation Service, says Google, is a key part of their efforts to make building a global user base as easy as possible for Android applications.
Cynthia Murrell, November 25, 2013