Author Archive for MDudra

Agile versus Beejive

by MDudra

Overview of Agile versus Beejive

It is time to admit it: you are always connected. Five different IM accounts juggled by you and Facebook is always just a tap away. If you are this kind of ultimate social machine, then you will simply adore these two apps that will go head to head in our today’s match up. Agile and Beejive are two of the most popular IM apps on the iPhone and for a good reason of course. They both boast plenty of features and great design. But surely one of them is better, right? This is exactly what we are going to find out in this quick article as we will analyze their features. Let’s kick it off!

Developers

The developer of Agile is Agilemobile.com Ltd.; a smartphone software company that has a team of specialists in instant messaging software. It is a well known developer based in Bangkok, Thailand and its products are used by many of the world’s largest mobile operators. As a result, a lot of platforms such as iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Windows Mobile and Palm Pre are supported by them. Agile Messenger is basically their flagship software product. On the other hand, Beejive was developed by Beejive, Inc. Design and development of software for mobile devices is their main focus of this San Francisco based company. The Beejive IM app is the company’s first product and it is one of the most widely used IM apps on the iPhone. What is more, it is also available on the BlackBerry and Android platforms.

Head2Head: A comparison of app features between Agile and Beejive

Probably one of the most popular IM clients for Apple’s famous iOS, almost any messenger client you can think of is supported by Beejive. Add to the fact that the app is completely customizable and you will soon realize and comprehend its popularity. The interface is intuitive, has a clean look and common tasks for an IM app such as chatting and adding accounts are done with relative ease. Everything that is supposed to do in terms of functionality, Beejive simply nails it and the best part of it is its PUSH notifications. Also boasting an attractive and customizable UI, by using Agile, you will be able to manage through a single and unified location all your instant messaging accounts.

As for the supported clients, both apps provide you accounts on the following platforms: AIM/MobileMe, Facebook IM, Google Talk, Jabber, MSN/Windows Live, Myspace IM and Yahoo! Messenger. However, only the Agile app has incorporated support for the Skype IM. Many features such as picture sharing, support for multiple accounts custom backgrounds, chat bubbles and much more are a part of Beejive. It is an easy to use and efficient IM app. It also sports the longest session option I have ever come across – 7 days. Thus, there are less time-outs on the menu.

In addition to the standard feature that any IM app must provides, Agile does a great job at offering you some nice extra ones. The ability to send multimedia messages in IM conversations is one of the best of these. Voice messages can also be recorded if you tap the microphone button. The Facebook integration is spot on and the fact that everything in this app from chat history to speech bubbles and time-stamping can be tweaked make it one of the most customizable IM apps out there and the perfect app for those of you who just love personalizing every little aspect in your software.

Reputation

Agile is rated 4+ while Beejive boasts the same rating of 4+ on the iTunes app store. If we take a quick glance at the users’ reviews and feedback, we can see that both apps enjoy much appreciation and the critiques are almost similar. In terms of reputation, it is definitely a tie.

Cost

At the moment, the Agile app is priced at $7.99 on the App Store while Beejive can be acquired at the price of $4.99.

In a nutshell

All in all, both apps seem to have matched up quite well against each other but there are hints of functionality edging out our winner. Have you guessed the winner yet? Well, due to the Skype support and slick interface as well as the enhanced set of features it provides, the Agile app is our winner!

Head2Head winner: Agile

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Overview of AlwaysOnPC versus DataViz Documents To Go

Enhancing mobility and portability is the goal of all smartphone designers. Therefore, the new generations of mobile phones and tablets are becoming increasingly proficient in performing the same tasks as a regular PC. AlwaysOnPC and DataViz Documents To Go are just two examples of software packages designed to allow iPhone users access to browsers, office tools, social network games by synchronizing with the personal computer. However, the performance of these two iPhone apps is far from similar, as you are about to find out next!

Developers

The Xform Computing company has designed the revolutionary AlwaysOnPC application as a means to help users across the world synchronize their mobile devices to the personal computer in their home wherever and whenever. The service was first launched on the market in 2008 and it has gained quite a bit of popularity over the years.

On the other hand, Dataviz, the creator of DataViz Document To Go application, has been on the market quite a fair bit longer than Xform Computing. The goal of this company is to mobilize each and every application and adapt it to the platforms used by the latest generation of smartphones. However, the synchronization feature of the utility was introduced fairly recently only.

Head2Head: A comparison of app features between AlwaysOnPC and DataViz Documents To Go

From the start, users can notice that from the point of view of the number of features included in the software package, AlwaysOnPC is vastly superior to DataViz Documents To Go. The former software package includes an OpenOffice platform capable of creating documents, spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, graphical creation and editing software, incorporated Email programs and browsers such as Chrome and Firefox with the possibility to install add-ons. In addition, AlwaysOnPC has a potent drawing application that can only be rivaled by CorelDraw and even a Civilization game, not to mention the FTP transfer utility and the archive manager.

Compared to this array of features, the DataViz Documents To Go is a rather simplistic, as the basic version only includes a Word Editor, an Excel Spreadsheet Creator and a PDF viewer. However, it is worth noting that upgrading it enables users the possibility to create PowerPoint presentations as well. On the other hand, many customers have complained about the impossibility of editing the PPT documents. In addition, although the Spreadsheet editor has been advertised with bells and whistles, the input method is still rather difficult and unpractical, especially when using equations.

As far as the mobility is concerned, it seems that the virtual desktop created by AlwaysOnPC is again superior to the sync feature of the DataViz application. The DataViz Documents To Go sync is bound to the WiFi range of the computer, so the only means of storing the data you edit on your iPhone is via Google Docs. In terms of data safety, both applications have employed rather solid encryption.

Reputation

As expected, customer testimonials rate the AlwaysOnPC application much higher than DataViz Documents To Go. In most cases, people who have purchased Documents To Go have complained about the lack of sync possibilities and the unpractical spreadsheet editor, as well as about the inferior PowerPoint creator. On the other hand, the innovative technology employed by XForm Computing in creating a virtual desktop with a wide range of possibilities has received lot of positive reviews. In addition, the high number of applications included in the AlwaysOnPC software package has determined clients to state that it is worth every penny.

Cost

The basic DataViz Documents To Go version costs 9.99 dollars, but in order to gain access to the PowerPoint creator, you will need to upgrade your software to the premium version, meaning that you will need to spend an additional 7.99 dollars. While the original price of the AlwaysOnPC application was 19.99 dollars, it has been slashed down to 4.99 dollars.

In a nutshell

AlwaysOnPc emerges as the clear winner of this comparison, thanks to its much wider array of features, syncing proficiency and considerably reduced costs. On the other hand, there is no point in spending money on an application with a clearly inferior potential, once you can get one that does a lot more, faster and better. It’s still your call because as an user, you might not need the enhanced set of features offered by our winner.

Head2Head winner: AlwaysOnPC

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Overview of Amazon Kindle versus B&N eReader

Thanks to the advancements in the technology of mobility and portability, iPhone applications such as the Amazon Kindle and B&N eReader have enhanced book reading experience. While in the old days one would have to designate space in his bags particularly for books when going on vacation, nowadays all it takes to enjoy an extensive collection volumes is an iPhone. Granted, apps and readers have not yet replaced the traditional bookcase for good, but it is a fair assumption that this is the direction we are heading. At least that is what the new features of Amazon Kindle and the B&N eReader, dubbed Nook, would lead us to believe. But let us see whether these applications are actually able to outperform traditional books and, of course, each other.

Developers

Barnes and Nobles, the developers of the Nook, have been in business for quite some time now and they are currently the largest online bookshop, supplying over one million titles so far. The B&N eReader is part of their effort to simplify and enhance the reader experience. While one might think that the only products they sell are e-books and audio books, the truth is that their music, video and movie library is quite extensive. As you can see, B&N is essentially a highly specialized multimedia store.

On the other hand, Amazon has been among the top world retailers for a wide variety of products. Truth be told, there are not many things that cannot be purchased via Amazon. Although their Kindle device has enjoyed a great amount of popularity since its launch, the company has decided to provide fans with an iPhone application as well. So just how well do these two apps score against each other?

Head2Head: A comparison of app features between Amazon Kindle and B&N eReader

The most appreciated feature both these applications has – a direct link to the seller’s bookstore imbedded – recently been removed due to Apple’s in-app purchase policy. Losing this feature was quite a powerful blow for both the Amazon Kindle and the B&N eReader, as the ability to purchase and enjoy e-books easily was suddenly gone. This decision has generated a lot of bad publicity for Apple, even among loyal customers. However, it was not the end for either app, not by a long shot.

Both the Nook and the Amazon Kindle offer their customers free samples, in order to help them decide on whether they should purchase the book or not. However, the advantage Amazon Kindle has over its competitor is that their free samples usually include the entire first chapter. Reading the first chapter is usually an eye opener for readers regarding the overall quality of the book.

In terms of interface quality, the B&N eReader is clearly the winner, thanks to all its customization features such as adjustable light, font and background color. B&N is aware of the fact that not everybody reads e-books under the same circumstances and has enhanced the reader’s experience by allowing them to set the application accordingly. However, the Amazon Kindle allows the reader to keep track of his book progress and they are currently working on a feature that will display it in a percentile manner as well.

In addition, the Amazon Kindle incorporates in-book search feature that enables readers to find a section, character or page much easier. As far as the dictionary is concerned, the B&N Nook and the Amazon Kindle are evenly matched, but the Amazon Kindle gives users the possibility of connecting to Google and Wikipedia for further research of the word. On the other hand, the “Lend Me” feature of the B&N eReader allows you to share the books you have purchased with your friends and post quotations on your favorite social network website.

Reputation

Losing the direct library feature had dire consequences on both application, customers have rated both these e-readers at a 2.5 out of a possible 5 stars.

Cost

Both Amazon Kindle and the Nook are freeware, but as far as book prices are concerned, the Barnes & Noble library is significantly more expensive.

In a nutshell

It all boils down to whether you want to pay a bit more for a wider selection of e-books or not. If the budget you allocate for e-book purchases is not an issue, then the B&N eReader is your best choice. Alternatively, if your e-book budget is limited, then you should stick with the Amazon Kindle. However, in terms of application quality, B&N eReader emerges triumphant.

Head2Head winner: B&N eReader over Amazon Kindle

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