There is something about the last two weeks of school that makes you want to curl up in bed and sleep. Or pull out your phone and scroll endlessly through the deep recesses of social media. Chalk it up to a combination of looming finals, the 4:30 p.m. darkness (wtf), or the mysteriously gross plague hitting everyone, but overall, it’s clear that motivation is at an all-time low.
So on a nicer note, are you the kind of person who enjoys small tasks that lead to mega rewards? Interested in the idea of making someone’s day without getting off the couch? There’s an app for that.
Brighten just hit the app store and is already sweeping across college campuses. Its goal is simple: to provide an outlet for friends to say nice things to each other. On this app, you can follow your friends, like and comment on their posts, and send your own messages (called “brightens”) to those you care about. Adorable, right? Austin Kevitch, the app’s founder and CEO, explained that Brighten is “the first social app based on positivity and the easiest way to make your friends smile.”
According to the Brighten page, “anonymity can be used for good.” Each commenter has a color, but that’s it. Although “brightens” can be sent to anyone in your contact list, your name will never be shared. Instead of reading nasty Yaks or those (occasionally) freaky Brown Bear Admirers Posts, Brighten exists for friendship vibes only. Hate speech is not tolerated and romantic posts are definitely the exception, not the rule.
uhhh… no thanks?
During this final stretch, small acts of kindness can go a crazy long way. What’s more, there is scientific evidence that making your friends happy actually boosts your mood. Amazing.
Good luck on finals, everyone! Remember you are so, so loved.
Images via and via.
Everyone’s been there: you’re painfully, paralyzingly hung over, and you NEED to get to the Ratty for some TLC/CT Crunch. Your laptop is an insurmountable 6 feet way on your desk, but you simply must know what’s at the Ratty. It’s a very specific, yet, for many Brown students, shockingly common crisis.
Enter the Ratty App, the creation of Nate Parrott ‘17.5. Now, iPhone users (sorry, Android et al. owners) can check what’s cooking at the school’s biggest dining hall on a very aesthetically pleasing interface. In addition, you can add the menu to your phone’s Notification Center to check whether or not they’re serving grilled cheese (Ed. – probably.) with a simple downward swipe of a finger.
Even the most hung over Brunonian can figure that one out. That is, unless your phone is dead, in which case God help you and your poor soul.
Facebook wants to replace your morning newspaper. Paper, the latest app from the web behemoth, is an ambitious attempt to not only redefine your Facebook experience, but also provide you with information that you normally rely on newspapers for. I decided to test the app myself to see whether it was as good as FB claims, and whether or not you should consider downloading it.
While waiting for the app to download I noticed the by-line: Paper|Stories from Facebook. The app’s focus on stories would soon become apparent. After downloading the app, I was greeted by a simple start up screen and a voice tutorial guided me through the basics of setting my preferences and navigating the app. So far so good.
didn’t read about this app in the Herald last week, but here is BlogDailyHerald’s official endorsement of Professor Dietrich Neumann’s pet tech project. Way back in the fall in 2011, Neumann taught an undergraduate research seminar in which students collected information about our very own beloved (and in the case of SciLi, tolerated) Brown buildings. The app contains historical and architectural factoids about 131 buildings on campus, and this adorable map that has emoji-like images categorizing said buildings.
It is actually very exciting to be able to answer questions as ubiquitously asked as “Why is the SciLi so ugly?” Apparently, the building was designed in the “Brutalist” architectural style, popular in the 1960s and 70s. It’s just representative of yet another bad trend of decades past, like a picture of your mom and all her friends with ill-suited perms aplenty. Fun fact: the architects actually suggested building the library in pink marble, just so it’d be slightly cuter, but of course the corporation rejected the idea. Bureaucracy!!
Other aha moments:
While there are definitely benefits to staying connected with people on social media, our networks are often cluttered with people whom we may be connected to, but with whom we don’t have genuine social relationships. It’s hard to sift through the clutter and find out what are closest friends are up to on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and mass texting can be a real pain. Noah Fradin ’15 and Isaac Blankensmith RISD ’13 saw the need to stay connected with large groups of people in real time, and started working to address that need. Together, they created Punch, a brand new app that allows you to connect and meet up with groups of friends instantaneously. The app has absolutely blown up and earned a huge following on campus since its launch, and can change the way you go about communicating with friends. BlogDH sat down with one of Punch’s co-creators, Noah Fradin ’15, to learn more about how Punch is revolutionizing the app world. Check out the interview after the jump. Continue Reading
It would have been so much easier to find where in the world Carmen San Diego was with this app.
If you’ve never heard of the iPhone app Find My Friends, you clearly haven’t maximized your stalking capabilities. The app lets you track where your friends (or at least their iPhones) are at any given time, if they agree to share their location with you. There a few times when this can come in really handy, but most of the time, it’s just plain creepy. Use the following rankings to see how creepy your use of Find My Friends is, on a scale from Actually Useful to Your Friend Should Get a Restraining Order.
Seeing if your friend is in the Ratty so you’ll have someone to sit with — A little creepy. We all know how awkward it is to wander around the Ratty balancing your loaded tray, hoping you’ll see someone you know so you won’t have to sit alone at one of those awkwardly big tables. Using Find My Friends is a practical way to see if you’ll have friends to sit with, or if you should go eat Chobanis by yourself in your dorm room. But you could also just text your friends to see if they want to grab lunch…
Discovering that two of your friends are secretly hooking up — Stalkward. If you happen to open Find My Friends and see two of your friends right next to each other in one of their dorm rooms all night, it’s pretty clear that something’s going down. This is when stalking gets awkward. Secret lovers, remember to hide your location on “Find My Friends” when sneaking off to one another’s rooms. Actually, this is probably a good thing to do in general if you have stalking-inclined friends (and who doesn’t?).