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Magical free app forever transforms messaging via smartphones



Introducing TalkBox is an iPhone and Android app that allows users to exchange their messaging in a new way- via voice. As this technology propels us forward into the future, it uses the dying art of speaking via phone to boost its offering. The above video outlines just one of its features, but the premise is that if you are at an open house and don’t have time to type out a message to your spouse that you are running late, simply hold down the speak button, say “running late, be home by dinner” and instantly, your spouse has a talk bubble on their phone that when they touch, it plays your voice. What a time saver for those not quite loving text messaging.

Voice messages are one minute in length maximum, and we discovered that the longer the message, the longer it takes for delivery. Short messages act more like a walkie-talkie and is delivered faster than most text messages take. Although setup was buggy for the two of us that installed the app on Android, it ended up working after setting it up and force quitting.

Things you can do with TalkBox that we love:

  1. Send a quick voice message that looks and acts like a text message. It’s a time saver.
  2. You can tweet or update Facebook with your voice faster than typing on a phone.
  3. Voice Broadcast sends one voice message to all of your contacts.
  4. Contacts can be imported from your phone’s address book or your Facebook account or manually added.
  5. Up to nine users can chat in the same stream, visually organized by time stamp.
  6. Not only can voice messages be sent, but photos are sent and visible in the stream without having to open.
  7. Your very precise location can be attached to a photo or voice message. Warning: it’s eerily accurate.

The premise is that there is often a delay with communications, and this is a way to speedily compose and send, knowing that a user can listen at any given time. Not only does it save you from typing messages out (which is tough if you have fat fingers or are new to a sensitive touchscreen), it improves the text messaging scenario so many demand out of you from your friends to clients, and trust when we say that consumers demanding use of text messaging as the primary mode of communication is on the rise. College students don’t answer their phones or even talk on them unless it is their parents, they text. They can ignore a text or delay answering a text and consider their answers rather than be caught on the spot uninformed or uncomfortable in a conversation.

As a broker, if you keep your network limited to your agents, once per week, you can TalkBox them all with one click to give them a quick update or reminder. If you’re an agent and you have clients that insist on text messaging, getting them on TalkBox at least allows you and them to hear inflections so less is lost in translation. There is a great deal of possibility for this app that bridges phone and text.

We plan on using TalkBox first for personal use to get used to it and eventually for personal use. The caveat is that to TalkBox with someone, they have to have the app as well, but the upside is that it is insanely fast and saves us from typing on a smartphone. It is still a little buggy, but it is brand new. Visit for more information.

Other video demos:

AGBeat is not affiliated with TalkBox.

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  1. herman chan

    September 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    i foresee a lot of agents using this while driving….

  2. Roland Estrada

    September 2, 2011 at 11:15 am

    The caveat of other people having to download the app for you to communicate is pretty big. It's a cool idea but I don't see mass adoption. Texting is ubiquitous because it requires no extra effort. It also worries me when you have a free business model that may or may not be there down the road.

  3. Jay Taylor

    September 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Not tried this app specifically, but I have been using HeyTell (same idea) for almost a year now.

    There are a few apps out there that offer the same type of functionality.

  4. Amanda

    September 5, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Blackberry has an option called "Voice Notes" that you can use within BBM, but it doesn't allow you to update your status on Facebook (I don't think). For those without BBM; this sounds like a great tool!

  5. jboy

    September 5, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Wow, gotta love technology. This could come in handy in so many different ways.

  6. Roland Estrada

    September 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    What good is a communication app if not everyone can use it. Texting works really well because it's ubiquitous. As Realtors, we sometimes jump in and buy a service or app because someone says it's the next great thing. I've been guilty of that myself. I have communication/social apps on my iPhone that I've used once and never opened again because so few people use them. I really just need to flush them. How many next best things do you read about that are never heard from again.

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LG G Flex will have a curved display: why it even matters

The LG G Flex is exciting as it is curved, but there are much deeper implications of this announcement that your company should take note of before your competitors do.



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lg g flex

LG G Flex to feature curved display

You may have heard that Samsung will launch a smartphone with a curved display (although they’ve so far fallen short on their plans to produce their smartphone prototype that is completely flexible), but did you know that LG is hot on their heels, with rumors of the LG G Flex launching this November?

As depicted above, what is believed to be called the LG G Flex is similar to a standard smartphone in shape, with just a slight curve, using plastic OLED screen technology

CNET reports that sources close to the project say the G Flex will have a six-inch display and November is the projected unveiling, but that could always be pushed back (although to be in time for the holiday shopping season, we suspect it will be a November launch).

Samsung will likely unveil their curved display phone this month, and there are rumors that the Galaxy Note 3 could feature a curved display as well.

Curved does not equal flexible

So why develop a curved display? Analysts point to the device actually fitting around your face naturally for making calls, and others note that it fits in a rear pocket more comfortably with a curve.

Curved does not equal flexibility, though, as the devices are still stationary, but the reason the LG G Flex being curved matters to you is that mass production of this type of technology is the precursor to what’s coming next – flexible devices.

Looking into a crystal ball

LG already introduced a curved 55-inch OLED tv panel, and was first to the finish line with the ability to mass produce fully flexible plastic screens, announced last year with their electronic paper display (EPD) product, sold overseas.

The LG EPD is not just flexible, allowing the screen to bend up to 40 degrees from its center, it is a 6 inch, 1024 x 768 e-ink plastic screen. The technology used mimics the way traditional ink appears on paper, which many prefer over the backlit flat panel displays of tablets and computers. The EPD is only 0.7mm thick, weighs 14 grams (that’s 1/33 of a pound) and is said to be scratch resistant when dropped.

Flexibility is next, and it is relevant for your brand not just for the novelty of having a flexible device, but because the way people interact with your website or app could be changing sooner than you might suspect.

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iPhone 6 concepts beginning to emerge

With all the hub-bub about iOS 7 and iPhone 5, several iPhone 6 concepts have emerged. The most prominent feature is the wrap around screen.



iphone 6 lapdock


Looking into the future

Whether you are an Android lover or an Apple fanatic, people love to fantasize about what the newest phone release will bring, from hologram keyboards, an added projector, and so forth. As for the iPhone 6, the most common feature designers and fans think it will have is the wrap around screen. AGBeat has featured this concept several times, and while it has yet to become reality, there seems to be high hope for the iPhone 6 release.

Dribble users have designed and shared several concept models, all of which have the wrap around screen, also known as the infinity screen. This design allows a more engaged user experience, by removing the side casing. The sides have a flat, touch-responsive volume control and a much thinner design overall. And some additional revisions (based upon Cladio Guglieri’s original) have included wifi, Bluetooth, do not disturb, airplane mode, and rotation lock icons, right on the side.

These additions give you instant access to your most used controls, without the need to tap through to gain access to the settings screen. Also, with the extra features, the opposite side of the phone shows your message status, emails, and music controls. DeviantArt also has multiple postings of the infinity screen design. This is absolutely amazing to me because there is so much information in such a limited amount of space. The thickness of the phone in the concept states 0.30 inches; it is really hard to believe an email icon can fit and be legible, but it does.

Other futuristic possibilities

There are also several versions that include aluminum plus carbon fiber casing, in many different variations. Although most still remove the edges from the iPhone 5 design. Behance users have also created several examples of this design concept. With touch sensors wrapping the display edge, concept designers believe no borders means nothing between your hands and the display. And they hope accidental gestures can be prevented with the sensors, although this is just a concept. You certainly would not want to pick the phone up to answer a call from your boss and accidentally start your iTunes playlist.

The only problem I see with this beautiful design is protecting the edges, despite designers touting the durability of the new technologies. As someone who frequently drops their phone, and attempts to keep it safe by using a protective case, I wonder how you can utilize the edges, but still keep the phone safe. Also, I would be interested to see, how often holding the phone triggers the side sensors. Otherwise, I think the wrap around design is both beautifully functional and a long overdue, welcome feature.



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Contacts+ app adds productivity to any Android

Android users: Contacts+ is a great new way to manage your contacts, making a potentially frustrating process simple and streamlined, adding productivity to your phone.





Contacts+ is more than a contact manager

Contacts+ is more than just a contact manager though, it is also a dialer app and combines photos with information from all your connected services: WhatsApp, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Contacts+ is a welcome alternative to the Andriod favorite Smartr. Since Smartr was recently acquired by Yahoo!, Contacts+ could not have come at a better time.

You can send free and regular messages without switching apps, sync pictures to your contacts, including cover photos, from Facebook and get birthday reminders.

How the app works

With optimization for both Android phone and tablets, you have the ability to sort your contacts in a variety of ways without worrying if you will be able to see all the data. You can sort by groups, favorites, smart contact (prioritization by frequency or A-Z), and search message history of your contact from one place. If you happen to have the same contact in your phone more than once, Contacts+ will sync them together to save you any confusion.

One tap opens a contact card, and then you can tap again to make calls or email them. Once the contact card is open, you can also catch up on their social media life. Leo from Contacts+ writes, “they have a sync process with Facebook and Google+, essentially users connect their accounts (authentication is performed securely through the respective service) and once an account is connected, Contacts+ links and syncs contacts based on unique identifiable information, enabling them to automatically connect your contacts and their identities.”.

New features have been added

The newest features include high res picture sync, a new black theme, T9 search in the call log, Dialer+ shortcut that can be opened over your call log/contacts screen, the ability to call back directly from the incoming message pop up and ignore accents improvements.

The only drawback is that some of the “sorting” features are a bit harder to find. You will need to tap through a couple of different options to find the ability to sort by last name, for example. But, once you get used to it, it really is a nice way to manage your contacts. Contacts+ is free in the Google Play store.

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