Posts tagged ‘API’
We have calendar web apps, to-do lists, address books and project management web apps. Apollo is a new web app that crosses borders and pulls these services together. It features a to-do list, calendar, sophisticated project management app and address book all on the same page.
Apollo was crafted as a modern web app. We see a high level of attention to detail both with the design and the development. New windows slide down like sheets or panels, which will make Mac users feel right at home. Double-clicking on a particular spot on your calendar springs open a window to create a meeting beginning at that time. Tasks with approaching deadlines dispatch an email reminder to your inbox, giving peace of mind knowing you’re staying on top of your priorities. As a new app, we were blown away to see the features we demand in a calendar app or to-do list app are available.
Each of the individual modules seem to be aware of one another. Your projects can be assigned to multiple people, which also appear in your Tasks, and your Tasks also appear on your calendar. Apollo helps eliminate a lot of individual web apps you may already use in order to create one, single web app to handle it all.
It’s new, but missing a few features. We didn’t see an Import function to get your data out of your existing programs and into Apollo. That means manual transcription for your contacts and calendar items, which may be too high of a barrier for users at this point. Also, features like data export and an API are in the works but not available to users. Apollo likely scaled back a few features in order to launch. We’re looking forward to seeing them added.
These objections don’t really represent a cause of concern. Apollo is refined and polished, so create a free account to see how a modern web app should behave. The service is in a private beta at the moment. Email them for an invite code, and be sure to mention Mini Sprout.
Mashape, which launches in private alpha today, is an API marketplace for developers and web app owners.
For people running a web app, Mashape gives away an API library so you can drop it into your app and instantly allow developers to begin building mashups with your service. The infrastructure is available for PHP now, and they’ll be adding Ruby soon.
For developers, Mashape helps pull together APIs and hold them in one spot. It’s easy to browse and find new capabilities to use. And since all of the web apps are already running the Mashape infrastructure, your Mashape API key works with every service. Give yourself more time to build an app and less time getting started.
Mashape is in private alpha, so use the invite code MINISPROUT when you register to jump to the head of the queue.
The Echo Nest powers a lot of music recommendation services across the web. But what we really like is they give app developers direct access to their massive music database.
According to them, The Echo Nest is the result of twelves years of research across MIT, Columbia and Berkeley. Its database grows using algorithms we would usually associate with statistics or business intelligence: data mining, machine learning and a bit of analysis through vocal cues. We see the database extend beyond anything that exists from Amazon.com’s or Apple’s iTunes catalogues, because it contains more than just meta-data. In addition to pulling details from album details, it analyzes tempo and pitch, crawls the web to see how people are describing particular songs or genres, and actually takes into account music trends emerging across social media. Who knew a holistic music database could contain so much detail?
Developers use customary API calls to access the data, and they have a lot of options. Consider the capabilities when you have this data:
Many of The Echo Nest’s commercial clients use the data to power music recommendations, promoting alternatives using any combination of data calls. Where the innovation may lie, however, is within the non-commercial developer community. The Echo Nest’s website houses a showcase of experiments. For example, take Streamograph, which plots an area chart by mashing the hottest artists with their recent news mentions. Or there’s the unofficial Artist Discovery Guide to SXSW, which pipes in data from your Last.fm account and makes recommendations on which SXSW performances best match your music tastes.