Tag Archives: app

Delete Old Text Messages with R-Bot SMS Cleaner



Messaging is one of the killer apps for mobile devices and has followed the industry from first mobile phones through to the smartphones of today. It began with SMS, became notorious with Blackberry, integrated with social media and then became a battleground with law enforcement as end-to-end encryption kept conversations private.

Even with all these developments, SMS texting remains a popular choice as it simply works. Once you have someone’s mobile number, you can send them a text. There’s no need to check if they’re on WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Telegram, Signal, BBM…

I receive a handful of texts each day with the usual range of personal, work and spam messages. Some get deleted, some don’t, but by the end of the year, there’s probably over 1000 messages cluttering up the inbox. Texts don’t take up much space so there’s no imperative to have a clear out but eventually it has to be done.

Surprisingly, the standard Android SMS app Messages doesn’t have any management features at all and it’s not possible to delete messages in bulk. I want to be able to delete all messages more than two years old or, say, set a limit of 2000 messages. No can do, and it’s not a feature that I found in any other of the SMS clients that I downloaded.

Fortunately, I did find R-Bot SMS Cleaner which does delete old text messages. Hurrah!!!

To be clear SMS Cleaner isn’t a messaging app and all it does is find and delete old messages, but it does the one task pretty well. It has two modes, one called “Recommended” which deletes text messages older than a few months or weeks, and “Custom” which allows a more granular selection. With Custom, it’s possible to look for messages with keywords, specific contacts or in a chosen date range.

    

The “View” button shows the messages found by the search for double-checking before deletion. Once ready, deleting needs R-Bot to switch in as the default SMS app, which it politely requests, and then switches out when done. It’s a very well-behaved app. Adverts are displayed occasionally but there doesn’t seem to be a paid-for “pro”, which I would prefer.

The only “bug” I found is that there is an option in “Recommended” to exclude texts from contacts, the idea being that it’s an easy way to get rid of spam messages which typically come from unknown numbers. Normally, it works well, but it did get confused by international dialling codes. If a number was prefixed by, say, +1, +44, +353, SMS Cleaner wasn’t able to recognise that as belonging to a known contact. Just watch out for that.

Overall, R-Bot SMS Cleaner is a handy app for keeping the SMS inbox under control. Try it out or if you’ve a better suggestion, let me know in the comments below.


Touché Brings Touch Bar to Any Mac



Touche LogoMuch has been said about the new Touch Bar feature on the latest version of Apple’s flagship laptop, the MacBook Pro. Some see Touch Bar as a cool new feature, with unlimited potential for different uses. Others look at Touch Bar as a gimmicky afterthought. Just a new shiny thing in a parade of new shiny Apple things that doesn’t add much in the way of true functionality to the MacBook Pro. The debate is sure to rage on for months (if not years) to come.

Regardless of how anyone feels about Touch Bar, the feature is only available on new MacBook Pros. Apple hasn’t said publicly if Touch Bar, or similar technology, will be added to other Macs in the future. If you’re intrigued by Touch Bar but don’t have the scratch to go out and purchase a new MacBook Pro, you might want to check out a new app from Red Sweater called Touché. The app can add Touch Bar-like functionality to any Mac by providing a graphical representation on screen of the commands assigned to the function keys of a Mac’s active application. (This mimics Touch Bar somewhat, as Touch Bar replaces the function keys on the new MacBook Pro entirely.)

Touche Bar

Touché is a free download and carries these requirements:

Touché requires macOS 10.12.1 or later, but there’s a catch! You must have the very latest 10.12.1, with system support for the Touch Bar. If your 10.12.1 version is specifically 16B2657, you’re good to go. If not, you can update to the required version here. You can confirm you are running 16B2657 specifically, by clicking the version number in the About this Mac panel.

If you’re curious about the Touch Bar experience but don’t have access to a new MacBook Pro, give Touché a try!


Zappar Brings the Page to Life at WTS



Zappar LogoReturning to my interviews from this year’s Gadget Show Live and the Wearable Technology Show, I’m with Jeremy from Zappar. Their two dimensional Zapcodes generate a three dimensional augmented reality, bringing the printed page alive within the Zappar app.

ZapcodeA Zapcode is a printed symbol like the one on the right, which has 4 billion different combinations. It’s recognised by the Zappar app (available for Apple and Android) using the smartphone or tablet’s camera and then overlays animations and other content onto the real-world as seen through the camera. For example, a flat architect’s drawing shows a 3D model in the Zappar world or a comic book about planets whizzes with rockets and spinning worlds. Very cool.

Here’s what a Zappar augmented book looks like – the printed page is on the left with the app view on the right.

Zappar Sun Zappar AR Sun

Here’s a quick demo of a building.

Zappar’s client list is impressive featuring brands like Asda, Coca-Cola, BBC Radio 1 and Mothercare. There are plenty of demo Zaps on the Zappar website, so download the app and try them out. The app works fine with computer screens so there’s no need to print anything out – just point the camera at the monitor.

 


Free Peer-To-Peer Payments With the New Tilt App



Tilt logoI used the crowdfunding platform Tilt a few times back when it was called Crowdtilt. My overall experience with Tilt was good, as I was able to successfully fund a couple of small campaigns. Since then, Tilt has expanded beyond just crowdfunding campaigns into event ticketing and peer-to-peer payments. All of these new features are front and center in the new Tilt 3.0 app.

Tilt 3.0’s peer-to-peer payment system is probably the most handy feature of the app:

In 2-3 taps, easily pay or request money from friends and family! It’s perfect for drinks, bills, ride-sharing, and more. Plus, it’s completely FREE to use.

The app also has a request money feature for those times when your friends conveniently “forget” about how they said they’d help cover the cost of last night’s outing:

Front the cost of dinner? Request money from as many friends as you want. Everyone can see who has and hasn’t paid, which adds visibility so you can spend less time playing debt collector.

Since many users have employed Tilt to fund large events, it made perfect sense for the new app to include ticketing and event management features:

Attendees are automatically issued tickets that are easily accessible from their email, the Tilt mobile app or a unique link to a mobile web view. Each ticket comes with a unique QR code and can only be used once after being scanned by your team. Tickets can also easily be transferred to others.

Tilt 3.0 is a free download from the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store.


Evernote Making Changes to Free Tier and Payment Plans



Evernote logoPopular productivity and note-taking/sharing app Evernote announced it will be making changes to the different tiers the company has offered to its users. The biggest changes will impact those who use Evernote’s free Basic tier. The company has also said it will be raising prices for its two paid tiers for new subscribers, but won’t be raising rates on existing customers right away.

Changes to Evernote’s Basic (free) tier:

On Basic, you can access notes on up to two devices, such as a computer and phone, two computers, or a phone and a tablet, as well as on the web, so you can continue to take your notes with you throughout your day. Passcode lock on the mobile app, formerly a paid feature, is now available on Basic as well.

Previous to this update, Evernote Basic users could access their notes on more than two devices, so this could be an impactful change for many users.

Evernote’s middle tier, Evernote Plus, will now be priced at $3.99/month or $34.99/year:

To stay in sync across all your devices, consider Evernote Plus. You’ll also enjoy the ability to take notebooks offline on a mobile device, so your notes will be with you wherever you go, even when there’s no Internet connection. You can forward emails into Evernote and keep them alongside related notes, complete with attachments, and 1 GB of upload space each month means you can keep all your projects together.

Evernote’s top tier, Evernote Premium, will now cost $7.99/month or $69.99/year:

Get the full power of Evernote with Evernote Premium, a set of tools designed to help you go paperless and take ideas into action across all your devices. Find text buried inside Office docs. Annotate PDFs. Discover connections between notes, turn business cards into phone contacts, or present your work with one click. Premium includes 10 GB of monthly upload space, and you have all the benefits of Plus and Basic, too.

The post that documents the changes to Evernote’s plans states that the company is making these changes to help enhance and improve its services. Evernote has become a valuable tool for a lot of people, and I’m sure many will continue to use it, despite these changes. But the limitations put on the Basic account may find some free-tier users looking for alternatives.


LetGo Buys Wallapop, Consolidates Online Classifieds Apps



LetGoPosting classified ads can be an annoying but unavoidable aspect of modern life. It used to be, the only way to get a classified ad out into the world was to call up your local newspaper or other circular and pay an inflated rate for a few lines of text, followed by a phone number. This process has improved somewhat in the digital age. Sites like Craigslist make it relatively easy to post classified ads. But there may still be some room to improve the classified ad experience.

Earlier this year, I downloaded a free classified-ad app for iOS called Wallapop. The app was easy to use, allowing me to quickly take photos and post descriptions of items I wanted to sell. By default, Wallapop would make my ads available to other local Wallapop users. But my ads could also be found by out-of-area users as well. I managed a few successful sales thanks to Wallapop’s built-in “bargaining” tools that allowed me to get firm commitments from prospective buyers. And while I didn’t buy anything thru Wallapop, I did enjoy browsing its local ads to see what others were listing for sale.

I received an e-mail last week notifying me that Wallapop was becoming LetGo. This is apparently the result of Wallapop being bought out by LetGo. As part of the deal, the new combined company will raise over $100 million from existing investors. Wallapop’s assets will be completely absorbed by LetGo.

I haven’t tried selling anything thru the new LetGo app yet. But I have registered an account and spent some time browsing ads on the service. It’s very similar to Wallapop in overall design. I’m sure most users won’t be too confused by the change. However, it will be necessary to delete the existing Wallapop app and install the new LetGo app on all devices that were previously used with Wallapop. Wallapop has been sending friendly reminder notifications about this for days.


Hack May Have Allowed Pizza Buyers to Eat For Free



Dominos Pizza logoIf there’s one connection that was inevitable to happen it would be the joy of home-delivered pizza being paired with the convenience that only the internet can provide. First, it became possible to order pizza direct from a restaurant’s website without having to even place a phone call. And now it’s even easier to purchase a pie online using mobile apps on a smartphone or tablet. While pizza makers have been quick to embrace new technologies, Dominos Pizza might be a little gun shy to jump on the next bandwagon.

Earlier this week, a UK security consultant named Paul Price blogged about an order he’d place with Domino’s using the pizza chain’s Android app. Price was curious to understand more about how the app worked. Using the skills he’d developed as a consultant, he was able to access the app’s source code and watch what it did while processing his order. He was surprised to find that the app was actually handling his payment locally, on his device, as opposed to sending the information to the Domino’s server. By implementing a relatively simple hack, Price was able to circumvent the payment system by sending a signal back to the Domino’s site indicating that his order was paid for when in fact, no payment information was given.

This effectively gave Price the ability to order potentially unlimited amounts of pizza for free! Price contacted the store he’d ordered from and they confirmed that his pizza was baking and would soon be on its way. But honesty got the best of the man, and when his pizza arrived, he informed the delivery driver of the hack, and he paid in cash for the total cost of the order.

Domino’s has since closed the hole in its app that allowed for this exploit. But it did so quite some time after Price alerted the restaurant to his findings. There’s no telling how many others might’ve also discovered the hack and enjoyed free pizzas because of it.