The Digital Gloss Files - December 13

...with Julia Low

Holiday season recipes are a go-go with Better Homes and Gardens’s latest Must Have Recipes appWith over 500 mouth-watering and decadent recipes taken from their iconic red plaid cookbook and a nifty digital kitchen timer available at all times, this free app surely deserves a cosy spot in your iPhone or iPad. As for sweet treats and sugary delights, there’s also the MyRecipes Daily Indulgence app,’s first mobile “app-venture”*.

Hot off the digital press is, a brand new online community for mums with bubs. Created by former journalist Kate McQuestin, the website “provide[s] mums with a platform to ask questions of other mums and communicate their experiences, ideas and tips for everyday life in a supportive environment,” said McQuestin. “They will also be able to have their say on topical issues via our interactive forum The Natter, save money on great deals via Motherpedia’s Mummy Savers and connect to mum friendly product and services through our directory.” 20% of advertising revenues will also be donated to good causes. We’re feeling warm and fuzzy inside already!

Vogue devotees can now get their hands on 120 years’ worth of Vogue magazines that have just been made available online with a premium price tag. A yearly subscription of $1,575 (yes, you read that figure right!) will give subscribers access to the digital archive that contains 2,800 issues, 100,000 articles, 425,000 images, and 300,000 advertisements; everything in vogue since 1892. However, staying true to Vogue’s air of exclusivity, the digital archive is currently only available to a select few.

How does Vanity Fair fare on the Kindle? According to digital media editor Steve Smith, the magazine deserves much credit for being able to create readable content and layout that are at least legible if not compelling on the tiny 7-inch screen. Nevertheless, magazines on Kindle still fall short compared to the effective and attractive iPad platform.

Adding to Facebook's list of acquisitions is Gowalla, one of the few location-based social networks that pioneered the mobile check-in service. However, the business deal was less about Gowalla technology, and more about the skilled personnel. “In talking with the Gowalla team, we realized that we share many of the same goals: building great products that reach millions of people, making a big impact quickly, and creating new ways for people to connect and share what's going on in their lives,” said Facebook in an e-mailed statement. “While Facebook isn't acquiring the Gowalla service or technology, we're sure that the inspiration behind Gowalla will make its way into Facebook over time.”

Apple has quietly extended Apple TV’s new streaming capabilities to Australia and the UK. With iCloud, Apple TV users are able to access files in their iTunes account, be it from their computer or other devices such as the iPad. Apple has yet to officially announce its international services.

Not one to lag behind the latest technologies and innovations, Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently announced that “by the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded on it.” The question is, will consumers choose Google TV over an iTV, an actual television set designed by Apple that will begin commercial production next year?

Personalised news-reader iPad application Zite launched its minimized version for the iPhone last Friday. The iPhone version has been shrunk down to just two basic fields: one Category section and one larger section that lists stories in a given category. Zite can be downloaded for free at the iTunes App Store.

Speaking of news-readers, Google has at last released its own version called Google Currents, the Android/iOS rival to Flipboard. AOL Tech’s TUAW has a review.

marie claire has launched Shine A Light, an online campaign created to shed light on important issues related to depression and anxiety as well as to lend support to those who suffer from it. Through Shine A Light, marie claire hopes open discussions on the online forum will put an end to the stigma of mental health issues and encourage people to seek help. “From difficulties in getting insurance to stalled career opportunities to being stigmatised as weak, silly or crazy, the troubles facing sufferers of depression extend far beyond their diagnosis. It’s crucial that Australian attitudes towards mental health change,” said Jackie Frank, editor of marie claire. For further support, see also the non-profit movement To Write Love On Her Arms

“Let’s Fly” is the theme of Twitternewly introduced simplified design of their microblogging platform. The new layout has four prominent tabs—Home, Connect, Discover, and Me—as well as enhanced profile pages and embeddable tweets. Together with the new look, Twitter will launch brand pages in order to strengthen relationships with advertisers. "A tweet's only 140 characters," said Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain. "[Brand page are] like an invitation to learn more. When consumers want to learn more, spend more time or get deeper in terms of engagement, we think they'll end up on the brand page." So far, 21 marketers have been confirmed, including Nike, Subway, and Paramount Pictures.

Yippie! Only 12 sleeps ‘til Christmas!
Download one of these happy holiday season apps to add to the festivities. Our favourites on the list? Christmas Fire, The Flakery, and of course, the one that takes the cake, the Dr. Seuss Camera – the Grinch edition. Adorable!

And, if you’re in need of some prezzie inspiration, here’s MinOnline’s list of Top 5 Books for Magazine Lovers that will fit prettily into someone’s Christmas stocking. Or, even better, give a Gift of Compassion to those in need. After all, it’s not everyday you can buy someone an adorable real-life pig!

Have a very blessed Christmas, everyone!

Julia @ Girl With a Satchel

*App-venture 1. To venture into the mobile application business. 2. An application adventure! 3. I love word play.


Jess said...