5 Cool Apps from SXSW

As the premier conference for all things tech, design and startup related, South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive has a lot of cool stuff; perhaps even too much cool stuff. At every corner, in every available space in downtown Austin, where SXSW is held every March, fliers and marketing swag are handed out by brands ranging from fledgling startups to Yahoo! and Microsoft. Unlike most unsuspecting conference attendees who did the ol’ walk-three-feet-then-goodbye-trash, we held on to every press kit and handout. The result is a compilation of what we consider to be the coolest and, more importantly, most relevant apps we discovered at SXSW Interactive.



Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar: You come across a great article or video on your smartphone, but the layout is messy or you just prefer to view it on your laptop or tablet. You copy and paste the link into an email, which you send to yourself and open up in a new device, or spend the next few minutes painstakingly typing in a long URL on another browser.


Clippick, a cloud-based clipboard, eliminates all those extra steps. Using Clippick, you can copy text on your smartphone and instantly paste it on your desktop computer, with cross-platform access that doesn’t require you to open up a separate program. Transferring text or photos between devices requires just two simple steps and is all done in real time. Free. Clippick.com, Apple and Android.



Big Data has been on everybody’s minds in the past year, and SXSW Interactive was no exception. Zoomdata was a finalist in the 2013 SXSW Interactive Accelerator competition, in the Mobile Technologies category. Zoomdata is a tablet app that tracks internal and external data sources– databases, social media, enterprise systems, etc.– and allows you to combine, merge and crunch them to create stunning visuals to display or share to colleagues or investors.


One look at how easily and beautifully Zoomdata compiles and presents your data and you’ll know that the days of graphs and spreadsheet crunching are over. Beyond great data visualizations, entrepreneurs on the go can relish in the peace of mind that comes with checking in on your business’s real-time data from your tablet in the airport. Free. Zoomdata.com and Apple.


We Are Pop Up

With the trendy pop-up business model taking the entrepreneurial world by storm, this UK-based community marketplace is helpful to any small businesses looking to set up a pop-up store of their own. We Are Pop Up allows property holders and businesses to connect for the purpose of renting commercial space on short-term contracts. As an app, it also helps anyone search, find and save a pop-up event, from pop-up dinners to concerts, or pop-up boutiques and sporting events.


Although We Are Pop Up is currently only in use in the UK, they intend to expand internationally. As an innovative idea that bridges the digital and mobile worlds to the brick and mortar, we are certainly hoping that a United States version launches soon. Free. Wearepopup.com, Apple and Android.



Simply put, Recood is like an Instagram for videos. With Instagram staking its claim in the social media world, it was only a matter of time before we saw a video sharing app that could match its photo counterpart in artsy filters and sharing or networking capabilities.


Recood allows users to record videos and edit them with effects like filters or brightness settings. Like Instagram, Recood has its own social network, but also allows you to export your videos to Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube. The free version of Recood allows you to record videos up to 10 seconds long, with Recood Pro giving you one minute of record time. Recood also lets you edit together your saved photos into a video/slideshow, if all you have are photos. $1.99 for paid app, free version available. Recood.com and Apple.



Last, but certainly not least, Fleksy made splashes at SXSW when it won the Mobile Technologies category at the 2013 SXSW Interactive Accelerator. Fleksy utilizes a larger QWERTY keyboard layout on the entire touch screen, coupled with a powerful text prediction technology so that users can type on their smartphones without even looking at their screens. With an aim to make typing on a smartphone as easy as typing on a full-sized keyboard, Fleksy’s autocorrect system works even if a user has missed every key of the word they intended to type.


 From a societal impact perspective, Fleksy is already being used by many blind or visually impaired users and can change the way we take precautions against car accidents caused by texting and driving. Free. Fleksy.com, Apple and Android in Beta testing. 


Jennifer Chang is the former associate editor for SUCCESS. She has a corgi puppy who has more Instagram followers than a dog should have. Tweet or follow her thoughts and favorite links at @jenzchang.

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