This week's 5 hot new apps: GiveGab to the community; Get your news Pipes flowing; more


Following the current trend of apps catering to hyper-local audiences, the developers of GiveGab have combined volunteer opportunities with an easy to navigate social network and community map. By loading up the area map, users can see the organizations that require help in their neighborhood and where they are located, and then they can choose their best fit. The app also allows users to log their hours, communicate with friends about what type of projects they're taking on and create a volunteer resume. And from the organizational side, people who are looking for volunteers can sign up and create events, including a page that explains who they are and what kind of volunteers they are looking for.

The app ecosystem is in no short supply of news aggregators, but every so often something comes along with a twist that appeals to those who've yet to find their ideal feed. With Pipes, the developers have provided a slick and simple design that relies on a basic idea: total coverage of personally important news. The user can set up pipes, or topics, about anything they want. Then, the program will draw from its over 10,000 sources each hour to provide every article imaginable on the subject. Where some similar apps are content to provide summaries or nuggets of information, Pipes looks to provide the full story, including conversational context through tweets.

You're telling a great story and about to get to the punchline, when you look up to see a glazed look on everyone's eyes as smartphone screens envelop their faces. This all too common situation is exactly what the developers of moderation app Moment want to avoid. Once the user initially sets up the amount of time per day they want to spend on their phone, the program will run in the background with no further interaction needed. The app then gives reminder notifications throughout the day when various portions of the total time have been reached. Of course, Moment won't shut down your phone when the limit is hit, so it's still up to the user to get back in the conversation.

The latest app in the "Cool, but why?" category is Wut. It's like an anonymous, text-only Snapchat, in that it allows users to send Facebook friends messages that are deleted after a short period of time. According to an article in TechCrunch, the developers said "younger users don't like the feeling of being alone. They want to be tethered to their friends constantly." They foresee Wut-ers using the app during live television events, such as award shows, sports games or community happenings, like parties or concerts. It's essentially a way to send tweets that only your friends can see about things only they have the context to understand.

Cleverly named Knozen is an anonymous rating app that lets coworkers judge each other based on work ethic, social skills and other key office competencies. If you're curious about what someone's resume isn't telling you, simply load Knozen and register using your work email. Once on the network, you can rate coworkers and then find out whether your opinion matches up with what others are thinking. Also, Knozen helps those with little self-awareness see what their office mates are saying about them and, possibly, act on the information.

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