SXSW Apps:, Huddlehub and Phonebooth

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A bunch of Web companies and app developers have shown up here in Austin to show their stuff, and I saw a lot of them this afternoon when I spent a few hours in the exhibit hall. Did I find the next Foursquare or Gowalla? I don't think so, but I found some apps that I think might get some serious traction before next year's SXSW.

There are times at my job where it takes three hours to set up a 15-minute meeting. Montreal-based Tungle is here touting a new calendaring service,, which makes it easy to set up meetings with your friends and coworkers--quickly.

The app gives you your own personal profile and custom URL, which displays your availability and lets your friends/co-workers schedule meetings with you. Tungle looks at your calendar and displays which of your time slots are available. When it's you setting up a meeting, Tungle lets you send a block of your available times to the people you want to invite, from which they choose. This cuts down on the back and forth and gets meetings nailed down quicker, the company says, and while I've not tested the app I'm inclined to believe them.

Tungle is available as an iPhone app now, and a Blackberry app is almost finished, while an Android app is in the works. Because some of your invitees might not be users, the app talks to Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook (with or without Exchange), and even good old Lotus Notes. You can also put a Tungle widget on your Website or Facebook page, where visitors can see your availability and set up meetings with you on the spot.

Fantasy sports are huge. If you're a fantasy sports nut, Huddlehub might one day be your favorite place on the Web. The site, which is set to launch next week, aggregates all your fantasy sports teams in one place. Say you have teams at Yahoo, ESPN, CBS Sports, and Fanball; you can manage all of those teams from Huddlehub.

The site also provides a central social networking platform on which you can communicate with your fantasy gaming pals. Co-founder Adan Gutierresz says he wants to make the site into a sort of "Facebook for fantasy sports" where all kinds of fantasy gamers can socialize, post links and video, talk about teams and trades, and, of course, talk trash. At launch the site will support only baseball and football teams, but that is expected to expand to other fantasy sports.

Here's one for the small business crowd, or perhaps Google Voice users who want a little more functionality.'s new Phonebooth service is a free "cloud phone service" targeted at small businesses of one to four people who need to sound and act organized. Phonebooth supports only inbound calls, providing an auto attendant so that you can route calls to different departments (up to 50 extensions), and provide recorded information to callers about your business.

Phonebooth also lets you set up 800 numbers for your customers, and ports calls from other phone numbers the business already uses. The system also will transcribe your voicemail; you get 50 call transcriptions per month before you have to start paying.

While probably won't make any money on the free service, it hopes that as its Phonebooth users grow they will graduate to more expensive hosted PBX services. The first step up from free Phonebooth is Phonebooth On Demand, which supports inbound calls and allows you to put a group of IP phones on the desks.

Many more apps to see here in Austin. And I haven't even had any barbeque yet. So stay tuned.

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