Tag Archive | Apps

An Apple a day

Photo Sep 20, 11 46 26 PMI guess I consider myself somewhat of a “Techie.” My business as a Graphic Designer keeps me engrossed in computers, software, and electronic devices.

This month ended up being a “Techie” month. I decided to upgrade my desktop computer from Windows XP, to Windows 7 (too many bad reviews with Windows 8). Windows XP will be toast by April 2014, and many manufacturers are already not supporting XP. If you don’t upgrade, your computer becomes a security risk. I also decided to upgrade my Adobe Graphic software, and add more memory to my computer. Upgrading certainly has its risks, but with a bit of help from my “Techie” husband and his Engineer, all went well.

This week was also the release of Apple’s iOS 7 and today’s iPhone 5S and 5C launch in stores. I always find it fascinating when Apple comes out with a new device operating software. It’s a little bit like Christmas in September. Apple has a way of packaging new and innovative features to its OS. While many users encountered a lot of frustrating server errors while upgrading, the numbers show that a lot of people were successful in updating. Within 48 hours of its launch on Wednesday, iOS 7 made its way onto 32 percent of the Apple (AAPL) devices in the U.S. and Canada, according to digital ad network Chitika.

I updated my iPhone 4S on Wednesday evening around 12am PST. I usually do quite a bit of research before taking the plunge. I was aware of possible battery drain issues, so I was prepared. The next day my iPhone started out at 100%, but I was loosing batter fast, even when it was shut off! I decided to let the battery completely run out until the phone shut itself off. I plugged it into its charger, and the white little apple appeared for quite some time, and then the battery icon appeared. The next day, all was normal.

All this “Techie” stuff can be quite scary to some, and as the boomer generation moves further away from the office environment, into retirement, technology gets left behind. I’m fortunate that my Graphic Design business forces me to stay current with technology on a daily basis. Here are a few apps that make my life a bit easier each day:

Carbonite.com – I use this site to back up my computer everyday. It backs up automatically. This made my computer upgrade a piece of cake. I can also access files from my computer from anywhere. There’s even an App.

Dropbox.com – I use this site to remotely share files with customers, and family members. It’s also a great way to keep large files off of your computer. I can also access this from anywhere.

Grocery IQ (App) – Now that it has a bar scanner, I scan my groceries as they run out. By the end of the week, I have a list.

Shazam (App) – A very cool App that recognizes music and media playing around you. Tap the Shazam button to instantly tag songs and purchase later.

Candy Crush (App) – Stress reliever, and very addicting game.

SnapChat (App) – This is how I now keep abreast of what my college daughter is up to. It’s a fast way to share a quick moment on iPhone. The photo is only seen for a few seconds.

DirecTV (App) – I watch TV from my iPad. I don’t think I’ve turned on the TV in my bedroom in over a year.

Quizlet (App) – A study tool for my son. Flashcards created by the community from school textbooks. He studies right from his iPad mini. He is getting good grades on test with help from Quizlet

Amazon Student (App) – I used this App to sell my kid’s school textbooks back. The barcode feature makes it so easy. When your done scanning the books you send a shipping label to your email and print it out. Shipping is FREE. I got about $100 back.

iTunes Radio – Launch with the latest iOS 7. Works just like Pandora, but you can purchase a song right from iTunes while listening. They have fewer ads, and the songs play more hits.


Favorite Time Killing Apps

Well, Summer is officially here. The kids are out of school, family vacations are in full swing, and the heat has arrived here in Southern California. Business hasn’t slowed down like it usually does, but maybe the economy is finally making a comeback.

To commemorate the beginning of summer, and the endless hours you’ll spend in cars, airports, boats and trains (?), I’m reviewing some of my favorite time killing apps for the summer.

Now mind you, I am not an “Angry Birds” kind of girl. I don’t like to chop fruit, or run through temples, and I don’t care where my water is! I like those casual, non-stressful, mind joggling games, and Apps that contribute to my brain power.

WWFWords with Friends
Experience for yourself why millions of players are addicted to the word building, triple score seeking, chat bubble game. It’s just like scrabble, and I love this time killing game because it’s played casually amongst your friends. Sometimes it takes 2 weeks to finish a game because people play. . .when they have time to kill!

pinterest app

Pinterest is a tool to find your inspiration and share it with others. Use it to collect things you love, organize your boards to share with others. Lots of brain power here.

word seekWord Seek
This classic word search game sharpens your mind, and expands your vocabulary. Find as many words as possible by yourself or live online against your friends in this board game! Although I love this app, it’s been very difficult for me to expand my seeking of words over 4 letters. I think the timer makes me quickly find whatever I can, which ends up being mostly 4 letter words. It just means a lower score, but it has potential. It can be very addicting.

spelltowerSpell Tower
It’s a cross between a word find, and Bejeweled. The bigger the word, the more area around the word is dropped until you get to the very bottom. I try to beat my own score!

skeeballSkee Ball 2
If you ventured into an arcade during their heyday throughout the 80′s and 90′s, you probably remember the different games which allowed you to earn tickets that could then be exchanged for cheap, sometimes-lame prizes. Chief among these– seemingly a staple of just about any such arcade or amusement park gameroom– was skee-ball!!  It’s one of my favorite physical arcade games. This graphics in this game are amazingly real. The acoustics of the wooden balls thrown up the ramp and pinging off the plastic targets in very authentic. Your able to tilt your phone to help assist the ball in. You can even purchase stupid toys as you collect tickets. You’re definitely trapped in time while you kill time here!

mza_5136386870055124396.175x175-75Flow Free
Flow Free is a simple yet addictive puzzle game. Connect matching colors dots with pipes to create a flow. Pair all colors, and cover the entire board to solve each puzzle. The game starts off with only a few colors and as you move through the levels, there are more colors and more area coverage. There are several options to play casual and relaxed, or with a time clock. I ended up buying this app because the ads took up alot of battery! It was worth the expense. One of my favorite time killers.

Remember the well-known game from the 80’s called Master Mind? Well, SuperMind is the app equivalent. Behind a cover there is a secret code consisting of four colors. To detect it, you need a little bit luck and good combination skill. Great time killer, and oh so nostalgic!

How I use my iPad

  1. Surf on the Couch. Let’s start with the most obvious use for the iPad. Have you ever been watching TV and wondered where you’d seen a particular actor before? Having IMDB, Wikipedia and the rest of the web at your fingertips from the comfort of your couch can be a wonderful thing
  2. Word Games. I’m not much of a gamer, but I do enjoy word games, so I play Word with Friends, and SpellTower casually to clear my mind. It’s also fun having a social relationship with old friends and family just by playing a simple game.
  3. Blogging. I use my iPad to write articles for my blog. WordPress has a nice app for posting and editing articles. The iPad is great for surfing the net for research and handles photo storage and export through Dropbox nicely.
  4. Say Goodbye to Premium Cable. Have you ever wanted to ditch premium cable? The ability to stream Netflix and Hulu Plus directly to your HDTV via Apple’s Digital AV Adapter means you can replace your premium channels without being forced to watch movies on a smaller screen. And considering the amount of television available on those two services, some people could dump cable completely.How to Connect the iPad to Your TV. I haven’t taken the full plunge yet, but accessing Direct TV on my iPad is a great option right now.

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