10 Apps That Will Change Your Life

Tracy:

I can attest to the fact that something as innocuous as an iPhone, or iPad in my case, can change your life. I honestly don’t remember how I got by without my devices. 

I know people who think this type of statement is indicative of over-reliance on technology, but I disagree. I think it depends, as usual. 

What might be over-reliance for 1 person may be lifesaving for another. 

For instance, a person who uses their devices to the exclusion of human interaction may have a problem with over-reliance. But, a person who is disabled, isolated, or in some other way impaired may find a whole new life waiting for them with the help of these devices. They may forge new types of relationships & bonds with people that would be impossible for them without the devices. 

Technology & devices in this context can open up a world that was closed to a person in this situation. 

Always remember before you make sweeping statements that technology is over-used or just bad that there are almost always exceptions. There are always going to be people who don’t fit nicely into the world as you’ve organized it. 

Black & white are nice as colors to paint with, but I find that the world is mostly shades of gray.

Originally posted on Fabulous Friday Find:

Apps Title

Technology can only be life changing if it enhances or improves something you already do. Your iPhone/Smartphone can’t make you exercise more or change your diet. But it can help you make your life more social, more creative, and way more fun. With so many apps aimed at helping you take care of yourself and your life, your device can be that source of support and inspiration — plus all the nerdy statistics and facts you’d ever want.

If any of you are like me…you feel lost without your phone, and iPad, and laptop…all of these things make my life easier and keep me connected no matter where I am. So, in our information age of busyness, how can we get these devices to work for us instead of against us. For example, if you take notes on paper and are looking for a digital avenue…you will only stick with…

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Lessons From Steve Jobs

It seems I no sooner than published the Dr. Seuss infographic on quotes that can change your life when I found this infographic on Tumblr on Lessons Learned from the Life of Steve Jobs. I'm sure there's a corollary there somewhere, but I'll let you find it.

Steve Jobs lived life on his terms in no uncertain way. Here's a quick trip through his life with the upshot of what he was preaching without all the preaching.

Dr. Seussisms That Rock

Okay, this is in no way a technology infographic. That said, I'm running it anyway, because it is foundational to how I live my life & how this blog gets run. I'm sure if we get creative, we can even apply some of these to iOS & iDevices, if not apps. But, suffice it to say, these are some must-reads & I'd feel just crappy if I didn't run it.

Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Sales

Tracy:

I LOVE Dr. Seuss!

My absolute favorite book (adult books included) is Oh, The Places You'll Go! I give it to every graduate and anyone else I can think of as a gift. The pop-up version is fabulous!

I also have many of the Dr. Seuss apps. The iTunes version of Oh, The Places You'll Go is read by John Lithgow. It's only 8 minutes long, but it's an amazing 8 minutes. It's my favorite read-to-me version of the book.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is whatever you do today, make sure you put your right foot before your left. Oh, and buy some Dr. Seuss apps.

Originally posted on sharechair:

Screen shot 2013-03-01 at 6.01.24 PMMarch 2 is the birthday of Theodor Geisel best known to the world as Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated 44 children’s books. Fox in Socks was a favorite in our house, along with Dr. Seuss’ ABC, Hop on Pop, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

(They really stick with you, don’t they? It’s been 25 years, and I think I can still recite these all by heart :) )

Oceanhouse media has put all their Dr. Seuss book apps on sale for this weekend for 30 – 75% off, and you can find the entire list, here. (Android apps are also on sale. Look in your favorite Android store for Oceanhouse Media, and these apps should be on sale there, as well.)

Screen shot 2013-03-01 at 6.51.01 PM

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Coffee Used to Explain the In’s & Out’s of Social Media

It's pretty early here in the Midwest, so it seemed like the perfect time to share this infographic explaining social media via coffee that I found on Tumblr.

I like the infographic, but I wish it actually included the names of each social media it is explaining, because I think some people will have trouble figuring even that out for some of these examples. Even I can't tell you what the last 1 is an example of. Can someone help me out?

If you have any questions on any of the other examples, feel free to leave me a question in the comment area or send me an email. No need to feel embarrassed here. I promise.

So, grab a cup of coffee, relax, and find out what each type of social media really means.

Social Media explained

Via TumbleOn for Tumblr

Related Links on iOS Affairs:

That's it for me for now. Until later, …

Defending Apple While They’re Down

I was going to write something very eloquent and beautiful for my 300th post today. I was going to review something great. Then, I read this absolutely fabulous article and I knew that instead, I need to share the words that so powerfully defend my favorite, currently embattled company.

Apple has definitely taken a beating in the stock market and the press recently. But, I have paid relatively little attention to it, because like this article says, Apple still beat Google with 1 quarter's earnings matching an entire year for Google. Apple is still setting records, selling amazing products that launched industries, and is still capable of producing products that will change our world.

I've heard the Android fans calling people like me blind and sheep. Isn't that always the taunt of people who oppose you or think differently than you do? But, I never entered the Apple/Android fray. I don't see a problem. I don't need an enemy. They can both exist and both be great and we can all have just what we want without calling others names and degrading that which we do not agree with. We can agree to disagree when it comes to technology. After all, is all of this really worth the animosity displayed over phones and their operating systems?

So, for my 300th post, do me a favor and read this article by Jonny Evans. Apple fans will feel a little better, Android fans may learn something they didn't know, and maybe we can all just get along in the end. Is it a deal?

I'll be back with a review or 2 tonight. That's it for me for now. Until later, …

Tidbits, App Buying Spree & Review of Editor’s Choice App of the Week

App Store

The Hall of Fame features the best apps of all time.

Sorry about not blogging for the past 2 days, but I have been on an obsessive app buying spree. Call it cyber shopping therapy, if you will.

I’ve actually downloaded more than 100 apps in the past 2 days. Of those 100 apps, only about 10 were paid apps. I spent about $30 total for all the apps I got. The FREE apps were FREE either because they were on sale or because they are shopping, news, or social media oriented.

Here’s a tidbit to remember, though. If you don’t pay for an app, or anything you use really, you are still paying for it in other ways. Paid apps that go FREE for a day are one thing, but apps that are always FREE and that don’t have ads must still make money somehow.

The saying goes, “If you’re not the customer, you’re the product.” That means that if you don’t pay to use something, you are probably being used in some way to make money for the developer.

For instance, Facebook collects your information and sells it to advertisers and marketers and to target your advertising choices. That is a very popular way for FREE apps to make money. So, if you value your privacy, remember that you get what you pay for. Nothing is ever really FREE.

App Store

This week’s Featured apps are AWESOME!

Now, onto more positive things. The reason I got so many good apps is that the App Store refresh this week was awesome! There are a ton of good apps out there.

The App Store refreshes its Featured section every Thursday. Usually about mid-afternoon. The main page of the Featued section is really only the beginning. You absolutely MUST dig deeper to find all the gems the App Store is featuring each week.

The Featured section is actually much larger than you can believe due to the use of categories. When you go to the Featured section, it shows you the overall featured apps of the week from many categories. However, if you are interested in photography or social media or travel or …, there’s a featured category for that.

To change categories, just look at the top of the screen. Several are listed and then you can press More to find all the other featured categories. When you go to the category, it looks just like the main Featured section, but it has apps just for that category.

App Collections

Your portal to all the App Store collections.

Another way to find more apps is to press on one of the collection sections. To see all of the best collection sections, go to “Essentials App Collections,” which is on the main page of the Featured section. This takes you to a place to find the best of the best no matter what you’re interested in.

And, don’t forget to check categories that you think might not fit you. I go to every category except for sports. Even the children’s or education sections interest me, although I don’t have young children. I still find some great apps hiding in there for me to use.

A newer feature in the App Store is the Editor’s Choice App of the Week. They usually pick 1 normal app and 1 game app. You can see all the Editor’s Choice past app picks in a collection. There’s also a FREE app of the week every week, too.

Zite

Zite is this week’s Editor’s Choice app.

This week’s Editor’s Choice app is Zite Personalized Magazine. Zite is a FREE, universal news app that I have been using since it came out in March 2011. I adore it as a news source for many reasons.

Zite

However, when I went into Zite to take some screenshots for this post, I discovered that they had released their 2.0 verison and it has been completely overhauled. So, I will do my best to describe what Zite is and how to use it, but many things about it have changed, so bear with me.

When Zite was first released, it was a very unique idea and it had very few competitors. The closest app to it at the time was Flipboard, but they are actually quite different from each other.

Zite

After surfing the App Store for the past 2 days, I realized that there are a LOT of apps like Zite now. I downloaded many of them and will check them out and get back to you on how they work and what they’re like.

Back to Zite. Zite creates a personalized magazine-style news app based on interests you choose from a list, interests you can search for (pretty much anything), and interests based on your social network link-ups with Zite.

After you are all set up and linked in, you are given a little tour of how to work with Zite that pretty much covers all the bases you need to be able to use the app effectively.

Zite

When you open Zite normally, you are presented with your Top Stories section (photo at left). Top Stories is a roundup of the best stories based on your interests, what Zite has learned about you based on your reading habits and likes or dislikes of stories, and news that is really important right now (like when the earthquake in Japan happened).

One of the most special things about Zite is the algorithm behind it that learns who you are and what you like and then offers you more of what you like. It gathers the information that you gave it when you set up your account and adds to it information based on what you do and do not look at in Top Stories and each other section, and also what you give a thumbs up or thumbs down on, which you can do for each story you read.

Zite uses that information to give you a better assortment of stories to read in the future. That doesn’t mean that you are limited in the scope of what you can read. It just means that your Top Stories may start to feature more technology-related stories or psychology or just about anything. It also notes if you like longer or shorter stories and takes that into account. It is just pretty damn cool.

Zite

Zite also gives you a very pleasant reading experience. It was very controversial when Zite first came out, because the app strips the story you’re reading from the Internet layout and makes it look like the photo at right. Which means no advertising. Something publishers do not like! Zite actually received many cease and desist letters when it first came out.

Every story you read in Zite looks the same.

You can adjust the font size and you can switch to the web view to see what it looks like in its natural environment or open it Safari. Other options include saving it to an app like Instapaper or Pocket, emailing the story to someone, or sharing it on a social network site.

I have to get used to the new look though. There used to be a column along the right side that contained all of the things I just mentioned. It looks like all of that is along the bottom of the screen now. And, the coloring has changed a bit. Plus, I don’t see an option to change to a serif font, which only a font geek like me would care about.

Zite

The last thing I’ll tell you about Zite is that you can set up sections in addition to Top Stories so that you almost have a newspaper-like experience. Zite is calling these sections Quicklist now instead of Sections. You just click the heart on any topic to see more on that subject and then click “Add to Quicklist.”

Even the sections learn what you like and offer you better and more personalized selections within the section. You can get really specific with your sections, too. I even have a Buffy the Vampire section. Seriously.

The reason I like news aggregators like Zite is that you are introduced to a myriad of news sources that you may never see if all you do is go to specific news sources directly. Because of this, you get so many different points of view and so many different ideas and styles of writing. There are benefits to going to news sources you rely on, but I prefer to get my news more diversified.

You should give it a try.

Related Links

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

Cool Sayings Will Put Smile On Your Face

Cool Sayings

100,000 Sayings – Cool Sayings – The Funny Collection of Lines, Quotes and Jokes

I just treated myself to an app off of my AppShopper wishlist (something I do when I’m not feeling so well) and today’s pick was Cool Sayings (universal, 99 cents). Well, the title is much longer, as you can see from the photo above, but Cool Sayings is what we’re going to call it here.

Cool Sayings

Cool Sayings features more than 100,000 quotes and sayings, but it is definitely not your usual quote app. Rather than focusing on pieces of wisdom (although there is the Confucius Says category), Cool Sayings relies on things that will make you laugh.

Divided up into 69 categories, Cool Sayings features things like Stupid Laws, Yo Momma and Knock, Knock Jokes, Funny Wisdom, things from bumper stickers, things on t-shirts, and popular funny Facebook or Twitter statuses.

Cool Sayings

There are birthday wishes and things to say when saying goodbye and the like, but even they will probably make you smile.

And, you can read or listen (because the app will speak the words to you, too) to every phrase in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Swedish. To listen to the text, just click the speaker button along the bottom.

The developers seem to be growing this app by leaps and bounds and adding features by the truckload.

Cool Sayings

You can search all the phrases, search by category, or just keep hitting the random button (or shake your iPhone).

Like something a lot? Add it to your favorites so that you can view it again later. Or, send it by the usual email, Facebook, Twitter, or text message. If you’re feeling really creative, you can even make the saying into an eCard and send it to someone or post it on their Facebook.

Use your own picture to make the eCard, snap a shot with the camera, or use one of the included photos. It’s very simple to do. My only suggestion to the developer is to let us pick from a few simple fonts to change up the look of the eCard (and the app for that matter), but you all know I’m a bit of a fontophile. You could always just copy the text and paste it into an eCard maker of your own choosing, too, I suppose.

And, to top it all off, Cool Sayings does NOT require an Internet connection to use. All the sayings are on your device in a tidy package.

So, if you’re just having a bad day or need a pithy comeback, Cool Sayings is where it’s at.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

PS: The developers were nice enough to send me 5 promo codes for this app and 5 for 2 other apps by the same developer: Idioms and Congratulations. If you would like a code, please shoot me an email or leave me a message and I’ll send one your way as long as they last.