Archive for the ‘apps’ category

Saturday

April 4, 2020

So, here are dome of the things that I’m doing during our home confinement. I have about three books that I am reading on Kindle. When I get tired of reading, I head for these apps.

Crossword Puzzles

I seem to be doing about three or four puzzles every day. First up is the New York Times daily puzzle. NYT has an app for iPad/iPhone. One can get a subscription for the daily puzzle and/or download puzzle packs.

Daily puzzles are easiest on Monday’s and become more difficult as the week goes on. Saturday is the most difficult. The Sunday puzzle is “thursdayish” in difficulty. I can usually do the Monday puzzle in about 7-8 minutes. Later day puzzles are not so fast or easy.

I use another crossword puzzle app that I use is called “Crossword Classic” by Stand Alone, Inc. It provides automatic daily download of puzzles. You set up a subscription list of the puzzles that you want to do. Some of them are free, some are for purchase.

Jig Saw Puzzles

Next up is “Jig Saw Puzzles”. There are several jig saw puzzles available on the App Store. My favorite is Jigsaw by MobilityWare. There are many free puzzles and you can buy puzzle packs with different themes. One can adjust the number of pieces from as little as 4 to the incredibly difficult with 512 pieces. I usually stick to the 64, 81 or 100 piece puzzles.

I usually only do jigsaw’s on my iPad. iPhone is little but too small for my use.

That’s enough for now. Keep on keeping on.

TTFN

Joe

Covid-19 Apps

March 31, 2020

Here I sit in our condo, looking for things to do. I’ve already finished all of my crosswords, read the newspapers, etc. So I thought I would blog post on new apps are available that pertain to the Corona Virus pandemic. All of these apps are free. I have included the link to the Apple App Store as well as the web site where applicable.

Apple Covid-19

This app displays all of the current info about the pandemic from trusted sources like the CDC. It includes information about symptoms and what to do if you think you have been infected. It’s free.

Watchworthy

This is an app to help you figure out what to watch on your video streaming services. if you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a lot of time scrolling through page after page of movies and TV shows looking for something to watch.

When you first start the app it asks you to enter all of the streaming services that you have subscription services (eg. NetFlix, Amazon, etc.). Then you can enter a genre that you might be interested in watching. It’s free.

Here’s the link to the Watchworthy Web site.

Zoom Video Conferencing

Zoom is an app for doing video conferencing. It has been around for a while, but has come into its heyday now that the pandemic has hit us. We have used it to connect to our church members to do Bible study. We have used it to connect with OES members back east.

There is a free version and paid version. The free version limits you to 40 minutes and 3 participants. The paid version removes those limitations. Only the meeting leader needs to get the paid version.

All you need to do is click on “create a meeting” and then choose participants. The meeting can be scheduled for later. All you need to do is click on the meeting ID. The app also works on a Windows web browser.

Click here for the Zoom website.

My New Gadget

December 26, 2019

This Christmas I got a new electronic gadget called a “Nixplay”. It is an electronic display for one’s favorite pictures. It connects to your WiFi and you can upload your favorite pictures. Then it cycles through all of your pictures 10 seconds each.

There is an app for your iPhone or other smart device that is used to select pictures to send to the device. You can also adjust setting to your liking. Set the time spent on each picture, for instance. You can set it to shut off at night.

This is the 10” version (measured from corner to corner). It runs about $150 and be had at Amazon and other retailers. There is 13” version that of course costs more money.

It’s pretty easy to setup. Plug it in, connect to your WiFi. Then download the app from the app-store, then pair with your nixplay. Then start selecting photos. Takes about 10 minutes

You can adjust settings to auto off/on, it can display current time on lower right corner.

Apps

November 7, 2019

I thought it might be worth writing about how I use my iPhone and iPads. I currently have an iPhone 8 plus and an iPad Pro. I was thinking of upgrading to an iPhone 11, but decided to put it off for a while. Primary reason for upgrading for me would be improved camera. Maybe next year.

My wife has an iPhone 7 and an iPad Mini. We are not an all Apple family. I still have a Windows laptop.  Last time I was looking for a new laptop, I couldn’t justify paying the exorbitant price of a Mac Book. I am pretty much the head of IT in our family. If something is not working right on her iPhone, she hands it to me and says “Fix it, please”

Having all Apple devices makes it easier to keep them all working and sharing data and apps between devices.

So here are some of my favorite apps.

ForScore

ForScore is an app for managing sheet music. I play the piano for our OES Chapter and my Masonic lodge. I primarily use this app on my iPad Pro. I first started using this on my iPad with the 9″ screen. When Apple announced the iPad Pro with the 12″ screen, I I bought one right away. The old iPad got handed down to one of my sons. I keep a backup on my wife’s iPad mini, just in case.

Evernote

Evernote is an app for storing documents. I use it for storing everything from bills and tax documents to recipes. Recipes storage is particularly handy in the grocery store. My wife will ask me to look up a recipe to see what ingredients are required. I also use a companion app called DayEntry that enters daily notes in diary fashion sorted by date. Evernote has a companion app for Windows PC. Makes it easy to store PDF’s direct from the scanner.

Microsoft Office

Gone are the days of my using Powerpoint, but I still use Word and Excel. Shares nicely with Windows. Click here for Microsoft Office for iOS

Games

First and foremost, I do crosswords. The New York Times has a decent app for the Times crosswords. For other crosswords, I use app called “Crosswords” by Stand Alone, Inc. I can start working a puzzle on iPad and continue on my iPhone.

I use a solitaire app called “Solitaire Deluxe“. It does all of the standard solitiare apps like Canfield, Klondike, etc..

I am fond of doing Sudoku puzzles.  I have several variations. Nothing to write home about here. Here’s my favorite Sudoku game by Boy Howdy.

Grocery Lists

For grocery shopping, I use an app called “Grocery IQ“. It allows me to share our shopping list with multiple devices. I’ve tried other grocery lists apps. This puts the others to shame. It can be customized to set order for all the aisles in the store.

I would usually provide a link, but it seems that Coupons.Com is no longer supporting the app. Not found on iOS app store.

There still is a link for Coupons.com

Banking

Nothing much to write here. All the major banks have apps to access and manage accounts. Functionally they all do pretty much the same things like check balances, make payments, etc.

Social Media

Also not much to write about. All of the social media sites have free apps. Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Entertainment

Lots of stuff here. IMDB is a really useful app for looking up movie information, both historical and current movies in theaters. IMDB stands for Internet Movie Data Base and has been around for a long time, even pre-iPhone. Free.

SeatGeek is a handy app to show you where your seats are for a show or game that you might be going to. Available for PC, iOS and Android. Free.

Sports are covered pretty good on iOS. Major League Baseball has a decent app and NFL does, too. Other sports probably do but I pretty much only follow baseball and football.

That’s enough for today.

Wild Fires

October 27, 2019

Screen of “Wildfire Info” app

This is sort of intended for my East Coast friends. I often get asked whether my wife and I are in harm’s way on any of the wild fires that are rampant out here on the west coast. They for the most part ignorant of California geography. It has been said that the four seasons in California are Fire, Flood, Earthquake and Drought.

So for the most part we are rarely near any of the roaring fires that are active these days, We live in a fairly built up urban area that is not particularly close to the trees and grasses that are fuel for the fires. The only thing that tends to bother us is the smoke generated by the fires.

Here’s a picture that I took on our trip this week from San Pedro to Visalia in Central California.

Gorman CA

As you can see, It’s all brown. The only places that you can see with green grass is typically golf courses that are heavily watered. In the spring time in April much of these hillsides will be green especially after a wet winter.

If you looked at my iPhone you would see a few apps that are particularly appropriate to West Coast going’s on. This stuff is probably more appropriate for West coast folks.

First are the “wildfire” apps. I have them on my iPhone and I believe they are available on Google phones. The other thing is that they are free.

First app is called “Wildfire Info“. Clever name, huh? When you open the app it drops you into a map with little red dots for each active fire. Tapping on the red dot gets you up to date info on the particular fire.

Second one is called “Fires“. Similar info. I found it a bit less useful. But it’s free so try it and see if you like it.

So while I’m talking about apps. I might as well talk about earth quake apps.

Researchers out here are trying to develop apps that can give users about 10 seconds of warning when the big one is about to hit. To that end, the researchers have installed sensors around all of the major fault lines.

Here are the apps that I use (all are free). I know they are available on iPhones and probably on Google-Play. (Click on title to get to the Apple App Store):

Install them all and give them a try.

One more thing. Sometime it takes you a while to get your brain around an earthquake. A couple of years ago there was 7.something about 150 miles northeast of us. Felt some trembling. It takes you a little while to say “Hey, we’re having an earthquake”.

Nissan Rogue

August 22, 2018

So I have had my new Nissan Rogue for about a month now. Time to write about the things I like about the car and the things that are not so great.

2018-07-14 11.44.46

First, here are the things that I really like.

File Aug 22, 1 08 08 PMBlind spot detection. There’s a little light in front of each side view mirror. So when you are driving down the highway, the light comes on when there is a car in your blind spot. One has to get used to checking for the light before you change lanes. You can’t see it very well in the picture. I would need to be moving to get it to light up. That wouldn’t be very safe.

Automatic Seat Adjustment When you start the car up, the driver’s seat moves forward to your preselected spot. When you shut it down, the seat moves all the way back and down. Makes it easier to get in and out. There are two saved seat selections. So Paula can have her selection and I have mine.

Adaptive Cruise Control So I’m cruising down the highway on cruise control. The car detects that you have a car or truck moving slower in front of you. The cruise control detects the car in front of you and eases off on the gas. Pull out to pass and cruise control steps on the gas.

File Aug 22, 1 06 03 PM

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Automatic Unlock Push the black button on the door once, driver’s door unlock’s. Push it again, all doors unlock. All you need is to have the key fob in your pocket or purse. Getting out of the car, push the button, doors lock. There is a corresponding black button on the right front passenger door.

Color I love the color. I was getting really tired of choice of white or black. It seems to me that most cars these days are either black, white or silver. Boring.

2018-08-05 12.13.15Gas Mileage The car is a hybrid. Right now I am getting about 30 mpg. Much better than the Jeep. Not dropping $70 a fill-up at the gas station. It feels a bit weird to have the car shut off at a traffic light. Remember in CA, gas is running at about $3.75 /gallon for regular. It’s also taking a little getting used to having the filler pipe on the right side.

Rear View Camera Put the car in reverse and the rear view camera is turned on. Gives you a nice wide angle view of the space behind you. Has guidelines on the view to give you an idea about the path you will take. Great for getting out of tight spaces.

Here are things that I don’t care for.

Navigation I’d rather use Waze on my iPhone. So I am heading up to Hollywood. The route is to take I-110 north to Rte 101. Then head towards Hollywood. The GPS will warn me to make a left turn in 5 miles on the 110. Well, there is no left turn after 5 miles. What it is really telling me is to stay on the 110 and not take the I-405 exit. Confusing to say the least. So it is telling me to turn left when it really means keep going straight and not take the exit.

One nice thing is that it shows you the lanes you should be in before the turn or exit.

Nissan Connect App The free app is very clunky and not very intuitive on how to use. You can download a destination to the car or remotely unlock or start the car. Nissan gives you the service for free for the first six months, then they charge $8 or $9 a month. It does what it is supposed to do, but a struggle to figure out how to make it happen. Needs work. I doubt if Nissan will do it though. Next winter I will need to decide whether to keep the service.

Control Panel. Hard to see. I can’t make it bright enough. If I wear my sunglasses, the panel is impossible to see. Also, the buttons on the steering wheel are kind of small. Also, hard to see. I suppose eventually I will know them by feel. Muscle memory, etc.

One more thing. Last week my permanent license plates arrived. So I removed the dealer temporary plate and frames with the dealer’s name on it and threw them in the trash. I replaced them with my new Red Sox frames. I don’t feel that I need to give free advertising to the dealer.

 

1 Second Every Day – January 2018

February 1, 2018

Okay, this past month I started using a new app call “1 Second Everyday“. Click here for the pointer in the Apple App Store. And here’s the Android version. I upload 1 or 2 pictures every day and it produces a mashup video displaying each picture for about second. It is sort of a video diary, kinda sorta.

So every day, I push myself to take one or two pictures every day. I took pictures of people we met and places that we went. I took pictures of the baristas at Starbucks. I took picture in the supermarket. I have family pictures including our very cute grand kids.

Sometimes, I have to push myself to take a picture. I try to answer the question, “What did I do today?”.

It feels like monthly is the right size for the video (both in time and file size. Maybe in December I will do a whopper of a lookback.

Here is the video for January 2018. So sit back and enjoy.