Unique Phone Apps

I owned a iPhone for 3 years in Cuenca and recently sold my iPhone 4s and purchased the Google Nexus 5 which is an Android device. I strive to make this blog Platform agnostic so in all the Apps listed below run on both platforms (Android, IOS )

Below are some unique apps that I use everyday.

  • Pocket Casts – Everyday I spend about 90 minutes listening to news and geek shows (i.e. NBC Nightly News, Fresh Air, Android App Arena)
  • Duolingo – I try and spend 10 minutes a day brushing up on my Spanish vocabulary and phrases. The best part of this program is that you can speak the words into your phone for feedback.
  • Amazon Cloud Drive–  Someone asked me the other day to show them a picture of a cockatoo I owned while liveing in The States. No need to tie up any spance on your phone memory. Amazon Cloud Drives gives you unlimited storage. You do have to have a Amazon Prime Subscription.
  • IMDB – Internet Movie Database is owned by Amazon. Being retired gives me more time to watch TV and Movies. Yesterday, whicle watching a Danish movie I could look up the actor’s other credits on the App.
  • MagicJack– Free North American Phone Number. You need to buy the MJ for incoming calls but you can make unlimited outgoingphone calls using the App on your Smartphone.
  • Moves – How far did you walk last Tuesday, last week, last month. Every step is recorded on the Moves app. For me its vital because I’m 15 years into a Total Hip Replacement and need to limit my walking to less than 25 miles a week.

What are your Unique Apps?



Vendors Of Cuenca Ecuador


I love walking the streets of Cuenca with my HD Camcorder.  I have said many times that Cuenca reminds me of my childhood Brooklyn, New York in the 1950’s.  I especially enjoy the sales pitch of the vendors when they bellow their bargains out in a song.

Today was especially crowded because of the “first communions” in El Centro.  Plenty of traffic and many bus routes had to be diverted. Of course my favorite part of the walk is when I can use my newly acquired Spanish to bargain with the street vendors.


This is repost of August 2012 entry.

Parque Calderon, Cuenca, Ec.


I have been editing videos for many years.  The ratio is often 1:20. Which means you have to shoot 20 minutes of video to get 1 minute of edited video.  I got lucky a couple of weeks ago at Parque Calderon.  The music, the light, the soldiers were all in the right place.  Pay close attention to 7 seconds into the video and 43 seconds into the video.  Very South American and very touching.

Note: This is a repost of a May 2012 post. The music and video is still one of my favorites

Android 5.0

Lollipop Lollipop
Oh Lolli Lolli Lolli
Lollipop Lollipop
Oh Lolli Lolli Lolli
Lollipop Lollipop
Oh Lolli Lolli Lolli
Lollipop *POP*

Consider yourself lucky that you did not hear me sing the song. I installed Lollipop 5.0, the new Android Operating System, for my Nexus 5 Smartphone yesterday. Sometimes operating systems don’t change things much or worse cause major problems with apps. So far Lollipop has been near perfect with only one App out of 168 not working.

Here are some of the benefits I experienced immediately with the new OS

  • Longer battery life – I now last more than a day on a charge
  • Faster loading of Apps
  • Animation and New Fonts make the screen easier to read
  • The control panel is now intuitive like the iPhone
  • Customized notifications

If you own a Nexus device then you should have or will shortly be notified of the new Lollipop download. Go for it- its a lot of fun.



Blogs, Websites & Directories

When I first arrived in Cuenca 3.5 + years ago you could count the number of blogs on one hand and have a finger or two left over. Now there are hundreds. It’s an adventure just to keep up with a couple of them. There are some well done directories. I’ve listed three of the top ones.

Looking at these 3 sites will save you time and introduce you to some new additions.

Zero Lat Living


Xpadorian Blogs


Ecuador Expat Bloggers


Flickr Morning Routine

I use Flickr as my main source of storing photos and videos. I have been a member since 2003 and have developed a social network of friends. I also use Flickr as a source of information on various photography and animal groups.

Each morning I see some of the creative shots my Flickr Friends post. Below is a short video of their work with a few of my photos.