Favorite Smartphone Apps – December 2016

Last year, I posted my favorite apps Of course smartphone technology changes everyday. Here are some more favorites.

  • Instagram – I enjoy seeing great photos from friends and great photographers. One of my favs. is “jaw dropping_dropping_shots
  • Prisma – superb artsy photo editing
  • Feedly – all my RSS feeds in one place
  • Capital One – best user interface to control your CO account- and now it works with the Amazon Echo
  • Merlin – Interesting facts and trivia from around the world
  • Google Translate – Invaluable
  • Yahoo News Digest – Delivered twice daily. Great graphics and easily digestible news info
  • Alexa – Controls my Amazon devices (Echo, Dot, Fire TV)
  • Kayak – Easily make airline and hotel reservations
  • Pocket – Last year’s favorite but easily my most used app for saving and reading web site information

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What’s Your Favorite App (2016)

I have 209 apps on my Nexus 6 smartphone but according to my memory stats I only use on average about 35 of these apps daily. So here is a quick list of my 7 favorite apps. I have intentionally skipped apps like email, facebook, maps, photos, calendar etc. because they are in everyone’s daily usage. All these apps run on the iPhone too.

  • Pocket – a fantastic “read later” way of saving important data
  • Feedly – a superb “News Feed” App.
  • Merlin – Daily Esoteric news
  • Moves – a great pedometer
  • Prisma – My absolute favorite photo editing app
  • IMDB – great info on movies and tv shows
  • Flickr – Connecting with my photo buddies around the world

What are your favorite apps?

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Prisma Photo App

WARNING!,  WARNING! Do not load Prisma Photo App if you have an immediate appointment because you’re going to be immediately addicted to this great photo filter editor. This app could not be simpler.

  • Load your photo
  • Choose your filter
  • Adjust the intensity
  • Save
  • Share

Here are is the Prisma App link (runs on IOS and Android) Here are some great results. Learn more at the iPad Users Group Meeting Thursday

tranvia art

prisma street

priisma sm

 

Watching TV in Cuenca 2016

Last year at this time I wrote on article on this subject. So what has changed in a year? There are now 4 main legal streaming boxes:

  • Apple TV – Now in its 4th edition with voice control
  • Roku – Now in its 4th edition also with voice control
  • Amazon Fire TV – Now in its second edition with Alexa voice control
  • Android TV – The Google version with limited apps

There is a 5th alternative and its called KODI . First let me say that I don’t object to the non legal status of KODI since I often purchase bootleg DVD’s in Cuenca. Let me also state that I have limited knowledge of KODI. I do know in Cuenca there are KODI groups and some individuals that will handle the installation and support.  There are some safety concerns using KODI and this article does a good job of explaining it

The following are some paid subscriptions that are available to stream on the above boxes.

  • Netflix – Note the North American version is not longer available
  • Amazon Prime – No available on Apple TV
  • HBO Now
  • STARZ
  • Showtime
  • HULU

There is also DirecTV. 5 years ago I tried the service for 6 months. My experience was that it was expensive $40 + per month was limited in the quality of English programming.

My costs:

  • Puntonet 50 mb fiber optic service $60 per month +
  • Amazon Prime – $8 per month *
  • HBO – $15 per month
  • Strong VPN  $7 per month*

Note: * denotes other uses besides watching TV

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Snapseed – My favorite mobile photo editing app

Pop Quiz CTL subscribers. You take a photo with your smartphone and you need to tune it up. What app do you use?  There are some very easy and powerful apps. My favorite is Snapseed that is available on both Android and IOS.  Snapseed has all the usual tools

  • Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Highlights, Shadows
  • Crop, Rotate, Sharpening,

Snapseed also contains several powerful tools

  • Healing – taking out blemishes and objects
  • Transform – Vertical and horizontal perspective
  • Filters – Changing the mood of your photo

Below are three photos. The first is untouched.  The second is a change in the perspective and the removal of the graffiti. The third is the addition of a mood changing filter.

Run, don’t walk and get your free copy of Snapseed.

untouched

perspective

filter

 

The Complete Lis Of “Ok Google” Commands

I’m a big fan of using “Ok Google” which is a voice activated command to instruct your Android Phone or Table to execute a command. It also works on iPhones and iPads using the Google App.

Last year in August I reviewed some Google Now Commands   On average, I use “OK Google 6 times a day.  Here are some of my typical Google Now Commands in the last day

  • What time is the next NBA Finals Game
  • Show me my last 10 messages
  • Call my wife
  • Create a calendar event
  • How do you say “sometimes” in Spanish
  • How far is it from my house to Cuenca Sunrise Cafe

You can see the complete list of commands here

 

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Are these 5 Apps On Your Smartphone?

I am addicted to my Smartphone. I’m probably on it too much but it’s one tool I really can’t live without. Here are 5 apps I think you should have on your phone. Have any to suggest to the Cuenca Tech Life audience? All the apps below are free.

  • What’s App – Call anywhere in the world without charge . Group messaging and an easy to use interface make this Facebook owned app a must have.
  • Merlin – receive unusual but factual information daily that can improve your knowledge and intellect.
  • Hopper – receive weekly notices of travel bargains. Hopper will tell you whether the fares are going to fluctuate
  • NPR ONE – Live news from my favorite radio station.  I’m tuned in to OPB my local NPR station
  • Walt Disney Crossy – All work and no play make … Modern day Frogger with Mickey Mouse as the Frog.

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