My Favorite Android Apps 2015

These Apps also run on iPads and iPhones.

Here are my top five apps

  • Pocket:  Previously known as Read It Later, is an application and service for managing a reading list of articles from the Internet. It runs on my Android Phone, iPad Mini and Macbook Pro. I now subscribe to the Pro Version and can search from a list that has 2 years worth of entries


  • Google Photos – Do you want an easy 1-2-3 photo editing program as well as unlimited storage and the ability to create movies and stories from your photos – then run don’t walk and download the app


  • WhatsApp – Facebook acquired this super texting and VOIP program. You can send free texts to individuals or groups all around the world. A skype type video conferencing will be introduced within the next year


  • Moves – A great app to record your steps, walking, cycling etc. You also get a map of your travels and you can save and share in miles or kilometers.


  • PocketCasts: Live in Ecuador but want to listen to Terry Gross on NPR- No problem with the Pocketcasts App. You can stream or download your favorite Podcast or TV Show and automatically have them queued for playback



App Of The Month (November 2015)

This was a tough call. Here were all the apps in contention:

  • Amazon Music
  • Feedly
  • Yahoo News Digest
  • What’s Ap
  • Pocketcasts
  • Pocket

Drum Roll Please. And the winner again is Pocket. Simply stated Pocket saves your favorite web sites and app picks to a cross platform database. I pick up Pocket favorites on my phone, ipad and computer or anybody elses computer if I sign in to my Pocket account.

I did a video screencast in May on Pocket

Pocket is even better because everyday they send you sites via email that you might be interested in saving and they also supply these recommendations on their app. Run, don’t walk and get Pocket



Google Photos App Part One

The Google Photos App just received a major upgrade. The App runs on both Android and IOS. The Android version is extremely easy to use and after taking a picture there are6 steps to edit.

  • Crop including an angle version
  • Auto Adjust
  • Light Adjustment
  • Color
  • Pop
  • Vignette

You can use all, some or none of the edits. After the edit you can save the photo and then share to popular sites like

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Email

Or you share the photo to another editing app. Below is a a movie of a collection of Google Photos Edited samples


What Is Your Digital Brand?

A Canadian friend tried to find me on the Internet after a 25 year hiatus. He did a google search on my name and the first result was my account.


My guess is that the readers of this website have at least 4 or five digital brands. The following are some common ones.

  • email
  • Blog/Website
  • Facebook
  • Skype
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Instagram
  • Youtube

It is even more important to have several digital brands if like me you move away from your country of origin. Even if you are not a techy or geek you can establish more digital brands. The following link is a superb method for the novice user of technology to create more digital brands. My next one is a mobile app.

77 Tools To Build A Website Or App Without Code


You need more than one digital brand if

  • Past friends, family students are searching for you
  • To establish a business
  • To reach other people
  • To establish yourself as an expert

Hound – Say It, Get It

Move over “Siri”, “Ok Google”, there’s a new sheriff in town and the name is “Hound”, from the folks who bring you Sound Hound, the song identifying app.

“Hound” only runs on Android right now so my IOS friends will have to be patient. It’s also in Beta so you have to wait for an invite. But, the wait is worth it. I’m a big fan of voice command/recognition software. I would rather  say something  then type it on a small keyboard. In my preliminary testing “Hound”was better than Siri and OK Google.  Here were some of the voice commands I gave “Hound” during my testing.

  • How many Colombian pesos in a dollar
  • Show me the best and closest Chinese Restaurants to my location
  • Start a 3 minute timer.
  • How long of a drive from Portland to Medford Oregon
  • What is the physical address of my friend Kevin

Hound shined in all the tests.  To see a video and sign up for the invite of hound click here




App Of The Month – Yahoo News Digest

I did a brief review of Yahoo Digest last year

Yahoo News Digest is my go to news source. I automatically receive updates at 8:00 am and 6:00 pm. The Digest is delivered in 9 easily digestible news categories i.e. (U.S., World, Sports, Technology etc). The real value for me is that if I want to explore the topic further Yahoo New Digest supplies and easy to use infrastructure. For example the devastating earthquake in Nepal had the following extra features for me.

yahoo news digest

  •  Quick fact- 6,204+ dead, 13,924 + injured
  •  Videos -Nepal Prime Minister and rescue attempts by the Nepalese Army
  •  Nepal – Government and Geography – Nepal is the 93rd largest country and the 41st most populous
  •  Nepal Maps
  • Relevant Tweets

Yahoo News Digest is available for both  IOS and Android. One of my top 5 apps for my phone.




Find My Phone (please)

Both Apple and Android have systems in place to find your phone if lost and stolen.

With Apple you can use the “Find My Phone” app and by logging into your icloud account you can pretty accurately find your IOS device. Google has made it easier by allowing you with your browser to type into a Google Search Bar- “Find My Phone”. It worked perfectly and with both devices you can ring the device, lock the device or erase the data.

I used it the other day when I was certain my phone was in the house and I had the app ring my phone eventually finding it in the sun room inside my jacket pocket. FWIW, the location finder on the Android device was more accurate than finding my iPad. In any case make sure you have access to the app or the google search bar