New Year 2017 – Things That Will Disappear

Feliz Año Nuevo a todos. Last year I wrote a post about disappearing technology. In this post I would like to expand on this theme with some more observations.

  • I don’t use any CD’s anymore – My data backups are totally in the cloud
  • Last year I purchased approximately 20 DVD’s. This year it will be half as much since most of my movie watching is Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime.
  • Last year I had 5 remotes for TV and streaming video box watching and now I have none because of the Harmony Hub
  • Last year I used my iPad every day and now I sold it and primarily use my Google Nexus Smartphone
  • Finally I used to use my smartphone and computer for all my searches and now 50% of the searches and all of my music playing are accomplished using Echo, my smart speaker and the Alexa App.

What is disappearing in your life?

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Some Changes Coming To Cuenca Tech Life 2017

It’s with some sadness that I am ending my participation in the Cuenca iPad Users Group that I started more than 5 years ago. I just sold my iPad Mini. I am now vested in the Android Nexus Google Phone, The Echo and Dot smart speakers and the Amazon Fire 8 Tablet.

This forum will continue to be platform agnostic but my involvement with the iPad sadly will end.

I will also not be teaching any courses. My involvement in my new Salmon business is more than I planned. All these changes are positive and I look forward to your feedback.

I will also be doing a monthly recommendation on new businesses in the Cuenca area. As always I welcome your suggestions.

Happy New Year to the CuencaTechlife subscribers and readers.

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January Smartphone Photo And Video Course

Are you satisfied with the photos and videos on your smartphone or tablet? Join 5 other enlightened Cuenca students on 1/25/16 and learn the following

  • Become better acquainted with your equipment
  • Learn how to better frame your photos.
  • Practice basic editing techniques
  • Shoot and edit basic video
  • Gain understanding of different presentation methods
  • Create and share  your presentation in class
  • Acquire info to store your presentations safely in the Cloud

When: Jan. 25, 2016

Where: Los Alamos 3-66 y 3 de Noviembre

Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Cost: $40

Course limited to 6 students

You will need a fully charged smart phone or Table for this course. Your equipment must be running the latest or near the latest operating system.

  • iPhone, iPad – IOS 8 or better
  • Android – Lollipop or Marshmallow

More info: graygeek@gmail.com /099 122 1238

tarqui

 

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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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Tablet, Phablet, Smartphone 2015

Last year at this time I wrote an extensive post on this topic. As expected there are big changes. Prices have dropped.

  • Nexus 6 smartphone $349
  • Amazon 7 ” Fire Tablet  – $50

More importantly apps have become more productive and entertaining.

  • Amazon Photo – Unlimited photo and video storage
  • Amazon Music – Tens of  thousands of popular songs
  • HBO Now – Latest series and movies
  • Medium –  A new publishing forum from the creators of Twitter
  • What’s App – Free texting and phone calls
  • Pocket Casts – Listen to public radio and podcasts all over the world
  • OK Google / Siri – Search assistants to explore the web
  • 4K Video – Broadcast quality movies

Summary:

The smartphone has now become your computer, camera and messaging appliance that fits in your pocket or purse.

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These And That Oct. 2015

This time of year is the rollout of the new operating systems for the new IOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod) and the new Google Android Operating System for the smartphones and tablets.

  • The new IOS is simpley called IOS 9
  • Android’s new OS is called Marshmellow

Tomorrow, at the iPad Users Group Meeting  I will be demonstrating tips and tricks of IOS 9.

Here are two great tip links on the two operating systems

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What’s Your Favorite App (2015)

Last year at this time I wrote a post on my favorite apps and they were:

  • Flickr
  • Pocketcasts

This year Flickr and Pocketcasts still remain my favorite apps but I also use on a daily basis the following apps. All are available in both the Android and IOS platforms.

  • Yahoo News Digest  daily news stories – updated twice a day.
  • Medium – Published stories in tech, art and education from around the world
  • OK Google.  The ability to search with your voice using the Google search enine
  • Pocket  an application and service for managing a reading list of articles from the Internet

What are your favorite apps?

 

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Hey Siri

Raise your hand if you use Siri on your IOS device (iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple Watch) I see lots of hands raised 🙂 If you have an hour to spare you can watch the very popular and informative “IOS Today” video podcast.  They devote the whole episode to Siri Tips.

A word of caution Leo Laporte the cohost and founder of The Twit Network is quite loquacious. The tips start at 9:00 into the podcast.  Enjoy.

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Siri vs.Ok Google vs.Cortana

Cortana the new voice assistant for Microsoft smartphones is now available on Android phones and will be available for IOS devices later this year. In Feb. of this year I compared Siri with Google Now

Although Cortana gets high marks on Windows phones, the interface is still in Beta on my Nexus and it was slow and not as accurate as Siri or OK Google. Here are my new findings:

  • Different Voices – Siri is the winner
  • Immediate  Voice Activation – OK Google
  • Sense of Humor – Siri for sure –
  • Faster and more accurate findings – Google Now

You can see a good video on he 3 voice assistants here

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Podcasts – Learning And Entertainment

I’ve never liked the term Podcasts or Blog. Both terms produce confused looks. I would say it’s an audio or video file that you can listen on your favorite mobile device (i.e. smartphone, iPad). But podcast is the accepted term so I will use it throughout the article.

Listening to podcasts are a significant part of my day both for entertainment and learning. I use a paid app called “Pocket Casts” that runs on my Android smartphone but it’s also available for the iPhone and iPad.  Everyday I listen to the following podcasts

  • Marketplace – Business
  • Marketplace Tech – Duh
  • Fresh Air – Terry Gross – Interviews with world personalities
  • Ted Radio Hour – Talks by Interesting people on business and tech

The following podcasts are on once a week and are mostly to keep on my tech knowledge.

  • iPad Today
  • Android App Addicts
  • The Podcast Report

What are your favorite podcasts?

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