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.

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Send Directions To Your Android Phone

Directions to a new location just got easier and cooler. Now you can open Google. com type your address and click on send directions to your phone. Open Google Maps on your phone and voila it automatically appears.

You can then choose car or walking as the options to arrive with the approximate time to your location.

The Verge Website gives detailed instructions

You_can_now_send_directions_and_notes_to_your_phone_via_Google_search___The_Verge

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?

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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.

 

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What Electronics Should You Bring To Ecuador ( Part 6 )

It’s now a year since I wrote Part 5 and my wife and I have lived in Ecuador for 3.5 years.  This post is largely subjective based on my usage and mistakes in Cuenca.

This advice is meant for those on a limited budget and not bringing a container to Ecuador. I am going to start with the most important device and work by way down to the small items that you can’t find or that are expensive in Ecuador.

Smartphone: Invest in an unlocked Nexus 6 or iPhone 6+. These are relatively large phones sometimes called Phablets but they will be your best techonology friend in Ecuador. I also suggest you buy a data plan. In Cuneca I pay $32 a month for minutes and data and never run out of either one.  Below are some uses other than voice and texting.

  • Maps and directions
  • Photo and video ( I haven’t used my expensive Canon in 4 months)
  • Easy Taxi – requesting taxis at night and in bad weather
  • Learning Spanish (Translate, SpanishDict, Duolingo)
  • Music listening ( Amazon complete music library)
  • Netflix (watching movies)
  • Playing Bridge

Tablet: I have the iPad Mini w/ retina screen but I can highly recommend the Nexus 7. I recommend the larger tablets ( The iPad Air is an excellent choice) if you are not going to bring your computer.  I’m sticking to my recommendation of not bringing a computer if you don’t need it for business or serious photo/video editing. A large tablet with a bluetooth keyboard will be powerful and very portable.

Streaming Boxes: These hockey puck  devices will be your night time companions if you enjoy watching movies and TV series. You can’t go wrong with the ones below:

  • Apple TV
  • Roku 3
  • Amazon Fire TV

Basically you can watch TV series and movies with these devices connected to your TV. They also have the added advantage of wirelessly connecting some of your devices ( computer, iphone tablet ) wirellessly to your TV. Important note ***. To fully utilize these services you need to purchase a VPN (virtual private network) Router. I use the Sabai Cisco router because of the excellent technical support. I go to great lengths to describe the challenges of watching TV/Movies in Ecuador. I recommend using the search facility on this blog and typing in “VPN” and you will see several posts with recommendations.

Google just came out with their own streaming box called Nexus Player but I haven’t seen enough reviews to recommend buying that device.

Miscellaneous recommendations:

  • Netflix subscription- $9 per month – Invaluable
  • Amazon Prime subscription $8.25 per month – (Music, Movies, Books, Unlimited Photo Storage(
  • Bluetooth keyboard for your tablet or smarthone
  • Thumb drives (32 gb) for transferring information or bring data to be printed
  • VPN subscription  – I use Strong VPN and it’s about $8 a month
  • Skype subscription – Free Video Calls to other Skype users.
  • MagicJack – Practically free phone calls to any cell or landline in the U.S.

Some of the subscribers of this blog have great success with Ooma. It’s  worth a look for cheap and dependable calls back to the U.S.

Again this are my recommendations based on my experience. I haven’t used my DVD player in 2 months and my camera in 4 months.  Save the room in your suitcases for good sheets and towels  🙂

 

streaming_media_boxes_-_Google_Search Phablet_-_Google_Search ipad_-_Google_Search

How Far Do You Walk In A Week?

For me the answer this week is 27.3 miles. The reason I know how many steps I take each day is the free app on my Nexus 5 phone called “Moves”(also available on the iPhone). Moves gives me the time, number of steps, miles(or km) and a map of my walk. It  even tells me when I set a new record. It tallies each day. For the past 6 months I have been averaging 24 miles a month so this month was higher than my average.

Moves also connects seamlessly with other fitness apps. You can also share your results with social networks and email. Run, don’t walk and get the “Moves” App.

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What’s Your Favorite App?

I consider myself to be Platform Agnostic. I own a Nexus 5 phone, and a iPad Mini. I use these two device approximately 6 hours a day. Here are 2  apps that run on both platforms and make my day a lot more productive.

Flickr:

You can store over 1/2 million photos free and immediately recall photos from your own albums or from the entire Flickr collection of 2 billion photos. Below is a favorite rose shot from 2005

rose

Pocket:

Did you ever find an interesting web site and wanted to save it for offline reading. After acquiring a free pocket account the user just needs to click on the “share button” on their favorite browser. Below are some examples of some saved web sites using Pocket.

15431515789_c3a600c391_k (1)

 

You can find the iPad/iPhone App at the App Store and the Android apps on the Google Play Store

 

What are your favorite apps?