Pocket – App Of The Month

App Of The Month is a new feature to CTL.  Pocket, this month’s app is one that I use everyday.  Pocket is an app and web extension that runs on Android, IOS and Chrome. Pocket saves web pages and articles for later retrieval using another device.

For example, I can save the webpage below to Pocket by simply clicking on the Pocket Chrome Extender that I installed on my Chrome Browser.


I can now use my iPad or Nexus 5 to retrieve that article even if I am not connected to the Internet. Below is how the article is saved to Pocket on my Nexus 5


There is a great LifeHacker article on how to better use Pocket here


Apps To Make Your Life Easier

I guess there was a life before iPhones, iPads and Android but I can’t seem to remember it :-). All the apps that are reported here work on both the IOS and Android platform.

I am probably on my Nexus (smartphone) and iPad 2-3 hours a day. Some of the apps are repeated each day. For example:

  • Moves – A pedometer and maps of my walking and bus routes
  • Magic Jack- I can call back to my friends and family anywhere in Ecuador
  • Evernote- Taking notes and reminders
  • Flipboard – Personalized news
  • Pocket Cast – Listening to NPR and other news stories

Other apps I use for customized purposes. For example:

  • Bridge Base – Playing Dupiicate Bridge with partners around the world
  • Netflix – Viewing Movies and TV programs
  • Easy Taxi- calling a taxi on a rainy day
  • Weather Timeline – finding the weather for a future travel.
  • DuoLingo  – Language Tutorials – I use this to practice my Spanish

The TedBlog Website has a fantastic post on

25+ apps to make your everyday life easier

What are your favorite apps?


Why I Use My Smartphone More Than My Computer

The other day I was clearing the daily Smartphone apps in memory and I noticed that I had used 23 for that day. Here are some of the more interesting ones:

  • Kindle – presently reading “Target Churchill”
  • Moves – my personal pedometer
  • Amazon Cloud Drive – All my photos uploaded automatically
  • Duolingo – My Spanish learning course
  • Easy Taxi – Request a taxi any
  • GPS Test – Automatically tells me the elevation
  • PocketCasts- Listen to TV and Radio anywhere
  • Bridgebase- Play bridge with anyone instantly

I guess my favorite is “Google Now” App where I can verbally ask for anything like directions, conversions, facts etc. I also find myself dictating my emails which has a 95% accuracy rate on my phone.

Personally I find it easier to carry my computer in my pocket. This TED BLOG Link gives 25 apps that make your life easier



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.


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



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.

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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?

Five Apps That Make Me More Productive

I can’t imagine how unproductive I would be without these apps below which run on both the Android and Apple platforms.

I always have my smartphone with me and most of the time I have my iPad. I read, write, email, record (photos, video), communicate, research and play card games with these devices.  Right now I have more information on my smartphone than President Clinton had in the White House in 1997.

Here are the five apps I have already used today.

  • Amazon Music – I have tens of thousands of free songs available to me
  • Pocket- While waiting in the hospital I was able to read web sites I had saved.
  • Moves- records my steps, calaories and routes
  • Pocket Casts – listened to the latest recordings of “Fresh Air” and “Marketplace”
  • Duolingo – Made progress on my Spanish during the wait time at the hospital

Find more free and useful apps at the TED BLOG




What Will $1.32 A Day Buy You In Ecuador?

A Nexus 5 Smartphone and a monthly Data Plan from Claro. Let’s do the numbers. My plan costs me about $30 a month. I amortized the phone($350) for 3 years and got the $0.32 cents a day.The Data Plan is the same amount for the iPhone.  Doesn’t seem like a lot of money for all the advantages of a smartphone.

I am presently recovering from Eye Surgery (Vitrectomy and Cataract) and have to spend 12 hours prone. I didn’t realize all the advantages of a Smartphone until I had the time to explore them.

I’ll list the obvious ones first:

  • Better reception when talking and listening to phone calls
  • GPS location for maps, walking and directions
  • Texting with photos and videos
  • Constant contact with email
  • Free long distance phone calls
  • Superb camera for photos and video
  • Translation apps for words and pictures

Here are some of the extra and esoteric advantages

  • Listening to your music collection collections from Amazon, iTunes, Pandora
  • Watching Videos from all over the world including YouTube, Vimeo and Podcasts
  • Playing Contract Bridge worldwide
  • Editing Photos and Videos
  • Voice Recorder for personal thoughts and interviewing
  • Listening to any worldwide radio station
  • Studying Spanish
  • Office Applications (word, excel, powerpoint)
  • Reading any online newspaper
  • Playing trivia with anyone in the world (Quizup)
  • Exchanging files with just a touch of the phone
  • Purchasing items without cash
  • Projecting on your Smartphone wirelessly to a Big Screen TV

Feel free to add your own favorite app in the comments.

***Prices quoted for the Nexus 5 is for the 16GB version purchased in the U.S.***





Instapaper Daily

I’m a big fan of InstaPaper.  I use it mostly on my iPhone an iPad but is also available for your computer and android device. Simply stated you can click on a web or app article and read it later when you’re offline (not connected to the Internet)

Instapaper Daily is the best saved article(according to the editors). It is nicely arranged with tabs (All, Business, Health, Technology etc) to aid you in finding the article you are most interested in.  A must have web site.