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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The Best Features Of Your Android Phone

The quintessential question among Smartphone Users :”Is the iPhone platform superior to that of the Android system? Having used both platforms I can say I prefer the Android operating system. I find it easier to customize and Android has some features the iPhone is lacking. Below are some of them.

  • Better Battery Stats And More Efficient Battery Saver
  • More information from the home button. – Marshmallow’s Now on Tap tries to solve this issue by offering related information and links, based on its understanding of your texts.
  • Back up unlimited photos using Google Photos – My favorite option
  • Voice search without unlocking your phone
  • Lost your phone – Google it
  • Access your phone on a friend’s phone

A very good article and these hidden features and more at this link

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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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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.

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  •  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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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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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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The Case For A Smartphone In Cuenca

Apple announced two new iPhones on Sept. 10th. Each phone has 1 billion transistors which makes the iPhone more powerful than most 3 year old desktop computers. As I write this post Sharon, my wife, is talking to our 7 year old grandson in San Diego via Facetime (Apple’s easy to use version of Skype) about his favorite apps. She can video chat with him and the best part is that she can also pick up Facetime calls without being at a Wifi Hot Spot.

The price of technology is constantly going down. The price of a new iPhone 5C in the States with a contract is $99. My advice to budget conscious expats is buy a used iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy 4.  You can buy either the unlocked version or phones that are under contract. Phones that are under contract can be “jailbroken” for less than $20 in Cuenca.

Monthly contracts on Claro are about $35 per month. The reception on a iPhone or a Galaxy is much better than your average $50 -$100 LG or Samsung phone.

These are some of the apps I use on a daily basis in Cuenca on my iPhone

  • Kindle App – reading books – automatically updated on my Kindle Paperwhite
  • Google Maps- Directions – walking or showing to a Taxi Driver
  • Moves – records my walking/excercise during the day and reports back in steps/miles/calories
  • Netflix- watch my favorite movie
  • USA Today- keeping up on World News
  • Facebook- Duh
  • Magic Jack – ability to make/receive free calls to anyone in North America
  • Chrome – Google Web Browser
  • Spanish Dict – Translate and dictionary
  • Duolingo – Spanish learning program
  • iPhoto – editing photos
  • Trvl – exploring potential trips to other countries

iPhone or Android iPhone??? – the iPhone is more expensive but in my opinion is worth the extra money because of the App Store that has over 1 billion apps (most of them are free)

Finally, there are great apps and podcasts that you watch on your phone that suggest new apps according to your interests.

 

******Smartphone Smackdown – Smartphone Features Compared *******

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