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


New Smartphone Photography/Video Course

In late July I am going to offer a course on how to take great photos and videos on your smartphone or tablet. The course will offer the following

  • Framing better photos and videos
  • Editing on your smartphone
  • Presenting and Storing your media

I will announce dates, and costs the first week in July. Comment or email me with any questions. Below is a sample of what you can do on your smartphone.

santodomingo iglesia

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?


How Much Time Do You Spend On Your Smartphone?

The answer for me is about 3 hours a day – which translates to about 16% of my day interacting with my Nexus 5. Too much? A minute percentage is talking on the phone. In fact my Claro records say that I average about 120 minutes a month which is about 4 minutes a day.  I use my phone for research, email, photos, podcasts, movies, reading. I’m never bored and I feel that the phone is an aid rather than a dependent.

NPR has a brilliant story – Bored… And Brilliant? A Challenge to Disconnect From Your Phone.

I encourage everyone to listen. And lets start a dialog.




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.

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?

IOS 8 Part One

Today I downloaded IOS 8 to my iPad Mini 2. Here are some caveats. Even though the download is slightly over 1 gb.

  • You need 5.9 gb free for the initial download
  • It’s a long process. Almost 2 hours
  • The iPhone 4S may not operate properly. Ars Technica
  • You can download via Itunes

Here is a link for the top IOS 8 features

As always I appreciate your feedback and experience with the new IOS




Got 3 Minutes?

We can all agree that Apple creates fantastic videos. The video below is the entire 2 hour 2014 Keynote that introduced the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch. The first 3 minute  is a fantastic use of perspective. Without any dialog Apple said volumes of commentary on our world of technology. Of course you can watch the entire keynote but for me the first 3 minutes were the best.


Apple Fanboy Alert!

September 9, 2014 has two meanings for me. The most important is that I get to celebrate my 21st Wedding Anniversary with my best friend. The other event is what every Apple Fanboy has been waiting for and that is the announcement of the iPhone 6.

A lot will be riding on this announcement.  In my opinion the iPhone 6 will be the first product completely under the reins of the Tim Cook, the Apple CEO.  This will either end the speculation that Apple could not produce a quality product or establish his credibility as Steve Job’s rightful heir apparent. I think the iPhone 6 will be a magnificent product.

Here are my predictions.

  •  A no brainer- A bigger screen. The rumor mill ave both a 4.7 inch and a 5.5 inch phablet coming tomorrow.
  • At least one of the models will have a sapphire screen. Making the glass indestructible
  • Amazing new camera – probably 13 megapixel
  • The iPhone will be your wallet with a ubiquitous  payment app
  • The new iPhone will be more expensive.

You can watch the streaming  keynote tomorrow in Ecuador on The Verge at 10::00 am pacific time. or like me you can wait until it appears later in the day on Apple TV under “Apple Keynotes”.

I’ll look forward to watching the amazing new technology but I happily just purchased a Nexus 5 smartphone for $349 contract free.




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.***