Tag Archives: Apps

Your Guide to Instagram Carousel

In the latest update to Instagram, users are now finally able to upload multiple photos and or videos (up to ten) into one post, this is called carousel.  Let’s look at the good.  Not only can this help streamline your timeline of annoying friends, who like to flood your timeline and bombard you with post after post, it also gives you a solid view that will consolidate those multi posts.  However, this adds yet another gesture into Instagram’s once simple mobile application.
Screenshot of the new carousel feature in Instagram.
When clicking the plus sign now, you simply click the “Select Multiple” option and grab all of the media you want. Simple, concise and easy.  How can you add this into your Instagram workflow?  Here’s a few scenarios that pass: going on a trip and you’ve captured the best photos of “insert museum here”, you’ve went to a sporting event the list goes on.  Here is how the carousel should NOT be used: “I’ve taken 4 shots of this thing and I don’t know which one is best….. “
No, please don’t.  This will make your followers hate you probably more than they already do.
TLDR: Instagram’s new carousel is a value add than can easily be killed by those who trash it and exemplified by those that use it in a more artistic manner.

Why automation makes life easier

Let’s face it, we carry super computers in our pockets.  Alright, not really, but although our smartphone companions are not super computers, they are still pretty darn smart and with that comes device and app automation that can drastically improve and simplify your life.  An app that I personally love is IFTTT (If This Then That), which brings a beautiful interface with jaw-dropping applets (recipes) that you put together according to your needs.
IFTTT for iOS (Android interface is similar).
Need to know when you make it to the gym?  Turn on location services and add a quick note to your calendar whenever this happens.  Want the lights in your home to turn on when you pull into the garage?  There’s a applet for that.  Auto photo upload, auto WordPress posting, auto tweeting — you dream it (additionally you have certain accounts that can be linked together so that they can talk to each other) and IFTTT can make it happen.  Although from my screenshot you may assume that this glorious app is available on iOS only (you know what happens when you assume, right?)  — wrong it’s multi-platform available on iOS and Android — with a web interface!

Additionally, IFTTT isn’t the only player in this game, Microsoft recently introduced Flow, which has a unique spin on task automation itself.  And for those that are looking to get extremely granular on Android, there is one app called Tasker which essentially can do it all.  (Note: I advise only experienced users to play with this app).
Bottom line:  Everything is easier when magic “just happens” in the background for you, give IFTTT and other platforms a try!

My favorite productivity apps 2016!

Why do we have computers in our pockets if we cannot increase our productivity?  I am all for having a fun game or two, but if your device is just sitting in your pocket collecting dust — then perhaps you should switch back to a feature-phone, eh?
Whether you use Android or iOS, the big players in the productivity app arena are the same and here I will highlight the best cross-platform apps for you to choose from!

  1. EverNote.  This utility of all utilities is probably the best swiss army knife of note taking applications there is on the market today.  With the ability to clip from websites, send notes via email or phone, adding voice to notes, advanced collaboration features — this one app simply has and does it all!  See the power here –> 
  2. TickTick.  Need a to do list application?  This is for you.  Google sign in, sync accross multiple devices, web interface and multiple lists that you can track — need I say more? 
  3. Buffer.  Have multiple social media accounts that you want to manage and manipulate at one centralized location?  Buffer has the tools to allow you to do that.  In addition, you can track the success of what you share and schedule when your posts go out!  Nothing short of excellent. 
  4. LastPass.  Password managers are abundant nowadays, but with password generation built in and over the top security being used to secure your credentials, look no further.  The iOS app even allows for unlocking the password vault with TouchID to ensure the most security on your device. 
  5. BetterNet.  What is BetterNet?  It is a cross-platform VPN client that will secure your data as it’s transferred over the internet.  More important is that you secure yourself when you are on a network that you are not familiar with (ie. Starbucks Wifi, Airport Wifi, etc) as these are breeding grounds for attack.  Some believe that VPN does not work and does not conceal you data, tell the non-believers that they are 100% wrong not even ISPs can tell what you are sending because it is through a secure tunnel.  (end points does not equal packets)  Want to know why you should have and utilize VPN? 

These top productivity tools are sure to brighten your technological day!  All of these have equal iOS, Android and Chrome counterparts!!

Go forth and be productive!!

OnLive is NOT Right; Proves tablets are NOT laptop-killers

Microsoft has finally decided to put it’s corporate foot down with OnLive.  This app gives iPad and Android tablets the ability to access a virtual Windows 7 desktop that has access to the Microsoft Office suite and a fully functional browser.  The Redmond company has expressed that this service is NOT properly licensed and it would be unfair to let OnLive continue down this path when there are other companies who virtualize Windows but actually pay for the copies.

This is certainly the right approach that Microsoft is taking and many might wonder what took them so long.  Many Microsoft fans are definitely opposed to this because Apple would cringe if OSX was ever to run virtually on any device without an aluminum case.

Read more HERE

Bottom line:  OnLive, putting a virtual Windows operating system on tablets is a great idea; however, if you want to do so pay licensing fees like everyone else.  On the other hand, if these tablets are so powerful and potential “laptop-killers” shouldn’t they be able to provide the appropriate functionality out of the box?

Want Android on your PC? — AirDroid app connects you

Have you ever been in the middle of an enthralling text message conversation when you got the dreaded battery low indication?  Ever needed to transfer files but did not feel like dealing with messy cables?  Sometimes you need to use your phone; but it may be an inopportune time or place.  AirDroid is the answer that you have been looking for!

This app found HERE provides you with a direct connection to your android device via you browser.  From this convenient window you can send and receive text messages, manage photos and contacts, and even transfer files with no wires.  The app works like a charm, the user only needs to follow these simple steps:

  1. Run the application, from there your device will display a web address that will give you access to your device
  2. Enter either the default password or one that you can set
  3. Go to the address on your computer to achieve full access to your device over your network

Bottom line:  This is an excellent app that any committed Android user would love — especially useful for those in office settings that do not need to have their devices glued to their hands at all times.  However, it would be even better if you could send and receive email via the app is well; maybe in a later version.