Tag Archives: Apps

Come here kitty – I won’t hurt you!

I is a college gradduat3! Any my grammmer is really top natch!

I have always loved to write. Writing became easier after 10th-grade high school typing class. Note to Millenials: typing was performed on a machine called a typewriter that directly put letters and numbers on paper. For more information ask your parents.

The problem with writing, and then sharing it with others, is grammar. Grammar is knowing where to put the commas, correct spelling, dangling participles, split infinitives and much more.

Also the proper use of words like, “I should have gone to the store” rather than “I should have went to the store.”

There are automated spelling and grammar checkers built into the operating systems of computer software like Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s IOS. And, of course, word processing software comes with built-in checkers.

A new grammar checking software for iPhones, iPads and Mac’s is Grammarly. It is a keyboard add-in that checks spelling, grammar and even makes text suggestions as you merrily type along on your on-screen keyboard, or your attached keyboard (if you know the trick).

Grammarly is available in two versions – FREE (Seniors, the primary readers of this blog, always like FREE stuff) and paid. The paid version comes with more features.

The Grammarly app can also check an entire block of text and make suggestions for grammar, spelling and sentence structure.

Check Grammarly out in Apple’s app store:

Seniors: Meet Libby, your new best reading friend!

Libby digital library app for mobile devices

A couple of days ago I posted a blog page that said photography was one of my favorite hobbies. My second favorite (there are many more favorite hobbies) is reading. And for seniors, there is no better way to read than Libby.

Libby is a free software app that works on Apple and Android mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) so that you can “borrow” books to read or to listen to them. Libby is the second generation app from developer OverDrive to support digital reading from public libraries.

Of course, we all know that reading books (or listening to them) is great for seniors. It keeps us sharp, active, knowledgeable, and more. Regardless if you purchase them from your local bookstore, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble – books are expensive.

Seniors who love to read (some read two or three books a week) and live on a fixed income have difficulty in justifying purchasing books.

Sure, you can walk, take an Uber, bus, or drive to your local library to borrow a book or sit and read but why? Paper books look and smell great. But if you are a tree hugger books are made of paper and paper is made from trees. Printing inks, binding glue, and delivery of books to stores by trucks all cause a carbon footprint.

The Libby app has similar reading tools like Barnes & Noble Nook and Amazon’s Kindle reading apps. Bookmarks, type font changes, themes, lookups, highlighting, search, and page location syncs between devices are all supported.

Check with your local public library and see if they do offer digital reading and audiobooks. If they do download the Libby app from the Apple or Android app store, enter your library card number and get reading!

Say Hello To A Good Buy! Local and National TV for Just Twenty Cents a Day.

TV for Twenty Cents a day!

You might be familiar with the concept of “The Third Wave” as applied to marketing or economics. The first “wave” introduces the concept. The second “wave” is the new and improved concept. The third “wave” is the one that finally gets “it” (whatever “it” is) right.

The “First Wave”:

Introduced in the early 1950’s TV was an immediate success. The good news is that over-the-air programming was free. The bad news is it required an expensive (at that time) TV set and big and ugly antenna on your roof – or “rabbit ears” and tin foil in your living room.

The “Second Wave”:

Of course, viewers couldn’t be satisfied with only three networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC). In the late sixties and early seventies, cable TV and Satellite systems brought us over a hundred different channels to watch – at a price. The average price for cable and satellite soon zoomed upwards to around $50 a month. This was during the days of hard-wired telephone “land lines” and “dial-up” internet.

The “Third Wave”:

Today, with high-speed internet service, WiFi, digital televisions, and mobile devices it became possible, practical and affordable to use the internet for your TV viewing. The phrase “cut the cord” became the rallying cry.

Television for Twenty Cents a Day:

If you own an Apple TV or Roku streaming box and can live with just one local station and national network you can use the CBS All Access app to watch live TV on your flat panel TV for only $5.99 a month (twenty cents a day). You can also view limited programming on other apps included with Apple TV or Roku. You can also watch CBS All Access live TV on your smartphone or tablet at home or on-the-go.

The “Land Rush”:

Cable TV and Satellite are “dead” technologies. Aging dinosaurs like buggy whips. There are almost a dozen new internet streaming television services from DirecTV NOW, Hulu, Sling, Spectrum, and others that require no hardware tuning boxes. Some even provide DVR in “the cloud.” Some of these services even include a FREE new Apple TV or Roku if you pre-pay for a few months of service.

My Mom:

A few years ago my mother lived in a senior citizens apartment on a fixed income. To watch television on her 24″ Zenith Early American console TV, she had to pay $49.95 per month to the cable company (after also paying to rent the “tuner box,” the sign-up cost, and the installation charges.) Mom would have been happy paying $5.99 per month and only getting CBS – local and national. Sigh…

APPS: What’s on my iPhone/iPad right now.

Favorite IOS Apps
Favorite IOS Apps

A lot of my friends – and a lot of you readers – have asked me what apps do you recommend?  As an Apple “fan-boy” since 1978 I’ve used hundreds of apps on every Apple device imaginable. Over the years my long list of devices have included the Apple ][, Apple ///, Apple Lisa, Apple Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

Quite frankly there is no such thing as the perfect app.  Every app developer thinks their app is the best.  Few are.  Even great ones like Numerous for the iPhone/iPad which had over 150,000 active users recently died an untimely death due to a lack of customer funding.  The history of computer apps (from an earlier term: applications) is littered with a few standouts and thousands of little purchased and little used want-to-be’s.

To give you an idea how big the market for apps is, consider that Apple has over 1,500,000 apps available for the iPhone, iPad, and the iPod Touch. There are more than 15,000 apps available for the Apple Watch. In less than a year the Apple TV 4 has grown from 40 apps to over 5,000. Apps range in price from free to a thousand dollars or more! The average price for an IOS app for consumer use is $1.99. I’ve never understood how a person who spends hundreds of dollars on a new iPhone or iPad complains about the cost of an app that costs only a couple-of-bucks and has a lifetime of free upgrades.

I’ve compiled a list of my all-time top ten favorite apps for your consideration. Each app I use almost daily and each provides a good mix of features, performance and reliability. Note that some are free, some require a monthly or annual subscription, and a couple are reasonably priced. The list is in no particular order.

All of these apps work on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches. Some also work on the Apple Watch, Apple TV and the Apple Mac.

Check out my Top Ten Favorite Apps by clicking here:  Tom’s Favorite Apps

You will be taken to my app page where you can read a brief overview of each App and then click on a link to open the app in the Apple App Store.

Enjoy! Comments and questions are always welcome. Tech support is available from each developers web site.

“Say Hello To A Good Buy!” Definitely My Journal of Choice: DAY ONE Journal 2

  

I have well over 150 apps on my iPhone and iPad. Although, you may ask, how many do I really use? The answer: about a dozen. I’ve been using apps on Apple IOS devices for about eight years. I consider myself a software explorer and I’ve tried hundreds of different apps – some with the same purpose. For example, to find a solution for the best word processing app on my mobile devices, I’ve tried Apple Pages, Microsoft Word, and Google Docs. After more than a few attempts to find the perfect word processing app (by the way, there is no such thing), I’ve found the one that is “perfect” for me.

Over my lifetime of computing (since 1978), I’ve tried to find the perfect journaling software application for both “regular” computers (Mac and PC’s – desktops and laptops) and “mobile” communicators (IOS, Droid, and other smartphones and tablets). I love to record day-to-day events, as well as life, and, of course, traveling experiences. Although my diary (i.e., journal) contains my personal thoughts and pictures, I’m not too worried about security; yet I still employ a simple security system.

Here is what I look for in a journaling software application:

 1. The same basic software features in both versions (traditional computer and mobile computer)

 2. A graphical look and feel to the user interface, as well as what I can record and save on the application. I’m a visual person. I love photos, videos, and a certain look and style to my stuff.

 3. Easy, nearly automatic, journaling. “Click” a button, add some words and photos, save, share, back-up, done.

 4. Security that is safe and reliable, while not requiring a lot of effort to access my stuff.

 5. The ability to share my journal entries with others, (via email, Twitter, Facebook, or messages) or, rather, to keep them entirely private.

My absolute favorite journaling software program (App) is DAY ONE Journal 2 by Bloom Built, LLC. Here is a link to their website: DAY ONE Journal Web Site Home Page

Bloom Built, LLC released its latest version, DAY ONE Journal 2, just a few weeks ago and it is a standout! Here’s why:

 • Extremely graphical. You have the ability to associate up to ten photos with any journal entry. You can take photos within the app or add them from your photos library.

 • Excellent entry security. Use a four digit pin, or use the iPhone/iPad fingerprint sensor.

 • Journal entries can be GPS location-based. Use the associated photograph GPS or your physical location at the moment. There is a map icon that shows you where all of your entries have been made. This is incredibly useful if you travel often.

 • Entries can be tagged for easy grouping.

 • Entry dates are automatically added, but can be modified for both date and time.

 • Weather temperatures and conditions are automatically added.

 • You can have multiple journals. Personal, business, projects, organizations, etc.

 • Activity tags like stationary, walking, running, biking, eating, etc.

 • Step count (from iPhones)

 • Music, or rather, what is playing on your Apple Music player (note that this is the only player supported) at the moment you made the entry.

 • Entry URL lets you share this journal entry by providing the user with a link.

 • Standard IOS sharing menu for sharing to Twitter, OneNote, Pocket, Facebook, Apple Notes, and dozens of other sharing apps. You can also save to Dropbox, copy, print, and view as a PDF.

 • Organize entries by map location, date(s), and photos.

 • Entry is synced over iCloud to all devices. Backup is daily and automatic. It is date and time stamped as well.

 • Text styles, as well as, type formatting, lists (bullet and numbered), HTML view, and other styles.

 • The Apple Watch is supported and journal entry is easy by using user defined “stock” entries, or voice dictation into the watch and even photo journal entries can be made using the watch.

 • DAY ONE Journal 2 is available for IOS: $4.99, or the Mac: $29.99 – A reasonable price for pretty much the ultimate in journaling (“Say Hello To A Good Buy!”)

If you like journaling, this is the app you need. Start a journal entry on any device, and then edit and update the entry from any device, anywhere!

If you have a question or thought, post it in the comments section . Thanks for reading, come back soon! Best, Tom Gordon

Why we LOVE App’s so much…

Apple iPhone App Screen
Apple iPhone App Screen

People with smartphones, e-readers and tablets absolutely love their App’s.  There truly is an App for everything. Apple has well over 1,000,000 Apps in its App Store at iTunes.com.

App’s have been around forever.  In the “old days” (circa 1978) we used to call them “software applications”  for personal computers.  These applications were from major publishers like Microsoft, Lotus, Adobe, Electronic Arts and hundreds of others.  The prices for “software applications” ranged from $9.95 to well over $1,000.00.  We’re familiar with names like Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint and hundreds more.

With the advent of the Apple iPhone in 2007, and the iTunes App Store in 2008 “software applications” became “Apps.”  Apple decided to take the McDonald’s approach to pricing and most App’s were priced around $1.00 – $1.99.  Thousands of App’s are free – and yes some very specific business App’s cost hundreds of dollars.

App’s for smartphones and tablets are wildly popular because they offer specific functions like logging into your bank to check activity or electronically deposit a check.  Others play music, video and games.  App’s have become more powerful and sophisticated with each version “update.”  I have a Honeywell Lyric digital thermometer and a Honeywell App (free) that lets me see my homes current temperature and then adjust heating, airconditioning and humidy from anywhere in the world that I have an internet connection.

Newer App’s are “universal” meaning that they work on both your smartphone as well as your tablet – and soon on your wearable (like a smartwatch).  This also means that your FREE or $1.00 app will now work with your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch for the low-low price of thirty-three cents per device.  Wow!

The only thing that bugs me (and it really does) is when people complain about the cost of an App.  If you spend hundreds of dollars on a smartphone, tablet, or digital watch – how can you complain about the cost of a $1.00 or $2.00 App that doesn’t have every-bell and whistle that you “demand”?

There truly is an “App for everything…”

Apple App Store icon
Apple App Store icon

 

News360 is a great news app – here’s why…

20140412-123901.jpg

News360 is a great news app for just about every mobile device out there. Sure there are plenty of news apps from all the major news sources like NBC, Fox, NPR, AP and dozens more. But what makes News360 different is its ability to gather news about any story from dozens of news sources from around the world. For example recently Hillary Clinton got a shoe thrown at her from an irritated person at a news conference. With News360 you can read what NBC – and the BBC, and dozens of other news services from around the globe – all in one place.

Also News360 can be customized to show you news about just what YOU are looking for or what business YOU are in. Finally the app can push the resulting news that you Star or Favorite to dozens of other apps like OneNote, EverNote, email, Twitter, Tumblr and many others.

A very flexible solution to gathering the news that YOU are looking for and disseminating it to the sources that YOU want it to go to. You can find News360 in the Apple App Store for FREE.

Cool!