Saturday, August 20, 2016

Marco Polo Video Walkie Talkie



If you’re always playing phone tag or being Face Timed at the worst time, the Marco Polo app is just for you! Marco Polo is a video walkie talkie that works on your time. You can start chatting with your friends now and they can respond right away or later when it’s more convenient. All the video chats are saved so there is never a rush to view.


The app is so easy to use even your children can participate. You simply tap a button and start recording. You can set up groups or chat with individuals. This app is a great way for families and friends to stay in touch no matter where they live. You can talk as long as you want and customize your video chats with a wide assortment of filters such as “movie star” or “nighttime”. Marco Polo helps staying in touch fun and personal.
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Name of App:   Marco Polo Video Walkie Talkie
 
Audience:  Everyone
 
Platform:  iOS and Android
 
What the app does and why we recommend it:  Allows you to stay in touch with family and friends in a fun and personal way
 
What platform we used to recommend it:  iOS
 
Cost (at time of review):  Free 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Rio 2016 Mobile App -- Keep up with the Olympics

The Olympics is in full swing.  If you are like me, you don't have time to keep up with all the different events going on.  Well the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has just the app to help.  The Rio 2016 app lets the user keep track of how their favorite country or athlete is doing.  The user can search by sport, athletes or country.  They also have a nice section of photos and videos.  So if you have the desire to find out the badminton results, give the Rio 2016 app a try

 
Name of App:   Rio 2016 Olympics App
 
Audience:  Everyone
 
Platform:  iOS and Android
 
What the app does and why we recommend it:  The app gives the user results of the Rio 2016 Summer games
 
What platform we used to recommend it:  Android
 
Cost (at time of review):  Free 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Searching for a Way to Block Unwanted Spam and Robo Calls: TrueCaller

If you have a phone, you are no stranger to robo and spam calls. Towards the end of June things were getting so bad that I was having up to three calls a day. It was frustrating because I couldn't always tell the difference between valid, important calls, and the spam because some of them came from my own area code. Day by day it was getting worse. Finally, after three long weeks of this, I began to research my options.

First and foremost, if you are receiving a large number of spam and robo calls I recommend making sure that you are on the Do Not Call registry. There are actually two of these, state and national, I recommend covering your bases and registering for both. To register, or check your registration simply go online to these websites:

Both registries will allow you to register your cell phone numbers now, and don't require you to re-register unless something has changed. For instance, I kept my number, but switched Cell Phone Carriers. This caused me to drop off the list and receive more calls. Once I re-registered, those calls were cut significantly.

Keep in mind that these will not stop all calls. Many of the calls we get these days are from scammers, and since they are already breaking the law, the Do Not Call registries will not stop them. In the past I have tried blocking the scammers using the blocking options on my phone, but since they use so many different numbers it was impossible to block them all. So that's when I started looking for a technical solution--an app.  I researched a number of websites and the one the experts seemed to like best was TrueCaller, so I thought I would give it a try.

TrueCaller is supposed to identify spam when you get an incoming call and uses your contact list to filter out your friends and contacts. In a perfect world this would have been a perfect solution, but unfortunately it wasn't. My first call TrueCaller identified as spam was actually from my doctor's office, and trying to get TrueCaller to accept it as a legitimate contact after someone else has said it was spam was next to impossible. I actually had a couple of Spam calls come through that weren't identified, so I marked them as spam with TrueCaller. Overall, it has faults, and I wish it were easier to switch calls from Spam to legit, especially in the case of my doctor.  I am no expert on how the program works, but it seems to take input from all the users--if one user identifies a call as spam, it is that for all users. Still, with very little options out there for stopping those calls, this is definitely worth a try. Just remember, you may want to accept some of those Spam calls--especially if they have a local area code because they might be a call you are waiting for.

TrueCaller



  • Name of App: TrueCaller
  • Audience: Adult and Teen
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • What the App Does and why we recommend it: The app will allow you attempt to identify spam calls, but keep in mind it is not perfect.
  • What platform we used to recommend the app: iOS 
  • Cost (at time of review): Free

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

BRAINSCAPE

While out shopping for school supplies this year, don’t forget to look into getting the best apps to make this school year the best one yet. Brainscape is a must have app for every student. With Brainscape you can find, create and share thousands of smart flashcards covering almost any topic.



Brainscape uses three sources for creating its flashcards—Educational experts, students and you! Top experts in the field lend their expertise to ready-made flash cards in fields such as Foreign Languages, SAT prep, and AP exams. You can also browse for flashcards from over a million subjects created by other students and teachers. Finally you can create and customize your own set of flashcards for any subject you want. You can also share your creations with other students!

Brainscape works by personalizing the timing between different cards. You rate how well you know a subject and the app creates a unique pace that is ideal for each individual user. Brainscape boasts that they offer "flashcards on steroids." With data from over 800 academic studies backing them up, Brainscape is a must have for all students. Click hereto read for yourself.

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  • Name of App: BRAINSCAPE
  • Audience: All ages
  • Platform: iOS
  • What the App Does and why we recommend it: This app gives students access to over a million ready-made flash cards and the ability to create their own in order to learn quicker and more efficiently.
  • What platform we used to recommend the app: iOS 
  • Cost (at time of review): Free 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Charity Miles: Give Back While You Get Fit

Getting fit is becoming a national phenomenon.  Everywhere you turn newspapers, magazines, TV and the internet are telling us all the benefits of getting fit.  Even though we know it is good for us, many lack the motivation to start their fitness journey.   Charity Miles is an app that can help you with that.  For every mile you bike or walk/run Charity Miles makes a donation (10 cents per mile you outdoor bike and 25 cents per mile you walk/run) to the charity of your choice.  There are several charities to choose from including Stand Up to Cancer, The Alzheimer's Association and Autism Speaks.

The app is very easy to use.  You set up a profile, select your charity, start the app and off you go.  The app keeps record of how far you go and will also let you set up "reminders" to let you know when it is time to work out.  This app also allows you to Tweet or put a post on Facebook regarding your progress.  So give your workout a purpose and download Charity Miles.




Name of App:  Charity Miles

Audience:   Adult and Teen

Platform:  iOS and Android

What the App does and why we recommend it:  The app tracks your activity and gives a donation to a charity of your choice giving you extra motivation to work out.

Cost (at time of the review) :  Free 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Goodreads App: An App for Readers on the Go

Sometimes keeping track of your reading can be challenging, especially if you are an avid reader. I see many people come into the library with notebooks where they keep their lists of books that they want to read or have read. There is another option for those of you who would rather keep that information with you wherever you go--after all you never know when you will be popping into the library or a bookstore.

Goodreads.com is a website I use to track all the books I have read. With Goodreads, I can track my reading, keep a list of the books I want to read, and even add shelves to organize books based on genre. I can even rate and review books on the website so I can remember what I thought about the book when I first read it.  Goodreads.com is also a social site, so you can make friends, follow other reader's reviews, follow authors, and just keep adding to your lists of books.

Goodreads.com also has a free app. While the app isn't my favorite place to write reviews (I personally prefer typing reviews on a full keyboard rather than a touch screen), it is a great place to keep track of the books you have read, look up books, and scan books to add to your shelves.  For instance, let's say you are visiting a bookstore while on vacation and see a book you would like to borrow from the library, but are afraid you will forget it when you get back. You can open the Goodreads.com app and scan the book using the scan feature in the app, or just look it up using the search function. You can then just add it to your "To Be Read" shelf and look it up again when you get back to your library.  The app can also help you remember if you have read a book or not. If you add all your read books to Goodreads.com you can search for the book, or search your "Read" bookshelf for the book to see if you rated or reviewed it. 

I use Goodreads.com to keep track of all of my books. The app is a great resource you can take with you on the go.




Goodreads App


  • Name of App: Goodreads
  • Audience: Adult and Teen
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • What the App Does and why we recommend it: The app will help you keep track of the books you have read and the ones you want to read, so at a glance you can see if you have read a book you are looking to check out or buy.
  • What platform we used to recommend the app: iOS 
  • Cost (at time of review): Free

Monday, June 20, 2016

Vroom




It's no secret that the first five years of a child's life are the most meaningful when if comes to brain development. Daily Vroom activities help parents and caregivers nurture their children’s growing minds during these earliest years. Daily Vroomturns everyday moments into brain building moments! Vroom activities differ from other app based learning activities because it takes the focus off the device and places it on the world around them.

Daily Vroom is available in English and Spanish.

Vroom allows you to create a daily, personalized activity for you and your child. Each tip is paired with a science-based Brainy Background explaining how the activity supports your child’s brain development. Whether it’s counting cars at the bus stop, learning about textures at the grocery store, or talking about shapes during snacktime, Daily Vroom offers imaginative ways to make the most of your family’s everyday routines.


Vroom offers activities from more than 16 categories to encourage brain building interactions no matter where you are or what you’re doing, and you can receive age appropriate tips for multiple children. It is also available in English and Spanish



    Image result for vroom app
  • Name of App: Vroom
  • Audience: Children and their caregivers
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • What the App Does and why we recommend it: Encourages brain development in everyday, routine activities
  • What platform we used to recommend the app: iOS
  • Cost (at time of review):  Free