THURSDAY (10/8): Takoo
This is a photography app with something extra. What it does is, it lets you add audio to a picture that you take. There are a couple of ways you can do it. Take a picture of something or someone. Hit the microphone and you have 15 seconds to say what you want about that picture. Or you can go the other way. Record an audio, then add the picture to it. You can take a picture with the camera or use one in your camera roll. Then share away on your social media. Takoo, it’s free on iTunes
WEDNESDAY (10/7): Scratch
An app I want to tell you about today is called Scratch. This is a brand new shopping app. Scratch helps you with your online purchases. It’s your own personal shopper for the stuff you want to get, but don’t want to leave your jammies to get it. They have real live shoppers combing through the Internet for exactly what they think you might like. You send them a message, give them some guidelines and let them send you ideas for whatever gift you want to buy. It’s Scratch. A free app on iTunes. Android is coming soon.
TUESDAY (10/6): Anonymous Alerts
This app is getting a lot of attention because more schools are getting directly involved in it. The app is a way for you or your kids to let the authorities know when there’s something wrong. Something like bullies, or cyber-bullies. Perhaps some abuse going on in the home. Gangs. The best part about it: you don’t have to have your ID known by anyone. It’s completely anonymous. It also has a GPS notifier, so if your kids are in immediate trouble, they can get help right away. It’s a free app on iTunes.
MONDAY (10/5): Document Manager Pro
This app puts an entirely new browser on your phone, but it does more than look at websites. It is also a video player. That video player lets you play videos that you see on the net, but you can also then download those videos and watch them later offline. The document manager gives you control over documents from just about every format. It also lets you convert those documents to PDFs, if that makes life easier for you. Document Manager Pro is on iTunes.
FRIDAY (10/2): Kibo
If you happen to have a lot of eyes that watch what you might say in a text message, or WhatsApp or Facebook or Twitter, this app can hide those messages so the only one who can read what you really say is the person you send it to. It’s a keyboard. You type on it, then hit the LOCK button at the bottom. When that lock button is hit, your message becomes something else, something generic. The person at the other end is the only one who can translate it into what you really said. Kibo is a free app on iTunes and Android.
THURSDAY (10/1): Doc Response
We spend enough time on medical websites trying to diagnose our own conditions. And typically, we do a pretty lousy job of it. Doc Response is an app that lets you put in whatever symptoms you’re having. But it also breaks it down a little more intently. You start with determining what’s ailing you and where. Is it internal, orthopedics. Then you move on. Where on your body is it? Hand? Knee? Shoulder? Then you get a complete questionnaire about your issue. Doc Response has doctors looking through similar symptoms to give you something that’s close to what it is you have. Or it’s dead on. Harvard says it’s the most accurate of the online symptom checkers. Doc Response is a free app on iTunes and Android
WEDNESDAY (9/30): Move To Measure
Sometimes, you want to measure something and you don’t have a tape measure handy. OR you just have your iPhone. This app might be all you need. To measure the length of something, just move your iPhone from one end to the other. It also lets you look at angles like a protractor. Remember those? Move to Measure is $2 on iTunes.
TUESDAY (9/29): Icoon
It’s a problem if you travel to a foreign country and don’t speak the language. The one thing that everyone understands is pictures for what we would like when we’re overseas. Icoon is a phrasebook that lets you point to a picture to show what it is you’re looking for. It has more than a thousand symbols. A dozen different categories. There’s everything from health to food to leisure activities to where to stay. Icoon is a free app for now on iTunes
MONDAY (9/28): e-Rewards Mobile
You can help influence companies’ marketing and product decisions. Through the app, you can test new products, become a mystery shopper, weigh-in on new advertising concepts and more. You’ll earn money with each survey which can be redeemed for gift cards, like Starbucks and Macy’s, or for travel, lodging and more. The e-Rewards Mobile app is free on I-Tunes and Android.
FRIDAY (9/25): WiFi Keyboard
If you’re tired of using that teeny tiny keyboard to send text messages or try to write notes, this app can let you use your PC and its keyboard to instantly type into the field on your phone. All you need is an Internet connection. You put in the app, then start the browser on your PC or MAC. Connect them up through a website and everything you type on the big screen shows up on your small screen. WiFi Keyboard is a free app right now on iTunes and Android.
THURSDAY (9/24): Multi Measures
When you’re involved in something that needs measurements of any kind, help is as close as your phone or tablet. This app has a dozen different measuring tools at your fingertips. It’s the perfect thing for any Boy Scout to be prepared. It has a compass, a metronome if you’re a musician, a stopwatch and timer, a decibel meter, a couple of levels, ruler and protractor. Multi Measures is a free app this week on iTunes, Android and Amazon.
WEDNESDAY (9/23): Duck Duck Go
This week, we’ve been talking about keeping your surfing private thanks to iOS 9’s new Ad Blocking features. This time, it’s an app that’s been around for a bit, but it’s there to keep lookie-loos from seeing what you do online. Duck Duck Go is a search engine, similar to Google or Yahoo. Only it does something they don’t. It doesn’t track you or where you go. It’s also an app that you can use. It doesn’t run anything through filters that you didn’t ask for. Duck Duck Go is a free app on iTunes and Android.
TUESDAY (9/22): Purify Blocker
Again today, we’re talking about using something that’s brand new to iOS 9. The ability to block popup ads. That’s all this app does. It stops websites from annoying you or tracking you. It also can double the speed of pages loading onto your iPhone or iPad. Purify doesn’t even peek a little bit into your surfing habits. Purify Blocker. It’s $4 on iTunes
MONDAY (9/21): Crystal
One of the most anticipated features to iOS 9 is the possibility that you can put an ad blocker on your phone to cut down or cut out popups and ads from getting in the way of your surfing and content gathering. It’s new to iOS and now developers have come up with the first ad blockers. Crystal blocks ads, it also keeps those websites from tracking where you go. They justify it by saying they’re trying to make your surfing a more pleasing experience by bombarding you with certain ads. Crystal also can help with your battery life because it stops the popups. It works with the Safari browser. Crystal is 99 cents on iTunes.
FRIDAY (9/18): Splashtop 2
This is an app that 20 million people are using. IF you’re not one of them, you might want to grab it. Splashtop 2 lets you use your iPhone or iPod to control your home computer or the one at work. You can do everything you would on your main machine. Word processing, email, watch music videos or funny cat videos. Maybe your iPhone doesn’t like a Flash video. Now it can. Because it’s showing from your computer. Splashtop 2. It’s on iTunes and Android. There are in-app purchases available.
THURSDAY (9/17): Speech Recogniser
There are lots of speech recognition apps that you can use to have what you say converted to text. That text can go into emails, text messages, Facebook posts. This app takes it another step. It does all those things, converting your voice to the written word. Then, with an Internet connection, it can take your words and translate them into more than 40 languages. You can also have the app read back what it heard you say. Perfect, if you’re trying to keep the hands on 10 and 2 when you’re driving and that message CAN’T wait. Speech Recogniser is $2 on iTunes.
WEDNESDAY (9/16): Companion
This is a new app that should give you a little piece of mind when you have to out alone at night or even in the day. It’s described as an app that can walk home with you. You’re able to reach out to anyone on your contact list when you’re going somewhere. Enter your destination and which contacts you want to share that information with. They see a live map of where you are, using the GPS, and can follow you. IF something happens, like you have your headphones yanked out or you drop the phone, the app checks up on you to make sure you’re ok. IF you don’t answer in 15 seconds, it automatically contacts your contacts. It’s a Companion app. Free on iTunes and Android.
TUESDAY (9/15): Private Photo Calculator%
The reason this app is in the conversation today is because your kids might have it on their smartphones and it looks like a regular calculator app. What Private Photo lets you do is just that. It hides your private photos behind something that looks innocent enough, like a calculator. No one would suspect anything bad there. If you put in the right passcode, it opens up the pictures file. Those photos are totally hidden until you hit the passcode. It’s a free app for you. If your kids have it, look at the icon. If it has a green percent instead of an equals sign, you need to have a conversation. Private Photo Calculator% is a free app
MONDAY (9/14): Camera + Free
This is considered one of the best picture taking apps out there. These apps all do the same thing, they take photographs from your smartphone. The difference for the app is what you can do with your shots AFTER you take the pictures. It’s all about the filters and the tools. It has all the filters that you need to make your selfie sparkle and your group shots dazzle. It’s all pretty intuitive and easy to use. Backlighting, soft focus filters, fine tuning. Camera Plus Free. It’s the one with the plus sign. There’s a free version, or one with more features for $3 for your iPhone.
FRIDAY (9/11): Ghost Camera
Sure, Halloween is 50 days away, but this app might not be free then. And it’s not too early to jumpstart your scary photo libraries. Ghost Camera is a photography app that can turn you, your photos, your friends’ photos into creepy ghosts or skeletons or other scary things. There’s all kinds of effects to choose from. Normally it’s $3 , but it’s free right now for a limited time.
THURSDAY (9/10): Google Street View
Now you can see the world one street at a time with this app. It can show you almost anything you want to see from the street view cameras that you see driving around or straight from tourist attractions. You can see different collections of famous landmarks in a 360 degree view. You’re able to see some of the street views that other people have shot. You can even upload your own and share your hometown or your favorite vacation spots with others. The app lets you experience some of the wonders, like what it’s like to climb El Capitan at Yosemite or hike up Mount Fuji. Look for the Monster on Loch Ness in Scotland. It’s Google Street View. 65 countries to see all for free on your iTunes or Android.
WEDNESDAY (9/9): Ad Block Browser
Now you can get a jump start on one of the new features that’s coming out in the new iOS. It’s called Ad Block Browser. The new iOS is making a lot of ad companies nervous because it gives us control over the ads that are foisted on us online. Ad Block Browser is an actual web browser that helps to take out most of those annoying ads that can pop up when you go to some websites. It says it can save you on your data plan when you don’t have to go X’ING out those ads. It also prevents some malware from sneaking in behind those ads. Ad Block Browser is free on iTunes and Android.
TUESDAY (9/8): Anything After Prime
Marvel movies have spoiled us. Plus, they’ve made us wait til the end of the credits to see if there’s some little Easter Egg that we wouldn’t want to miss. Something that’s a preview of the next film. Or outtakes. Or something else that you don’t get to see if you bolt as soon as the final music starts. Anything After Prime lets you know if there’s something worth staying for at the end of the film’s credits. Or if they sneak something in in the midde of the credits scene. Or if it’s even worth your time. Anything After Prime is a free app on iTunes and Android.
MONDAY (9/7): Companion
Companion lets you reach out to family, friends and public safety officers, and have them keep an eye on you as you travel 24/7. Enter your destination and select which contacts you want to be your companion. They don’t even have to have the app installed. Then, the companions can see a live map of your progress and get updates. If you don’t make it to your destination in time, the app will check on you. If don’t respond, it will alert your companions. You can also use it on college campuses to alert officers to suspicious activity. The app is free on iTunes.
FRIDAY (9/4): Roadie
A lot of apps are getting compared to an Uber type app. This is one of those. Think of it as an Uber for deliveries. They call this a neighbor to neighbor shipping network. This is to help you get small things delivered to a close proximity. You basically bypass any kind of shipping service. You don’t even have to wrap anything. The roadie drivers are going your way anyway and they’ll stop off and make the delivery. Could be car keys, golf clubs, a wall painting or a computer. You can also use the app to become a Roadie driver and make some money. Roadie is a free app on iTunes and Android. You pay for the delivery
THURSDAY (9/3): Aid Maid
This is a security app that you hope you never need to use, but you will be thankful that it’s there. When you have the app open, and you need some help, all you have to do is shake the phone or hit the Panic button on the screen. It does a bunch of things after that, like light up the area where you are. It sends a text message to your emergency contacts. That message has your exact location in it. You can also set it to call the police or ambulance, if you need to. Aid Maid is a free app on iTunes, Android and for your Apple Watch.
WEDNESDAY (9/2): Secret Menu for Starbucks Pro
We have heard so much about secret menus at different restaurants. We blame YOU In & Out for starting it. Everyone seems to have one now. Yes, even Starbucks. This app lets you in on the ground floor. There are hundreds of drink concoctions you can order from your friendly neighborhood barista. Ever heard of the Snickerdoodle Frap? Or the Banana Split? You can order them, maybe even show the barista how to make it. Secret Menu for Starbucks Pro is a free app for now on iTunes.
TUESDAY (9/1): Recently
One of the things that a lot of people would like to do is have hard copies of the pictures they take on their smartphones. Now, you can with this app. It takes your 100 latest pictures and puts them into hard copy. Into a magazine. And it does it every single month. It’s called Recently. The app is free, the magazine is a subscription model – about $9 a month.
MONDAY (8/31): Horizontal Camera Pro
It’s not a crime but it should be. You’ve seen them. The videos that people post from their iPhones. They hold the camera up and down and shoot. Sure, it looks fine for them, but when they share it, you get the bars on both sides. People, turn it sideways, or we’ll just have to make you. Horizontal Camera Pro can help. Sure, shoot up and down, the app will do the important work for you. It will orient your video the RIGHT way. Hope you don’t miss out on anything. You’ll learn. Til then Horizontal Camera Pro. It’s free on iTunes and Android.
FRIDAY (8/28): Task Rabbit
You might have a honey-do list and no honey to do the things on the list. Or you’re just not able to do them or just don’t want to. Here comes the Task Rabbit. It gets the chores done. It could be doing the grocery shopping, or putting together that desk from IKEA, or just be an errand person. You hire the people from Task Rabbit. They even do windows. They can help move you from one house to the next. You find the person you want. You see how much they charge. Task Rabbit is a free app on iTunes and Android. You pay for the work done.
This is a picture taking app that lets you shoot a picture of any kind of written text in another language. It can be a magazine, newspaper, book, recipe. The app will then translate it into English or one of 90 other languages. It can even read it to you in any one of 44 vocal languages. Translate Photo is a free app for now. Otherwise, it’s $5 on iTunes.
TUESDAY (8/25): VHS Camcorder
This app won’t make those videos you shoot any sharper. In fact, it’ll make it look like the video is 30 years old. The premise of the app is: to make your phone think it’s an old school VHS camera. The video comes out grainy and kinda washed out. With the time code on it, if you want. Basically, it’s pure throwback to a simpler time when the home video cameras stuck on your Dad’s shoulder. It’s also perfect if you’re throwing a throwback party. What better way to capture the memory. VHS Camcorder. It’s a specialized cam app and costs $4 on iTunes.
MONDAY (8/24): Giphy Cam
You’ve seen GIF’s all over the Internet. Sure, they’re fun, but do you know how to make them? This app makes it real easy, plus you can add special effects to them for that little extra added touch. You press the record button for 5 seconds to create the loop, then add the filters and effects. Giphy Cam is new and it’s a free app on iTunes.
FRIDAY (8/21): Here
There are a lot of map apps. Your phone even has one that is native to your system. This one could replace it. This is a maps app that lets you load your trip before you leave, so you can have it with you and you don’t have to worry about having a WiFi signal. It has turn by turn directions. It can guide you through driving or walking. It even can handle mass transit, like buses or trains. You can play your trip through the website and load it onto your phone. It has maps for more than 100 countries. Here can save your battery life too, since you don’t have to keep the GPS on all the time. Here is a free app on iTunes and Android.
THURSDAY (8/20): Magnifying Glass with Light
It can be one of the most frustrating things. You’re in a darkened restaurant or the Alamo Drafthouse and you can’t see the menu. Maybe that writing on the cold medicine is just a little bit smaller than you remember. All you need is your iPhone. The app lets you use both features in the camera of your phone. The zoom lens and the light. It gives you a little more control of how you see things. You can zoom into the small print to make it bigger in the phone screen, up to 6 times. It also turns on the light if you need it. Don’t do it in the Alamo Drafthouse, or keep it low. Magnifying Glass with Light is a free app on iTunes. There’s a pro version for $2.
WEDNESDAY (8/19): Smiley
It’s a picture taking app that lets you get into the middle of your group shot. The big difference with this camera timer app. It scans the people in the shot and watches for your pearly whites, all of them. You put the phone on the table, prop it up, line up the shot. Then it looks to make sure that everyone is smiling. The second it happens, the picture clicks. It autofocuses and has autoexposure. It’s Smiley, not an emoji. A picture taking app.$ 99 on iTunes.
TUESDAY (8/18): Walk Me Up. Sometimes
The snooze bar is just way too convenient and you can wake up 45 minutes late after just a few presses of that bar on your alarm clock. How about an alarm clock that makes you get up and at ‘em, to get up and at ‘em in the morning. Walk Me Up makes you walk around your home in order to turn off the alarm. It has a pedometer in the app that counts your steps. You can’t cheat on it, and if you try, the app can actually punish you by making you take more steps before it shuts off. Walk Me Up is a free app on iTunes and Android.
MONDAY (8/17): Pickup Now
Think of this app as an Uber for pickup trucks. It’s also from here in north Texas. The app’s maker said people sometimes need a truck to haul stuff and they don’t have a pickup, or a friend with a pickup. This app is just what the doctor ordered. All you do is tap the app and a smiling driver with a pickup is there to help. And by help, they mean, they will help you with you with your loading. They employ former police officers, firefighters and former soldiers as their drivers. Pickup Now is a free app. You pay for the service.
FRIDAY (8/14): How Your House Works
It’s a dilemma that all homeowners have to face up to. You might be a handyman with a set of tools, but do you really know what you’re doing when something breaks at your home? This app shows you how the different parts to your house work. You might find out that you’re smarter than you think, or that you should leave it to the pros. But you’ll be armed with information. It helps teach you the systems in your house, from your garbage disposal to your A/C unit. It puts it into easy(ish) to understand terms. Plumbing, electricity. Its there in How Your House Works. A brand new app. 3 bucks on iTunes
THURSDAY (8/13): Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius
Some men and women just love the thought of D-I-Y projects around the house. This is a little clearinghouse of them in all different areas. There are tips to help you paint the house, clean the house. Tip for your lawn and garden. There are more than 300 of them and they’re adding more all the time. It even has a Tip of the Day feature. The Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius is a free app on iTunes and Android.