FRIDAY (6/23): Sonic The Hedgehog
You might remember this game from the ’90s. It’s the game that started it all for the Sega Genesis game system. If you played it, you remember how much fun the game used to be. You play Sonic and you’re running all these tracks trying to catch the rings. There are traps and enemies trying to sting you and separate you from the rings. You have to keep moving through to the ultimate prize. Classic, right? Now, Sega has brought Sonic to the smartphone and tablet. It’s the original game, complete with the original moves and the original music. It’s part of Sega Forever, where it’s releasing classic games in app form. Sonic is first. And he’s still incredibly fun. Sonic the Hedgehog is a free app on iTunes and Android. It does have in-app purchases.
THURSDAY (6/22): Honk
Traveler apps are everywhere. You can find maps and locations of where restaurants are near you when you’re in a strange area. Honk is for when you need some mechanical help with your car. It’s a resource to help get you towed, fixed and then back on the road. It’s on demand when you need them. When you honk, someone comes running. You can get a tow to a mechanic, help with a flat tire, or a jump start, or help when you run out of gas. It’s perfect if you don’t have AAA. You tell the app what happened. Find out how much it’s going to cost you. You agree, place the order and someone’s on the way. Honk is a free app on iTunes and Android. You pay for the service calls and tows.
WEDNESDAY (6/21): Magnifier Flash
This is an app you may find you use more and more as time goes by. It’s perfect for those times when you need to see something magnified through the camera lens. It also utilizes the flashlight to brighten up the area where you’re looking. It’ll come in handy every time you need it. The magnifier goes to a 6x zoom. Perfect for that small print. Magnifier Flash is a free app for now on iTunes and has a version on Android.
TUESDAY (6/20): TaskRabbit
Sometimes, you need a little help with some of the day to day chores around the house. Or you need a handyman or a good cleaner. Task Rabbit might be the way to go find someone close that you can trust to do the work right. This app has a clearinghouse of people that can handle whatever you need done. It has tens of thousands of people that the Rabbit has checked out thoroughly. You don’t have to worry about paying the tasker. All the money transactions are paid through the app. It’s the Uber of handymen. TaskRabbit is a free app on iTunes and Android.
FRIDAY (6/16): Urgently
Summer road trips are coming. The next big holiday is, of course, the Fourth of July, in a couple of weeks. If you don’t have something like Triple A, this app can be a help if you break down along the way. It’s available 24-7, there aren’t any fees, but it will send a tow truck to where you are, when you need it. It’s a flat rate pricing structure. The app makers say it’s like Uber for Roadside Assistance. The tow truck drivers can help with just about anything you might run into. Run out of gas, flat tire, locked out of your car. Hit the button, the app uses your GPS to find you. It sends out the nearest member tow truck driver. You can see in real time where the truck is. The app can also detect if you have a wreck, if you want that feature. Urgently is a free app on iTunes and Android. Again, you pay for the services you receive.
THURSDAY (6/15): Tor-Unlimited VPN Browser
We are constantly watching out to make sure that websites and browsers don’t invade our privacy or interrupt our surfing with banner ads and popups and anything else to make us crazy. Onion lets you go where you want to go and it’s like you’re invisible to the spies who want to steal your ID and Internet providers who want to track you. This lets you browse and no one even knows your IP address if you don’t want them to. Tor-Unlimited VPN Browser is a free app on iTunes.
WEDNESDAY (6/14): SwiftGift
Father’s Day is coming up on Sunday. You DID remember, didn’t you? We can’t forget Dad, especially if we got Mom something really cool. Swiftgift can be your personal shopper and idea bot. It lets you search through 14 hundred different retailers for just the right something for someone. Here’s the other part. This is the great part of it, because it’s perfect for those last minute presents. And I mean LAST MINUTE. You have Swiftgift send the present directly to the person you’re buying it for. But they get the notice that they have a present from you in a text message. They answer the message and make the arrangements to have Swiftgift deliver the gift wherever they want it sent. Swiftgift is a free app on iTunes and Google Play.
TUESDAY (6/13): Walk & Text
We heard a story about a woman who fell into a hole because she couldn’t get her nose out of her phone while she walked in public. This app can put a stop to the danger from that practice. It lets you text to your heart’s content, but you can still see in front of you. Pay attention while you’re walking and still text. It uses your camera to show a picture of where you’re stepping and the text words are superimposed on the screen. It can support whatever keyboard you’re using on your phone. You can customize the look of the screen and the colors as you need to. MOST important. You’re watching where you’re walking and you don’t become the subject of a viral video when you walk into a fountain. You’ll see the fountain. Walk and Text is $1 on Android. There’s a similar program for free on iTunes.
MONDAY (6/12): Binky
It calls itself, the most stress free social media app. Binky lets you scroll through social media feeds, but these are just random. It’s not like they’re social media posts that you follow. You don’t. The makers even call them Binks. You can like them or not and make comments at random as well. It’s all just random. Binky just shows you different things that have nothing in common. You don’t have to stress about what your friends are doing to stress you out. One person compares the app to a social media Fidget Spinner. Binky is a new free app on iTunes. Android is coming soon.
FRIDAY (6/9): Jetradar
Now is the time when we’re in that jockeying phase. Airfares can change every day and of course, we want to find the best fares that we can. This app does the comparison shopping for you. It runs the price numbers for thousands of flights on just about every airline around. You can search for whatever flight you want and compare the prices right away. It’s like having your own personal gate agent in your phone. Set price alerts and you’ll find out instantly when the price of a flight gets to where you want it. Jetradar is a free app on iTunes and Android.
THURSDAY (6/8): Orai
People hate public speaking. That’s a fact. It’s one of the most common fears that people have. This app says it can help you become a better public speaker through its exercises. You get to rehearse a speech and the app can help you get through some of the common mistakes that most people make in speeches. We all use what they call filler words, like you know or umm. The app will help you cut those down. It also has other tips to help get you more acclimated to public speaking. Orai is a free app on iTunes.
WEDNESDAY (6/7): Grill Time
Summertime is always grilling time in north Texas. OK, grilling time can be 12 months a year in north Texas. But, summer is known for it starting on Memorial Day. This is a sort of beginners type app to get you and your grill ready for meat and veggies. This one isn’t so much a recipe app. There are plenty of those. This one is purely for the proper grilling time, so you don’t have to stand next to the Big Green Egg and get smoke all over your clothes. You put in the meat, the thickness, and how well you want it done. Then it gives you the timer. It’ll even tell you when it’s time to flip. It works everywhere and knows the times for more than 100 foods. Grill Time is $2 on iTunes.
TUESDAY (6/6): Open Bay
You might have your favorite mechanic that you trust with all your car repairs. That’s a rare thing. For the rest of us, we have to go look for someone that can fix problems and hope that we don’t get overcharged for the trouble. Open Bay can help. It can aid you when you need to find a repair shop for what ails your car. It lets you compare quotes for your particular repair from shops near you. You can also book a time at the place you choose. If a repair shop wants to be part of the Open Bay lineup, it has to follow certain standards. You open up the app, describe what you need. The app gives you a ballpark of what kind of cost you’re looking at. Open Bay is a free app on iTunes and Android.
MONDAY (6/5): DIYZ
You’re watching all those DIY shows on cable and you’re thinking that this might be the time to start thinking about your own Do It Yourself project. This app might be able to give you a hand. It provides how to guides for whatever kind of project you have in mind. If you have some trouble, you can get a video one on one with one of their experts to guide you through where you’re stuck. There’s also a way to order the tools you need to complete the work. NO excuses for avoiding the DIY projects. DIYZ is a free app on iTunes
FRIDAY (6/2): Find My Car
This app is just what the title says. It’s a way to find your car, if you have to park in a large parking lot. Is there anything worse than forgetting where you parked? Is it there? Maybe over there? I don’t remember. Now you don’t have to. This app helps you with walking directions back to where you parked your car with the help of the GPS. It’ll show you the most direct route to get back to your car as fast as possible. It even lets you take a picture of the location, so you can look for any markers. Take notes about the floor in the parking garage. It even has a timer to help keep you honest on the parking meters. Find My Car is a free app on iTunes.
THURSDAY (6/1): Red Cross – Pet First Aid
Hurricane season starts today officially, so there’s a lot of thought going around being ready in case of emergency. We might know what to do when there’s something wrong and we need first aid for the family. But aren’t your pets part of the family? This app helps you help your dogs or cats or other pets. It gives you the advice you need from veterinarians. It has step by step instructions to help you through normal pet emergencies. First aid for 25 different situations and lots of videos. Pet First Aid by the American Red Cross is a free app on iTunes and Android.
WEDNESDAY (5/31): Oilist
This is an artsy app for your photos. Your camera roll is full of your works of art in photography. Now you can convert those precious memories into artwork. It takes the photo that you choose and changes it into an oil painting right in front of your eyes. It has almost 20 different styles. It allows you to experiment with different types of filters to alter your perceptions of the photo painting you’re creating. It even has something called a Chaos Tool. Gives it that feel of something out of order. You can change the brushes while it’s painting to see how it alters the style. It starts with a pencil sketch and fills in the color. The possibilities are endless. Oilist is $2 on iTunes.
TUESDAY (5/30): Minutiae
The app makers describe this one as “an anti-social media app that helps participants capture the undocumented ordinary moments of life”. This can really show you at your best or worst. There’s no filter to this one. It shows you what your real day is like. Day or night. Once a day, the app will tell you to take a picture of what’s in front of you. And it’s random, you have no idea when it’s going to be. You have 1 minute to respond. Once you open the camera, you have 5 seconds to shoot a picture. You’re paired up with someone else who has the app. You get to see what your partner has documented. This goes on for an entire year, every single day at random times. It’s you at the rawest. Minutiae is a free app on iTunes.
FRIDAY (5/26): Road Ahead
Millions of Texans are headed out of town for the Memorial Day weekend. IF you’re taking to the highway, you might not know what’s available at the next exit when you want to take a break from the drive. This app scans ahead for you. It looks for whatever you might want if you have to make a stop. Gas stations, restaurants, fast food joints, hotels. It’ll even give you a preview of the cost of gas at the stations ahead, so you can decide if that station is cheap enough for you to stop. It has reviews of the restaurants on the road ahead. If it’s coming up, Road Ahead will tell you. Now, like its name, it tells you what’s on the road ahead, because the road behind you is just backtracking. Road Ahead is 2 bucks on iTunes.
THURSDAY (5/25): Hurricane by American Red Cross
Just because we don’t live on a coastline, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be informed about storms. We always like to say that we should always be “weather aware”. This is another way to do it. Hurricane by American Red Cross helps you get ready for severe weather whenever it pops up.
Remember, we’re only 300 miles or so from the Gulf and hurricanes will head right up I-45 if they’re headed for Galveston Island. It gives you step by step instructions on what to do if there’s headed for us. It doesn’t have to be a hurricane either. We get nasty severe weather. The app tracks hurricanes on a weather map and it monitors the conditions. It can also help you find Red Cross shelters when a storm pours through. Hurricane by American Red Cross is a free app on iTunes and Android.
WEDNESDAY (5/24): Fidget Spinner
Fidget Spinners are everywhere and you can’t get enough of them at the 7-Eleven. There’s now an app that does the same thing, if the real Fidget Spinner is giving you a case of tennis elbow. Here’s the thing. This is the most popular free app on iTunes right now. This is a game where you try to get as your Virtual Spinner to spin as much as it can. There are rewards in the form of virtual coins to spend on faster Spinners. Fidget Spinner is a free app on iTunes. It has an in app purchase to get rid of ads.