I love to share the basics of tech to show what you can get done quickly and easily with tablets(like the iPad), smart phones and PCs from the point of view of someone who has vision difficulties as I am legally blind. I avoid "geek speak" as I share the great things you can get done with new technology. It is more important to get things done with tech than the tech itself.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Top 10 Most Useful iPad Apps (July 2012)
Author's Note: This is a repeat of a previous post with one change.
Evernote. Available for iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac, PC and Windows Phone. This is where I keeps notes for anything I need to remember. Examples, monthly vehicle mileage, prescriptions, copy of important documents (passport and drivers license). Lately I use Evernote every day to jot down thoughts for blog posts. I begin my blog posts in Evernote and copy the text to my blog software. FREE
E-mail. iPad and iPhone. I use Apple's e-mail app that comes with the iPad. It allows for multiple e-mail accounts that can be seen all at one time. This saves time. I check e-mails many times throughout the day. FREE. No charge for this one.
Nightstand Central for iPad. Available for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. Since I charge the iPad every evening, why not leave it on the nightstand propped up to show a really large clock. Virtually all alarm clocks have small text and too difficult to red or too bright. Nightstand Central allows for easy dimming too. Alarms are easy to set and one can have pleasant sounds to fall asleep by. It even shows updated weather. I use this app every day. FREE for iPhone and iPad.
Any.Do. A very easy to read and use Task Manager. I am back to using a task manager every day to make sure I get things done when they are supposed to be done. This app is so very elegant it is fun to use. No kidding. Any.Do is available for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch as well as Android. Task even synchronize between them. FREE.
Informant HD. Sometimes referred to as Pocket Informant, this is my integrated Calendar and Contacts. Pocket Informant has a Task Manager but i've switched to Any.Do. Because all 3 are in a single app, it saves time and energy. I look at my calendar about once per day. It fully integrates with Google Calendar, Google Contacts, iCal for Mac and Toodle Do for tasks. I have used this app for many years dating back to Pocket PCs. $12.99 for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, $11.69 for Blackberry, $12.99 for Android.
AP Mobile. This is the Associated Press and my favorite news source since I can enlarge the text to make it readable for me. I read the AP news once or twice per day. Other news service apps are good but for me, if I can't enlarge the text then I am not able to read it. Available for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch and Android. http://getapmobile.com/. FREE.
Echofon for Twitter. This is a twitter app this is easier for me to read as I can enlarge the text and get a white background. I read tweets on Echofon multiple times per day. Twitter is much more useful than i originally thought FREE.
Kindle. In my opinion the best book reader since it saves your place to the cloud. This means you can resume your book at the same page on any device that has the Kindle app. iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Android, PC, Mac and Windows Phone. Books are purchased on the Amazon.com site. http://www.amazon.com/. FREE
Instapaper. I love to read but my vision disability makes it virtually impossible to read things with small text or with normal contrasting backgrounds. This means web sites are impossible to read. Instapaper allows me to send the website content, excluding ads, to the Instapaper site. The iPad Instapaper app brings the sites together in a single place where I can then adjust the text size and background so I can read them without effort. I can surf the web or tweets and share them to Instapaper for later reading. I read in Instapaper about twice per day. $4.99 for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, FREE for Android, Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers.
Movies by Flixter. This is where I check for movies at my local theater. It shows movie times and trailers. It even shows theaters wherever you are. I look at Flixster once or twice per week. FREE for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch and Android smasrtphones.
Words with Friends. I have to admit I am hooked on Words with Friends. This game is almost identical to Scrabble except Words with Friends is FREE. After each move your opponent is notified it is their turn. They open Words with Friends to see what your last move was. It is addicting. FREE for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Android and within Facebook for the PC and Mac.
Please write a comment with your most useful or favorite apps.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
What to do if Your Email Gets Hijacked
If someone tells you they got an odd email from you but you didn't send any such thing, then your email account has likely been hijacked.
In the past year I've received emails from 4 or 5 of my contacts that say "check out this link." That's all--just check out the link. This is suspicious at best so I respond to my friend and ask if they, in fact, sent this email. Of course they didn't. DON'T CLICK THE LINK!
What do we do if our email account gets hijacked?
First and foremost is change your email password and make it a strong one too. Remember, someone or some program cracked the current password.
Here is a more detailed article about hijacked emails that came from Ron in my Seniors Computer Club. And another article I found.
TIP: A Strong password is one that contains letters (upper and lower case), numbers and characters. I know, I know...to hard to remember right? Well try this. Change some of the letters to numbers that look similar. Change an 'l' to a 1 (one) or an 'E' to a 3 (three) or an 'O' to a 0 (zero). That's it.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
What else can you do with your smartphone's Camera?
Since a camera is always with me as it is built into my smartphone, taking pictures for more than family photos is very valuable.
Take a picture of the parking sign number/letter where you park so you can find your car. My memory is not what it used to be so now I let my camera do the remembering for me. Get that photo and keep your mind relaxed for that vacation or shopping trip.
Take a picture of something at a store and share before you buy. This is a good method to remember what you saw at the store. Maybe the many coffee tables or chairs being considered for the living room. Or take photos of price tags from the shelf if comparing household items.
Try your camera as a fax machine replacement. I use a program called CamScanner (Anddroid or iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch) to convert photos into PDF files which are common outputs of scanners. Instead of paper into a fax just email it. There is a FREE version of CamScanner or a Pay version that removes CamScanner from the footer of each page.
That's right, your smartphone's camera is also a brain, fax and copier!
What other uses for your camera can you think of?
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012
A wonderful Task Manager
I'm all about using a task manager instead of a written to do list. Re-writing a list each day just doesn't seem to be very efficient. Besides I have terrible handwriting.Over the past few years I have tried a few good task managers (to do lists) and have like most. But I heard about a new one called Any.Do (any dot do) and I like it a lot.
It has a very clean look and this works well for my vision disability. That is to say tasks are easy to read as there is space between text. You can choose a black or white background. White works best for my vision problem.
Any.Do's works so very nicely. It's all about tasks that need to be done Today, Tomorrow, This Week or Later. That's it. Unfinished Today tasks automatically stay in Today when tomorrow rolls around. Pretty common for Task Managers but moving or changing the order of tasks is very easy. Just touch and hold a task for a moment and the drag it to the place in the order you desire. No need to edit the task for this. However a task can be easily edited if necessary. Entering tasks is amazingly easy. Either type away or speak your task.
Any.Do works on iPhone/iPad as well as Android. In fact, tasks can synchronize between the two systems. Any.Do is FREE. It works with Google So create a FREE Google account to get started.
In a few short days I've come to enjoy Any.Do very much.
Tell me what you think.
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