I’ve been a fan of the Google Search App for iOS almost from the beginning. Sure Safari and Google Chrome have a search feature built right into the browser, but the dedicated App offers many more features. For one, when I sign in with my Google ID I get access to my search history even if I did the searches on my notebook/desktop. The app also supports voice search. What’s new in this 3.0 version is the integration of location based Google Now. These cards can start you off with the current weather conditions and traffic conditions. Beyond those basics you can see what local restaurants are in the area as well as sports scores and breaking news. I tend to use a couple of other apps to get this kind of info, but it’s nice having all there at my finger tips when I go to search for something. Also if you search for a business location or other destination, Google Search integrates nicely with the Google Maps app on your iOS device. Just tap and you’re on your way with turn-by-turn voice directions.
Get Google Search featuring Google Now on iPhone or iPad here for free:
Dropcam HD has quickly become my new security camera of choice. It streams HD to the cloud and allows me to check in on things when I’m away. They even offer DVR like functionality for motion detected events. However, until their latest update Dropcam always ran continuously, I don’t really need two of my three Dropcams to run when I’m on site. I really just need them to run when I’m away. Since I come and go and different times on different days, the new scheduling feature doesn’t quite work for me either. However, they also added a “location” based feature and this will be great for me. Basically I set all of my Dropcams to turn on and broadcast whenever I leave the building. Since it’s based on the location of my iPhone 5 I can set this up once and never have to think about it again. This will also potentially cut down on bandwidth use and privacy concerns for people that don’t want to be “recorded” while they’re at home. Dropcam was already an excellent solution for offsite or onsite monitoring and now it just got a lot better. You can see my original Dropcam HD review here and you can get a Dropcam here.
It seems to be an obsession with many people to share photos of the food that they are about to eat on social media. Either you have a friend that does it or you’re that friend that does it. I’m not sure what the point really is unless you’re into food photography. We even make jokes about it. I hear people say things like “I don’t want to be on Facebook or Instagram because I don’t care what you had for lunch!” Nonetheless, social media sites are loaded with pics of FOOD! Well if we can’t stop people from sharing photos of their meals the least we can do is give them a way to make those pics look better. As you may have guessed, yes there’s an App for that. It’s called InstaFood. I reviewed InstaWeather Pro a while back and I love that App. The same developers make InstaFood so I decided to check it out. This App works similarly to InstaWeather. You can either take a photo with the App or load one in from your Camera Roll or Albums. Once the photo is in place then it will automatically detect your location and from there you chose from a variety of different skins/text to overlay on your photo. The pic I took above was actually my dinner from a few weeks back in Los Angeles. Since location information was in the metadata of the pic, InstaFood picked that up automatically. You can even use the built-in Foursquare support to choose the exact restaurant you are in to have that name appear on the pic. Once you’ve added the skin of your choice and customized it to your liking you can immediately share it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare.
If you’re gonna show us what you’re eating, at least do it with style. This is your app!
P.S. I actually did love my salmon dinner at Cafe Sierra in the Hilton Universal City. Highly recommend it! Just sayin’
I look forward to going to Photoshop World each year and presenting. One of the tools that helps keep me on top of things that are going on is the official Photoshop World Conference & Expo App. Each year there are updates to the App, but this year the author (Shawn Welch) redesigned the App from the ground up. The new design is definitely easier to navigate. It’s also better looking. The App lets you see up to the minute messages from the conference organizers. You can see the Classes, Instructors, Exhibitors and most importantly the “My Schedule” feature. With the My Schedule feature you can add classes to your schedule based on available time slots. While I like the improvements in this feature, there is one change that I don’t like. I miss having the ability to fill a time slot with a custom meeting or event. With this update you can only choose from the available classes so that’s a bit of a step back for me. However, one thing that kinda makes up for it is that the App now syncs with iCloud. This means that I don’t have to manually create the same schedule twice on both my iPad and iPhone. I added a class on the iPad and it showed up in the appropriate time slot on my iPhone 5. It also has a 10 minute before the class reminder feature. I’d also like to be able to customize this to make it 15 minutes to an hour depending on the session.
UPDATE: Shawn has informed me that there is a way to do custom reminders by scrolling down to the bottom of an event and changing it there.
All in all the update is better and more stable than the previous version. I hope that Shawn adds back in the ability to add custom time slots (hint hint), but if you’re going to Photoshop World and you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch this is definitely worth a download.
Burner solves an interesting problem. The idea behind the App is that once you download it to your iPhone and set it up you can create a temporary (burnable) phone number that you can use when you don’t want to give out your real phone number. For example, I’ve never sold anything on Craig’s List because I didn’t want to give out my personal contact information. I didn’t want people coming to my house or having my home/mobile phone numbers. I solved the coming to my house problem a couple of years ago by moving into my own photography studio. Now I have a business address that people can come to. However, the phone number issue still remained. If I put up a classified ad I want people to be able to contact me about the product I’m selling all the way through the sales process. After the deal has concluded I don’t want anyone else calling me about it. This is where a burnable number comes in. The Burner App allows you to create temporary phone numbers that you can use to dial out on and the caller-ID will reflect that number as well as receive calls on that number that ring through to the App on your iPhone with push notifications. While the App is Free, you buy credits via an in-app purchase to setup numbers for 7, 30 and 60 days with various amounts of talk time. 3 credits set you back $1.99, 8 credits for $4.99 and 15 credits for $7.99. The pricing is not bad and the “Standard Burner” for 5 credits and it will last you for 30 days or 50 talk minutes or 150 texts. You can create the number in the area code of your choice.
When you set up the App it will need your real phone number as a point of reference and they promise to keep it secret. Other than that the setup is very straight forward. You even get a test number to play with for 24 hours. You can burn the number at any time and use the number can be used for texting too.