Free

My TSA

My TSA App

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I remember teasing my buddy Rich Harrington about his use of the My TSA App. He and I are both frequent travelers and probably know the information for what you can bring on board airplanes by heart. However, the rules are always changing. I remember someone asking me “can you bring a corkscrew in your carry-on bag?” I paused for a second, cursed and downloaded the app. The answer was yes as long as it didn’t have a blade on it. Nonetheless, the App made it’s way into the “Flying” folder of my iPhone. Again today I fired up the App because I wanted to know how busy the airports would be today (the day after a holiday weekend). This is where I had a slight disappointment. Sure enough there were wait times listed, but the information in some cases was several hours old. It appears that this info is dependent on flyers loggin their own wait times. So if no one logs a wait time for your airport today, then you won’t be able to see what the wait times are. While that was a disappointment, the app is still useful for airport delays, what you can and can’t bring onto a plane and most importantly to me these days, which airports have TSA Pre Check.

What would make it better?

This app is OK, but it could be a lot better. First off upgrade the screen size to support the iPhone 5. Use real-time wait times. Let me have all the same features for any airport I pick, not just my default/closest airport. Let me create a list of favorite airports.

Air Travel can be bad enough without extra security headaches. Wether you’re a frequent flyer or an occasional flyer this app will probably come in handy. They less often you fly, you’ll probably need it even more.
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Google Search

Google Now on iPhone and iPad

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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.

While I like having Siri built-in to iOS, Google Search is definitely right on par in terms of usefulness. I wouldn’t want to give either one up.

Get Google Search featuring Google Now on iPhone or iPad here for free:

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Dropcam

Dropcam Adds Scheduling and Location Based Activation

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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.

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Burner - Disposable Phone Numbers

Burner – Disposable Phone Numbers App

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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.

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Adobe Inspire

Adobe Inspire Magazine for iPad

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One of the ways I get my inspiration is by seeing the brilliant work of others. I also learn every time I see one of my colleagues present. I’ve been with Adobe for almost 17 years and I can remember the days of the printed “Adobe Magazine”. The Adobe Magazine stopped being published years ago when the web was all the rage. Now we’re in the era of digital publications on tablets and with that said there’s a NEW Adobe Magazine called Adobe Inspire. Adobe Inspire Magazine is a free publication on the iPad. It’s created using Adobe InDesign and the Digital Publishing Suite. The content is geared toward informing, enlightening, and inspiring creative professionals and hobbyists. Documenting the best of web and interaction design practices for over 10 years, each bimonthly issue features articles, tutorials, and videos by experts about new and emerging technologies as well as best practices to help you excel at your job. Learn about Adobe Creative Suite tools and services as well as web standards, design styles, and prominent artists who create compelling projects. The iPad edition of Inspire Magazine contains bonus features not found on the companion website. Best of all Adobe Inspire is FREE!

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