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FlightTrack 5

10 Apps That I’m Looking Forward to on Apple Watch That Are Already Here!

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Apple Watch is a little bit more than a week away from shipping to those lucky few who got their pre-orders in within the first 5-10 minutes of being open last Friday. I’m really looking forward to receiving my Apple Watch Sport. I find that like the iPhone back in 2007 there is much confusion about Apple Watch. It isn’t my job to sell you on it. Frankly I’m not too concerned about people that say that they don’t want or need it. Like any product it will be a great fit for many and not for others. When I mention Apple Watch to my friends (the ones that don’t get it), I explain to them that it’s all about the “glances”. I pull my iPhone 6 plus out of my pocket more times than I can count in a day to look at things. Perhaps I got a push notification and I want to see what it is. Maybe it’s a notice that my flight or gate has changed. Or maybe it’s a notice that my Uber car has arrived. Perhaps it’s a text message. These are things that in most cases don’t really need much interaction from me, but they are little pieces of information that I want to know and soon will be able to glance at on my wrist while my iPhone stays in my pocket. Apple has already opened to the doors to App Developers to add Apple Watch support to their iPhone apps. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed more and more of my favorite apps being updated with Apple Watch features and some of which I weren’t even expecting, but I’m glad to see. Keep in mind that Apple Watch will already have a lot of great built-in Apps like Passbook (can’t wait to board my next flight using the boarding pass on my Apple Watch), Calendar, iMessage, etc., but it’s the 3rd party apps that will take it to the next level much the way they do on iPhone today.

Here is my list of the 10 Apps That I’m Looking Forward to on Apple Watch:

FlightTrack

FlightTrack-icon

FLIGHTTRACK FOR APPLE WATCH: the perfect complement
• Notifications for flight status and gate changes
• Flight progress and information at a glance
• Travel details for current and upcoming flights for yourself, or friends and family
iTunes.

Uber

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Now you can use Uber on your Apple Watch. Request a ride with a single tap and check your driver’s progress at any time — without ever pulling out your phone
iTunes.

Evernote

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Evernote for Apple Watch
– Dictate notes into Apple Watch and they’ll be transcribed and synced to Evernote
– See recently created, updated, and viewed notes
– Dictate searches and see results on your Apple Watch
– Create reminders and get notified about items due today

iTunes.

1Password

1Password-icon

== 1Password 5.4 for iOS, the ‘Go Go Gadget Watch!` Edition ==

Sometimes, it’s the little things that are really exciting. There’s not a lot of big changes in this release, but some sweet refinements to existing features (like the Message Center and 1Password’s Brain) and one lovely little addition for our Pro users: an item detail that lets you ‘Add to Apple Watch.’
iTunes.

3 Hour Diet Reminder

3_hour_diet

THE APPLE WATCH EXTRAVAGANZA RELEASE

Added snooze button to notifications
Swipe notifications to snooze or start a new timer.
Can set the snooze duration in settings.

Added Apple Watch App Extension
Start and stop your timer from your Apple Watch.
Increase / Decrease you daily water consumption progress.
View the remaining time for your current timer from an Apple Watch glance screen.
Receive notifications directly on your Apple Watch.
Snooze the timer directly from your Apple Watch notification.
iTunes.

apple-watch-3up

Pandora

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Experience personalized music discovery with Pandora for Apple Watch.
· What’s that song playing? The song name and artist are available at a glance.
· Thumb-up tracks you love, pause playback and change stations directly from your wrist.
· Easily access new music notifications.
iTunes.

Deliveries: a package tracker

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• Apple Watch: now includes an app, Glance, and notification support for Apple Watch.
iTunes.

Twitter

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Includes Twitter for Apple Watch. <-not much of description I know, but I’ll be happy to see important tweets/mentions at a glance.
iTunes.

Dark Sky

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Dark Sky looks great on your wrist. Get notifications and check out the weather for the next five days with the Dark Sky app built from scratch for Apple Watch.
iTunes.

Trip Advisor

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New for Apple Watch
• Suggests places to eat or attractions to visit based on your current location and time of day.
• Save a place directly on the Apple Watch, which is synced to your TripAdvisor profile and is made available on TripAdvisor.com and TripAdvisor apps for iPhone and iPad.
• Supports Apple Maps for directions to places.
• Supports Force Touch on list view so that you can change search range and sort options.
iTunes.

Bonus: SPG

SPG-icon

Although I’m more of a Hilton and Marriott guy, the idea of using my Apple Watch to open my door instead of a plastic card key appeals to my geek side in ways you can’t imagine. I will stay at an SPG property just to experience this.

Now you can experience the SPG app on Apple Watch.

You’ll have easy access to all your favorite SPG app features, including SPG Keyless, accessing your stay details and tracking your account.

For more information about the SPG app on Apple Watch, visit spg.com/mobileapps

iTunes.

The Bottom Line

The above list is just the beginning. I can remember the handful of apps available on day one for iPad. Now there are thousands and some of which I couldn’t imagine life without. Although my Apple Watch is already ordered, I’m still stuck on deciding which band I’m going to like the most. Check out this video from my LIVE Periscope broadcast when I tried on a few of my favorites:



The Christmas List

The Best Christmas List App for 2014

TheChristmasListApp-iPhone6Plus

For many of you at this point you’re holiday shopping is probably well underway. However, for many more of you you’re probably procrastinating as usual :-) I’ve used my favorite gift list app for the last few years and it’s really good because it’s not really focused just on Christmas. However, the app also hasn’t been updated in a while and “The Christmas List” app came across my desk. I decided to check it out and it instantly became my favorite. It’s really hard to explain other than it simply has an easier workflow. What I expect from the “Best Christmas List App” is that it will allow me to easily add people from my contacts along with their photos. It will easily allow me to create a budget for each person and the ability to add a list of gifts for each person. I also expect it to have a passcode feature and the ability to easily check off the gifts as I get them. As a matter of fact without these basic features the App will likely get deleted from my iPhone. The Christmas List App has all of these basics and more. First off even with the basics it’s really well thought out and quick and fast to make the entries. You can easily add people from your Contacts or create them manually. You can then assign each person a budget.

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After that you can easily add one or more gifts to each person including the ability to add a photo of the gift as well as the price and even a priority rating. Lastly you can even choose the store or add it if it’s not in the list. This will help with shopping lists by store. If you’re giving the same gift to multiple people you only have to enter it once and then assign it to everyone that you’re giving that gift to.

TheChristmasListApp-touchid-iPhone6Plus

It’s gets better. You can not only assign a passcode, but you can even use Touch ID on iPhone 5s or iPhone 6/6 Plus. You get a countdown in the App for Shopping Days til Christmas and in iOS 8 you can even add it as a widget to your Notification Center. While this is called “The Christmas List” app, it’s not actually limited to Christmas. You can add additional “Groups” for any other holidays that you want to celebrate and buy gifts for. You can share your lists via iMessage/SMS, AirDrop as well as Email and Print. While checking things off as you buy them is a must have, it certainly not the only thing to consider. Did you wrap the gift? Does it require shipping? You can not only mark a gift as Purchased, but also Wrapped, Shipping or Received.

TheChristmasListApp-status-iPhone6Plus

While The Christmas List app is GREAT and my new favorite, it’s not quite perfect. There are a couple of things I would like to see. First and foremost I’d love to see an iPad version. Not sure why so many of these type of apps leave out the iPad? I’d also like to see cloud syncing of lists to iCloud or Dropbox between devices. It’s great that you can add photos of the gifts, but you can only do so with the built-in camera or from the Camera Roll. I’d also like to see an integrated Google search for pics of gifts. It would be so much faster to search for say an Xbox One, find the pic online and insert it rather than having to leave the app to do all that manually. It would also be nice to be able to add countdown dates for the other groups that you create. With a few additions like these I could easily use this app for ALL occasions. Outside of these wishes, it’s still the Best Christmas List App that I’ve seen to date. I also appreciate the fact that it has a “clean” look without too much “Christmas” decoration (ie. tacky clipart).

You can get The Christmas List App here from the iTunes.

 

Be sure to check out 2014 Holiday Gadget Gift Guide for ideas:

terrywhiteGiftGuideGlobe-255

iWatermark+

iWatermark+: Watermark your photos in the iOS 8 Photos App

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I usually like to have a visual watermark on my photos before posting them to social media. If I’m coming from Lightroom on the desktop no problem, I can export the photos as JPGs with the watermark nicely displayed. However, there are times when I’m either taking the photo with my iPhone or accessing an unwatermarked version via Dropbox or an album in the native Photos app. For years I’ve relied on iWatermark to allow me to easily put my logo on my images right on my iPhone or iPad. However, the newly released iWatermark+ takes this process to a whole new level.

iOS 8 brings “Filters” to the table for the native Photos app

Now that 3rd parties can add filters to the native Photos app in iOS 8, we get to experience many more options without having to leave the Camera Roll/Photos App. We can access better image editing tools and more features that 3rd parties offer in their apps. iWatermark+ can be used in a stand alone fashion as always, but now it can also be used as a filter to in the built-in Photos app for iOS 8. Woohoo! This speeds up my workflow considerably. Now instead of having to launch the iWatermark app each time I want to watermark a photo I can simply do it right in the Photos app where the image already resides. Once you configure the iWatermark+ App with the watermark you wish to use (in my case a PNG file of my logo), you can then just bring up any photo in the Photos app, tap Edit to edit it and tap the Filter button (the circle with the 2 dots in it) and choose iWatermark+ as one of the filters. It remembers the last one you used and more importantly where it was placed on the image. The best part is just like any other Edit in the Photos App, this is a non-destructive change. You can always revert the photo back to its “unedited” state to remove the watermark at any time.

But wait, there’s more…

If I left here I’d be quite happy with this app, but it does so much more that I have to remind myself that it’s not just about a logo. With iWatermark+ you can choose between 6 different watermark types. You can use text, a graphic, a signature, a QR Code, metadata (awesome for those photos where the metadata was stripped away) or steganographic. You can use multiple watermarks as well as watermark several photos at once in batch. You can position the watermark anywhere you like as well as control the size and opacity. Once you watermark your photo(s) you can share it right from the app to Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, the Camera Roll, Email or the clipboard.

The Bottom Line

While visual watermarks don’t necessarily protect your photos from being used without your permission they do add a level of branding and identity to your images that you are posting. It’s also away of promoting yourself if that cat photo you just took goes viral. :-) Watermark your photos with ease with this app!

You can get iWatermark+ for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch here from the iTunes.

GIF Keyboard

3 Must Have 3rd Party Keyboard Apps for iOS 8

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Now that iOS 8 allows for 3rd party keyboard apps to be installed, there have been some new entries into this space. Here are my picks for the 3 Must Have 3rd Party Keyboard Apps for iOS 8.

 

GIF Keyboard

GIF_iPhone6Plus

When I smiley face Emoji just isn’t enough you can now send an animated GIF. However, instead of having to find one on the internet or fire up another app, you can just switch to the GIF Keyboard, find the one you like and insert it right into your SMS text message. This keyboard is nicely implemented with categories making it easy to find the GIF you want.

You can get GIF Keyboard here from the iTunes.

 

Swype

swype_iPhone6Plus

This is a popular 3rd party keyboard on other platforms and now it has made its way to iOS 8. When you bring up the Swype keyboard instead of tapping each letter to spell a word, you simply use your finger to drag through (swype through) the letters that make up that word. It has intellegence built-in to anticipate the word you’re trying to spell even if you don’t hit all the letters. For example when I wanted “cool” I just swiped through “c” “o” and “l” and it knew what I was trying to spell. I can see this keyboard being useful for people that always hitting the wrong keys with the onscreen keyboards of yesterday.

You can get Swype here from the iTunes.

 

Text Expander

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As I mentioned in a previous post, my favorite NEW keyboard is Text Expander. While iOS has had a “shortcut” feature for a while now, Text Expander goes way beyond the built-in iOS shortcut feature. You can configure snippets that are more than just one line. In fact you can do entire paragraphs. Also your snippets can have styling in them.

You can get TextExpander her from the iTunes.

Manual – Custom exposure camera

Manual – Custom Exposure Camera for iPhone

Manual-iPhone5s

One of the things that iOS 8 brings to the table is an open door to App Developers to access the manual controls for the camera. Well it didn’t take long for Apps to appear in the App Store that take advantage of this new capability. “Manual” is just such an App. This App allows you full control over your image by allowing you to “manually” set the shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focus and exposure bracketing. It even has a pretty cool “live” histogram that I must admit when I first saw it, I thought it was an audio meter. If you were shooting a challenging scene (such as a bright window in the background) with a DSLR, you could switch to manual and set your shutter speed and ISO. Now you have the same flexibility on your iPhone.

Shot with the Manual App on AUTO

Shot with the Manual App on AUTO

Shot with the Manual App after an ISO adjustment

Shot with the Manual App after an ISO adjustment to expose the shadows more

The interface is pretty straight forward and it definitely let’s me do exactly what I want when it comes to exposure control. The only thing I don’t seem to be able to control on my iPhone 5s is aperture. I see it displayed as 2.2, but it’s greyed out and that may be that on the iPhone 5s you can’t change it? Not sure. Otherwise the app does all that it claims to do and you can even switch between automatic and manual within the app.

You can get Manual here from the iTunes.

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