SimpleDeal Mobile App

SimpleDeal Screenshot 2When eating out we all want a deal but often you need to print out coupons or search around for deals that are only good at certain times. SimpleDeal mobile app is coming out to combat those problems.

This is a restaurant deals app will tell you all the great deals for the restaurant that you are at! You don’t have to have purchased a deal previously or jump through any hoops. Simply point your phone at the nearest restaurant and the deals will pop up (if they are on the service). If there aren’t any deals to be had, a list of nearby establishments will pop up along with their deals.

Restaurants do pay a minimal fee to list their establishments and their deals. But it is free for the diners to use!

Right now it is only being used in Long Beach but they are planning on widening their coverage soon. SimpleDeal was released on iOs January 10th and will be released on Android on January 17th.

(This is an informational post on a new app that is sponsored but all words are my own!)

 

 

Windows Store Gift Card Giveaway and Holiday Promotion

WinGiftCard_2LangAlt1_25_frnt_thumb_67633751Tis the season for tech! And in that vein Microsoft is making it easier to enjoy our new tech! With every purchase of a touch PC or tablet with Windows 8 or 8.1 (from a participating retailer) you can get a free $25  Windows Store gift card! You can get all the details here!

The Windows Store Gift Cards are a fabulous gifts in and of themselves! There are so many fabulous apps! You can get great Xbox arcade games, photo tools, video editors, and a ton of other great apps for under $5 each!

One of the benefits of being a member of the Windows Champions program means that I occasionally get opportunities to bring your guys some giveaways to celebrate great promotions like this one! So how would you like to win a $25 Windows Store gift card here?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Looking at the Belkin WeMo

WemoI recently received a Belkin WeMo to review from Verizon and these are my thoughts! This is super easy to use! Just plug it in, install and go!

I also love that home automation is now plug and play so we can bring it into any home. To read more about some great home automation tools make sure to check out Technology and the House!

A Look at Life360

life360_logotagline_gradient_rgb

Another location app but just for family. That is what I thought about when I heard about Life360 months ago. I love the fact it is a free app that lets you track your kids, set up alerts, and even do geofencing. But my kids are little (read no phones and homeschooled) and my husband doesn’t even carry a smartphone. So I assumed that Life360 had no possibility of a place in my stable of apps. Well, I once again may have been a little too hasty. I had an opportunity to do a sponsored post through Splash Creative Media and rather than just look at it for families, I found uses for us adults too!

Life360 is a location app that is very private, that is very true. But it isn’t just usable for people who want to know if there kid is actually where they are supposed to be! It is also usable for friends, groups and to keep track of mom(and by that I mean me;).

What do I mean? Let me tell you a situation in which having Life360 would have made my life easier and would have prevented my poor husband from almost calling the cops;).

Normally when I am at a conference I spend a lot of time social media like Twitter and Facebook and it serves as a great way for my husband to know I am safe, etc. And at a normal blogging conference it is relatively easy to find people you know so you aren’t out there in the crowds all alone. Well, we found out the CES was an entirely different animal.

So my problem, since there is something like 150,000 people there, I was wondering alone! Data sucked due to the crowds so there just didn’t seem a good way to find people. So it was near impossible to see if others I knew were near by. But with Life360 I can create circles! Then I can see where my friends are or send a message to the whole group (and yes, a group and just be your family). So that is one way but not the most important way it could have helped on the trip…

The most important way Life360 works could have helped was to help ease my husband’s mind. My 2nd day at CES I wasn’t on social media after 10am. Then I was scheduled to walk the floor, attend a cocktail party, a dinner and change hotels. My roommate was leaving so in theory if I were to be missing no one would notice until I missed my plan the next day. Well, I was having cell reception issues and had to get my suitcase from one hotel and go to the other after my dinner. It boils down to the fact it was 11:45 at night and my husband called my new hotel, I hadn’t checked in yet and he had no idea where I was. I checked in and called about 15 minutes later. He didn’t mention how freaked out he was but when I got home, LVPD’s website was pulled up on my computer. If he had seen that I had gone to all my events he says that he would have felt much better!!!!! We could have even set alerts for when I arrived at each one!

Needless to say, this app is now installed on my phone!!! The husband is planning on tracking when I get to my hotel when I go to Type A next week;). Did I mention, you can even track non smartphones too? It isn’t as exact but there is the option!

I already thought Life360 was a great app for families with kids on the go but come to find out it is really functional for those of us whose kids are still trapped without cells;).

Disclosure: I am being compensated by Splash Creative Media on behalf of Life360 to write this post. The opinions contained within are mine and mine alone.

Photo Editing App for Touch: Fhotoroom

fhotoroomscreen

Touch screens and tablets are all the rage right now but I admit, I am old school. I typically use a keyboard and mouse not only to blog but even to play games. But being a geek, I am always looking for some great touch apps that will let me be productive! So I was stoked when I finally found a great photo editing app that for the Windows 8 touch environment!

It is called Fhotoroom and there is a pro and free app. I have only tried their Live Tile Windows app and it has way more capabilities than I can use;). But what I have done in it has been super easy and the results have been great!

Just pull up a picture and go at it. I have used it primarily for cropping and some color saturating and I couldn’t have found it any easier to use! (I use PicMonkey for everything!) I just grabbed the element in the picture that I wanted to crop into, did a little pinch and zoom and done!

I know it sounds crazy simple but I love it!!! I am finally taking time to play with pictures I have had forever!!! Maybe I will scan in and edit my wedding pictures… They are all snapshots (I regret not hiring a photo;) but that is another story for another post.

(Disclosure: I am a Microsoft Windows Champion and did find out about the app from them but the words, opinions and experiences are mine. Like anyone could force me to say anything;)

 

My #1 Life Management Tool

Picture from Cozi

Picture from Cozi

I know, that is a big claim but I Cozi is awesome!!! For years I ran a hybrid of list pads, day planners, list files in Google Drive and Google calendars but they just weren’t working the way I needed for my family. My first inclination was to try and get the husband to build an online tool but nobody has time for that;). So I had to figure out if I could find tool to balance all my needs and I am quite needy.

What I needed:
1) Calendar
2) Lists
3) Separate Calendars for my work stuff & everyone else
4) Accessibility for me! I wanted to get the information without having to remember to carry it.
5) Ability to share it with the husband

Cozi LogoHow Cozi met those needs:

1) Share ability! Every member of the family can log in with their own email and a communal password.
2) Accessibility! You can access it in your browser, cell phones and tablets! There are apps for iOs and Android. For other platforms there is a mobile site that runs fast and easy.
3) Calendars galore! You can create as many calendars as you could possibly desire. Then you can view one or many at a time. I have them for the husband, myself, the kids and my blogs.
4) Shopping lists. You can create separate lists for every store or type of store or any way you want to organize things. Then you just tick things off. That simple. They are all in a pull down. I keep my fireworks list and packing list here too!
5) Todo lists! Just like shopping lists and calendars, you can create as many different todo lists as you could possibly want. You know how you make a todo list and you hope to get to is soon but there is an absolute day it has to be done by? Put that date on it and that item will also go into your calendar but as soon as you complete it (check it off) it will leave the calendar! So all those little things you don’t put on your calendar because it would clutter it (but you really need it there) this is the answer!!

The extras that Cozi gives me:

1) Meal planning tools! You can lay in your meal plan, store your recipes and generate shopping lists!
2) Message Center! There is a communal message center where you can post just like a bulletin board. That is great for the general reminders you might need to pass along.
3) Journaling! You can note all those milestones and successes either for the memory book or to share. You can do monthly email newsletters (to keep grandparents up to date) or set it up to share straight to Facebook.

This is all the free features. There is also a Cozi Gold that takes out the ads and allows you to track Birthdays too.

Is there any wonder as to why I and so many others love this app? And no, I haven’t been compensated at all to write this post!

5 Must Have Apps for Productivity on a Droid

Droiddna

I recently got a new HTC Droid DNA to use from Verizon. While I love trying out new phones but no matter how shiny they are, you need some apps to get some work done! Lets face it, how I justify paying for a phone plan is because I can get some work done! But my 5 apps are not the ones just for cranking out work but the most helpful;).

1) Gmail: Gmail is my first, must have app! I find that the built in email client on the phone never works as well. Checking email is the biggest task I can knock out on my phone!

2)Hootsuite: Hootsuite enables me to tweet not only for myself but for my social media clients! It helps me to also monitor everything so that we don’t have a Burger King incident;).

3)Facebook: Ok, it may not totally be work but being able to deal with my Facebook on the go means that I don’t have to take the time to deal with it when I get home!

4)Wordpress: Ok, I don’t do a lot of blogging off my phone but I can edit mistakes and moderate comments. I hate knowing I have a spammy comment on a blog post and have to leave it there because I don’t have access to my WordPress!

5)Pinterest: I know Pinterest sounds like an odd must have app but hear me out. Being active on Pinterest is getting to be more and more important in the blogging world but it can easily suck up so much time (rabbit hole anyone;). By accessing Pinterest primarily on mobile devices helps limit the amount of time I waste!

There are near misses that I didn’t put on the list like SkyDrive, OneNote, and Pages. They are all important too but these are my first 5! What are your first 5 apps on a new phone?

(Disclosure: I am an ambassador for Verizon and they sent me the Droid DNA to use! All words and opinions are mine!)

Cloud Storage: Why and Where

Cloud Storage

Why:
1)Back up storage
2)Easy sharability of files: You can send links or even share a complete folders. You just need the person’s email.
3)Access everywhere!!

Free Sources of Limited Space: (all of these have apps for mobile access)

1)SkyDrive: This is my current favorite cloud storage! You get 7GB free. What makes it special to me is that you can edit your Office documents in the Office Apps. If you are on a computer with Office you can also use it in order to get the full capabilities.

2)Amazon Cloud: This is great for media! You can get 5GB free and can pay to upgrade.

3)Google Drive: This can tie into your Gmail, Google Calendar and other Google Apps.

4)Dropbox: This is the original, reputable cloud storage service. I believe you get 2GB free to start. They often offer ways to earn more free space and you can always pay to upgrade too.

(Disclosure: I am in the Windows Champions program. That doesn’t influence my opinions.)