When I look back at my very first cellphone, an old Nokia with it’s green display, I think of it’s few uses it offered me. Back then, a mere ten to twelve years ago, your phone was pretty cool if it had snake or tetris pre-installed, which is kind of all you got from beginning to end. There was no app store, there wasn’t even a Verizon Get it Now application, you merely had what it came with. But now, in the golden age of the smart phone, we have thousands of choices in apps, games and uses for our phones. But what if you missed something? Something that you may have never thought of.
My name may say “androidman” but I appreciate all types of phones, especially when they contribute to some healthy competition. With that said, I asked around and came up with our top five iPhone camera apps. The iPhone has a pretty impressive camera and with so many apps out on the market it can be a bit overwhelming when choosing which one is right for you, or even worth your time.
Don’t you miss those classic Polaroid pictures? The lightly faded look, slightly washed out colors and odd lighting gives it a great classic look. Instagram catches that, and more, with several photographic options to go through. After taking a picture, you have some filter options that can make your picture look like something out of the 70′s or any classic camera. It’s fun, simple, and makes any picture look great on your iPhone.
This app is a tribute to the original Hipstamatic 100 from the early 80′s. Much like Instagram it has several options to choose from. You can choose a lens, flash and film to give you almost endless combinations. You also have the ability to upload your pictures directly from your iPhone to Facebook or Flickr from within the program itself.
3. Photoshop.com Mobile (Free)
If you’re Photoshop.com user, this app is a must have. Not only does it offer you 2GB of data online for photos and videos, it also features some of the best photo processing options of any free program on the iPhone. Cropping, saturation, blurs and much much more. Considering this app is 100% free, there really is no reason this isn’t already on your phone.
This app is both simple and fun. ColorSplash takes your photographs and converts them into black and white. From there you can choose which part of the picture is in color and which isn’t. Make a table full of fruits all black and white, but leave one lone apple a bright red to make it really pop. There are several brushes to choose from when bringing color back to your pictures giving you even more control over how your colors pop.
5. Darkroom (Free)
Ever have trouble getting a landscape picture with your iPhone just right, just to have something move and ruin a good photograph? This app takes that worry out of your hands. It waits until the conditions are just right before snapping a picture, lessening blur and flares. This app isn’t really for action shots or parties, but perfect for landscapes and portraits. This app is for those planned pictures you want to be just right.
If you don’t have an iPhone and are shopping around, check out thebluedot.net for some great deals on the iPhone 4G and much much more!
It’s safe to say Google’s Android is no longer new to the cell phone scene, which is quite obvious by the sheer amount of apps at everyones finger tips. With so many applications available, many for free, it can be a bit overwhelming choosing which app is best for you. There are countless calender, weather and text apps out there, but which one does the job for you? Sometimes the best way to find out is to just download it yourself and give it a try, but who wants to try a dozen map apps before finding the one that you like? Well, we’re here to help narrow the search down for you! Here are our top ten Android apps available on the Droid Market place.
1. Google Maps
Sometimes the best apps are made by the very company that created the Android OS. This is one of those cases. Google Maps has, by far, the best free turn by turn directions available. You’re able to look up traffic updates, overlay businesses (such as gas stations), update instantly when making a wrong turn and even attempts to keep you updated when losing your GPS signal. Although we would probably like another voice option for the turn by turn directions, it’s free! With so many options there isn’t much to complain about once you consider the price (or lack there of).
2. Facebook for Android
Though it is still missing some options it’s website counterpart has, this app is a must have for any social media nut. News feeds, messages and even chat are all included in this easy to use application. It loads much quicker than using facebook in your phones browser, not to mention it’s news feed is a bit more user friendly. Especially after facebooks most recent “update” to their site. Staying connected to your friends is made real easy with this app.
3. Kik Messaging
Kik isn’t just available for the Android. iPhone and even Blackberry have access to this wonderful text messaging app. But what makes this app better than the built in text messaging program? It seems like such a simple addition, but the ability to see that your message was delivered and read is amazing. Not only do you now know when someone receives your text, you also know they read it. So if you’re someplace quiet and can’t give someone a ring, you’ll know they got the message that just couldn’t wait.
4. Google Goggles
Here’s Google again with another amazing app. Recently I had a picture of a cartoon character I couldn’t quite remember. It was on the tip of my tongue and was driving me crazy. With one simple click of the Google goggles app it was able to find a picture match and tell me exactly who it was and where it was from. Goggles gives you the power of the internet in the real world, giving you the ability to search for almost anything you can get a clear picture of.
5. Reddit is Fun
Reddit’s popularity can’t be ignored, especially over this past year. So an easy to use and read application was only inevitable. Reddit is Fun is both quick, simple and easy on the eyes. Mirroring Reddit’s bare bones layout, it simply lists all the top stories currently on the front page, and more. With the ability to sign in and have your front page settings imported to this handy app, it’s the perfect time waster for moments when you’re stuck waiting somewhere for any amount of time. Be warned though, Reddit is incredibly addictive.
6. My fitness Pal
Working out is hard and dieting is even harder. My Fitness Pal is the prefect app for someone who wants to lose weight and loves graphs. Simply make an account, enter your weight and height, and your adventure begins. With it’s built in calorie counter, keeping track of what foods you eat and what foods you shouldn’t eat, couldn’t be easier. By entering your weight everyday you can keep track of what works for you. Are you working out enough? Maybe you’re eating too much on Saturdays. This app can show you that and more!
7. Craigslist Notification
Are you looking for a new job? Maybe you’re on the go and can’t be by a computer at all hours scouring the internet for jobs or sales. This craigslist app is the best in keeping track of new and old posts for anything and everything on the site. The greatest feature is its updating filter system. If you’re looking for a job with a certain pay, or specialty, you can enter keywords into a search and it will update for you the moment something new comes up. Be the first on the scene at a big sale, or be the first to hand in a resume at your next big job. This app will keep you updated and in the know when it comes to local listings. This app should also be available on the iPhone and Blackberry.
This app has two camps, either you love it or you hate it. Androids keyboard works well enough, but sometimes it’s just not fast enough for someone in a hurry. Swype enables the ability to… swipe, your finger along your keyboard connecting the letters and spelling out the words quickly and efficiently. At first it can be clumsy and difficult to use, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be texting faster than you ever have before. Over time the app learns your most commonly used words, such as peoples names, and includes them into the swype dictionary. I use this app everyday and can be counted into the “love” camp.
9. Youtube for Android
Technically another Google app, this app makes searching and watching youtube videos easier than ever. Androids built in browser is great for general use, but like the reddit app, youtube’s app makes using their site much easier. As long as you have 3G you can watch videos in excellent quality, or watch them in full quality by linking to a wifi. Of course, all TheBlueDot review videos can be watched on this app, which you can also watch on the iPhone and windows phones since this app is also available on those platforms.
This app is available on the Android, iPhone, Blackberry and Windows phones, but that doesn’t make it any less of a must have for music lovers (or comedy lovers with the new “todays comedy” channel). It’s simplistic design makes it easy to make new channels and see the beautiful artwork of every album cover. The only feature missing in this app is the details description of the bands and their music, but this application is really meant to be listened to on the go anyway. Even if you lose signal, Pandora buffers the audio ahead of what you’re listening to. So you have a few more minutes of your song before it cuts out (subways may not be the best place to use this app).
We hope this helped narrow down your quest for the best applications the Android phones have to offer. If you don’t have an Android phone, as mentioned above, many of these applications are also available on iPhones, Windows and Blackberry phones. All of these phones are available on our online store at TheBlueDot.
Imagine this scenario. You’re driving home from a long day at work and you seem to be “stuck“ behind a driver who is very distracted from the road and the responsibility of driving her vehicle. We have all been there, and most of us can probably be considered offenders as well. Distracted driving refers to anything that takes your eyes or mental focus off of the road. It can be reaching for something on another seat, applying makeup, or even working your cars controls. The use of cell phones while driving has become a particular concern in recent years. This problem is particularly pronounced among young drivers.
In a recent Consumer Reports Survey, 63 percent of respondents under 30 years of age reported using a hand held phone while driving in the last 30 days; almost 1 in 3 texted. Alternately, of responders 30 and older, 41 percent used a cell phone while 9 percent sent text messages while driving in the last 30 days.
We all know of someone or have heard of someone who was severely injured or even died as result of a crash caused by a driver distracted by a cell phone and it has to stop. In the same Consumer Reports survey young drivers were asked what if anything made them reduce or even stop these behaviors. The most popular answers include, “I’ve read or heard about the dangers of distracted driving.” and “Laws that ban using a handheld cell phone and/or texting while driving”. While education is key, as proven time and time again, what else can be done? Carriers and application developers have answered the call to join the fight against distracted driving.
Have you ever been watching an old movie and wonder to yourself, “HOW”?? How did these people get anything done without a cell phone with them at every waking moment? I think about this sometimes and still cannot fathom how it was possible. I use my phone ALL the time. I use my phone for things I never would have thought I would need a phone for. It is my calculator, my directions, my restaurant guide, my night-light, my watch, and I also make calls with it. I have even used my phone as a prop to seem like I am keeping busy while I am actually loitering- you know you have too. With the introduction of the smartphone, the idea that a cell phone is just a phone has completely gone out the window. Applications have taken over. There are now over 300,000 Apps available in the Apple App Store, with close to 10 billion total downloads. If one were savvy enough, they could potentially automate a great deal of their life through applications. There are apps to pay bills, apps to help the cost-conscious shopper, apps to track sleeping habits, apps to locate the closest bank, gas station, or bodega. Apps rule the roost when it comes to the phone dominating your life. Continue reading »