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Monthly Archives: May 2017

  • Spreaker Android Review

    Spreaker Android Review

    I’ve made it no secret that I’m a big fan of podcasts. It’s always so nice to go for a long walk while listening to the sound of other people talking. I mean, it’s definitely better than thinking, right? Thankfully, in the smartphone age, there are tons of options when it comes to ways to listen to podcasts. Between iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher, taking your internet talk shows with you has never been easier. But does the Spreaker app bring enough to the table to compete with the best of the best in podcast apps? Well, I wrote an article discussing just that. What a coincidence! Let’s take a look at Spreaker for Android devices.

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    What Is Spreaker?

    As I (pretty much) explained in the intro, Spreaker is an app made primarily for listening to podcasts. However, I’ve reviewed podcast apps in the past and they’ve done very little to differentiate themselves from the rest of the crowd. Most of them just seemed like weaker versions of the more popular podcasting apps already available. However, Spreaker does offer some interesting twist on the tried and true podcast formula. Allow me to explain..

    57.1

    How Is The App?

    Spreaker actually exceeded my expectations quite a bit. Unlike many apps that are simply watered-down versions of basic podcast systems, the app offers quite a few unique options. A perfect example of this is the ability to listen to live broadcasts, effectively blurring the lines between podcasting and radio. Additionally, the app offers much more detailed category system, going far beyond the basics of “Entertainment” and “Sports”. Considering there are so many different subgenres of podcasts out there, I’d say that’s a good thing.

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    The Bottom Line

    Spreaker is definitely an app I would recommend for not only listening to podcasts, but discovering new ones. With some wonderful features such as live broadcasting and downloading for offline listening, I’d say the app is definitely worth a download. It is free after all.

  • Dailymotion Windows Review

    Dailymotion Windows Review

    I’ve long wondered why YouTube doesn’t have some real competition. You’d think, considering how many internet companies there are, that somebody would pose a challenge to the online video giant. However, as it stands, when you ask somebody about their favorite place to watch cat videos and clips from famous movies that may infringe on some copyrights, YouTube is generally the answer you’ll get. Well, there are a few video streaming sites that have attempted to compete. Will today’s be the knight that can battle the giant dragon that is YouTube? Probably not. YouTube’s pretty darn big. Regardless, let’s take a look at Dailymotion for Windows devices.

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    What Is Dailymotion?

    As my overdrawn analysis of online video sites may have hinted, Dailymotion is indeed an online video site. But how does it stand out? While YouTube is kind of a one-stop-shop for everything and Vimeo is a more focused site, what makes Dailymotion unique? Let’s take a look in my brilliantly titled section “How Is The App?”

    56.1

    How Is The App?

    I really don’t want to sound too negative in this section, as I really do believe it's noble to try to enter an industry that is pretty much dominated by the monopoly that is YouTube. However, to be totally honest, I did not enjoy the Dailymotion app. Not only was the selection of videos pretty bare, with only recognizable names such as CollegeHumor and WatchMojo catching my eye, there really isn’t that much interesting content. Additionally, the videos I did view kept freezing up. And, trust me, I payed my WiFi bill. Didn’t I…?

    56.2

    The Bottom Line

    If the Dailymotion website is truly a real competitor for YouTube, then the app is not a very good example of that. Not only did the app offer very little diversity in terms of videos, but the video streaming itself was pretty glitchy. Hopefully they’ll be able to fine-tune the app a bit, as it would be nice to see a little online competition.

  • Is Siri Overrated?

    Is Siri Overrated?

    I’ve been talking about a number of different new features for iOS 10 the past couple of weeks. However, I‘ve been neglecting some of the longer-standing features that have been included in iOS for years now. Specifically, I’d like to talk about Siri, the digital personal assistant that has become a standard on iOS devices the past few years. While I understand the popularity of the system, is it just a little overrated? Let’s take a look.

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    Wait, What?

    OK, before you storm my house with torches and pitchforks, let me voice my honest opinion: I’ve never really used Siri that much. I realize that the system can be useful, but I just never really got into it. And, if you will please un-light your torches and put your pitchforks back in your garage, may I give you the main reason I think that way? Thank you.

    45.1

    The Reason

    Looking at the recent iOS 10 update, Siri can do some pretty amazing things these days, such as book a flight or manage your texts. However, I’ve noticed that people mainly use it for pretty much one thing: looking things up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people use Siri only to settle when a celebrity was born or who won a sports championship with Siri, and not really use it for anything else. And the weirdest part is that it doesn’t take that much longer to actually look something up. Maybe I’ll even time the difference someday. After I’ve had a good nap that is.

    45.2

    The Bottom Line

    So perhaps it’s not so much that Siri itself is overrated, it’s that people don’t usually use it in the best way. By this I mean that people pretty much take this incredible piece of tech and use it to Google things for them. And, to be honest, I’m no better! I’m definitely guilty of using the wonderful piece of tech for nothing more than Googling when movies are coming out. So does that make me some kind of hypocrite? Yeah, probably.

  • How To Use Lifesum (Android)

    How To Use Lifesum (Android)

    Health apps have definitely grown in popularity over the past few years. Perhaps it’s because we, as a society, are starting to become much more healthy. Or perhaps it’s because mobile technology is beginning to really help us when it comes to our health needs. Or perhaps it’s because we’ve all done that thing where you download an app and really think you’re going to use it...even if you don’t really end up using it at all. I may or may not have done that a few times with health-related apps. But that’s besides the point. Let’s take a look at Lifesum for Android devices.

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    What Is Lifesum?

    Lifesum is an app to help keep track for your various health needs. Trying to eat healthier? Lifesum can help you with that. Trying to exercise more? Lifesum can help you with that. Trying to build a robotic arm so that you can defeat your enemies? I’m not sure if Lifesum can help you with that. Maybe the Premium version?

    44.1

    How Do You Use It?

    Lifesum is a pretty simple application to use. You begin using the app by choosing your objectives, such as if you’d like to eat healthier, lose weight, or even gain muscle. You then give the app some basic information such as your height, weight, and gender. From there, you’re free to begin tracking your various habits, such as what you eat, what you drink, and how often you exercise by tapping the proper sections.

    44.2

    The Bottom Line

    Lifesum is a very well-designed app for tracking your fitness needs. Not only does the application make tracking your dietary behaviors very simple, it also tells you how healthy your habits are. For example, while inputting the food you’ve eaten, it will give you an actual grade of the item. And, to my shock and awe, triple pepperoni double cheese pizza is not all that healthy for you. So I learned something today,

  • Best iOS 10 Additions

    Best iOS 10 Additions

    I recently wrote up an article about additions to the iOS 10 update that were...not so useful. It’s not so much that they were entirely useless, I just could never see myself utilizing them. Well, now I’ve decided to flip the switch a bit and show you the MOST useful additions to iOS 10. Is your mind blown yet? Let’s look at the greatest parts of iOS 10 update.

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    More Ways To Free Up Space

    On pretty much any new phone you’ll get, there’s some apps pre-installed that they simply don’t allow you to delete. I think they’re usually called bloatware, but I’m too lazy to look it up right now. However, thanks to the latest iOS update, you can delete those apps you don’t end up using very much like Tips and Find Friends. No offense to the Find Friends app or anything. I’ve just got the number of friends I’m comfortable with.

    43.1

    Updated Messaging

    One of the biggest additions to iOS 10 is definitely the updated messaging apps. While the system has definitely improved over time, the latest update shows a great amount of growth. For example, you can write messages in your own handwriting thanks to the new update. And, of course, you can utilize the great number of different stickers now available in messaging. From now on, sending a dancing kitten to your friends is merely a few taps away.

    43.2

    Apple Music Changes

    When I did my fully in-depth review of Apple Music a while ago, I was a bit turned off by the overall design. There’s something about it that seemed so lifeless, which is weird in a type of app that should be full of personality. Well, I can honestly say it looks like they updated that spectacularly, with a much sleeker design overall. Additionally, the app now display the lyrics along with the songs. Which is pretty nice for those of us that like to do personal karaoke sessions.

  • Best iOS Music Apps (That Aren't Apple Music)

    Best iOS Music Apps (That Aren't Apple Music)

    It’s pretty fair to say that apps have become the premier way to listen to music. They’re convenient, there’s a ton of availability, and, depending on your service, it doesn’t always cost money. However, how do you choose from the long (and probably growing) list of musical applications? Well, that’s why I’m here. To show you the way. Let’s take a look at the best music apps you can get on your iOS device. Outside of Apple Music. Since that’s already on your iPhone.

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    Pandora

    I’ve always thought of Pandora as the simplest option when it comes to listening to music. It’s completely free (with some paid options), and allows you to get right to it and make some stations curated to your favorite band or genre. If you’re not in the mood for one particular song and just want some background tunes, Pandora is the way to go.

    55.1

    Spotify

    This is one of those companies that has become the “Google” of what they aim to do. As in, when you think of searching for something on the internet, you think of Google. And when you think of music streaming, you probably think of Spotify. And there’s a good reason for that. The app offers a pretty good deal whether you pay for Premium or not, as the free version has shuffle-able tunes with ads. Additionally, the Premium version allows you to download a wide array of music for offline listening. Even though I’m never offline. But that’s just me.

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    Google Play Music

    Much like Spotify, Google Play Music has some pretty good options for free or if you pay. One of the best things about Google Play Music is the amount of “stations” they have, each offering an interesting genre or subgenre of music. The paid version of the app offers pretty much the same experience as Spotify Premium, along with access to YouTube Red, the ad-free version of YouTube. Unless you enjoy watching an ad before your cute puppy video plays. I don’t judge.

     

  • Weird iOS Stickers

    Weird iOS Stickers

    One of the best-known additions to the latest iOS update is the addition of stickers. Just think of them as groups of emojis that are more varied and expressive. That you also have to pay for sometimes. Well, naturally, tons of people have gotten on board for this new sticker thing. And, also naturally, there’s going to some pretty interesting additions. (Pro Tip: Interesting is the nice way to say weird.) So let’s take a look at some of the more “interesting” offerings from the world of iOS stickers.

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    If Llamas Could Talk

    Have you ever wondered what would happen if, in some alternate Twilight Zone-like universe, llamas could talk? Of course you have! Well, enough people must have asked the very same question, as developers decided to make a sticker keyboard for it. This one’s not so much in the weirdness of the app itself - but that it costs money. I mean, would I spend actual cash to see a talking llama? Well, of course I would. Just not for a keyboard of them.

    53.1

    Watermelon Willy

    Much like in the alternate universe presented by If Llamas Could Talk. Watermelon Willy gives us insight into a world where watermelons are given personality. And looked a bit...odd. Now, I’m not saying that I could adequately design a watermelon with humanoid qualities. But Watermelon Willy scares me. A lot. Let’s move on.

    53.2

    Meme Generator

    Ahh, here we are: the magnum opus of strange stickers. But there’s one issue with this particular entry. You see, it’s not even technically a sticker keyboard. Instead, while claiming to be one of the many keyboards for stickers, Meme Generator is just an app that downloads onto your phone, is very difficult to use, and bombards you with advertisements. However, even if it were just a keyboard of different meme stickers, it would probably still be pretty odd.

  • Subway Surfers Windows Review

    Subway Surfers Windows Review

    Every time you look through an app store, it seems like a lot of the same old familiar faces pop up. You see all the classics such as Spotify, Angry Birds, and Snapchat. However, there’s one app that I’ve almost always seen in those lists that I’ve never bothered to try. Now, is that because of extreme levels of laziness on my part? Yeah, kind of. But we don’t need to get into that right now. Let’s take a look at Subway Surfers for Windows devices.

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    What Is Subway Surfers?

    Subway Surfers is one of your basic endless running games, along the line of Temple Run and Sonic Dash. The game is almost always around the top of the most downloaded lists on the various app stores. But what does the game have to offer that all the rest do not? Well, take a seat and put on your lucky opinion listening hat, here is what I think…

    52.1

    How Is The App?

    If I can be totally honest, I don’t really understand the appeal of Subway Surfers. I spent a decent amount of time with the game, trying to see what exactly all the fuss was about, and didn’t quite get it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad game at all, as the endless running is pretty fun and the graphics are quite nice. However, I’m not seeing why it continues to grace the top downloaded charts.

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    The Bottom Line

    Subway Surfers is by no means a bad game. However, I’m just a bit surprised it's as popular as it is. Considering games like Temple Run have the same gameplay with much more personality, I’m a bit surprised Subway Surfers has become the household name of endless runners. Perhaps if I didn’t know about the hype, I’d like Subway Surfers a bit more. But, as it is right now, it’s just OK. Also I never got to surf. So maybe that’s why I’m so let down.

  • Out Of Milk Android Review

    Out Of Milk Android Review

    It’s happened to all of us. You go out on a special trip to the grocery store for one simple item, come back with bags of stuff, and realize you didn’t even get the one thing you went to the store for. It can be a cruel world sometimes. Well, some app developers must have felt this exact pain and decided it was time to make a stand. No longer shall we go to the store for a pack of gum and come home gum-free again. Let’s take a look at Out Of Milk for Android devices.

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    What Is Out Of Milk?

    At first glance, Out Of Milk seems to be your usual run-of-the-mill grocery list app. However, it’s actually got some useful additions to it. For starters, the app allows you to not only add in items you are in need of, such as bread or cereal, but scan barcodes of products you really enjoy to add them right in. Additionally, you can organize the items already in your pantry and determine how much you have left. After all, there’s nothing worse than the grim realization you’re low on peanut butter.

    51.1

    How Is The App?

    Out Of Milk is one of those apps that really surprised me. It’s not that I didn’t think the app would be any good or anything, I just thought I’d be getting one of your regular listing apps. However, I believe this app really innovates the classic grocery list in a number of ways. The barcode scan is simple and intuitive, and the pantry idea is pretty novel. Even though I’m not nearly organized enough to keep all of that together.

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    The Bottom Line

    Out Of Milk definitely exceeded my expectations, offering a grocery experience unlike my usual process of “writing something on a sticky note and bringing it to the store”. Even if my absolute lack of organization probably means I won’t be able to fully take advantage of the app.

  • How To Find Your Lost iOS Device

    How To Find Your Lost iOS Device

    Have you ever been playing video games for a solid four hours, realized that you haven’t checked your phone the entire time, and immediately fear that as soon as you pick it up you’ll be bombarded with angry text messages about why you haven’t come into work yet? Because it happens to all of us. Well, there’s actually a fairly simple way to find your missing device once it’s been misplaced. Let’ find out how in a little segment I like to call “How To Find Your Lost iOS Device”.

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    The Problem

    As I said, nobody likes losing their phone. However, the tried and true method would usually be to have a friend call it or try dialing your number from a landline. But there’s another problem with that. And not just that people don’t use landlines anymore. You see, if you left your phone on silent mode before its mysterious disappearance, your phone calls will be all but useless. “ISN’T THERE ANOTHER WAY?”, you scream to nobody in particular. Well, you’d be very happy to know that there is.

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    The Solution

    Tracking down your device can be done in a few simple steps. You start off by logging into your iCloud account on your computer. From there, you must choose the “Find My Phone” option and select your device. After that, you simply need to click the “Play Sound” button and your phone will alert you that it was in your jacket pocket the whole time. Not that that’s ever happened to me of course.

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    The Bottom Line

    While it can definitely be a bit of a pain to lose your phone, especially with the sound off, it’s good to know that the retrieval process is actually quite simple. It definitely beats the old days of tearing your house apart just to find your flip phone.

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