Temple Run is addictive, mindless, endless and free, as noted in Get App-y today on NewsOK.com. But it’s not the only one that fits this description available on the iTunes app store. (Some have Android versions, too.)
In a recent talk with sixth-graders, all agreed that they loved the running, jumping, swiping and coin-collecting from Temple Run, but they’ve moved on to Jetpack Joyride (free, Halfbrick), starring “Barry Steakfries,” who is riding a jetpack through some sort of scientific lab facility. He flies, collects coins and crashes into obstacles, an act that ends the game.
I also have laughed at “Sky Burger” recently, which involves creating a hamburger to order from the lettuce, tomatoes, patties, pickles, onions and bread that fall from the sky. The level is over when you add the top of the bun, but if you add it too soon, you lose. It, too, is free.
I’ll post more later, but here are two to get you started if you’ve already achieved all the objectives in Temple Run.
Then again, these are endless, too.
Email me your favorites or comment below.
~ Lillie-Beth (email@example.com)
Today’s Get App-y column on NewsOK.com and in The Oklahoman featured dating apps for singles, but U.S. Cellular offered some free app ideas and websites to help couples. Since I’m late to post these, they’re probably too late for use on Valentine’s Day, but they can help in future planning for romance.
The National Retail Federation has found that the average person celebrating Valentine’s Day will spend $126.03, the highest amount in 10 years. Total spending is expected to reach $17.6 billion.
Here are some suggestions from the Oklahoma City U.S. Cellular office for the phones that they offer — Android-powered, BlackBerry or Windows Mobile. Some of these apps are also available for iPhones. These are some of the mobile service company’s ideas to make your loved ones’ day special:
The gift. Smart phone users can access the Internet service Thoughtful.co through their Web browser and enter information about their Valentine. Thoughtful.co offers unique gift ideas and experiences based on their likes and interests, as well as reminders about upcoming milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries.
The dinner. Yelp.com and corresponding apps provide listings of local restaurants and consumer reviews and ratings. The service recently added the ability to make dinner reservations at select local restaurants. Enter the time, date and party size, and your table is booked.
Flowers. Send real or virtual flowers to your loved ones through 1800Flowers, which also links you to exclusive offers.
Choolate. The Godiva mobile app conveniently gives you access to the premier chocolate company’s products, ready to order.
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I have found apps from Splashtop handy at different times, such as when needing to retrieve a document on my home computer or when I want to watch something on my iPad that requires Flash. Here is more about them, as well as links to the various apps:
Originally Published in The Oklahoman’s Life section, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012
Get App-y: Connect to home from anywhere
App offerings from Splashtop for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices let you connect to your home computer from wherever you are.
BY LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN (email@example.com)
As I cooked dinner one night downstairs in my split-level house, I needed a recipe from my computer, located in a bedroom all the way upstairs.
Whether you call it laziness or convenience, I used an application on my iPad to retrieve it without having to walk up the two flights of stairs. The app, Splashtop Remote Desktop, connected to my desktop computer via my wireless Internet, and once I opened the app and typed in a password, I could view my home computer screen on my iPad and use the tablet to navigate to the recipe file that I needed.
The same app is available as Android or BlackBerry apps as well, so it works as a gateway link between any computer and almost any mobile device, whether an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android smartphone, Android tablet, Sony Tablet or BlackBerry.
The app’s cost ranges from $1.99 to $6.99, depending on what device you’re using. Install it on your device, and then use your computer to go online to www.splashtop.com to download the desktop companion app, the free Splashtop Streamer, to the computer you want to use on the app.
Using the app, I have accessed my home computer while at work to retrieve documents and looked at files on my hard drive in Oklahoma while on a trip to Asia.
Connecting by remote to another computer is familiar to those who have ever called a customer support help line and had technicians request permission over the phone to access their computers to try to diagnose the problem.
It’s neat to be able to do this on a mobile device. To use Remote Desktop, make sure the Splashtop Streamer opens when you turn on your computer so the two machines can “talk” when you need them. Lately, I have had a few problems with error messages that tell me my device can’t communicate with my computer, so success isn’t always guaranteed. However, much of the time the app works as planned. The first screen I see each time explains which fingers and motions I need to use to control my computer, which is handy.
The app recently won Laptop Magazine’s app of the year at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nev.
When you go to the website to download the companion streamer, take a look at the other apps that Splashtop.com offers for your iPad, including:
Splashtop Whiteboard ($19.99), which turns your iPad into an interactive whiteboard; Splashtop Remote Browser, which makes it possible to view Adobe Flash files streamed from the computer to your device; and Splashtop XDisplay, which lets you use your device to extend your computer monitor.
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Send app column ideas or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For fans tuned into the Super Bowl today, the Oklahoma City office of AT&T offers a list of apps for your mobile devices that might interest you, whatever part of the game that interests you. From football trivia to game day snacks, there are iOS apps for iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches and apps for your Android devices to help plan every party, and I thought I’d share this list directly from AT&T.
Here are some:
BIG GAME TRIVIA
Super Bowl Winners. (free version and $1.99 version)
, iOS) Astound your family and friends with your knowledge of football history by brushing up on some facts using the Super Bowl Winners app. The app includes information about the first Super Bowl in 1967 and lists all the winners. (Free)
Super Bowl Trivia app (Android)
Test your knowledge of prior seasons with The Super Bowl Trivia app. By playing this game you can brush up on your trivia that may come in handy when getting together with friends this season. The timed question and answer format includes questions on coaches, MVPS, game scores, winners and losers. (Free)
ESPN ScoreCenter app (Android and iOS)
Show off or boost your knowledge of this football season by checking out ESPN’s free ScoreCenter app. Get recaps, stats, and summaries; and the latest news on teams still in the hunt, plus more.
Android version available here:
iPhone/iPad version available here:
BIG GAME COMMERCIALS
Super Ads: Super Bowl Commercials ($1.99, iOS)
The Big Game is also about the bigger than life advertisements. Get geared up for this year and stoke your memory about seasons past by checking out the Super Ads: Super Bowl Commercials app. There are dozens of ads for each of the past three years.
If you just can’t wait for game day and want to see how your favorite team will measure up against the opponent check out this app. You can do it over your noon hour or coffee break right from your tablet or phone.
Visit Indy App (free for Android, but not tablet)
If you are traveling to the Big Game check out the Visit Indy App. It’s the Indianapolis Visitors and Convention Bureau official handheld travel guide to the Circle City.
Get hyped for an awesome NFL season you can play for FREE!
You’ve never played football like this before, with NFL Pro 2012 you can choose to play and manage any of the 32 NFL teams with over 2,000 real players. (*Might not be compatible with all smartphone devices)
IN THE KITCHEN
The Big Game always means super-sized everything and an unlimited supply of food. If you’re throwing a party, don’t know what to serve and how many people it will cover, check out the Food Network’s app. The application features recipes great for game day. Why not try something new like Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Sausage Skewers, or Baked Mini Corn Dogs.
If you’re serving a meal and not just appetizers surrounding the Big Game try the All Recipes.com app, which has ideas that can be ready in 20 minutes or less.
Party Planner (free, Android)
Tend to forget things when you plan a party or don’t know where to start? This provides a checklist that may be helpful.
Mixology is the ultimate drink recipe and bartending guide. Whether you are a novice bartender or an expert mixologist, this app help you add diversity to your big game drink specials.
Today in The Oklahoman’s Life section, I wrote about the recent meetup of Oklahoma City-area users of the social media app Instagram primarily for the iPhone. Below are photos of some of the people who attended.
For more from the users, download the mobile application to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, sign up for an account and search for the keyword “igersokc_instameet,” also known as a “tag.” Look for a Facebook page by the same name to find more. (Note: Links to Instagram photos in this post come from a related online site called Statigram, which lets users see statistics and photos from Instagram.)
For another treat, check out photos that fall under the tag “treecultokc.” Various users have taken photos of a lonely tree in northwest Oklahoma City, edited them in different ways and tagged the tree with that keyword. The tree and the tag have become well known to Instagram users around the world who follow those in Oklahoma City that have photographed it. As of early this morning, there were more than 200 photos of the same tree on the mobile application.
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman (email@example.com and @lillie_beth on Instagram)
Elf Cam and Santa Tracker among activities in Santa’s Big Helper app
If you’re looking for a Christmas application for your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, then the people at Wet Nose Design want you take a look at theirs — Santa’s Big Helper: 9 Christmas Apps in 1. It even has an Elf Cam that will capture video of the jolly elf coming down your chimney on Christmas day so you can show your children.
With the app you can track Santa with the Santa Tracker, send letters to Santa Claus, play holiday sounds and see his naughty/nice list, get updates from his director of communications, Dozey Toes the Elf, and submit your own questions.
The app is 99 cents — “to help cover the cost of reindeer feed” — says promotional material about the app. It looks like a cute app to share with little ones this year.
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is an interesting idea that I received in a news release from U.S. Cellular this week, especially if you are trying to figure out how to work your smart phone of the Android, Windows 7 or BlackBerry kind:
“Smartphone and mobile tablet users are invited to learn more about how to use their devices
“With a recent study showing a nearly 80 percent increase in smartphone shipments from a year ago, there are plenty of first-time smartphone users who may want a little help figuring out everything their advanced devices have to offer.
“U.S. Cellular is hosting a free device workshop from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at its story at 6406 N May Avenue to guide attendees through all of the features and functions of the company’s smartphone and mobile tablet line-up, including the Android-powered Motorola ELECTRIFY, HTC 7 Pro Windows Phone and BlackBerry Torch 9850. All questions are welcome from current and potential smartphone and tablet users, and attendees don’t have to be a U.S. Cellular customer.
“’Smartphones keep customers connected and organized on-the-go by making it easy to stay on top of schedules and keep in touch with the people and information that is important to them,’” said Tommy Arens, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Oklahoma.
“Device workshops are helpful for anyone who wants to make sure they are getting the most out of their handsets. Associates will answer questions and demonstrate common features such as e-mail access, web browsing, calendar synchronization, browsing for apps and how the device can be personalized to fit their lifestyles. Attendees can also learn about U.S. Cellular’s free Battery Swap and Overage Protection programs as well as its high-speed nationwide network.”
~ Lillie-Beth (email@example.com)
I received this news release from the people of U.S. Cellular today, and thought it might offer some tech-oriented safety tips for parents of children who are trick or treating this year. Of course, you can keep kids safe for Halloween using tried-and-true, old, technology-free ways, but sometimes it’s fun to think new. Although I haven’t tried these apps, they are free and could be worth a try, particularly for older children who might be celebrating Halloween with friends in the neighborhood instead of their parents this year. ~ Lillie-Beth (firstname.lastname@example.org)
So here you go!
U.S. Cellular spotlights applications that can turn cell phones into the ultimate safety device
While children are out and about in the neighborhood for Halloween, a cell phone is one of the necessary accessories to help families stay connected and keep kids safe. And thanks to some free apps in the Android Market designed to further enhance family safety, parents are just a download away from some extra peace of mind this Halloween.
“As smartphones continue to add new features, it’s becoming easier than ever for parents to keep tabs on their little goblins,” said Tommy Arens, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Oklahoma, in the release. “Cell phones today provide more than just the ability to call and check in on your children’s location. We want parents to be aware of other ways that your phone can help you have a safe and enjoyable Halloween.
Two free apps on the Android Market can help:
Life 360: Ultimate Safety App. Life 360 turns your phone into the ultimate safety device and lets you know where your family is located and when your loved ones are in need of help. The app is free in the Android Market and options for premium features, such as tracking pets, are available as well.
Red Panic Button. The free version of this app allows trick-or-treaters the option to press the Red Panic Button to automatically send out a text message with their exact coordinates on Google™ Maps to family members. So when mom texts and asks “Where are you?” a child can quickly and easily send them a map giving their exact location. Panic can also be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Other ways parents can use cell phones on Halloween depends on their child’s age. Those with small children can pin a slip of paper with their cell phone number, along with the child’s name and address, inside a pocket or onto the costume just in case the child gets separated from the group. Those with tweens or teens can take advantage of their smart phones’ features and apps.
Text it in. Text messaging is a fun and easy way to keep in touch with older kids on Halloween. While planning a trick-or-treat route, parents can pre-program the cell phone with updates to send from certain points along the way. By filing messages such as “At Main and State” or “B home in 15” in the “saved” or drafts text folder, trick-or-treaters only have to press “send” when the time comes.
Timing it just right. A cell phone’s alarm clock is another great tool for parents. When they establish a curfew on Halloween night, parents can set their kids’ cell phone alarm clock to give them a reminder when it’s time to head home. Parents also can help their children set an alarm to ring when they’d like the kids to check in – either by calling or texting.
Safety first. Parents should make sure their kids know how to use a cell phone in an emergency. Before sending kids out for trick-or-treating, parents should teach children how to provide their location to the 911 operator, and describe it using landmarks if an address is unknown or unavailable. I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) contact numbers can be pre-programmed into the phone so that children can get help quickly. Associates in your local U.S. Cellular store can help you program I.C.E. numbers into your phone.
An Oklahoma City company continues to advance in its effort to bring to the market a device that will transform smartphones into a heart monitor.
As Don Mecoy reported for The Oklahoman’s Business section today (Saturday, Aug. 27), AliveCor Inc. has receive $3 million in funding as it gears up to manufacture the device, expected to be available later this year after trials and approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
With it, people are able to slip a slim case over a smartphone and that device, with wireless service, becomes an electrocardiogram recorder.
“Low-power electrodes on the case are pressed against the fingers or chest of a person to display electrical activity of the heart. It can be used to detect a heart blockage or unstable heartbeat, or to monitor heart rate during exercise or stress-reduction techniques,” Mecoy wrote.
I continue to be amazed at the creative ways people are now using their smartphones — there are blood pressure devices, baby monitors remote car re-chargers and more creative ideas all the time. This is yet another example, and even better that it’s here in Oklahoma City.
AliveCor’s co-founder is Dr. David Albert, son of former U.S. House Speaker Carl Albert, who made his own unique contribution to Oklahoma history. Now his son continues to make his own mark on the state’s history and help people with a medical condition at the same time.
Read Mecoy’s interesting story by clicking here. If you here of another way that smartphones are being transformed into some other use, let us know by commenting below.
~ Lillie-Beth (email@example.com)
From the Get App-y archives:
Originally published in The Oklahoman June 14, 2011
Get App-y: Speak now with another language
Going abroad this summer? Want to communicate with someone in another language? Order in Italian at an Italian restaurant?
Naturally, your smart phones and tablets are here to help break down communication barriers with mobile applications that allow you speak into the device and have your words translated into another language.
SpeechTrans, with voice recognition powered by Nuance, has several apps for various iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, ranging from free to $27.99. Google Translate is available free for both Android and iOS.
Speech recognition and translation software while not perfect has gotten much better since the last time I played around with it years ago.
John Frei, SpeechTrans’ co-founder and chief executive, agreed, saying that his app can reach 95 percent accuracy thanks to its partnership with Nuance, a leader in speech recognition. Nuance is behind the popular verbal texting app called Dragon Dictation.
Frei, 36, said the idea for his app stemmed from moving between Switzerland and the United States several times as a child, since his dad was Swiss. He wished he had a way to help him pick up the languages faster.
Three years ago, in an “a-ha moment,” he started using Internet tools to piece together speech-to-speech translation.
“I knew I was onto something. It was very exciting,” he said.
Future updates include developing SpeechTrans for Android systems, and Frei foresees a time when the camera can recognize sign language and turn it into an audio recording.
To use SpeechTrans, choose the language you’re speaking and the one for the translation. Press “record” and start speaking. When you finish, the app will translate and play your words in the other language.
For the written word, check out WordLens from QuestVisual, which uses your camera to translate on screen. A demonstration is free, but each translation (English to Spanish or Spanish to English) costs $9.99 as an in- app purchase.
~ By Lillie-Beth Brinkman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
YOUR TURN TO WIN
To win your own copy of SpeechTrans for the iPad, enter by emailing me with your name and contact information at email@example.com or post a comment below, and I’ll have a drawing Friday to pick the winner. Like I said in the column, this amazing app can have many uses. Put “SpeechTrans” in the subject line of your email, and let me know how you’d use it or tell me your favorite apps, and you’ll be entered. Check out the regular Get App-y column on most Tuesdays!