What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

There's an App for That

Yesterday, I shared a few ways that mobile devices like smart phones, iPod Touch, iPad and Android tablets can help reduce paper clutter in the home.  The beauty of the mobile devices is they are multifunctional while being able to sync to other mobile devices, laptops or desktops.  These mobile devices are so popular that even airports are using the electronic version of your ticket rather than you having to print them out.  My husband has an iPhone and I have an older iPod Touch that is proving difficult to upgrade and a new iPad 3 with OS 5.1.1 but the iPhone and iPad sync nicely together.  We have it set up so if I enter an event or reminder, it automatically goes to his iPhone and visa versa.  This really is a very hand feature!  Apps are available through the App Store or the site owner's website.  The iPad is new to me so I don't know all there is to know about apps and there are pre-loaded apps on the iPad.  You can easily search the App Store for apps you would like.  There are many free apps some of which show ads and others can be purchased so are ad free.  Be warned some apps work on both iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad but some work on only the iPhone/iPod Touch.  Here is a list of a few I really like:

  • Messages (pre-loaded) - This allows you to send text messages to another Apple device as long as you have Wi-Fi (home, hotspots).  It is free to send messages wherever there is free Wi-Fi as well.
  • FaceTime (pre-loaded) - This app lets you have a video conference with other Apple users.  This is our favourite way to talk to the grandkids.
  • Facebook - The Facebook app makes connecting to your Facebook easy peasy.  It is the app version of Facebook so Flash (games) doesn't work.  We stay in touch with our family and friends via Facebook when traveling.  My husband has a data plan for his iPhone and I use free Wi-Fi where available.
  • YouTube (pre-loaded) - If you like video, the YouTube is a must have app.
  • AccuWeather - This is an app by AccuWeather.com.  It shows the current weather, forecast and radar maps which can be quite handy not only at home but when traveling.  It is packed with a lot of useful information as well including health risk related to weather.  I really like this app!
  • Twitter - There is a Twitter app available.  It is rather nice but depending on your mobile device you may be able to get HootSuite or TweetDeck.
  • Maps - Maps is a nice app to have for finding your way around various cities and towns.  It doesn't take the place of a GPS but is quite handy if you are in a restaurant or airport without your GPS for finding directions and you can use the street view on the map to see what that particular area or building looks like.  It is basically an app version of Google Earth.
  • Newstand - This is a great app for downloading free magazines, preview magazines and newspapers.  It takes you to their store where you can shop.  You can subscribe to magazines and newspapers like NYTimes.  A subscription is usually discounted a bit from the hard copy version but it looks pretty much the same.  The nice thing is it is a very convenient way to carry your magazine and newspaper subscriptions with you to read wherever you choose without the bulk of the hard copies.  You also have the option of buying a copy of your favourite magazine without having to buy a full subscription.  The really nice thing is when we are at our vacation home in Florida and I want a copy of my favourite Canadian magazine, it is only a click away.
  • iBooks - This is a great app for downloading free eBooks and eBook version of other books including those on the best seller's list.  It does have it's own store and some sites offering free eBooks will download to iBooks.  There are a lot of free eBooks available in every gendre including a good selection of cookbooks!
  • GoodReader - This is an amazing app that greatly enhances the usability of the iPad.  It opens files in a wide range of formats including video. 
  • Buy Me a Pie - This is a great shopping list organizer that can be synced to your online account if you buy it for $2.99 or you can use the free version for one list shopping.

Garden Gnome