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Expert Blogs

Gear Review: Get Your Entertainment System Under Control with Blumoo!

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If you have an entertainment center, then likely you have a TV, Blu-ray player, stereo receiver, CD, DVR, and so forth. You probably also have a big old pile of remote controls to go with all that gear! If you want to tame that unruly mob of of gadgets, get a Blumoo ($89.99), and make that boatload of remotes disappear for good! This was one of several CES gadgets that I have been eagerly awaiting to come to market.



Travel Photography: Camera vs. iPhone

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If you want to take really good pictures with your iPhone or iPad you need to enhance your devices, or perhaps just not use them at all. I'll come back to that last bit later.



iTunesconnect Changes Mean a More Refined App Store

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Apple has sent out notices to developers about changes in the iTunesconnect app management tool. Refinements include checkboxes for Medical/Treatment Information," "Gambling and Contests," and "Unrestricted Web Access."  



4 Apps to Help You Celebrate Earth Day Everyday

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Earth Day is almost here, and there's no better way to celebrate than heading outside to become one with Mother Earth. Here are a few apps to help you enjoy Earth Day with your family and friends: 



Runkeeper's Breeze App Tracks Your Every Step

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Runkeeper is one of the more notable fitness tracking apps for iPhone. Their latest app, Breeze (Free) keeps track of all of your movements throughout the day, giving you real-time status updates. Using the M7 co-processor found on the iPhone 5s, Breeze monitors daily activity, rather than a specific training session. Not only does it track all of your steps, it also provides personal goals, an analysis of your movements, and notifications for when achievements are reached.



PhoneJoy Ships a Compact Controller that Grows with Your Phone

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The popular Kickstarter project from PhoneJoy is now shipping and I had the opportunity to try it out. This is a Bluetooth controller that expands to fit just about any phone, in landscape or portrait. By any phone, that includes Android and iPhone, and thanks to the expanding nature of the device, the next generation of larger iPhones should fit as well!



Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day—recently topping 1,000,000—we know it’s tough to tell which ones are worth their salt. But thanks to our Weekly Scoop, you can have the best for free! Here you’ll find a weekly roundup of the coolest apps free or at a discount for a limited-time only. Each week features the best and brightest from websites like Free App ReportAppsGoneFree, appsfire, and more.

Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!



UK Travel Tips Day 2: Flying, Wi-Fi, and Power

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We arrived in Norwich after nearly 12 hours in a plane seat, first a flight from Seattle to Amsterdam, and then from Amsterdam to Norwich. We then wandered the Schiphol Airport for several hours, including a long period of time in Lounge 41. Eventually we settled in at the Holiday Inn, Norwich City Center.



Why I Switched From Google Docs to Apple iWork

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I have been a fan of Google Drive for a while now. I mean, how can you go wrong with 100 GB of storage for $2 a month? I don't think you can.

And if you don't know, part of Google Drive is their software suite that includes  Docs (documents like MS Word) and Sheets (spreadsheets like MS Excel) to name two.  At first glance, I loved this set up.  Everything was in the cloud for me, accessible wherever I had an Internet connection.

Houston, we have a problem

But then I purchased a Wi-Fi iPad Air. That's when I discovered that there is a huge flaw in Google Drive: no Internet, no access!



iOS 8 Could Add Shazam Functionality to Siri

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The next iPhone is getting a lot of coverage, but each generation of iPhone also sees a new version of iOS. With Apple's WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) coming June 2, it's logical that iOS 8 will be available soon. Hundreds of new features roll out with each new operating system, but one that caught my eye is a potential integration of Shazam's music recognition service with Apple's Siri, according to Bloomberg.



Top Travel Planning Apps

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To complement our current issue on travel, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on tools and technologies I’m using during an extended stay in the United Kingdom. Starting this Sunday I’ll be in Norwich, UK, and then in London.

This first post will focus on the apps and other tools I used to plan the trip.



The Cogito Pop Watch may be smart enough to earn a spot on your wrist

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This is the season of the Watch, and I've had the opportunity to review at least five SmartWatches lately, from Pebble, Martian, Phosphor, i'mWatch and now Cogito ($129.95). Each brings something different to the table, in terms of apps, screen, battery life, style, and functionality. Cogito's Pop may have just enough "smart" to go with plenty of style and battery life to be your primary watch.



Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day — recently topping 1,000,000 — we know it’s tough to tell which ones are worth their salt. But thanks to our Weekly Scoop, you can have the best for free! Here you’ll find a weekly roundup of the coolest apps free or at a discount for a limited-time only. Each week features the best and brightest from websites like Free App ReportAppsGoneFree, appsfire, and more.

Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!



In-App Purchase Problems Lead to Refund Option

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Apple just sent out a quick notice offering a mechanism to get a refund for unauthorized in-app purchases by a minor. It should have been sent to all iTunes users who made an in-app purchase, but it's easy to miss, so I've included the text below. Despite Apple's efforts to limit in-app purchases to a 15 minute window without requiring re-entering a password, a lot of damage can be done in those 15 minutes. I've written about my troubles with IAPs before.



Apple Brings Major Update to iWork for iOS, iCloud, and Mac

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Last fall Apple began making their popular iWork suite available for free on new iOS devices and Macs. Also, it's available for free to anyone in iCloud. If you have an older device, the iWork suite costs $10 per app. It includes Pages for word processing and page layout, Numbers for spreadsheet work, and Keynote for presentations. When I got my new iPad Air, I downloaded pages and was impressed with how intuitive the interface is while having good functionality. Last week Apple released a major update to the suite on all platforms: iOS, iCloud, and Mac. You can find extensive detail on the new features and improvements on Apple's website. One focus of improvement was compatibility with Microsoft Office documents. Pages and Numbers are now more compatible with Office 2013 files. In addition, various facets of importing and exporting Office documents have been improved.



Lucky Winners of the WWDC Ticket Lottery Have Until April 14 to Get Their Tickets

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Usually when you win the lottery, you get some money. But with Apple's WWDC ticket lottery, winning entitles you to pay $1,599 plus expenses to attend their Worldwide Developers Conference during the week of June 2. The lottery system for WWDC is new this year, although Apple used a similar system for their regional Tech Talk Tours last year. I have attended a few WWDCs in the past, and was able to see Steve Jobs in person. I just had to be lucky enough to read my email and register within a few minutes, much to the chagrin of potential attendees who were asleep when the emails were sent. The lottery system should make it fairer for those who live in other time zones.



Adobe Brings Lightroom to iPad

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Adobe announced the release of Lightroom for iPad, joining some of Adobe's other mobile products like Photoshop Express and Adobe Air. However, Lightroom for mobile will function as an extension of the desktop version rather than a standalone app.



Checkmark: A List Maker's Dream App

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The perfect app for list makers, Checkmark 2 ($2.99) does exactly what it's supposed to do without the bells and whistles that can distract us from our to-do lists and it's on sale for a limited time. I have downloaded multiple list-making apps with no success, but Checkmark has me hooked! Easy to use and always at your fingertips, Checkmark is the last list making app you'll ever need. 



Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day—recently topping 1,000,000—we know it’s tough to tell which ones are worth their salt. But thanks to our Weekly Scoop, you can have the best for free! Here you’ll find a weekly roundup of the coolest apps free or at a discount for a limited-time only. Each week features the best and brightest from websites like Free App ReportAppsGoneFree, appsfire, and more.

Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!



Apple News: WWDC Announced for June 2-6, Tickets Will Be Sold by Lottery

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Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference always sells out, and lately in less than an hour. So today, when Apple announced the even will be held June 2 through June 6, instead of selling tickets immediately, potential attendees have to register for a lottery ticket. A limited number of developers will win the right to pay $1599 to attend the event.



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