Yelp

Yelp App by Yelp – Jennifer Ruggiero

I started Yelping in April of 2008, and am still happily yelping today.  Yelp.com is a review site founded in 2004 that has over 30 million ratings for restaurants, hotels, nightlife, shopping, spas, automotive centers, gyms, entertainment, and even more.  Practically every business category is listed.  The nice thing is, people that rate these businesses are just like you and me.

With the Yelp app (available on iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, and Palm devices), users can search for area businesses, call businesses, receiving driving directions, read & post reviews, check-in, view area deals, add bookmarks, follow friends, view & add pictures, and socialize with other Yelpers.  Yelp accounts are free for users and business owners.  It provides a fantastic way for businesses to connect with customers.

I have used the Yelp app on several Android and iOS devices and they all work wonderfully!  Both the Yelp iPad and Android apps have a unique feature called “Monocle” that I haven’t seen in the iPhone app yet (at the time of this review). When tapping “Monocle,” the  device compass and camera launch.  Your display will show whatever your camera sees with a layer of all the area businesses (choose from restaurants, bars, or everything) and where they are in relation to where you are located.  If you make a 360 degree turn, you will see all of the yelp listings surrounding you.  I see this really coming in handy while in town where businesses are walking distance.  For demonstration purposes, I took both iPad and Android screenshots of the monocle feature within my home (see bottom of post for images).

The benefit I admire most about this app is the ability to read local reviews that are pretty honest, imo.  So when you are visiting a new area and don’t know where the best sushi restaurant is, simply do a search for sushi nearby and see where the locals dine.

Yelp is available for free on your AndroidiPadiPhoneBlackberryWindows Phone, or Palm device.

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Bing

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Bing by Microsoft Corporation – Jennifer Ruggiero

When it comes to apps, two of the components that stand out to me are its beauty and usability.  When you can mix “beauty & usability” with “search,” you get “Bing” by Microsoft Corporation.

I recently installed Bing on my devices (iPad, Android tablet, iPhone, Galaxy S III), and am absolutely loving this app.  In short, Bing is a search engine/browser by Microsoft Corporation.  It has a beautiful & intuitive user-interface.  The look and functionality of Bing differs across the iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.

Upon launching Bing, you will first notice the unique background image/wallpaper, which changes daily.  This wallpaper is interactive, and if you tap it, you will see some tidbits of knowledge pop up about the wallpaper image.  In the iPad version of the Bing app, you are able to swipe to the right and see past Bing wallpaper images and tap on them for their Easter Egg popups.

Across the top, all versions of the app contain a search bar with a microphone inside or next to it.  By tapping the microphone, you are able to conduct a voice search, in which the results were pretty accurate across all my devices in testing.

Each app provides search categories that you may tap on… images, videos, maps, local, deals (not on the iPad version), movies, news, shopping, directions, travel, and weather.  The iPad app also offers trends, finance, and history to the category listing.  When you tap on a category, say… “deals” for example, it will display all the local deals in your area.  If you tap on “movies,” you will see a list of films playing in your area (upon other accessible functionality with which you may interact).  I will not go into detail on all of the categories, but encourage you to try them for yourself!

A unique item of Bing on the iPhone is the ability to scan and search within the app.  In the search bar, you will see a camera icon.  Tap this camera icon to launch this functionality.  You can search text, a barcode, or an image.  I tried it on a book I had nearby, and it worked perfectly.

All apps allow you to share your search results via email, sms, facebook, or via a plethora of apps on your Android device.  All versions also allow you to bookmark your favorites as well.

Bing by Microsoft Corporation is available for free and you can find it in the Apple App Store for iPad and iPhone and in Google Play.

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Day One (Journal/Diary)

Day One – Christopher Rizzo

Day One is a journal or diary application for the Mac, iPad and iPhone. It syncs beautifully between devices. It is a universal application for the iOS devices and it cost $1.99 for the iPad/iPhone. The Mac version is a little more expensive at $9.99 but worth every penny. It offers password protection on both iOS and OSX platforms,  Day One uses iCloud or Dropbox to syncs notes/entries between devices. In my opinion this is the best journal application in the app store.

Christopher’s Day One Video Review

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Features:

• iCloud or Dropbox sync to iPhone and iPad app
• Quick Entry via the Menu Bar
• Password Protection
• Calendar View
• Reminders System
• Export
• Inspirational Messages to encourage writing
• Lion Full-screen
• Search
• System Hot-key Shortcut
• Starred Entries List
• Command Line Interface

[rating score=’4.5′ source=’iTunes’]

Download Day One:
Day One (Journal/Diary) - Bloom Built, LLC

Developers Website

Gesture Search

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Gesture Search by Google Inc.  – Jennifer Ruggiero

I recently changed devices and am now using a Sprint Galaxy S III (with which I am in love).  However, the functionality for universal search seems to have been removed… which is something I had heavily relied upon in my devices.  Very rarely do I look for an app or have many icons on my Android screens, as I typically search for the app I need via the Google search bar using universal search.  Since the recent change, however, this is unable to be done.  This put me on a quest to find another way to search my device, and Gesture Search is the answer.

With Gesture Search by Google, the following device-based items are able to be searched… Contacts (names of your contacts), Browser (bookmarks), Apps (names of installed apps), Music (artists, albums, and tracks), and Settings (names of phone settings). Simply begin spelling the word (app, contact, bookmark, music, settings) of what you are searching with your finger, one letter at a time, on your screen.  The item you are searching for will soon appear.

Gesture Search is extremely accurate.  I do not have the best handwriting by any means, yet it always interprets my chicken scratch.

If you want a quick way to search your Android device, I highly recommend Gesture Search by Google.  It is available for free in Google Play.

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AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker

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AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker by Myrecek – Jennifer Ruggiero

I was Voxering (oh boy, a new verb!) one night in a group chat amongst friends, and our friend Andrew popped in and told us that according his device, he wouldn’t be sober until 6:30 AM (or some time thereabout) and that he still had a blood alcohol content level of some amount (I forgot).  I was taken aback… “What?  You have an APP that determines your blood alcohol content level?”  He then told me about about AlcoDroid.

I’m not a big drinker as alcohol contains too many empty calories for me to justify drinking it, but sometimes drink in moderation. This app, imo, is cool as @#$%, so I immediately sent it to my loved ones that drink, and told them to test it out for me. 🙂 I have played with the app myself as well.

AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker allows you to enter your personal settings, such as sex and weight, and enter your customized drinks, whether they be water, beer, wine, cocktails, or shots.  You may customize the alcohol content and amount consumed, or go with the average defaults offered by the app.  Each drink you add contributes to your overall blood alcohol content level. The default settings are for a 154 pound male. If that 154 pound male had a shot, glass of wine, and a typical cocktail at 8 pm, he would have a blood alcohol content level of .99 and would be sober at 2:34 AM.

The only issue I see with this app is user-based… because when people start drinking, they may forget to log their drinks.  However, if you can remember to accurately enter your drinks, then AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker provides a good estimate as to when you will be legally sober.

You can download AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker by Myrecek for free (ad-based) in Google Play. There is also an ad-free version for $2.99 as well.

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Episode 7: Search

Episode 6: Finance

Episode 5: Education

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This week on APPvice we discuss some education applications geared towards High School and College aged kids in particular. If you are in college and you are going to be partying hard be sure to check out Jennifer’s app pick which is a breathalyzer type application that will keep up with your blood/alcohol level. Never drink and drive! We also have a couple of book applications for both iOS and Android as well a learning app that will help you with your mathematics. Plus we have a bonus non-app pick this week. Continue Reading

Episode 4: Social

Episode 3: Notes

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This week on APPvice we discuss some of our favorite note taking applications on iOS and Android. We talk about how we use these applications and few work arounds for sharing notes from iOS only applications to our Android devices. Continue Reading

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