Author: Robyn

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I am an experienced marketing professional and published novelist. I'm also an avid movie fan and Apple enthusiast. To read my novel, follow this link. Shattered [Kindle Edition]

App Review: MyFace for Facebook

MyFace, released on January 23, 2013, is the first fully-featured OSX client for Facebook. The interface is very similar to the original Facebook feed online. In my opinion it is more functional than the original version and has a much cleaner look to it. I would say that 90% of the time, I review my Facebook news feed on my phone. It is very convenient and easy to take anywhere. But, I am so impressed by this interface that I believe I will start pulling my laptop out more often. While the app is free to download, there is a…

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App Review: Vine

The big news today was that Twitter made the purchase of a little app called Vine. This app allows users to post short video clips of their life. Within the past few months the service Tout surfaced. It allows users to post 15 second videos about their lives. Vine is only about six seconds. The videos are looping videos that you can share with your family and friends. It’s a free app and service and you sign up with your Twitter account. In general, I like the concept. The thing I am not a big fan of is that the…

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App Review: Pin for Pinterest

The developers of MenuTab for Facebook also created Pin for Pinterest. This is a menu utility connects to Pinterest and reveals your Pinterest feed from your menu bar. It allows users to review recent pins without opening an Internet browser. Similar to MenuTab for Facebook, Pin for Pinterest is fully functional when installed, but it has the option to ‘go pro’ for $0.99. Is it necessary? Probably not, but by going pro the advertisements go away. I really enjoy this app – even more than MenuTab. It brings the convenience of the mobile versions of Pinterest to the desktop. I…

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App Review: MenuTab for Facebook

There are so many ways to check on your Facebook feed. Desktop, tablet, smartphone…take your pick. I just recently discovered another way – the menu bar. MenuTab for Facebook (version 5.6) puts an icon in your menu bar that provides a drop down interface of your Facebook feed. The view is very similar to what you see on a smart phone. It’s smooth and easy to use. The one problem I have with it is the ad at the bottom of the window. The designers included a link to a free download of a note taking app. It’s a bit…

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App Review: Hotel Deals by lastminute.com

Ever on a road trip and find yourself needing a hotel? Hotel Deals by lastminute.com helps accomplish this task at your fingertips. The app gives the user a choice of tonight, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow as options for check-in times. Then, it looks at hotels near you based on your phone’s location. You can also select larger U.S. cities like Las Vegas, Atlanta or Chicago. Once a location is selected, the user is then given a list of possible places to stay. You select a hotel from this list and can book it directly from the app. One…

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App Review: Turbo Tax Snap Tax

It’s that time of year again – tax time. It creeps up on you like a bad case of the flu. Some people really enjoy tax time as they expect to receive money back from the government. Others dread it because they end up having to pay Uncle Sam additional precious pennies. Either result, the path is still the same. Tax paperwork. Over the past 5 years, filing taxes has become less painful because of online resources like H&R Block and Intuit’s Turbo Tax. Intuit also has a mobile filing option with Turbo Tax Snap Tax. Turbo Tax Snap Tax…

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App Review: Pocket Penguin

Warning: Cute Alert! Those three words open the description of Pocket Penguin on the iTunes Store. This app is a direct link to the real-time cameras in the African Penguin exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. There are three views: Main: Shows a straight on view of the exhibit Underwater: Shows the exhibit from underwater Biologist: Shows the biologists studying the penguins. They do answer questions during mealtime. It’s a very straightforward application. It is listed under the Education category in the iTunes Store and I see it being very useful to science classes of all ages. The opportunity…

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App Review: Chorma

For years, parents have divided household chores amongst siblings via white boards and assignment charts. Now, there’s Chorma. Chorma helps households to delegate chores like cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, laundry and dishes. I love the concept of this app. Today, I was speaking with someone who has children and they were saying how one of them requests use of the family iPad when they sit down for breakfast. As this world becomes more and more digital and the next generation sees things in terms of apps, Chorma can assist with some parental duties. One of the best features of this…

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App Review: Color Splash Pro

Digital photo editing has come a long way since its inception. Photoshop used to be the only way to edit photos with any detail, but now, there is digital photo editing software around every turn. Color Splash Pro is one of these pieces of software. It’s a simple, easy-to-use piece of software. To get started, you drag and drop a picture into the application and then select the colors you want the picture to be. From here, you can simply color in the picture so until you are happy with the product. The thing to remember about this app is…

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App Review: Timehop

Timehop is a fun web and mobile app that captures information from other social networking apps and creates a time capsule for you to share with friends and family. My first impression of this app was that it was a really neat idea. I’ve seen concepts like this carried out in different apps, but not one that takes information from so many sources. I thought, “Wow, this is pretty cool.” But, I quickly discovered that the app is somewhat limited. First of all, it looks only at the same day in history. For example, I looked at January 15th. On…

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Better Together & Apps to Start 2013

It’s mid-January and I’m sure that many people out there have finally used their Christmas money to purchase Apple products and are now looking for ways to spend those iTunes Gift Cards. I would like to suggest looking into the section of the app store called “Better Together.” Better Together features apps that connect Mac, iPhone and iPad via iCloud, syncing or pairing. A few of our favorites are featured here – Evernote, Tweetbot and 1Password as well as some Apple standard apps like iPhoto, Aperture, and the iWork suite. If you are looking for new apps to connect your…

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App Review: yap.TV

One of the first apps I wanted when I got an iPhone was a decent TV listing app. It was the most practical and what seemed like, the most simple type of app there could be. Until recently, the TV Guide app just wasn’t living up to my expectations. It’s improved greatly, but still not what I’ve really wanted. Today, I stumbled across yap.TV, a social networking TV listing app. The app features nationwide TV listings, easy connection to Facebook and Twitter, including chat options, a Top 20 shows list, a Faves list, and a Feed of new listings. The…

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App Review: Noble Nutlings

Noble Nutlings. The name is almost a review in itself. Noble Nutlings, originally released on December 7, 2012, is currently on version 1.0.1. It’s a wacky, physics based game where the goal is to collect all the nuts you can. The hero of the game is a band of three squirrel-like creatures who ride through the countryside in a variety of vehicles including a cart and a unicycle. As the player, you are in control of the cart. There is a button on-screen which controls the acceleration and tilting the iPhone back and forth causes the vehicle to move accordingly.…

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App Review: Everest

“The end of the ridge and the end of the world… then nothing but that clear, empty air. There was nowhere else to climb. I was standing on the top of the world.” – Stacy Allison, First Woman to Summit Everest At the top of the world, all things seem possible. This past year I saw some amazing things. A friend who thought having a child might not be possible found out she was pregnant; a grandmother vowed to defeat cancer and she did; And, I found strength within myself to deliver a life-altering message. It was a year of…

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Scholastic Book Club

One of the highlights of grade school for me was Scholastic book day. I always loved the thrill of seeing what was available from the book club and ordering new books. On my search for new apps, I stumbled upon an app that had a Scholastic Book logo on it. Seeing that app made me wonder how my old Scholastic book club was evolving with the age of technology. My first visit was to Scholastic.com to see how the company is doing. I was happy to see that the company not only still does the book club, but they have…

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App Review: Bellhop

Even though travel season is through until Spring Break, I thought I would share my insights on this handy little helper called, Bellhop. Bellhop is a travel app for Mac that gives users the ability to search for available hotels for selected destinations. I was intrigued by this app when I found it because it is exclusively for hotel reservations. Until now, I’ve used sites like Travelocity or Orbtiz for hotel searches. Those sites, while helpful, can be cumbersome if you are simply looking for an available hotel with a good rate. Those sites specialize in booking the whole trip…

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Another gadget that was gifted to me this holiday season was the PlugBug by Twelve South. The Plug Bug is a handy little device that allows you to charge a USB powered device from the wall outlet at the same time you are charging your MacBook. It’s an adapter that attaches to the MacBook model’s power brick. It locks into place where the power brick plug into the wall. The PlugBug provides a 10-watt charge that gives the fastest possible charge for an iPhone or iPad. In places where wall outlets are at a premium – airports, offices, etc. -…

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The last post focused on the Jabra Journey Bluetooth speakerphone. This time, I’m going to take a look at the Jabra Freeway. The Freeway in our house was purchased as an upgrade to the Jabra Cruiser 2. Like the Journey, the Freeway features Bluetooth 3.0. It also features the same talk range as the Journey – 33 feet. In fact, the Freeway has many of the same features as the Journey. The two speakerphones were made to be top-of-the-line. The biggest difference in the two speakerphones, other than size, is that the Freeway has the ability to stream music from…

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Another fun device I received as a Christmas gift this year was the Jabra Journey in-car speakerphone. This was actually a replacement for a speakerphone that was stolen from my car over the summer. I was pleasantly surprised to find it under our Christmas tree. The first thing I noticed was how sleek and slim the design was. The Journey only weighs 92 grams and is only 16mm thick. The visor clip is attached to the speakerphone itself and is strong, but flexible. Once out of the box, I turned it on and made sure the bluetooth was active on…

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Another tech item that found its way into our home this holiday season was the WeMo Switch by Belkin. This helpful little device makes it possible for you to control an outlet in your home with your iPad or iPhone. The app automatically detects WeMo switches that are installed on your wireless network and make it possible for you to easily activate the switch. One of the neatest things about this device and app is the ability to control switches from outside the home. If you leave a coffee pot on or bedroom light when you go to work, you…

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Well, loyal audience, we took a few days off here at Macsources to spend time with our family during the holidays. A nice side effect was that we received some generous techie gifts that we will spend the next few posts talking about. The first item is the ClamCase for iPad. Since I received my iPad in the Fall of 2011, I have wanted a Bluetooth keyboard to accompany it. As a writer, I love the portability of the iPad, but find that typing of any length can be cumbersome without a ‘real’ keyboard. For a time, I was using…

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App Review: Snap Together

I’m always on the lookout for clever games to play with friends and Snap Together is one of those games. It’s a very straightforward concept. You select a preloaded word for your friend to guess. And then you select a picture that represents that word. The friend is shown letter blanks similar to the game Hangman. They are also given letter tiles to choose from. Little by little, the picture you have selected is revealed. As the picture is revealed, your friend is given clues to what the word is. If they guess it within the allotted time, you are…

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iTunes Gift Guide

Are you a last minute shopper? Do you have hard-to-shop-for friends and family? Fear not! For I bring you tidings of great joy…and Apple gift ideas! One of the easiest suggestions I can make for Apple products users is a iTunes Gift Card. They come in a variety of denominations and you can purchase them around every corner. This is a great gift because it gives people the chance to download games, apps or books directly from the iTunes store. Physical gift cards can be purchased at most stores and credits can be sent to someone through the iTunes Store.…

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App Review: Strum

Strum hit the iTunes music store in November this year. It’s a basic app that allows users to create short, 15-second music videos to share with friends and family. These types of short-form videos are being made popular by websites such as Tout and of course, the short-form communication site, Twitter. In this day and age, when people want their information yesterday, shorter seems to be better. Strum gives you the option of creating a new video within the app using the camera function or you can use a preexisting video from your personal library. Once you have a video…

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App Review: Craftsy

The holiday season doubles as the crafting season. Even though crafters the world over work diligently throughout the entire year, the holiday season is when many of them come out of the woodwork to display their work. For those seasoned veterans crafters and beginner crafters, I present my review of Craftsy for iPhone. Craftsy for iPhone is a mobile version of the website craftsy.com. Craftsy.com is an online resource of how-to guides for crafters and a community of support from fellow crafters. Even though this review is about Craftsy for iPhone, I must say I was impressed with the full…

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App Review: 1Password

Like so many things in life, it would be great to put everything in one mobile app and forget about it. 1Password does just that for all your most important information. 1Password is an app that stores information such as Logins, Secure Notes, Credit Cards, Identities, Driver Licenses and Software Licenses. The app locks every time you close out of it and it only allows entry again if you know the master password. The beauty of this system is that it makes you only have to remember one password instead of dozens. One of my favorite things about this app…

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App Review: Google Maps

For the first time since iOS 6 was released, Google Maps is available for the iPhone. It was released 12/12/12 via the iTunes App Store. Google Maps is free to download and is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPod touch (3rd generation and above). This app is optimized for iPhone 5 and looks great. I have had quite a bit of experience with GPS devices in the car. They have gotten me from point A to point B, sometimes via point C, but I’ve had quite a bit of success with them. Apple Maps…

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App Review: Cool Hunting Gift Guide

If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping, you are officially under the wire to get it done. Fortunately, there is an app for that. Cool Hunting Gift Guide provides you with a very easy to use, Pinterest-like gift idea app for your iPhone. The app opens with a page of images that you can select to find out more information. From the information page, you can save it as a favorite, share it by email, Facebook or Twitter, copy the link to the item for later use or even purchase the app from the providing website. There is a menu that…

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Must Have Recipes from Better Homes and Gardens for iPad

It’s only 15 days until Christmas. No doubt much of the Christmas shopping is done, but what about that all important Christmas meal? Do you have your menu planned and your shopping list written? Or, are you struggling to come up with some fresh ideas? If you are a part of the latter group, take a look at Must Have Recipes from Better Homes and Gardens for iPad. First of all, it’s a free app. It comes preloaded with several chapters including Appetizers and Snacks, Breakfast and Brunch and even Holiday Cooking. There are seven additional chapters that are available…

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App Review: Noteworthy+

Noteworthy is a note-taking app that lives in your menu bar. It’s very easy access to all the important notes you need to jot down throughout the course of your day. Noteworthy was created by Vervious, the same creator of Imagine. I have long been searching for good note-taking apps on my iPad and iPhone and was happy to find a good one for my desktop computer, too. The thing I like about this app is the simplicity of it. It’s very easy to use and straightforward. There is a search function and the looks are customizable through fonts and…

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