Saturday, 10 December 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....


I was putting up my Christmas tree last night and suddenly realised that I was doing this much later than would normally be the case and that Christmas is very scarily just around the corner! Argghhh!! How did this happen? I have soooooo much to do and so little time to do it in!

I LOVE Christmas and I am pretty sure that you have realised by now that I love my iPhone - in fact, put those two things together and I am practically giddy with excitement. However, life is a little overwhelming at the moment, so I started wondering whether my iPhone/iPad and some new Christmas Apps could possibly make my life a little easier during this crazy, wonderful, hectic, fun, stressful and festive time of the year. So, I took a visit to the iTunes store...

What did I find??

Source: iTunes
I found a really cool App called Gift Plan (4.5/5 star rating on iTunes) - not only for use at Christmas but for all special occasions, ie can import birthdays from facebook and contacts, and includes notifications of upcoming events - NEVER forget a special day again (i-APPreciation Girl needs this!!). It has tabs for entering gift ideas for individual recipients as you think of them and shopping lists that support pricing, tallying and emailing gifts.
Mashable says 'gorgeous new iPhone App simplifies gift giving'.

Source: iTunes
Another App that will be good for the kids to make personalised Christmas cards and send to family and friends is the Dr Seuss Camera - The Grinch Edition (4/5 stars on iTunes) - Create zany and whimsical Grinchmas Cards - take a photo with the characters or with your own face in the cutout of a character and then decorate. This will save i-APPreciation Girl hours, as she won't have to sit down and help the kids write out individual cards - yay! says 'if you're only going to download one Christmas App this season, make it this one'.

Source: iTunes
For the iPad, I found a good App for Christmas music called ummmm... Christmas - wow, what a totally creative and original concept for a name :-)
Please don't confuse it will ALL of the other Apps called 'Christmas' (there are a LOT of them!!!). It has music and christmas stories and.... the real reason that I can't resist it - it includes the cutest cat picture ever! Ha ha - yep, it doesn't take much to win me over!

Source: iTunes - OMG... how cute!
And the last App that I wanted to share is:

Source: iTunes

Christmas Bagpipes - but only because it raises the question.... WHY? It makes my ears want to bleed just thinking about it - LOL!

There are also a lot of other Christmas iPhone and iPad Apps for Christmas games, music, recipes, card creation, gift lists and so on available at the iTunes Store.

If you know of any Apps that could help make Christmas less stressful and more organised, or simply more fun, feel free to share this information with us.

Have fun App shopping and have a very Merry Christmas!!

Until next time :-)

Yours in geekiness
i-APPreciation Girl (aka Rae)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

If you can't trust your friends, who can you trust...

Hey there fellow i-APPreciators

I was sitting at home yesterday, contemplating what the topic of my next post could be about, playing with my iPhone (of course) and looking at all of my favourite Apps - when I suddenly had a thought....

One of the reasons that we use social media is to gather information from our friends, peers and networks about stuff that we want to know more about, because if you can't trust your mates and fellow users to tell you the truth, then who can you trust!

So I decided to pick the brains of some of my closest i-APPreciators about their favourite Apps and also review a few of my own personal favourites. So, please find below for your reading pleasure, personal, informative and 'hopefully' helpful reviews - for all of those busy people who don't have time (or maybe just the patience) to trawl through the i-Tunes store to look for great Apps ;-)

Click here to read the full reviews (rather than the snippits I have included below) and to see the rest of the reviews that I just couldn't fit in.... as I have only included one review from each category in this post.

TED (ideas worth spreading) - by Jase
Access to lots of presentations on a myriad of topics.  i-APPreciation Girl LOVES TED. I cannot recommend this highly enough!

iFitness - by Matt:
Good fitness app for tracking fitness activities. Large range of inbuilt workouts and exercises. Tracks weight and calories, calculates BMI. i-APPreciation Girl also LOVES this App!

Words with Friends - by Dave
Basically Scrabble with a text chat feature, enabling you to also communicate with the people you are playing with. Relaxing and stimulating (?!?! um what Dave) - totally addictive.

Onetap - by Leonie
Excellent to use for checking out the current movies that are showing and their times.

Hamish & Andy - by i-APPreciation Girl
If you love Hamish & Andy then you will love this.... just hilarious!

Shazam - by Joel
Tells you the name of the current track that it can hear. Can be on the radio, or random music on a bus, in a supermarket etc. i-APPreciation Girl loves this App because she never needs to be frustrated again by forgetting the title of a song!

TeamViewer - by Joel
Allows you to remote desktop into computers from your ipad. Platform independant. Can access PC or Mac from your iPad.

I would also love for you to share a review too. Who knows, you may know about some amazing App that will change all of our lives!

Until next time :-)

Yours in geekiness
i-APPreciation Girl (aka Rae)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

It's not all fun and games... towards a better tomorrow

Hello fellow i-APPreciators

We all know that iPhone's are fun. They often provide much of our entertainment - games, music, videos, access to our social networking sites and so on. However, there is a serious side to the world of Apps - but in a REALLY cool way. There is some really interesting research and development being done at present regarding the use of Apps to assist with issues such as: 

Controlling eating disorders
Young women around the world are downloading a new application that is helping them manage eating disorders from the privacy of their phone. Serious eating disorders kill 20 per cent of sufferers if left untreated but with treatment that number falls to 3 per cent.... for the full story, click here

Dementia risk reduction
Recent research has linked a healthy heart and cardiovascular system to brain health and a reduced risk of dementia, and a new application has been launched to help people capitalise on this.... for the full story, click here

Assisting the deaf and hearing impaired community to access critical information
Australian Communication Exchange (ACE) has developed Silent Tweets. This text-based broadcasting system will circulate emergency warning notifications such as building evacuations or disaster announcements to users..... for the full story, click here

Keeping drivers awake
Drivia is the first interactive App designed to help drivers stay awake on the road. It is an entertaining trivia game based on voice recognition capabilities... the app reacts differently based on each driver´s fatigue level.... for the full story, click here

Performing CPR
CPR at your fingers tips! Developed by a team of Health Care professions with simplicity in mind... sound recordings give you clear instructions and tempo on how to perform this life saving skill... for the full story, click here

image source: iTunes Store

Wow! Real world problems are being solved by real world solutions involving Apps. This ongoing research and development potential just gives us even more reason to love our iPhones!!!

If you know of any other really interesting research and development being done in the wonderful world of Apps, please let us all know about it.

Until next time :-)

Yours in geekiness
i-APPreciation Girl (aka Rae)

Look out Hollywood!

OMG OMG OMG!!!!  The iPhone is like..... totally famous.

I had a laugh to myself today when I found out that this news story had made it all the way to Hollywood!

The iPhone's celebrity status has finally reached epic proportions - with it featuring on Perez Hilton's website... and not just up against the ear of some wasted celebrity or because it was used to take naked photos of famous people (because they NEVER EVER get leaked onto the internet - LOL) either. It has a story all of it's own.

OK - maybe the story is about an iPhone spontaneously combusting on a flight, which is not great news for Apple. But as they say in show business, any publicity is better than no publicity.... right :-)

Well done i-Phone! Soon it will have its own handprint (or should that be case print) on the Walk of Fame.

Until next time :-)

Yours in geekiness
i-APPreciation Girl (aka Rae)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Life before iPhone Apps... how did I survive!

When I found out that I would be writing a blog for my Social Media summer school unit, my initial reaction was…. oh my god…. oh my god…. ohhhhh myyyyy godddddd! What am I going to write about? Knowing that other students would be reading my blog, I didn’t want to come up with a trivial topic. I wanted to write something clever, meaningful, inspiring and insightful and I wanted it to be about something that I was truly passionate about.

I first considered the incredibly popular ‘Mummy Blog’, but quickly (and rather sadly) came to the realisation that – although I absolutely love my kids - I study part-time, work full-time, travel overseas regularly as part of my job and have two boys who's lives revolve around everything that doesn’t include their mum (xBox, TV, DS, basketball etc), so a Mummy Blog would probably not be my most inspiring work!

Then I thought about doing a fitness blog. I am passionate about exercise and health, but I am certainly not an expert in the field. I am not qualified to impart my limited (but incredibly awesome) health guru wisdom on others, nor am I in a position to be an inspiration to others trying to reach their fitness goals…. I have not been on the Biggest Loser or in a Subway commercial. So, the fitness blog was out.


Time to think about something else to write a blog on! Ummmmmmmmm…… I had nothing! Oh my god, oh my god, ohhhhh myyyy godddd!

Then I saw my iPhone Apps and inspiration hit me!!! My Apps will remind me of what I am passionate about. If you look on the front screen of anyone’s iPhone, it will show the Apps that they use most frequently, the things that are important to them, the things that they love. 

The Apps on my front screen show that I am passionate about fitness (maybe the fitness blog was not such a bad idea); alcohol (drinking game apps, cocktail making apps and even an app that tracks my blood alcohol level based on what I drink…. so I no longer have to rely on the ever-popular ‘the better I think I am dancing… the drunker I am’ sobriety test!) - hmmmm, maybe I need to reflect on all of those alcohol related Apps at some later stage; shopping at Coles (woo hoo); banking at Westpac; reading iBooks and my Maps App – without which, I would never leave my house for fear of getting lost. 


Then I realised something – how the hell did I survive before Apps!!! I love them. I NEED them! I use them constantly for information, entertainment and to simply get through my daily life. I go to the App store regularly to see what is new. I ask friends and co-workers about their Apps and which ones they would recommend.  Yes, it appears I found my passion, my niche. As sad as it sounds, my Apps (and my iPhone/iPad - and other random techno gadgets) make my life better, easier and…. I hate to even say this out loud (well, in writing anyway)… complete!

So, this Blog will be about Apps, iPhones, iPads and other geeky, techno gadgetry intended to improve our lives. It will look at the good, the bad, the ugly and the truly horrifying. Is this a trivial topic…. probably... most likely.... OK, yes! But is it something that I am passionate about…. absolutely.

I have a question? Are there Apps that you couldn’t live without, Apps you thought should have been better, Apps that you cannot believe some demented mind came up with or Apps that you would like to create - if you had the technological genius to do so? Are there other gadgets that you think the rest of the world would benefit from hearing about - or that will simply make us all cringe in fear. If so, I would love to hear from you.

I am signing off now to start investigating my new blog topic, but thought that I should leave you with a taste of what it to come.... pun intended. It is the Bacon App!

OMG - nom nom nom

You can even pick your favourite
bacon cooking utensil

and listen to it sizzle.... 


Until next time :-)

Yours in geekiness
i-APPreciation Girl (aka Rae)