Wednesday, June 4, 2014
I really appreciate all of the hard work that went into making this program possible. The structure and content of this program has helped me to become more familiar with my mobile devices and the various apps that are available. I liked the flexibility of this program and how the Things could be explored on either a professional or personal level. I also appreciate how my employer was sensitive to the different comfort levels of their participants. Those who were comfortable with blogging were encouraged to share their blogs with others in our system and those who were new to this form of communication could quietly work on their own. I would definitely participate in another program like this due to the flexible philosophy. It would be difficult for me to narrow down a "favorite" being that I had so much to learn and the variety of Things helped to broaden my horizons.
I like the option of being able to search for apps using a search engine so I tried using Quixey. I tried using the site's suggestion "identify songs" and thought the results list was helpful and contained an interesting variety of apps. I downloaded Name that song onto my iPhone and tried searching for lyrics with mixed results. Next I downloaded Shazam and played a song that is not played on mainstream radio stations. The app asked for permission to access my microphone and then all I had to do was tap on the icon so it could record the music. Almost instantly the cover art for Ghost Beach's Miracle appeared on my iPhone screen. As I scrolled to the lower part of the screen there were icons for Bio, Discography, Next concert, and Preview or buy. Next I searched for Nassa by Anders P. Bongo who sings traditional Sami Joiks and once again the match results were almost immediate. I am so impressed with this app and will continue to use Quixey to hopefully find others as good as this one.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
I chose the IHT 125 years app. It contains 125 years of front page news from the International Herald Tribune. It began as the Paris Herald in 1887, then as The New York Herald Tribune in 1935, and became the International Herald Tribune in 1967. In 2013 the paper became the International New York Times. I find this app interesting since it provides a time line of historical events and the articles reflect the nuances of the times. It can be searched casually by swiping through the pages or by looking for information by date in the index. It takes awhile for this app to download but it is worth the wait. Selected articles can be read by enlarging the page and there is a little lag time before the new size comes into focus.
For this Thing I resisted all temptation to start playing Candy Crush again. I stopped playing a few months ago when I completed Level 35. At this point the user needs to buy more lives to continue. Each level becomes more complicated and I know people that spend an entire month trying to get to the next level. I do not want to willingly invite this type of frustration, failure, and stress into my life! :-) Instead I have chosen Farm Heroes and BubbleCat. Unlike Candy Crush, playing these games is a relaxing experience for me!
RoadNinja looked like a must have app so I downloaded it onto my iPhone. I think I would use the Gas category the most. However it is nice to know that this app could also be used to locate dining, lodging, shopping, and pharmacies. The reviews seemed to be outdated since they were posted between a year to three years ago. I would be inclined to reference Trip advisor and Yelp for current reviews. Next I downloaded the Sibley eGuide to birds of North America free. I really like this app and enjoy searching for birds and their songs using the taxonomic index.
The first app I downloaded onto my iPhone was iTranslate free since it will be helpful to me on a professional level and personally while traveling internationally. I tested out the accuracy by typing in text from a multilingual book in French, German and English and the translation results were very accurate. The translations are provided in both text and audio. However, when trying to speak a phrase in German to be translated into English, I received a prompt to buy iTranslate premium for $4.99. At this time I do not need this verbal translation feature however I would purchase it before traveling internationally since it would be very helpful when trying to communicate with taxi drivers, dealing with emergency situations, etc. I then downloaded Duolingo : learn languages for free and Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus which will also be very useful.
I selected Going out from Star Tribune to download onto my iPhone. Started with Movies and liked how the information was organized and included the option to buy tickets online. I found the Restaurant category helpful after figuring out how to limit by cuisine using the Filter. The Guthrie Theater category included dates, times, ticket prices, reviews and the option to Add to my Calendar. My favorite category was Music & clubs. Best bets included Peter Asher, Lindsey Stirling (the faerie queen of millennial New Age music), the Webb Sisters and more. Music by Lindsey Stirling and the Webb Sisters is also available on SoundCloud. I also downloaded the app Minnesota 511 onto my iPhone and wonder how it will compare to Google Maps. Love the MPR Radio app and plan on listening to it frequently on my iPhone.