All posts tagged apps

Summon A Snow Plow From Your Smartphone

Summon A Snow Plow From Your Smartphone via

Photo Credit: />ylan/>. via Compfight cc

Way back in the day, my brother and I went door to door shoveling neighbor’s driveways for $10 bucks to save up for our first NES game (Metal Gear). In my opinion, shoveling show is a dope winter hustle because as much as we love playing in the snow, NO ONE wants to actually shovel that heavy crap off their driveway and they will gladly throw money at the situation…We actually bought two games…and some french fries

Fast forward to 2014 – I’ve moved down south (Ha!), so I no longer have to deal with punishing winter snow storms. Even if we did get a crazy snow storm down in the “A” I’m too old to be messing with snow.

If I were back up north facing yet another snow storm hitting most of the country as I type this post, instead of throwing on my “long johns” under my clothes and wearing double tube socks, I’d probably pull out my smartphone and use the Plowz app that can locate, schedule and pay a local plowman to come and clear up my driveway while I stay in the house and eat some of Mrs. Tech’s BOMB-ASS chili.

For my peeps in the path of this latest winter blast who are not looking forward to moving heavy snow around after it’s over, Plowz is an iPhone and Android app that will help you contract a snow plow driver to clear your driveway.

According to the Plowz site, tapping the “Schedule a Plow” button after you’ve described your driveway, entered your location and preferred time, and approved a price, a snow plow driver will come your way to start shoveling snow. Once the job is complete, the app will bill your credit card without worrying about invoices and tips…I would suggest you tip them a couple bucks anyway if allowed…IT’S COLD OUT THERE!

With Plowz, you can even send a snow plow driver to another home as a gift or to look out for an elderly neighbor. The assigned plower will send you a pick of their work to ensure the job is done right. I can imagine some richers on vacation someplace nice using Plowz to have their driveway plowed so they can return to a clear parking spot for their car #Hate.

Be sure to check the Plowz website to see if there are any available snow plows in your area….If not, be sure to stay [the opposite of] frosty.

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Beats Music Goes Digital With Online Streaming Service

Beats Music Goes Digital With Online Streaming Service via BrothaTechDre and ‘nem continue to pimp the Beats by Dre brand that everyone has been jocking the past couple of years. I can’t really hate, though – Most of us WISH our brands were as strong as the house that Dre and Iovine built. With the popularity of online streaming services, it makes sense that a well-known brand in the music industry would make a play on getting some of that online music-streaming market share.

Enter Beats Music, the subscription-based online streaming music service founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre that will serve up over 20 Million tracks, curated by music experts, and can be customized based on your interests.

Beats Music doesn’t sound too much different than some of its competitors like Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, and the long list of other players in the field. You sign up, pay a monthly $9.99 fee, download and app, and you get as much streamed music that your wireless data plan can handle – no ads. Beats Music also has a tiny social network that lets you share every single hipster thing you listen to that “nobody else is up on yet”, and as well as chat with other music snobs.

What may give Beats Music a boost up to the front of the music-streaming line is street cred. Dre and Ioving are both music legends that came together to build a billion dollar brand in Beats by Dre that is blindly accepted by other music experts, celebrities, and consumers alike. Wearing Beats headphones is more than just about music – It’s a status symbol. So it’s not hard to imagine that users who wear Beats headphones may just take a hard look at what the Beats Music service has to offer solely based on name recognition alone.

With a name like Beats Music, with all of its connects in the music industry, the old guards of the music industry that are purposely slow to accept the new online-streaming trend, may just have to speed up their adoption now that Dre and ‘nem is on the scene.

Beats Music, while not yet ready for launch (Jan. 21st), already has the ears of  my favorite “play everything everywhere” Sonos wireless music system that stated Beats Music will be available on their devices day one. “Technology innovators have been betting on streaming for years and we’ve finally reached the tipping point with visionaries in the music industry going all-in,” notes Sonos CEO John MacFarlane. “We’re thrilled to launch Beats Music on Sonos day one of its availability. It’s never been a more exciting time to be a music lover.”

According to the Beats Music site, AT&T also has an exclusive Beats Family Plan that will let subscribers add up to 5 users and 10 devices on one account.

What do you think? Can Beats Music make waves in the highly-contested online music streaming industry as well as urge the music industry change its ways?

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Tech Tools For Creating the Best Holiday Cards

Holiday Cards - Tiny Prints

A Babble Joint

Every year around this time, Mrs. Tech stresses out about sending holiday cards. Making an appointment with a photographer/studio, finding matching outfits for us (lame), and making sure everybody smiles (and stays clean) can prove to be a overwhelming for her. That’s not counting the time it takes to create and mail the cards. But every year, she powers through…That’s why I call her “Michelle Huxtable” Or “Claire Obama”.

As a tech geek, I’m always trying to find ways to make her job easier. My low-tech suggestion is “They will be alright if they don’t get a holiday card this year” As you can imagine, that suggestion doesn’t make it to the final cut. My technology suggestion would be to use all these gadgets, apps, and websites that I’m familiar with that will cut down on the amount of effort (and cash) it takes to create those admittedly pretty cute holiday cards she sends out every year.

Check out my “The Best Apps and Website to Make Holiday Cards a Breeze” post on Babble for some pretty slick suggestions this year for her and anybody else looking to find easy ways to shoot and create the perfect holiday card


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Coin Project Steps in Where Current Mobile Payments Fail

Coin Project Steps in Where Current Digital Wallets Fail via Babble.comA Babble Joint

PayPal Here, Square, Google Wallet, ISIS, LevelUp, Apple Passbook – They all want to make it easy to pay for stuff via our smartphones. Which is great – I would love go “minimalist” and just carry my state-issued ID and my health/medical information and use my smartphone to redeem rewards points, pay for gas, buy lunch, and other daily purchases.

The only problem is all the services listed above use their own equipment and proprietary systems. You have to be at the right store that’s using the right equipment with the right smartphone using the right mobile payment app in order to complete a single financial transaction without pulling out cash or credit (or check???).

In my opinion, in order for consumers to truly adopt using their smartphone to make mobile payments, the system has to reflect how we currently use credit cards – The merchant uses their own equipment, and we use our own smartphone…every else is matched up in the background. That’s probably asking too much in the current tech arms race where every company wants to lock you into their own ecosystem.

Until then, Coin the ambitious crowdfunding project {Referral link} launching next summer wants to give your the ability to load all your credit, debit and rewards card on one credit that’s linked to your smartphone and can be used anywhere that accepts credits…including your local ATM machine.

Will it work? Check out my “New Coin Project Combines All Your Credit Cards Into One” post on Babble and let me know what you think?

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Best Mobile Apps For the Holidays

Holiday Apps Roundup via BrothaTechA Babble Joint

I know, “It’s Holiday season already?!” That’s right, ’Tis the season to PROMISE to get in shape after Turkey Day (again) and to max out those credit cards to buy gifts for people you MAY only communicate with a couple times a year. I know, that sounds all cynical…but the truth hurts sometimes. Nevertheless, I’m sure my one-line won’t stop you from enjoying the holiday season with family and friends and doing nice things for the ones you tolerate love…As a matter of fact I certainly hope it doesn’t.

I am a firm believer in getting the most out of your gadgets, especially during the holiday season when things start to get real hectic. Believe it or not, our mobile devices when combined with a few key apps can service as “digital assistants”, that can help us get make plans and get organized, as well as take over some jobs and activites we would normally do ourselves, thus freeing up some time to do more or less of…whatever we feel like.

So to help you get more done this holiday season, I’ve done a roundup of some mobile apps:

  • Evernote (of course)
  • Wunderlist
  • Kayak
  • RoadAhead
  • iCookbook
  • Thanksgiving Planner
  • TaskRabbit
  • Retale
  • KeyRing
  • Amazon Price Check
  • Mosaic
  • Postagram
  • Toca Hair Salon Christmas Gift

To learn why I picked these apps, be sure to check out my Best Holiday Apps To Get You Through The Season Post on Babble and be sure to share your own here in the comments section.

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[Video] Cash by Square App – Easiest Way to Send Money?

Cash by Square App – Easiest Way to Send Money via BrothaTech.comI don’t carry cash. Normally I don’t run into trouble without cash with the only exception being when I go out to eat with others. It seems as if I’m the odd man out because everybody else has cash. In those situations, I usually either take all the cash from my friends and put the entire bill on my card, or we all circle who’s paying what on the bill and let the waiter figure it out.

It’s those times where the new Cash by Square app will work the best for me. If you’re not familiar, Cash by Square will let anyone send money via email – No extra fees or no Square account needed. All you have to do is link your debit card and any money you send via the app will show up in the recipient’s account in approximately two days. The recipient will need to link their debit account to recieve the money.

The app simply populates all the email fields with the correct information to ensure everything goes smoothly, but the entire transaction is done via email.

1. Enter the email address you linked to Square in the “from” field
2. Enter the email address you want to send money to
3. Add “” in the CC field
4. Add the amount of money you want to send in the Subject field
5. Add a note to recipient in the body

…Or you can use the free Cash app (for iOS and Android) and it will automagically populate the From, CC, and subject field, you will just have to add a recipient and a note in the body.

Check out my walk-through video of Cash by Square

In other words, if you can send an email, you can send money using Cash by Square. This puts Square squarely (see what I did there) in competition with PayPal, where you can also send money to anyone, but you do need a PayPal account and the PayPal mobile app. With Square, all you need to do is link an email address and debit card, no account or app needed. Oh, and most importantly, not fees.

The service is free to use, I’m assuming Square sees the value in having a ton of email addresses and debit cards…Hopefully they will only use that information as to figure out how to eat at PayPal’s market share.

Let me know what you think? Will you switch from sending money via PayPal to Cash by Square?

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