mobile apps

All posts tagged mobile apps

6 Free and Essential College Apps

6 Free and Essential College Apps via BrothaTech.comA Babble Joint

Six free and essential college apps to help make the transition less stressful and more enjoyable

My 5 year old (Lil’ Tech) is starting kindergarten this week. My 3-year old (Tech 2.0) is going to Pre-K, but we wanted to make her feel special as well, so Mrs. Tech and I printed up cute little back to school signs for both of them. Now my kids are right around the corner, so while this is a new experience for all of us, I can only imagine how it must feel for a parent to send their kid away to college, even if it is just across town.

These college kids nowadays are “plugged in” more than ever with their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. But since most “Back to School” blogs offer parents tips, tricks, and resources for K-12 students, I figured I would do a “List” post with some cool apps that college kids, whether they are freshmen, returning freshmen, or super seniors will find pretty useful.

Check out my Babble post for my 6 essential app picks for college students

What are some of your back to school apps for your college kid?

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Double B’s – BrothaTech and Babble

BrothaTech and Babble

Just wanted to drop a line to let you all know that I just signed on to be a Babble tech contributor. For those who don’t know, Babble is a Disney property (Yeah, Walt cuts a Brotha a check) and is a premier online destination for parents looking for all kinds of resources from lifestyle, parenting, love & relationships, entertainment…you get the idea.

Well, the site is looking to reinvigorate its tech section and has brought me on, along with several other tech-savvy bloggers, to add some geeky flavor to the mix. The Babble Tech Blog will focus on content you’re already used to seeing on my site – Tech news, tips & tricks, product reviews and other relevant information, but broken down so parents can digest.

I will posting over there several times a week, and it would be dope if I could get some eyeballs on my posts over at Babble. For my first post, I picked 5 apps to make your 4th of July celebration plans smoother.

Allrecepies | RedRover | PackingPro | Parkmobile | Ptch

Check it out to learn more how these apps will help you rock Independence Day…and to show me some love

4th of July Apps: Plan Ahead to Relax in Style

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Effortless Videos With The BlackBerry Z10 and the Story Maker App

“I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.”

I’ll be honest, I haven’t spent a ton of time messing with my BlackBerry Z10′s camera/video capabilities. So I took it to the Mashable Social Media Day 2013 event in Atlanta and made a quick video with no effort using BlackBerry Story Maker.

I’ve heard folks rant and rave about how easy it is to make videos with the Story Maker app for BlackBerry. Initially, I figured it was just a add-on gimmick, and even though I HATE editing videos, I already have a routine of uploading footage to computer’s editing software to add final touches. So I never really played with it long enough to develop a real opinion.

It just so happened that I had my BlackBerry Z10 with me when I attended the Mashable Social Media Day event in Atlanta yesterday. So I decided to shoot some footage to get a real sense of creating a movie with Story Maker.

Step 1: Capture Footage
During the evening, I shot video footage of all of the companies, some of the crowd, and of course, the food trucks. Overall, it was about 3 minutes worth of footage all shot using the default BlackBerry camera.

Step 2: Complile footage
After I was satisfied with all the footage, I opened the Story Maker app, tapped “Create New Story” and selected all the videos I wanted to add. I decided to add video, but you can also create a slideshow with images as well.

Step 3: Adding Music
You can pull in music from your phone’s media library to serve as background for your video. The video I shot didn’t contain any pertinent audio, so adding music to my video made sense. I found a dope song without hardly any vocals “Flight of the BlackByrd” that seemed to fit perfectly.

Step 4: Titles and Credits
Next up was to add a title, dates, and ending credits. There only so many characters you can add to these fields, that way, you’re not trying too hard to create a story – The whole point is to make it simple as possible.

Step 5: Story Tweaks
At this point, my video was ready but I did have the option of tweaking my video by changing the filters, adding or removing media, changing titles, or changing the order and lenght of individual clips. In other words, you can add some style and personality to your story, all while keeping it straight-forward and simple.

Step 6: Save and Share
Offically saving the story converts it for viewing in the videos app…in HD video quality I might add. Story Maker provides a ton of sharing options, including YouTube, to let the world view my “pro video skills”.

Here is the finished product that was, created, saved and shared before I event left the event:

Story Maker did all the heavy-lifting of creating transitions, positioning text, and applying effects…all the stuff that usually gets on my nerves in “post” production.

Overall, I shoot a ton of random videos of my kids, that are too cute NOT to share, but are so short that I don’t feel like editing them using my regular method. So most of them just sit there on my phone collecting dust. The BlackBerry Story Maker app does give me another option for quickly and effortlessly creating some pretty nice videos.

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Mobile Garage Sale: App Picks To Easily Sell Your Stuff

I have racks on racks on racks of gadgets that are taking up space in my office. Just recently, I decided to try to get rid of some of if, but I didn’t feel like going through the long process of “listing” items on traditional sites. I know I’m not the only one who has junk treasures that could use a new home, so I did a quick search a dug up some mobile apps that can help you quickly and easily sell your stuff.

Sold

If you’re not really sure how to price your items, don’t feel like doing the research, or just plain ‘old lazy, Sold is your middle man to getting the best price, setting up the listing and shipping your stuff.

Sold is for selling “nicer” stuff so don’t think you can sell your old beat-up crap. The best way I can explain Sold is by imagining that hipster/diva looking for high-end finds, but doesn’t really want to pay hipster/diva prices. So if you have some last year/season “like-new” sytlish and trendy stuff, you might want to list it on Sold. The app does most of the work for you by hunting down the best price (one-day turnaround), listing your item, sending you a packaging box to ensure smooth shipment and handling the financial transaction.

I’m sure there are people out there with champagne taste on a beer budget that are looking for a deal. Sold may just be the place to get your like-new stuff in their poser hands.

Bondsy

Instead of selling your stuff, why not trade it for something else among friends? That’s Bondsy‘s spin on mobile commerce and wants users to get in the habit of giving up stuff you have for stuff you want. You can put a dollar amount on your items, but the ideal is to also mention what you’re willing to accept as a fair trade with your friends. It can be lunch, or a drink, a hug, or a little “bow-chicka wow-wow” (I’m not sure if that’s true or not…I’m leaning towards NO). You can also prompt potential buyers to “make an offer” to start negotiations.

You have to create a nice network of friends on the app in order to really to start moving product. As an added measure, you can share your items on Twitter and Facebook for a larger audience; but, they still have to download the app to initiate a trade, unless you want to contine the discussion and complete the transaction on those social networks. On the flip-side, Bondsy is probably the fastest way to get your stuff listed out of all the ways I played with.

eBay Mobile

I know I mentioned earlier that I didn’t feel like going through the long and confusing process of selling stuff the “traditional way”, but the eBay Mobile app has really stepped up its game. I was still skeptic, so I decided to go through the process just to see if things have changed from when I lived on eBay.

eBay Mobile has a stripped down, but clean user interface that gives it a more inviting feel. The actual process is familiar, but simplified. You can manually enter a brief description scan the UPC code (never got the scanning to workd for me) and let eBay search its database of millions of items to see if it can find a match. Next step is to go through the checklist of requirements (Photos, Title, Category, Condition, Details, Pricing & Shipping) to set up your item for listing.

The whole process took about 5 minutes, and it’s worth it if you want your items possibly viewed by millions of users to sell your stuff fast. My trial item sold within two days of listing it.

With all these options, I’m starting to look at all these gadgets with dollar signs in my eyes. Be sure to follow/like me on Twitter and Facebook so you can snag some of my tech swag.

Yes, it rhymed, and I meant to do it.

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Popular Video-Sharing App Vine Hits Android Today

It was crazy that Vine didn’t have a dual iOS and Android release considering the fact that Twitter is Vine’s Daddy (or Momma). Nevertheless, Vine will be rolling out its Android app for the popular video sharing/mobile social platform starting today.

Vine was released on iOS back in January and it was immediately pounced on to the tune of over 13 million users to date. If you’re not familiar, the app lets users record 6-second video clips to share on its own network, in addition to Twitter or Facebook. Similar to how users created their own use/functionality within Twitter (mentions and RT’s) that quickly became mainstream, the same has happened with Vine – Users primarily create stop-motion/jump-cut videos, instead of one continuous clip.

#ShamelessPlug

Now Android users can flood the Vine stream with their own creative video shorts that have taken over as the the most popular video-sharing app as five Vine videos are shared on Twitter every second with over 10 million Vines shared per month, according to Unruly Media.

According to a blog post from Twitter, Android users will lack behind their iOS brethren on the features front – Front-facing camera support, mentions and hashtags, and the ability to share Vines on Facebook are absent from the first release. Twitter promises that the iOS and Android versions will eventually be in sync.

Until then, keep check out Vine for Android and let me know what you think in the comments section.

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App Picks To Help You Enjoy Memorial Day and Beyond

You are probably getting ready to head out to enjoy the unofficial start of summer. I’m positive you will have your smartphone by your side to share your holiday experiences, as well as find out what other folks are doing. Here are some of my app picks to help you get the most out of your smartphone this Memorial Day.

Eventbrite – Finding local events

  • New “Discover” Tab suggests local events based on you and your Facebook friends past activity
  • “Around Me” & “This Weekend” Sections to help pinpoint events in your area happing now

Grop Messenging Apps – Communication with your friends & family

  • Easily communication with a large number of people
  • Add images, audio, video & share location information

Parkmobile – Locate and pay for parking

  • Find parking zones and get directions
  • Quickly feed meter with credit card/PayPal
  • Reload meter from smartphone
  • Find your car after parking

Cloud Apps – Image Sharing

  • Share images publicly or with select people
  • Share with family not using social networks (All they need is an email address)
  • Get 15+5GB free with Copy

Socialcam – Video Sharing

  • Quickly shoot, trim, add titles, themes & music
  • Share to multiple locations at once (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Email & sms/mms)

Be sure to stay safe, have fun this summer season.

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