Pokemon GO Sweeps Nation

Pokemon GOAt this point, I don’t know if I even need to report on Pokemon GO. You can just go out to a park and see people on their smartphones, looking to find some Pokemon that they can capture.

I have been reporting on Pokemon GO since its announcement, and I saw its potential from the get-go. I thought that only fans of the franchise would be playing it, but it is affecting 65 million users.

The thing is that the mobile game is getting people outside, in public places, going to places that they would not normally go. So far, I have heard a lot of stories about how muggers have had better business because of it.

However, it is really interesting to see people playing the game, and talking with each other. People are meeting their neighbors in a very good atmosphere.

The thing is that this is so new, but it will really sweep the nation. I see a future where every franchise will have a location-based game. I’m sure that there will be a lot of businesses that will pay Pokemon GO to put a gym at their place.

Zink hAppy App Printer

zink-happy-smartphone-printerOkay, I have no idea why this particular product from Zink is spelled “hAppy”, but I just looked it up on my iPhone. Yeah, I guess that’s how we’re spelling things now. It’s such and oDd wOrld tHese dAys.

Anyway, this company from Zink has made a little printer that is made for the mobile world. I had a chance to try out this Zero Ink (hence the term “Zink”) printer, and it is quite easy to set up. All that is required is to plug it in, pop in the zRoll ribbon, and power it up.

From there, it is all about downloading the application on iPhone or Android and setting it up. The application is pretty amazing as it allows the user to make some really interesting art. You can put a photo, text, frame, and all other kinds of great stuff on it. I have included a picture here of the application so you can see what it can make.

Screenshot_20160222-230854[1]After you have it set up digitally, you can push a button and then print it out. I have a chance to try out the 1/4″, 1/2″, 3/8″ but it also comes in 1″ and 2″ models. This way, you can print out a picture and there is some stickum on the back so you can stick it somewhere.

So, if you want to see if you can get this for yourself, check out more information about it on the Zink site. It can be purchased on Amazon for $199.99.

The Automatic App and Adapter

AutomaticIt really isn’t very common that you see some kind Automotive accessory tech that does so much, the the Automatic App plus Adapter is that. As you might have guessed from the image here, this Automatic adapter plugs right into that standard diagnostic port that is in most cars since after 1996. I don’t know the name of it, but I’ve had to access it before.

Then there is a mobile app that can do so much. You know that check engine light that shines? The last time that happened to me, I had someone at Auto-Zone do that. I can now do it myself with this.

The adapter has a built-in speaker to remind the driver to go smoother and more efficient. It will even warn of easing off the brake or gas pedals to avoid high speeds, and there are progress reports of driving each week. There is also some low-fuel warnings that will work for select cars.

By the way, if you should get into an accident, the Automatic can bring some human help if it detects a severe collision. This involves a professional agent to assist, alert local emergency services, as well as informing the loved ones.

Then there is another feature such as the ability to locate a parked car with walking directions on a map. It can even work on a smartwatch mobile app or even the Pebble.

Did I mention that there is an Automatic Web Dashboard? It is good for spotting trends, sorting trips, and then exporting the data, which is good for tax reporting and mileage.

All this, and there is a “Do Not Disturb” mode to set an Android phone to be disabled while behind the wheel.

Oh good gosh, there is a lot that can be done with this Automatic App and Adapter! It can be purchased on the Automatic website for about $99.95.

Google releases YouTube for Kids App for Android Devices

YouTube KidsWell, I think we all know that Google owns both Android and YouTube, so it stands to reason that they have created a YouTube app for Android devices, for kids! Oh wait, it also delivered this kid-friendly YouTube app for iOS devices too.

Considering that my kids spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos, it stands to reason why they would do this. It is full of age-appropriate videos, channels, and playlists. The application has big buttons for easy scrolling and one-touch fullscreen.

The videos included are for Sesame Street, Thomas and Friends, and Dreamworks. Many of them are educational with music, science, and so forth.

By the way, parents will like how they can quickly notify YouTube to see if there is anything questionable from the application. That is right, there are parental controls and all that.

Again, I have to question YouTube’s reason for creating a channel for kids, because I thought YouTube was supposed to screen out non kid-friendly stuff. In other words, one of its biggest audiences is getting some kind of specialty market.

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Otterbox Defender and Symmetry cases for the iPhone 6

Defender iPhone 6Well, with Christmas happening, a lot of people are looking to get an accessory like an Otterbox case as a gift or something for themselves. Today, I will be reviewing two iPhone 6 cases with the Defender and the Symmetry.

I cannot help but compare the Defender case for the iPhone 6 with the Pelican Voyager series that I reviewed yesterday. It certainly does have the belt clip thing, with a spinning clip as well.

The Voyager also closes completely around the iPhone 6 as it will protect the iPhone from scratches on the front, back, and the sides. I have said in my reviews before that there are practically no cases better than Otterbox, and the Defender is most certainly that.

If you want to get this, it is available for $59.90 on the Otterbox site and can be customized with different colors for the slipcover and different colors for the shell. The holster comes in either black or white.

otterbox symmetryAs for the Symmetry case, it is only designed for protecting the back of the iPhone 6. Dang, I can’t seem to shake the comparison to the Protector by Pelican! Maybe I should have switched the two reviews.

Anyway, the Symmetry has a cool internal pattern that I can’t seem to find a good image of. It certainly makes the iPhone 6 look stylish for dang sure, and protects from shock and drops.

Like the Defender Series, the Symmetry comes in a lot of cool colors for the sides as well as the the back itself. It costs about $39.95 on the Otterbox site.

Your smartphone might open your hotel room door

mobile check inRemember how I stated that apps have reduced cab-driving in San Francisco by 65 percent? Well, I have discovered another career that might be in danger due to smartphone applications: the hotel front desk clerk.

Considering that I used to be one, I would be very worried if I still was one. Starwood Hotels and Resorts became the first chain to allow guests to unlock doors with their smartphones. It isn’t available at much hotels, but the fact that it is available at all is pretty impressive.

If you are like me, you have traveled miles to only wait in line for one hotel key. It really just makes sense to have this service on your phone if all your are doing is just waiting for a magnetic strip on a credit card.

Just to let you know, the hotel has to invest money to replace its doorknobs so they are Bluetooth compatible. So I can imagine that some hotels won’t want this, because they probably don’t want to pay the up-front costs.

So I suppose that if front desk clerks are reduced to an application, it is only a matter of time before other careers can replaced.

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Skeebloo, an application for Internet addicts

SkeeblooI would imagine that there is some medical term for those who are addicted to the Internet, and I am not certain how many people in my own household would be diagnosed with it. For those that believe they are Net-addicts, there is now Skeebloo.

So, what is Skeebloo? Well, it is an application that blocks the Internet. How does it do that? Well, it has LAN/Internet access prevention, and this includes Wi-Fi blocking. You can set a timer to make certain that you don’t get online at that time, and if you need to get online at any time, you will have to type out a poem. Seriously, that is what you have to do.

So far, Skeebloo is only for Windows 7, and it costs 10 dollars for 6 hours plus 12 hours of locket, or 12 dollars for the same package with customized lockout. If you are discovering that you too have a problem with your Internet connection that is you using it too much.

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Disney Tsum Tsum Game: A fad is made

disneytsumtsum-screen-gameI will tell you that as a parent, my kids probably watch way too much Disney channel. With some exceptions, I cannot stand the dumbed-down programming on this station. At least it doesn’t have too many toy commercials. Anyway, I passed by one night, I saw an ad for a gaming app known as Tsum Tsum.

Tsum Tsum (pronounced soom soom) is a very simple match-three game. I know that the gaming world is crowded with Bejeweled and Candy Crush, and another match-three game might not be even worth addressing.

Still, the gameplay of Tsum Tsum is quite addictive as the player links three or more of these Disney character heads for more points. There are a lot of nuances in this game, such as using a claw game to pick up and drop a lot of characters to link up. Then there this “Fever” level where the score goes up as you make links. In all honesty, I’m not certain how I can get my score higher, but I have only 160,000 as a high score. My daughter has 400,000 high score.

By the way, after I downloaded the free application, then allowed my kids to play it, it wasn’t long before they were drawing the Tsum Tsum characters. I can’t believe how quickly this became a fad in my house. Now they want the small stuffed animal Tsum Tsums as well. I wonder how long will it take to sweep the nation.

WPS Office from Kingsoft comes to Mobile

WPS OfficeI don’t often review a lot of apps, but as a writer, I can’t resist any application that allows me to open just about any kind of document. Needless to say, WPS Office is prepared for the mobile era.

For me, I just have to have to work on my laptop. I guess I just need some clicky-click of the keys. However, if I have to view or create a document in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, or TXT document, I am definitely going to WPS Office rather than QuickOffice. Also, if you need to open a document from email or some Cloud service, this can happen. Also, if I ever wanted to use text and paragraph formatting options as well as add images, shapes, tables, and charts directly in the documents.

I highly recommend WPS Office if you have an Apple or Android device. Especially if you want to just view documents and not create them. For me, I prefer just viewing on a mobile device and creating them on my laptop.

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Steve Jackson’s Sorcery comes alive on your mobile phone (Chapter 1)

StoryChoicesFor some reason, I seem to be reviewing a lot of adventure games, as The Last Door and Quest for Infamy were on my game playlist. I happened to try out Steve Jackson’s Sorcery for the mobile phone platform, and I will say that it is complex as it is interesting.

If you don’t know who Steve Jackson is, I understand. He is a big name in the role-playing game world, specifically in the UK. His contributions are numerous, and he was able to create a series of adventure books back in the eighties called Sorcery. These books where a combination of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” style along with some interesting spell-casting.

The Sorcery game/app takes this world into a new level. It begins on this map, and the player can move their token around as if they were playing a board game. From there, the user has to choose which direction they are going, and there is a lot of text to be read. There really are a lot of actions that the player can take, but there appears to be one path that he/she travels on to find the Crown of Kings treasure.

Like Quest for Infamy, there is fighting in the game, but the hits or misses don’t feel random. I can’t help but feel that there is a science to it, if all the text is read before trying to make a hit. There is also an interesting sorcery method in which you have to know three letters to cast a spell, and you also have to have some material component to make it work.

This game feels very complicated, and I wonder how many paths you can actually take on it. This is always the fun of playing games such as this, because finding hidden things in games just increases the replay value. You can get Steve Jackson’s Sorcery for $4.99 on the Apple store and $5.00 on Google Play.