Simply Mac Blog

Archive for the ‘App Spotlights’ Category

Feb 201412

Do your taxes on your iPhone with TurboTax SnapTax

by Shane Roberts

TurboTax SnapTax - simply mac

Doing taxes each and every year can be such a pain for so many people. Assembling all of your paperwork, entering all the info in various boxes, double and triple checking everything, it can be a chore.

Well, Intuit has brought their TurboTax software to iOS but with a great twist. Intuit claims you can get your taxes done in as few as 10 minutes. It is all done with just three steps:

1 – Snap a photo of your W-2 in the SnapTax App

2 – Answer simple questions

3 – E-file securely from your iPhone

This app may not be the best for those of you who have a lot of itemized deductions, but it’s worth checking out. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to do your taxes, this app from Intuit is going to be a tough one to beat.

It’s a free app and it’s available for iPhone! Click here for the app.

Feb 201410

Watch the Olympics on the go with NBC Sports Live Extra

by Shane Roberts

Watch the Olympics on the go on your iPhone or iPad with NBC Sports Live Extra - simply mac

Being headquartered in Utah, home of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, winter sports and the Olympics are a big deal around here. That’s why many of our followers out there may really like this app, the NBC Sports Live Extra app!

Not unlike live streaming apps I’ve highlighted in the past, you can watch live Olympic events on your iOS device from anywhere…. but with authentication of your cable or satellite provider.

You can set reminders of your favorite events so you don’t miss a second of the action! You can also watch events on demand if you forgot to send a reminder and missed the ones you wanted to watch.

The great thing is that this is not an Olympic exclusive app. Throughout the year you can stream games from the NHL, PGA, Notre Dame Football, tennis, soccer, racing and more!

NBC Sports Live Extra - simply mac

The app is free and works on both iPhone and iPad! Go check it out!


Feb 201405

Alternative for the iOS default Calendar App: Peek Calendar

by Shane Roberts

Replace the default calendar iOS app with Peek

The apps that come on your iPhone are usually very good and do most things you’d want. Sometimes, however, you want something a little different or that more fits your personality. Some people take their calendars/day planners very seriously, and have particular tastes and needs. Here is a great alternative calendar app to the iPhone’s calendar app – Peek Calendar.

In the developers words:

Peek is a quick and simple to use calendar for your iPhone. It is designed to be glance-able and intuitive. Peek presents the essentials in an easy to understand manner, without overwhelming you with data you might not need for an on-the-go experience. 

Peek is designed to offer a fluid, fast and fun way to have a glance at your schedule. Along with a fresh look into the user interface, it introduces new behaviors for interaction to make the experience more delightful. Try the Peek’s shading gesture or simply shake the phone to see some of Peek’s life events.

Peek uses the native iOS event database for storing and reading the events. Events that are visible in the built-in iPhone calendar should also appear in Peek.

Please note that Peek is not designed for power users and therefore it is not meant to be the primary calendar app for this type of users. For this reason, Peek’s features are limited to what casual users need for time management.

Alternative to the iPhone calendar app: Peek

Basically, if you are a casual everyday user and want a great looking and easy to use calendar app for your iPhone, Peek is worth looking into. If you are looking for something with more features, then Peek may not be for you, even Peek admits that. Anyway, it’s a great looking app, and it’s pretty cheap.

Peek Calendar (iPhone only) – $1.99

Alternative to the iPhone calendar app: Peek Calendar

Jan 201429

Looking at the Jawbone UP

by Shane Roberts

Jan 201423

How to watch the Super Bowl on your Apple device

by Shane Roberts

Super Bowl XLVIII Logo - simply mac - watch super bowl on your Apple device

Are you going to be away from your big screen come Super Bowl Sunday? Fortunately, there are ways to watch the big game on your Apple devices!

If you have a Mac, all you have to do is go to and you’re set! Normally you would have to authenticate a subscription with your cable provider (i.e. Comcast), but it appears that on Super Sunday they will allow free access to everyone (according to CNET).

If you would like to watch the Super Bowl on your iPhone, there are few steps to take. First off you have to be a Verizon Wireless customer. The NFL has exclusive rights with Verizon for mobile phone streaming, so that explains that. If you are a Verizon customer, download the NFL Mobile app and pay $5 for the weekly pass to gain access to streaming of the game.

If you have an iPad and would like to watch the Super Bowl, the FOX Sports GO app is the avenue for you. It appears, with the app, you’ll have to sign in with your credentials from your TV provider to gain access to the live stream.

While the Super Bowl is appointment viewing, no longer do you have to be tethered to your couch to watch it, although that would be the ideal scenario.

CNET has another option, along with the ones above, so head to their article for that option.


Jan 201407

Upgrade Yourself with these Fitness Apps!

by Shane Roberts

New Years resolutions are really hard to keep, especially when the resolution is to lose weight and get fit. There are many apps on the App Store for both iPhone and iPad that can help keep you on track and take it one meal and one work out at a time!

Simply Mac - Fitness Apps

MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter (FREE)

I’ve been using this app for months and it is great, so it definitely has my endorsement. First and foremost, it is FREE, which is appealing in itself. It’s a very straight forward, simple app. You enter in your weight and a goal of how much weight you’d like to lose in a certain time frame. Once you enter that info it will basically formulate a daily plan to help you reach those goals. It will setup a daily caloric goal, and if you dig deeper there are goals surrounding specific nutritional intake, like fat, carbs, sugar, and more. You can also input your workouts and it will combine the data you entered for the day, for both what you ate and your workouts, and add it to a journal to allow you to track your progress. It also gives you a bit of a hint of what you could weigh in about a month if you keep following your plan. You can either manually enter the food you eat, scan the bar code on the packaging, or do a search for what it is that you are looking for. Very rarely does it not find what I’m looking for, especially at restaurants. Check it out, it’s free and rated very highly on the App Store!

Simply Mac - Fitness App Zumba Dance

Zumba Dance for iOS ($4.99)

Want to get into shape, but you don’t want to do the regular workout routines? Maybe you love to dance? Well, Zumba has become insanely popular over the last couple of years.  There have been Zumba classes around in rec centers for a long time, it has really taken off with the console games for Xbox, PlayStation and Wii. Now you can Zumba on the go with your iPhone or iPad! The app uses the front camera on your iPhone or iPad to track your movement to make sure you are getting everything you should out of the workout. The app can also tie in with your Facebook friends and you can set goals together and Zumba in a group! The app will also sync your progress between your iPhone and iPad so you can keep track of where you’re at no matter your device! The app is $4.99, and there are some add ons for it to add more work out routines and songs. You can get the full game pack, which includes everything for an extra $24.99 and you can get everything the app has to offer.

Simply Mac - Fitness Apps

Healthy Desserts ($2.99)

For many people, desserts are their weakness when they are on a diet. Here is an app where you can have your cake and eat it too! Healthy Desserts will help you plan out some healthy desserts that can be made up of “natural sweeteners, healthy fats, whole grains and fruits.” All the recipes are marked if they are vegan, raw, gluten free, naturally sweetened or whole grain. If you love sweets, this app will help you enjoy them in a healthy way.

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