Simply Mac Blog

Archive for the ‘App Spotlights’ Category

Jan 201509

Free App of the Week: Mujo

by Josh C

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Part puzzle, part strategy game, Mujo puts you in the shoes of a Greek god squaring off against an endless series of mythical monsters. Stack sword tiles to deliver devastating attacks against your enemies. Combine others to earn experience and level up your character. Mujo promises endless gameplay with plenty of new characters and monsters to unlock along the way. A word of warning – Mujo is highly addictive!

Free | Link

Jan 201507

Control your finances easier in 2015 with these apps!

by Josh C

If your New Year’s resolution involves a desire to get better at handling your money, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of apps and accessories to aid you in your quest.  Simply Mac’s here with a few must have apps and favorites to help you pinch those pennies.

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Square Card Reader

It’s happened to all of us – you end up footing the bill while your credit card carrying friends walk away with an IOU.  In an increasingly paperless world, cash and checks are a real hassle.  Cut out the middle-man and take your own credit card payments directly with the Square card reader.  The Square app links securely to your checking account meaning transactions go directly into the bank.  Just open the app, type in the charge amount and swipe the credit card.  You can even e-mail or text message a receipt directly from the app.  It’s no wonder the Square card reader is making life easier at yard sales, bake-offs and small businesses around the country.  The Square card reader even comes with $10.00 in credit to get you started.  Factor in that the Square card reader is just $9.99, and you’re already saving money!

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Square Cash

For even greater convenience, Square Cash takes your debit card out of the equation entirely, allowing you to safely and securely send money in seconds. Choose to send or request money using just a telephone number or email address, then deposit the money instantly into your bank account.  Square Cash uses 128-bit encryption with options for a passcode lock and Touch ID to keep your money safe. Best of all, Square Cash doesn’t charge a single fee to use their service.

Free | Link

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Mint

Mint helps you save money like few apps can with live tracking of your spending habits from checking, savings, and credit card accounts.  You can even your analyze your debt to income ratio by including information about your property and loans (auto and property included).  Mint uses your cash flow to create an approximate budget, alerting you automatically when you’ve gone over spending on things like dining out, gas or groceries.  You can even manually enter cash transactions and get bill reminders direct to your device.

Free | Link

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BillGuard

Billing itself as the ultimate fraud alert system, BillGuard tracks each of your accounts for unwanted charges and unusual activity. The app even provides daily credit identification monitoring to make sure your money and your credit reputation stay right where they are. BillGuard learns how you spend money by asking you to verify or report the charges you receive. You can then analyze your spending with beautiful graphs and visuals in Analytics mode.

Free | Link

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Acorns

It’s no secrete that investing in the stock market can be a tricky and complex endeavor. Acorns simplifies the process by taking the spare change from everyday transactions and investing them in a diverse portfolio of funds. No muss, no fuss. Once your money is invested, Acorns charges just $1 per month to manage your money. Invest more money or withdraw any amount at any time.

Free | Link

Jan 201506

Organize yourself in 2015 with these great apps and accessories

by Josh C

As busy as we are these days, staying organized is a job in its own right.  If your New Year’s resolution was to wrangle the tangle, get organized with a few of these must have products and apps.

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Twelve South BookBook for iPhone 6

With it’s elegant leather styling, the BookBook brings your iPhone and wallet together in one pocket sized package. From the outside, the BookBook case looks just like a well aged book. On the inside, the case has enough room to hold cards, cash, and an ID, with plenty of room left over for your iPhone. Watch videos and make FaceTime calls with the built-in hands free viewing stand, or detach the slim line case and go solo for a little less bulk during your morning run. $59.99

Things

Things

Things is a powerful task manager that brings your to-do list into focus. Tag, add a due date and a time to your to-do items, then organize them by project and areas of responsibility. Simply open Today View for a full outlook of everything you have on your agenda. Things also automatically synchronizes with it’s Mac and iPad counterparts for complete organization available at the touch of a finger on all of your devices.

$9.99 | Link

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Epic Win

Feel like you’re conquering the world with each task you mark off your to-do list with the Epic Win app.  The app opens like a video game.  Pick a character, choose your stats, and start adding things to your list.  As you check off tasks, your adventurer moves a little further on the map.  Level up and collect treasures just for completing your daily checklist!

$2.99 | Link

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Carrot

If you find yourself lacking motivation to stay organized, Carrot is the task master for you.  Following the old carrot-and-stick method the app rewards you for completing tasks…and scolds you when you don’t.  Level up as you complete tasks and gain access to over 400 different awards and mini-games.  The app is serious when it comes to accomplishing your goals.  But beware, slackers make Carrot angry!

$2.99 | Link

Jan 201505

Get fit in 2015 with these great apps and accessories for iPhone/iPad!

by Josh C

If your New Year’s resolution has a fitness theme, you’re not alone in your desire to battle the bulge.  Here are a few must have apps and fitness accessories to get you in tip-top shape.

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Jawbone UP24

Eat, sleep, and move better with the UP24 all day fitness armband from Jawbone. This lightweight and flexible fitness tracker doesn’t just track your activity, it also works as a gentle alarm clock and sleep tracker. Idle Alert will let you know when you’ve been sitting down for a bit too long, while the Smart Coach feature works with your iPhone 6 to create better habits by logging your calories and setting achievable goals. You can find the Jawbone UP24 fitness band for just $129.99 at your local Simply Mac.

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Yurbuds Earbuds

The Yurbuds line of earbuds were designed by runners for runners to be the most comfortable fitness headphones on the market.  Yurbuds aren’t just sweat and water-resistant; they also feature TwistLock technology and are guaranteed not to fall out. The earbuds have been designed for maximum sound quality and ambient noise awareness to let your music do its work while keeping you aware of your surroundings.  The Yurbuds earbuds line are available in a variety of colors and designs from $29.99 to $59.99.

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Argus

Argus is one of the more complex fitness tracking apps available in the app store.  The app works with the M8 motion coprocessor found in the iPhone 6 to provide accurate tracking of your daily steps without draining your battery.  You can also log your intake of soda, coffee and water or the amount of time you spent running, cycling or playing sports.  Argus even uses your height and weight to approximate the number of basal calories you burn off every day just by living. Best of all, Argus features full Health integration with iOS 8, meaning your progress can transfer to other Health related apps.

Free | Link

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Human

Did you know you just need to move for a minimum of 30 minutes a day to make a healthier you? Human is all about movement. Whether you’re walking, biking, hiking, or dancing, this fitness tracker records your activity, not in steps, miles, or meters, but in minutes. Human uses your iPhone GPS to tell what kind of activity you’re doing and sends the calories you burn to iOS 8’s Health app for a more complete picture of your overall fitness.

Free | Link

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The Walk

The Walk comes from Six to Start, developers of the massively popular fitness app Zombies, Run!  Part fitness regime, part audio book, all you need to do is put your phone in your pocket, headphones in, and start walking.  The audio adventure puts you at the center of a thrilling adventure story in which you are carrying a package that could save the world.  As you accumulate steps, you unlock more of the story.  In the end you’ll make a journey that sees you walking the length of the U.K.!  What better motivation to stay fit than a good story?

$2.99 | Link

Nov 201412

App Spotlight: Slow Fast Slow

by Shane Roberts

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Shooting slo-mo video has really taken off since the release of the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have continued that trend, by adding 240fps slo-mo options.  However, it’s nice to have more control over your slo-mo videos, dictating which parts of the video are super slo-mo and also which parts are accelarated. That’s where the app Slow Fast Slow comes into play.

Slow Fast Slow is a free app, for iPhone, which gives you great, but simple to use control over your slo-mo videos.

Basically, you import your videos into the app, and then you just manipulate the speed of your video with little white markers. Just move the markers along the time line, and to adjust the speed, move an individual marker up or down.

Here is the official description from the App Store on Slow Fast Slow:

Slow Fast Slow is an app for manipulating the speed of videos you shoot on your iPhone. It works especially well with slo-mo videos. Use the intuitive interactive timeline to slow down or speed up your videos. Additionally, you can add pitch control, as well as clip reversal.

• Import videos from your Photo Library. 
• 240 fps videos (iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) can be slowed down to 1/16 speed, which is twice as slow as the built in camera app. 
• Pitch Control: Retain the correct audio pitch even when the video is sped up or slowed down. 
• Backwards playback. 
• Add and remove points to adjust the timeline. 
• Export videos in the original ratio or square. 
• Requires iOS 8.

It’s a FREE app and worth checking out if you love to take slo-mo videos! Click here to check it out on the App Store!

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Oct 201415

Top Apps to use with Health for iOS 8

by Shane Roberts

One of the many new features within iOS 8 is the Health app. Health is an app that will connect with other fitness/diet apps on your iPhone and give you a nice home for all of your data to be stored and interpreted. So, what apps are good to use with the Health app? Here are a couple to get the ball rolling down the road of fitness.

Simply Mac - Fitness Apps

My Fitness Pal (FREE) – click to download

This is the app I’ve used for almost a year, and has helped me lose a sizable amount of weight. My Fitness Pal is the best all around app for diet monitoring and calorie counting that I’ve seen. You can easily input your meals, snacks,  workouts and more to help you keep track of where you are in your daily progress of calorie consumption and burning. It will also track your steps, if you have an iPhone 5s or iPhone 6, and calculate that into your daily progress. Here’s a bit about the app from the App Store:

WHY WE’RE BETTER THAN OTHER APPS

• Largest food database of any iPhone calorie counter – over 4,000,000 foods and growing daily
• Easiest and fastest food entry – remembers your favorites, add multiple foods at once, save and add entire meals, and more. THERE IS NO FASTER OR EASIER APP THAN MYFITNESSPAL.
• Fully syncs with the web, so you can log from your computer or your phone, whichever is more convenient. Plus your data is backed up online so you never lose it.
• Diet with your friends – add friends and easily track and support each other’s progress
• Comprehensive feature set – create your own custom foods and exercises, track all major nutrients, progress reports, customized goals based on your diet profile, and recipe calculator, with full support for metric and English units.
• IT WORKS – the success of our users shows that we can help you lose weight

WORKS WITH HEALTHKIT

• Add your meal summaries to HealthKit – You can now share meal data with HealthKit-connected apps every time you add food to your diary.
• Sync your weight with HealthKit – If you have an app that records your weight in HealthKit, we can automatically sync that with your MyFitnessPal account. Likewise, if you track your weight in MyFitnessPal we’ll keep your HealthKit data updated.
• Add exercises from other HealthKit apps to your diary – When you exercise with an app that saves workout data to HealthKit, we can adjust your daily calorie goal for you. 

It’s a seriously great app, check it out, it’s free and easy to use.

Instant Heart Rate

Instant Heart Rate ($1.99) – click here to download

Want to monitor your heart rate throughout the day or after a workout? The app Instant Heart Rate is one you should check out. All you do is place your finger on the camera lens, and it will record your pulse. It will capture the data and create trends, plus you can even create notes and see your progress over time. This is a great complimentary app to something like My Fitness Pal to track your heart rate after something like a workout.

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MotionX 24/7: Sleeptracker (99¢) – click here to download

The next step to monitor your health is to monitor your sleeping patterns, and MotionX 24/7 is an app that can do just that. In order to use this app, you’d really need to place it on your bed or in an armband while you slept, so it can track your movement to tell if you’re in a deep sleep or not. By tracking your sleep, it can help wake you up when you’re in a very light sleep, and you wake up more refreshed.

These three apps will store their data inside of the Health app. So once you open Health you can see the data from all three apps in one spot. The great thing about all these apps is the fact you don’t really have to buy anything else for the apps for function. There are other great apps out there that do similar things that require added accessories or wearables, but these will at least get you started down the right path.

 

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