Best Smart Phone apps 2017

Because we all need new smart phone apps! We do. Developers are highly productive and becoming more creative and so it pays to check from time to time to see if there are apps which will improve and enhance your life and productivity. Phones are becoming more the must have device because they can now control and manage so much as well as serve their function as a communications device. Both android and iPhone are offering some really good new apps this year. PCMag has 100 new apps for android phones you can have a look through . popularmechanics has 23 iPhone apps for your consideration and then the video offers some more. Have fun!

Using technology in the real world

Technology use in the real world is quite different from school based use. For a start, the real world uses phones and phone apps far more frequently. Phones are used for messaging reminders, information, keeping in business contact, company and govt apps, calendars, reminders, QR codes and video calling. The real world uses QR codes a lot to get information out. The real world also engages more regularly with social media. Facebook pages, Instagram and Twitter are used to provide a point of contact, sometimes to create discussions and information sharing and to create real ties with people of similar interest or regional location. The real world documents their activities more with photos which are shared and ideas which are shared. You get to see work places, discussion groups, activities, ideas generation. Through social media you engage more dynamically with a business , organisation or key individual. Individuals will use their phones for information checking, sharing photos and ideas with you: show and tell. They will use their phone to put in reminders or check their calendar. They will show you how they manage their phone and the sorts of things they use it for. Some use it to make videos which they share on YouTube or Instagram. They might be tourist videos but more often than not they are instructional videos or videos of their pets. Phones can also be used to navigate exhibitions and to get local information. Phones play a significant role in documenting daily life and routines.  Laptops are used to get work done. I have seen people on the train studying power points, writing scripts for essays or tutorials, doing spreadsheets or studying notes. Laptops are noticeably the work horses of the real world. Tablets tend to be for games, videos and video calling. Some people do that on their phones but tablets by and large seem to be the device of choice for video calling especially for older people. There are fewer people who bang on on the mobile phone incessantly and loudly in public. It tends to be more discreet these days and often phones are not visible in meetings or restaurants at all. They come out when someone wants to share information or put in a diary date or check an appointment. White boards have a limited use in the real world and different from in a classroom. In classrooms their use is multipurpose, multifunction and multifaceted. In the real world they show someone else’s laptop and you go through their files as a group. From that point of view they are used collaboratively. You are all looking at something and it is being changed in real time as the discussions ensue. It’s actually a satisfying use of IWB in a meeting. In the other group I attend the IWB is used for Power Point displays, videos and group work questions. It’s good and it works but a white board can do so much more. In the real world I use my phone so much more. Everywhere I go there are things I can do with my phone either to get information or to share it.  For one of my groups I take pictures for Instagram and my blogs. They have brought me in contact with so many people in the region and local businesses. Organisations also use email a lot to get out information, enhance information, supply useful links, create discussions and offer support. That use of emails is very helpful and positive. It is quite effective for deepening discussions and the emails which come with follow up ideas and information help create a very positive atmosphere. The last thing which is all the go in the real world are very classy, cool desktops with gadgets. The minimal  design emphasis is obvious and the clean, clear layouts and arrangements are striking. Pleased to add that my retro desktop has proven to be popular!

Meet the smart alec phone

samsung expressImage : My image vis befunky

Meet my new Samsung Galaxy Express smart alec phone. Now say good-bye to it because it’s a real pain. In time, I may well be able to create a workable relationship with it. Currently it spends more time off than on, is sent to the corner in disgrace and has proven its worth as the new nemesis in my life. I have had it since Wednesday and was so pleased to be finally moving into the smartphone arena. That lasted 2 hours. It is so hard to get along with and so pushy I don’t spend my time using it. So far I have spent my time trying to tame the little monster with the misplaced sense of self importance . I had picked the easy set up. In retrospect I think I should have taken the long way round . Things are hidden. Settings are not clear. Syncing is surreptitious and not in one easy find place. Google has downloaded so many photos off my blogs and wherever else and the phone had even synced with my Yahoo account. Why? It had no right to. I had turned the syncing off…I thought. Google keeps popping up and pushing me places I don’t want to be. I had it on the wifi network – one of the reasons I got it – and it was sending things down over the mobile network. Where’s the button that says – only update and download over wifi? Now I probably have exceeded my data limit. Until I can verify that, the mobile data is switched off and I have to switch it back on when I want to see photos people send me. Then I have the speech bubble conversations which you see all over Facebook. How kiddie. Where’s the text only option for adults who have no wish to be cartoons? Where’s the option to clear the messages? Nowhere obvious like on my little Samsung  pre-smartphone phone. It also stops my laptop going on the wifi network. I know, I thought so, too. I have to turn the phone off if I want to use my laptop on wifi or I stupidly have to throw a line across the lounge and have an ethernet connection on the laptop. So much for smartness. Very uncool. I am really annoyed because there is no separation of powers and I am in full battle mode getting in control of my stupid new phone which I should be loving. I have its big sister – the 7″ tablet, and by contrast it is such a dream to use. I know what I am doing. I know where to change and arrange. I know the tablet is working on my behalf. I do not have annoying , in your face messages coming up and it doesn’t go around collecting pictures from my accounts and shoving them on my device. I could go on. Down the track, when the phone learns to behave itself like a civilised human device, I shall probably be able to write something nicer. Right now, the smoke is still coming out of my ears and I feel sorry for anyone who has no plan of attack with this phone. I have a plan and , in the end, I shall prevail. Right now I am data collecting for my next engagement with the little monster.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7″

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 I was with my daughter when I got the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 at a great price and the first thing she did was put on this brilliant aquarium back drop. It looks like a real aquarium so the first thing I knew about this little tablet was the graphics were good. She then started playing lots of videos. So I knew the video was excellent and the sound was good quality. Why did my daughter have it, you might ask? I had turned my back. She just picked it up and started playing with it .She had helped me buy it for mother’s day and in our family if we help pay for a gadget , we help the other person really enjoy it. The aquarium backdrop is fantastic. I love it. Very soothing. I have since found the battery life leaves something to be desired. I can use it for a couple of hours and the battery goes down quite quickly. It is not a concern, as such, for me, because I am not reliant on it but it is odd to have to plug it in and charge it when I thought I had enough power. So, the sound, video and general use of it are all good. It’s a good size and very portable. My iPad now seems big but the iPad can do more. I have had to work out what I am doing when I am on the Samsung because it is part tablet and part mobile device. I have had to choose my apps carefully or I just get pictures and a bit of text. FlipBoard on the Samsung is mostly pictures and it’s harder to get to decent text than on the iPad. The  music, video , readers and play sore hubs are really helpful. The internet browser supplied is hugely efficient and it runs really well on web browsing. I tried Chrome on it and it’s nowhere near as fast. Twitter works really well and Facebook just has the mobile display which is limiting. There are some excellent learning apps and that’s the reason I got it , really. My year 8s seem to have Samsung Galaxy smart phones rather than the usual iPhones. I wanted to investigate Android apps for them. I was pleased with how many I could find and even ones for myself like Métro France , Améliorez votre français , a French newspaper aggregator and streaming news . As such the little Samsung Android 4.0.3 has a sound place in my life and can be easily taken anywhere and hooks up nicely to a computer. I put in a micro SD card for extra storage. It looks good, sounds good and works quite hard. I just wish the battery would last longer! There is a CNET review here.

Some Android related security tips

Android image Image:Fiberdownload

This blogpost from Ed is really helpful. It’s the reason I am an email subscriber to his blog. He always gives us useful and essential information.

Ed's Blogue

As sales of Android have skyrocketed over the last year, here are some safety tips if you are using an Android based smartphone or intend on getting one.

  • Install the latest updates for your Android. The updates will generally include patches to vulnerabilities as well as better security options.
  • Before installing an application, do some research to verify the version is current and legitimate.
  • Before installing an application, review the permissions that the applications want access to [i.e. why does it need my contacts when it is a game].
  • If you are using Android OS version 4.1.2 or later, go to the Settings menu, look at the Security section and make sure that Unknown sources (or Allow installation of apps from unknown sources) is not checked. When not checked, this will prevent the piggybacking of applications which can covertly install as you are browsing the web.
  • Always lock the…

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