Stop the Junk Mail!

PaperKarma

This app has been very useful to us personally.

PaperKarma allows you to take pictures of junk mail you receive that you want to stop.  You simply take a picture of the mail item that includes the name and address of the company that you want PaperKarma to notify to stop sending you mail.

The app keeps track of the requests you’ve submitted and indicates if the company has acknowledged your request, or if it is pending.

While not fool proof, our experience has been positive in reducing the amount of unwanted mailings received.  Some companies take some convincing, but it’s easy to keep sending them requests using PaperKarma.  Some companies are shrewd and know not to place their address and/or name together on documents which makes it hard to get a picture that provides both that PaperKarma can use.

And, of course, there are ones that seem to not care and still send the unwanted mail.  But, this app has reduced the amount of unwanted mail we receive.

Worldwide News in a Creative Presentation Format

Flipboard

One of our all time favorite mobile apps is Flipboard.

It provides news and information from around the world from numerous sources that you can customize.  Sources include USA Today, Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic, The Telegraph, Reuters, BBC World, CNN, The Huffington Post, MarketWatch, Forbes, The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Gigaom, TIME, CNN Money, TheBlaze, ESPN, Business Insider, Cult of Mac, Lonely Planet, BBC Future, Fox News, The Guardian, Mashable, Los Angeles Times, Outside, Engadget, Fast Company, NPR, SB Nation, NBC News,… OK… I’m tired and you get the picture!

What’s cool about it is that it allows you to quickly “flip” through the content using a board format.  Thus, the title, Flipboard.

We find this VERY easy to quickly review the news and information postings you request.  When you find an item that you want to read more about, you simply select that item instead of “flipping” past it.

Content is categorized into the Daily Edition, News, Business, Sports, Technology, Travel and Flipboard Picks.

It offers optional notifications that can be customized and you can post comments as well.

A great news and information app you’ll enjoy using!  Everyone we’ve told about it, loves it!

Maps for the World

City Maps 2Go

OK… there are a lot of mapping applications out there!  But one we’ve found, and use personally, is City Maps 2Go.

What’s cool about City Maps 2Go is that it allows you to down load maps to your mobile device so that you can access them if you’re in a place where you don’t have cellular or wireless connectivity.  Alright… Google Maps offers the same, but we’ve found City Maps 2Go to be very easy to use and accurate… not only in the U.S., but in places like Tokyo and Timisoara Romania!

It includes insider tips and popular places and is FREE.  There’s a Pro version with added features.  The developer offers many related apps specific to cities around the world.

We’ve used it a lot and found it to be very helpful.

Available on the Apple App Store.  Check it out!

Manage Budgets, Investments, Even Bills In One Place

Mint

With the Mint app and the mint.com web site, you can set up and see all your balances and transactions in one place… including credit card purchases and balances.  Mint automatically pulls all your financial information into one place, so you can get the entire picture.

It’s free and easy to set up.  It connects to almost all financial institutions.  What you put into Mint us up to you, but the more you put in, the more you get an integrated view of your overall financial accounts, spending and budget performance.  It also integrates with other Intuit applications since Mint was acquired by Intuit.

Since the data is in a data base, you can create custom reports about your spending habits, and relative to others in your location, city, or state… by category.  For example, you can compare your utility spending to those in your city to see if you are spending above, or below the average.  Pretty cool.

We personally use it and think it’s one of the best apps we have suggested over the last several years.  The app and the web site sync so that you can get the same picture and enter information whether on your mobile device, or on your computer.

If you want to keep track of your spending and your investments in one place, this is the app and web site to do that!

USB Storage Solution for iPhone and iPad

iXpand

With SanDisks new iXpand thumb drive for iOS devices, you can use flash/thumb drives to load and store data on your iPhone and iPad!

The drive is collapsible and has two connectors… a Lightning connector that plugs into your iPhone, or iPad.  The other is a USB 2.0 connector.

To use,  download the iXpand app from the App Store to sync files between the iPhone, iPad and Mac, or PC.  The drive is fast!

You can password protect files when moving between devices.

The drives come in different sizes.

 

Make Gift Buying a Breeze

Giftster

One of our top 10 favorite apps at AppTechnique, Giftster makes buying gifts a breeze.  OK… maybe some will suggest that it takes some of the mystery out of choosing a gift for someone, but the trade off is well worth it.  This is NOT a shopping app, but a way to define and organize who wants what and who gets what for those that are using the app.  Most people probably do this anyway with hand written lists, a collection of emails, or just guessing.  All of these are discrete and more difficult to share.  You know what happens… duplicate gifts, the wrong sizes, something that someone didn’t want anyway,…

The premise is that you set up the app with Groups that contain gift events… birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, graduations,… you name it.  Then you invite people to join these groups.

Each person then creates Lists of what they want.  What’s even cooler is that they can include web links to pages/sites that show exactly what they’re interested in.  This takes that guess work out of getting something for someone, only to find out it wasn’t quite right.  And saves the person getting the gift of having to return it to get what they wanted.  Additionally, each person can also enter details like clothes sizes, favorite colors,…

The lists can be made private, shared (with those that you authorize), or public (anyone can see).

You can also create shopping lists from items from other’s lists that you reserve to indicate that you’re going to get this for someone.  This is really cool because it keeps people from getting duplicate gifts!!  And, when you buy something for someone, you mark it as purchased for others in the group to see.  Ah… but doesn’t this all mean that the person requesting the gifts then knows what they’re getting ahead of time and takes the fun out of gift giving and receiving?  NOPE… the person that asked for the gifts can’t see this activity… only others in the group that are giving the gifts!  Cool.

So, we highly recommend this app for gift giving!

Get it today for FREE on the Apple Store, or Google Play.

And start thinking about what you’re going to do with all the free time you now have that would have been spent mindlessly shopping! 🙂

The App for You If You Like Beer and Wine!!!

Next Glass

If you like beer and wine, this app will be your best friend!

The app allows you to discover new craft beers and wines by using an algorithm to predict which new beverages you might enjoy.  The app accesses your mobile device’s camera so that you can take photos of bottles and enter an associated score.  Next Glass takes a look at beers on a molecular level to determine what you liked about it in order to make recommendations for other beers, or wines you might enjoy.

Darn cool… especially to the beer drinkers on the AppTechnique team!!!

Next Glass is available free in the Apple App Store!

Tracking All Flights, Worldwide?! Very Cool

FlightRadar24

This app is amazing.  In near real time, you can track any airplane in the air, or on the ground anywhere in the world!

Free on the Apple App Store, but also offers a Pro version for a price that allows you to search for flights by number,…  The free version requires you to do it manually… but still very cool.

We’ve used it when traveling, or when others are traveling to confirm when a flight will land.  The free version is accurate to within about 30 seconds in our experience.

You may have no reason to track the flights over any city in the world, but you will end up doing it.  Extremely addictive and you can find yourself lost in time looking at all the aircraft.  Amazing to see how many aircraft there are in the air at any given point!