Back again this year, the official Santa tracking app and web site from the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Every year, since 19___ the Air Force base in Colorado has kept a close eye on any sleighs and reindeer that make their way across the radar screen...now you can too!
The new and improved web site isn't just for Christmas Eve...it has plenty of games and videos and songs to keep the kids entertained all year long. But the big draw is the tracking of the big man's trip around the globe on Christmas Eve.
(you can also follow them on Twitter, @NoradSanta)
Blocky Xmas: This is a puzzle game that sort of reminds you of Tetris and those “one empty space” puzzles from your childhood. Your goal is simple: Build a Christmas Tree shape from the blocks provided. The game tells you where to build it...and sometimes other blocks are in the way, sometimes you have to maneuver the blocks around objects on the game board. Its a fun time waster.
Mister Bounce: This game is reminiscent of FlappyBird. Santa is a bouncing ball, advancing across the screen. To make him bounce, tap the screen. Aim him at presents to collect, but don't accidentally make him impale himself on a pointy Christmas tree!
Now that the world has experienced the summer of augmented reality, thanks to Pokemon Go, Washington figures we're ready for more...and we are! Last week, the White House Historical Association launched a new app that shows a year at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Open the app and aim the camera at a one-dollar bill. The app then transforms that bill into a 3D White House. It plays through various scenes that happen at the capital, from the President's Marine 1 helicopter landing in the back yard, to the annual Easter egg roll, to visiting dignitaries. Its all there in an animation that, if you move the camera around the dollar, will follow and change along too.
This app came out a couple weeks ago. Simply put, it's a way to back-up your old photographs. Not your old digital selfies...the old pictures of Grandma as a baby, or your family's 1975 Christmas card. The app is way faster than putting the photographs on a flat-bed scanner, and more permanent than storing them in a shoebox.
When you open the app, it provides a frame. Center the photograph in the frame. Then four dots appear on the screen. Aim the camera at each dot until the progress bar is complete. Once you've connected the dots, the phone is done scanning, and you have a digital, glare-free version of your old photograph.
The pictures don't come out as crystal clear as they might if you made a reproduction from a negative, but they're still pretty good.
Earlier this week, Apple Watch wearers were issued a challenge by Apple to complete a walking, running, or rolling 5k on Thanksgiving Day. If you complete the challenge, you get a medal in the Activity app.
Keep in mind, you don't HAVE to be an Apple Watch wearer to complete a 5k tomorrow...you just won't get a picture showing up on the screen on your wrist...you will, however, feel better about all the food you'll be packing away later in the evening.
Amazon has updated their app to add some pretty awesome new features!
1) Snap n' Search Camera: Take a picture of something and search for it on the Amazon website. For instance, if you're at a friend's house and see a great pair of boots, snap a pic, find it on Amazon and order it right from your phone.
2) Barcode Scanner: If you're an avid Amazon shopper, you no doubt have numerous boxes piling up on your front porch. Which one is the box you really need to hide from the kids? Just use the barcode scanner to tell what's inside each box, without having to open it.
Amazon's Black Friday sale is going on all month, though the best deals will be on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
With the election behind us and, depending on how you voted, the stress of the results ahead of you, here's an app that was voted the Top Mind and Body App of 2014 by doctors. Relax Stress and Anxiety Relief.
It leads you through deep breathing exercises and guided meditation. It has soothing music, pictures and animations to help you shed the stresses of the world and spend a few moments relaxing.
Here's an app that is intended for carpenters, engineers, designers, handymen, and cooks...but...it wouldn't be a bad app for some students too. Quickly add fractions so you can stop using your tape measure as a slide rule. The keypad is set up like a fraction. A set of numbers 0-9 on the left as whole numbers, a second keypad of numbers in the top right for the numerator and a third keypad in the bottom right of the screen for your denominator.
Click in the fraction and add, subtract, multiply, or divide with a second fraction and your answer is spit out in both fraction (in its simplest form) and decimal form!
If you want to stream the World Series, you have two options: Look for someone streaming their TV on Facebook Live or Periscope...OR...use Fox Sports Go. The official Fox Sports app allows you to watch the game on your mobile devices, but there's a catch. Its no good for cable cutters. Why? You have to have a cable subscription.
*This is also the app to use if you want to stream Cavs games from Fox Sports Ohio.
If you feel like you're in a funk, here's an app you might find useful. Daylio is a mood tracking app. Every day, select the mood that best describes you (from “rad” to “awful”), and take notes about the activities you did that day, like biking, work, out with friends, or cleaning. Then, at the end of the month, you can look back and see how your moods tracked. Is there a pattern? What was your average mood for the month? Do certain activities lead to certain moods? Are there days of the week when you're more productive or more stressful?
You're also able to keep a daily diary, set reminders and events on the calendar and back it all up on your Google Drive.
There are crowdsourced apps that track the weather, traffic and the news...now here's one that tracks and maps the cold and flu season. SickWeather scans social media and user accounts to determine what illnesses are showing high numbers in your neighborhood. The map shows areas in town where people are sick, a home-screen widget for Android users shows a sick-o-meter with color coded warning signs, Apple Watch users can also install a companion hand washing timer app. Sign up to receive alerts when the Flu, Norovirus, Pink Eye, and 20 other illnesses are in your neighborhood.
This is a new social networking app for students who don't want to eat alone in the cafeteria. It was created by a 16 year old girl who was bullied and forced to eat alone every day. She made the app for students to make friends, feel included, and create a warm, welcoming community at school.
Sign-in to the app, type in the name of your school and it gives the user a list of students who are willing to have a new face join their group at the lunch table. There is also an option for students to be designated “school ambassadors” and host open lunch events from time to time where anyone can join the group.
Just like other social apps, students can add their friends, favorite lunch groups, and message each other.
Sit With Us is free on iTunes
If you're sick of getting robo-calls, this is the app for you! You already have the AdBlocker extension on your web browser to filter out pop-ups and video pre-rolls...now get the same thing for your phone to weed out telemarketers, bill collectors, fund raisers, scams and … political campaign calls!
The app is backed by the world's biggest directory of over two million telemarketer's phone numbers and automatically blocks the call when they try to reach you.
And you can customize which calls are blocked, for instance, if you prefer to let scammers and pollsters through and never get another call from another charity again, you can do that, if you want to get calls from everyone but telemarketer's, you can do that too.
The app costs $4 in the AppStore.
If you're a member of Sam's Club, you know the hell of standing in line with a cart full of groceries waiting for the people in front of you to check through their cart full of groceries.
Well, not any more! The price club recently released the Scan & Go app! As you put items in your cart, you scan them with your smart phone. When you're finished shopping, click the checkout button, pay for your items and go directly to the door. The checker scans the barcode on your screen, your receipt appears on their hand-held device, when they give your cart the OK, it registers on your phone and you're free to walk to your car.
A few things to keep in mind:
First – you have to enter your credit card information into the app. If that makes you nervous, you're welcome to continue standing in line.
Second – Your cart will be a more closely scrutinized as checkers compare the receipt on their device to the contents of your cart.
Finally – This is a new program, so the folks at the door, checking receipts are, more than likely, as new to this app as you are, so be patient.
Oh, by the way – The app only works on orders of $750 or less.