The Cleveland Metropolitan School District, along with some other local districts, has equipped their buses with GPS transmitters...and now we can keep track of their location right from our phone, tablet or laptop. Set up an account (you'll need your child's District ID#), then simply go to ClevelandMetroSchools.org/BusLink and you'll see exactly where your child's bus is and how soon it will be at your bus stop.
The site also works in the morning! (think rainy or cold, snowy mornings when you may not want the kids at the bus stop for a long time).
There are usually two reasons you install an app on your phone: You either need it, or you're curious about it. This week's app just barely fits into the second category. Its just intriguing enough to warrant a download. Its called iBeer (thankfully, its free!). Open the app and the screen looks as though its filling with beer. You can swirl it, you can tip it and pretend to drink it, you can knock it over. Wherever the screen tilts, the beer mimics it. Once the beer is gone from the screen, you hear a burp...and the app closes.
For extra fun, you can pick between different styles of beer, or decide to go with mouthwash instead.
As the kids are getting ready to head back to school, it won't be long before we start pestering our kids if they got their homework done. This app helps students keep track of their assignments. They input their schedule at the beginning of the year and add assignments as they come due. At a glance they can see what is due, when its due, and which assignments are late. Students can even link to their teacher's online assignment calendar...so they don't have to remember to write down the homework or make a note of test days. The app is free for iOS, Android, and you can get a Google Chrome browser extension, but it requires signing up for an account so information can be synced across multiple devices. There is also a paid version that, as far as I can tell, mostly allows you to download and install different themes.
This weekend is Ohio's back-to-school, tax free weekend. The state will not charge sales tax on clothing under $75, school supplies under $20 and school instructional material under $20.
From 12:01am Friday morning until 11:59pm Sunday night, the tax holiday will be in effect.
According to Ohio.gov, “clothing” is not limited to shirts and pants. It also includes uniforms (athletic and non-athletic), shoes, slippers, hats, ear muffs, diapers, garter belts, formal wear, and wedding apparel. HOWEVER, clothes for use in a trade or business are NOT tax exempt. Neither are accessories like briefcases, handbags, jewelry, cosmetics, or wigs. (FYI: although your football game-jersey may be tax exempt, your shoulder-pads aren't.)
You can use coupons and still get the exemption...however, rain-checks are only good if you pick up the item before 11:59pm Sunday night.
Also take note: if you buy something online...the seller's timezone will determine the date. So...if you buy a t-shirt from Oregon at 1am Friday, and hope to avoid paying Ohio sales tax...you're out of luck, because it's still 10pm Thursday in Oregon.
For more information and questions, go to the official info page at tax.ohio.gov.
This app is like AirBnB...but for boats!
A collection of boat owners who offer their boats up for rent. Whether you're looking for a boat, or have a boat and are looking for a little extra cash, GetMyBoat is the app for you.
(A quick search of the Cleveland area shows mostly kayak and canoe rentals, and fishing charters)
There's a new player in the online grocery game, and if you care about what you put in your body, don't care about brand names, and know your times-tables up to 3...you're in luck!
Brandless.com is a grocery store where all items are $3. There are, as the name suggests, no Doritos, Colgate, or Kraft, but you can buy generic chips, toothpaste and mac-n-cheese.
All products come in plain packaging, and pickings are pretty slim at the moment, but they're expanding. The site makes a point to emphasize the products with “values”, (ie “organic”, “gluten-free”, “non-GMO”, etc). Each product is shipped directly from the manufacturer, so it cuts out the middleman, but that means one order could end up coming in several deliveries.
If you're looking to save on groceries AND shop from your laptop...Brandless.com could be right up your alley.
With Summer beach season here, its also Summer sunburn season. The folks and Loreal have come up with smart patch that you wear on your hand or your arm and it can tell you when you need to apply more sunscreen. The patch is printed with special inks that change color when exposed to UV rays. Use the My UV Patch app to take a picture of the patch on your skin, then the app analyzes the slight color changes in the patch and tells you when to reapply.
The patch is a sticker that will stay put on your skin for up to 3 days (through showers, swimming, sunscreening, and sleeping). The patch comes free with the purchase of Loreal Anthelios Sunscreen, and you get 2 when you buy the kids formula. Get yours at Walgreens, CVS, Target, and ULTA.
Pokemon Go may have been last Summer's obsession (and with recent updates, is still going strong), but this Summer's must-have augmented reality app is going to be Garfield GO! This treasure hunting game isn't full of characters you don't know or terminology that only the kids understand...everyone knows Garfield, right? In the game, Odie has scattered pieces of Garfield's puzzle all over town and you need to find them and put the puzzles back together. The best part is, you can win actual prizes! Gift cards to places like Amazon or Domino's Pizza, Garfield merchandise and more!
On Thursday the 29th, tickets to the Orange and Brown scrimmage will be made available to the general public. Its free, but you need a ticket...and you get those tickets through the official Cleveland Browns app.
The app is a one-stop-shop for all things Browns. Get the latest news and information about the team, check out their roster, schedule and standings, buy tickets, watch game highlights, shop for official fan gear and more!
To sign up for tickets to free training camp activities, tap on the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of the screen...that brings out a menu...tickets are in the bottom third of that list.
With Summer events and activities getting into full swing, here's an app that lets you get one video, shot from two different points of view. You and a friend each open the Duomov app together, then start shooting your video. When you stop, the app automatically syncs them into one, split-screen video to save on your camera roll or share online!
Possible uses: One person's view riding a roller coaster, the other person's view from the ground; One view from stage left of the concert, one view from stage right; Take closeup shots of BOTH your kids in the school band; you might even be able to put your phones next to each other and create VR videos*
Duomov is free for iphone only at this point.
*unconfirmed use, but a cool idea to try out.
In celebration of National Bourbon Day (June 14th) we bring you the ultimate app for bourbon, whiskey, and Scotch lovers. This app gives ratings and reviews for thousands of whiskeys and bourbons from around the world. Create your own wish list, a “been there / had that” or “own it, haven't opened it” list for your personal collection, you're even able to contribute your own reviews and ratings.
If you cut the cable, but still want to watch the Cavs in the finals, your options are limited. You can go to The Q, go to a bar or a friend's house...or...stream it on the WatchESPN app!
*A cable subscription is required, but you may be covered if you have internet-only, basic cable through a provider.
**The live streamed games are a few seconds behind, so don't live-tweet the games or your friends will beat you to the punch, every time.
For the AirBnB types that are looking for a little more “rugged” vacation, here's an (iphone only) app for you! Its called: “Tentrr”. A network of privately owned campsites, located within a short drive of major cities across the country (not in Ohio yet). Use the app to find and book your campsite and know that it will have exactly what you expect. Each site is laid out with the same amenities: a canvas platform tent, queen-sized cot, Adirondack chairs, picnic table, sun shower, fire pit, grill and portable camping toilet. *as you have may have noticed, this is not your typical “cabin in the woods” camping experience.
The site launched last summer with 50 campsites and is expanding this year.
About 33% of Americans spend at least 8 hours a day staring at a screen and nearly half of us are required to do it for our job. We all know that this will lead to eye fatigue, dry eyes, headaches and blurred vision. We're told to take frequent breaks, to blink more often...we're also told to get back to work.
Felix Gray says the blue light in monitors, ipads and cellphones are the reason behind our eye problems and they've created glasses that filter out some of the high-spectrum blue light and glare from these devices.
For now, the glasses are available only in non-prescription, and slight magnification “reading” glasses, with several frames to choose from.
Cost is right around $100 per pair.