App of the Week: Evernote



I have a confession to make….I am an obsessive note taker. I write everything down and have struggled since the launch of the first iPhone to let go of paper and manage my habit through a digital interface. I was a sucker for any new note taking App that was featured in the App Store week to week. Believe me, I’ve tried them all. The one I always came back to was Evernote. It has everything a good note taking app needs and several features most don’t. It syncs seamlessly across all my devices and Evernote’s development team is constantly working on keeping it on the cutting edge of digital note taking. The difference maker for me was the plethora of plugin’s available for Evernote that make it easier me for me to get information into my notebooks from anywhere I find it. Evernote allows for written and audio notes, PDFs and photo importing, and includes a presentation mode for collaboration. It’s a free app for mobile and desktop versions and if you use it like I do you can pay to upgrade the features with a premium account.

Here’s what lifehacker has say:

“The key to Evernote is to commit to it and jump in with both feet. It’s pretty rotten if you’re just using it for a few isolated tasks, because absolutely, it doesn’t do any one thing perfectly and it’s not as fast as other apps.
It really starts to show its brilliance once you start using it as your default bookmark/webclip app, notetaker, recipe box, repository of all your reference material, and so on. It’s great to have ALL the information you need indexed and searchable across every single platform you have. I love opening it up in a meeting and recording the meeting audio right along with my typed notes on my iPad. If I miss something (entirely possible while pecking things out on a glass screen) I can always return to it after the meeting.

So, if you want to give Evernote another shot, try putting everything in it that you want to hang onto. The more you add, the more useful Evernote becomes. Here are a few examples of what you could do.”

Read the full article here.

Don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself and see how amazing this App is.

Download Evernote:

for iOS here.

for Android here.

for Mac OS here.

for Windows here.

These are the Apps you’ll want for your new Android Phone


Because I can easily be accused of an Apple Bias, I do want to show any Android user who may frequent this blog some love. Even though Android is a foreign platform to me, I was delighted to see Google Play offers several programs that are comparable to Apps in Apple’s App Store.

This article was originally posted on 9To5Google by Ben Schoon.

Just got an New Android Phone? Here are a few Apps you should download right away.

Google Photos:

It should go without saying that Google Photos should without a doubt be the first app installed and activated on your Android device. Offering unlimited photo backups for free is a utility that everyone can take advantage of, and should. The automatic backups are a great way to keep peace of mind if your smartphone happens to break because you know you’ll have all of your photos and videos up in the cloud and available on your next device.

Download on Google Play



One of the most useful utilities on Android today is Pushbullet. The cross-platform app allows users to easily push files, links, photos, and more between their various devices. In that aspect it works well, but the app’s capabilities go far beyond that. It can also use “channels”to push RSS feeds as notifications to your device as well. The real power on Android, though, is the ability to mirror your device’s notifications to Google Chrome and even mirror SMS messages (or Allo) on your computer or tablet.

Download on Google Play

Pulse Messenger


There are dozens of SMS clients on Google Play, but few offer any real-world benefit over the one that comes pre-loaded on your smartphone. Pulse Messenger, on the other hand, changes that. This “next generation” messenger brings a good-looking, material-inspired UI which is fully customizable and easy to learn. As a standard SMS client it’s excellent, but that’s not what makes it stand out from the crowd. Pulse works across platforms seamlessly. By signing into your account, you send and receive messages from one phone number on any of your devices. Pulse is free to download, but you’LLC need to pay a fee for access to all the best features, including cross-platform sync. I recommend forking over the $9.99 for a lifetime pass.

Download on Google Play

Android Auto


We all drive with our smartphones as well since they’re very useful for things like navigation or music. However, it’s not always safe to use your phone in its usual form while driving. Google introduced Android Auto a few years ago as a way to mirror your smartphone’s basic functions on your car’s dashboard. Now, that same interface is available on your smartphone directly. Android Auto on your phone pulls the same interface seen on cars and condenses it down a bit to fit on your smartphone. Just like the dashboard version, you can interact with apps like Spotify, Google Maps, and your phone dialer all without taking your eyes off the road for too long.

Download here

Trusted Contacts by Google


Another fantastic Google-made app you should download is Trusted Contacts. This new app makes it easy for families to easily keep track of where each other are, which comes in handy especially during emergencies. Through the app, users can keep tabs on a select list of approved users or broadcast their own location to that same group. If someone manually requests a location, users can either manually approve/disapprove that request, or the app will automatically broadcast the location after 5 minutes. It works great and, of course, is free to download.

Download on Google Play



While Google Photos is without a doubt the first and foremost app you should install on your device, PhotoScan is another you should certainly check out. This app can take your favorite old, printed pictures and create digital scans of the photo using nothing more than your smartphone’s camera and back those shots up to Google Photos. If you have a bunch of old photos you want to backup to your Google Photos library, PhotoScan does an excellent job, and on top of that, it’s free.

Download on Google Play

Google Opinion Rewards


Google Opinion Rewards is another must-have Android app, but not because it’s useful or essential to the Android experience, but because it literally pays to have it. Through a variety of different surveys, Opinion Rewards can pay you in Google Play credit for simply answering a few brief questions. While you won’t see a ton of credit all at once, over a few weeks, you can save up enough to buy a few apps or grab a movie from Google Play Movies.

Download from Google Play


Last but not least, IFTTT. This infamous utility makes it easy to connect various web services together, but on Android it takes on some extra capabilities. As usual, you can integrate IFTTT with various services like Spotify, Pocket, Todoist, Google Calendar, and more, but the Android app can also act as a service and thus, be used in various applets. Just a few examples include muting your phone automatically when it’s time for bed, turning on your wifi automatically when you get home, or changing your daily wallpaper with NASA’s picture of the day. The possibilities are endless.

Download on Google Play

There is a better way to search your Android phone


I came across this article and thought I’d share with the many Android users out there. While, I’m not as versed in the Android world, I do want Android User’s to know the Blonde Byte loves them too…

This article was written by Rick Broida of CNet.

“Anything iOS can do, Android can do better, right? Or maybe it’s the other way around? Bottom line: If there’s a particular feature built into one platform, chances are good you can emulate it on the other.

Take Spotlight search, one of my favorite iOS capabilities. Tap a few letters and you can quickly locate an app, contact or just about anything else on the web or your device. It can be a big time-saver, especially when the alternative is manually sifting through the data yourself.

FastKey Launcher isn’t the first app designed to add Spotlight-style search capabilities to Android, but it’s a new one that’s free, fast and worth a look. If you’ve ever used any kind of keyboard-powered dynamic search, you’ll feel right at home with FastKey. The app adds an omnipresent keyboard to your home screen. Just start typing and presto: It immediately presents matching apps and contacts. Usually you can drill down to what you’re looking for with just a letter or three.


Because it’s embedded and not a pop-up, the keyboard does take space away from app icons and widgets. But I suspect you’ll find yourself needing (or wanting) far fewer of the former, because it’s so much quicker and easier to locate apps this way — especially if you’ve never really taken the time to organize them.
Take Twitter, for example: You probably won’t have to type more than “T” for the app to become visible, and certainly no more than “Tw.” Once you get accustomed to searching this way, you won’t go back.

FastKey lacks a number row, a problem only if you have apps with numeric names (2048, anyone?), and obviously it doesn’t extend beyond apps and contacts the way Spotlight does. Of course, most Android users rely on Google for searching beyond the phone, so that’s not much of an issue.

If there’s one other wish I had for FastKey, it would be for a widget option — a way to add it to an existing launcher such as Google Now without fully replacing it.
Even so, I’m a big believer in keyboard-driven search, and this gets the job done really nicely. “

Download FastKey Launcher

App of the Week – Fooducate


Not long ago, I was diagnosed with a severe Food Allergy after never having one before. I was overwhelmed with having to re-learn how to cook, shop, and live all over again. I did the only thing I knew to do….I had a pity party. My dad was the one who talked me off the ledge that day by telling me to get on my computer and find out what Apps were out there that could help me. ( Don’t you hate it when your parents are right…) Much to my chagrin, he was right. There were a plethora of Apps for Food Allergy sufferers and my favorite of the lot was Fooducate.

The marketing for Fooducate would lead you to believe that it’s just another weight loss App, but it’s so much more than that. It’s free to download and has paid upgrades for different diets and/or allergies. My favorite feature is a bar code reader that will scan the package and then give you a nutritional breakdown of the food in question, as well as, any allergens etc.


The shopping Cart feature is also great because it’ll make suggestions for substituting healthier foods on your list, which can then be emailed to someone else. Grocery shopping can take hours for someone who has to read every label, and this app took the agony out of grocery shopping for me. I highly recommend it. Here’s what the reviewers says:

IMore Says:

”Fooducate provides key information about products like artificial flavorings, colorings, and more. If you want to try a more specific diet like eating just whole grain products or going gluten-free, Fooducate will make the perfect companion as you can compare things you’re debating buying with other alternatives that users and dietitians have rated higher in quality and content.”

Download Fooducate

WTF is Happening at Microsoft?


In what can only be described as bizarre, a story popped up this week that is more suited for the plot of a Shondland produced TV show. According to June Williams who writes for a site named courthouse, 2 employees of Microsoft are suing their employer for making them watch “horrific images” of murder, child pornography and bestiality as part of their “online safety” job. They claim Microsoft failed to warn them about the dangers of the job and failed to provide psychological support.”

Here’s the whole article:

SEATTLE (CN) — Two Microsoft employees who had to watch “horrific images” of murder, child pornography and bestiality as part of their “online safety” job have sued the company after developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Henry Soto and Greg Blauert say Microsoft failed to warn them about the dangers of the job and failed to provide psychological support. They sued the company in King County Court on Dec. 30, alleging negligence, disability discrimination and violations of the Consumer Protection Act.

The men were customer service workers assigned to Microsoft’s online safety program, responsible for deciding whether content should be removed or reported to law enforcement.

They say they never were told about dangerous psychological impacts of the job, which included viewing child pornography, and were not allowed to turn down the assignment.

“Plaintiffs Henry Soto and Greg Blauert were not warned about the likely dangerous impact of reviewing the depictions nor were they warned they may become so concerned with the welfare of the children, they would not appreciate the harm the toxic images would cause them and their families,” they say in the complaint.

Instead of providing trained therapists for the safety team, Microsoft developed a “Wellness Program” that advised employees who were disturbed by images to take “walks and smoking breaks” and redirect thoughts by playing video games, the men say.

Soto says he was involuntarily transferred to the online safety team in 2008 and under Microsoft policy had to remain in the position for 1½ years before he could request a transfer. The team had just been formed and Microsoft failed to warn him about potential psychological trauma, according to the complaint

“The new Online Safety team had just been created and Mr. Soto was one of the initial employees with the team and had limited information about the position. He did not understand the level of activity in the following areas: assisting law enforcement efforts to break up significant crime rings, the mob, the triad, and other violent groups, reviewing photos and video requiring him to witness horrible brutality, murder, indescribable sexual assaults, videos of humans dying and, in general, videos and photographs designed to entertain the most twisted and sick minded people in the world,” the complaint states.

Soto says the job “took a significant toll on him personally” and he began having nightmares and disturbing hallucinations after viewing a video of a girl being abused and killed.

Soto was transferred to a new position in 2014, but continued to suffer post-traumatic stress symptoms and took medical leave in 2015. Labor and Industries denied Soto’s claim for PTSD injuries, saying the condition is not an occupational disease and is excluded, according to the complaint.

Blauert started working on the safety team in 2011, and like Soto was required to view images of child pornography, bestiality and other disturbing content. He attended Wellness Program sessions to help with his increasing anger and nightmares, but was “criticized in his employment reviews for following his wellness plan” and reprimanded for spending too much time playing video games, he says.

He suffered a physical and mental breakdown in 2013 due to the job and is still in treatment for “acute and debilitating PTSD,” according to the complaint. Labor and Industries also denied Blauert’s claim for worker’s compensation.

Soto and Blauert want Microsoft to provide the online safety team with the same support and protections as the digital crimes unit, which has a larger budget.

“Plaintiffs have recommended many changes to Online Safety. The list includes mandatory rotations out of the program, for pre-vacation vacations, mandatory weekly meetings with a psychologist with specialized training and authority to remove employees when the content is becoming too toxic, a spousal wellness program, as well as changes designed to lessen the impact of continually viewing toxic images. Some of these items were also recommended to Microsoft in approximately 2007 and 2008,” according to the complaint.

A Microsoft representative said in a statement: “Microsoft applies industry-leading, cutting-edge technology to help detect and classify illegal images of child abuse and exploitation that are shared by users on Microsoft services. Once verified by a specially trained employee, the company removes the image, reports it to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and bans the users who shared the images from our services. We have put in place robust wellness programs to ensure the employees who handle this material have the resources and support they need.”

Both plaintiffs and their wives seek damages for pain and suffering and economic damages and treble damages under the Consumer Protection Act and Washington Disability Discrimination Act.







Got a new iPhone 7 for Christmas? These are the Apps I recommend you check out.

Spark – Free
I have a habit of downloading and trying new Mail Apps quite regularly. I’m always on the lookout for an App to help tame the daily insanity that is my Inbox. This is the one that has impressed me the most.


Macworld Says:

“Spark works with all of your favorite Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo email accounts, along with plenty of others supporting IMAP. There’s also built-in support for the most popular “read later” services, Evernote, OneNote, and cloud storage providers, which can be used to send file attachments or save them directly from messages.

The app features a unified inbox which can be viewed in two ways: Traditional mode, where inbound messages are displayed in threaded conversations similar to Apple Mail; and what Readdle calls a Smart Inbox that automatically organizes email into personal, notification, and newsletter categories to help focus on what’s important.”

Download Spark

ProCam 4 –  $4.99

I absolutely LOVE this App!! If your a shutterbug that loves digital photography, this App is worth every penny.
Slashgear says:


“While iOS’ own camera app is OK for amateurs and instant captures, photography nuts will prefer one that takes them as close to DSLRs as possible. In that realm, ProCam 4 remains the crowd favorite.The app features all the knobs and buttons you can have in a digital camera and then some, with that “some” referring to the ability to shoot in RAW. And for iPhone 7 Plus owners, the app can also do 3D photos!”


Download Pro Cam

Launch Center Pro – $2.99

If you’re busy and love timesaving short cuts, this is the App for you.




Slashgear says:

“iOS has had notification widgets since version 8, but iOS 10 really puts the spotlight on them, especially in how they’re now available right from the lock screen. With that new focus, it’s time to give widgets some serious thought.

Among power users, Launch Center Pro is thrown around the most. It practically gives you a mini launcher right on your notification panel. Paired with even more powerful apps like Pythonista, you can almost launch anything from anywhere. But don’t worry, Launch Center still respects security settings, so you won’t suddenly find your iPhone unlocking just because you launched an app from the lock screen.”

Download Launch Center Pro


Evernote: Free – Paid Upgrades
Evernote is my all time Favorite note taking app. I’ve used it from the beginning and have evolved into a Power User and Premium Evernote subscriber. The beauty of this app is that it adapts to your level of use.
PC Mag Says:
“Evernote’s iPhone app continues to be a wonderful productivity tool. It’s one of those rare iPhone apps that critics have loved since the beginning.In terms of functionality, however, Evernote is the best note-taking and syncing service, which is the reason it remains PCMag’s Editors’ Choice. You can bend it to your will and use it for practically anything, from recording and sharing meetings, to searching for text inside PDFs, to keeping a daily diary.”
Download Evernote
Pixelmator – $4.99 
Who needs Photoshop? Not this girl with this great Photoshop Substitute that’s a third of the price.
ADB3B687-03FE-409E-B9EB-437A6F31ABA9.png Says:

“If your image-editing needs are more creative in nature than fine-tuning photos, Pixelmator’s where it’s at. Essentially a miniature Photoshop squeezed into your iPhone, this powerful, impressive app provides tools for working up complex multi-layered imagery comprising photography, digital paint and text.

Like desktop equivalents, Pixelmator is happiest when it can tap into plenty of power – which makes the new iPhones ideal partners (and especially iPhone 7 Plus with its extra GB of RAM).”

Download Pixelmator
Square Cash – Free
Money sharing Apps very fashionable right now and incredibly convenient. The most popular being, Venmo, PayPal, and Square Cash. Do you homework and find the one that works best for you, but I love everything about Square Cash.
Life hacker Says:
“If you want the simplest money transferring option for friends and family, or to easily transfer money anonymously, go with Square Cash.”
Download Square Cash
1Password – Free
Hands down, the best Password Manager out there.
MacWorld Says:
“If you’re looking for a secure way to store your passwords and credit card details that isn’t stored on someone else’s servers, but either on your own device or on your own Dropbox account, use 1Password. With Touch ID, it’s really easy to go into the app, and get the passwords.”
Download 1Password 

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