Friday, 27 May 2011

My Top 10 Free App List

Everyone has an Apps list, so I thought why not make my own.  Realistically, you should be checking the App store daily for freebies that exist only for a couple days.  It is a great way to save money and potentially get an app that will help you kill hours of time when you need it the most!  For the purposes of my list, I will only be recommending free apps right now, so without further delay, here’s my list!

10. At number 10 I’m going to clump a bunch of random game apps that you can spend only about 10 minutes or less playing before you have had enough, they are good, but not great and for free they are totally worth it. They are in no particular order,

GF All-Stars
Bowmaster HD
NBA Jam Lite
Falling Fred
Little Ninja

9. At number 9 ‘Simply Find It’ may be another game you won’t spend more then 10 minutes playing, but for some reason finding yourself coming back to more often then the rest.  Everyone one knows this game, you have 2 pictures and they have subtlety changed 3 things and it is your job to find it in 45 seconds!  It is an awesome game to play with a spouse or the kids.

8. ‘Vevo HD’ is a great resource to watch your favourite music videos. I especially like the ability to choose genre’s and be exposed to music I might not otherwise have given a chance. Unfortunately, you can’t multitask with this app, if you hit the home button the music will not continue playing, but the whole point is the watch the music video.

7.  ‘HD Wallpapers’ allows you to select from hundreds of high quality backgrounds for your home and lock screens.  I like to change my backgrounds often and this way I don’t have to spend hours looking for one. Instead I’ll spend hours looking through them.

6.  ‘GarageIncHD’ is an awesome game where you are a mechanic and you have to hire other mechanics to perform specialized tasks.  It will put your ability to multitask to the test and there is a nice story line here that involves a cousin and the mob.  This game was free when I picked it up, and hopefully it still is or one day will be again.

5.   ‘Tap The Frog’ is another one of those great game apps that you will spend plenty of time playing and then just as about the same amount of time wondering how you spend so much time on such a simple app.  The object in this game is to complete the task in front of you in record time.  I found it quite addicting and so did everyone I showed the game too.  Great game to play with the kids or some super competitive friends!

4.  ‘Flipboard’ is an app that I appreciate because I don’t like to spend too much time on Social Media.  It basically creates a magazine format for you to view your Facebook and Twitter along with some other great topics which you can setup.  What it used to take me 10-15 minutes to do, I can do in 5 minutes with Flipboard.  It’s one of those apps that once you have you don’t understand how you lived without before!

3.  ‘theScore’ is a great app for sports fans that want to keep up to date on all the games on any given night.  As someone who likes to take a bit of action on the NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB this is a great app to see what’s going on with play by plays and up to the second (almost) updates.  A worthy mention also goes to the ‘TSN’ app as well for this spot.

2.  ‘Crackle’ is for those people that have a lot of free time and an open mind!  If you can watch a bad movie from start to finish and have a good laugh about it, then Crackle is for you.  It is a collection of B and C movies, (and some A list as well) that you may never have heard of.  It features full movies without ads (from what I remember) it won’t work with AirPlay but still a great app nonetheless.

1.  FaceTime.  Okay just kidding, lol.  I haven’t used that but to test it out with a friend.  In all honesty the best free app is Global Video.  With great shows like House, NCIS, Rookie Blue, and most importantly Spring Wipeout!  They also have The Office, Shattered, and did I mention House?  There are other shows that I’ll leave you to discover for yourselves but this is hands down the app I spend most of my time on.  I don’t follow many of these shows but it is great to be able to just watch a show when I feel like.  An honourable mention also goes out to the CitytvVideo app.  Between the two apps, there are some descent shows to watch.

As always, what I watch and which Apps I play with change as time goes along.  I hope the list above gives you some insight into a few of those apps and you’ll try them out, in the end they are free and you’ll have a great time discovering your own favourites! 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


And the rumour mill keeps churning!  According to a few sources the next iPhone, whatever it will be called (4s, 5) will have 1700 MHz capability.  What that means is that it will be able to work on T-Mobile, which in turn means that we Canadians will have an iPhone that works on Wind / Mobilicity!  Of course we have heard many crazy things before and this is just the latest in the rumour mill.  But it would be great to have an iPhone to go along with that unlimited text, data, and chat plan you are holding.   Or at least you should be!


Here’s something interesting I came across on the internets!  It is called Dot: 360° video capture for the iPhone 4.  You snap on a lens attachment to the iPhone 4 and of course with the corresponding app you literally get a panoramic video.  This would be great to have at a small party or for taking minutes in meetings.  Check out the video and website here.
They are expecting to release the technology this summer and are trying to raise some capital taking pledge amounts with promises of the product and launch party invites to those who pledge certain amounts.  It’s a great and innovative idea but I don’t see this being used in wide spread application but it’s something that is really cool and would impress your friends and family.  Apparently the videos will be uploaded to a separate web server the company will create as the videos are not compatible with YouTube and you can link to them through your favorite social media sites, whether hosting these videos will cost extra remains to be seen.  I won’t be too happy if that’s the case, as paid ‘cloud’ services don’t interest me. You can read here to find out why!  With all things, we will have to wait and see.

Thursday, 5 May 2011


If you are like me, some where out there on the internet you have heard about cloud computing.  From Wikipedia,
Cloud computing refers to the provision of computational resources on demand via a computer network, such as applications, databases, file services, email, etc. In the traditional model of computing, both data and software are fully contained on the user’s computer; in cloud computing, the user’s computer may contain almost no software or data (perhaps a minimal operating system and web browser only), serving as little more than a display terminal for processes occurring on a network of computers far away. A common shorthand for a provided cloud computing service (or even an aggregation of all existing cloud services) is “The Cloud”.
What this means is that you can store your movies, T.V shows, music, and documents online and have access to them regardless if you are on your phone, notebook, or another digital device in a different country or at work without having to carry the actual data around with you!  Of course you will need access to an internet connection or Wi-Fi network to do this.  If you do a quick web search you will see many large companies are putting billions of dollars into this and will be hoping that when it is ready we will all convert to ‘The Cloud’.  There are a few caveats that come with ‘cloud’ computing that should be noted however.
The first is data bandwidth limitations.  You should be currently aware that almost all Canadian providers have a cap limit with the exception of some premium price plans and some smaller ISP’s that I may not be aware of but you have to be lucky to have them available in your area. Most American companies are following suit with bandwidth caps as well. My Rogers cap is at 60GB, although it does sound like a lot, you have to realize that simply watching a 2 hour HD quality video from Netflix can cost you up to 4GB!  Even if you don’t subscribe to a movie service 60GB may seem like a lot but considering 1GB of bandwidth purportedly costs ISP’s approximately 1 to 3 cents, so realistically, capping bandwidth is an Internet Service Provider’s way of limiting our access to the net and maximizing profits. That’s especially bad if you happen to have everything on ‘The Cloud’.
The second is the cost.  We could not have expected this for free…  I am going out on a limb here and will assume that server space on a Cloud will be tiered by the amount of space you require.  Due to the size required I am going to make one further assumption and assume those tiers will go from 0-500GB, 501GB-1TB, and so on.  I don’t really think they would come in anything smaller then 250GB tiers and each tier will be priced around $120 per year to start.  I’m making that up, but I can tell you that I don’t want to spend an additional $120 per year on something or even $1 on something I should be able to setup on my home PC and have access to anywhere else there is an Internet connection for free.  Whether the two trends are directly related can’t be said for sure, but realistically, capping bandwidth and then charging for excess use along with the introduction of Cloud was no accident, I wouldn’t put it past ISP’s to suck us dry for every last dollar that could be had.
The third is copyrights.  You didn’t think you could put something on the cloud and share it with your friends and family did you?  I doubt that you would be able to use your Cloud server with your immediate family.  Already Music conglomerates are figuring out ways to make money with this technology. (Or protecting artists as they call it)  Imagine uploading your favourite song, now imagine your wife, son, daughter, and you all having access to it through the various gadgets that you happen to own.  To be able to do that is literally music to our ears, to an artist or record label, that’s infringement.   How can four people have access to the same file?  After the war of lawyers and lawsuits and copyrights, trust me they won’t be able to.  So like most things in life, the original concept behind Cloud will always be cutting edge and awesome, the end result will not.
I know I will get many people who will say that for them Cloud was amazing.  They travel a lot and love to have access to information that is like just when they are at home.  There are many programs that enable you to do that now all you have to do is look hard enough.  I really can’t believe all these companies are pouring billions of dollars into this unless they really thought it was viable.  Maybe ‘The Cloud’ will be a lead in to a new and better technology, because I honestly think they didn’t shoot high enough, instead of aiming for the clouds, they should have shot for the moon.  It should have been free and they could have named it ‘The Moon’.  Actually that’s not that bad… Or maybe it is.