Tech Talk: App Review(s)

Have you ever found yourself searching aimlessly in the App Store trying to find some really cool, useful and of course, free apps to use? Rest assured that I’m right there with you. There are some apps such as Apps Gone Free that will give you a daily update of paid for apps that are free for a limited time. Check out my top 5 recently found, free apps that may be worth checking out.

ANCESTRY

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By now you have probably seen this site advertised on television. Ancestry is a popular app to help you locate relatives and information relevant to your lineage. I lost both of my paternal grandparents a couple of years ago and it got me thinking more about trying to find out about our lineage. My grandfather was adopted and was unable to get past a certain point before he was stuck.

Review:

Setting up an account was easy enough to do and the screens were fairly easy to use but entering all of the info and selecting people to add to your family tree became tedious. Within the first few additions to my family tree, the app kept crashing which became very frustrating. Also, it was hard to figure out how to put people in the right place once you had made a mistake.

The nice thing, however; is that you get little leaf icon next to people where there have been records located such as birth, marriage or death certificates. There is a free 7 day trial but after that you have to pay $34.99/ month  in order to view the documents and continue receiving hints about your ancestry. I feel like the common user would need to pay for the information in order for this app to really be effective. I’m not sure how many people are willing to pay for it, but I love the idea of tracing my heritage to see who I may be related to.

ANYLIST

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I recently stumbled upon this app after finding out that one I was currently using was no longer supported. AnyList has some great, easy to use functionality. Here are some of the key benefits:

-You can share your grocery list with someone else so anyone connected to it could add items to the list.

-You can create as many lists as you want to keep things nice and organized per store.

-You can add to the list by scanning the barcode of an item or by typing it in to the list as needed.

-You can search the web for recipes.

Review:

I found this app to be visually appealing and very easy to use. There is a paid for version that will allow you more functionality with making a weekly meal calendar and saving recipes to the app. The subscription services are either a 12 month family subscription for $11.99 or a 12 month individual subscription for 7.99. I think the average user could use the free version and still see some benefit but I could also argue that using a paid for version might be beneficial for those that like to be organized and have things all in one place.

30/30 PRODUCTIVITY

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This is a pretty cool app. It lets you set up a task and a time to finIsh it in and works by gestures (think swipe left to delete or shake to undo).  So, if you want to study Math for 40 minutes, take a 10 minute break and then study English, you can set up your tasks and not have to worry about the time getting away from you.

Review:

The concept of this app is pretty unique. I like the fact that I don’t have to stare at a clock to stay on task. In reading some of the app reviews, I was impressed with what people were saying about it. I saw, “amazing” “must have for college students” “perfect for ADD” and surprisingly, “writing my dissertation with this app!” It is pretty easy to navigate and it is very pleasing to look at. I would say that if you are someone that likes to make a task list and cross things off, this would be something perfect for you to try.

CALCBOT

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This is promoted as an intelligent calculator. Not that I really need another app similar to a free one that came on my phone, but sometimes there are other apps that I prefer to use.  I know I’m not the only one that feels this way!

Review:

All of your entries are saved to a history tape so you can view later or pull them into your current calculation. There is also an expression view that will let you see all that you’ve entered so you won’t wonder where you left off in a long list. There are some in app purchases to let you personalize the color scheme. Those are only $0.99 per theme pack if you wish to purchase. Other features include:

-currency convertor: which comes with the pro version for $1.99

-scientific functions

-favorites button that will let you save commonly used calculations

All in all, this is a calculator app but it may be more user friendly and if you like some of the features mentioned above, it may work. Better for you than to iOS version.

TODAY’S DOCUMENT/NATIONAL ARCHIVES

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I thought this app sounded really interesting when I first saw it in the App Store.  It is an archive of the world’s most important and intriguing documents and provides you a look into a new one each day.

Review:

If you are like me and are becoming more interested in history as you get older, this app may be something to look in to. You can view the actual document, tap an icon to view it in a typed format and even share it with others directly from the app. This app is very user friendly and allows you to scroll through past entries to review again or see any you may have missed.  Some examples of what you fight find are, Eli Whitney’s patent document for the Cotton Gin, Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone patent drawing, or the photo of the flag raising at Iwo Jima. If you like history mixed in with some interesting old pictures and documents, this is definitely one to download.

So there you have it. Those are five of my latest app suggestions and reviews.  Do any stand out to you as ones that you might download to check out? If you’ve stumbled onto any must-have apps, I’d love to hear what you have found. Feel free to leave a comment below and share it with the rest of us!

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