The TEKSide Blog

TEKTOK Podcast - EP030 - Technology & Other Stranger Things - Sweet TEK Pick - Penny

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the TEKTOK podcast. Please visit the TEKTOK website for all the show notes and the other information.

Listen to Episode or visit us in iTunes.

This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was Penny for iPhone by Friendly Finances, Inc.

I'm very hands on when it comes to managing my finances. I like to track expenses, set budgets and reconcile on a weekly basis. But I have to admit to being a little lazy when it comes to creating reports, tracking spending habits and forecasting my finances for the weeks ahead.

That's where my good friend Penny comes in. Penny and I have a good conversation about my finances every morning. She doesn't judge me. She doesn't make suggestions. She just does her best to make sure that I am aware of what is happening with my money. She does so by keeping a close eye on my deposits, bills, shopping, automotive and dining expenses. She presents easy to understand graphs that are helpful, not intimidating nor overwhelming. She has somehow managed to take a serious subject (my financial outlook) and make it something I actually enjoy reviewing on a regular basis.

So she has earned the honor of being called out on the most recent TEKTOK Podcast as my "Sweet TEK Pick".

If you haven't signed up with Penny, you should. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Be sure to use my referral code: 👍🍋🍔 (yes, that's emoji).

TEKTOK Podcast - EP029 - Nickel & Dimed - Sweet TEK Pick - Apple News App

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the TEKTOK podcast. Please visit the TEKTOK website for all the show notes and other information.

Listen to Episode or visit us in iTunes.

This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was the Apple News app for iOS

 

I have really enjoyed the Apple News app on my iPhone but especially on my iPad. The content made up of news, blogs, topics and events tailored to my reading tastes make for a delightful experience. The layout is easy on the eyes and I fly though the news thanks to the integrated keyboard shortcuts. Apple News has become my go to place for catching up on the day's stories. It has replaced my RSS feed clients. It also gets more dedicated screen time than my Read It Later clients. The stories, the words and the images grab my attention and I'm more inclined to read the story then and there where previous behavior would have me save a link for later reading. I also look forward to future Apple News app enhancements coming with the full release of iOS 10 later this fall. 

What has your experience been with Apple News? Have you given Apple News a fair shake? You should.

 

TEKTOK Podcast - EP028 - A Review on Interaction - Sweet TEK Pick - iPad Pro 9.7" with Smart Keyboard

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the TEKTOK podcast. Please visit the TEKTOK website for all the show notes and the other information.

Listen to Episode or visit us in iTunes.
 

This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was The iPad Pro 9.7" with Smart Keyboard for iOS.

There was nothing wrong with my iPad Air 2 model. But I was intrigued by the Pro model for a couple of reasons. The first was of course the Apple Pencil compatibility. I was curious to see how well it actually it performed. However, once I had it, I was surprised by how little I used it. But the Smart Keyboard? That's another story entirely. I've had my share of keyboard cases on iPads before. None of the them lasted long. Frustrations with clunky, awkward design and inconsistent Bluetooth connectivity just made for a frustrating and annoying experience. Apple's take on the keyboard resolves both those concerns for me by creating a very minimal keyboard case serving double duty as a Smart Cover and offers a seamless instant connection via Smart Connector. The fact that the keyboard does not have to be charged is also a bonus as it takes away the concern that you may not have the juice you need when youneed it. Oh, and no additional cables to carry out around with you. Love.

Another big plus for the Pro is the True Tone display. It really is a phenomenal thing and it makes for the best viewing experience I have ever had on any screened device.

On the fence about upgrading? I understand. It's quite a financial commitment. But the deeply satisfying experience has made the financial hit one easier to bear. 

iOSDocked - EP102 - WWDC Predictions - iLike the Fre Power Case for the iPhone 6s Plus

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the iOSDocked. Please visit the iOSDocked Website for all the show notes and other information.

Listen to Episode or visit us in iTunes.

 

This week my "iLike" (pick of the week) was the Lifeproof Fre Power Case for the iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus.

I am not necessarily a fan of bulky protective cases, but after a second iPhone was dropped and shattered, I starting looking. I had just received my replacement phone after making an insurance claim and I wanted that bad boy to go directly into a case upon taking it out of the box. So I browsed and came across this unique Lifeproof case which I have tried once before a year earlier. My last experience was a good one so I figured I would make the safe bet and try Lifeproof again. I visited their site and noticed that they have updated their 6 Plus accessory lineup with a new take on their Fre model. They now have a Fre Power case which provides not only the ultimate in drop, dust, snow and water protection but also more than doubles the battery life of your phone.

Now those who have an iPhone 6 Plus know that the device already has outstanding battery life. Now imagine doubling that. I swear. I never have to even think about monitoring my battery life. I plug it in overnight and then I'm good to go for the rest of the day. I can play movies, browse the web, stream YouTube, game and about everything else without limitation.

Now the questions are these? Can you afford it? Even though it is currently on sale at 15%off, it is still pricy at just under $130. Another question to ask yourself is can you deal with the size. If you have had an Otterbox in the past, then, you can guesstimate what this does to a sleek naked iPhone.

All things considered, the pros far outweigh the cons for me. So I will rock this case until my precious iPhone 7 arrives and the trade in should be good for a mint iPhone 6s Plus with accompanying case:)

Have I gone insane? Or am I so sane that I just blew your mind?

iOSDocked - EP101 - Green Pencils & Turtle Heads - iLike Waterlogged

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the iOSDocked. Please visit the iOSDocked Website for all the show notes and other information.

Listen to Episode or visit us in iTunes.

This week my "iLike" (pick of the week) was Waterlogged for iPhone.

Waterlogged is a water intake tracker. It resides on my home screen because it is something I use multiple times daily. What sets it apart from all the others is a the ability to create and save favorite containers. For example, I have a 16oz glass of water, a 20 oz cup, a 32oz cup, a 44oz cup and a 20oz sport bottle as my favorites. You can then set up which of these favorite containers you would like to use as 3D Touch Quick Actions making logging stupid quick and easy. Combine that with the handy reminders custom made by you and a notification badge count displaying the remaining ounces you need to keep pace with your intake for the day and you have a winner. Oh yeah, and it syncs your water intake with Apple's built-in Health Kit.

In future updates, I would like to see an Apple Watch counterpart as well as a widget. Also, although it claims to be Universal, data is not syncing across devices. Don't be fooled into buying the "+" version of this app. It's is not being actively updated and the UI is dated. Be sure to use this link. The app is free and additional features can be unlocked via in-app purchase. Now, go hydrate.

iOSDocked - EP100 - Just Getting Started - iLike the @iBeesB Wallaper Collection

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the iOSDocked. Please visit the iOSDocked Website for all the show notes and other information.

Listen to Episode or visit us in iTunes.

 

This week my "iLike" (pick of the week) was the @iBeesB Wallpaper Collection from the iPhonaddict Blog right here on the TEKSide Network.

Bercelie Martinez joined our team several months ago and has been knocking it out of the park with her weekly wallpaper posts. She does some great work and she has received a ton of positive feedback as a result. Be sure to check out the iPhonaddict Blog and download your favorites.

You can find Bercelie as @iBeesB on Twitter and you can follow her personal blog here.

Jumping Ship on Basecamp 3

I started at a [new company](http://www.kidfund.us/ "new company") in January and choosing our tools is my responsibility. Slack and Google Apps were first on the list. Next came something to handle tracking long form conversations and company/project todos. I love basecamp. A new version just came out. Easy decision.  One that I now regret.

 

Read More

TEKTOK Podcast - EP025 - OCD & the SE - Sweet TEK Pick - Instapaper

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the TEKTOK podcast. Please visit the TEKTOK website for all the show notes and the other information.

Listen to Episode or visit us in iTunes.

This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was Instapaper for iOS.

Instapaper is one of the original "Read Later" services for iOS. I recently switched from Pocket as of just a couple weeks ago as I went through a spring-cleaning ritual on my phone. Why the switch? There are a number of reasons.

  • The Aesthetics
  • Speed Reading Functionality (premium feature)
  • Full Text Search (premium feature)
  • Note-Taking
  • Costs Less (Premium Memberships run $2 less a month than that of a Premium Membership from Pocket)

These reasons among others helped persuade me to rethink not only how I save links for later reading but how I process the information and what I do with the information moving forward. I think Instapaper and me have a future together. You can check out Instapaper for free here or look into a Premium service if you want the extras. Let me know what you think. I look forward to your feedback.

iOSDocked - EP098 - Naked & Liberated - iLike MacID

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the iOSDocked. Please visit the iOSDocked website for all the show notes and the other information.

Listen to Episode or visit us in iTunes.

This week my "iLike" (pick of the week) was MacID.

MacID is a handy little utility that allows you to quickly unlock your Mac from your iPhone, your iPad or even your Apple Watch.


The usefulness of this app is explained perfectly on the app’s homepage. Here is the excerpt:

Harnessing Touch ID on iOS, MacID is a fast, secure way to unlock your Mac without the inconvenience of typing your password over and over.

Packed full of features, including innovative Tap to Unlock and full iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch support. Control audio, share clipboards and start screensavers.

MacID offers automatic locking when you’re away from your Mac, and multiple ways to unlock, including automatically when you return to your Mac with Proximity Wake.

No other unlocking app gives you so much choice, and MacID will never connect to the internet without your consent, for your peace of mind.

For $3.99, you can harness this power. I found it to be a relatively inexpensive way to save my most precious commodity- my time. 

iOSDocked - EP097 - Not 98 Just Yet - iLike Day One 2.0

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the iOSDocked. Please visit the iOSDocked website for all the show notes and the other information.

Listen to Episode or visit us in iTunes.

This week my "i-Like" (pick of the week) was Day One 2.0

I have been a Day One user for years. Several hundred journal entries later and I haven't even bothered to look elsewhere for my journaling needs. In my opinion, Day One is one of the most elegant and well crafted applications I have ever used. The feature set is full but not so full the user gets overwhelmed with options. Whether you want to journal your thoughts, lists, locations, photos, fitness data, music or just use Day One as a personal blogging tool, Day One is both a breeze and a joy to use. 

With the recent update to version 2.0, more enhancements and usable features have been added which bring more functionality without changing the core of what the app is intended to be. Now you can keep, organize and customize any number of journals you want. You can add multiple photos to a post where just one doesn't capture the memory or idea. There is so much more to love about Day One 2.0 and for $4.99, you can find out for yourself. 

TEKTOK Podcast - EP024 - Tracking & Tweeting - Sweet TEK Pick - Riptide GP2

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the TEKTOK podcast. Please visit the TEKTOK website for all the show notes and the other information.

Listen to Episode or visit us in iTunes.

This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was Riptide GP2 for iOS

I don't do a lot of gaming. I mostly enjoy casual games that I can get in an out of rather quickly. Enter Riptide GP2, a game that is just as convenient as a I need it to be and just as fun as anything else you will find on iOS.

Riptide is a water racing game complete with player vs. player mode, online play, career mode and more. It's playable on the iPhone, the iPad and the Apple TV. Whether you have an afternoon free or just a couple minutes, you can race your friends via Game Center or just continue where you left off in unique and fun challenges. Personally, I have had a blast racing friends and coworkers in real time multiplayer mode. Other times, I simply just work on my own career earning points and money to learn new abilities and trick out my jet ski. I highly recommend this game to anyone. There are in-app purchases but nothing in your face. You don't feel as though you need to spend money to actually enjoy this game to the fullest. At $1.99, it's a great buy. Enjoy.

TEKTOK Podcast - EP023 - Overly Connected/Sweet TEK Pick - Interact

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the TEKTOK podcast. Please visit the TEKTOK website for all the show notes and the other information.

Listen to Episode or visit us in iTunes.

This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was Interact for iOS

The 8th Wonder of the World has got to be why we don't have a native solution to group contact management in iOS. 9 full revisions of this platform later and it's still something overlooked. Luckily, there is a ocean full of 3rd party apps ready to take on the task of being a solution to that oversight. The most recent one to make waves in that ocean is Iteract by Agile Tortoise. You may recognize the developer name because the man behind Interact is also the creator of the brain dump text collection power user app known as Drafts 4.

Interact syncs via iCloud among other services with your contact database. Once synced, you can easily add or remove contacts from groups easily from your iOS device. Need to send a message or email to one of the groups you have set up? There is a composition board where your text rests until your drafts are ready to send off. Another favorite feature of mine is how easy it is to search out contacts and send via the native share sheet. But the best feature? A scratchpad that parses text automatically converting names, companies, phone numbers, emails and addresses allowing you to turn a quick note into a new contact.

There is more to explore. At $4.99, it is a little on the steep side when compared to others that offer some of the same features in the App Store. But the app is Universal, syncs well, has that amazing scratchpad feature and with URL Scheming support, Interact is well worth the asking price.