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Google Keep vs. Evernote vs. Catch Notes

Last week, Google announced a new note-taking app called Google Keep. The Google Keep Android app lets you quickly jot down notes, keep track of photos and even dictate voice messages. This is the tech giant’s foray into organization apps, helping them *keep* up (forgive us) with competition like Evernote and Catch Notes. Is it worth the download? Read on as In the Moment Computing compares Google Keep with competitors like Evernote and Catch Notes. (more…)

iPhone vs Android – Which is Better?

Choosing a new phone is one matter, but selecting the right mobile device that has the features you want while also being versatile, robust and cost effective is quite another. For many people, these choices have narrowed down to selecting between the highly regarded iPhone and Android/Droid phone. Both phones come with a plethora of features and many advantages that make either one worthy of selection, but which one is better overall for your needs. This is truly the iPhone vs. Android contest with the winner being the one that best displays all the features you desire while combining reliability with robust design and polish. For much of  this discussion, I’ll be comparing the iPhone 5 to the Samsung Galaxy III (Droid phone).

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Versatility

In this comparison between the iPhone and Droid or Android phone, we examine the types of phones you can get featuring either one of these platforms. Since Apple creates the iPhone (which runs on iOS – Apple Operating System), and it runs through their Apple Store, they have to approve all software that is made for the iPhone. At first this took a very long time, now it’s a much faster approval process. Conversely, the Android OS which is created by Google offers software choices from a number of manufacturers including Samsung, HTC and Motorola just to name a few. This means that the Droid phone you purchase may come in different sizes, use a number of different features and even varies in quality. This versatility makes phone running the Droid OS more prevalent worldwide than iPhones. As of September 2012, Droids are #1 smart phone at 52.4% , iPhones at 33.4% of the market.

However, a number of choices do not necessarily mean having an advantage. Some Android phones have built a reputation for freezing up or even overheating. The variance in quality does not affect the iPhone as it is of high quality albeit with fewer overall choices. The winner here is the iPhone.

Apps

Here is an area that is simply too close to call, while Apple does have far more app, the quality of many of the Droid apps can be a bit more spotty than then iPhone Apss. Although, now, you can get every popular app (Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, Words with Friends, Angry Birds, Song Pop) on each OS and they work identically. A good comparison of which Operating System does better per app is well document here.

Screen Size

While the iPhone 5, the screen size variability is less of an issue than it was in September of 2012, when you only had one choice. Now you have the iPhone 4s at 3.5″ and the iPhone 5 at 4″. Droid phones run the gamut of screen sizes. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 4.8″ screen – better for watching movies, reading books, playing games.

English: Android Market on Samsung Galaxy S.

English: Android Market on Samsung Galaxy S. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Networking / Cell Phone Carrier

Here, Android has been using the 4G LTE for at least a year and while not all areas of the US are 4G LTE yet, they will be soon. The iPhone just entered the 4G LTE market with the iPhone 5. You get the true 4G LTE speeds, currently, on Verizon and AT&T markets. I’m sure T-Mobile and Sprint will be live within next 12 months.

Author’s Note: Have been using the iPhone 4S for about a year. Enjoy everything except the keyboard, which is the worst keyboard I’ve ever tried. The voice recognition gets about a 70% grade. The Droid phones I’ve tested and installed for clients have a far superior keyboard (you can event get different versions of keyboards) and voice recognition, while texting, is an 90% grade.

 

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Shopping for Gadgets and Finding the Lowest Price

Shopping:  To many it’s an activity of exploration. To others it’s an anathema. I have bargain mania. I’m good at finding them, so I loooove online shopping–especially for gadgets! If you’re a fan on our Facebook page or have been a fan for some time, you’ll know that I scour the web for deals and more deals, mostly gadgets but other things as well. 99% of the time, I post stuff I would buy, occassionally, when it’s such a good deal – I have to just share it.

Here are a few of my favorite things… I mean shopping sites:

Google Products. They have everything here, from AAA rechargeable batteries to Zumba DVDs. If money can buy it (and it’s not evil), you can get it here.

Google: not evil!

Go to Google Products, type in any purchasable material object and use the Invisible Hand Extension or the Price Blink Extension to see if you’re getting the best possible price. (FYI, an extension is a button that sits in the frame of your browser and works with your browser to improve your internet experience. These will work with Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla and Chrome.) It’s almost like having a personal assistant out there, looking for the needle in the haystack, while you get to surf the reviews pages. And seriously, what could possibly be more entertaining than this review page?

Price Grabber. The granddaddy of price comparison shopping. I used to use this all the time, but now I find Google Shopping a bit more versitle. Still a great site.

Tech Bargains. How does an Apple Outlet for less than $1000 sound? Sounds good. Also, ,this site looks for sweet deals from competing sites, like this bargain on a Monster Cable PowerCenter 8 Outlet Surge for $24.99.

Slick Deals - Great Online Shopping Bargains

 

 

Slick Deals posts multiple new coupons every single day. Like this Nike Windproof Umbrella for $51.

Woot - Awesome Deal of the Day Shopping

 

Woot offers one deal, for one day. Today they offered a groovy solar powered Bluetooth kit for $15. Tomorrow, who knows?

Daily Steals offers limited time deals on all kinds of stuff, too. New one every day, such as a $30 8GB Nano mp3/mp4

Deal Sucker. Another daily deal offerer. This one has a “Mystery Box of Crap” Friday. I’m not making that up. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but the mystery box has a 4/5-star rating. Hey, at $9.99, it’s not that huge of a risk!

Wherever you go – wherever you buy – make sure to look at the reviews. Just type into your favorite search engine “productname review” and someone usually has an opinion on it. If you’re not sure, just pose the question on my Facebook Business Page. Happy to Help!

Editing Your Photos – Options are Endless!

Purchasing Photoshop software is so old-fashioned!  These resources are 100% free and work with Windows, Mac & Linux (unless otherwise noted).

FotoFlexer Love the effects this one offers. Try “sketch” for those cool drawn-looking photos that everyone’s getting, and of course try “wrinkle cream” for those one-of-a-kind, yet less flattering pics. Make a collage and upload it at lightning speed on Facebook and other social media sites.

Wow! I didn't know I even needed "Wrinkle Cream!" Thanks, FotoFlexer.

Lunapic is awesome because it’s web-based, so you can use a picture from the web with a URL instead of uploading from your computer. Then you save the improved “Cosmetic Surgery” picture on your computer.

FixPicture makes it incredibly easy to resize photos.

Picnik is similar to FotoFlexer. It doesn’t have as many effects to offer (at least, not to non-account holders like myself) but it’s as easy to use. Also, you can get your collage keepsake fix right there.

Picasa – You don’t even need the internet for Picasa!  Once you’ve downloaded the editing software made by Google, you can retouch your friend’s wedding photos, saving her thousands of dollars. This one is an old fave of mine. Many meaningful cat-photos have I added sepia-tone nuances to.

XNView is my favorite despite its previous Windows-Only status. It’s another free download, and you can even work with screenshots.

MeeSoft (Windows only) offers advanced image editing, enhancement and analysis software. The creators claim that it offers the most image enhancement features found in conventional image editors plus a number of advanced features not even available in professional photo suites. The software is usable with scanners, too.

ImageResizer was created as a clone of the Image Resizer Powertoy for Windows XP (which allows you to right-click on one or more image files in Windows Explorer to resize them) to extend support to non-XP and 64-bit versions of Windows (including 2000, Vista & 7).

Woah, look at me astral projecting in Pajaro Nat'l Forest with this super cute dog! Okay, you're right. It's weird. Using FotoFlexor's "Blended Image" function is more fun for those "If they mated..." pics.

Chat Freely, Simply.

Love chatting! It’s like a dirty little secret. Not many people of a certain age or older will own up to a lot of chatting but there’s a reason why so many interfaces – Yahoo IM, AIM, Messenger, Facebook, et cetera – exist. Someone out there is doing it. A lot of it. Thanks to internet 2.0 (soon to be 3.0!), we chatterers don’t have to confine ourselves to a single provider, or spread ourselves thin using several pop-outs at any given time.

We can use all of the chat operators we want with just one of any of these chatter boxes. And since everyone is at facebook, you might as well be able to chat with your friends, without even logging into facebook.

Digsby is the first 3rd party messenger to support facebook’s chat feature. It is a cross-platform messenger available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. No hacks or plugins are required. Just register for an Digsby account and login with it. Once you are logged in, click Add Account. Now in the Accounts tab, click Add IM Account and select Facebook Chat from the list

Pidgin is an opensource 3rd party IM that has a large user base but sadly till today there is no official support for facebook chat. The only way to connect with Facebook chat is through a plugin. Grab the Facebook Chat Plugin for Pidgin and with it you can log into the Facebook servers, grab the buddy list, send/receive messages, add/remove friends, receive notifications, search for Facebook friends and set your Facebook status.

Once you have installed this plugin, you will find Facebook listed among the supported IMs.

Adium is a free opensource IM for Mac OS X. The latest version(1.3.3) has a built-in support for facebook chat, just login with your facebook account and you are good to go.

If you are only interested in using the facebook chat and not all the other chat funcions, you can try the Facebook Chat Standalone.

If you’re looking for the app that does it all, look for Trillian. Chatty interoperability on just about every device I have (not the Atari, sadly).