Wednesday, March 5, 2014

20, 23 Badges

23. Evaluate 23 Mobile Things

Wow! I finished! Took just over a month. I was shooting for around a month because I tend to procrastinate with these types of learning tools, so I am glad I was able to finish it close to my original goal.

I definitely like using my device more to help patrons now than before starting this project. Before I kind of felt that they probably thought I was ignoring them, but I simply explain that I am trying find the material they are asking for. If the bookmobile gods are happy, I can even find it on the shelf sometimes!

Now if only SirsiDynix could fix the BookMyne app I could find items quicker for patrons with my phone. Just tried it again now, and it still does not work. I'm told the problems may be fixed when they release version 4.0. But I'm not sure when that will be coming out.

My favorite thing was number 21. The free for all. I liked sharing some of my favorite apps with library workers in our region. Now that my blog is done I can look at other blogs and find out what other people are up to with their mobile device.

Not really sure what could be done to improve upon this. I just hope more people in our region will take these types of "classes". If we stop wanting to learn new things, we are probably in the wrong profession. I would absolutely take another 23 Things program in the future.

I would describe my learning experience to be "Trouble Free". Even with my cheap phone I did not have one bit of trouble with any of the apps you talked about, or with any of the ones I stumbled upon while picking my own apps to review. I was worried that since my phone is not run through one of the major carriers that I would have problems, but this was not the case.

22. Discovering Apps

I picked the Droid of the Day app for this Thing. I kind of like having a new app waiting for me each day. Almost like the joke, video, or picture of the day email listserves that were so popular when the Internet and email first came about. Even if you aren't able to enjoy a app everyday, you can go back and look at previous days ones to find one that would like to use.

I found the Tao Mix app, a soothing sounds type of program. Great for relaxing and meditating if you enjoy that type of thing. You can even create your own combination of birds, ocean noises, blowing wind, etc. Great for those who want to lower their stress level.

Also found a game called Hungry Beagles. A dog puzzle game. A move the dog to the goal game where you must collect bones, and move blocks out of the way to get your dog to their doghouse. Fun for animal lovers!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

21. Free-for-all

Craigslist, TVGuide, eBay, CleanMaster, Instant Heart Rate. These are all apps I have been using for awhile. Just a disclaimer, these are ones I use on my Android phone. Not sure if all of them are available for Apple.

I love Craigslist, but I wish they would expand and have more areas like the Iron Range. I often  browse the Pets and Free sections of this app just to see what is out there in the community. eBay is your standard app. Lets you monitor your auctions, place bids, sell items, search for things, etc. Pretty basic but it gets to the point.

TVGuide is pretty handy. You can just open up the app, find the right day and time, and find out if there is a new episode of the Big Bang Theory on tonight. Much better than dragging out the laptop and searching around for information. It also gives you a synopsis of the episode and tells how long movies are as well as cast members. Also handy for sporting events to see when and who the MN Wild are playing that particular evening.

CleanMaster is good to clean up the cache and other files your system has produced. I try and clean my phone up one a week or so. There is also the option to clean up your memory. So if you are having trouble running apps try the CleanMaster program. But if that doesn't solve it go ahead and reboot your phone.

Instant Heart Rate is one that well, checks your pulse. Just press your finger up to your camera lens and within 10 seconds it will have your heartbeat. You can even store your information and compare to previous times and days. This would be a good app for people who enjoy exercising.

20. Games

For this one I have already been hooked on Candy Crush Saga. I also enjoy Farm Heroes Saga by the same company. Candy Crush Saga becomes insanely difficult with each passing stage while Farm Heroes Saga stays pretty evenly challenged when you get past the first few introductory levels.

I tried Temple Run and found it to be horribly frustrating. I kept dying within a matter of minutes, and never got very far at all in the game. I just don't have the quick reflexes to keep up with the constant moving, and directional aspects of the game.

Words With Friends is one I have played off and on for over a year. I play with a few people from work. This one really helps to build vocabulary and also challenges you to make the most of double word, triple word, double letter, and triple letter scoring areas. If you don't, and you are playing a good opponent, it will be hard to win. I enjoy playing defense most in this game. If I only get a dozen points on a triple word score, who care. My opponent could have gotten 30 or 40 points, and I have just limited what they are able to play.

Frogger Free and Bubble Mania are some I will check out in the future.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

19. Hobbies

If you know me you know that I love sports. Baseball and hockey are my favorites. So I do really enjoy the ESPN ScoreCenter app. When I got "free" cable at my last apartment ESPN was one of the channels. I think I pretty much watched Sports Center and nothing else for the first few weeks of my first real cable TV experience. With the Wild being just above average this year, and the Twins having multiple disappointing seasons I sometimes wonder if Minnesota will have a world champion in my lifetime.

I also enjoy birds. I love hawks, falcons, and eagles, but don't know much about them really. So the Sibley eGuide to Birds of North America LITE app is pretty fun to play around with. I am kind of hesitant to pay $20 to download the full version, so I will try out the trial birds in great detail to see if I really want to sink that much money into an app. I think the most I have ever spend on an app before was a couple bucks to remove those annoying ads from Words with Friends. Best money I had spent in some time!

18. Education

That sucks the Bill Nye app is not available on the Android platform. I remember him fondly from my childhood. The days when I only got the French-Canadian channel and PBS. I may have to borrow a friend's Apple product, or use the iPad on the bookmobile to check this app out.

But for now Advanced English Dictionary & Thesaurus app is good enough. I used dictionaries and thesauruses a lot in college but not as much anymore. They are still handy to use especially if you can't think of a synonymy to something you already know, but want to change things up a bit. This reminds me of yet another childhood show...

The B-Rhymes one would be great for writing poetry. I was never very good at rhyming things so this would have definitely come in handy. The iTranslate would have been great for high school Spanish. I always thought that the subject was pretty easy, but lets face it, when learning a new language it can be pretty challenging until you get the hang of it. It makes me wonder where my English to Spanish dictionary is...

The Google Earth one was just in its infancy when I was in landscape architecture school. When designing for a site we would blow up the aerial view of the place in question and go from there. It sure made figuring out the size and shape of the area we were working on that much easier.