Posts Tagged ‘#apps’

Facebook Apps

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis March 16th, 2012

Facebook is officially APP crazy.  Since the wild popularity of Farmville, there are tons of games and gizmos for millions of Facebook users to play with.  First off I have to say I DON’T DO FB APPS.  So for all my friends that invite me daily to challenge 5th graders or join the mafia – Forget It.  Why?  Privacy.  Each one has access to information from your page, and (if they’re smart) they’ll sell that. There have already been “breeches” in the flow of information from the app vendors, and who knows what they’re collecting or who they might be selling it to.  Besides, there are plenty of games elsewhere that are better, faster, and less intrusive.  I noticed that since the change to timeline that they made it more difficult to banish requests from a given app.  Before, you could just go to the request and one of the options was to Ignore This App, or basically ban it from ever bothering you again.  But since this is one of the major selling points for advertisers (especially the “sticky app’s”… the ones people spend a lot of time on) they evidently made it more difficult to make them GO AWAY.  If you want this, go to the Apps panel on the left column, then click any invites.  You should be able to opt out of any future invites.  I always giggle about some customers I had that REFUSED to give up their PC’s because they had to check their farms on Farmville.  They would rather have a virus than let their crops dry up.  Bizarre.

Find your Phone

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis September 6th, 2011

Prey appIn a previous post I talked about spying on people via phone, but there’s a practical side to the matter: Finding Your Phone.  We’ve all used the trick of calling ourselves if we misplaced it, but what if it’s stolen or gone elsewhere?  iphone users have always had the  Find My Phone app, but they may not know that same app is available for the iPod Touch and iPad.  For Android users, there are a couple of options;  McAfee has a $19.95/yr service, or there’s a free app you can download called Prey.  Get it here.  Note that savvy thieves will pull the battery and Sim card first, but you still might have a chance to spot it.  These apps/services can also be handy for tracking your kids or elderly.  Some cell companies offer this type of service for plain cell phones (no smart-phone app).  Remember, if you want to use these things TRY IT BEFORE SOMETHING HAPPENS instead of after.  :-)

Installing Apps

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis August 16th, 2011

OK, here’s advice for all you APP HAPPY folks out there; SLOW DOWN.  It’s easy to get carried away and install all kinds of stuff on a whim.  Like a kid in a candy store, it’s tempting to say “Ooooo I want THAT and THAT and OH YEAH SOME O THAT!” when you’re downloading to your PC or phone.  But if you’ll take it slow, one step at a time, then it’s a lot easier to find and troubleshoot  problem applications.  If you only install one thing, then shortly thereafter your phone or PC get really slow, or have weird glitches, then it’s easy to figure out what caused it.  But if you install 15 different things in one sitting, you’ll have no clue which app is causing problems.  By the way, free stuff for your PC ALMOST ALWAYS has a catch.  It either advertises, spies, or worse.  Sometimes it’s just a cut-down version of a full product.  READ THE REVIEWS before you install software on your PC!

Bar Code scanners

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis August 3rd, 2011

This takes you to our home pageOne of the coolest apps for smartphones is the bar code scanner.  I use the one from Marketplace by ZXing.  It allows you to take a picture of a barcode, read it, and send the info on to another app.  One of the most popular things to imbed are web addresses, so when you scan it, you are taken to a web site in your browser.   This one, for example, will steer your phone to our main page.  BE CAREFUL because some might pipe you to an app that you don’t want (or worse, a virus).   If you have a site you’d like to create a bar code for, here’s a great free site for that.  One of the other really great reasons to have this app is for SHOPPING.  You can scan a product and send it to Google shopper, for example, and it will check prices for you!  Gotta love it.  :-)

Android Critters

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis August 2nd, 2011

Well, the Android OS now takes the lead at 39%, and OF COURSE now there are viruses and bugs out there to watch for.  A researcher at CA just discovered one that can record your conversations!  See the full article here.  Google found a bunch of infected app’s that they pulled from the marketplace (read more hereand CHECK TO BE SURE YOU DIDN’T INSTALL THESE!).  The general rule of thumb is to ONLY download from trusted sites or marketplace.  But I think it’s time for everyone to install anti-virus on your phones/tablets.  Here’s an article to get you to 4 good ones.  I’m test driving AVG Android right now.  I’ll post more later.

Android updates

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis May 7th, 2011

Did you know that your phone might need updates?  It’s easy to do on Android, and you’ll really want to do it if you updated your ‘droid version (e.g. I just went from 2.1 to 2.2 AKA Froyo).  Just go to Marketplace, and you’ll see an Update button.  Some of the apps will update automatically, but others will have to be installed manually (just press the button).  The reason for the manual updates are to warn you about privacy; these apps have changed what information they access from your phone, so you have to agree before installing.  Note:  be sure you have a good internet connection before doing this.  Wi-fi is recommended.