Monday, March 17, 2014

Thing 5: Remember the Milk

I thought I would try the Remember the Milk app because I have heard good things about it.  It was okay - or rather, I think it could be okay if you dedicated yourself to it.  Since I already use our staff e-mail program for my calendar and task lists, I found myself needing to duplicate things or have two separate calendars and to-do lists.  Not practical.
I have been really learning about the capabilities of what our program at work can do, and I just cannot afford to learn two systems.  Sorry, Remember the Milk - better luck to my next app.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thing 4: An Online Magazine

I will admit I was not very enthusiastic about trying either of these apps.  When I want to organize and find my favorite online content, I use Pinterest, but I suppose that may be another "thing."  I downloaded the Zite app and chose a few topics, but I couldn't get any content to load.  After a few attempts, I gave up and tried Flipboard.  The app worked fine, and I chose a few topics and read a few articles.  I must say I liked the flipping action of the various articles on my phone, but I don't see myself finding it very useful. Nevertheless, at least now I know a bit about online personal magazines.
UPDATE 3/17/14:  I am starting to like Flipboard.  It it a good time-filler when waiting in line or waiting to pick up the kids.  Still like the flipping action:)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thing 3: Looking Through Google Goggles

When I looked at the selected apps for Thing 3, I wasn't sure which to try.  I didn't think any of them sounded all that useful to me, but I want to learn more about my phone's capabilities, so I chose Google Goggles.  It is a very intriguing concept, this "visual search technology."  Essentially, you snap a picture in the app (instead of entering keywords in a google search box), and Google returns a list of search results.  My first attempt was the cover of the book, "Yoga for Kids," and my search results included the Amazon listing for the book as well as sites about doing yoga with kids.  Pretty cool.  
I tried a few other items (a humidifier, a toy, a box of candy) and got limited useful results.  The app only read the text on a "Lego" toy and on the humidifier.  I am not sure exactly how this would be useful to me personally, but I see its biggest value in the translate feature.    Say you are outside the country and trying to read a sign in a language you don't know - just open the app and snap a pic of the sign and click "translate;" MAGIC!  
Maybe someday I will be in France and need to read the train schedule - I will turn to Google Goggles for sure.  Until then I will stick to my old spectacles.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thing 2 of 23 Mobile Things

Tips and Tricks for my Moto X
Since this whole smart phone experience is new to me, I am pretty easily impressed by what my phone can do.  I am using a Motorola Moto X issued to me by my library.  I understand this phone is quite new to the market, but it uses an Android operating system, which many people (except me:) are already familiar with.  I found a good video on tips and tricks for the Moto X, and here is what I learned:

-One of the Moto X's best features is called Active Display, which means that some alerts still show up on the screen even when it is locked.
-My favorite feature is that when the phone is locked, you can open the camera function with a flick of the wrist - really!  Just twist your wrist two times quickly and your camera is ready to go.  A simple tap takes a picture, so they say you can take a picture in two seconds.  (Will have to test that.)
-The camera function has the ability to take a panoramic picture, which resulted in a lovely pic of my living room:)
-The Moto X has a touchless control option, which I have not yet explored. Apparently it involves "training" the phone to recognize my voice so that at any time I can say, "OK, google now...." and give it a command - give me directions to the nearest gas station.  Sounds cool.
-One other neat little thing is that at any time I can sweep up from the bottom and a google search box opens.

So I think I have a pretty cool phone, but as I said, I am easily impressed.  The Moto X seems to get some really good reviews, so I am excited to see what it can do for me.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Connie Goes Mobile: 23 Mobile Things #1

Greetings, and welcome to my blog, where you can watch as I clumsily enter the world of mobile devices.  Even though it is 2014, I do not have my own smart phone yet.  I am not one to embrace new technology, typically thinking I just don't need the newest gadget available.  I wouldn't say I am afraid of new technology - just a little hesitant.  However, now that I have been issued a library smart phone, I figure I better learn how to use the darn thing.  Actually, I am excited to see all that a mobile device has to offer in the way of information resources and workplace productivity as well as digital literacy and early literacy.  I hope that I will be blown away by all the new stuff I learn.  So... bring it on!  23 Mobile Things?  No sweat.  Ready or not - Connie goes mobile!