Apps:

Which Weight Management App is Right for You?

Managing your weight, whether you want to lose, gain, or sustain, can be challenging. Swimwear season is just around the corner, and now it’s easier than ever to make a splash with the right weight management app.

There are a number of helpful apps available for both Android and iPhone, but how can you know which one is right for you? Luckily, the hard work has been done by other folks, and if you consult the high rankings and glowing reviews, you should know what to get.

Start with the BMI Calculator, an aptly named app that helps you keep track of your Body Mass Index (BMI). This has been a doctor-preferred method for gauging your overall health as it pertains to weight for more than 100 years.

It’s not perfect, especially for athletes, but it’s a good indication of where you fall on the spectrum and whether you should be focusing on gaining weight, losing it, or staying about the same.

An app for all bodies

My Fitness Pal is a popular website that can assist with all aspects of your health, whether you’re trying to figure out how many meals to eat per day or keep track of calories. The complementary app is also a great tool, because it enables users watch their caloric intake, and it’s very customizable.

You can choose from an existing database of 1.5 million foods or input your own. There’s a free barcode scanner and more than 150 trackable exercises to see just how many calories you’ve burned, too.

However, if you’re on Weight Watchers, getting their app is an absolute must. You’ll get access to new recipes, media reports on health and obesity, and detailed reports on exercise information to keep you on track.

The support system for Weight Watchers is incredible, and with easy social media and forum links within the app, you’ll find a stronger network than ever, right on your smartphone.

A little extra support

Are you looking for all the benefits of a personal trainer but don’t feel you have the money to pay those costly fees? Noom Weight Loss Coach is an app that lets you personalize a weight management plan and assigns daily tasks to help you get there, whether it’s reading the latest breaking health news or tackling a new exercise challenge.

You can easily log your success and steps, and it keeps you on track with reminders so you can make changes that will last over the long run. Plus, it even comes with a GPS and pedometer so you know exactly how much movement you get under your belt.

If working out is more your thing than measuring your kale salad, the 7-Min Workout might be right up your alley. You’ve heard about seven minutes in heaven? That’s exactly what your body will think happened with this quickie app that ensures you get an intense workout almost anywhere with zero equipment.

Enjoy clear directions and commands for switching it up, and you can know that you’re getting the regular cardio you need in intervals that even the busiest of professionals can handle. No matter which app you choose, whether one or all of the above, putting your health literally in your hands is a good habit not just for bikini season, but for life.

 

Apps:

Flappy Bird a Health Crisis, Developer Says

Less than two percent of “gamers” are responsible for half the revenues involved in this booming industry — a fact that is both terrifying and sad. However, it looks like some game developers are starting to own up to the addictive nature of their creations, even if they didn’t force anyone to play.

Dong Nguyen, the skilled designer behind Flappy Bird, killed his own game in March 2014 and claimed it was just too dangerous and too many people were getting addicted. This was an unprecedented move, and it helped bring attention to a serious issue.

In an interview with Forbes, Nguyen remarked: “Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed. But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem; to solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.”

Is killing the Bird the answer?

While it appears that Nguyen’s move was a genuine one, sincerely intended to protect the fans of his game, he’s essentially left a jackpot of winnings behind. It’s been estimated that Nguyen raked in about $50,000 a day from the game, but the developer chose not to confirm that estimate. “I don’t know the exact figure, but I do know it’s a lot,” he said.

A potential issue here is that the interview took place in Vietnamese, so something may have gotten lost in translation. However, most important is that Nguyen, intentionally or not, has brought the issue of game addiction into the public forum.

It’s a condition that sometimes requires extensive physical, emotional, and mental treatment. The developer apparently shares the secretiveness of many gamers: He insisted that his face not be shown and mentioned that his parents didn’t even know he created the game. The 29-year-old generally keeps to himself.

Birds out of control

Flappy Bird has been available for less than a year, having been released in May 2013. According to Nguyen, it only took him a couple of days to code it.

However, even though the young developer has many other games in app stores, such as Shuriken Block (and all are top rated), there are currently no plans to kill other games because he says they are “harmless.”

On the other hand, Nguyen added that if he suspected addiction were to become a problem with any of his other creations, he wouldn’t hesitate to remove them, as well. His heart may be in the right place, but it’s impossible for a non-licensed, non-professional to gauge whether complete strangers are addicts.

Getting another fix

There are scores of Flappy Bird “knock offs” floating around, so it won’t be a challenge for addicts to get their fix. As for Nguyen, he says he plans to continue developing games after a short break from the grid.

Asked if he has any messages for fans of the defunct game, Nguyen’s response was simple: “Thank you very much for playing my game.” For the throngs of people who may be suffering from a documented case of gaming addiction, Nguyen’s move probably won’t cure them.

But it might be the necessary springboard that pushes them to seek professional help.

 

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last update: April 18, 2014

Apps:

Apps Ironically Designed to Help You Unplug

In the age of technology, it’s easy to find people glued to their smartphones or tablets. With products that offer heightened levels of versatility with different apps, it can be difficult to unplug and enjoy life in the real world. Surprisingly, there are a few apps available that can actually help you reconnect to life outside of technology. While most apps work to garner your attention, these are effective at doing the exact opposite.

1. SelfControl

SelfControl is an app that forces its audience to moderate their time online by instantly blocking distracting websites, email servers, and other websites that can be a waste of time. Instead of limiting Internet access altogether, which may not be an option for some, it simply limits the most distracting places to spend time.

2. Mindfulness Meditation

Anxiety levels and depression are at an all-time high with an increase in Internet usage, spurring people to neglect real world relationships. Mindfulness Meditation works to teach individuals to take moments throughout the day to reflect on positive aspects of their life and focus on the peace. It’s a great way of refocusing your attention and regrouping from too much tech access, according to The Huffington Post.

3. Sleep Cycle

Sleep Cycle is a modern alarm clock that tracks your movement during the night and monitors your personal sleep statistics in order to give you a better understanding of how much rest you’re really getting. It not only features a journal where you can jot down your caffeine intake or periods of insomnia, but it also awakens you slowly and steadily to help you feel more refreshed throughout the day.

4. Freedom

True freedom is not feeling compelled to check your status update or look at your Twitter feed each hour, which the Freedom app tries to enforce. Instead of forcing you to disconnect from your computer or phone completely, it still allows you to get work done without having access to the Internet, according to 148Apps. You can even customize how long you want to be disconnected from the web for an easy way of limiting your access to pages that can be addicting.

5. Pause

Pause is an app that works to help users weaken their dependency on technology by putting their phone in airplane mode and tracking how much time is spent away from the device. The average smartphone user checks their phone approximately 150 times a day, which was the motivation behind the design of the app.

The app also asks what real-world activities you’ll be partaking in for a tool that makes users more aware of their addiction to technology for improved time management skills, according to The Guardian. If that’s not enough, the app even shows your time away from the phone or tablet compared to other people who are using the app.

Apps:

3 Ways Technology Is a Major Money Saver

If there’s one thing every household wants to accomplish, it’s saving money. Whether you live within a tight budget or you simply want a bigger cushion in the bank, cutting spending is something everyone is interested in.

Something else most everyone is interested in is electronics and technology. How convenient would it be if you could incorporate your savings into your lifestyle by utilizing your technology? Pretty convenient; good thing it’s easy to do.

Download savings apps

Your smart phone is more than just an easy way to upload photos of your dinner for all your friends and followers to see; it’s a money-saving device. There are a number of free apps available that allow you to save money in just a few seconds time.

The RetailMeNot app makes it simple for you to find the store in which you are shopping and gain instant access to current coupons and codes good online and in stores. For example, if you’re in a store with a coupon for 20 percent off your entire purchase and your total is $100, this app just saved you $20.

Barcode apps are another great way to save using technology. Simply scan the barcode of the item in which you are interested and see if it’s available for a lesser price at another store nearby or even online. It’s instant savings in less than a few second’s time.

Household technology

It’s a nightmare to come home to a house that’s so hot you can’t breathe, but it’s also a nightmare to see the utility bill come in at the end of the month after leaving your air conditioning turned down low while you’re at work all day.

Instead of making sacrifices to your wallet and/or comfort, invest in a Nest Learning Thermostat. It’s simple to use; it learns your habits and works to your programming to keep your heat and air turned off when you’re not home.

You can even control it with your smart phone, computer or tablet, turning it on or off when you’re at work or traveling. It can save you as much as 30 percent in utility costs each year.

Bundle household technology

What three things do you use more than anything else at home? The answer to this question is your television, your phone and your internet. Instead of paying three separate bills with three separate sets of fees each month, bundle your phone, cable and internet and save significantly.

Conclusion

Technology makes life exceptionally easy when you let it. Let your technology make your life less expensive by taking a few minutes to see what type of technology fits into your budget, works best for your lifestyle and saves you the most money.

Apps:

5 Apps That Make Moving a Breeze

 

Finding a new house or apartment can be a long, arduous process– but it doesn’t have to be. These smartphone apps are like having a realtor right in your pocket. With better search options right at your fingertips, you’re sure to find the right home at the right price without any surprises.

1. Realtor.com

This site offers an app that can serve as a go-to for quick listings. It boasts the most listings of any app, and it’s from one of the top websites for real estate resources.

2. Photo Measures

This might be the best six bucks you’ll spend while house hunting. This app tells you the measurements of a room just by taking pictures, so that you can plan where your stuff will go and visualize what it would be like to live in potential homes.

3. Mortgage calculators

When you’re serious about buying a home, a simple mortgage calculator will definitely help you determine what you can afford so that you can be focused in your search. Once you know what you’re looking for, you can get more out of real estate agents and try to tap into pocket listings.

4. Wikihood

Get to know your potential neighborhoods with virtual tours offered by this app. You can learn about a neighborhood’s history, demographics, and the businesses in the area.

5. Walk Score

Are you the kind of person who walks everywhere? If you want a neighborhood that has everything you need in one place, this app can help you get a feel for what it would be like to live in different neighborhoods. Find out which restaurants, grocery stores, and other services are nearby before you even go check out the listing.

A lot of these apps make it easier to find the perfect house on your own, but if you’re still wading through listings without any luck, you can find real estate agents or brokers online and benefit from their expertise almost immediately. It can be frustrating when the hardest part of house hunting is simply trying to get a hold of a real estate agent, landlord, or owner. These online and mobile tools should help you not only shop smarter, but also let you speed up the process.

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Apps:

3 Healthy Apps for Kids

 

Did you get a tablet for Christmas? If you’re like many people this year, you did. And if you’re like many families, your young children will be using that tablet, too.

Many educational tools and apps available for use on a tablet will not only teach your kids, but also entertain them. Here are three of the best:

1. Pick Chow!

A team of health and nutrition experts have created a site for kids called ZisBoomBah. On this site is the popular Pick Chow! tool, which is a fun way for kids to learn about nutrition and how it affects their health.

By placing foods on a virtual plate, the program gives kids a nutrition rating — between one and five stars — for their meals. Additionally, the app lets kids send an automated email to parents.

The email contains information about the virtual meal that has been prepared as well as a recipe and coupons for real-life preparation.

2. FitnessKids

FitnessKids teaches children how to have fun while staying fit. The app features 25 different exercises that are presented in an instructional animation complete with sound and music.

Digital records are kept so progress and improvement can easily be chronicled. Kids can do the exercises alone or challenge a friend through the “Joust” feature.

The exercises and presentation are colorful, musical, and designed to be fun. Your kids will learn lifelong fitness habits, and have a great time doing so.

3. This is My Body

This is My Body is an interactive app that teaches kids about their bodies. Created by medical experts, the app teaches anatomy, and gears the information toward a growing child.

All the major systems of the body are covered, and instruction is provided in a way that even young kids with a low reading level can follow along.

The more your kids know about how their bodies work, the better they’re able to make healthy choices. Additionally, education can help them reduce shyness when dealing with potentially embarrassing problems, such as body odor or painful gassiness.

Apps and online programs can be a fun and intuitive way for children to learn, and one of the most important subjects to learn about is health. By promoting a fit lifestyle, these apps help your kids develop lifelong habits that will, in turn, support a long, healthy life.

Apps:

Apps Every Woman Should Use for Great Hair

Your smartphone makes it simple for you to do just about anything, from booking an entire vacation to making dinner reservations. But what you don’t know is that it can actually help you look gorgeous.

Besides calling your grandmother in Texas and checking your work email for signs that your boss is upset with you, you can use your smartphone to choose hair colors or styles, and even make appointments at your favorite salon.

These apps make it possible for you to find hair inspiration, cuts, styles, and even try on hair color before you commit to it at the salon. As a woman you are naturally vain — even if it’s just a little bit — when it comes to your appearance, which is why these apps are life changers.

Pinterest

By downloading the Pinterest app onto your smartphone you can create an entire board that’s dedicated solely to your hair. You can pin colors you love, styles you want to try, and updos that are perfect for the next formal event you attend.

Show it to your stylist and let her go from there when she cuts, colors, and styles your hair. Can’t figure out what to do on a day you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to devote to styling? Pinterest has plenty of quick styles that leave you looking great and not at all rushed.

Magic Mirror

This app allows you to upload a photo of yourself and try on hairstyles. You can use it as a serious method of choosing how you want to look, or as a fun way of entertaining yourself in the doctor’s office waiting room.

You wouldn’t really choose a mullet, but you might get a good laugh out of seeing yourself sport one in a very non-permanent manner.

Hair Color Booth

Once you color your hair, it’s done. This app allows you to use your own photo to change the color of your hair without any permanence. It’s a great way to see how you’d look going from auburn to platinum blonde, or blonde to brunette, without making any major life changes in the process.

Booking appointments

Even if you don’t download any of these great apps, you can still use your smartphone to book an appointment with your favorite stylist. Many salons have websites that allow you to book online using your smartphone.

This makes it simple to get the next available appointment without ever having to make a call or spend time on hold waiting for confirmation.

Gorgeous hair is really only a smartphone away. Use yours as inspiration and to gather ideas to discuss with your stylist the next time you visit the salon.

Apps:

5 Apps That Save You Money While Helping Others During the Holidays

Holiday spending can sometimes get way out of hand. When we think of our families, we sometimes think of others who can’t afford a gift-laden Christmas like us.

Some of us may feel there should be a way to curb our spending and help us to focus on what really matters during the holidays, such as helping those in need.

There are at least five apps for smart devices that can help us reduce our holiday spending so we have more to donate to charities. Some can even provide assistance to others more directly. Here they are.

1. Money Dashboard

With easy access to all your accounts, you can control your spending much better. This application shows your account balances across the board and has countless features to help control your money-spending issues.

2. Easy Envelope

This system is much like the old-fashioned practice of placing your money in separate envelopes to keep track of how much is spent and for which merchandise.

The application is handy, neat, and easy to learn to use. With everything kept in order, you are more likely to spend less and save more.

Charity applications that save and help out

3. Just Give

One way to curb holiday spending is to donate to a reputable charity foundation. With the Just Give application, you can browse all the charities and discover the one that’s right for you.

4. Instead

This app helps by suggesting changes to your daily routine. Changes such learning to cut your children’s hair instead of going to a salon, or brewing your own coffee, are good suggestions for saving money.

The money you save on these practices can go toward charities where the dollars will be used for a better cause.

5. Check in For Good

If you feel you must make lots of purchases during the holidays, then try this application as a way to help out. With the participation of certain businesses, a $1 donation will be made for every customer that enters the store. Check for stores that honor this donation and shop at their outlets.

Even though your family has needs during the holidays, there are surely other people who need more. Try to recognize the need and help support those who cannot do things for themselves.

Children’s homes and shelters can always use any help they can get during the holidays. Go ahead and make Christmas special for everyone by reaching out and providing for the needs of those who have little.

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