APP HAPPY HELLO

To whom it may concern: We are told by younger folks that nobody makes phone calls these days, they text each other. In case you do make calls once in a while, “Hello: Caller ID and Blocking” is a free Android app that makes it easier to place calls using a free Wi-Fi connection. It also blocks unwanted calls.

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GOOGLE MAP TIPS

Lots of people use the Google Maps app on their phones to figure out how to get somewhere. Fewer people know you can also use it as a phone book.

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APP HAPPY SLEEP

Our sound machine from Sharper Image finally died. This was a box that produced nature sounds to lull us to sleep. Over time its thunderstorms lost their punch, the crashing waves lost their rhythm and the fog horn went from deep bass to soprano.

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ONLINE DATING

According to The Economist magazine, “Tinder” is now the most popular dating site and app (Android) (iPhone). We thought it was too new to have achieved that status. But young people are now saying “Hinge.co” is even better. (“CO” is the country suffix for Columbia; it doesn’t mean a web site is based there, just that it’s registered there.) Tinder lets you swipe past any photo you’re not intrigued by. It requires a different swipe when you find someone you like. If they’ve done the same thing with your photo, you’re matched and something might come of this. Hinge.co matches you only with friends of Facebook friends. Though it might sound foolish to restrict the field, it gives you the […]

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APP HAPPY WITH CHUCK AND ADA

“Lovelace & Babbage” is a free iPad app for a comic book about the lives of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage. Ada, born in 1815, was the daughter of the “mad, bad and dangerous to know” poet, Lord Byron. After being steered toward math to tame her wild blood, she invented the first computer language for the first computer. (The computer was never finished but was fully conceived by Babbage.) A print version just came out, for $21, re-titled “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.”

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EMAIL MARKETING

Email marketing service companies provide templates for emailed newsletters, ads and fundraising materials. They also help target your audience, time your campaign, and analyze the results. Finally, they’ll send you a warning if you’re in danger of getting blocked for sending too much email. Here’s an example of costs from one of the leading companies, “MailChimp.” They let you send up to 2,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers for free; beyond that, it’s about $10 a month. There’s a comparison of major services at email-marketing-options.com.

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APP HAPPY: LOCAL EVENTS, MOVIE PASS, MENU MAGNIFIER

– “Localeur” gives you local tips for 14 large U.S. cities. It’s also available without the app at Localeur.com –“MoviePass” lets you see a new movie at a local theater every 24 hours. It’s $42 for a three-month pass. Get it at MoviePass.com. –“EyeReader” for iPhone makes it easy to see a restaurant menu in low light. It uses your phone’s light, and magnifies the text. Android eye reading apps here. “Magnifier” for Android is similar.

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AUTISM APP FOR CHILDREN

“This for That: Visual Schedules” is designed to help children with autism. It’s free through April for iPhone/iPad or 99 cents for Android. It helps break down tasks into easy-to-follow steps, helps ease the transition between activities, and gives them rewards for good behavior.

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APP HAPPY

We spotted some great recipes in a “WebMD” magazine in the doctor’s office, including one for “Tofu-Pineapple Stir Fry.” (OK, Joy thought it sounded great, Bob still prefers grilled cheese.) But when we tried to subscribe, we discovered that the print version is only available in doctor’s offices. (We think rioting in the streets might be appropriate here.)

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MONEY TO GO

Google is working on a way to let you read a bill in your email and pay it right there without leaving your inbox. Facebook is rolling out something similar, letting you transfer money to friends and family right there in the Facebook Messenger app (Android) (iPhone) which split off from Facebook last Spring. You can also send money to anyone through the “Google Wallet” app. None of this can be good news for Western Union.

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