Sharing and enjoying my small-town life with my darling husband, family, friends,
faith, two adorable Ragdoll cats and one very sassy Yorkie!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Coming soon - Kindle Fire! (Hot, hot, hot!)

OHMYWEEERD, I was so excited to see the brand new "KINDLE FIRE" unveiled on Amazon just this week:


What is this, you ask?  Well, according to Amazon, it's one of the 4 new products in their "Kindle Family".   The first color Kindle, it also offers movies, apps, games, music, reading and a web browser, like many popular tablets.  (See short Amazon video HERE.)

In the ever-changing world of technology, it seems to be making quite a stir.  (See these articles at PC MagEngadget, and Yahoo News and this video clip from CNN for starters.) 

Now you KNOW I lurve my li'l Kindle (look HERE for proof!).  But lately I have been thinking of getting a tablet, and have been looking around a bit.  What I was finding was too high of a price for too many features that I didn't especially need or want. 

When examining features and comparing to other popular tablets (including, of course, the king pin iPad!) the Fire offers a 7" screen, exclusive new "Amazon Silk" split browser system, Android Gingerbread OS, 8 hour battery life, and 8 GB of storage, but unlimited storage in Amazon's Cloud.  (A hard drive in the sky, babeee!)

BUT, Amazon also makes no excuses: the new Kindle Fire doesn't boast a camera or microphone, potential 3G connectivity or GPS functionality.  But guess what? I'm not lookin' for that - I've got all that on m' phone!  So the Kindle Fire is offering the features I want at a price ME LIKEY!!!  ($199, all-in, all-done, woot!)

In other words, I prefer to think of it, not as an iPad competitor, but as an iPad alternative.  My darling niece (who's the adored techie of our family!), is a shameless Apple fan and lurves her iPad, but even she is intrigued by Amazon's new darling.  (See her blog, The Daring Librarian, and especially this informative post on Kindles and iPads and Nooks OHMY!)

She also found and sent me this LINK which has this incredibly helpful at-a-glance comparison chart:

I am 100% psyched by this new Kindle Fire... in fact -- *SOLD!* --  I have my pre-order already in, and am eagerly awaiting its arrival in mid November.  

So, yeah... I am well aware of what the Fire "is" and "isn't".  I also do NOT intend for it to replace my current beloved Kindle (for starters, NOTHING beats the easy, pleasant reading experience of Amazon's E-ink Pearl technology on the classic black-and-white Kindles!) -- but it will certainly be a fun addition to my li'l stash of electronic toys.  Besides my first Kindle, I think the Fire will compliment my laptop, Dell mini netbook, and smartphone quiiiite nicely, thank you! 

See Amazon link for more information on the Kindle Fire: Here 

PS  The other 3 Kindles in Amazon's new line-up are quite intriguing, too... (see HERE for Amazon's chart comparison) and offer some nice (and inexpensive) options for folks just entering The Wonderful World of Kindle.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Secret Love Affair with Mr. APPS

Yes, my secret is out.  I'm in official love.  With APPS!   Ohmyweeerd, how fun are THOSE?!

I simply LURVE and PUFFY HEART apps.  Apps make organizing, categorizing, keeping track and scheduling SO easy and fun... and those are 4 of my favorite things!!!   It's like having an entire file cabinet with you at all times.   Srsly! 

I have over 100 apps already on my phone, but here are my current Top Ten Favorites (all free, by the way -- you KNOOOOW I am a bargain hunter!)

Kindle:  Oh yeah babee... my favorite app!  I think of this as my Kindle's baby sister!  (For a post on my Kindle, please look here.)    With this app, I can easily load any book from my Kindle on to my phone ("over the air", no cables needed) and read a book anywhere.   Long line at the grocery store?  Waiting for an appointment?   Stuck in traffic, engine turned off?  No problem...  pull out your phone and pick up reading right where you last left off on your Kindle. Would I keeed you about this?!

Audible:  Similar to the Kindle app, this app lets you listen to your audio books on your phone, either via the speaker or with ear buds.  And like the Kindle app, it will sync from your other device(s), so you can easily start listening right where you last left off.  Great for lazing by the pool, working out, walking, long (or short!) car rides, etc.

 Key Ring Reward Cards:   Tired of carrying all those annoying and bulky little rewards and shopper-saver cards on your key ring or in your wallet???   I know I was!  Well, with this app, you scan them into your phone, and then toss 'em, babeee!  While you are at the register in the store, the cashier can simply scan the barcode right your phone!

Evernote:   An easy-to-use app that helps you remember and record anything! Using "notes" and "notebooks" that you create, you can take/make and organize notes,  photos, lists, record voice reminders and more.  Plus it syncs to and from your PC, which is a really handy feature.
Pet Master: An app that lets you keep track of your fur kids' vet appointments (past and upcoming), immunizations, flea treatments, medical problems and more. When did Boo have his rabies shot?    When is Squeak's next check-up?  What did they weigh at age one year?  It's all there, and MORE!

Where's My Droid?  Ever lost your phone and tried to call it only to remember its on silent mode?  *OOOPS!*  Now if you misplace it, you can simply text your phone with a custom set attention word and it will turn the silent mode OFF, the ringer volume UP, and start the phone a'screamin'! You can also text a different attention word and get the GPS location of your phone.  (Um, yeah, I've used it a few times.)  VERY handy indeed!

Flashlight:  My darling niece turned me on to this handy app.  (Thanks, baby!)  This turns your phone into a surprisingly powerful flashlight.  Can't find your keys in the dark?  Sitting in a dark corner of a restaurant and can't read the menu?!  Ta da, now you can!

Quilt Shops:  Enter any City, State or ZIP code to easily search for quilt shops across the United States. Or, using your phones GPS function, let the app automatically show you the quilt shops closest to your current location.  Excellent while traveling!  Now where was THIS all my life?!!

Currency Converter:  OK, how awesome is THIS?  You are traveling and still not quiiite sure what the local currency exchange rate is?  This easy-to-use little app will instantly convert over 190 currencies into the US dollar(s) equivalent, or vice versa!  I would have LOVED to have had this app a few years ago when I was in Thailand... I would have known instantly that those "Ray Ban" sunglasses selling for 20 baht were, um... 65 cents.  Something tells me they were probably knock-offs!!!  ;o)

Relax and Sleep:  This is a surprisingly sophisticated sound machine for your phone.  Do you like to sleep or relax to white noise?  Crashing waves?  Chirping crickets?  A babbling brook?  A gentle rain?  Over 50 different sounds, all surprisingly clear and realistic, plus a timer (which fades the sound out gradually after the length of time you select) make this a very useful and practical app. 

All of these apps are available in the Android Market, or right from the Market app on your phone.  All apps are delivered quickly and easily OTA (over the air)... no cables, wires or hassles!    I also have cooking and recipe apps, restaurant apps, a TV guide app, calorie counters, a headache log, and even a li'l diary that's password protected! 

AAAAND, before I close this post, do you know that Amazon offers a daily PAID app for FREE?   Yep, it's true... and very fun.  A lot of them are games (and I'm not much of a gamer, although I do have a mean Super Sudoku app!), but certainly not all of them.  I recently picked up a printer app (lets you print documents, emails, etc., right off your phone to the nearest printer), regularly $12.95... *FREE* for one day only.  No "catches" and no small print., I promise!  Here's the LINK.   Have fun... but remember, ya' really gotta check it every day!  ;o)

It's a big, wide world of incredible apps out there... so have fun!   (I know I am!)

Top app photo credit:  Here

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Yes, yes, I finally entered the 21st century and got a smart phone.  It was "touch and go" there for awhile, but I quickly decided that  I. *LOVE*. IT!  I thought I might miss the simplicity and ease of use of my little old workhorse LG... but um, NOT!  I kicked it to the curb so fast its little screen spinned!  LOL!

The choices for a smart phone are nearly limitless, of course... but after lotsa research and talking with others, I finally decided on the Samsung Fascinate.  I love the screen size (4"), the amazing resolution ("Super AMOLED" display), 5.0 MP camera with flash, long battery life, and especially the SWYPE technology for texting and e-mails.  Oh yeah babee-- LOVE. THAT!  I promise you -- once you "go SWYPE", you'll NEVER go back to tap-tap-tap TYPE!   That's just so... 2010!  ;o)

The phone is chock full of fun features, and really easy to use.  (For nerds and geeks, the 2.2 Froyo OS is an easy OTA upgrade, and comes with lots of awesome improvements plus Google as the default search, so goodbye BING!  It's also supposedly fairly easily rooted... which I am actually considering.)

Yeah, I'm pretty jazzed.  The GPS and navigation features are awesome, and the phone has replaced my aging, ailing, quirky Magellan GPS.  This phone does just about everything but slice and dice... but I'll bet there's an app for that!

Photo credits: Here and Here