Get Great Deals Wherever-you-are with RetailMeNot Coupons

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 6.15.16 AMI almost deleted this app. Why? It scared me.

But now, the very thing that scared me I think is pretty darn awesome.

Let me back up a bit……

RetailMeNot is a coupon app. Deals deals deals. I have another coupon app that I used often (Sherpa) but gradually RetailMeNot has become my one-and-only.

No sign in or sign up required. Just use your phone to show the coupon in a brick and mortar store and get your discount.

no scissors required

no scissors required

What makes this app different (and a tad scary to me) is that it will alert you to the deals nearby wherever-you-are! Every time I arrive in a shopping area my iPhone makes a cash-register sound, letting me know that coupons are available to save $ in the stores nearby.

Now … honestly …. that cash register sound is startling. I don’t like it. I almost deleted the app because of it.

However, I have had two experiences where money-saving coupons were discovered and used because of the alert. In addition to that, I found myself in need of a restaurant coupon and after checking several other sources from my phone to no avail, RetailMeNot gave me a coupon that saved 50% off of one of the meals. Hurray for this app!

So I’ve made my peace with this app and it’s noisy noise. It has saved me $ several times. I find that I really like being alerted when there are deals nearby (you could turn this off), however ….. I do wish I could CHANGE the sound to something less startling (that cash register sound is loud and jarring).

****NOTE: You CAN change the annoying sound. Read about it, here.

RetailMeNot Coupons is FREE in the iTunes store

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

Weekend Distraction: Bookworm

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 7.22.00 AMI hesitated highlighting this game. Why? Because it is so great that I have to imagine that everyone has it already. :)

But, this blog attracts lots of NEW users of the iPhone and/or iPad, and for those newbies …. you are in for a treat!!

Bookworm is an award winning game. Letters drop, and you tap them to make words. As you create words, your score grows. You’re happy and doing fine. Suddenly you see a new block, and notice that it is (gulp) on fire! Now comes the tricky part: You must use that letter before it hits the bottom, or your game is done. One burning tile isn’t too bad. But the longer you play, the more burning tiles appear. Quite a challenge! On this screen shot I waited too long to tap the burning tiles and they are starting to add up. Best to zap them as soon as you see them.

photo-2

Bookworm is $1.99 in the iTunes store.

BEWARE!! If you’ve never played this before, you will find it incredibly addicting.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

How to Find the Umlauts, Accents, etc. on your iPhone or iPad keyboard

Over the last several years, “throwback Thursday” has become quite popular.

Although it is really supposed to be about nostalgia (like old photos), I thought I’d stretch the point, and occasionally post an old “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog.

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 8.35.48 AM

It might not happen often, but when you need to find an umlaut (or a similar something), you want it NOW. But where is it on your keyboard?

Here is how you find umlauts and accents on your iPad or iPhone keyboard:

Let’s say you want an “e” with a little accent mark above it. Simply hold your finger on the “e” key, and you will see that several “e” choices appear. Want an umlaut? Touch and hold the “u” and it will be right there. Need an “n” with a tilde? Touch and hold the “n” to see your choices.

Try it. Just stroll through the keyboard, touching each key in turn so you can browse the options. Not every letter has options, of course, but I’m sure you’ll find some surprising ones. Some symbols also have options (try the $ sign for example :) )
Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

Amazon Settlement is ….. settled. Did you get $?

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 7.46.54 AM“In December 2013, a federal court approved legal settlements by publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of eBooks. Those settlements resulted in credits for qualifying Kindle books purchased between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.”

All this legal maneuvering has been simmering for a while, and I was wondering how it was going to come out in the wash.

This morning I received an e-mail from Amazon informing me that I would be receiving a credit on my account for the e-books that I purchased in the latter half of 2010, 2011 and part of 2012.

Attachment-1-10

If you bought Kindle books during that time frame, and you received this email today … have no fear. It is legit. You didn’t have to do anything to be part of this settlement. It just happened for you. Enjoy!! :)

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

I am one of the 4%

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 7.50.56 PMEarlier this year Pew research released the results of several studies regarding the habits of the reading public.

As someone who reads “e-books only” I was curious to see how common (or not) this has become. According to the research, this puts me in a small group of just 4%. Most people who read e-books also read print books.

But me? I stand firmly in that 4%. My eyes prefer the adjustable fonts, the adjustable light, the ease of getting, saving and carrying books. I’ve always been a big reader, but the e-reader (Kindle) simply makes reading even better.

However, when it comes to e-reading in general, once you take away the “exclusive”, the numbers climb. 28% of adults have read an e-book in the past year, and this number continues to rise.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 6.46.43 AM

Half of all the adults in America own either a tablet or an e-reader, and coupled with the stats below, this makes me wonder:
…. if 32% of people own an e-reader, but only 28% have read an e-book, can we assume that about 4% own e-readers that are just collecting dust? (not to be confused with the 4% of us who are e-readers-only!)

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 6.46.58 AM

The full article: E-Reading Rises as Device Ownership Jumps
Three in ten adults read an e-book last year; half own a tablet or e-reader

Where do you fit? E-reader only? E-reader + print books? or do you (gasp) have an e-reader just languishing at the bottom of a drawer?

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

Jimmy Fallon, Billy Joel and an iPad App = Wonderful-ness

Take Billy Joel, Jimmy Fallon and an iPad App, and what do you get? Happiness!

I guarantee that watching this will make you smile, bounce around in your seat and generally make you feel good all over. :)

(In case you are interested, the app they used to form their very own Doo-Wop group is LoopyHD)

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

Amazon Prime will now cost you a bit more

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 7.37.08 PM
Last week, all Amazon Prime members were notified that the price of their membership is going up. The cost had been $79 a year, but when their membership renews they will be charged $99. This is a $20/year increase. (But in all fairness, this is the first raise in price in 9 years.)

$99 a year translates to $8.25 a month. Your $8.25 a month gets you: 1) free shipping for prime-eligible merchandise 2) a large library of videos to stream to your devices, and 3) a library of ebooks to borrow for free and read on your Kindle.

I’ve been a member of Amazon’s Prime for several years, now. And with the raise in price? I’m staying.

My experience has been generally good. When I first started using Prime, the free shipping was the major draw for me. It was delightful not to have to “save up” my purchases to top the $25 total to qualify for free shipping. Suddenly I could order anything, have it appear at my door in days, and I never had to consider postage costs. However, I have noticed that over time many smaller items have been moved to a new category of “add ons”. This has been a disappointment and I hope this is not a trend that continues. But all in all, the free shipping is still very important to me. When buying a product I always sort through the choices to view only the prime-elible options.

The video streaming is delightful. The library is large, and there is a wide variety of content. While (in my opinion) Netflix is still better, Amazon Prime is getting better all the time.

The Kindle library is the third perk of Amazon Prime. This (to me) is the weakest prong of the three benefits of prime membership. While I have borrowed several books from the Kindle library (and it was VERY easy to do), I haven’t found many of the books that are on my to-read list. That said, the library boasts 500,000 titles, so it certainly isn’t the size that’s my complaint. Just not a lot of current best-seller types. I don’t mean to sound too negative, however. The last book that I read was from this library and it was excellent. I guess I’m saying that it can’t be your ONLY source of books.

So, in spite of the rate rise, I’m staying.

FYI: Amazon Student will raise from $39 to $49 a year.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

March Madness Begins! Here are some Apps to help you follow the action

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 6.35.25 AMMarch Madness is about to consume the US for the next few weeks.

For those people all caught up in the, uh, Madness, there are quite a few FREE apps to help you follow the excitement from your iPhone or iPad.

Since I have not tried any of these myself, I thought it would be best if I linked to a post that thoroughly covers the best of these apps.

Let the Madness begin!

Best March Madness apps for iPhone: NCAA Sports, CBS Sports, ESPN Tournament Challenge, and more!

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

Weekend Distraction: Smash Hit (break glass with no mess!)

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 8.23.00 AMI downloaded this app when it was highlighted in the App Store as one of their favorite picks.

I didn’t really know what I’d see, but I also noticed that it was at the top of the list in the rankings for free apps.

Couldn’t hurt, so I gave it a try.

Although it is not the kind of thing I would do for any length of time, I learned that it is surprisingly enjoyable to smash glass. ;)

The learning curve is tiny. The screen will roll and your job is to tap on pyramids made of glass, or glass obstacles that stand in your way. This will launch a ball that smashes the glass.

I apologize for my screen shot of their screen shot, but I was not ambidextrous enough to grab my own pic of the action.

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 8.23.21 AM

This takes some concentration, so you just might enjoy it when you could use a bit of a distraction (or when you feel the need to break something :) ) Be sure to turn up your sound!

Smash Hit for iPhone and/or iPad is FREE in the iTunes store

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

Typing in Caps (part of the) Very Beginner Series

Occasional posts will contain how-tos and/or hints for VERY new users of iPads, iPhones or Kindles. All new users welcome! Non-tech speak, not terribly detailed, just basic device-enhancing goodness. All part of this Very Beginner Series. Please share with any beginners (Mom? Dad? Grandma?) in your life.

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 5.55.01 PMOver the last several years, “throwback Thursday” has become quite popular.

Although it is really supposed to be about nostalgia (like old photos), I thought I’d stretch the point, and occasionally post an old “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog.

How to type in Caps:

When you first get your new iPhone or iPad, one of the first things you’ll do is spend some time typing on the keyboard. You’ll quickly learn to tap the up-arrow when you want a capital letter.

Attachment-1-8

But what if you want to type in ALL caps? You do not need to tap the arrow every single time ….

Just DOUBLE-TAP the up-arrow, and it will darken. Now every letter you type will BE A CAPITAL LETTER.

Attachment-1-9

When you are done cap-typing, just touch the up-arrow again, and you’ll turn off your caps.

(remember to use your caps responsibly. It isn’t polite to shout. :) )

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 654 other followers