This week is the annual Apple Developer's conference in San Francisco. On Monday, the company announced it's “next big thing”: Apple Music. Their new music streaming service aimed at competing with the likes of Spotify, Pandora...and dare I say, 1073thewave.net.
The new music streaming service launches at the end of the month and will integrate iTunes (both on-demand and purchased/cloud stored music), Apple's own “Beats1” Internet radio station, and a social aspect like MySpace for bands to keep an info page with their latest information, songs and tour dates.
Cost $9.99 a month or $14.99 for a family of (up to) 6. It will be found on all Apple devices, and later this year, will be available on Android and PCs as well.
This is a new service, set up by George Zimmer (who used to be the face of Men's Warehouse...“I guarantee it”). It is, a network independent tailors who make house-calls. Through the web site, you book a measuring and a fitting, the tailor comes to you, and you get your clothes back in about a week...there's a $25 charge for 48 hour turn around. The company started last year in Southern California and plans to launch nationwide this summer.
With the summer months upon us and more people heading outside, here's a fun app to take with you the next time you go camping, to the park or for a walk around the neighborhood. Geocaching is, essentially, GPS Hide-n-Seek. For years, people have been hiding little boxes or jars all over the world, in the hopes that people will find them. Inside the container is usually a notepad to collect the names of everyone who has found it, as well as trinkets that hard-core Geocachers trade (take-a-penny / leave-a-penny style). This app shows a map of your location, and all of the available caches in the area. Using your phone's GPS, the built-in compass, and a clue, you search for the hidden container. If your kids grumble when you ask them to join you on a hike, bring this app along and turn your hike into a treasure hunt! They'll love it! Free in Google Play and on iTunes.
We all know that fresh, warm Krispy Kreme doughnuts are the best. Sure, yesterday's original glazed are still good and you can put them in the microwave, but fresh from bakery can't be beat! Now here's your chance to never have less-than-fresh doughnuts again! Krispy Kreme introduces the Hot Light app. Find the store nearest you and get push notifications when stores have fresh pastries coming off the line right now. It also works like a rewards program and you get a free doughnut just for signing up. Free in the App Store and GooglePlay.
Fresh Pantry (iTunes) and Food Expiration Track (android). These apps helps you manage expiration dates on products you buy, so you know what you have, how long you've had it, and when to hoe it out of the fridge or cabinets. Simply take a picture of the product, enter the expiration date on the packaging and the app takes it from there. You can see what you have in stock and receive notifications when they are nearing expiration. The apps can also be used to keep track of medication, coupons and cosmetics. Fresh Pantry is $0.99 in iTunes, and Food Expiration Track is free on GooglePlay.
For Earth Day, here's an app that helps you decide which products you buy, based on how green the company's manufacturing process is. GoodGuide is a free app in the iTunes AppStore. Simply scan the bar code of a product and it will show you a 0-10 rating based on the product's health, environmental, and social impacts. It also offers greener or healthier alternatives. Browse products by category, search for products by name or identify them with the built-in UPC scanner.
If you're anxious about getting your refund check, you can now track the status online. If it has been more than three days since filing online (or 3 weeks if you mailed your return), go to IRS.gov/Refunds and follow the instructions. You'll need some information handy: Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer ID number, the form you filed, and the exact amount you are expecting.
Another option is to call 800-829-1954.
When you go on vacation, one thing you might not think about is your phone's data plan. If you aren't near your home or office WiFi, you'll quickly go over your data limit and your battery life won't be what you're used to. So, we search for available, free WiFi. This app scans for all WiFi signals in your area. It tells you which hotspots are public, which are free, and which hotspots have the strongest signal so you can stream that movie without interruption.
With Summer Blockbuster season just around the corner, here's your chance to see them all for one low, monthly fee! For $30 a month, MoviePass will give you access to one 2D movie, every 24 hours! Once you're a member, you'll receive a MoviePass member card in the mail. When you arrive at the theater (93% of theaters in the country accept MoviePass), check-in on the app. That activates your membership card for 30 minutes. Its an anti-theft protection. You still have to wait in line for a ticket, but simply swipe your card and you're in! The app shows theaters close by, as well as what's playing, and is free for all phones. Go to MoviePass.com to sign up and get the first two weeks for free.
A global network of bathrooms for rent. When there aren't enough public facilities nearby, use the app to locate a private, pay-per-use restroom. Residences and businesses can open their bathrooms to the public, for a fee. The app shows a map of available potties in the area, click on one you like, it tells you the name of the business and the price (no address until you pay)...you can even read user reviews. Pay from the app, then rate your experience after. Free on iTunes
Remember that picture of the weasel riding on the back of a flying woodpecker that made the rounds a couple weeks ago? Well, now its an app! Weasel Woodpecker is a game where you first act as the weasel and try to jump onto the back of a passing woodpecker. Then you maneuver the woodpecker over and around obstacles, like you did in FlappyBird. Finally, you're the weasel again, needing to dismount and stick the landing on target. Total time waster, but fun. Weasel Woodpecker available for free, only on Google Play.
This was the hottest app discussed at SXSW last week. Its a live streaming app that works with twitter. Open the app, it loads the camera...hit “stream” and it tweets a direct link to your stream. Stream live video to other users. It only runs in real-time so no pausing or rewinding...and no reruns. If you miss it...its gone. However, streamers can keep the video and re-stream any time they like. Its only available for iphone, however there is an unofficial “watcher app” available on Google Play.