Free App Friday for 1/23/15

Posted January 23, 2015 By Mom
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Free App Friday!

Here are some of the top 100 most downloaded AND highest-rated apps (4/5 stars or better) from Amazon’s Android App Store as of this writing. Note that where a given app has already been included in a Free App Friday post, a different one (still with a minimum 4/5 star rating) will be subbed in. Remember that free apps may include in-app purchase (IAP) options or be ad-supported, but given that these apps have been given very high ratings by MANY consumers, where IAP links or ads are present they must be pretty unobtrusive. Descriptions below are from the apps’ product pages.

Dungeons of Evilibrium – Dungeons of Evilibrium is a card battle RPG with tactical elements of TCG strategies and the dungeon crawling exploration of a board game.

Rummy Plus – Play a FREE “Rummy tile” game with your friends! Meet new people from all over the world!

Scripture Typer – Scripture Typer is the complete Bible Memory System for mobile devices and the web. Scripture Typer breathes new life into your Bible Memory time by actively engaging three separate cognitive areas: Audio, Visual & Kinesthetic (Touch) memory.

Amazing Thief – From my window, I saw a skillful thief jumping on the roofs, from building to building. Police even cannot get near him. He is so fast…

Calculator Kitty Free – Calculator Kitty is the cutest calculator app in the market! No longer will you have to deal with boring, lifeless calculators. It’s time for a super cute Calculator Kitty!

MyTaxRefund by TurboTax – Free E-file and Refund Status for Your Income Tax Return – Quickly check the status of your tax returns after you’ve filed them, and get an estimate of when you can expect your refund.

Jewel Legends: Tree of Life – Rebuild the world of the Hods in Jewel Legends: Tree of Life! Using building materials, jewels and other valuables, switch two adjacent tiles to make a row of three or more matching tiles!

Allies in War – Take command of a powerful modern army and conquer your enemies in Allies in War, a military real-time strategy combat game!

Slots – Vegas Royale – Slots – Vegas Royale brings you authentic Vegas gaming experience everywhere you go. Enjoy original and gorgeous games with unique play styles that bring you MASSIVE amounts of fun!

ISS Detector – ISS Detector will tell you when and where to look for the International Space Station or Iridium flares. You get an alarm a few minutes before a pass.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Loot Crate is a monthly subscription service that delivers a grab bag of great stuff, much of it limited-edition or exclusive to Loot Crate, for $13.37/mo + S&H (which, as of this writing, is $6 for anywhere in the continental U.S.). Each Crate is guaranteed to contain products valued at $40 or more, there’s no minimum subscription requirement, and you can easily cancel at any time. The image below shows everything that came in the January 2015 “Rewind” -themed Crate.

Click here to read my detailed review of the January ’15 Crate, including links that demonstrate the retail value of the items shown.

Click here to sign up for Loot Crate – use discount code SAVE3 at checkout to get $3 off your first Crate!

 

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Kindle/Fire Tech Tip of the Week: Sending Content To A Specific Kindle / Fire

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Today’s post is brought to you by the SwissGear SA1923 ScanSmart Backpack, a sturdy pack from a trusted company, currently (as of 1/22/15) being offered at 52% off! Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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At Long Last: You Can Save Links Others Share On Facebook For Later!

Don’t you just HATE it when you spot something very interesting in your Facebook news feed like a link to an article or a funny video, a song by a new band a friend wants to recommend, or a notification about an event you might be interested in attending, but you’re too busy at that exact moment to click on the link and read the article, watch the video, listen to the song, or get the details on the event.

In the past the typical workaround was to share the item to your own page so you could find it later. But it’s not a very good workaround for very active Facebook users: give it a day or two and the shared item is buried in new status updates, making it no easier to find on your own page than it would be in the newsfeed.

But no longer! Facebook has finally rolled out a ‘save it for later’ feature!

Note that screenshots shown below are only applicable to the full-featured, desktop version of the Facebook site, but where applicable I’ve included directions for the mobile app in the text above the images. Tap or click on images to view an enlarged version in a new tab or window.

 

How to Save:
In the full-featured Facebook site, click on the downward-pointing arrow at the upper right-hand corner of a given newsfeed item (green arrow below) to open the drop-down menu, then click on the ‘Save’ item (yellow arrow below). In the mobile app, tap in the bottom right corner of an item to open the pop-up menu, then tap the ‘Save’ item.

FBSavedDropDown

 

You will see a confirmation message in the newsfeed immediately above the item you saved:

 

How to View a List of Your Saved Items:
Tap or click on the ‘Saved’ link in the left-hand sidebar of your Home/Newsfeed screen:

 

Here’s a screenshot of the Saved list screen; note the categories listed at the top. Once you’ve saved a variety of stuff, those categories will become links you can use to filter your Saved list. The red arrow below points to the “Learn more” link, which you can click to view Facebook’s full help topic on this new Save feature.

 

 

From the Saved list screen, you can follow links to the saved items yourself, Share as you would normally Share anything on Facebook, or Archive them. Use the Archive option to remove items from the Saved list but still store them in your personal Archive, which you can access via that ‘Archived’ category shown in the screenshots.

 

Use The Archive Option To Clean Up Your Saved List

The Saved list stores links to everything you save, and will keep them there until or unless you start archiving. As you can imagine, that Saved list can get pretty long!

To use the Archive feature on the full Facebook site, open your Saved list, then mouse over the upper right-hand corner of the item you want to archive to reveal a very small “x” there. Tap or click on the “x” to archive the item. Don’t worry: this will not delete the item, it will only be added to your Archived list. In the mobile app, swipe left on any item in the Saved list to access the Archive option.

 

How To Permanently Delete Saved Items

To permanently delete something, you must first add it to the Archived list. Then, in the full Facebook website, open the Archived list, click or tap on the dot-dot-dot (aka “More”) button (purple arrow below) and click or tap on Delete. In the mobile app, while viewing an item in the Archived list, swipe left to bring up the Delete option.

 

Use the new Save feature and never lose track of Facebook stuff you want to check out later!

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The SwissGear SA1923 ScanSmart Backpack is rated 4.5/5 stars across over 780 Amazon reviews, and normally sells for $120.00. It has a special quick-access laptop/tablet compartment that makes going through airport security much quicker, as well as special compartments and pockets for the rest of your personal electronics gear. Right now, you can get this rugged pack for just $57.03, and it’s eligible for Prime shipping as well.

 

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Kindle/Fire Tech Tip of the Week: Sending Content To A Specific Kindle / Fire

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U.S. Postal Service Warns Of New Phishing Scam

Posted January 21, 2015 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by the Fiore® 4 Pack of Designer Reading Glasses w/ Spring Hinges & Matching Cases, a product I myself have ordered and use every day. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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The United States Postal Service is warning postal customers (which is pretty much anyone in the world who has a mailbox) to be on the lookout for official-looking, but bogus, emails that claim the postal customer has received a package or owes online postage fees for a mailing that was sent with insufficient postage.

The emails go on to instruct the customer to either download and complete an attached form / print an attached postal label (DON’T DOWNLOAD THAT ATTACHMENT!) and/or click on a provided link to go to the USPS site to get more information and/or pay the fee (DON’T CLICK ON THAT LINK!). These types of emails, intended to trick consumers into willingly providing sensitive information, are known as “phishing” scams. From the USPIS site’s own SpamAlert announcement*:

Like most viruses sent by e-mail, clicking on the link or opening the attachment will activate a virus that can steal information—such as your user name, password, and financial account information. What to do? Simply delete the message without taking any further action. The Postal Inspection Service is working hard to resolve the issue and shut down the malicious program.

Other sites are reporting that the same scam is being run over the phone too. In that case the scammers call postal customers, pretending to be a representative of the U.S. Postal Service, and ask the customer to provide the same types of information the phishing emails are intended to collect.

*USPIS stands for United States Postal Inspection Service, which is a the federal law enforcement and security arm of the United States Postal Service

 

If you have reason to believe you really DO have an uncollected package waiting for you at the post office, go to the official U.S. Postal Service site to look up delivery status by tracking number, or call 800-ASK-USPS (800-275-8777) to talk to a customer service agent and ask if there is any record of an undelivered package with your name and address on it.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

When you’re ready to stop buying cheap-o, falls-apart-in-a-month reading glasses and get a set of sturdy, attractive, high-quality readers that are built to last and to look good, the Fiore® 4 Pack of Designer Reading Glasses w/ Spring Hinges & Matching Cases is a great way to go. One set is shown below, but they’re available in a variety of patterns, colors and frame shapes. Since they’re only sold in a 4-pack that’s currently (as of 1/21/15) priced at $37.85 it may seem like these cost a lot more than comparable readers you find at the drugstore or supermarket, but it actually works out to about $9.50 a pair—for the glasses and matching neoprene cases! And if you use readers then you already know: you need more than one pair to ensure there’s always a pair nearby, anyway. They’re Prime shipping -eligible too! Click here if you’d like to read my detailed review on Amazon.

 

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Kindle/Fire Tech Tip of the Week: Sending Content To A Specific Kindle / Fire

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Today’s post is brought to you by the NageBee Line of Cell Phone Cases, Covers and Accessories. I bought one of these for my own new smartphone and couldn’t be happier with it! Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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Oh Noes! When I Got A New Phone, I Lost My Custom Ringtone and Text Alert!

Regular readers know I recently bit the bullet and got a smartphone, but only because I need it to test the Digital Media Mom apps I’m currently developing—stay tuned for more news on that front!

Anyway, I was pretty disappointed to learn that the custom ringtone and text alert I created for myself years ago, using an audio recording and editing desktop program, would transfer to the new phone as sound files, but couldn’t be assigned as ring tones or text alerts. Why?! Why?!

I didn’t want to be stuck with some lame-o, pre-loaded ringtone! I put a lot of time and effort into creating my own so that I would never have trouble picking out my own ringtone or text alert sounds in a crowd. My signature ringtone was Cake’s Short Skirt, Long Jacket, and I wanted to keep it!

 

 

Enter Ringtone Maker

I happened to complain about this to my son’s girlfriend, and she recommended I try a free app called Ringtone Maker. Boy, am I glad she did! This app is so easy and amazing that I’d gladly have paid a few bucks for it, but it’s FREE! It is ad-supported, but I found the tiny ads at the bottom of the screen to be pretty unobtrusive and I only needed to use the app for a few minutes to create my ringtone and text alert files anyway.

The app lets you choose ANY sound file on your phone or memory card and create a ringtone/text alert from a specific snippet of the sound file. So if you want a ringtone that plays just the chorus or a certain line or verse of your favorite song, you’re in business. You can also assign an entire song as a ringtone or audio alert, so it will just keep playing until you answer/mute the phone or clear the alert.

You can also use your phone’s sound recorder capability to record any sound you like (e.g., your child saying “Mommy,” a favorite character on a favorite TV show saying his signature catchphrase, a song off the radio, etc.) and then use Ringtone Maker to turn it into a ringtone or other audio alert for the phone.

 

My ringtone is Short Skirt/Long Jacket, off this album

 

One Caveat

Some users have complained that the ringtones and text alerts you create with Ringtone Maker are deleted when you delete the app, and this is true. However, since the app only requires 1.1MB of space I don’t see any reason why I can’t just leave it installed indefinitely. It doesn’t constantly run in the background or anything like that, it’s only running when you actually open and use it.

 

The Permissions Skinny

Some others have questioned the permissions on this app, but I’ve checked ‘em all out and I’m satisfied there’s nothing questionable about them. Here’s what they are, and what they’re for:

Read only access to device state – lets the app verify the phone is on and is not currently being used to make or receive a call

Open network sockets – allows the app to connect to the developer’s server to serve ads and check for app updates

Write to external storage – to store your created ringtones on a memory card, if your device has one

Read or write the system settings – allows the app to let you assign specific ringtones or text alerts to specific actions on the phone (e.g., text message alert, multimedia message alert, etc.)

 

My text alert is Daggett Beaver yelling his catchphrase, “That was nuts!”

 

Read the user’s contacts data – so you can make a selection from your Contacts list in order to assign specific ringtones to specific contacts

Write (but not [simultaneously] read) the user’s contacts data – allows you to use the app to assign specific ringtones to specific contacts

Access information about networks – allows the app to detect whether or not you currently have internet access, again, to allow the app to communicate with the developer’s server to serve ads and look for app updates

Record audio – self-explanatory

PowerManager WakeLocks to keep processor from sleeping or screen from dimming – so the phone won’t turn off right in the middle of using the app to create a ringtone or audio alert

 

I can personally recommend Ringtone Maker very highly. Using this app, it took me less than three minutes to get my custom ringtone and text alert sounds back!

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The NageBee Line of Cell Phone Cases, Covers and Accessories offers attractive, sturdy products made from quality materials and sells them at very affordable prices. I bought the folio case shown below for my new smart phone (this case is priced at $9.98 as of 1/20/15), but NageBee offers MANY different types and designs to fit just about any cell phone you can think of: ruggedized, with stands built in, hard cases, soft rubber and neoprene cases…you name it, they’ve got it!

 

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Kindle/Fire Tech Tip of the Week: Sending Content To A Specific Kindle / Fire

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Today’s post is brought to you by Zebra Tees, where you can get limited-edition, incredibly cool t-shirts at very reasonable prices. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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If You Can’t Make It To Bonnaroo…

…grab these three free albums and hold your own private indie music fest!

 

Sub Pop 2013: First Place Losers (4/5 stars)

Sub Pop is a very well-known and respected label when it comes to breaking new acts that go on to great success. For example, among the 15 tracks on this album you’ll find a remastered version of Such Great Heights by The Postal Service, I Like It Small from Mudhoney and Low’s Just Make It Stop.

 

New West And Normaltown Records Spring 2014 Music Sampler (4/5 stars)

This album offers an eclectic mix of 16 alterna-country tracks. A little honkytonk, a little pop, and even a little bluegrass.

 

Cantora Sampler (4.5/5 stars)

If you prefer your alternative rock with a singer-songwriter, folk, or Lilith Fair type of feel, this is the album for you. 7 tracks.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Here are just a few of the witty, limited-edition shirts you can get at Zebra Tees. The designs shown below, from the Best Sellers collection (scroll down to find them on the linked page), are priced at just $14 each (up to size XL, slightly higher for sizes 2XL – 5XL) — but if you want them be sure to order right away because once they’re gone, there’s no guarantee these designs will ever be made available again.

 

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Kindle/Fire Tech Tip of the Week: Sending Content To A Specific Kindle / Fire

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