Monthly Archives: December 2011

Manage Your Social Networks with HootSuite

If you have several different Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and FourSquare accounts, HootSuite is a necessary tool.  You can also connect to your WordPress, MySpace, Ping.fm and Mixi accounts using HootSuite.  I originally started using HootSuite as a web application to manage all my social networks, and have since installed the application on all my mobile devices including iPhone and Android.  With HootSuite I am able to constantly update and monitor all of my social streams, both at work and on the go.  I can monitor keywords, Twitter searches and trending topics all within the same easy-to-use dashboard.

My life has been made so much easier thanks to HootSuite, as it allows me to organize all my accounts into specified tabs where I can update my profiles, statuses, schedule posts in advance, and send messages across multiple platforms simultaneously.  Another bonus to HootSuite, which really sets it apart from all other social media managers, is the app’s analytics.  I can measure the performance of all my tweets and posts by tracking my shortened URLs (ow.ly).  I also think owls are really cute, so that’s a plus.

Edit Photos with Camera+

If you have an iPhone there is no need to buy a hundred something dollar camera.  Instead, spend your money wisely on the Camera+ application. The app was featured in Time’s 50 Best iPhone Apps of 2011, and Time’s review could not have said it better.  “If the iPhone’s standard camera is like a digital point-and-shoot, the Camera+ app is like a high-quality SLR Lens.”  The marvelous Camera+ app is on sale right now for $0.99 for the iPhone 4S and iOS 5, so move fast photographers!

The Camera+ application opens a whole new world of photo editing.  You will never take a bad picture again!  If the flash didn’t work, go to scenes and apply the flash after the shot is taken.  Apply the clarity scene for a crisp and dynamic range that otherwise would be lost in your picture.  Choose from other scenes including portrait, concert, food, scenery, effects from retro to dynamic, and vibrant color hues, sepia, black & white.  Adjust and rotate your photos, crop them into any dimension you could imagine, and then add a simple or styled border as a finishing touch to your photography masterpiece.

I feel like the possibilities are endless with Camera+ and I’m still amazed at how amazing my pictures look.  Aside from the editing capabilities of Camera+, the actual camera within this application balances the exposure of your shot by using separate focus and exposure.   With a continuous flash, touch exposure, touch focus, 6x zoom and advanced shooting modes, your iPhone camera goes above and beyond any all-in-one photo editor and camera  you could wish for.

Fruit Ninja Critical

Fruit Ninja might take the (Bakery Story) cake for most addictive game in the app store.  There is something very satisfying about slicing a juicy piece of fruit with a virtual blade and watching it splatter against various backgrounds.  With just the swipe of a finger you become a Fruit Ninja warrior, dodging bombs and slashing fruit combos for extra points that bring you one step closer to beating your high score.  I dream that one day I will be half the ninja that wise ninja Sensei is.

The Zen mode removes the sizzling bombs from the game, so players can cut their fruit without care.  An Arcade mode is also available where the gamer has sixty seconds to collect their points, and super bananas are thrown onto the screen that grant slicers special bonuses.  I rotate between classic and arcade mode, and slice all the rare fruits and pomegranates that appear on my iPhone to get the most critical hits, combo blitzes and achievements that my finger will allow.  I only wish that Halfbrick would let us start with more than three lives!

Unlocking special blades and backgrounds with Fruit Ninja Achievements makes all that lost time cutting fruit worth it.  The game has sharp graphics on the iPhone and Android, and is enhanced even more for iPad users.  Fruit Ninja Kinect is available for Xbox and Fruit Ninja Frenzy is available for Facebook.  Multiplayer gameplay gets crazy as you try to avoid your opponent’s fruit, and very competitive too I might add.  It’s a good thing Fruit Ninja does not require a real samurai sword!

Bakery Story Gems and Flies

Lately my days have been consumed by an overwhelming dread of Bakery Story’s freakish flies infesting my confectionery.  Although I get a bit queasy every time I open the Bakery Story app on my iPhone or iPad to find this vile creature, I cannot bring myself to delete the application for I have grown very fond of my cute little bakery with donut tables, cupcake seats, and a platter of pretty cakes, pies and cookies.

I’m not the only one who finds joy in playing this game, as the Bakery Story app has even become a social platform for me and my friends who like to visit each other’s bakeries and write messages on walls, leave tips, and compare designs & decorations.  My friends any I exchange secret recipes and for those of my friends who have not already downloaded the app and converted, I invite them on Facebook until they are forced to join the community of Bakery Story members.  (If you haven’t joined either, go to the app store (or Android market) NOW and install Bakery Story so we can play!)

One of the best things about this online iPhone/iPad application is that it’s FREE!  But don’t get tricked into buying gems (by taping the blue gem icon) unless you’re willing to spend money.  There are ways to receive free gems, and TeamLava sometimes gives them away through competitions on their forum or by installing one of their other games like Restaurant Story or Fashion Story.  Also, if you keep cooking you will receive free gems at level 2 and 4 mastery of each recipe.

As for avoiding the scary cyber flies, you can do one of two things. 1 – Allow push notifications from Bakery Story app so you remember to serve your food on time or 2 – close your eyes tight and tap to manage the spoiled food, then throw it in the trash as fast as you can!