Apps I Love: Milanote

I know I’m not the only one that adds things to my to do list that I’ve already done just so I can immediately check them off. I’ve tried so many ways to keep track of to do lists, whether it’s keeping them in a physical notebook or downloading an app. Because I have this overwhelming knowledge of to do list options, I figured I would share my most recent find!Read More »

BREAKING: Lauren Kortbein has switched platforms…again

A long, long time ago, I was a BlackBerry addict. I had numerous devices, from OS 7 all the way up to BlackBerry 10. I was such an addict, that when I switched to iPhone, it became a “thing”. (You can read my reasons to switch here.) Someone actually wrote a blog about why my reasons to switch were invalid and how getting an iPhone made me an “iSheep”. I was hounded on social media for weeks about being a traitor to BlackBerry. So while I would prefer not to live through that experience again, I do have an announcement: I’ve switched platforms yet again. But I’m getting ahead of myself…Read More »

Workhard Anywhere

Since we take our phones and tablets everywhere we go now, it would only make sense that we would use them for most of our day to day work. But how are we supposed to do said work without good WiFi, comfortable seating and plentiful outlets? If only there was an app that provided all this information…
Enter Workhard Anywhere. If you didn’t guess from the name, the app was created with the idea that it would give people a place to find all this information quickly. The founders, Benson and Cody, created the app while working on projects with each other. Because they didn’t live near each other, they had to meet in places like coffee shops and libraries. They created Workhard Anywhere as a way to keep track of which spots had the best WiFi, seating and outlet options. Today, over 900 people have helped grow the app into a collection of 2400+ workspaces in 50 countries. They believe “work may be hard, but finding a place to work shouldn’t be”.

The app itself is easy to use and understand, opening up by showing you a map of your surrounding location, and any possible workhard spots. Since it would be impossible for just 2 people like Benson and Cody to update every possible coffee shop and location, anyone who downloads the app is able to create new spots and update existing locations. Users can enter ratings of number of outlets and seats. They can also enter whether parking is readily available, whether on the street or in a lot. Once you say WiFi is available, the app will test the connection and show the speed.  And if you’re just looking for somewhere to write a quick blog post, you can pull up information on locations that have already been submitted by others. You’ll get a quick overview of all the information necessary to help you write that blog post about the latest app.

The beta testers have been hard at work making sure the app was absolutely perfect, so once it was officially released, everyone could be up and running, getting their work done in the most ideal locations. While this app was previously only available to those beta testing the app, as of today it’s available on the Apple App Store! Download it today, and add your input to the 2400 workhard locations around the globe!

Final Thoughts on the LG G3

I want to start off by thanking Verizon for the opportunity to test out the LG G3 for the past few weeks! It’s been fun using a new device and a new OS. There are so many features of this phone, so let’s jump right in!

The most noticeable thing about the G3 versus the iPhone 5 is, of course, the screen size. The LG has a 5.5″ screen, which was fun to use at first, but too big for my liking. I use the phone one handed a lot, and this proved to be difficult even with the “one handed use” features Android has. I did love the screen resolution, which was very noticeable when using Instagram! Even though this is a brand new phone, the OS seemed to be laggy at times, even when I wasn’t asking it to do much. I’ve never had lag on my iPhone, even though it’s 2 years old. iOS seems more refined than Android, and although you can’t customize as much, you don’t need to on an iPhone because everything works the way it should. The features of Android itself go on and on. You can customize almost everything, and the lists seem to be infinite. For example, you have 6 different options just to unlock the phone, including knock code, where you tap a specific combination on the locked screen. With swipe to unlock enabled, double tapping the screen when it was off turned it on. Since the lock/unlock button is on the back of the phone, this was handy if you wanted to check notifications while it was on a flat surface. This unique feature ended up being my least favorite of the whole phone. I use phones on a flat surface a lot, whether I’m in class or at work, and I like being able to press the lock button without having to pick it up. The volume buttons on the back make sense when you’re on a phone call, but the power button on the back is just a hindrance. Another feature located on the back of the phone is the speaker. An interesting placement, but not as bad as the power button. The speaker itself sounds great, and was crystal clear even with the volume turned all the way up! The battery life was absolutely incredible. I only charged it a few times during the week, whereas I charge my iPhone a few times a day. I was pleased to find that the large and vibrant screen didn’t negatively affect battery life. I was also impressed by the quality of the phone itself. The back is made of plastic, but that doesn’t mean it looks cheap. I’m confident this phone is durable enough to withstand a fairly high drop.

Since I’ve used recent versions of BlackBerry, Android and iOS, I now understand the pull of each of them. BlackBerry is definitely the powerhouse, meant to get things done. iOS is great for people who need apps, and want compatibility between different types of technology. Android is meant for people who need choices, not only in the features they enable on their phone, but the phone itself. There will always be people who claim one platform is superior to all others, but I think each platform is great in their own way. It would take a novel to compare these three OS’, and talk about the features I liked on each one and didn’t on the others. Depending on what you’re looking for from a mobile OS, there is something for you out there!

Android seems to make this phone a great daily device, especially for someone who doesn’t want to carry around a laptop, but doesn’t own a tablet. Overall, although I’m very appreciative that I was able to test the G3 out, it’s definitely not the phone for me. The screen was too big, the power button is poorly placed, and Android seems unfinished. But just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean that it’s not right for others! The beauty of everyone having different wants and needs for their phone is that there are so many phones and OS’ to choose from! Read reviews, ask opinions, but most importantly, test these devices out for yourself to see what works best for you. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

iPhone Apps and Accessories

Most of the time, getting used to a new phone and a new mobile OS is a challenge. But seeing as how the high majority of people have an iPhone, it wasn’t so much “difficult” as it was just finding out everything the phone could do. As I said in my previous post, a big part of me switching to an iPhone was the availability of apps. Now I’m overwhelmed with choices, but two weeks in and I’m already picking favorites.

My favorite apps (so far):

  • Tweetbot: I was hesitant to buy this Twitter app since it was $5, but I definitely don’t regret it! Native Twitter is awful no matter what platform, so I was glad to have this as a replacement.
  • Afterlight/VSCOcam/Fragment: These 3 photo editing apps are the main reasons why I’ve been posting so much more to Instagram now.
  • Spotify: Student discount makes this $5/month. That’s a cup of coffee!
  • Pocket: I find a lot of cool articles to read, but don’t always want to read them at that exact time. This app allows me to save the links to read whenever.

Not only do I have what seems like an unlimited amount of apps, but I also have an unlimited amount of accessories!

My favorite accessories (so far):

  • Mophie case: As stated on Twitter, this isn’t so much an accessory as it is a necessity. Nevertheless, I have one in pink now, so that’s freaking awesome.
  • Casemate brilliance case: I love glitter and sparkle. This case doesn’t lack that!
  • Bose speakers: These tiny speakers are as good as the huge speakers we have in my living room, if not better. Also, I don’t actually own this, I just steal it from my roommate. (Don’t worry, I always give it back!)