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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bubble Level App for RVers

Your smartphone or tablet is SO much more than a phone! It’s even more than a handheld computer. It has sensors in it that can detect sound, radio waves, location, barometric pressure and so much more! Here is one example of an app that uses your phone’s sensors to turn it into another device altogether – a bubble level. This is oh-so-handy for RVers! Be sure to use the Calibrate feature on a known level surface to improve the accuracy of the bubble level.

Bubble Level Video link.

If you have an iPhone with iOS 7, there is a bubble level app built in. Open your Compass App, swipe the screen to the second page and you’ll see it.

App Name: Bubble Level
Author: Antoine Vianey
Price: Free

iPad / iPhone
App Name: Surface Level (Spirit Level)
Author: Tue Nguyen Minh
Price: Free

Note: we also use the Swiss Army Knife app on our Android devices. It includes a bubble level as well as a flashlight, a ruler, a compass, and more.


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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Google+ App for Pictures

2014-07-10 06.33.34I met some new friends in the RV park last week and they started talking about offbeat places they’ve traveled by RV. I was able to pull up pictures of my choice – a Stonehenge replica on the Columbia River in Washington state – and display them on the phone as I told them about this cool spot. Because I had the Google+ App on my phone, I could easily search my photos for ‘Stonehenge’ and find those pictures from August of 2010. If you’re a photo-holic like me, that’s just priceless!

If you use, or have heard of, Picasa Web Albums, then you know about Google+ Photos. Picasa Web Albums was made and owned by Google you see – they have now updated the technology and re-branded it as Google+ Photos, pronounced Google “Plus” Photos. By uploading your pictures to Google+ Photos OR Picasa Web Albums, and using the Google+ App on your phone or tablet, you will be able to view all the photos from your online albums using your mobile device. People are always pulling out their smartphone to show friends pictures these days, but usually, those pictures are ones they took with that very same smartphone. Using the Google+ App, you’ll be able to show pictures taken with many different cameras if you’ve uploaded them to your Google account using Picasa.

The Logo for Picasa Web Albums
The Logo for Google+ Photos
Old icon
New icon
Any photos that you have uploaded to Picasa Web Albums OR Google+, are now viewable on Google+ Photos. To see your Google+ Photos albums on your smartphone or tablet, you need to install the Google+ App. There’s a lot more to Google+ than just photos, so you need to know how to navigate to your photo albums.

Google+ App

Photos is just a part of what the Google+ App offers. It includes a social network, and several communication tools (text messaging/phone calling/video teleconferencing), in addition to the photo library. When you first launch Google+ you will be looking at the social network – kind of like Facebook. To see your photos, you need to use the menu. On smartphones and tablets, you should see 3 horizontal lines – they may be be very small – in the upper left corner. Click that to reveal the Google+ Menu. If you don’t see the 3 lines, see if your device has a menu button on the device itself.
On a Tablet:g photos

Google+ on Phone:g photos-phone

Once you are in the Google+ Photos, there is another menu to let you see All your pictures, Highlights of your pictures, Auto-Awesome pictures (that Google+ created from your pictures) or Albums. If you want to see the pictures you have uploaded, in the way you uploaded them, choose Albums.
g photo-albums
You will now see, on your mobile device, the same albums that you can see using your computer. On the computer,Albums are under the More menu. Then to see the pictures, click on an Album.
g photos-computer

Benefits of using Google+ Photos over other photo sharing services:

  1. Unlimited photo storage for FREE. All you need is to have a Google Account and to agree to upload photos at no more than 2048 pixels. This is the size that Google calls “Best for Sharing.” I have over 26,000 pictures online in my Google+ account, and I don’t pay a penny.
  2. Photos are beautifully displayed in a collage-like layout, or with full screen slideshows.
  3. Integrated with Picasa software on your computer, so uploading pictures to Google+ Photos is single-click easy.
  4. Using the Google+ Photos App, you have your pictures at your fingertips with whatever device is at hand.
App Name: Google+
Author: Google
Price: Free
Available for: iPhone/iPad, Android phone/tablets