Data Doctors Tech Tips
Tech Tips for Non-Tech People
We give quick, one minute tech tips each weekday! Join us on a radio station near you as we talk tech. It's Tech Tips for Non-Tech People! You can post questions on Facebook anytime!
One of the main reasons that I love to travel to new destinations is to discover new cultures and traditions.
If you’re really good at doing intensive research online, you can probably uncover the road less traveled, but if you want a little help, check out the Culture Trip website.
You can start by typing the name of any city you’re thinking of visiting to get tips on the coolest neighborhoods, best galleries, museums, and the best restaurants in the area.
You can find tips for budget accommodations, walking tours and even suggestions on what to do if you only there for a layover.
Find the best bookstores, antique shops, nightlife and cafes along with foodie destination and actual foods that you should try while visiting.
This is a welcome departure from the popular review websites because the content is carefully curated by professionals using stories to help you better understand your options.
Visit https://theculturetrip.com to download their app and start exploring the world through its culture.
If you use an Apple smartphone and Apple computer, you know how tightly integrated the notifications can be across both devices.
If you’re an Android user, you can actually take this awesome ability to another level by using Crono on your computer and smartphone.
You start by adding Crono to your browser as an add-on, then download the app and follow the on-screen instructions to sync the devices.
You then have the option to allow alerts from virtually any app on your smartphone to start popping up on your computer.
You can also copy items to the clipboard on your computer and send it to your smartphone and vice versa.
It’s also a simple way to share files back and forth and dismiss phone calls or send text messages from your browser. It essentially allows you to deal with notifications from your computer’s browser the same way you do on your phone.
To learn more and download the tools, visit https://crono.app
If you have kids or grandkids, you know how much time they like to spend staring at a small screen and how hard it can be to get them to put down their devices and go play outside.
Well, if you can’t beat em, join em! You can use their love of smartphones to get them to want to go outside, using an app called Mission Adventures.
The app is designed to make going outside an interactive adventure complete with a plot and tasks.
You start by setting a route on a map to set up your adventure with a focus on a park or hiking trail that you’d like to explore with them.
Once your destination is set, the app will lead your kids on an adventure along the route by using markers on the map, various questions and instructions that make the walk more like a game.
It’s like geocaching combined with a Choose-Your-Own Location-based Adventure for both iPhone and Android devices. Search for Mission Adventure in the app stores.
Most of us have a bucket list, but mainly in the metaphoric sense that never really becomes a physical list.
Creating an actual list and keeping track of all those things you want to do and experience helps make your dreams a reality.
An app called Soon was created for all those things, big and little that you want to experience.
That must-see movie, must-hear musician, must-visit restaurant or anything that you hear about can be kept as a reminder in the Soon app.
The app makes it easy to file each item in categories like movies, restaurants, TV shows, books and so much more
When you add an item from their database, all of the details that you’d normally have to go search for gets included with the item.
You can add your own notes after you’ve done each item, which makes it easy to journal your experiences as you do them.
The Soon app http://www.soonforever.co is free and available for both Android and iPhone users.
Long exposure photography has the ability to create some amazing shots of motion, but it generally requires expensive equipment and the technical knowledge of how to manually set up the shot.
Well, if you have an iPhone, an app called Spectre takes both the expense and the complications out of capturing long exposure shots.
It uses artificial intelligence for the exposure to take the guesswork out of how long the shutter should stay open and it even helps you keep the shot stabilized.
If you love those soft water exposure shots of running rivers or waterfalls and would like to be able to turn a night shot of a freeway into a river of light, this app is worth the three bucks.
It’s also a great way to make people in a crowded area disappear into the background as anything with motion automatically gets blurred.
Spectre is a really easy app to use, so you’ll be capturing those professional looking long exposure shots in just minutes!
Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, you most likely have friends that are, which is something to take into consideration when you decide to meet up at a restaurant.
Using the various search options for finding vegan or vegetarian options can work, but if you want a more focused way to search, check out a website and app called Vanilla Bean.
With over 35 thousand locations in more than 80 countries in their database, they can help you find restaurants that specialize in vegan or vegetarian menu items or those that cater to omnivores, vegans and vegetarians alike.
They also let you know if the restaurant offers gluten-free or lactose-free options as well as organic, local, raw food or fair trade items.
Vanilla Bean also includes price range indicators as well as reviews from other users.
Whether you want to start eating healthier or just want to make sure your vegan friends will have something to enjoy when you go out, Vanilla Bean will help you discover what’s near you where ever you may be.
Learn more or download the app at https://www.vanilla-bean.com
With so many devices that have the ability to take a picture these days, improving your knowledge when it comes to the elements of photography allows you to take better pictures.
Whether you’re using a smartphone, point and shoot camera or a DSLR, knowing what to do and when can be learned a lot easier with an app called Elements of Photography.
It’s like having a photography instructor right on your phone or tablet. You can go through all the chapters at your own pace, which uses interactive examples to make it a lot easier to understand what is being taught.
Start with the basics like focal length and shutter speed and progress to more advanced topics as your understanding of photography grows.
When you find yourself in a specific scenario, you can go right to that portion of the app to get the tips when you need them the most.
Elements of Photography is a free app and available for both iPhone and Android devices.
If you are the parent of a student that regularly asks you for help on their math homework, this tip is for you.
Most of us can’t remember much about the higher levels of math that high school students have for homework, so an app called Photomath can be an important tool to help.
What makes this app so useful is that all you have to do is point your phone’s camera at the math problem to allow the app to both solve the equation and give you the steps that explain how it got solved.
Many will jump to the obvious conclusion that this app can be used by students to cheat on their homework, but they can already cheat in a multitude of other ways if that’s their motivation.
Keep in mind, this app actually helps anyone that uses it to learn how to solve equations instead of just giving them the answer.
Photomath can be an incredible teaching tool in the hands of a parent, especially those that have little recollection of the math lessons from decades ago.
Learn more at: https://photomath.net/en/parents
When you need a mapping program, Google Maps is pretty hard to beat, but it’s usefulness is limited without a connection to the Internet.
It’s certainly possible to download an area into Google Maps if you know where you going to be and your remember to do it, but there’s a better way.
An alternative mapping app called Maps.me takes a different approach for those that know that they’ll have limited or no Internet connection.
You can get turn-by-turn instructions for an entire country without the need for a signal of any type with this app.
It’s an offline virtual folding map without the physical issues of keeping things folded properly.
If you travel abroad or are planning to travel to a foreign country, you should take this app for a trial spin so you know how it works before you have to rely on it.
Learn more and download it for free at: https://maps.me
The Big 4 in the cell phone wars are in a never-ending marketing war to convince you to sign up with them for your wireless plan.
While the offers can sound amazing, they don’t amount to much if the signal available from their network isn’t very good where you live and work.
Using data to make your decision can save you from the surprises that so many experience when they switch carriers.
If you live anywhere near a metropolitan area, there’s a website that makes it easy to see what others have reported about each of the major networks.
A general analysis of your metro area gives you lots of great ratings on things like speed and reliability, but the real value is when you drill down to the areas that you most often spend time.
The coverage map will allow you to dissect the various performance ratings for each of the carriers, including 5G reports from other users.
This being a crowd-sourcing platform, downloading their app to provide data to the rest of the community is a great way to contribute.
City reports: https://www.rootmetrics.com/en-US/rootscore/map
Coverage Maps: https://webcoveragemap.rootmetrics.com/en-US
iPhone app: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/cell-phone-coverage-map/id399701910
Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rootmetrics
If you’ve ever posted anything online that wasn’t quite grammatically correct, you know that the grammar police will very quickly let you know.
Though they may mean well, having someone focus on your grammar instead of on what you are trying to say can be frustrating.
If you’d like a kinder, gentler form of grammar oversight, check out the offerings from Grammarly.com.
The grammar tools are available via a browser add-on, a web interface that allows you to upload documents, as a desktop app or as a replacement keyboard app on your mobile devices.
Once it’s set up, you’ll get simple indications of a potential issue whenever you type or have obvious items automatically corrected. It can also provide you insight based on your intended audience and level of formality.
Unless you’re a professional writer, the free version should be all that you need, but keep one thing in mind; nothing replaces a human editor
Learn more at https://grammarly.com and remember, that’s with two A’s!
If your busy schedule requires you to eat out on a regular basis and you want help making choices that fit your lifestyle, the Calorie Cap website may be worth checking out.
Calorie Cap lets you search for any combination of low calorie, low carb, low sodium, high protein, gluten-free, keto or vegetarian options from one of the national chain restaurants in its database.
You can do a macro search for breakfast, lunch or dinner by specifying your maximum intake for fat, sugar, sodium, calories, protein, and carbs.
If you know you’ll have to eat at a specific restaurant, you can search specifically for items they offer that will fit your needs, including any of the sides, dressings or sauces.
You can add items to a current meal calculator that will display the calories for the entire meal.
The ‘Find My Cap’ option allows you to find the max calories per week for maintaining or losing weight by entering your age, height and current weight.
Help is a few mouse clicks away at https://www.caloriecap.com
If you haven’t had a reason to get or use a library card for years, today’s tip may encourage you to do so soon!
One of the best-kept secrets of the public library world is that thousands of ebooks and audiobooks can be borrowed for free as long as you know how it’s done.
An app called Libby brings this awesome capability to your smartphone as long as you have a valid library card.
It allows you to search for available titles, sample the ones you’re interested in and borrow them from the libraries associated with your card.
You can download them for offline use or stream them to save the space on your phone.
The app synchronizes your bookmarks, notes and what you have on loan across all of your mobile devices, so you can start a book on your phone and switch to your tablet.
You can even send the ebooks to your Kindle, if that’s your preferred reading device.
Learn more at: https://www.overdrive.com/apps/libby
One of the challenges that smartphone cameras haven’t been very good at dealing with is low-lighting situations.
The latest iPhone 11 models do have specific technology designed to take much better pictures at night or in low-light settings.
Gaining night mode capabilities is great if you happen to be in the market for a new smartphone, but you don’t have to spend the big bucks to get better pictures at night.
The Night Mode Camera app was created for iPhone users that want a better chance of taking good pictures in bad lighting.
It uses artificial intelligence and computational photography technology to allow older iPhones to take better pictures at night.
Even if you own an iPhone 11, this app may be worth buying because it extends night mode to your front-facing and wide-angle cameras as well.
If you’ve been contemplating the purchase of the new iPhone because of it’s low lighting capabilities, this app may save you a bundle!
Search for the NeuroCam Night Mode Camera app in the Apple App Store to learn more: https://neural.cam
I, along with millions of other users, have loved the Wunderlist app for creating lists for many years. If you love this app as much as I do, I have some bad news!
Microsoft acquired it a while back and announced it’s going to replace it with their own to-do app, which I’m not a big fan of.
I’ve been looking for an adequate replacement for Wunderlist and I’ve settled on the AnyList app.
Not only is it a great list-making app, but it also offers integration with both Alexa and the Google Assistant, so you can use voice commands to add items to your lists.
Another awesome feature for those of us that love to cook is that it can import recipes from popular websites, making it easy to add the required ingredients to your shopping list.
You can easily share your list with anyone, send a list as an email or a text message and tap any item to cross it off the list.
The app is free for both iPhone and Android users with premium features that you can pay for if you find them useful: https://www.anylist.com
Taking better care of yourself by regularly exercising is a goal that we all have, but getting off the couch requires real motivation.
If you haven’t found the right way to go from your couch to running a 5K, you guessed it...there’s an app for that!
The app is specifically designed for beginner runners that want to work up to running a 5K that’s fun and easy to follow.
Their claim is that they can get you to the 5K finish line in just thirty minutes a day, three days a week, over a nine weeks stretch.
The training plan was developed by real trainers and includes a virtual coach that you choose to help you stay on track.
Not only will it provide the typical pace, distance and time information, it also has an in-app music player so you can stay motivated with your favorite playlists.
The couch to 5K app is free and available for iPhone and Android users: https://www.active.com/mobile/couch-to-5k-app
That smartphone you love so much is only as smart as the person using it, right?
I’m going out on a limb and guessing that you have yet to figure out every hidden option or feature that’s available in your device.
With that in mind, today’s tip is designed to make you smarter about your smartphone via the Drippler app for both iPhone and Android users.
You’ll get everything from tips and feature updates to instructions on how to do things you never knew was available to you.
It’s like a dynamic manual for your device that keeps getting updated.
Since the app is operating system based, you won’t get those frustrating tips that only work on the opposite platform.
The Drippler app is free with download links located at: http://drippler.com
If you think about it, the ability to schedule an email has lots of great applications, but very few people consider taking this approach.
Since Gmail is the most popular platform in the world, finding a tool that allows its users to add some time-based functionality made sense to us.
A productivity tool for Gmail called Boomerang offers a lot more than the ability to schedule the delivery of your messages, but that feature alone may be enough to add it to your setup.
The core service the add-on provides is for those that have a ton of messages that hit them every day. You can schedule messages to reappear based on a more appropriate time, so you don’t have to create a separate reminder to deal with the message.
It also offers some CRM capabilities by tracking messages for replies and suggesting a follow up for messages that have not been answered.
Manage your Inbox more effectively with the free tools from https://Boomeranggmail.com
That smartphone you can’t live without is an incredibly powerful computer that would have been considered a supercomputer in that not so distant past.
These tiny little devices are capable of capturing our world in high resolution without you having to go to school to learn how to take photos.
There’s so much automagical technology built into our phones that will analyze the setting and quickly make decisions on your part in an attempt to create the best possible image given the circumstances.
BUT, none of that amazing technology will be of any value if you don’t get one of the basics down when you take your pictures and that’s composition.
A great way to learn how to take better pictures is by using an app called Camera 51, because it will alert you when your current shot isn’t the optimum shot.
It uses on-screen suggestions whenever you are taking a picture with the app, which will help you understand what you are doing wrong.
If composition isn’t something you understand very well, start learning today with the Camera 51 app:
When was the last time you were at a website or tried to buy something and you were asked for an email address? Even physical retail operations often ask for an email address for a variety of reasons.
Most people just use one email address for everything, which makes it impossible to easily cut off or track down the original source of the junk you don’t want in your Inbox.
You can easily sign up for a second email service just for incidental needs, but that would require you to remember to sign into or check the other account.
If you’re a user of Gmail, there’s a much simpler way to manage this problem by using disposable aliases.
Gmail allows you to add a plus sign and any random text just before the @ sign as an alias. Example: [email protected]
Once you start using this method when asked for an email address, you can easily divert any messages that come with that address to a separate label, to the trash or even forward it to another account automagically!
The best part of this option is that there are no limits to how many variations you can come up with and there’s nothing to setup or configure to make it work!
Anyone that has ever had to physically drive around the streets of any city to research location information should always start with the awesome Street View option in Google Maps.
Google's vehicles equipped with 360 cameras have been driving the streets all over the globe for over 10 years, but they made it even better a few years back.
Whenever you start your street view from any desktop computer, it will initially show you the most recent set of images that have been captured.
The hidden feature that is less known is the timeline option, which can be activated by clicking on the icon that looks like a clock in the corner to the upper right.
The number of times the street view capture vehicles have recorded that street since they began in 2008 will be represented by a dot on the timeline.
The best part of this time based shift is that it's not limited to just the street you started on as all the same images that were captured that year can also be navigated.
It's great way to explore your old home town or the neighborhood you grew up in from the comfort of your own home!