Bi Weekly App Review #2

This is my second App review for Onyx Truth.  I look forward to doing these reviews. It gives me a chance to search for and use useful Apps. We all know about the games and social network apps, but what about the usefulness of the everyday app? This session I will review 5 apps that can all be found in the Google Play store or the Apple App store.


Have your news read to you.”

This is one of my favorite apps. Newsbeat reads the news to you! There are 2 voices that alternate reading the top stories; Brian and Lesley. They are artificial voices, but the NewsBeat programmers have tried to tweak the A.I. so that they don’t sound so mechanical.

You can fully customize how you want your news, World, National, Local, Sports, Entertainment and of course, Tech. You can select WHERE you get your news from as well. Currently Newsbeat pulls stories from CNN, FOX NEWS, USA TODAY, NY TIMES, and a few other major publications. When you 1st turn on NewsBeat it greets you “Hello, Mr. Seven… We have 41 stories for you today. But 1st here is your weather and traffic for your area…”

When I get up in the morning it’s the 1st app I turn on and I carry my phone with me to the bath room, kitchen, kids room all while being informed of the World around me. IF you’re a new hound – THIS is the App for you.

NewsBeat is new and can only get better. Something I’d like to see NewsBeat do is integrate with the Google Calendar. Along with my weather and traffic, I’d like to also here reminders to call X at Y time or that I have a meeting in 3 days on the 5th.

That would be cool!

Word Lens


Perfect for travels. Use your camera to translate words from one language to the next.

Words in one of those “magical” apps that makes’ you ask “How do they do that?”

I speak very little Spanish. I read even less. Word Lens is your solution. You turn it on, make your settings, point to words you are trying to read that are in another language, and Word Lens does that rest.  While looking at your screen, you’ll see French text turn to English.

Here’s what the Developers has to say:

Instantly translate printed words with your phone’s camera! Word Lens gives you translation on the go:

– NO NETWORK required – results appear immediately on your video screen when you need it, anywhere in the world.

– Easy to use, like the regular camera

– Look up translations by typing them in, or clicking on a word.

Available language pairs:

+ English to Russian

+ English to Spanish

+ English to French

+ English to Italian

+ English to German

+ English to Portuguese

Notes for getting the best quality out of your translations:

– Best used on clearly printed text (e.g. signs, menus)

– DOES NOT recognize handwriting or stylized fonts

– It’s not perfect, but you can get the general meaning!

– Keep text in focus by holding it at least one hand-length away and tap-to-focus if autofocus is struggling.

– Turn on the flashlight (if available on your device)

– Zoom in (if available on your device)



Great for the active person wanting to keep track of their progress.

RunKeeper… Do you Run, Walk, Bike?  Trying to get Healthy, lose weight, training for a 5k? 10k? Marathon?  YOU need RunKepper!

Track your progress from week to week or month to month. Join the built in Social Network. You have friends who use this app? You can connect with them and post on their activities. Set goals, make and break your own personal records.  In no time watch yourself get healthy. Every 5 minutes Runkeeper will give you your progress, time, distance, & speed.

Here’s what the Developers want you to know:

Track your pace, measure workout distance, chart weight loss, crush training goals and more with LifeHacker’s 2012 Best Running App! RunKeeper is the simplest way to improve fitness, whether you’re just deciding to get off the couch for a 5k, biking every day, or even deep into marathon training.  Track your runs, walks, bike rides, training workouts and all of the other fitness activities using the GPS in your Android Phone.

• Calculate running pace, cycling speed, route distance, elevation and calorie burn for any fitness activity – in high accuracy and real time!

• Find and follow pre-planned routes and map your run or walk on the go.

• Follow training plan workouts or create your own with audio coaching

• Get audio updates while you work out about your total mileage, calorie count, pace, speed, mileage

• Sync your Polar Heart Rate Monitor to track your heart rate and stay in heart rate zones

• Use your Pebble or Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch to track all your stats, right on your wrist!

• Run while listening to music – RunKeeper automatically integrates with your phone’s music app.

• Easily add your indoor cardio (treadmill, elliptical) and gym workouts (Yoga, Crossfit) right in the app to keep a full training log all in one place.

• Track right from your home screen with the RunKeeper Android widget.

Get motivation and guidance to finish a race, lose weight, or get in shape. RunKeeper is THE training app for all skill levels- “Couch to 5k” all the way up to Marathon training for speed!

• Find and follow Run/Walk training plans as a beginner

• Get coached with 10k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon training plans for more advanced runners built by renowned coaches like Jeff Galloway

• Train for weight loss with “running for fat loss” plans by Mike Diebler

• Already using a Greatest training calendar? RunKeeper has those too!

• See your entire training calendar directly in the running app, and get coached through each workout while you run with audio cues

Sync with the best fitness apps you’re all ready using for nutrition, sleep monitoring, weight, step tracking, calorie counting and getting rewards. RunKeeper integrates with popular fitness apps and devices like:

• MyFitnessPal calorie tracking app

• Fitbit activity monitoring devices

• Garmin Forerunner GPS watches and Garmin Connect

• Withings wifi scales

• Sleep Cycle app

• Hundreds of other apps and devices like, Lose it!, Jawbone Up, GymPact, Earnedit, Fitocracy, Zombies Run, Gym Hero, pedometers and more!

Set fitness goals and track your progress over time

• Set goals to run a half marathon, lose weight, complete a total distance or set a personal record

• Chart your progress, get notified at every milestone, and see a full log of all your past goals

• See a full list of all your personal bests for races, distances and times for any sport or activity, whether you’re doing epic hiking treks, running ultra-marathons (we sip battery)

Train better with your friends!

• Easily share your fitness activities and successes with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and beyond!

• Invite and follow your friends to join you on RunKeeper, follow their journey and motivate them to succeed through commenting and liking their activity on RunKeeper’s Fitness feed

• Compete against your friends for a top spot on monthly activity leaderboards. Get even more performance with RunKeeper Elite!

• Use RunKeeper Live tracking to let your friends watch your fitness activities while you’re on the move

• Use Lifetime insights to see average pace trends and sum up how much your doing each week, month, or over your entire training history.

• Compare and rank all of your activities by speed and distance to see where everything stacks up.

Gas Buddy


Help find the lowest gas prices in your area.

Who doesn’t need this app? Gas prices are going through the roof. Here in Sunny Socal, we are current at $4.01 to $4.25 a gallon. Gas price syncs to your GPS and searches for the BEST – Cheapest – Gas prices in your area.  In my area the cheapest price is $3.89.  That’s better than $4.01 on around the corner.

Here’s what the Developers want you to know:

Find Cheap Gas Prices. Gas prices can vary by up to 20 cents per gallon or more. GasBuddy helps you find the cheapest gas prices with one tap.Submitting gas prices helps everyone save money on gas.


– Find cheapest gas near you

– Find cheapest gas by city/zip/postal code

– Report gas prices to help other people find cheap gas

– Chance of winning $100 of gas every day!

– Earn points for reporting gas prices

– Earn awards for posting gas prices

– Save money every time you fill up at the cheapest stations


– “This app saves me so much it’s ridiculous.”

– “This app is a no brainer! The accuracy is astounding and WILL save you money. Trust me, you want this app!”

– “I love this app! It helped me find a gas station just a mile from my house that I never knew existed. This app is easy to use and saves you money.”

GasBuddy uses gas price information provided by our users to bring drivers together to support the common goal of saving money on gas. I don’t fill up until I check GasBuddy.

Gas prices only for USA and Canada

Google Docs

A stand alone word processor that works from your phone, tablet, to PC. Auto save, auto sync. Do you type docs on the go, on your phone, or tablet? Then you should be using Google Docs. You create a doc and start typing. So soon as you stop typing Google doc auto saves your work. No more File, Save or Save As. Also Google docs backs up to your Google drive and can be accessed from any device that the Drive is installed.  Google docs also allows you to live edit. You, your editor, Friends, Boss, & co workers can all work on the same doc at the same time. There is a such thing as too many hands in the cookie jar at one time, but it’s also good to be able to collaborate remotely and live.

A personal note, I use this feature a lot as a Comic Book writer. I enjoy submitting my stories to my artist and he reads them and sees something that needs changing and we work together to hush out the details.

This is what the Developers want to know:

Create, edit & collaborate with others on documents from your Android phone or tablet with the free Google Docs app.With Google Docs you can:

– Create new documents or open and edit any that you started on the web or another device.

– Share documents and work together with others in the same document at the same time

– Get stuff done anytime–even without an internet connection

– Add and respond to comments

– Never worry about losing your work–everything is automatically saved as you type

Onyx Contributor:  David Seven

Articles submitted by freelance writers. If you would like to submit an article to the Onyx Truth, please click on the SUBMISSIONS link at the very top of the site for more info.
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