Thursday, September 5, 2013

Your Favorite Apps


There are thousands of apps out there, and finding the one you need can take hours. So we asked our clients, employees, friends, and family to tell us about their favorite iPhone or iPad apps. Here are the top ten. 

Home Improvement | DIY - Houzz
Surround Sound - JL Audio
Kids | Toddlers - Shape Puzzle
Personal Finance - Mint
Business Finance - Outright
Notes - Paper
Navigation - Waze
Home Management | Home Automation - Savant
Shopping - Grocery IQ
Real Estate - Zillow


Home Improvement & DIY - Houzz

This is the perfect app if you’re looking for ideas for your remodel, new home, or home improvement project. Houzz takes incredible project photographs and organizes them by room, style, or product type. Similar to Pinterest, you can save the projects you like into your own ideabooks, organized by room, style, or custom category of your choosing.  Perhaps the best feature on Houzz is the Find Local Pros link. From here you can see project photos of local contractors, ask them questions about their projects, see reviews of their work, and even contact them for an estimate. You can find us on Houzz here. http://www.houzz.com/pro/conceptelectronics/__public



Kids & Toddlers - Shape Puzzle
My daughter loves the Shape Puzzle app. Its a free multi-language puzzle app that teaches children about animals, numbers, colors, verbs, nouns, adjectives, and more. While assembling these puzzles, she’s practicing organization, problem solving, and critical thinking. 

Surround Sound - JL Audio
This is a great tool for surround sound setup. It gives you an SPL meter, Real Time Analyzer, Speaker Polarity Test, and useful ohm and amplifier calculators. It’s only as accurate as the iPhone’s mic but it gives you a great place to start tuning your home theater system. Many receivers have setup mics that you can use to automatically calibrate your surround sound receiver to your room. For professional setup I always recommend contacting an HAA certified technician.

Personal Finance - Mint
This app can link all of your accounts into a single interface, providing you with a real-time snap-shot of your personal finances. Checking, savings ,and credit card accounts are shown individually along with an overview of your cash flow situation. The app has it’s own pin number to keep your financial information secure. Mint also provides account alerts, and financial advice on how to save money. 

Business Accounting - Outright
After you link all of your business accounts to Outright, it automatically downloads the account information each night, and places transactions into logical tax categories. In addition to your banking and credit card accounts, you can link your PayPal and eBay accounts as well. You can also manually enter cash transaction and even track your vehicle mileage.

Notes - Paper
This unique app simulates a real notepad and pencil. Your finger acts as the pencil as you handwrite your notes or drawings. The free version allows you to change notepad paper as well as the pencil color, width, and weight. Once your done with your note, you can save it or share on facebook, twitter, or google+.





Navigation - Waze 

Waze combines its’ user’s real-time data to monitor traffic congestion, accidents, or other slow downs. It can even alert you before you before you get to the problem so you can find an alternate route. Waze also finds the cheapest gas on route to your destination.


With this app and Savant’s hardware, you can transform your home into a smart home. Savant allows us integrate everything in your house, from TVs and music to lights and shades, security and surveillance to thermostats and misting systems. After installing over 100 home automation systems, one of our favorite things to control is the garage door. How often do you leave the house and wonder if you’ve closed your garage overhead doors? Now you can use your iPhone to check the status of the doors while you’re away, and even close the doors if they’re open. We’ve even setup the Savant system to automatically close the garage door once the security system is armed so you know it will always be closed.

Shopping - Grocery IQ
This is not just another grocery list organization tool, Grocery IQ stores your list on their website so it is available on all of your devices simultaneously. Additionally, all of your family members can use the same Grocery IQ account, so you can add items to the shopping list remotely and everyone with the app will see the new items instantly. I can add milk and eggs to the list while I’m at work and they instantly show up on my wife’s phone while she is at the store.



Real Estate - Zillow

Looking for a new home is hard work. Zillow helps you narrow your search by using location-based searches. To find out the price of homes near you, simply open the app and press the Nearby button, now each property on the screen has a price. To find out more about the property, just click on the price and you’ll see a thumbnail photo of the house with the address and other information about the property. Zillow will even estimate the prices of homes that aren’t for sale. Now you can see how other homes in the neighborhood compare to the one you’re interested in. 

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