Mobile Apps

Best Apps to Zone Out With

Best Apps to Zone Out With

I'll admit it: at the end of the workday, I want little more than to sit in front of the TV and do nothing. This is an indulgence I allow myself far more frequently than I should. Of course, no one just watches TV anymore, do they?  Thanks to wifi, laptops, and now smartphones and tablets, our lazy time is much more engaging. Who said technology has to be productive? Here are my top smartphone and tablet apps to zone out with.

A Very Brief History of Android

A Very Brief History of Android

In preparation for my soon-to-be-released 2013 device guide, I thought it might be a good time to explain the different versions of Android, the mobile operating system that powers the majority of the devices that I will be writing about. I've written a lot about Android in the last two years, but I've almost always assumed a certain level of knowledge on the reader's part - knowledge that you may in fact lack.

BARD Mobile Introduction

BARD Mobile logo

The NLS (National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) is creating a series of instructional videos to introduce and discuss using the BARD mobile app. Check this blog post occasionally to see the latest additions. 

The Best Games for both iOS and Android

The Best Cross-Platform Mobile Games

Last Update: December 7, 2013: Browse through games by genre—there is something for every gaming taste on this list. This newly-updated list also includes links to the Android versions through Amazon (as available) as well as Google Play so that Kindle Fire users can get their game on as well. Users of plain Android devices (i.e. not the Kindle Fire or Nook HD) should download the Amazon app store onto their devices and browse the offerings since Amazon frequently offers discounted prices on Android apps.  Tech Answers will be updating this list regularly, so check back often and happy gaming!

Looking for a good cheap tablet? Get a Nook HD while you can!

Looking for a good cheap tablet?  Get a Nook HD while you can!

In the past I have lambasted Barnes and Noble's Nook products for a number of reasons, but none of them have to do with device itself.  I dislike how eBooks purchased from B&N are encrypted with the credit card number used to purchase them (don't forget that number!). I dislike how stripped-down the app selection is. I dislike their severe lack of media offerings.  But the device itself?  It's got good specs!  Nice  HD screen, decent processor speed, expandable storage, slick design—it's got all the makings of a great tablet, save for the fact that it has been tethered exclusively to Barnes and Noble's horrible business practices.  But that has now changed with a significant price drop and the addition of the Google Play app store.  If you're on the fence about a tablet purchase, I now have to actually, grudgingly recommend the Nook HD over everything else!

Sideloading Android Apps to Your Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire H D

The Kindle Fire HD really is a fine piece of mobile computing hardware.  Everything from the high-definition screen to the staggering Dolby audio fidelity to the grip of the device has been well thought-out.  It’s designed with media consumption in mind, with access not only to Amazon’s vast library of ebooks, music, movies, and TV, but also to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crackle, and more.  And it’s cheap too, starting at $200 for a 16GB wifi variety.  It's a shame then that such a great device is paired with Amazon’s App Store, whose offerings are laughably, pitifully lacking when compared to the Google Play store.  What’s worse, you can’t put the Google Play store on the device without some serious Android hacking chops and voiding the warranty in the process.  But, if you or a friend own another Android device with access to the Google Play store, like an Android smartphone, there is a way around this!

What's New in the Catalog in CRRL Mobile App

What's New in the Catalog

Like to see the newest additions to the CRRL collection? How about seeing them right on your phone? Now you can with the CRRL mobile app!

First, you need CRRL's mobile app installed on your phone or tablet. It is available for download from your phone's app store, or you can use your phone's Web browser to go to http://crrl.boopsie.com for the download and more information.

Once the CRRL mobile app is installed, open the app and select "What's New in the Catalog." You have a choice of All, Top Choices, DVDs, Teen and Children's Books. Select one of these, and you'll see what's new this week in the category. Click on a title to put it on hold, right from your phone. Easy!

You can get the same information by email by signing up for Wowbrary's weekly email newsletter.

Don't have a phone? No problem. You can also use our mobile app in a Web browser: http://crrl.boopsie.com/m/

Self Check-out - Check-out Items on Your Phone

Self Check in Mobile App

Did you know that you can check out books on your phone? You can! And it's so easy.

First, you need CRRL's mobile app installed on your phone or tablet. It is available for download from your phone's app store, or you can use your phone's Web browser to go to http://crrl.boopsie.com for the download and more information.

Once the CRRL mobile app is installed, open the app, select 'Self Check-out,' then scan the library barcode or type it in and enter your barcode and PIN. It's as simple as that. The book you are holding in your hand is checked out to you.

Don't have a phone? No problem. You can also use our mobile app in a Web browser: http://crrl.boopsie.com/m/

Must-Have iPhone Apps

Must-Have iPhone Apps

As promised in my list of must-have Android apps, here is a list of must-have iPhone apps!  The Apple App Store has a larger selection of quality apps than the Google Play store does, though that gap is quickly shrinking.  Unfortunately it has fewer free apps, so you’ll see more price tags attached to this article.  You may also notice several repeats from the Android list, as many of these apps are cross-platform and a joy to use on any device.  Your iPhone is a computing powerhouse, and there is so much more that you can do with it than you realize.  Take a look at my list below to get some ideas!