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Friday, March 23, 2012

Cozi Family Organizer- Now everyone will know who goes where and when- no more missed appointments!

When I was a kid three million years ago, I played little league baseball, participated in scouting, worked as a camp counselor and acted in a few of my high school plays. Busy, but not overly so. For today's kids, this kind of schedule is considered sparse and boring. My kids- and by extension our family- is on the go nearly everyday with soccer, church, friends, school, parent's work, doctor's appointments, dance, gym, swimming and many, many other activities.

Just writing about it makes me tired. 

Normally, my wife is the record keeper of all activities and writes them down on our paper calendar hanging in the kitchen. This is the place of record for everything we do and, according to my wife, "If it isn't written here, it doesn't exist.". It works, but only to a point. Whenever I'm at work, out and about or just not at home, that calendar is useless to me and I'm often left in the dark about the activities of my family. 

Well, our family is moving into the tech age with our use of a family organizing application called Cozi.
Now, all of my excuses to the wife are null and void.

With this app, you'll be able to see at a glance the schedule of everyone in the family. Each person is color coded on the calendar display for easy reference and Cozi will even e-mail and/or text you before a scheduled event to remind you so you don't end up in the doghouse with the wife...not that I know what that's like, mind you!

Additionally, Cozi helps the busy family prepare shopping lists, meal plans, online family journal and more. And should a laptop or desktop computer not be available while you are on these many scheduled events, Cozi has mobile apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry that allow you to keep track, make changes and review all of the information Cozi uses to keep you and your family on schedule. It's all free too.

This app appears simple on its face and that's the beauty of it. Simple to use, simple to read and simple to change, Cozi keeps your family on time, all the time.

And for families like mine, we say it's about time too.

Go to the Cozi site here to learn more. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Apple iPad3 review- Call it the New iPad, please!

What's in a name? Plenty, it seems. Apple's newest iPad offering is NOT called the iPad 3 but simply the new iPad. That won't be confusing, will it? Everyone from the tech journalism world was prognosticating all manner of  way-out-there additions to the most successful tablet in the world, including your humble author in my last post.

Sadly, the most obvious and necessary addition (to me at least) to the iPad should have been the Siri voice control system. Turns out, Siri is technically still in Beta and despite the enormous amount of attention Siri has received, testing continues apace as does refining the concept to the point that Apple is satisfied with the results (note to Apple: the world is satisfied!). So, we won't be seeing Siri in the iPad anytime soon.

That's a shame because seeing things in the new iPad is the best improvement to date. The laser-sharp Retina display found in the iPhone line has made it's way into the iPad family and now photos, video and letters will be so sharp that 1080 HD video will be possible.
The Retina display shows images sharper than the eye can perceive.

Other improvements include a faster processor to support that Retina display, a 5 megapixel camera that has more than five times the resolution of the iPad2, 4G wireless support that Apple claims brings in ten times the data of a 3G connection. Otherwise, the new iPad looks the same, has the same size and comes in only black and white (last week, I predicted various colors would be available, including purple, but Apple didn't see things my way).

So what's the reaction from the tech world? Seems like it's mostly a non committal "meh".

No real surprises here. Prices remain unchanged for the various iterations of the line (storage sizes, 4G or wi-fi, etc.) and Apple will keep the iPad2 in stock for the reduced price of $399 vs. $499 for the new iPad. has a hands-on review of the new iPad and includes a video showcasing all of the new features you could use if you have $500 laying around doing nothing. Be aware, though, this site is British and includes British currency as well as American in its review. All other features remain identical.

Take a look and you might decide to keep your iPad2 until Apple decides Siri is mature enough to include as a standard feature. Also, I would suggest to Apple a new naming strategy- something other than "the new iPad".

My name prediction for next year? iPad4. After all, how can this model be the new iPad when the newest iPad debuts in a year?

If you want one, pre-order the new iPad from Apple at their website. Deliveries will start March 16th.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Apple iPad3 to debut soon - The rumors, the truth and...purple?

It's coming....

The iPad3 is on its way and soon the world will know what is in store for the next iteration of Apple's groundbreaking offering that literally resurrected the tablet industry from moribund to nuclear (Microsoft had a tablet out there, but the sales were non-existent).

Rumors are rampant regarding the new tablet. For example:

- A new, larger screen
- a new, but sharper, smaller screen
- 4G connectivity
- No 4G connectivity
- All metal chassis
- Siri voice control included (currently only in the iPhone4S)
- The "old" iPad2 will be an entry level model at a lower price.

Is this the new iPad3? Good Question.
Which rumor do you listen to and which ones do you dismiss as wishful thinking or pure fantasy? I don't know- I don't think many people do and those in the know work in Cupertino and aren't saying. I would at least look for faster processing, cloud storage and faster connectivity. To me, incorporating Siri is a no-brainer and I would look for some more color choices- like purple (this is my wildcard guess). .

In the end, until the announcement is made, only a few hundred people know for sure. Give it a week or so and soon the world will be chomping at the bit to spend $600(?) dollars for the sexiest tech to come around since the iPad2 hit shelves two years ago.

TechCrunch has a full list of rumors, from the mundane to weird to the practical and you can go to their website here and create your own version of the iPad3 until Apple finally comes down the mountain to present us with a whole different tablet than any of the rumor mills would have us believe.

Call me a dreamer, but I'm still betting on purple.