Picture Perfect


If you like taking pictures on your iPhone, please consider using the Afterlight app to edit your images. Most of the photos I receive from family and friends have great subjects but they are either too dark or too light. I want to appreciate what they sent, but if I have to carefully study the photo to capture the essence of the picture, then I just want to delete.

All I want to suggest is that we follow the lead of the younger generation. Take the time to make your photos the best they can be. My 15-year old cousin Hanna introduced me to Afterlight, a photo-editing app for the iPhone and iPad.

It’s worth the 99 cents.

The first great thing about Afterlight is that it lets you snap a shot or load one from your camera roll or photo stream.

There are five edit buttons. That’s all you have to remember. From left to right–the undo button, (lets you undo each change you’ve made), the adjustments button (features 15 different tools — exposure, brightness, tones, temperature, etc), the 40 filters button, the film button, and the Instant film pack button.

I can’t use anything too complicated. This is simple to use and the results make a huge difference in your presentation.

You will love the creativity.

Thank You Juan Carlos



I always wanted to be Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts. Only one problem. I can’t draw. That is no longer an issue. My friend Juan Carlos Zapata introduced me to Bitstrips, an app that lets you design cartoon versions of you and your friends. You can share these cartoons on all social marketing platforms and emails.

You get to choose from 2,000 customizable scenes. New ones are added daily. Once you join in, you will be amazed how many people you know are already members. You get to use their avatars in your cartoons as well.

Enjoy your senior years as a cartoonist.






You Can Never Be Too Thin




I can’t wait to see the stats that I’m going to get on this post. I get the feeling it is going to a whopper. It’s one of those “You have to see this!”

That’s how I found out about the SkinneePix app. My girlfriend Susie posted several Selfie picture on Facebook. I almost didn’t recognize her. She looked super thin. My comment below her photo made her fess up right away. “Wow, how much weight did you lose?”

She quickly answered me because we were seeing each other for lunch the next day and she didn’t want any embarrassing moments. “I doctored the photo with SkinneePix.”

I immediately checked out the app and learned that if you take a Selfie with it, you can take five, 10 or 15 pounds off of your photo.. SkinneePix costs 99 cents and uses an algorithm to make you appear lighter.

Go ahead, have that extra piece of cake. No one will ever know.

The Earthquake App


Every time I visit my family in Los Angeles, I think about earthquakes. When they hear my concerns, they say they fear the streets of New York City with the murders, muggings, and, the latest rage, the knockout game. For those of you who don’t know what the knockout game is, let me explain. For the last year or so, gangs of teens have been roaming the streets looking for older people (that’s us) to hit in the head. The goal of the game is to knock someone over. If a person goes down, you win. Lovely isn’t it?

Regardless of the crime challenges in NYC, I still find the potential of an earthquake very overwhelming. That’s why I became very interested in any kind of app for my iPhone that would notify me or act as advisor during an earthquake.

While there are a number of options, I found the earthquake notification app from the Red Cross to be very appealing. You can receive alerts and notifications, learn how to prepare your family and home, and let others know you are safe, even if the power and cell connections are out.

I’m getting this app on my next trip to an earthquake zone. All you have to do is access the Red Cross from a mobile phone. Call REDCROSS or (**73327677) for the link to download the quake alert app to your iPhone or Android device. You can also download directly from the iTunes or Google Play app stores.

I think for peace of mind this app is good because it lets you know what to do before, during, and after an earthquake, even if there is no data connectivity. I would also want to know immediately what the shaking impact was in my area and that of my loved ones. With the Red Cross app, you can let family and friends know you are okay via Facebook, Twitter, email, and text.

The app also gives you updates on the nearest Red Cross shelters in your area and provides a Toolkit with a strobe light, flashlight, and audible alert functions.

Life is strange. Some people probably think I am being overdramatic with my earthquake thoughts, while others simply like the idea of being prepared. It is your choice.


Exit Plan


One of the worst things about getting stuck with our car on the side of the road last week was not knowing where we were. In case you need a refresher, Eliot and I were driving south on the Sprain Brook Parkway last Wednesday in Westchester when our car just died.

When you drive long distances on a highway, you never know the activity, or lack thereof, at each exit. It might as well be a foreign country. There are billboards and highway information signs that spell out the big commercial enterprises, but that’s about it.

When the mechanic who helped us suggested that we drive to the next exit once the car started again, I went into a complete panic. He was going in one direction, we in another. What would happen to us if we were alone and nothing was there?

Worry no more everyone. The iExit Interstate Exit Guide app takes all the guesswork out of road trip pit stops. Hallelujah! We have been saved!

The iExit app identifies what restaurants, gas stations, hotels, and other services are available at each exit by name. It lets you search up to 100 exits ahead or even in another state for trip planning. It also allows you to filter by categories and brand/company names, and even to search for campgrounds and diesel or alternative fuels. iExit offers specialized information for RVers and truckers, including parking and where to find scales. And if all you’re looking for is a quick break, it also lists rest areas.

A “lite” version of iExit Guide is free for Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad), and the full version is currently $.99 for iOS.



Is There an App for my Heartburn?


Did you see the story in the New York Times this morning about how difficult it is for software app developers to make a living?

When I read this story I just wanted to weep. The technology business moves so fast that one day you’re a hero, the next day you’re just another average nobody. You go from the highest of the high, to the lowest of low.

It is sort of like the entertainment business. I am fascinated by people who have such a passion for the arts that they are willing to starve their entire lives for the one chance of making it big. The same thing happens in the app business. Everyone who felt that they had the million dollar idea left their day jobs, cashed in their investments to float them for awhile, and begged others to chip in as well.

Before I go any further, I am not saying this is the scenario for every developer, but it certainly is for the majority of the 600,000 apps that are available today. Most of the app creators started out with an idea, immediately developed it and never really researched the market potential. They also have no money for marketing, so it just resides in the app store with little to no exposure.

The part that hurts the most is that developing apps today has become the so-called excuse for not doing something more substantial or more productive. I can’t begin to tell you how many people I meet at cocktail parties or other events who tell me they are busy developing an app, when I know they are basically using that line instead of saying they are out of work. I know too many friends who are still supporting their adult children because they supposedly got stung by the entrepreneur bug and want to develop an app. That really is a euphemism for “I am taking some time off from the real working world to screw around.”

I don’t know how it happens, but I often get asked to review the app concept by the grandparents, parents, friends or lovers. More times than not, the idea person can’t even articulate what the app is all about. They talk in circles and never get to the point. Then when you ask to see the business plan, they look at you like you’re asking them to recite the Gettysburg address. They don’t want to bother putting a document together because the “smart” investors will recognize their genius and just hand over the money.

I stopped taking meetings because I found out that I was putting in more time than the developer. I am not an authority on the true merits of an app, but I can spot a “slacker” from miles away. I really want to urge others who want to develop an app to do it at night or on weekends, the returns are just not there.