Entrepreneur Advice: Tips for Working from Home?





Enabling Creator Ecosystem Success – from Influencers to Marketers – through Education, Events, Memberships, and Partnerships

“VloggerFair” has been rebranded as “CreatorAdvocate,” but will CONTINUE to focus on the creators themselves throughout the year in a subscription service that can be found on http://CreatorAdvocate.com/ now.

“CreatorAdvocate” is not just for vloggers, however – it is for anybody who finds themselves being or becoming an independent content creator.

Our mission, thus, is as follows:

Empowering independent content creators with qualified advice & intelligence based upon actual experience, answering questions that can’t readily be answered, and sharing discoveries of new developments that will further accelerate the ability to create in any capacity.

Entrepreneur Advice: Best Live Streaming Service?


Entrepreneur Advice: Best Live Streaming Service?

Enabling Creator Ecosystem Success – from Influencers to Marketers – through Education, Events, Memberships, and Partnerships

“VloggerFair” has been rebranded as “CreatorAdvocate,” but will CONTINUE to focus on the creators themselves throughout the year in a subscription service that can be found on http://CreatorAdvocate.com/ now.

“CreatorAdvocate” is not just for vloggers, however – it is for anybody who finds themselves being or becoming an independent content creator.

Our mission, thus, is as follows:

Empowering independent content creators with qualified advice & intelligence based upon actual experience, answering questions that can’t readily be answered, and sharing discoveries of new developments that will further accelerate the ability to create in any capacity.

Creator Advocate Workshop is this Saturday

** REGISTER TODAY to Qualify for a One-Year Adobe Creative Cloud Membership! **

Creator Advocate Workshop is for new and/or experienced:

  • Video Producers / Vloggers
  • Bloggers / Writers
  • Internet-based Business Owners
  • Etsy & eBay Shop Vendors
  • Social Media Influencers
  • Podcasters

Going into our fifth year of VloggerFair events, we have seen our focus evolve from being a fan/creator experience to a creator networking and education experience. With these changes, we have re-named “Vlogger Day” to be a year-round learning experience at http://creatoradvocate.com

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host a Creator Advocate Workshop at Adobe in Seattle for a second year!

We are offering you a full day – Saturday, November 11, 2017 from 10:00am – 4:00pm

Creator Advocate Workshop will empower you, the creator, with intelligence based upon actual experience, and answers to questions that can’t readily be answered by a free search. The workshop will connect you with qualified professionals from various fields, and give you the opportunity to network with other creators — all of this will further accelerate your ability to create in any capacity.

For fans of VloggerFair — we intend to continue with community events similar to the VloggerFair experience in 2018 under the umbrella of Creator Advocate!

If you’re reading this, use code “LockerGnome” and receive 15% off!

This Week’s Advice + a Special Tour

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How to Attend Free Courses from Top Universities

If I were to tell you that you could attend a class directly out of a top university online? Sure, online learning is nothing new, but what if that class were available to you for free regardless of your location in the world?

The first example of this that comes to mind would be iTunes U, a collection of lectures and lessons made freely available to the public by way of Apple’s iTunes. This is great, and arguably one of the best single examples of educational resources being made freely available to the public, but I believe there is a better solution.

The one thing recorded lectures don’t give you is an interactive learning environment you might find in a classroom. Tests, questions during lectures, and other methods of grabbing, maintaining, and proving comprehension are lost to recorded video. This is where Coursera comes in.

How to Attend Free Courses from Top UniversitiesCoursera is a for-profit company which has partnered with a number of top universities in order to open classes originally restricted to 10-200 students to 100,000 or more. Courses take as many weeks as a standard university class, and you (as a student) are regularly tested to make sure you understand the information presented in the class.

Your efforts made on Coursera result in more than receiving some education without a huge investment on your part. These efforts on your part can translate directly to actual college credit or employment due to verified certificates given at the end of the course. You will have actually taken Calculus, and you can feel free to boast having completed the course.

What would you give to attend Cryptography with Dan Boneh of Stanford University or Computer Vision with Jitendra Malik from the University of California, Berkeley? These are some of the courses you can find on Coursera and the class can be attended for free.

What’s the Catch?

Coursera is a for-profit company. It received a large amount of venture capital early on but at the end of the day a profit has to be made. It’s understood that premium services such as being able to attend all of the courses available, receive physical certificates and identity verification, or put your name in a database a perspective employer could double check your completion through are some of the potential fee-based services being offered down the line.

Classes last a set period of time, and deadlines are part of your course work. Just like being physically in attendance at a university, you’ll be expected to meet those deadlines in order to pass the class. It’s not something you would drop and pick up whenever you feel like it, but more like an actual online university such as University of Phoenix. Classes don’t require you to be in attendance at a specific time of day, so your free time is still yours to schedule.

Just because you are learning some of the lessons available at top higher learning institutions doesn’t mean you’ll receive a degree. This is course-by-course learning and though each class in itself can count towards your total educational background, it isn’t a complete replacement for it. Jobs that require degrees will continue to value those degrees over single class certificates.

Would You Consider Attending?

I’ve written recently about my why I wish I had gone to college. I may never be able to experience what it’s like to spend four years concentrating exclusively on my education and earning that degree which would help me land the perfect job down the line, but that doesn’t mean I have to shut my doors to higher education, either. These courses are a perfect fit for me, and I’m strongly considering signing up for a few.

What about you? Would you consider attending an online course?

Photo: James Sarmiento

Men and Women: Do They Really Have Opposite Views of the World?

Men and Women: Do They Really Have Opposite Views of the World?We have all heard, read, and conjectured from our own experiences how different men and women are. Even the best-selling book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus — and its resultant board game — exploit how different the sexes think and the knowledge that each poses. So when I read an article about how the differences extended to how each sex even views the world, I wonder how different it could really be?

There really are more differences between men and women than meets the eye — quite literally. Men, more often than not, have eyes that are very sensitive to fast-moving and small-in-detail objects. Women, on the other hand, are generally able to better perceive colors and color changes. In one recent study of males and females over the age of 16 who had normal vision — even when corrected with glasses or contact lenses — researchers found that women could discern colors and shades more easily.

But there are other ways that men and women differ, including some responses that are surprising. When men and women experience stress, a male may respond by either using the fight or flight response. Women, on the other hand, may exhibit a tend and befriend, meaning they may seek family or friends to be consoled. Men may lock themselves in a room and brood or even pick on a loved one.

Even on the Internet, men and women differ in what they do while surfing. Men may handle stock transactions, pay bills, and take care of business. Men are more likely to adopt new technology before women do. Women, on the other hand, are more social in nature and like to build communities. I never gave this much thought before, but it would be interesting to know how many more women are on Facebook than are men? I do know one thing: In my group of family and friends, the women are more likely to post pictures than the men I know.

Women and men do share one thing in common, and that is that neither like to talk about money. It seems that we have been taught that talking about money is not a polite subject, so we tend to avoid such discussions. There is also a difference in how men and women spend money. Women tend to buy the family groceries, put gas in the car, or even purchase clothing for changing seasons. Men like to buy the big ticket items — like a home or a car — that they perceive as an investment.

Another key difference between men and women is the difference in how they perceive risk. This isn’t really hard to understand, since we men know how nutty we are when we drive. We take more risks and drive faster than female drivers who are more cautious. When was the last time you saw a woman drive an old junker car, speed up to a ramp, and fly the car they are driving over a bunch of buses?

There are many other differences, but the ones that I listed are just a few of the more obvious differences between men and women.

What do you think? In your life experience, what do you believe are other differences between men and women? Share your thoughts with us.

Comments welcome.

Source : Fox News

Source: Discovery

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by akeg

Stereotypes: Geeks Vs. Artists

Stereotypes: Geeks Vs. ArtistsGeeks, like other identifiable groups, tend to be schizophrenic. This is not because of any inherent quality of geekness, but results from the pressures other groups exert. Most identifiable groups probably demonstrate some schizophrenia. For example, I am the only technically trained person sitting on the Arts Commission of our town. This is an official branch of the local government. The other commissioners are all either professional artists or somehow connected to the greater arts community. My closest approach to being an artist is teaching graphics construction using Inkscape. How I behave with artists is different from how I behave at a computer club — not a lot different, and maybe you would not notice the subtle changes of behavior depending on the venue, but I can catch myself doing it. In fact, my desire to associate with people of differing backgrounds got me on the commission.

Not all of us can be professional artists, but all of us can become knowledgeable art lovers. As an art lover, I sought and won my commissioner’s status. An unexpected reward of this activity has been to see how the stereotypes we all use as labor (or thought) saving techniques come into play. The artists have a stereotype of how I, a self-admitted rocket scientist and general techie, should behave. If the artists have a pre-manufactured pigeonhole labeled “geek” to shove me into, they save mental effort. More shockingly, I discovered that I harbor prejudices about artists. If I can take the tremendous diversity of humanity that is called artists and shove them into a single category without considering the vast differences between them, then I have saved energy at the cost of lack of understanding. Sadly, these inadequate stereotypes have value, otherwise they would fade away under the grim pressure of Darwinian evolution.

If you hold a stereotype, your behavior is changed, but the insidious thing about stereotypes is what they do to the person being typed. If a group of your peers act as though you should act in a certain way, it takes an extremely strong (or dense) person to resist taking on aspects of the expected persona. If the artists expect me to behave the way they think geeks behave, then I am given positive feedback whenever I meet their expectations, and wondering looks when I act in a way that they label “normal.” We all experienced peer pressure when we were teenagers. Whatever made you think it would go away just because you matured?

So without thinking about it, we take on different mannerisms in different situations. Not different enough to shock anyone. We are not all Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but we do bow to the expectations of the crowd. The most obvious difference is the use of specialized languages. In a computer club, jargon is freely thrown around with the understanding that everyone knows what a FPGA or a Linux distro is. Neither of those term would be understandable to my artists friends — and they are neither stupid nor uneducated. They just speak a different language, and some of the terms they use would be obvious to you. Do you really know what post-modernism is?

We can excuse language differences because the specialized needs of various activities naturally call for specialized language for efficiency. “App” and “distro” are not attempts to erect barriers to outsiders; they are simply abbreviations for efficiency. This is in contrast to the various species of gang talk in which a specialized language develops specifically to help distinguish between insiders and the enemy.

But the geek/artist schizophrenia goes beyond adopting appropriate language to adopting different modes of dress and behavior. All this is a stereotype, of course, but my observation is that artists are more social and gracious than geeks in spite of the legend of the lonely artist starving in a garret. If I go to an art reception, I am warmly greeted and easily join in conversations. At technical shows, few, if any, of the other participants will engage in casual conversation unless I have a prior relationship or if they are selling something. While standing in line at a buffet, I will try to engage fellow techies in conversation, but with mixed results. The problem is that I am acting like an artist in a geek situation.

So how prevalent is this taking on of imposed personae? Do you find that you are behaving differently in non-geek environments than when surrounded by a group checking out the newest way to jail-break an iPhone? Has your Prius been modified to allow watching video while you drive? Do you own any original art that does not have a sci-fi or fantasy twinge? What other categories do you find that people are trying to put you into?

Top 10 Paid Aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator X

Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) has a great community around it that’s still active years after its release. If you’re an aspiring pilot and want to try your hand at flying a real aircraft, we’ve compiled a list for you. These paid aircraft are at the top of their game and provide a realistic experience as if you were a real pilot and ready to take off.

Top 10 Paid Aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator XPMDG 737NGX
The tagline of Flight Simulator is “as real as it gets.” There’s no question about that when it comes to the PMDG line of aircraft. PMDG produces some of the most true-to-life aircraft out there and will make you feel like you’re an actual pilot. I won’t lie to you: The 737 is one of the hardest aircraft to fly in the sense that, if you don’t set up everything correctly, alarms and bells will be blasting all over the place. All you need to do is sit down with the manual for a day and you’ll be up in the air in no time. The 737 is Boeing’s workforce aircraft; it flies short to medium hops around the world and is flown by almost all of the carriers out there due to its holding capacity and range. I own the PMDG 737NGX and it truly is one of the most spectacular simulator planes to fly.

PMDG 747
They call it the Queen of the Skies, and it is a magnificent aircraft because of its dual decks and vast range. The 747 is Boeing’s biggest aircraft out there and serves the long distance — usually international — hops  around the world. The PMDG version of the 747 lives up to its real life beauty, the graphics of the plane are second to none, and all sounds are true to life. One of my favorite things to do with this plane is push it full throttle down the runway and hear it rev up with all that power. Along with the 737, it is true to life and will take some time getting used to the procedure of how the plane works.

As I already mentioned, PMDG makes some amazing aircraft and it’s won numerous awards not only from flight simulator communities but big corporations like Boeing for its lifelike feel and operation. The aircraft that I think shot PMDG into the skies was the MD-11; this massive behemoth of a plane is a beauty to fly and, like all other PMDG aircraft, takes some getting used to. The plane works inside and out with all moving surfaces and buttons to let your obsessiveness take over. The MD-11 is the heaviest of the aircraft and can feel a little clunky in the controls to fly, but she’s a rocket in the air. For someone who likes to fly big aircraft, this is one of the best.

Top 10 Paid Aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator XLevel-D 767
My favorite aircraft ever to fly is the 767; I’ve been flying 767s for years and they are very unique. The best thing about the 767 is its wide body architecture for holding a lot of passengers, but it size is small enough to fit into most places that other big airliners can’t. This 767 from Level-D is no different and is a very realistic, true-to-life model of the actual aircraft. This aircraft features things like crew announcements, landing announcements, and more. I’ve had a lot of experience with the Level-D 767, but I can tell you that the controls need some getting used to. For anyone who wants to feel what it’s like to fly an actual plane, check out the Level-D.

Captain Sim 757
The premium narrow body aircraft for medium hops, the 757 is light and maneuverable for short runways and longer haul flights. This is the top three of my favorite aircraft from Boeing because of its long range. The Captain Sim is a little easier to fly because you don’t have to fully customize the FMC (flight management computer). The plane, over all, is very high quality and the main feature of the Captain Sim is that all of the doors, surfaces, cargo holds, and more can be opened.

Captain Sim 727
If you’re into older aircraft are on the smaller side, check out the 727. It’s like the 737, except that it has three engines and is a whole lot louder. This older aircraft used to be the workhorse before the 737 and is still in service today with most being in private service. Captain Sim is known to have some very high quality aircraft with a lot of moving parts to make the experience more lifelike. The 727 is in my collection, and it’s a great aircraft to own.

Top 10 Paid Aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator XCaptain Sim 777
My favorite aircraft is the 777; it’s a wide body, super long-range aircraft made for over-water travel and comfort. The 777 is one of the most sought after aircraft because of its capacity and range. I’ve flown many versions of the 777, but the Captain Sim is the best of the simulation aircraft that I’ve found. The 777 is a great aircraft for those longer flights and the most dedicated flight simmers. The quality to the aircraft is second to none when looking at similar 777 paid aircraft.

Carenado Cessna 152 II
Enough of the jet aircraft; let’s get back to the start with prop airplanes. As much as I love jet aircraft, I still love flying those small prop planes into those small, secluded airports that no one knows about. The Cessna 152 is a great small aircraft made for those who like to have a casual flight and enjoy the scenery around them and really get down low to see all the beauty that Flight Simulator has to offer.

Carenado Cessna 172N Skyhawk II
Another great and small aircraft, the Cessna 172N has a lot of moving parts that are fully animated and working all the way around to provide a realistic experience. The Cessna isn’t a bad plane to learn because it doesn’t have a complicated procedure or require a lot of configuration. Jump in the cockpit, turn on the engine, and take off; this plane is made for manual flying so you can just get in and go.

Top 10 Paid Aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator XCarenado Cessna C208B Grand Caravan
Of course, having a Cessna lineup of aircraft, we can’t forget the Caravan, the bigger brother to the smaller props; it’s made to haul cargo and passengers on very small hops around islands or across short distances of water. I love the Grand Caravan in FSX because of the HD graphics and controls making it look like you’re right there flying the aircraft. I love the whole Cessna series of aircraft and they’re amazing to fly in-game — if you turn your graphics on high you can fly down around the Grand Canyon or over Niagara Falls and take it all in!

If you’re an FSX fan and know of any great aircraft, or if you even have an aircraft that you love, leave us a comment below.

Top 10 Weather Android Apps

Weather: It’s rarely as nice as we’d like it to be, and preparing for its fickleness is akin to being able to predict the future. If you have an Android device and you’d like to know what the weather is outside, we’ve put together a list of our top weather related apps so that you may avoid raindrops that might otherwise keep falling on your head.

The Weather Channel (Free)
If you want something more than the default weather app, The Weather Channel is the app for you. The Weather Channel is dedicated to bringing you 24/7 weather information on TV and you can take it with you on the go. I love this application because of all of the information that it provides to you. Besides just giving you detailed information on the weather, it alerts you of severe weather and brings you nearly real-time maps. Along with its usual reports, you can watch weather videos and even eyewitness videos that the app provides. The Weather Channel also forecasts up into the 10-day range, so you can get an idea of what the week ahead has in store for you.

Top 10 Weather Android AppsGO Weather Widget (Free)
For those who don’t have time to open up an application and browse around, there’s the GO Weather Widget. The widget can sit on your home screen and update you with the latest weather information. GO Weather Widget has multiple sizes to accommodate wherever you wish to place it. In the settings area, you can pick multiple settings to select the update frequency and change what is displayed on the widget. It’s perfect for those who are on the go and need the latest weather information on the home page of their smartphones.

Top 10 Weather Android AppsWeatherBug (Free)
Another one of the great weather applications that’s perfect for your phone is WeatherBug. As always, weather widgets have their own unique features. WeatherBug is the best for getting accurate, descriptive information for the day ahead. With this application, you can see live weather cameras around your city to see what’s coming your way. There’s also a nice live weather map that is animated to see the projected weather path of what’s coming. The application is great when you want to get information for your day.

Top 10 Weather Android AppsAccuWeather for Android (Free)
By far one of the cleanest looking apps out there, AccuWeather for Android is great if you’ve got an eye for design. Its simple user interface is easy on the eyes and uses color codes that are easy to understand. The layout is also easily manageable. As with the other applications, you can view moving maps. If you don’t know your exact location, the application can detect your location and give you the most relevant information about the weather from the station closest to you. What really makes this app great is the lifestyle view; it lets you make informed decisions about your day and what will be happening throughout.

Top 10 Weather Android AppsRadar Now! (Free)
For the more visually inclined person, there’s Radar Now, a looping radar map for seeing the weather in your area. The animated radar image is updated from the National Weather Service and NOAA. This app is great for those weather junkies out there who want to see weather systems moving their way and see their projected paths of destruction. Along with the animated weather map, you can view the weather in that area from the stations and see information like the temperature, conditions, and other weather related data. The app works great and is intuitive for anyone who wants to research the weather.

Top 10 Weather Android Apps3D Digital Weather Clock (Free)
If you’re entirely too busy to open up an application to view the weather, try a widget. The 3D Digital Weather Clock is a widget that lives on your screen to report weather information in a virtual, 3D environment. The widget displays information such as the conditions outside, temperature, location, date, and time. The widget has three hidden hotspots to access information such as configuration, system info, and forecast. For the person on the go, a widget like this is perfect for those who need quick access to the conditions outside.

Top 10 Weather Android AppsWeather Underground (Free)
I call this a hidden gem. Weather Underground is the Internet’s favorite weather site. Its network of over 22,000 local weather stations helps give the most accurate data on weather locally. Along with local forecast predictions, the application provides live updating maps to see what is coming your way before the stations report it. This application presents the most amount of data to you including temperature, ‘feels like’ temperatures, wind speed and direction, humidity, dew point, visibility, pressure, gusts, and severe weather information. Over all, this app is great for looking up detailed weather information and it provides the best predictions anywhere.

Top 10 Weather Android AppsYahoo! Weather (Free)
Yahoo!’s Weather application reports the weather and provides Flickr images according to current conditions representative of what the weather is like outside. All weather data from the application is provided by The Weather Channel, but the information is presented in its own unique interface. This application also comes with a weather widget so that you can see the information via your home screen. You can even tweet, update your Facebook status, or email the weather information with the Yahoo! Weather app.

Top 10 Weather Android AppsSimple Weather Alert (Free)
If you live in an area that is constantly pounded by severe weather, this is the app for you. Get the latest and most up-to-date information from the National Weather Service (NWS). The application can warn you if an alert is detected in your area and it will notify you if severe weather is heading your way.

This app is meant to warn you when the NWS puts out an alert, but always take the precautions when dealing with severe weather.

Top 10 Weather Android AppsWeatherBug Elite ($1.99)
For those who hate free anything, there’s WeatherBug Elite. This paid app from WeatherBug removes all the ads and gives you more features to play around with. The application features advanced maps for seeing the weather, a summary page for the weather, widgets for the home screen, and more. The application, over all, is easy to navigate and a pleasure to use.

If you have any other apps that you think we should include, put them in the comments below!

Top 10 Reference Android Apps

When you think of research these days, it seems automatic to use Wikipedia or Google as a starting point to help you find references to your subject matter. Beyond these common Web tools, there are even more reference resources that can help you look up information from difference sources. We’ve put together a list of our top reference apps that should be handy on your Android-based phone if you’re ever in need of doing a little research.

Top 10 Reference Android AppsKindle (Free)
Kindle is not only the most popular e-book reader, but the number one destination to get digital books and read them. Owned by Amazon, Kindle is not only a device but an application on all the major platforms for getting and reading books. The application gives you access to the whole library of books available in the Kindle store — both free and paid. Owning a Kindle myself, I like the simple-to-use interface and dedicated reading environment — the same goes for the Kindle application, as well.

Top 10 Reference Android AppsGoogle Play Books (Free)
A close competitor to the Kindle Bookstore is Google’s own bookstore that is filled with millions of books to read and purchase. The Google Play Books library is filled with books ranging from newly released New York Times bestsellers to those written by up-and-coming authors. The app lets you access all of these books from the cloud to retrieve to your device at any time. Along with accessing all of your Google books on your Android device, you can access them from the Web and iOS devices, too!

Top 10 Reference Android AppsSkyMap (Free)
Everyone loves the mystery and beauty of outer space. At some point you’ve got to look into what’s really up there and admire some of the awesome photos that can be taken of space from light years away. This open source application is your guide to the night sky, and it will show you constellations, planets, moons, and more. It’s perfect for everyone from the amateur to the professional; if you need a quick reference point of the night sky, this app is great to keep handy.

Top 10 Reference Android AppsDictionary.com (Free)
For the quick and easy way to look up words, how they’re spelled, and their definitions, the best app to learn all of that is the one provided by Dictionary.com. Filled with a massive reference point for all the known words, you can quickly and easily settle disputes about what a word actually means. The app features words with their synonyms and antonyms, phonetic sayings, and even audio pronunciations of the words. This app is the one-stop shop for finding words and more.

Top 10 Reference Android AppsWikipedia (Free)
The largest collection of encyclopedia-related articles can be found at Wikipedia; it has millions of pages dedicated to anything and everything that you could possibly look up. If you do any sort of research, this is often the default place to start — not, I would caution, as an end point, but a springboard toward other resources on your desired topic. When you’re on your mobile device and want to look up a specific object, the best place to find reliable information is Wikipedia. The mobile app is formatted to make browsing easy and clean for anyone to use.

Top 10 Reference Android AppsAudible for Android
Admit it: Sometimes you’re too lazy to read, so you put it off and end up not reading anything. The fact of the matter is that reading helps the brain’s functions pertaining to imagery and keeps the brain learning. In a fast-paced life, who has time to read? That’s where Audible comes in. Instead of giving you the book to read yourself, you can have it read to you by some of the best voices in the world. Although the service is paid, it’s relatively cheap and its lowest end plan gives you one book a month to listen to, which is enough for the casual reader.

Top 10 Reference Android AppsUrban Dictionary (Free)
There are two types of dictionaries in the world: the official one that has the common words used in everyday life, and the unofficial one that contains slang terms that caught on and got popular. Urban Dictionary is for those who may hear an unfamiliar term in everyday life that has a popular meaning but isn’t necessarily covered in the dictionary. Instead of risking embarrassment among your peers by asking what it means, there’s Urban Dictionary to save the day.

Top 10 Reference Android AppsWolframAlpha ($2.99)
If you thought Google was a high-powered search engine, you haven’t tried WolframAlpha yet. Instead of returning Web search results to you, it gives you detailed information on questions that you may ask. For example, you could ask it what the population of Seattle, Washington was in 1980, and it would retrieve statistical data telling you all about the population of Seattle in 1980. It’s made for more than just searching the Web; it’s for searching data.

Top 10 Reference Android AppsMoon Phase Pro ($0.99)
As I said before, everyone loves space. One of the closest things to us in space is our moon. If you’ve been alive for a while and you’ve been able to see the moon on a nightly basis, you might notice that it gets darker and darker as the days go past until it’s completely gone and starts to reappear again. These are called moon phases; this application maps out how the moon will look on a nightly basis and even give you information on the phases of the moon.

Top 10 Reference Android AppsThe Night Sky ($0.99)
If you want to get even more information about the night sky, check out this app. It gives you overviews of the night sky, what you can see at any particular time of year, and all the constellations that can be found around you. The application gives you the ability to be able to point out specific things in the night sky including planets, galaxies, and more. By using your GPS location data, it can tell you exactly what you should be able to see up in the night sky. The next time you’re going to go out and look at the stars, consider downloading this app and taking it with you.

If you think that we’ve missed anything, drop us a line in the comments below; we’d love to hear from you.

Top 10 Health Android Apps

We need to stay healthy if we want to live a relatively long and productive life. With the introduction of smartphones, there has been a demand for applications based on anything and everything. One of the major categories is health; everyone wants to stay healthy and apps can help keep track of information and help diagnose problems that you might have with your body. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 health-related Android applications that you should keep handy on your phone.

Top 10 Health Android AppsCalorie Counter — MyFitnessPal (Free)
The one thing about losing weight and staying fit is watching how much you’re taking into your system. You count calories when you want to keep tabs on the relation between what’s going into your body and what’s being burned off during the day’s activities, which should help manage your weight management goals. MyFitnessPal is the best application for counting calories because of the vast array of food in its database with over 1.1 million different food items from which to pick.

Endomondo Sports Tracker (Free)
If you love to run and want to keep track of the details, try out Endomondo. This application saves your GPS data — from your running speed to the tracks that you take. You can share your workouts on Facebook with your friends for added motivation. For even more motivation, the app features audio cues during your workout to keep you going and motivated.

Top 10 Health Android AppsWebMD for Android (Free)
Got that itch that won’t go away? Why go to the doctor to tell you that you simply have a common problem and spend tons of money paying for doctor bills? The top spot for getting medical help on the Internet is WebMD; it has a easily navigable interface to look up problems and even troubleshoot what your problem may be. Any time, day or night, you can use it to look up your symptoms and possible courses of action.

Weight Watchers Mobile (Free)
One of the most popular weight loss programs out there is Weight Watchers. It is an entire program to not only help you lose weight, but keep it off and keep you fit. Anyone who downloads this app has access to meal recipes, shopping lists, cheat sheets for eating, and more. Subscribers to the Weight Watchers program have access to even more features and meal ideas with point trackers. If you’re interested in losing weight, check out this great app.

Top 10 Health Android AppsLose It! (Free)
Yet another weight loss app, this one helps you count your intake of food and keeps a graph to see how well you’re doing. This app has been featured on the major morning shows. If you have a Fitbit or Withings scale, it can connect up with the application and track your information to see how well your cardio and weight plans are going. As you work out and manage your food intake, you can earn badges as symbols of achievement.

Workout Trainer (Free)
For those more focused on working out and not losing weight, take a peek at Workout Trainer. This app is filled with workout suggestions to get you warmed up, and it gets increasingly difficult as you go on. Workout Trainer is focused on getting your body moving; with audio cues motivating and telling you what to do, this app is great for following a workout procedure and keeping to it. The app comes with premade workouts, but you can also customize the workouts to focus on your specific needs.

Top 10 Health Android AppsRunKeeper (Free)
Possibly my favorite app, RunKeeper is great for tracking your runs or walks and giving you statistical GPS data about your runs. RunKeeper provides audio cues, customized interval workouts, manual entry for treadmills and other cardio equipment, and integrated RunKeeper fitness classes to keep you on track. With the GPS data it can provide distance, time, pace, calories burned, heart rate, and path traveled on a map.

Lightning Bug — Sleep Clock (Free)
Commonly overlooked, sleeping is a big part of your health. If you can’t properly sleep, your overall health and mental status doesn’t reset properly. Think of it as recharging batteries. Every night you sleep to recharge your mental batteries; if you don’t, you’ll wear down. For those who may have trouble sleeping, there’s an app to help with that. Most troubles with sleeping can be cured with some sort of white noise or soothing sound being played as you go to sleep. This app does just that; there’s a massive library of over 200 sounds to help you fall asleep when it doesn’t come easily. The app also features an alarm clock and weather information to check when you get up in the morning.

Top 10 Health Android AppsMapMyRUN Run GPS Running Jog (Free)
If you run a lot and need a way of tracking where — and at what pace — you’ve run, the best app for that has to be MapMyRUN. With premade options for losing weight or improving cardio, it can help you find your target spot when running. If you have a phone that supports it, some heart monitors and other cardio monitors can be hooked up to the device and used with the app to track other information. MapMyRUN has a very pleasant layout and is easy to use when setting up for a run.

runtastic PRO ($3.99)
If you want to go the paid route when getting a workout application, the best that I’ve ever used is runtastic. The pro version gives you  live tracking data and voice feedback while you’re running. The application will even motivate you with the sounds of cheering the farther you run. When your run is over, you can get graphing data about your run with information on how well you did.

If you feel we’ve missed something or have a better replacement app for any of the ones listed, let us know!

Top 10 Travel Android Apps

Navigation apps help us get around town whether we’re trying to find new restaurants or plot a hike around a national park. The Android Store is filled with apps that can help you get around — so many apps, in fact, that picking the ones that best suit your needs can be confusing. Here, we’ve outlined our top navigation apps that you should take a look at next time you’re in need of getting from one place to another.

Top 10 Travel Android AppsGasBuddy — Find Cheap Gas (Free)
Gas has gotten more expensive over the last couple of years —  to the point where a single gallon of gas costs more than a bottle of soda. As we get closer to empty in our gas tank, we start looking for the cheapest gas prices around us. These days, every cent counts. Definitely my favorite application for finding the cheapest gas prices around me is GasBuddy; it uses your location data and shows you the current prices gas stations in your area are charging.

Google Maps (Free)
Hands down, when you need to find something on a map, Google Maps is simply the best. The Google Maps app not only lets you browse maps, but it gives you directions and lets you view your route via street view. From the application, you can get navigation with voice directions. The app also gives you current traffic information on your route and alerts you if congestion ahead might cause delays . If you get hungry or need to find places along the way, the app also gives you information on what’s along your route.

Top 10 Travel Android AppsGoogle Earth (Free)
Everyone loves playing with Google Earth; we love to find our houses on it and see what they look like from an alien’s eye view. There’s nothing like peering down at a virtual Earth and playing around with it. The whole planet is in your hands and you can explore anywhere in the world with a swipe of your finger. You have the ability to view 3D buildings and landmarks with the full version possibilities of the desktop in your hands.

Foodspotting (Free)
We live to eat — literally. We eat to live, but we also love eating good food. It can be hard these days to find a restaurant that makes food that lives up to our demanding standards. For the longest time, we relied on the recommendations of friends for places that served up good food. Now there’s an app to get recommendations not only for places to eat but for what to eat at these places. This app is centered around dishes at places to eat — not just the places.

KAYAK Flight Hotel Car Search (Free)
Top 10 Travel Android AppsGoing on vacation and need to research places to stay? KAYAK can compare flights, hotels, and car prices from multiple places to get the best deals. Not only can you look up flights and deals with this app, but track flights and even look up prices for baggage and extra fees before you leave for the airport. This is a great, full-featured application that has a nice layout and gives some of the best deals that I could find anywhere — even over going to each individual website that’s featured.

TripAdvisor (Free)
All right, you found the best hotel deals and you’re at your destination. What do you do now? The worst part about going somewhere is not knowing what to do there. That’s where TripAdvisor comes in. With this app, you can find everything from places to eat to attractions anywhere you go. You can see what’s near you and even get users’ pictures to see what these places are like. What I love about this app is that it’s simple to use and easily navigable to search for anything and everything with customized results by category.

MapQuest (Free)
Top 10 Travel Android AppsIf you need dedicated voice direction to anywhere you want to go with minimal hassle, check out MapQuest. It’s still, in my opinion, the best navigation app out there to find where you need to go. The layout is large and has big lettering for easy viewing when in the car and driving to see what’s coming up next without too much strain on the eyes. The MapQuest app has all the amenities you’d expect from a top-of-the-line navigation aid: voice-navigation, rerouting, places of interest, different map types, and more. The best feature of all is that it’s free; everything that you’d find in a premium paid app is all jam-packed into this free app with no limitations.

FlightTrack ($4.99)
If you’re a frequent traveler and need to look up information about your flight, such as weather at the destination and where the plane is in its route, FlightTrack is here for you. This is the only app to give you detailed information about your flight and everything revolving around it. You can view live tracking maps, detailed information about the weather, and airport conditions along the way. It’s great for the frequent traveler who needs to look up information about their destination at a moment’s notice.

Top 10 Travel Android AppsBackpacker GPS Trails Pro ($4.99)
Now if you’re someone who travels by hiking everywhere, there’s an app for that, too. If you’re a frequent hiker and you want to plan out your route ahead, Backpacker is a great app for keeping you informed on the trail. With topographical maps, compass, GPS information, and features to backtrack to the trail head, this app has it all. It works everywhere even in the major national parks because it uses GPS. This app is full-featured with stats and maps to keep you up to date even in the deepest woods.

CoPilot Live Standard USA ($3.99)
If you simply need the best out there for navigating and a free up is not enough, CoPilot is the best solution. This app provides turn-by-turn directions throughout the entire USA and features voice guidance. The display is non-distracting and has a large font to give the driver useful information along the route. The app is also loaded with millions of points of interest and an offline walking mode when you’re in the city and need to navigate around. If you need a paid option, this is your solution and there’s nothing better. It even has add-on packs for different regions around the world.

If you have a favorite application, let us know in the comments below!

Top 10 Social Android Apps

Social networking is a growing fad throughout the Internet. Whether you joined Facebook or are looking for a push-to-talk application to keep in constant contact with your friends and family, we have the list of apps for you. All of the apps mentioned in this article are free, so download at your leisure and let us know what you think of them. We also know that some of these apps are not supported on all devices, but we’ve picked out the best ones that hit the majority of the Android devices out there.

Top 10 Social Android AppsFacebook (Free)
If you don’t know Facebook, then you haven’t been on the Internet. One of the biggest social networks out there, Facebook allows you to connect with friends and family from all around the world. It’s present on all of the major mobile platforms out there, including Android where you can view the full Facebook website from a mobile application that makes it look better. The mobile application is very nice looking and has a clean, intuitive layout. Since the introduction of the Facebook Timeline layout, the mobile app has followed right behind and gives you the Timeline layout in mobile form.

Twitter (Free)
One of my favorite social networks because it’s so simple to post a quick, 140-character message to the world, Twitter is a close second to Facebook in my book for top social networks. If you’re on Twitter, you must have the mobile app that goes along with it. With a recent update, the mobile layout has been unified throughout the entire mobile app line and even the online interface. With the new design, the Twitter app is clean and streamlined and gives you one tap access to quickly tweet and read your stream.

Top 10 Social Android AppsGoogle+ (Free)
The newest and quickest growing social network out there, Google+ aims to create a hybrid between Facebook and Twitter. Google+ has been commonly compared to Blogger, but with a social twist, you can create these elaborate blog-type posts and have users share and comment on them. With that you can also create conversation threads in the comments of a post without crowding your stream. Google+ is quickly becoming my social network of choice, and its mobile app is nicely created and gives me access to post on the go and have conversations with others while I’m on my Android device. The app can be used to upload photos to posts and share locations on your stream.

TiKL — Touch To Talk (Free)
Writing messages to friends and family is time consuming and, on those small keyboards, you can mess up words and possibly send cryptic messages. If you want to share quick messages with people via your voice, try out TIKL. This application lets you send push-to-talk messages to who you want without taking up precious minutes on your phone and it uses Wi-Fi or 3G to transmit those messages. The application can help you communicate with friends and family in real-time and have those messages automatically transmitted.

Top 10 Social Android AppsHeyTell (Free)
Why SMS when you can push-to-talk? Just like with TiKL, you can have real-time conversations with friends and family, but HeyTell gives you a little more features such as 25-way group conversations. You have the ability to connect your Facebook account and let your Facebook friends see that you have the application and speak with you at any time. HeyTell does have multiple privacy levels to restrict who can contact you and who can see that you’re online. Over all, the app is cleanly laid out and has a nice interface to navigate.

Bump (Free)
If you love sharing files with friends, especially from your mobile device, check out Bump, which allows you to share files from your mobile to another mobile device. Having both iOS and Android versions, you can share between all of these devices that support the Bump software. You can use the application to share contacts, photos, sync devices, and share apps. I’ve used this app many times to share information with friends and potential clients who need my contact info. It’s a great app to have on hand to help share information.

Top 10 Social Android AppsGoogle Voice (Free)
Here’s something for those lazy people who don’t have texting plans, or are limited to so many text messages a month. Google Voice is a free application that lets you text people without using your texting plan and can use 3G and Wi-Fi. The app aims to help save you money by using its service to supplement your outrageous cellular data plans. Google Voice has agreements to allow free calls to the US and Canada. The service is absolutely free with a Web interface and the ability to make calls directly from the app. It uses a special Google Voice phone number rather than your real phone number, so privacy is protected.

GetGlue (Free)
For the avid TV watcher, there’s a social network for you like Foursquare. With GetGlue, you can check in to shows when you watch them and have conversations with people who are also watching the show. The app also gives you stickers as achievements come up — such as during the Super Bowl when you could check in during the event and get an achievement for checking in. What’s great about this app is that, after you earn enough stickers, you can get physical stickers sent to you for free. The app is great for following TV shows and seeing what’s new.

Top 10 Social Android AppsBaconReader for Reddit (Free)
As Reddit puts it, it is the front page of the Internet. This application lets you browse the entire Reddit website from one simple application. The application is very intuitive and gives you access to everything, including your profile. With one tap you have access to all of your favorite Subreddits and can browse them quickly and easily. The app is cleanly laid out and has a nice interface to navigate.

HootSuite (Free)
For the power user out there who posts everywhere and anywhere they can, HootSuite is that one application that brings all of your social networks together into one application. With HootSuite you can manage your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare accounts. Wherever you are, you can comment on Facebook posts, tweet on Twitter, check in on Foursquare, and upload photos to all of your favorite supported social media services. There’s even a nice Web interface for using it online when you don’t want to use your mobile device.

If you think we missed something, be sure to comment below on what you like and what you don’t like.

Top 10 Shopping Android Apps

Whether you’re shopping for groceries or the next technological gadget that you have to have, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 shopping apps that are a must if you’re a frequent shopper or just want to find the best deals. The apps listed below can help you shop in stores and online.

Top 10 Shopping Android AppsRedLaser Barcode & QR Scanner (Free)
This is one of the most popular apps out there for not only scanning barcodes but QR codes, as well. The app can check current prices on any item that you scan in and let you know where to find the best price out there so you don’t overspend for your items. As I mentioned, along with searching barcodes, the application can also read QR codes that may contain text, URLs, or anything else that can be hidden in those barcodes. It’s an all-around great app that should be the essential for any user.

Official eBay Android App (Free)
For the avid eBay shopper with an Android phone, check out the official eBay app for the Android. Search all of the current listings for the auction site and bid from your phone. Anything that you can do on the website has been made mobile and put into a clean-looking app that works well and lets the eBay shopper shop on the go. The app is definitely essential for the eBay shopper on the go.

Top 10 Shopping Android AppsAmazon Mobile (Free)
If you’re a frequent Amazon shopper who lives and breathes the online retailer, check out its app. Not only can you search for products and buy them right from the application, but you can read reviews and even leave your own feedback from the app. With the Amazon app you have access to your existing cart, wish lists, payments, Amazon Prime member shipping options, order history, and 1-Click settings. For the Amazon shopper on the go, nothing beats this official app.

Craigslist Mobile (Free)
For the more adventurous shopper looking for a used item over a new one, Craigslist is the one-stop shop for finding items in your area. Not only can you buy and sell items on Craigslist locally, but you can offer services and post them on local boards in your area. The Craigslist app brings all functionality of the site to your phone, allowing you to view listings and email a seller to inquire about their product or service. With this app you can even post up offerings to the site from your mobile device.

Top 10 Shopping Android AppsGroupon — Daily Deals, Coupons (Free)
Everyone loves discounted items, right? One of the most popular coupon and discount deal makers out there is Groupon with some hot daily deals that almost everyone would love. Groupon has some of the best daily deals out there and its app gives you access to all of the current deals in your area with one simple and easy-to-use interface. With this app, you can buy and redeem deals directly, keep track of all your purchased Groupons by location and expiration date, and save ink and avoid paper cuts by never printing another Groupon again — you can actually use your phone to present it to the retailer or service provider. The layout of the app is simple and offers deals in a simple interface that asks what you are looking to do and has categories of what you might be looking for.

Google Shopper (Free)
Believe it or not, Google’s native shopper app is pretty good and gives some of the most accurate shopping information out there. The app lets you find the best deals when you’re out and about and need to find the lowest prices. There are multiple ways to research your product; you can type in your choice, scan the bar code, or speak directly to the device. Along with that, Google’s Shopper app has the best daily deals all just one tap away from within the app. If you’re a more visual person, the app will even show you a map of where you are and the deals closest to you.

Top 10 Shopping Android AppsOut of Milk Shopping List (Free)
I’ll admit it: I sometimes forget something at the store when I’m out shopping. It’s hard to always remember everything that I need at the store and sometimes it makes me go back to get what I forgot. Your phone is almost always on you, so it’s natural that you use it to take notes. The Out of Milk app is a great shopping list app that lets you make a simple list to remember everything that you need to get at the store. You can add to the list little by little during the week and when it comes time to go out shopping, you have that list right in front of you. Just don’t forget to bring your Android or all hope is lost remembering everything that you need to get.

Out of Milk Pro Unlocker ($4.99)
If you love Out of Milk and you still want more, you can get the pro version for $4.99. This app really isn’t an app — it’s the unlocker to access the pro features of the Out of Milk app. With the pro features you can access the online website and manage everything from the website to sync to your phone. Pro features also include the ability to back up lists, share lists, have real-time syncing, and customize the way the app looks and feels. You can even generate QR codes, get homescreen widgets, and keep track of all of your coupons with the pro features. If any of these features sound amazing to you, consider getting the unlocker to get all of these features for your base app.

Top 10 Shopping Android AppsInventory Droid ($4.99)
If you need to keep track of inventory and don’t want to go through the hassle of buying expensive software and learning how to use it, consider using your Android to keep track of all of that for you. This full-featured app gives you the ability to quickly scan a barcode and retrieve all the information about the product. This app is not locked to your phone; you can both import and export your list to sync with your computer.

Mighty Grocery Shopping List ($3.99)
Last, we have a great-looking shopping list app that has a very intuitive interface that works well and goes into a bit more detail about your shopping list and how much you actually need of an item.You can create multiple lists and even back them up to the cloud with one click. There’s even a Web interface to help sync your data between your computer and your device with one click.

We hope you enjoyed yet another top ten list; if you think we’ve missed something, let us know below!

Top 10 Photography Android Apps

Who needs a big, bulky camera anymore? Today’s Android devices are getting to the point where they are comparable to point-and-shoot cameras. If you’re a casual shutterbug, your Android device can take some pretty amazing photos; there are some great applications out there to help enhance your camera and the photos that you take. The default Camera app on Android is okay if you’re into boring, lifeless photos. Camera apps these days can enhance your pictures with advanced controls that you once could only find in professional (and often expensive) photo-editing software like Photoshop. They’re great to use whenever you need to take a quick picture and touch it up.

There are a lot of apps out there to enhance your Android’s camera and create some stunning pictures. We’re only going over the top 10 of my personal favorites; there are many more beyond these. Obviously, some of these applications aren’t compatible with some Android devices, but we’ve done our best to pick out ones that hit most of the devices.

Top 10 Photography Android AppsPixlr-o-matic (FREE)
If you want to get that retro look to your photos, look no further than Pixlr-o-matic. The primary goal for the application is to offer up different effects specifically geared toward making your photos look aged — like they came from an old school camera. There are many different types of effects to pick from to make your photos pop and enhance their aged appearance. The app also includes Facebook sharing features to show off to your friends your old-looking vintage images.

PicsArt — Photo Studio (FREE)
If you need to add a little art to your photo, maybe some custom frames or stickers, PicsArt is the app to look to when editing a photo. It includes all of the standard photo application editing effects like sharpening, contrast control, white balance, and more. If you feel especially artsy, there’s a mode to draw on the picture itself. When you’re all done, it’s just a couple clicks shy of sharing to your favorite social media website or to a cloud storage location like Dropbox.

Top 10 Photography Android AppsCartoon Camera (FREE)
Sometimes you may feel a little cartoonish and want to express those feelings through pictures. Cartoon Camera turns any picture that you take into a little cartoon. The effects are real-time so you can play around with those different effects to see what suits the scene the best. The application comes with six different effects: cartoon, color drawing, sepia, white strokes, dark strokes, and colored edges. All the effects are unique in their own way and can be customized further when sharpening edges. with a simple tap, you can turn your real-life world into a little cartoon paradise.

PicSay — Photo Editor (FREE)
If you’re looking to spice up your photos, take a look at this photo editor that will give your photos an extra kick. The app lets you make different edits to the photo such as distortion, color-correction, speech bubbles, titles, graphics, and even more effects. If you want to add some fun to your photos, check out PicSay and spice them up.

Top 10 Photography Android AppsAdobe Photoshop Express (FREE)
The power of Photoshop has been brought to the mobile platform; you can get a lightweight version of this standby to spruce up and share your photos. The application uses touch to crop, rotate, adjust color, and add effects. If you have Photoshop.com account, you can access everything stored on that account. When you’re done editing, you can quickly share with family and friends and even with the world. One unfortunate requirement is that you must have an SD card to use it.

Paper Camera ($1.99)
If you’re looking for the original creative look with photo and video recording, check out Paper Camera. The application takes pictures and, as an added bonus, records video with the creative effect and plays back smoothly. There are many effects to pick from: cartoon, sketch, comic book, half-tone, noir, neon, and the list goes on. This paid app is jam-packed with effects for your enjoyment so you can be creative when taking pictures. The application is very well put together and easy to navigate. The app makes it easy to change effects quickly and the button positions aren’t too far out of reach.

Top 10 Photography Android AppsAdobe Photoshop Touch ($9.99)
If you’re looking for more than just the free Adobe Photoshop Express app, you need Adobe Photoshop Touch. The application beings the core features of Adobe Photoshop into a touch-based environment where you have more options to create and edit photos easily. Photoshop Touch is designed for tablets for editing photos on a large surface area. The application supports photos up to 1600 x 1600 in size and doesn’t lag the slightest bit with the maximum photo size brought into the app and modified. When you’re done creating your photo, you can sync it with your Adobe Creative Cloud account to access it anywhere.

Retro Camera Plus ($2.99)
It seems like old-looking photos are all the rage these days; Retro Camera Plus is possibly one of the best paid camera applications that I’ve found that takes some amazing and high-quality photos. The application comes with five distinct camera options with different levels of effects and changes. If you want an application that’s reliable and packed with features, give this app a download.

Top 10 Photography Android AppsCamera ZOOM FX ($2.99)
One of the most fully featured and jam-packed applications that you can find out there has to be Camera Zoom FX. This app has DSLR-like controls with the ability to tweak things like white balance, auto-focus controls, nightshot, and more. The app features things like effects and sharing to multiple social media services. There are too many features to even describe in this short little review of the app. The app also has a growing extension database with addon packs of effects and features.

Photo Grid (FREE)
For the more artistic photo taker who likes to jam pack their photos, try Photo Grid, which lets you put multiple photos into a grid formation to help tell a story. Photo Grid puts your photos into a customizable collage to export and share with social media services. When you import photos into the application, you can zoom and rotate images in the grid to make them fill the grid with what you want to see. When you’re all done, you can export them and import them into your favorite sharing services (though there is no way right now to export directly to a service from the app itself).

We hope you enjoyed yet another top 10 list. If you think we missed something, feel free to let us know in the comments below!