Get Going With 3 Fabulous Free iOS Apps

| Free on iTunes

Every so often a change of scenery is just what we need to shake loose the cobwebs and get a fresh perspective on life. I suspect there are those of us who would like to reduce how often we change that perspective, those whose job requires them to travel a lot, but I'd wager Real American Dollars that the majority of us just don't travel enough.

Free on iTunes

We are tied to our homesteads, jobs, families or any number of responsibilities that make moving about freely a challenge. To those of you who fall into the latter category, a few words of advice: don't wait, don't procrastinate, set a date and go.

It doesn't matter where as long as you go. Go alone, go with friends, go with kids, go with the dog, just go.

We often don't realize we're in a rut because we keep our heads down and focus on the task in front of us, and the walls of the rut we're in tend to be pretty high. Looking up and getting a look at some far horizon from time to time breaks the monotony, feeds the spirit, and fuels the imagination.

You might counter that escaping the trenches is a luxury you can't afford, neither in time or money. While timing is important, finding the time is more important. If you don't make the effort then you won't go anywhere.

And it doesn't cost nearly as much as you might think. You don't have to travel across the country or around the world, just a weekend jaunt to some spot a few hours away may be just what it takes to give your moral a much needed boost. Discovery is the key, finding new places, making new friends, seeing and doing new things even mere minutes from your doorstep are often inexpensive and very doable.

But how to find such places? Where can you stay that doesn't cost you week's pay? How do you save those memories you'll be making?

Well, boys and girls, this is Free on iTunes and I got answers to each question. So lets get to it.

Localscope [9.2MB, all iOS devices, iOS 6.0 or later, Developer: Cynapse India Pvt. Ltd.]
There's an art museum 10.3 miles from my house that I didn't know existed until recently. I was looking through an augmented reality (AR) app called Localscope and found the museum. The app gave the details about the spot including how to get there, museum hours, and so on. But wait! There's a winery (Quantum Leap Winery) nearby! (In Orlando!!)

LocalscopeCasselberry from a local coffee shop through Localscope

LocalScope uses a variety of search services to find spots, even people you know, near where you happen to be, then points them out to you as you look around your locale through you iPhone's screen. If you've used an AR app before then using this won't be foreign to you. Just hold it up and turn slowing and points of interest, marked by a red star, slide across your screen. Tap the star to get more info about a spot.

LocalscopeGet directions and more

Don't see anything that strikes your fancy? Change the search source and new offerings appear. You can select the list or map view if the AR view doesn't suit you. The free version gets feeds from Google +, YouTube, Panoramio, and FaceBook. You get more options if you pay two bucks a year.

I think the free version is good enough for most folks.

Airbnb [26MB, all iOS devices, iOS 5.0 or later, Developer: Airbnb Inc.]
So, you've decided to go somewhere, but can't decide where. Worse, you don't know where you'll stay when you get there. Cheap hotels can have a certain quaint charm about them, and thin walls and uninvited bed guests (of the six legged variety). Wouldn't it be nice to find a truly quaint yet inexpensive spot to spent the night, or several nights while you explore during the day? With Airbnb you can find such places easily.

AirbnbPlan your next stay with Airbnb

I'm a huge fan of this app. You main screen shows features abodes, beds, rooms, apartments, houses, even villas that common folk open up to travelers, often at rates no hotel can match.

You see photos of what's being offered along with details, prices, and landlord bios. And the places shown are to die for. Rooms in walking distance to the Eiffel Tower, beach front homes in Florida, condos in SoCal, beds near vineyards in Spain. All reviewed, and priced so reasonable you'll want to stay and extra day or two.

AirbnbLots of info available

The app lets to reserve a place easily and and find places close to you, places you never would have known was available otherwise.

You want Airbnb.

Takes [48.6MB, all iOS devices, iOS 6.0 or later, Developer: Amit Man]
Here's an interesting app. It takes little movies, puts them together, adds music, and lets you publish the results to your social media of choice.

TakesTakes makes it easy to take movies

Takes streamlines the memory capturing process. You don't have to figure out which app to use when, just use Takes and your moments are caught.

It may seem like magic, and I guess there is some smoke and mirrors being used, but who cares how they do it. Once you've taken your shots you then process them using easy to follow steps where you choose the shots you want to include in the final video, add filters, change the accompanying music, give your creation a caption, and choose where your movie will wind up. Takes does the rest.

TakesProcess and publish your flix easily

It's adless, fast, fun, and free. Grab Takes.

That's a wrap for this week.

While you taking Takes, be sure the grab Phoster as well, this week's Free App of the Week. The app lets you easily create nice posters from your photos.

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These are great picks.

As one who probably travels too much, and wanders a bit too far, travel is something I try to reduce whenever possible (I just did my US taxes, always a pleasure, and as a US non-resident, I have to document my travel - I’ll probably get audited just for that list).

However, these apps make local discovery easy. I find that, most places I go, more locals than you might expect don’t know or have never visited great finds nearby, probably because they are near and are taken for granted, or locals never take time to explore their environment. We have this idea that locals know their neighbourhoods cold; that may apply to a few, but for many it isn’t so. They remain strangers in a strange land. I have often found that stepping out into a local spot that I’ve never visited, particularly with the Mrs, can be just as memorable as any visit to far climes. Localscope can help with that. Can’t wait to try it, although I don’t know what advantage it will have over Yelp.

Just before I got married, an elder colleague gave me some sage advice. He said, ‘Money will come and money will go. Don’t worry about the money. Make memories. This is the real treasure. These you will keep forever’. Probably the best wedding present I received. I’ve never forgot that advice, and apply it religiously and liberally (I know, religious and liberal are oxymorons in the US geopolitical landscape, but you know what I mean).

My observation is that we have a tendency to ignore the everyday and commonplace events in life, but this is the stuff of our existence, and once it passes, we look back with longing and fondness. Why not record these? (Some of my favourite pics are those of the family at home in a quiet evening). I can think of no better combination than apps for both creating and recording special memories, hence I like the idea of Localscope and Takes.

Many thanks!



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