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E-vault

30 May

I’m always looking for my papers: monthly pay slip, car insurance, electricity bill, … You never find it when you need it!

I still continue to sort them and store them in my blue file but it’s a pain to look for a specific document … maybe i’m a bit lazy.

Photo May 29, 10 22 48 AM

my blue file

I found the trick, I scan the docs … not with my printer (too far) but with a super cool app on my iPhone! Then, I store it on my dropbox. So I always everything reachable in a split second, love it.

Here’s how to

1/ download the app Scanner For Me on the iTunes store, launch the app

2/ put the document on a different background colour than the document you want to scan

3/ hold the device still until a blue square captures the document

Then save it to the camera roll, send it by mail (if you scan more than one doc, it will build a pdf file instead of 3 pictures) or store it in the iCloud.

4/ little tip: smart-rename your files, or it will be a mess … Like in the blue folder in my closet …

Photo May 30, 12 14 56 PM

The battle of the connected bracelets

14 Dec

For more than a year, I’ve been wearing the Shine from Misfit pod (from Misfit) on the wrist. It counts my steps, measures my activities and monitors my sleep. I have friends and everyday we can see who was the most active in our chart.

I was a bit disappointed of the accuracy of the data measured when I started skateboarding and wanted to keep track of the distance, calories spent, …

So, I did some Shine vs Runtastic … I positionned the pod on my foot, then back on the wrist with the support of the app Runtastic (an app that tracks whatever sport your are practicing).

Now, I’ve been upgraded to the brand new UP3 by Jawbone!

Let’s start with the basics:

  • Autonomy: 7 days for the UP3 vs 4 months (with a replaceable battery). I think I can cope with one charge a week to be on top.
  • Waterproof: yes for the Shine, watersplash for the Up3, perfect to go under the shower. So, you will swim with the Shine, not with the Up3.
  • Both bracelets will track the activity, steps, sleep and burn calories.

The UP3 goes further and will analyse the heart beat, the sleep pattern, the eating habits and will coach us through the day.

Let’s unpack the UP3 and set it up.

  • The pairing was super easy, just connect the band to its charging cable,
  • wait for the lights of the bracelet to blink,
  • and launch the Up3 app to pair it to your phone through a bluetooth connection.

What’s cool in the UP3 is that the apps “talks” to lots of partners apps really strong on their tracking.
1. Activity, I connected my UP3 to Runtastic* (a gps app tracking lots of physical activities, I use it mainly to track my skateboard rides, my gym).

Alert: Up3, lets you customize alerts. I turned the option on to have a little buzz in the bracelet every 2 hours of inactivity between 9am to 7pm. It will force me to move from my chair and chill with my colleagues …

2. Sleep. I think this is the key of the UP3 (all the UPs, not only the UP3, are really strong in the sleep analysis).
The analyse is quite deep and will split the sleep between

  • deep sleep,
  • light sleep,
  • awaken period and how many times you wake up
  • and the REM (aka Rapid Eye Movement, one of the 5 stages of sleep) aslo know as the paradoxal sleep
  • all those info, crossed with the passive heart rate.

I never had those data before. The cool think is that the “coach” will help you improve your sleep, heart beat, eating habits.

PS: You have the possibility to add a “nap” during the day with the Up3, not with the Shine.

3. Food.
I connected to the “Lose It” app.
This app has a great database. Scan the barcode and here you go, all the nutrition info will be in the app (sugar, sodium, …).
It’s not easy to keep up with what we eat, as somethings it’s not referenced and I don’t know how many calories, sugar, … are in my mochi. Then the UP3 will give it and “healthy note“, out of 10.
Don’t forget to drink it’s good for your heart, brain, … and will help on your healthy note.
You can scan your product or enter manually its nutritive properties in the Up3 app or you can sync it with the LooseIt app (the scan is really pertinent and their database is huge).

PS: Loose It has a great database that works well for the US, not really for Europe … lots of manual entries if you are in Europe.

4. Smart coach.
The smart coach gives you tips, following your eating/drinking, sleeping, activity habits and challenge you for your own good.
The good thing about the smart coaching is that it’s there to help you get healthier and to make you think about your habits.

I love my Up3 because

  • It really makes me think about my habits (especially the sleeping habits),
  • it’s great to see the analyses of the heart beat (passive, during the sleep)
  • The coaching is also interesting and changes from just hitting your daily goal (it’s more qualitative)

I can’t keep up with the eating habits even if I want to … I just ate a plate of 12 different sushis, don’t know and want to enter each sushi manually … (lazy me).

ChaseIt or Bchased?

ChaseIt
because

  • the Up3 comes with one of the best app on the market
  • the smart coaching is useful
  • the analysis of the sleep goes a step further than its competitors
  • the heart analysis is interesting and frees us from the chest belt
  • I love the feeding of information through 3rd parties apps

Bchased
because

  • the Up3 is a bit fragile
  • the Up3 needs to charge every week
  • the charging cable is perfectible and needs to be well align on the bracelet … or no charging

PS: Up3 communicate with the Runtastic app (the free version). If you have the pro version, download the free one, log in and keep both Runtastic Pro and Runtastic on your phone. When you start your session, launch Runtastic (free version) not the pro one. Up 3 will be fed the info by Runtastic not by the pro version.

Story to continue with the analysis of the accuracy of the data between the Shine and the Up3.

Oh it’s THE O!

8 Sep

the OHow many times do you leave home in the morning, a little bit in a hurry, and you forget something you really need and you have to come back home? For me, the reasons of my early comeback can be that I forgot

  • the external battery for my phone,
  • my headphones,
  • my keys,
  • my wallet,
  • the badge for the office … and this is the short list

the O and it's key ringBasically, there’s always something we forgot at home that forces us to go back and get it.
So far, I have one TILE and it’s cool, but it is only really useful when I realise I don’t have my keys on me.
I only really use it for my keys as it is a bit clunky for anything else. And it only helps me see where I left my keys once I realise I have already lost them. At this point it is already a bit late, and I could be very far away from them.

What if there way something that could help you remember all your essentials before the morning departure? And proactively tell you in the very moment you were losing or forgetting them?

This device is called THE O and yes it’s another Bluetooth tag, but not only!
the O in action

  • THE O is  waterproof
  • and has an battery autonomy of 18 months
  • it everal accessories in the pack such as adhesives and a beautiful keychain accessory for keys and bags
  • You can sew it onto fabrics, perfect for a jacket or scarf or even umbrella
Chase It because
  • THE O creates a virtual leash between you and your belongings. The objects you don’t want to leave behind.
  • THE O will warn you the moment you are about to leave an item behind so you do not lose or forget it.
  • THE O knows when you are in a safe place so you do not get any alerts unnecessarily (at home or in the office for example)

The O is now on Kickstarter and it’s time to invest in this bright idea!

PS: You can even sew the O on your clothes!!

the O can be sewed on your clothesMore info on THE O.

My music? iMusic?

8 Jul

I have an iPhone, only 32Gb meaning that with all my pictures and apps, I can only have a playlist of 20 songs … Always the same songs … boring …
I would like to listen to the radio but you need the signal in the metro and definitively a great plan to allow you unlimited data (I’m limited to 2Gb a month).

With iMusic, I think I see the end of my misery …
iMusic is the new streaming music platform launched by Apple some days ago.

The big idea is to allow us access to any music for a monthly flat fee (individual fee $9,99, family pack for up to 6 members $14,99 a month).

The service is basically a giant library of all the music available at a tap of your finger.
How does it work?

  • First, upgrade your iOS to iOS8.4
  • Then head to iTunes and tap free test iMusic (the test will last 3 months and be automatically paid by month if you don’t untick the option “automatic renewal”)
  • I unticked and will decide on October 2nd if I continue to use the service (I think I will, because it’s way cool)
iMusic by Apple iMusic by Apple iMusic by Apple

Ok, the 3 months free trial is on, so what can I do?

First you can customize your music preferences by tapping the artists you like. This will enable iMusic to suggest you new music to discover that will fit your preferences (nice).
Now, let’s check it out.

Let’s launch the iMusic app.

On the customized homepage, I have access to

  • playlists,
  • albums,
  • radios,
  • I can also search iMusic for the latest albums releases
  • all the above are supposed to match my music preferences (and they do)

I like to listen to the radios while wifi-connected at the office or home, but the killer-use for me is the off-line listening of playlists and albums I download before taking the metro. I do that 2 times a day and I really enjoy the variety of the programmation and I even discover groups and albums I didn’t want to buy because I didn’t know if I would like it.

iMusic by Apple iMusic by Apple iMusic by Apple

Testing the service for the past few days, I must admit I dig iMusic big time!

  • The morning, I “make available offline” a playlist or an album and off I go take my metro.
  • At the office, I listen to playlists and radios (streaming).

I dig the service because

  • I don’t need to own CD or records
  • I don’t have the room to store CDs home
  • I don’t want to digitalize my CDs and store them in my iPhone (not enough storage room)

PS: This service is plain, simple and offer you all the music of the world at your fingertips … but I’m a little bit concerned about the music industry (already quite weak since the rise of internet).
I’m sure Taylor Swift, Pharrel Williams, … are on the safe side but all the other tniy little artists who are worth discovering … will they have access to iMusic, will the remenuration be high enough to keep them creating or send them back to 9 to 5 desk jobs ?

Runkeeper vs Shine from Misfit

8 Apr

2015-04-08 17.43.40Last morning, I decided to landsurf my Biscuit board on the  Rickenbauer bridge in Keybiscayne, Florida. 

It seemed far to me and my calves but I wasn’t sure. I decided then to download the free app RunKeeper and dropped the phone in the pocket of my bermuda. I tied my Shine tracker on my shoes laces and hopped on my board surfing the cement asKelly Slatter on the waves (I’m day-dreaming a bit …). 

The objective was to compare the results from RunKeeper with my Shine and see which one was the more accurate. 

The RunKeeper app is a great app and gives you the basics:

  • your run/skate cruise on the map
  • it makes a great impression on colleagues and friends, 
  • it give you your average speed, 
  • and a woman’s voice covers up the music and gives you useful infos every 5 minutes (speed, km or miles). 

The Shine can be worn as a wristband or tied to my shoes on its clip (I decided to try both). 

    • Tied on the shoes the Shine is more accurate as I push with my foot, 
2015-04-08 17.38.45 2015-04-08 17.38.39 2015-04-08 17.38.33
  • My  activity was categorised as “pretty active” during 1,1 hour for a total of 976 points. While worn on the wrist, I was “pretty active” for 29 minutes and “kind of active” for 22 minutes which earned me a global 123 points. 

2015-04-08 17.38.27
Let’s say that the GPS of my RunKeeper app beats it all. And it’s so cool to have a map of your run/skakeboarding path.

My Shine is nowhere near the truth …

More infos on

Did you ever fight for the remote?

23 Mar

of course, the battle takes places at home everyday but … Also when you stay in hotels …

Playing with the remote at the Conrad, Miami, I incidentally hit a page saying “Do you want to connect and use your phone as a remote control?” Yes, I do!

I downloaded the free app “stayConnect” and add the code you see on the screen … Less than 30 secs later I was the master of the TV from my phone. love it!

  

Passbook anyone?

6 Oct

PassbookYes, you know what it is … it’s one of the app pre-installed on your iPhone. I event tried to erase it because I didn’t see its use but I couldn’t do it because it’s part of the Apple apps.
Lately, I’ve been traveling with Air France  (when they don’t strike …) and I checked in with the Air France app that’s how I discovered accidentally the use of Passbook.

Passbook Enjoy your flight with Passbook My e-ticket

Basically, Passbook gathers all your tickets (not only boarding passes but also you receipts, loyalty cards, coupons, …).

You can add your tickets to Passbook from
. emails,
. apps (check the list of apps working with Passbook)
. or by scanning the bare code.

Why can this be useful?
First of all,All my tix at the same location
. all your tickets are gathered at the same place (saving you time when you look for it in your phone and can’t find them and the crowd behind you is growing angry).
. the D-day, your ticket pops on your locked screen for you to show in only one little swipe to the smiling hostess or steward!
With Passbook, you’ll also keep a track of your purchases, tickets, coupons.

Definitively worth a try!

PS: Depending on your country of origin (the nationality of your bankcard recorded in iTunes, you’ll be proposed different list of companies that are collaborating with Apple).

Apps for Passbook

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