Sunday, January 26, 2014

23 Mobile Things - Thing 3 - Utilities

Let's learn about iPhone utilities!  For a seemingly short "thing," I learned quite a bit.

23 Mobile Things Folder
Before I begin recapping about utilities, I have to share that I did something GENIUS (at least I think it's genius!).  With all of the apps and cool stuff we will be learning during these 23 Mobile Things, I decided to create a folder on my phone entitled, "23 Mobile Things."  Now, as I progress through the "things," I will download all of the apps and place them in this folder.  As time goes by, I will move the apps that I actually use to other folders, but this makes it really easy to find the apps that I am currently learning about.  I know, I know!  Genius!

23 Mobile Things QR Code
RedLaser is the first app to be featured in Thing 3.  I learned about QR Codes (Quick Response Codes), during 23 Things on a Stick and have seen them popping up here and there for some time. Once I downloaded the app, the logical first step was to scan the QR code on the RedLaser Barcode & QR Scanner page found in Thing 3.

After scanning the QR code, the app asked if it should connect to the website, I chose "yes" and the 23 Mobile Things website appeared.

I had to try scan some barcodes, just to see what would happen:

The links to how libraries are using QR codes were very interesting.  San Diego State University Library incorporates a QR code in their catalog search so you can get the book info via the QR code.  This could be very helpful if you cannot find a writing utensil and also could save a tree, or two!

My favorite use of QR codes, from the featured libraries, is to use them in bulletin board displays.  Comsewoque Public Library features QR codes in a display that, when scanned, directs the potential reader to book trailers.  They had added a unique feature to a display that was very similar to one I created for Elk River High School's Media Center.

Comsewoque Library Display w/QR Code (l) and ERHS Display (r)
Since I am currently working on a bulletin board display for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, I will now be incorporating QR codes.  I'll do a separate post with photos of my new display when it is done, so stay tuned!

All of this QR code stuff is interesting, but what I think I will LOVE the most about RedLaser is the ability to store most of my retail loyalty cards and a library card.  Now, when I go to Hallmark, rather than dig around in my wallet for my "membership" card, I can simply pull up the card via RedLaser and my card's barcode can be scanned from my phone.  I also put my Great River Regional Library card into RedLaser.  Now I won't need to find these various cards or worry about losing one.  This makes my happy!

My Loyalty Cards in RedLaser
Since I am already using many Google products, I didn't spend too much time exploring Google Search.  The image search feature, where you can take a picture in the search tab, did intrigue me.  My results were so-so.

Google Image Search of a Quote
Google Image Search of a Book

Google Image Search of the ERHS Logo

I also searched for a picture of our office coffee maker, since I wanted to try a search for a 3D object, and got no results.

Meh, is how I feel about the StandApp.  I probably will never use an app like this. I could not download this app, it just opened directly from the App Store.  I think I would feel a little silly doing some stretching or exercises with a computer lab full of students.  I was able to download the Healthy Break app and seem to like it a little more than the StandApp.

Back in the olden days, when I worked for Cargill, all employees were required to start the day with a stretching routine and stretch again several times throughout the day.  I found this a little odd, but enjoyed it.  We also had a massage therapist come in once a month, free-of-charge, for employee neck, shoulder, wrist or back massages.  The school district, sadly, does not have this benefit.  This also goes to show that all things old are new again, just in a more techy way!

Now, back to QR codes and frozen fingers.  I find it curious that when you have heard something important (for example, at church or school) or are learning something new, how many times, shortly after, you will find some form of reenforcement.  This happened to me when my husband and I went to see the St. Paul Winter Carnival ice sculptures last night.

The ice sculptures were amazing, but it was freezing cold.  From Thing 2, I learned about swiping up on my iPhone screen so the control panel appears and then you can select your camera, even from a locked screen.  This saves precious seconds from having to unlock your screen when your fingers are numb because your phone's touch screen does not work when wearing mittens.  I was so proud of myself for remembering this.  On our way home, after my fingers were starting to thaw out, my husband reminded me that I could use the volume button (which does work with mittened fingers) to take photos rather than the touch button on the screen.  Oh, well.  Maybe next time I will remember!

We decided to stop at Perkins following our frosty adventure to the ice sculptures.  Basically we both wanted hot cocoa to help warm up our insides.  After being seated in our booth, I noticed an advertising card with a QR code.  Of course, I had to try it out with my new RedLaser app.  I am now a proud member of the Perkins loyalty club!

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