Posted on Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by Will Hagle
Smartphones and tablets are wonderful devices. They offer us a way of to be more productive and efficient. They facilitate communication and can enrich our social life. At least that is the premise. Most people use them to share “interesting” pictures of what they are having for dinner, or to “like” what someone else is eating. Or perhaps they spend hours playing one of the one thousand solitaire games they have downloaded.
Your device can actually keep you entertained, take care of your wardrobe needs, educate, and entertain. All it takes is a bit of time to find the right websites and apps. We’ve included eight of the best to help you get started:
Streaming has practically replaced radio as the best way to discover new music. If you are willing to test your boundaries and actively search out interesting music, then Jungle Indie Rock is a place you should bookmark. The site offers both video and audio streams. One of the aspects of the site that we like the most is their attitude. The site lacks the pretentiousness that is often a prerequisite for sites dealing with more obscure artists and genres. Jungle Indie Rock also recognizes that your playlist probably includes some mainstream artists such as Foo Fighters and Father John Misty, plus there are separated sections for specific international music, including Spain.
Educational websites have a tendency to be a bit boring. This is probably for the same reason that most medicine tastes bad; people think that is the way it should be. One of my professors once told me that I would eventually find a use for everything I learned in every class. His statement has proven to be correct. Education doesn’t have to be boring or even practical; Academic Earth features lectures from such prestigious universities as the Berklee College of Music, Stanford, Yale, and Oxford. The site offers suggestions for study in subjects ranging from Art History to Management. The “electives” cover some of the most eclectic topics you find anywhere and range from the math behind taking a punch to “How the End of WWII Made Us Fat.” Unlike the universities where the lectures were delivered, Academic Earth is free and can help you be ready to contribute to any topic that ever comes up.
Travel ranks near the top of favorite activities for a lot of people. The problem is that travel, especially airfare, is expensive. Skiplagged, the brainchild of a 22 year old college student, helps make travel less expensive. The site provides travelers with what are known in the industry as “hidden city” fares, which are frequently hundreds of dollars less than standard fares.
The site looks at flights that make stops or have layovers in the city you wish to visit. For example, you want to fly to Des Moines and find a Seattle fight that stops in Des Moines. Often the ticket to Seattle will be cheaper than the ticket to Des Moines. You buy the Seattle ticket and simply get off in Des Moines. You obviously can’t book round trip tickets this way and you can’t check luggage. The site doesn’t sell or book tickets but can help save a bundle on tickets which can add up to enough savings to add another vacation to your schedule.
Women discovered the positives of shopping services a while back. Finally some sites are realizing that most men hate to shop. Whether you are one of those or simply someone who doesn’t have a lot of time, Bombfell is the perfect site for men’s clothing. Unlike many of the shopping services, Bombfell is not a subscription site. You simply enter your sizes, style preferences, and budget and tell them what you want in your next order such as “casual shirts for resort vacation.” Before your order ships, a personal stylist will select some outfits and send you a preview email. The items you agree to are shipped. You decide which you want to keep and which you want to return. Shipping is free, making it the easiest way of getting dressed since your mother bought all of your clothes for you.
Casino games are among the fastest growing segment of social gaming. While PokerStars built its reputation as the world’s largest poker site, it now also offers a range of casino games as well. Unlike many of the casino sites, the players tend to take the games more seriously and play a relatively realistic strategy. You can select from tournament and “cash” game poker, or chose from their new offerings in the casino such as baccarat and roulette. Additionally you can play on your laptop or on a mobile device. One of the highlights of the site (if you are playing on a laptop) is the Live Dealer games which are exactly as the name implies; games dealt in real time by a live dealer streamed online to your computer. In all of the games you can chat with other players. You can also play for free.
Art does not have to be stuffy and Juxtapoz is the perfect site to prove that point. The site covers a wide range of art from experimental to traditional. The works are divided into rather broad groupings such as Illustration, Erotica, Design, Photography and Graffiti. Contemporary works are showcased alongside historical works, like classic movie posters and even playing card art. The site is educational without making you feel like you are listening to a docent in a museum and serves as a great way to discover styles and genres you did not know existed. You may even find the perfect piece to replace the old poster of the hot girl draped over the hood of a Corvette.
Regardless of how great a job we have, most of us dream of being or own boss. If you’re ready to start exploring that idea, then you should visit Score.org. The site covers topics ranging from business advice, finance, how to get started, marketing, technology and management. Each of the broad topics has a wealth of information to help you start off on the right foot and how to grow your business. Instead of offering vague generalities or overly technical advice, the articles offer actionable advice in a straight forward every day style. The advice offered on Score is so complete that it can change your casual “someday” interest into a “let’s do this” attitude.
While watching cat videos can be amusing, watching real life adventures is more so. The Periscope app lets your watch real-time video streams of what the “author” is doing at that moment. The range of experience can range from something as mundane as a shopping trip, to a mountain hike, to first person experiences of news items such as a protest happening on the other side of the world. The videos are usually available for twenty-four hours after they are posted and you can subscribe to the feeds of people that interest you. The app works on both Apple and Android devices and is totally free.