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the tube

Bogart The Pug, Lifestyle

I Have An App For That – 10 iPhone Apps You Need

March 13, 2012
The other day I went over to my cousin Angharad and Simon’s house for supper, and ended up giving them an iPhone app tutorial once I discovered they hadn’t heard of most of my favorites. I’m going to keep this list nice and simple, with just the 10 iPhone apps I use the most. If you don’t already know about these apps, get downloading asap (!), as they are sure to add a little something extra to your every day. 

For the snap happy: 
I love taking pictures, but I now use my iPhone over my Canon Elph camera to document my day-to-day. Here are a couple of iPhone photo apps I now cannot live without. Let’s use a picture of my beloved pug Bogart as a mock-up photo to show you what these apps can do!
Bogart busy catching some rays in California
Instagram: A free and easy app that allows you to choose different filtered effects to enhance your pictures. Once you have cropped your image and picked your desired filter..
… you can then share your Instagram picture with your friends who are following you on Instagram. Not only is it a cool photo app, it is also a nice way to stay in touch with friends via their creative pics.  
I might just have to print this out for my bedside table
Camera+: For £0.69 ($1.09), you can buy yourself a seriously good camera on the iPhone. I now take all my pictures using this app because it makes your photos look as if they have been taken with an SLR lens. Once you take a picture, choose the correct setting (portrait, night, flash, etc)…
 … add some wild filters and colored effects…
Bogart goes Warhol?!
 …until you find …
 … the ideal filter. This app is really easy and delivers a pretty cool final product if you ask me!
Looking like a true Cali beach babe
Diptic: If you like making collages with your pictures like I do, then diptic is a photo app you need. Simply take pictures, apply any effect you might want, add a border, and select the final layout for your picture. You can also zoom in and crop any of the pictures if you want to get real artsy fartsy.
Ta da, three different takes on one image of Bogart all in one picture -this work of art deserves framed mantle piece status no?

Everyday app essentials:
Mixology: A free app, fit for any party animal and something that I wish I had in college! Search this app for thousands of drink recipes, or if you are having friends over for drinks, just enter in the ingredients you already have and Mixology will show you a list of cocktails you can whip up. My favorite feature? The bar and liquor store locator finder using your location!
The best way to put my new espresso machine to good use?
Sleep Cycle: I like to think of this app as the Chanel of alarm clocks. Simply enter your desired wake-up time, put the iPhone face down under your sheets on top of your mattress (as pictured below), and drift off to sleep.
Sleep Cycle analyzes your sleep patterns as you go from stone cold Lindsey Lohan blackout sleep (a deep sleep), to thinking about your errands sleep (very light sleep), and uses the accelerometer in an iPhone to decipher which sleep phase you are in. Sleep Cycle wakes you in your lightest sleep phase, so you wake up feeling rested rather than ready to chuck your alarm clock across the room. This app also has a great selection of alarm sounds that aren’t as annoying as most alarm clocks.
A night when I was apparently dancing in my sleep?
For the gal on the go:
Tube Deluxe: If you use the London underground on a regular basis, then say hello to your new best friend, the Tube Deluxe app. This app shows the latest status on all the tube lines in London and suggests alternative routes to ensure you’re only ever fashionably late when a tube line is down.
Navigating your way around London on the tube made easy!
Pin Drop: There are so many new places I have walked by in the last year and thought, I need to come back here (Cecconi’s, Meat Liquor, Burger and Lobster, and Pitt Cue all come to mind). Pin Drop makes remembering these places easy. All you have to do is drop a pin on the map, label the location in one of your custom-made categories, and save in your ‘to remember’ archives. 

For the chatty Cathy:
WhatsApp: This app is basically another branded form of communication these days. If you didn’t e-mail, Skype, tweet, or call someone, you probably “WhatsApp-d” them. WhatsApp is easy, free, and it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends around the world without breaking the bank. More chatting and money in my shoe fund? Yes please!

Voxer Walkie Talkie: Voxer is an app that acts as a walkie talkie and is currently my favorite app/toy/gadget. Like WhatsApp, you can send images, video recordings, and text to your friends for free. One of my daily highlights is listening to hilarious walkie talkie messages from my girlfriend Boo in Sweden. If you have a friend who you adore chatting to, but you both get so excited when speaking to each other that you talk over one another (Boo and I are totally guilty of this) – then get Voxer immediately. Over…

Just for fun: 
Turbanizer: If you have ever been stuck in horrendous traffic or at an airport waiting for hours, then you know what it feels like to appreciate a good laugh when you really need it. Next time you find yourself in that situation, download Turbanizer, an app that “turbanizes” your pictures. All you do is take a picture and then shake your phone to change the turban.
I am particularly impressed by the variety of turbans you can choose from on this app – headband, vibrant, plain, fashion, brooches, traditional or premium (in just about every color) are all available. The turban is the limit?
Bogart modeling a ‘traditional’ turban
There are so many iPhone apps available these days, it is hard to know which ones you really need. Please let me know if there are any apps you cannot live without! RIP Steve Jobs and many thanks for making this all possible. 


Survival Guide: How To Throw A Royal Wedding Party

March 31, 2011

For those of you not obsessively checking your Hello! Magazine iPhone or iPad Royal Wedding app for the latest Kate and Wills update, the Royal Wedding is less than a month away and believe me it is on every Briton’s brain.

During my commute this morning I sat next to two women on the tube, chatting loudly about their weekend plans. One of them was excited about having her mother over for a Sunday roast (think ridiculous Thanksgiving style comfort food brunch without the Bloody Marys) for Mother’s day while the other one was planning a shopping trip to prepare for her Royal Wedding Party. Even though the big day is on April 29th, this is the event where Britons host all their friends and in some cases their entire street (if they aren’t already renting out their home to tourists), no expense spared to create the most memorable Royal Wedding party ever.

If you have decided to take on the task of hosting a Royal Wedding party, here is what you need to do:

 Send out invitations asap, using the new Royal Wedding stamp of course
Stock up on provisions fit for a royal!

Invest in patriotic outdoor furniture, so your guests can comfortably watch the wedding live on the telly (tv). There is a reason you’re hosting a party and escaping the crowds right?! Since Brits love their gardens almost as much as their dogs, it goes without saying that your garden is already in tip top shape (if you’re a true Briton).

Have some activities on hand, since this party is likely to last an entire afternoon and not everyone will be glued to the telly or the champers bucket. For £5, Royal Wedding playing cards are a fun patriotic necessity.
A Royal Wedding William & Kate A Dress-Up Dolly Book is a great distraction for kids while mum and dad let loose. Dress the royal couple in various outfits with these life-like cut-out figures. One wonders why Will and Kate are in their skivvies on the cover? hmmm…  

Go a little nuts when decorating your house for the Royal Wedding fête. Superimpose your face onto pictures with Will or Kate and turn these into enlarged posters. GREAT conversation starter.

Cover your house with Union Jacks (tablecloth, plates, banners, napkins, etc – the royal sky is the limit here!) and patriotic buntings… the more the merrier. In honor of the queen’s favorite short-legged furry companion, rent some corgi dogs for the day. 

Just because Kate will be looking her best doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! Get yo’ nails done in royal splendour.

Once you are all stocked up, and ready for your Royal Wedding party of a lifetime, remember to:
'Keep Calm It's Only a Wedding' - Prince William & Kate Middleton engagement satire coaster.
No need to be a nervous wreck – leave that to Kate Middleton. Instead, rest your feet on your Union Jack furniture (now that your home is full of it) and raise your glass to the royal couple as you taste test your bubbly.
Cheers to you for being a fabulous host!