Cool App-titude

September 18, 2012
Rachel Eisenhower

The free Sesame Street for Military Families app gives service members and their loved ones the resources they need to handle challenging situations, such as deployments and homecomings. The program, developed by Sesame Street for the iPhone and iPad, features videos, articles and parent guides in both English and Spanish. Download it from the iTunes App Store. An Android version is expected in the coming weeks.

September 11, 2012
Rachel Eisenhower

The free TED app for iPad, iPhone and Android offers users more than 1,000 talks from professionals around the world. Created by TED Conferences, the program includes a searchable library of presentations on everything from science to medicine, business and music. Download the app from the iTunes App Store or Google Play. Watch a full tour of the TED app here:

 

September 7, 2012
Rachel Eisenhower

This portable stress management tool provides users with deep breathing techniques to promote mood stabilization and anxiety management. Developed by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, the free Breathe2Relax app is available for both iOS and Android. Click below to see the app in action:

August 21, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

This free iPhone app helps service members and their families take control of their personal finances. The program from McGraw-Hill and the Better Business Bureau includes training videos, articles and interactive tools to help manage money. From instructions on managing credit and paying off debt to calculators that establish savings goals, the app has a variety of tools to overcome financial challenges. In addition, users can set monthly savings reminders and find tips on a range of situations, including retirement, deployment and purchasing a home.

August 14, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

You don't need a professional camera to snap and share high-quality photos with family and friends thanks to the free Camera Awesome app for iOS, which ranks as the number one photography app in 55 countries. The program, developed by SmugMug, gives iPhone users more control over the phone's camera and offers a series of filters and processing tools. It shoots faster to produce sharper, better-exposed images. Simply snap photos, apply hundreds of professional effects, filters and borders, and share the shots through Facebook, Twitter, email, Flickr and more with one tap.

August 7, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

With this free education app, knowledge is literally at your fingertips. The Khan Academy iPad app features more than 3,200 videos from the nonprofit organization's extensive library. The Khan Academy aims to provide free world-class education for anyone, anywhere, and this app does just that. The materials and resources available for viewing and download cover topics ranging from math to biology, chemistry, finance, history and the humanities, among others. Use the app to create entire playlists to watch offline at your own pace; follow along with subtitles; track your progress; and view your achievements.

July 31, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

Encrypt tweets and send them to select groups or individuals with the scrambls app for the iPhone or iPad. The app gives you total control over your online privacy on Twitter. Simply tap tweets to instantly encrypt the text before it is sent to the cloud. Only select individuals defined at scrambls.com can read the posts. Your selected contacts need the app or the browser plug-in, and they will see the scrambled posts as clear text. Just change the group or individuals permitted to read a post based on the level of privacy you want to achieve.

July 25, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

A new app from the Defense Department could help military members and their families tackle the mental health challenges they face in everyday life. The free LifeArmor app, available for iOS and Android, covers a variety of behavior topics with information, assessments and videos of personal stories, and it develops coping skills through interactive exercises. Developed by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, the program aims to assist members of the military community as they deal with common mental health concerns.

July 17, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

Have you ever wanted to delve a little deeper into your smartphone? With the new Sensor Kinetics app, Android owners can test and monitor all the standard sensors available in their devices. From app developers to students, the app is useful for anyone curious about what goes on within their phone. It allows users to quickly see everything sensor-related, from how fast the accelerometer works to if a device has a gyroscope and how accurately it measures the rotation of angles. In addition, the app's help files include numerous experiments to test these features. The app's main screen lists all the device's sensors and related information, including manufacturer's data, measurement, rate, control and power consumption.

July 10, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

The Pulse News app for iPad and Android takes a visual twist on traditional RSS feeds. It provides all your content in one place with a focus on photographs to catch your eye, and it's one of the most popular news apps on the market. The app lets you select and share content you care about from thousands of top news sites, blogs and social networks. Collect your favorite stories using your Pulse account and then sync them to other apps and programs, such as Evernote and Instapaper.

July 3, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

What if your smartphone messages could self-destruct to ensure ultimate privacy and control over the content? No, it's not a scene from a spy movie. The newly released Wickr app for iPhone encrypts communication and permanently deletes personal data from your device. The free app provides military-grade encryption of text, picture, audio and video messages, and it gives the sender control over who can read messages and for how long. For example, a user could send a picture message but set it to self-destruct after 10 minutes. In addition, Wickr deletes all metadata from files.

June 26, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

Keep tabs on astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) at all times with the free ISSLive! app for iOS and Android. The program, developed by NASA, provides live streaming data on station position, internal environment, altitude, crew activities and more. In addition, the app includes a virtual Mission Control Center modeled after the facility in Houston, Texas. It also features educational lessons for students or science enthusiasts to interact with the live streaming data along with links to the five international partner space agencies' mission information. The app is part of the larger ISSLive!

June 19, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

The U.S. Air Force released an app that lists every event occurring at its participating United States bases. My Military Communities, or MyMC2, for Android and iOS devices features upcoming events and services along with contact information and important "quick call" buttons selected by the installation's commander. The 375th Communications Support Squadron Web application development team at Scott Air Force Base developed the app. The one-stop shop for military personnel consolidates event listings from organizational Facebook pages associated with each base. Currently, Scott Air Force Base, McConnell Air Force Base and Travis Air Force Base use the program.

June 12, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

In just a few short weeks, viewers around the globe will watch top athletes compete at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games in London. And the official Join In mobile app for the event takes spectating at home or in the stands to another level. The free pocket guide includes up-to-date listings for the sporting events and other cultural activities held in conjunction with the games. App users can create a personal viewing schedule based on their interests.

June 5, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

Think you're a history buff? Put yourself to the test with the DocsTeach app for iPad that presents challenges based on documents from the U.S. National Archives. The mobile teaching tool generates activities based on primary source documents such as the U.S. Constitution, a canceled check for the purchase of Alaska and Thomas Edison's patent drawing for the light bulb. Simply pick a historical era or topic and take on the challenge. In addition, teachers can create a free account at DocsTeach.org. This enables them to share a classroom code with students who can take on assigned activities on iPad devices.

May 29, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

The IED IMPACT (Injured Military Personnel Assisting Combat Troops) app for iPad provides wounded warriors with a way to connect with and give back to their units. The program is designed specifically to serve the counter-improvised explosive device (IED) community. Through the application, members of the community can view video interviews from wounded warriors sharing their personal experiences with actual IED strikes during combat. The app "allows a more immediate catharsis for these veterans by sharing their story within a secure platform of people who appreciate the combat environment," said Ken Falke, co-founder of the program.

May 22, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

Life is messy-keep things simple with the Clear app for iPhone. The program lets you create any to-do list you can dream up, from your grocery items to upcoming projects at work. The app's claim to fame is its clean, intuitive interface that helps people simplify without adding more clutter or unnecessary features. It uses swipe, pull and pinch gestures in place of typical button-style navigation, and lists created in the app are color coded based on the most time-sensitive or important tasks. You can purchase the app from the iTunes App Store for $2.99.

May 15, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

A new Android app from the U.S. Defense Department provides enjoyable activity suggestions to help service members returning from combat deployments improve their moods and overcome depression. Positive Activity Jackpot, developed by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, taps into a type of behavioral therapy called "pleasant event scheduling." The app uses augmented reality and a smartphone's GPS to locate nearby pleasant activities and diversions. Making these daily plans can help a service member adjust to life at home after returning from a deployment with a structured daily schedule.

May 8, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

The free DCO Connect app allows U.S. Defense Department personnel and contractors to host and attend meetings from Android devices and tablets. The mobile initiative is an extension of the existing Defense Connect Online (DCO) program, launched in 2007 by Carahsoft Technology Corporation and Adobe to provide Adobe Connect Web conferencing and Cisco XMPP solutions. Currently, more than 650,000 users across the Defense Department use the system, which supports an average of 40 million Web conferencing minutes and 30 million chat messages per month.

May 1, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

A new social language app for the iPhone takes learning out of the classroom. The free PlaySay app connects English and Spanish speaking players in a game setting where the goal is to practice real phrases and improve pronunciation. To play, simple take on a series of missions within the app that revolve around real-life scenarios such as introducing yourself or ordering food. PlaySay uses speech-recognition technology to evaluate your pronunciation and provide feedback. The app then tracks the phrases and keeps score of which items you've mastered. See PlaySay in action in this video.

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