Thursday, April 4, 2013

Where have I been?

Whoa.. My Bad

Yeah, so umm..

Hello again!

It's been quite a while since I traversed my blogosphere, and I must say I kind of miss it. I've been experiencing quite a bit of downtime lately in between classes, so I thought, why the hell not. Let's get this App Craze back to a craze! Or at least get some fresh material back.

I'm sure that I lost most of my traffic from back in the heyday, as I can see some spam filling up the comments. I wanna see if I can turn this site back around, I mean it's still first page material (if you search right lol).

I'm hoping that I can get some new material in bound ASAP and try to get it on the regular. So, If you are a real person and somewhat interested or wanna see something, just let me know in the comments below. I'll be sure to get right back at ya!

Now brace yourselves for the second coming..

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Scholar Selection: Chegg

iTunes App Store - Free!

All us students know how much a monopoly our campus bookstores are. Spending close to $500 for books we're only going to use for just over 4 months, and then returning them for a fraction of the original cost. Many of us are left to look for alternatives as our wallets get skinnier and skinnier throughout our term in school. Many of you probably heard of Chegg Book Rental Service before and used alternatives such as Amazon or other rental sites. Well, the Chegg App is the website equivalent made specifically for your iDevice for those on the go.

Packing their ISBN database into this App you can easily find your books for a fraction of your bookstores cost, while your browsing the shelves for to correct texts. Broken down into an easily navigable 5-button toolbar, you can access your Chegg account whenever, and utilize all the features Chegg has to offer to get you saving that dough you saved up over vacation.

When you first open the App, it will ask you for your account information one time only and/or ask you to sign up, which is free. Then from there, you'll always be at the Search tab upon startup, which is where you will find your books. Here you can simply enter in your ISBN numbers that your professors have provided you with, or, if you're like me and browsing the bookstore for price matching, you can pick up the text you need and scan its barcode. Searching their massive database, you'll be directed to a screen in which you can choose to rent the book for the entire semester for a greatly reduced price. Just keep in mind that it is a rental, unless you decide to keep the book where you'll be charged the full price.

Once you find all the books that you're going to rent, you'll be taken to the Cart tab before you checkout. Here you can make any last minute adjustments before you checkout and see the total amount of money you'll be dropping on books you'll probably only be half reading anyway. $150 sounds much better than $300 doesn't it?

The My Books tab will show you all the rentals you have, and all the books you've ever rented from Chegg. You can track the shipping, see the approximate date of arrival, and when you're going to need to return the book (in which Chegg is really gracious with the time given, about 3 weeks longer than the actual end of my semester). By tapping any current book; you can extend your rental if need be, you can return the book by having the app print you out a return slip, and you can purchase the book at full price (minus the rental price). You can also find the closest UPS store in your area via GPS and drop the book off in the original box with the packing slip you printed for your free return.

Your Alerts tab will show you any noteworthy progress or complications of your order, also sending you push notifications and badge numbers with each new alert keeping you on top of your game. The More tab allows you to edit your account information such as name, email, shipping address, and school info (to give the site a social network feel, knowing who else from which school rented what). The help section contains plenty of menus for any sort of issue you may be having with Chegg (which I haven't had yet), and you can always give them feedback to let them know how they're doing. Lastly, there's another button to find UPS Stores around you.

I've personally had experience with Chegg for over a year now, and let me just tell you that their service is one of a kind. I've dabbled with other sketchy book rental services that can't deliver quickly and always sent your book in a shipping bag or torn up box, usually degrading the quality of the book a bit. Chegg has always shipped my book immediately with an arrival of usually 4 days or less. The books always come in a high-quality orange Chegg box (which you should keep for easier returns!!), with packing foam to protect the contents. Chegg has also won me over with the little freebies they like to throw in each of their boxes, such as Chegg post-it notes, bookmarks, notepads, pencils and coupons for plenty of other things. It's the little things that turn me on to their high-quality customer service. When it comes time to return, they'll even call you to let you know that the books are due soon from a pleasant recording from Chegg's CEO.

I'd have to make this one of my Scholar Selection Essential Apps, simply for the quality of their service. Plus, who doesn't like saving a couple hundred dollars on mandatory books?

And for all the eco-friendly people out there! With each purchase from Chegg, they will plant a tree to whichever forest reservation you choose, so they're keeping it Green.

Wanna see more from my Scholar Selection? Follow the link below to see more!
The Scholar Selection for Great Apps Related to School

Like Saving or Earning Money from Apps? Follow the link below to see more!
Apps That Save and Earn Money to Get That Cash Flow

As always, let me know how I'm doing with a comment! Follow me if this material is awesome!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Scholar Selection: iStudiez Pro

iStudiez Pro
iTunes App Store - $2.99

2010 Best Young Adults App for iPad!
2010 Best Parenting App for iPad!
2009 Best App Ever Award Winner in Education category!

Let me start off by saying that if it wasn't for this App in particular, I would not be where I'm at right now organizationally in college. This App, hands down, is simply beautiful, aesthetically and functionally. I would have to label this App as The Student's Everything School Organizer/Planner.

Now, why do I find this App as one of the most essential Apps for any scholar?
Because it does everything you would need it to.

Easy to navigate, iStudiez has four main buttons on its bottom toolbar consisting of Today, Calendar, Assignments, and Planner.

Today and Calendar organize your school schedule amazingly well, even integrating your iPhone calendar events within the App to give you a better picture of your full schedule. Today will show you the classes/exams/events that you have lined up for the day, the assignments for that event, and time and length of said event. The Calendar works the same way, but instead shows you your monthly schedules with nice little graphics resembling classes, events, and exams. Of course you can toggle reminders for assignments, labs, classes, etc. so you won't be late for the Midterm that has a date different from the rest. Turning your iDevice to landscape while in Calendar will give you a weekly schedule view, for those who check iStudiez out.

Under the Assignments tab, you can add and view all assignments by way of due date, course, or priority. With the color coding of classes, it's easy to determine which homework is due when, always keeping me on top of my game throughout each semester. Once an assignment is finished you just tap the exclamation point, it turns to a green check, then disappears from your current assignments (don't worry, it's now in the completed assignments section).

The Planner is the building blocks to the entire App. Here, you would enter your semester's term, length, holidays, and classes. Each class entered has many features included, as to whether you have an alternating schedule, labs, and what professors teach where. You can add Professor contacts specifically to iStudiez for each class with contact info, department, etc. From there, you can determine how your classes grades are weighted throughout the semester, so you can track your grade progress in depth. With each assignment completed you can enter in the grade you got, and it will weigh it to the rest of your grades and project your estimated GPA so far. Cool, huh? I thought so.

iStudies has push notifications to alert you of events you have scheduled and utilizes the Badge feature to show you how many assignments you have due today and tomorrow straight from your home screen. iStudiez Pro also has the option to backup your data and send it to you in an email in case anything were to happen (Which I haven't seen anything happen in the year and a half I've used this App).

For $2.99, this app is a steal for all that it does. It's very reliable, and has become a daily use App of mine. You can try out the Lite version as well, but it does have a limitation on its features. I must say once again that this App is an almost necessity for any college bound students who wish to stay on top of their work for the multiple semesters to come.

Just from one college student to, hopefully, another.

This post is just one of many! Check out my Scholar Selection for apps related to school!

Monday, February 14, 2011


New Features Added!

So, I've decided to do a little organizing. Think of it like a preemptive spring cleaning of my page. What I've decided to do is add an easily accessible widget on the top of the page that'll organize all the different areas of Apps that'll I'll cover as time goes on.

Don't worry about having to navigate to see new posts though, because I'll drop each new post on my landing page. I will be archiving them in the Pages section to make it easy for you guys to navigate to previous posts regarding specific Apps that you may have read about before. So, if you feel like this is a good addition let me know, and if not.. flame all you want about it. I want this page to be enjoyable for you guys so let me know what I can do to make this a better place!

Oh, and stay tuned. This week, I'll be attempting to drop as many new posts as possible for my Scholar Selection, which will go over school essentials for your i-Device.

And as always, comment just to chat, or give hints and tips, or talk about other Apps that catch your eye. I plan to make this semester a very active one on here, so lets get this party started!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Make Money Using Apple Apps? YES!

With the holidays done and over with, many of us are probably feeling the substantial drop in weight to our wallets. Being in college myself, I must say it was no simple task parting with my hard earned and scarce greenbacks to buy iffy gifts for those who preferred that I didn't. Well with the next semester looming just around the corner, I find myself looking into more supplemental forms of gaining some dough. Very alternative methods, but surprisingly some of the options I've come across have actually paid off. Some of these methods have also been in the form of Apple Apps or Web Apps, so earning some pocket change has been as easy as tapping through my phone, taking a picture or scanning a barcode, and getting paid via PayPal or by a points system.


I can hear this a mile away, and my first thought was the same as yours. Sure, there are plenty of anglers out there looking to feed on anybody in this sea of consumers, but hidden deep there are legitimate ways to earn money for doing normal day to day things. These payouts are mostly issued by advertisers and affiliates looking to just get their name heard, and are willing to part with a few cents to a few bucks for for that much needed traffic. Think of it more as a marketing ploy to become more "word-of-mouth," thus making their way into peoples everyday lives. Now I'd like to share with you the Apps that have turned my head into this new way of making a few bucks here and there that actually add up.

Apps That Pay You!

So for about the past month, I've looked and looked and looked, and I have stumbled across four notable Apps that do just what I was looking for, TO PAY ME! Now here I'm not going to sell you on any type of pyramid scheme or multilevel marketing, I'm just going to bare all that I could find that prove to be legitimate ways of earning some moolah or prizes. I will add a link following each review to the site and I will also include a bonus code or startup code that I just ask kindly for you to use. Yeah, its a referral for me, but if you use it, you also get some bonuses out of it. I know that some of the Apps ask you for a bonus code during registration, and I had no references, so I left it blank. Well, later on I come to realize that if I had been referred I could have scored some extra earnings to begin with..

Oh well.

CheckPoints started up later on in 2010, but has probably gotten the most national coverage in the media. Without a doubt the most downloaded "earning" App in the App Store.

Resembling a common check-in App, like Foursquare, CheckPoints rewards its users by a point based format. You earn minimal points just by checking into businesses nearby by using your iPhone's GPS, and you can post tips and comments about each business and also view other tips and business details such as address, phone number, and location on a map. Now, straying away from your everyday check-in App, CheckPoints throws another feature into the mix, start thinking scavenger hunt.

CheckPoints will show you the top earning opportunities based on your location and list them at the top of the Apps colorful and easy to navigate interface. Within those featured businesses, you'll find many sponsored products in which you'll need to find within that business and literally scan the barcode on each one. Why? For the points silly. Moving on.

These points add up, and quite quickly if you live in an area with plenty of malls and businesses around. Now what if you live in the sticks and barely have Edge Network? Good news! CheckPoints advertisers are product based and not store specific, so you don't have to live in a high urban area for this App to work for you.

Now what do we do with these points? Save them. Keep saving them. Until you reach something you want to purchase in their store filled with electronics such as Wiis, Netbooks, iPods, and plenty of other gift cards (iTunes, Amazon, Fandango, GameStop) and charities. Reasonably priced, these items are literally within reach if you don't give up too soon. I've gotten a few free albums from iTunes using this App already. Too gain some bonus points, look for products to scan with gold coins. These gold coins count as 1 token each for the in-App slots game where you can win the Jackpot of 150,000 points (enough for a couple Wiis).

Interested in this App? Head to the App Store and search CheckPoints or just click here:

If you sign up and you're feeling charitable or looking for those bonus startup points use my bonus code: Xiej

Much like the same experience with CheckPoints, ShopKick offers it's users generally the same bit. Instead of being product driven, however, ShopKick's advertisers are more along the likes of big box stores. This may change things a bit depending on your current residence, but I find these two to be pretty similar to each other. The biggest difference however is how the user attains points.

ShopKick has products to scan, but much less than CheckPoints. Instead, ShopKick just wants users to physically walk into certain stores to award them points. Along with daily specials and offers displayed at the top of the screen, the user can gain more points or offers by following a featured "task." These "tasks" change almost daily, so there's always something new happening in this App.

Aside from gaining points by using this app, the user is also entitled to select offers from the business they just physically checked-into. For example, walking into Best Buy and opening ShopKick, I'm entitled to extra offers from Best Buy that I can use in store immediately. That 32" LCD HDTV for $449.99 is now $299.99 thanks to the offer on my iPhone via ShopKick. Not bad.

You're a bit limited to check-ins and point opportunities from the get-go, but the more you play around with the App, the higher you gain in Levels. So as you progress in levels, you unlock more features and bonus points. The points can be redeemed in the Rewards section, which (in my opinion) is a bit lacking compared to CheckPoints. ShopKicks rewards are almost all limited to gift cards to Best Buy, Target, iTunes, Movie Tickets, etc. with a pair of Skull Candys, an HDTV, a Cruise, and a Coach Handbag being the exceptions. ShopKick however allows the user to suggest rewards, and with the amount that this App gets updated, the rewards could change quite often.

ShopKick sound like fun? Start typing it in the App Store or just head to their site here:

When you're signing up, feel free to use my bonus code to score yourself an extra 50 kickbucks when registering: goat3432

Finally, we get to my favorite App of the four I'd thought I'd share with the rest of the world. Sick of points getting your motivation down. Well, WeReward does away with the entire points system. Instead, they just want to pay you.
In Cash.
Through PayPal.

Getting funds from both big businesses and products like Pepsi, Quiznos, McDonalds, Walmart, etc. WeReward can afford to give you a cut of their profit for "proving" that you have consumed these products or just aware that they even exist.

WeReward is split up by Places, Products, and Tasks. Places are hundreds of big and small business around your area. Products are consumer goods you may have lying around your house or where ever you are. Tasks are certain objectives you need to complete, such as downloading a free app from the App Store and opening it at least once before you delete it.

Now with WeReward, there's no pesky barcodes to scan or certain businesses aren't available depending on your region. No, instead WeReward simply wants you to snap a picture of a store sign, your bartender, you stuffing your face with a Big Mac, or pounding a Pepsi and submit it. Once approved by WeReward, they drop anywhere from a few bucks to a few dimes in your account. Simply Awesome.

If interested in WeReward (Which you should be!), follow this referral link to their site so both you and I get a bonus:

Now this is the last App that I've been able to play with, so I don't have too much experience here, but there is plenty of potential. AOL's Seed looks to revolutionize the journalism world, where everyone has the ability to be a potential amateur journalist and make some money from it. Their motto states exactly what they're looking for; Create, Be Heard, Get Paid.

Now, thumbing through the app for a while, its clear that Seed for mobile is definitely a remote for the web based site. It requires registration online at and many features from Seed are only available from a home computer. Still, the potential to make some extra cash is there, and to be a bit more creative about it and actually be heard by others? Well, thats just cool.

The major section of the App (Which takes a bit to load, patience) is the Assignments tab. This is where many of your money opportunities are. Many of these assignments request the user to write accounts of personal stories or experiences with certain topics. For example, Confessions of a Greeting Card Writer, What It's Like to Work at Best Buy, My Unemployed Life, I Interviewed at Cisco, etc. Each personal account will tack on $20+ to your account.

Like I say, the potential is there, and such a creative startup. However, writing may not be your thing. No worries. Your iPhone has a camera. Use it. Seed is also looking for Photographers. Say you come across some breaking news, something different, or something worthy of being internet bound, snap a pic and push it through Seed. you may just come out on top with some extra cash.

Feeling Seed and their approach to journalism? check 'em out here:

The Honorable Mention
Okay, so this one isn't really an App from the App Store, but I feel its worthy of a proper mention, as this is what started my said binge on finding some supplemental cash. Now it doesn't pay much, but have you ever had a piggy bank or something where you just added some change to it every now and then? Well, that change adds up doesn't it? That's exactly what the basis of AppRedeem is, except you're not saving your own change, you're saving free change from sponsors.

All you need is a PayPal account and an App capable iDevice to get started. Sign up (Hopefully using my reference link!), and choose from the list any App to download, free or paid. Many of the paid Apps end up giving you your money back in a few minutes, and the free ones will give you anywhere from dimes to quarters. Either way, the list gets updated quite a bit, and new Apps are available to download.

Once you find an App to download, you'll be redirected to the App Store where you'll download it. Next, you open the App (I usually fool around with the App for a min), then you can delete it if it's not for you. After all is said and done, next time you head to AppRedeem your balance would have increased and you have been paid through PayPal in just a couple minutes from opening the App you downloaded. Cool huh?

You can add AppRedeem to your home screen from Safari by tapping the "+" and selecting "Add to Home Screen." Voila! You now have a clean web app added to your home screen that you can easily get back to AppRedeem like I do. This is simply an App that pays you to try out other Apps.

If you'd like to check out AppRedeem, follow my reference link to their site to help us both out:

Hopefully, you enjoyed this way overdue blog post. I've been meaning to get back to writing, but currently my life is just a little hectic, especially if I'm out there trying to make as much cash as possible before I head back to school. But if you found this post at all interesting, or you just have something to say, leave me a comment or follow my blog, just do something haha. If I start seeing some activity, I'll start unloading much much more here and, in the near future, other start up sites I'm working on.

This post is one of others to appear on my "Cash Flow" page for money making apps. Check it out

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Beginning of a Great Thing

Hello World

Welcome to my newly established blog that will focus on essential applications (in my opinion) for your iPod, iPhone, or iPad. With upcoming updates, I'll review new apps as they hit the app store and consider the importance of each one, and whether or not they are worthy of occupying your precious home screens. I plan to keep the ball rolling as much as possible as I'll continue to test each app that makes a splash in the app store or catches my eye and share it with all of you that come across my pages. Keep checking back as this is one of my many resolutions for the upcoming 2011 year, and I'll bring new content here as much as possible.

About Me

Now that introductions are underway, let me introduce myself. My name is Shawn, and I am a 22 year old college student attending Plattsburgh State University. I'm following a Computer Science / Programming / Design curriculum, and programming has started to become a big thing for me as I plan to follow that into a occupation. Some might say that I'm a tech junkie (and that may be correct) because I've engrossed myself into the electronics/tech world, always trying to stay on top with the new ideas and products hitting each of our lives at such an exponential rate. I'm a frantic iPhone user that would be lost without his phone, that uses the features in many walks of life. I gain knowledge by experience, and I try to experience as much as possible. Add a bit of creativity and intuition, and we'll together look at the future with both sides of our brains.

What I Hope This Blog Will Accomplish

The sole purpose of this blog is to look at the upcoming and noteworthy apps within the Apple App Store. The first few posts will most likely be of my personal Top Essential Apps, and as time progresses, look at individual apps as they hit the App Store in a more in depth approach. I look forward to comments and feedback and I will try my best to be present routinely to talk to anyone that wishes to. I expect this blog to change dramatically as time goes on as well, as I will most likely be making changes to improve my site as much as possible. Thank for your patience in advance, and I hope you enjoy this blog! :D