Category Archives: Chicago Tech and Gadgets

Thursday Tech [Honey Chrome Extension]

Honey chrome extension

Honey chrome extension

Can’t recall how I found this money saving Chrome extension, but Honey is beyond awesome.

Honey does what RetailMeNot, Slickdeals and other similar sites can’t do. Automatic Couponing. What do I mean by that. Essentially Honey scours the web, finds a relevant coupon and automagically applies it at checkout. It doesn’t get easier than this, folks.

I first used Honey at (my registrar of choice) NameCheap. Basically after I found the domain name I was looking for, I then headed for checkout and simply clicked the Honey icon on my toolbar. Sure enough after about a minute or so – it found a relevant coupon code, auto applied it to my cart and I saved a few bucks on my purchase. 🙂

You can find Honey at the Chrome store as a free download. My only complaint with this browser extension is just that – its a browser extension and as such can only be used on a desktop or laptop. It isn’t compatible with mobile devices. 🙁 Considering that everything is mobile today, its surprising there’s no app. Yet. We want an Android app please. Unless there’s something we’re misunderstanding with the Honey Chrome extension – why is this only available as an add-on for our toolbar?

But bottom line: If you shop online alot and don’t mind saving money, you will love Honey. And that concludes this edition of Thursday Tech. Stay tuned next week, where we will feature another great tech find.

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6 Awesome Apps for Android To Try This Month

There’s no shortage of (awesome apps for Android) or for your iPhone. But which apps are worth downloading and which ones don’t cut the mustard. That’s where we come in. Our upcoming (awesome apps for Android round ups) will mention mobile apps which are not only worth downloading but a MUST TRY.

See our first round up below and if you find any of these super useful; please come back here – or to our FB page – and give us a shout out. 🙂

1. Lyft –

This awesome app for Android is all you need for cheap local rides on the fly. In many areas of the city and beyond, Lyft is a better alternative than riding the bus or hailing a cab. Plus a new! feature recently added to the Lyft app is that your ride cost is now listed up front BEFORE you book your ride. Great for those in a hurry and…on a budget. Right. And who isn’t on a budget nowadays. Are you new to Lyft? Have yet to try this awesome Chicago ride sharing service – here’s a coupon code (LYFT BLOG POST) worth $10 off your FIRST ride. How do you sign up? Just download app, enter code above and book your ride. That’s it.

Lyft coupon code: LYFT BLOG POST (click here for app!)

2. Uber –

You’ve most likely heard of Uber, as it has been around a bit longer than Lyft and has a much bigger budget in which to advertise. We personally prefer Lyft, but Uber is good too and definitely serves its purpose. Works the same as Lyft in that you download the app, enter in a coupon code to save on your first ride and then book your Uber driver. Why should you try Uber? Because again as mentioned above, depending on your area and intended destination; using Uber might save you both; some big bucks and definitely time.

Uber coupon code: 4jt7e (click here for app!)

3. Postmates –

Have you heard of Postmates? They’re a local on demand delivery service that many use to get eats to them. Lots of local restaurants use Postmates and if they’re located in your area; this app is a must try. Why? Because you can have your fave food delivered to your door inexpensively, quickly AND via a delivery person who may sustainably walk or bike to your place. Some drive, but many walk or bike their food order deliveries.

Postmates App: (click here for app!)

4. Time Out App –

Time Out (the magazine) is a treasure trove of goodies when it comes to listing local events, new! happenings and or chronicling the latest and greatest in Chicago. The Time Out app also delivers fresh content but in the palm of your hand via their awesome Android or iPhone app. From the newest plays to the best places to wine and dine and a splendid most useful calendar of events; the this local app is a must download.

Time Out App – (click here for app!)

5. Stand In –

This is a newer app from a local Chicago resident that aims to bridge the gap between Craigslist and paid apps for finding dates or friends. The Stand In App is about helping you find a “stand in” for that event you have coming – and need someone to take the place of friend or family member. I quite like the concept behind this awesome app. Hopefully it takes off, becomes wildly successful with lots of new members and becomes a go to app for finding local peeps to hang with.

Stand In App – (click here for app!)

6. Figo –

Figo is as you might have guessed is a pet related app. But not just any pet related app, it’s a pet insurance app created right here in Chicago – by Chicago tech peeps. The new! app basically lets you find insurance for your furry friend; be it Fluffy or Fido. Whether you have a dog or cat; the Figo app is great for finding affordable and comprehensive health insurance for your beloved pet. Shout out to Tails Pet magazine, where we found out about this awesome, free and local app for Android.

*The Figo app is set to be released late April to early May.

Figo App – (click here for app information, see Q&A #10)

10 Fun Facts About Lyft

lyft local rides in minutes

Have you been hearing a lot lately about this new ride sharing service called Lyft?

Basically it’s like Uber, but different.

I was curious about this company as well, so decided to do some quick research and found the following facts. If after reading the list, you feel like giving Lyft a try.

Please use this code: LYFTBLOGPOST (one word, no spaces)

Ok. Below are 10 quick and dirty fun facts about Lyft – the cool new! ride sharing service/app.

  1. Lyft is available on iPhone, iPad and Android devices
  2. Free Lyft app is available online via their site, through Google Play or iTunes
  3.  No cash needed for rides, pay with your CC (credit card)
  4. You (book a ride) with (one click) on your mobile thru the Lyft app
  5. Local rides average less than $10 in cost (approx)
  6. Drivers are friendly for the most part and tend to pick up quickly
  7. Tipping is welcome (and always appreciated)
  8. Everything is/can be done with your mobile – from booking, looking up destination routes in GPS, paying for fare, reviewing and rating your experience, etc
  9. Lots of #FREE rides available – in the form of (promo codes) like the one mentioned above and below
  10. Lyft has a cool Facebook page – that discusses all things (car sharing) but also city specific content and yes! discounts galore as well

If you have questions on Lyft or have yet to try it but want to – reach out to me. I’ve recently become a Lyft Brand Ambassador (yes! that’s a thing) and can help you with sign up, get free rides, send you a link to the app, show you how Lyft works and more.

Don’t forget to use promo code: LYFTBLOGPOST (all one word, no spaces) when you FIRST sign up. *Not valid with existing users.

Questions, comments, feedback – Contact me here. (Thanks!)

Tuesday Resource of the Day

DEAL OF THE DAY

Flash Sale: 30% off orders over $50 at Fanatics.com with code QUICK30 – deal expires 9am (EST) tomorrow morning 11/16/2016.

We are starting a new column on the blog called Resource Tuesday – where we discuss a cool new resource we found online. Let me know in the comment area if you’ve heard of, are using or or plan to use our Tuesday Resource of the Day. And as usual, feel free to share your personal fave in the comment area.

Resource Name: Pocket

Description: A very cool “save for later”app which lets you save any article from the web, any video, photo, meme – to read later on your device of choice. Whether at home on the PC, or on the go via your smartphone – Pocket is a fun and very useful resource. One of my favorite features of Pocket is the ability to view what you save without net connection. So if you happen to be in an area without the web, you can still access most if not all of the content that you have saved. Making it ideal for long commutes, waiting in line, or just about any place where there’s a bit of free time and no web access.

Where to get it: online at GetPocket.com

Price: $ FREE

Mini Review: Awesome no cost app and site to save articles, videos, memes, photos, etc to view and read later. Easy to use, lots of neat features and available for the PC on the web or as an app for your iPhone or Android device.

 

How To Detox from Your Smartphone, Plus #TheColorRun 2015

smartphone detox the color run graphic

We all do it. We all check our phones or tablets every 10 seconds. Let’s face it – we’re addicted to social media, shopping online, browsing products and services on the go, Googling a/k/a searching and the web in general.

How do we stop this madness???

How do we at least lessen it some.

What about you. What are your thoughts on the smartphone detox ideas below?

smartphone detox the color run graphic

The guys and gals over at The Color Run – which by the way is a super fun 5k race/walk – have on their blog a copy of a great info graphic on how to “DETOX FROM YOUR SMARTPHONE”. It’s a daily step by step on what to do and how to lessen your cell usage. See it above. The Color Run team is all about healthy living and pursuing an active lifestyle, so this graphic hit home for them and us. That’s why we’re sharing it here, too.

If you live in Chicago, the next Color Run is Saturday 10/17 in Champaign, IL.

This is a fun 5k race/walk but it also raises funds for charity, and the particular charity that will benefit for this race is the The United Way.

Going back to the graphic above, Friday and Saturday seem especially kind of hard to do – for die hard social media addicts, right?

Friday – Go out to dinner and leave your phone at home. Really? (I don’t know about this one. I can easily see myself not using my phone during dinner, but leaving it at home entirely. I don’t think so.)

Saturday – Do not look at or post to social media. (at all) Wow! (this seems difficult, but yes! it is very doable) I can do this one.

What about you. What are your thoughts on the smartphone detox ideas above?

SPECIAL COUPON CODE FOR THE COLOR RUN BELOW:

Want to help people recycle their old devices due to back to school purchases?

gazelle affiliate program

gazelle affiliate program

If you happen to know quite a bit of friends and family members who have old or recently used cell phones collecting dust in a drawer, and want to start a mini movement of having these phones recycled or even make some cash out of it – Gazelle is a good choice for your project. Not too mention that with back to school soon in motion, many parents will go out and buy their kids new devices and gadgets. Again Gazelle is a good option to send your or your friends previous generation devices.

Gazelle is one of the leading online electronic recyclers and depending on the age, model and condition of the electronic you send in – you could get some money in the process. If it’s very old and not worth any cash, they will tell you so and instead recycle the device for you. So either way – it’s a win.

Sign up here: Gazelle

Right now if you sign up under my link, I get a small bonus for referring you – as Gazelle is trying to get the word out and raise awareness due to the many back to school gadgets that will be bought in the next few weeks. So when the new devices are bought, what will consumers do with their current devices? You can spread the word on your blog and let them know about Gazelle and how they may possibly make some side cash by sending in their gently used cell phone, tablet, etc to this recycler. If it’s a newer model device like for example an iPhone 4 or 5 – chances are good, they WILL get some cash back.

Spread the good word – and thanks for sharing about this great green and eco friendly Gazelle initiative.

What Do You Want To Learn? #Dabble May Help

diy furniture painting chicago dabble class

diy furniture painting chicago dabble class

DIY Furniture Painting by Dabble Teacher Bernadette Kemper

Have you heard of Dabble? It’s an online marketplace for classes and workshops.

Everything from how to make your own wine to DIY furniture and how to sew to learning how to make awesome specialty drinks and all sorts of food items.

Dabble has a class offering in almost anything you can think of. And it’s all offered up by regular folks like you and me – who just happen to have the talent, skills or experience with the subject matter. The classes vary from 3 hours to a few days and costs as little as $25 to a few more dollars.

Classes and workshops are offered here locally throughout Chicago, you can search by name, category, day or simply browse through the many listed grid style on the homepage of site.

I would love to learn:

  • sewing
  • painting
  • how to Waltz dance class
  • jewelry making 101
  • stained glass workshop
  • calligraphy
  • and a host of other things

What do you want to learn? Tell me on Facebook.

Have you already tried something on Chicago Dabble? If so, tell us what and how did it go.