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OneTap App

Is One Second Worth A Lifetime?

A couple weeks a go I shared a story about a distracted driver on one of our local highways. Since then I have been paying a lot more attention to the cars around me while I am out and about, and not only can I not believe how distracted we are, but I also started to notice my own tendencies.

I’m guessing we all like to think that we are good drivers. I know that I drive with the confidence that I am being safe on the road, especially while transporting my family. That said, after my last post I started noticing that I am susceptible to my phone’s notifications as well. It was disheartening to say the least and I have been taking steps to eliminate those distractions ever since. After all, one second of distraction is all it takes to cause a lifetime of pain and guilt.

I downloaded the OneTap app, developed by Canadian owned App Colony, a couple weeks ago and have really been enjoying it so far. OneTap works by blocking out pings, rings and other notifications that I get while driving and since I enabled it in my car, I have been a lot more focused on what is going on around me.

I highly encourage you to check out the OneTap app in the Google Play Store and coming soon to the iTunes App Store! You can also follow along with OneTap on Twitter by tracking the hashtag #JustOneTap.

And if you’re still not convinced, I think this video does an excellent job at describing the value that OneTap offers. Drive safe, my friends!

Just OneTap

Help Stop Distracted Driving With OneTap

Let me tell you a story from this past summer. I was driving on the highway when I noticed that the pickup truck in front of me was weaving in and out of the lane. My first thought was that the person may have been drinking, so I pulled two lanes over just to stay out of harms way. The next thing I saw was the truck smash into the cement median, fishtail and continue driving.

At this point curiosity got the best of me and I caught up to the truck to see what was going on. As I glanced over I was shocked to see that not only had the driver smashed into the wall because he was typing something on his phone, but also that he was STILL doing something on his phone and not looking at the road! Needless to say, I got as far away from this guy as possible.

This is not to say that I am perfect by any means. We’ve all glanced down at a text or answered the phone while driving, mostly because it’s so accessible to do so. In fact, according to a 2014 RCMP Traffic Services report, the leading cause of fatal crashes in Canada over the past five years is distracted driving, contributing to 33% of these accidents. Well, Canadian owned company, App Colony, wanted to help change that, so they developed OneTap, a breakthrough new app for Android phones (IOS version coming soon), proudly supported by The Co-operators Group, that will stop distracted driving in its tracks. Now, driving safely takes #JustOneTap.

    How It Works

Acting as your ‘personal assistant’ on the go, OneTap uses the built-in GPS on your phone to know when you’re in a vehicle and driving. Once you get going, OneTap is automatically enabled, blocking out pings, rings and other notifications that pull our attention away the road. Unlike other solutions on the market though, when a text comes in, OneTap doesn’t just block the alert. Instead, its Auto-Reply function replies to calls and texts immediately, letting people know that you’re driving and when you expect to be finished. One2One™ urgent connect technology notifies you when there’s an urgent message, allowing you to pull over and safely respond.

Another cool feature is that when you connect to friends and family through OneTap, you will be able to see where your loved ones are and if they are driving. And don’t worry, privacy settings within the app can be adjusted to ensure information is only shared with individuals selected by the user.

I can’t think of a good reason to not at least try out the OneTap app. If you are interested in more information, you can go to the OneTap Website or you can install the app from the Google Play Shop!

OneTap

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the #JustOneTap campaign, but seriously people, put your phones down.

YP App

Finding My Way Around With The Yellow Pages App

I don’t do a lot of app reviews, mostly because I don’t tend to use a lot of apps outside of my social media accounts. So when I got the pitch from Yellow Pages to check out their new YP App, I was all set to politely decline. That was until I saw all the features they were promising to deliver on, at which time I decided to give this thing a go, and am I ever glad I did.

I hadn’t had the YP App downloaded for 24 hours before I needed to use it in an emergency. I have been having some car troubles lately and on my way to the shop to drop it off, someone blew under the hood and forced me off to the side of the road in rush hour traffic. I’m not sure if you’ve ever had to pull over on a highway but it can be a very stressful experience. I froze for a minute, thinking of what to do, when I remembered that the YP App had specific pre-sets, with one of them being Towing Info. I quickly turned to the app, clicked on towing and it immediately populated towing companies in my area, with their phone numbers and even a rating for them. All I had to do was pick the closest company, hit call, and I was on my way in 15 minutes.

YP App Towing

After the towing experience, I couldn’t wait to see what else the YP App could do, so I went exploring. One of the first things I noticed was that it had a Reverse Phone Number Lookup section, which is something I use often on my cell phone. Normally, however, I’d have to go to my phone browser, head to the yellow pages site and find the reverse section in order to begin. With the app, I just hit Reverse, enter the number and voila! I am done. Now, in a flash, I will be able to tell if I missed a call from a friend or just another foreign prince in need of my help.

Reverse Phone YP App

Finally, there is the deals section. I kind of assumed that this would be filled with a lot of random stuff that I wouldn’t be interested in but was pleasantly surprised to see great deals from places like Toys R Us, Cineplex, Absolute Comedy and the Canadian Children’s Museum. These are all things we do on a regular basis and the savings will definitely come in handy!

YP App Deals

I’m not sure what more I can say to convince you to check out the YP App. There are so many more features, from directions and photos to GPS and sharing options, that at the low, low price of FREE, you really have no reason not to give it a shot! You can download the YP App on iTunes or on Android and you can find more information over at the Yellow Pages Website.

Disclosure: I received compensation for my participation in this campaign.

 

We Day ~ Montreal Recap

Last week, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend my second WeDay, this time in the amazing city of Montreal. Some might call this greedy but it was a special chance for me to see my friend, Hannah Alper, performing live on stage as WeDay’s newest speaker. Spoiler Alert: She totally crushed it!

The Montreal event was different from the Ottawa experience in that it only had about 2,000 students, which made for a very intimate setting. The crowd was still deafening at times, as they heard from amazing speakers like Martin Luther King III, Chris Tse & the Kielburger brothers, as well as performances by Luca “LazyLegz” Patuelli and Sam Roberts. As you would expect from an event like WeDay, the positive energy flowing around the room was very high and the emotions were even higher.

My Highlights

There were a number of highlights from my most recent WeDay experience and I’ve decided to lay them out in point form to the best of my ability.

1. Martin Luther King III

It’s not every day that you get to listen someone as powerful as Martin Luther King III live on stage and I am grateful for the opportunity. While his message was tailored to the children in attendance, I can assure you that it was certainly not lost on me when he urged them to find their calling in life. It’s something that I am still searching for but feel like I am getting closer every day.

2. Chris Tse

I’m not going to lie, going into this day, I had no idea who Chris Tse was. I was invited a couple days before the event and didn’t have a lot of time to read up on all the speakers. It turns out that it was probably a good thing because Chris blew me away with his wit and in the way that he poetically threw out his words as if he were writing a book right in front of us. In describing his upbringing, I loved when he talked about how his parents had set up “Math Mondays”, “World History Wednesdays”, and his least favourite, “Non-Fiction Fridays”. He was incredible and is someone I will be following from now on.

3. Spencer West

This says it all.

4. The Alper’s. All of them…

You know the saying, “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know”? That seems infinitely appropriate here, because without Eric, Candace and Hannah Alper, I would not have been able to experience something as amazing as WeDay. From the initial invitation, to having the opportunity to sneak backstage to meet the likes of Marc & Craig Kielburger, Spencer West, Martin Luther King III and Sam Roberts, I am forever indebted to this family. Getting to see Hannah calmly speak in front of all of those kids, gives me further inspiration and nerves to pursue my goals of inspiring through public speaking. And, she was absolutely amazing as she shared Malala’s story, up on the stage. So, thank you Alper’s! You have inspired me in more ways than one and I plan on using that insporation for good.

5. Meeting Molly Burke!

This was the big highlight of the day for me. Thanks again to Candace Alper, I had the special opportunity to meet and hang out backstage with Molly Burke and her guide dog, Gypsy. I was first introduced to Molly and her story at WeDay in Ottawa earlier this year. Her story of bullying is one of the most powerful I have ever heard on the subject and I wanted to meet her so I could let her know that her message reaches more than just the children she speaks to. As expected, she was very cool to hang out with and admitted that she is very superstitious, just as I am. Her new presentation was just as powerful as the one from Ottawa and the world is definitely a better place for having her in it.

If you have school aged children, I highly encourage you to start by showing them the videos on the Free The Children website and encouraging them to get involved in their school or community. The long term effects of this action will benefit their future multiple times over.

We 365 App

Free The Children also unveiled the very cool, We 365 phone app, which is going to revolutionize the way we give back. It’s an app that tracks all the good you do and awards points for each task you complete and hour your volunteer. It has challenges, allows you to create groups and even has prizes. This video explains it better than I can, and for every sign up on We365, Free The Children will immunize a child overseas.

Martin Luther King IIIMolly Burke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hannah AlperSam Roberts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spencer West

Why Simply Shop When You Could ShopWise?

In case you hadn’t noticed, I am a guy, and as such I am held to a certain standard of cluelessness when it comes to holiday shopping. Well it just so happens that I am smarter than the average bear and located the ShopWise app on my iPhone last week. I am always a little skeptical about apps that are supposed to make shopping easier but I knew from the first featured special that we were a match!

ShopWise Chips

For some background, the ShopWise app, which is offered for free by the Yellow Pages Group, was designed as an everyday shopping app to save you time and money. The app is free to download and ShopWise also just launched their new version 2.0 here in Canada. I figured the app would be good for Christmas shopping only but I have been using it all over the place for everything from restaurants to kid’s clothes. My favourite feature has to be the interactive map that shows you all the deals in the area you are actually in at that moment. It’s genius, and also a little dangerous in the sense that there always seems to be a Dairy Queen in there…

ShopWise Map

On to the shopping portion of the app! We had decided to get our son a scooter for Christmas this year but hadn’t found the right deal yet. Low and behold, two days into my new app adventure, I saw this amazing 40% deal on scooters at Toys R Us! I had never felt more like a bargain hunter and it got me itching to see what else I could save on.

ShopWise Scooter

For my next trick, I got a little fancy and decided to search the word, Disney, to see what would happen. I never got past the first featured item because it was an incredible deal on overstock Halloween decorations, and because that holiday happens every year, the decorations are pretty much always good, in my mind at least. Not to mention that smaller things are great stocking stuffers because the kids love everything Disney!

ShopWise Disney

Last but not least, the toughest person to shop for on my Christmas list, my wife. She is not the best at getting me a detailed list, so I am usually in charge of picking out my own gifts for her. With the ShopWise app, I simply went to the Find button, hit Apparel, and voila, I had two options right in front of me. The one I think she needs and the one she probably wants. I’ll let you figure out which is which.

ShopWise Clothes

Did I mention that the ShopWise app is free?? There’s really no reason for you to NOT check this out and I’m telling you that you will find it incredibly useful. The ShopWise app is available in the iTunes store, on Android and also for Blackberry.

If all that wasn’t enough, if you own an iPhone or an iPad, ShopWise is giving away a $100 prepaid shopping card to one of you just before the holidays! Simply download the ShopWise app and fill out the form with your email address in the “Help” section of the app. Then you can enter the giveaway using the form below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This post was
and I received compensation for my opinions on this product.

5 iPhone Apps My Kids Can’t Live Without

Yeah I know, over dramatic post title, right? Well, you try writing a blog and figuring out how to get people to read it, OKAY!

I’m sorry, it’s 1 o’clock in the morning and I have put this one off all day due to being lazy at work.

Still friends? Good!

Back to the point of the story, my kids are ages 2 and 4. I occasionally let them play on my iPhone, as does my wife, and I thought I’d share with other parents out there, the games that keep the kids occupied, while also stimulating their minds…..sometimes.

I get it. Letting the kids watch TV and play video games is lazy parenting. Well, I have some news for you: I’m Not Perfect!

Every now and then, while waiting for our food at a restaurant or after a really tough day at the office, I’m cool with passing the iPhone to one of the kids for a couple hours minutes. It keeps them occupied and in some cases, can even help out in an educational way.

So without further ado, I let you in on the iPhone Apps my kids love to play!

#5 – Talking Bacteria John by Out Fit 7 Ltd. – This is probably the most ridiculous App I’ve ever seen but the kids laugh harder at this one than any they’ve played so it makes the list. It provides no educational or emotional value, unless you count laughing as a value. It’s basically a bunch of blue blobs floating around that repeat everything you say and you can feed them donuts. They also have an infectious and irritating laugh that keeps you coming back for more!

#4 – Sesame Street: The Fix-It Shop by Sesame Workshop Apps – It’s got some cool features like stories and recording and blah, blah, blah. My kids love the coloring book feature on this app. My daughter will play this until I yank it out of her screaming hands! The only issue with this one is that she doesn’t know how to change colors, so she asks every 30 seconds…

#3 – Shape-O by Bellamon – Now we’re getting to the good stuff! This puzzle game is really incredible and I’m so glad my son loves it! There are tons of puzzles, where you not only place the pieces but also have to match the letters in the word before you can move to the next puzzle. This is a great one and I highly recommend it!

#2 – Garage Band by Apple Canada Inc. – The funny thing about this one is that it was MY app for my band. We are able to share new sounds and vocals through this app and it’s very useful for our music. And then my kids heard me playing on it and stole it from me. Now my son and daughter fight tooth and nail to see who is going to get to pay drums and keyboard and guitar! I secretly love that they love the music because that’s something I can share with them. It came out of nowhere but this one is great for kids to make and record music.

#1 – Angry Birds by Rovio Mobile – Was there any doubt about this one? It’s the classic time wasting game and the kids love it! I don’t even know what to say about this game that you don’t already know. Addictive is the word I would use to describe it. Like I always say, “When in doubt, Kill some green pigs!”

 

That’s it for my list. I wasn’t paid by any of these companies, nor do I ever plan to be, lol. My kids just love these games and I thought other lazy parents could benefit from the recommendations.

Honorable mentions to Flick Home Run, Cars 2 & Talking Tom & Ben News. All great in their own way but just not quite loved enough to make the Top 5!

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to share your favorite apps in the comments section!

Cheers!