Posts by booyagadget:

    Best Android Apps: Bully Block (Stop Cyberbullying Now!)

    May 22nd, 2011

    Android Apps: Bully Block Review BB Ad

    Let’s face it…technology has a grip on the youth of our Nation.  The use of technology through smart phones, Facebook, Twitter, tablets, and computers has children facing a different kind of danger then we did growing up.  Bully Block, a new Android application by Spy Parent LLC, addresses a very serious and important issue in a simple innovative fashion.  Parents now have an opportunity to proactively address this concerning topic by protecting their children from the serious harm that can be inflicted by cyberbullying.

    Bully Block at the Amazon Appstore ( $.99, 5 stars)

    Bully Block at the Android Market ($1.29, 4.5 stars)

    • The Facts

    In a study done in February 2010 by the Cyberbullying Research Center, over 4000 students were randomly surveyed ages 10-18 from 37 different schools.  Many stats from this study stood out to me (you can read the entire article by True Care Awareness Online here), but the most significant one in my opinion is the fact that 20% of the students have been cyber-bullied in their lifetimes.  Astoundingly, 17% of them have been cyber-bullied within the last 30 days!  As a high school counselor at my day job I have seen firsthand the prevalence and impact cell phones have in schools.  Rumors, threats, harassment, and teasing are all very common in the school setting via cell phone; students no longer have to physically be present to harass someone.  At my school this year there have been two fights and several instances in which the administration had to call the police because of messages passed along via cell phone.  This does not include the countless minor conflicts and drama caused by rumors and gossip circulated by text message.

    • WhyBully Block Can Help
    Bully Block

    Bully Block

    Bully Block can instantly stop any type of harassment or cyberbullying through a cell phone.  Although this application is very simple to use there are several features that make it a functional method to immediately stop unwanted behavior.   I’ve now extensively used each of the features and I absolutely LOVE this application.  As a high school counselor I was very curious about Bully Block because I really wanted to see if it could be a resource for families I work with.  After reviewing the app…I would easily recommend Bully Block to parents of a student being bullied or harassed on their phone.  I will also recommend to my school administrators that we include Bully Block in our staff and parent training on cyberbullying.  Bully Block has a simple user-friendly interface, which in my opinion is critical, as a child should be able to pick it up and immediately utilize each feature to stop cyberbullying.

    • How does it Work

    The basic concept of Bully Block is simple; block people from calling and texting any cell phone equipped with the application…while being able to chronologically log, save, and share the information.  If someone is harassing you by sending text messages or calling your phone, you can block the number or their text and never have to deal with it on your phone again.  However, that’s not all Bully Block can do.  There are several ways the application collects data of events so you can report exactly what’s happening to police or school officials.  Let’s take a closer look:

    Bully block has 5 options…each has a unique and useful role

    1: Bully Block List

    The Bully Block List gives you a list of all the phone numbers you have blocked.  If you happen to accidentally block the wrong number you can easily “unblock” the number and continue to receive calls & text.  I blocked my wife’s number for example and did a few experiments; I was able to easily unblock the number through the Bully Block List afterward.  I was very impressed with the speedy and effective results.  We were just testing the app but I saw firsthand how frustrating it can be if you know your messages are not getting through to someone.  My wife had to double check and make sure I “unblocked” her number multiple times.

    2: Bully Block SMS

    Bully Block SMS gives you the option to select any text message already on your phone.  Once you do so… you can block the numbers incoming calls or SMS messages.  Another amazing feature is you can auto respond to a SMS message (or phone call).  There is a dialogue box in which you can type in whatever message you want the bully/blocked caller to receive (“You have been Bully Blocked Buster”, or “the police are monitoring your text messages”).  The text sent from any blocked number does not come through on your phone (saving on your text totals); there is no notification so your child will no longer have to see any ugly messages.

    Not only can you block SMS messages and send an auto response, you can also email (“Tell Someone”) or forward (i.e. to Mom’s phone) any SMS message you receive.  If you email or forward a detailed Bully Block message you will see the source of the call (phone number), the exact time and date, and the message from the bully/harasser.  This information, simply displayed and easily sent, could be extremely useful if you were to pursue legal action or choose to report to school officials.  In my opinion this is the most useful and impressive aspect of the application; Bully Block serves as a deterrent and a reporting device, while maximizing your child’s privacy.

    3: Bully Block Calls

    Bully block calls is exactly the same as the SMS block except you can access your call log and choose any number to block.  It will bring up your call log and you are able to document how often a bully/harasser was calling.  Again, very beneficial if you were attempting to get a restraining order or report the harassment.

    4: Bully Capture

    Initially I thought Bully Capture might be able to record my phone conversation with a bully/harasser, but I was mistaken.  When I tried to record during a call the application was forced closed.  I contacted the developer and he informed me the intent of Bully Capture is NOT to record phone calls; it is to conceal the fact that you are recording someone you are in direct contact with.  In other words, if a bully comes up to you and begins making threats, you could activate Bully Capture and record the conversation, which can also be stored and shared via email.  Although I was disappointed that I couldn’t be my own secret service agent and record my phone conversation, Bully Capture has a useful purpose.  The application completely disappears (goes into stealth mode) once you begin recording, and you simply re-launch the app to stop the recording after the bully/harasser is gone.

    Android Apps: Bully Block Review Bully Capture email5: Bully File

    The last option is basically a running log of everything you decide to save.  Bully File will automatically log calls and text from numbers you have blocked.  You can also manually file phone calls, SMS text, and recordings in the Bully file.  This feature allows you to compile the evidence and then send a comprehensive and chronological account of the harassment.  As a high school counselor I have seen many instances in which families just don’t have enough proof to take action.  Bully Block allows families to get the proof they need to not only stop the harassment and bullying, but to make it much easier for police and school officials to address the issue.  Authorities won’t have to go through phone records and several different accounts; they can simply review an email containing an entire account of the harassment.  The one downside here is you are not able to delete anything in Bully File.  I spoke to the developer about this and he said they are in the process of creating a “cloud” system in which you would be able to upload and manage info.

    Android Apps: Bully Block Review emailed text

    • Alternative uses for Bully Block

    Although I feel the most effective use of this application is to prevent cyberbullying, and the target audience here is likely parents of kids being bullied, there are certainly other possible uses.  One that instantly comes to mind is the ex-boyfriend/stalker for women.  The app could be used in the same way to report and prevent stalking and harassment.  You could use the app to stop telemarketers from calling you, sending an auto response like “you are being reported for your unauthorized telemarketing call”.   You could use Bully Block as a “out of office” type response when you know you will not be able to get to your phone (i.e. when you lounging on a beach in Hawaii).  Don’t feel like talking to Mom/Mother in Law for the next few days/weeks?  ;)  You could also use the app to send a friendly auto response to your buddy who sends 20 texts a day that you’re almost out of texts.  This could save you money as his texts don’t come through.  Obviously, many phones have these kinds of options, but I just wanted to show Bully Block has some versatility.

    Android Apps: Bully Block Review 3 panell BB

    • Summary

    If I had a child of cell phone carrying age (my son is not yet 2 so I am a little hesitant to give him a smart phone without Toddler Lock activated), I would equip the phone with Bully Block and train my son or daughter on how to use it.  Even if they have not been bullied or harassed, as we have seen by the statistics, there is a good chance they may be.  Bully Block can provide piece of mind for parents and children; knowing there is a way to combat the very serious and growing issue of cyberbullying.

    At Booyagadget.com we pride ourselves in saving you time and helping you spend money wisely…in this case I feel we may also save you and your family from the damage a bully/harasser can cause.  Bully Block is Booya and High School Counselor approved…I would strongly recommend trying it out.

    Follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, or subscribe at BooyaGadget.com if you enjoyed the article…

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    Best Android Apps: Amazon Appstore, Nice Interface & Free Apps

    May 13th, 2011
    Amazon App Thumbnail

    Amazon App Thumbnail

    Have you tried Amazon’s Appstore for Droid yet ?  You should !

    It’s time to try something new!  Explore a fresh alternative to the the Android Market and try the all-new Amazon Appstore.  In general, I use both the Android Market default and Amazon, but the main reason I love Amazon’s version of application distribution is THEY GIVE AWAY A PAID APP FOR FREE EVERY DAY! No joke.  Unfortunately the Android Market doesn’t have freebies.  You should definitely try them both and compare to see which store you like best for searching, navigating, and purchasing apps for your spendy device.

     

    Every single day of the week, Amazon gives away a paid application ( or even great games ) absolutely free, no strings attached.  You will immediately see what the day’s free application is when you go to the Amazon Appstore online or when you open the application on your Android device.  You can also follow Booya Gadget on Twitter and we’ll let you know what’s new.  This is free money, and free useful applications and games in your hands with a couple clicks…all YOU have to do is keep reading.

    Amazon AppStore

    How to Download your FREE Daily Paid App at the Amazon Appstore:

    (If you’d rather see a video walk-through scroll down to the bottom of this article)

    Step 1

    • Go to the Amazon Appstore online
    • Enter your phone number in “Get Started” section in the right top portion of the page
    • click “go”
    • As an Alternative ( if you want to try the cool way ) you can also scan the Amazon QR Code with your device’s barcode scanner app !
      Amazon App Store QR Code for Best Apps Booya Gadget

      Scan this with your device's QR/Barcode Scanner to Download the Amazon App

      Get started

    Step 2

    • You will receive a text message shortly (Feel free to watch my video at the bottom of this page while you wait)
    • Before you go to the text you must allow “Unknown Sources” (Settings > Applications > Unknown Sources)
    • Go to the text and click on the link (this will begin the Amazon Appstore Download on your device)

    Step 3

    • Once the App Store is downloaded, open the Appstore, sign in, and get your free paid app
    • Likely when you click on the FREE paid app for the first time you will have to set up your “One Click” settings on Amazon.com
    • A friendly courtesy link will take you there
    • Enter your phone number, billing address, and card you will be using to purchase apps in the future and you are all set up.  Booya!

    You can now launch your Amazon Appstore at any time from your Android device and pick up a FREE paid application every day!  As Amazon clearly states, AT&T Android users are still not able to use the Amazon Appstore but it is known and will be updated soon.  Here is a sample of what they’ve been giving away:

    Most recent free apps

    It’s Easy & you’ll LOVE it

    Downloading the Amazon Appstore is very easy to do and you’ll love getting a new paid game or useful application for free, especially when you know Android Market users are forking over cash for it.  I don’t know how long this sweet deal will last…so I would strongly recommend getting to it, start downloading free paid apps today.

    Booya!  “Helping you save time and spend your money wisely….”

    Leave a comment below, and let us know which Android App Store  you prefer !

    1 Comment "

    Best Android Apps for Parents: Baby Monitor & Alarm

    May 8th, 2011

    Every parent knows how crucial your baby monitor can be…but you can’t take it with you everywhere you go.  As a parent of a 17-month old son I have been without a monitor on several occasions; when I visit my family in another state, go on vacations, or crash at my in-laws.  Without a monitor in those instances my wife and I are always on alert, many times needing to check on him or put him back to sleep.  Not optimal.

    Baby Monitor to go

    With this super amazing application (by TappyTaps) called Baby Monitor & Alarm, my wife and I now have a monitor wherever we go.  To be honest I was upset when I first discovered this app for two reasons…1) we paid $150 for the monitor we use at home and this application cost $2.99, and 2) I didn’t find the app until my son was 16-months old.  I could have avoided so many anxious nights and countless room checks if I had just known a little earlier.  Better late than never I guess, we do plan on having another little munchkin.  After I show you all the things this app can do…I’m sure you’ll agree Baby Monitor & Alarm is truly amazing!

    Best Android Apps: Baby Monitor & Alarm

    How it works

    In order to utilize this application you will need two phones, typically one would be yours and one your significant others.  The second phone does not need to be an Android phone, much less have the Android application installed.  The concept is simple, brilliant, and innovative; the phone with the application acts as a sensor/speaker/monitor, it picks up sound coming from your child.  When the sound gets to certain level for a designated length of time (both of which are completely customizable), the phone with the application will call whatever phone number you program (your significant others phone).

    I set my phone up in my son’s room (highly recommend plugging it in) I turn on the monitor and that’s it.  If my son makes noise for more the 3 minutes my phone/monitor will automatically dial my wife’s phone.  Spectacular!  You can immediately hear clearly what’s going on.

    Features…Completely Customizable

    In my opinion the best aspect of this application is that there are so many customizable options.  You can set the amount of time you need to get out of the room before the monitor is activated.  You can adjust the sound sensitivity level of the monitor.  You can decide how long your child can make noise before you are notified.  You can manually check on the monitor.  There are also two alternatives you can set up before the monitor makes an alert call.  This application has so many options, you can really set it up just the way you want to meet your child’s individual needs.  That’s just not something you can do with the typical $150 monitor.

    Best Android Apps: Baby Monitor & Alarm

    Mommy’s Voice and Sweet Dreams

    Before the monitor (phone with the app) calls you to make you aware your child is up or making noise, there are two options.  You have the ability to use either, both, or none of them.  You can set it up the monitor up so that mommy’s voice comes on after your child makes noise for 5 seconds to 3 minutes (whatever you choose).  You can record whatever you want to and it will be activated after a designated amount of time.  You can also program the monitor to alert you after Mommy’s voice has been played and your child is still making noise (again you get to choose how long after Mommy’s voice played before you are alerted).  The possibilities are endless.  Sweet Dreams works very much the same way…I am currently using a lullaby I downloaded.  Both of these options can record your voice or use an audio file from your phone.

    Best Android Apps: Baby Monitor & Alarm

    Activity Log

    The activity log tracks what happens all night.  It tells you exactly how long your child was sleeping and how long he/she were making noise.  Not only does it tell you how long they were making noise it RECORDS the sound so you can hear if they were snoring, talking in their sleep, or crying in the middle of the night.   Can your $150 monitor do that?

    Best Android Apps: Baby Monitor & Alarm

    STATE & CALL (monitor from anywhere)

    From the alert phone (the phone the monitor will call, not in child’s room) you can text the word “STATE” to receive the current information from the monitor.  You can also text the word “CALL” and manually check on the noise in the room.  These options are listed as (experimental) in the application, but worked perfectly for me when I tried them.

    Summary

    I have now downloaded and sampled over 50 applications made specifically for parents…and this one is by far the most useful and satisfying.  Most parents are just not able to take their baby monitor wherever they go, now they don’t have to.  The combination of ease of use and an unparalleled ability to customize make this app one of the best on the market.  In my opinion this ability to personalize the application is essential and sets this app apart from its competition.  For $2.99, which is crazy when you think of how expensive real baby monitors are, you can have a mobile monitor that has a plethora of options and functions perfectly.  I am estatic to have found this application and it makes me even happier that I can share it with you.  If you have a young child this will likely be the best $2.99 you ever spend.  BOOYA!

    1 Comment "

    Best Android Apps: Vaulty Free Hides Pictures

    May 1st, 2011

    The most popular application at the Android Market in the “kids” category is…the Vaulty Free Hides Pictures app by Theron Rogers.  This is one of the hottest apps on the market and is PERFECT for parents.  Have you ever had a picture on your phone you’d never want your kids to see?  Well this application hides your pictures and videos on your Android device, locking them away in a secure vault protected by password of your choosing.  I absolutely LOVE this application and can no longer imagine life without it.

    How it works

    I was concerned that it would be difficult to move pictures or videos to and from the vault, but when I tried the app…my worries were laid to rest.  The process is the same as sharing a picture on Facebook, or sending a picture via text message.  You go to your picture (or video) gallery, select the picture, share the picture to Vaulty Free, and BOOYA…your picture is stashed.  When you first download the application you will immediately set up a password you will have to enter upon adding or removing files from the vault.  Once you set up your password…moving pictures back and forth is no problem.

    Best Android Apps: Vaulty Free Hides Pictures

    Best Android Apps: Vaulty Free Hides Pictures

    Why would you use Vaulty Free

    I believe this application is wonderful for parents, I know I have a few pics I would never want to get rid of, but may not be appropriate for my son to stumble upon.  I have also misplaced a phone or two in the past and this application would eliminate my worst nightmare; thinking about someone going through my most private pictures and videos.

    I don’t think you need to be a parent to take advantage of Vaulty Free.  If you have special pictures or videos of any kind that you just don’t want people to see; now you don’t have to delete them.

    Easy to Use

    This application is simple and effective…share, enter your password, and it’s in the vault.  It will no longer show up in your gallery.  But if you want to put it back in your gallery…no problem.  Go into Vaulty Free, long press the picture and select “unvault” and its back.

    Paid Version ($4.99)

    There is a paid Version of this application called Hide Pictures in Stocks App.  The paid version has several bonus features, but for all intensive purposes it does the same thing.  The paid version of the application looks & works like a stocks application (stocks and bonds) unless you have the password; this provides even greater privacy.  Here are some other features you will get with the paid version that are not available on Vaulty Free:

    • App Concealed as stocks app
    • Can share hidden media
    • Can “slide show” your hidden media
    • Can rotate hidden pictures
    • No ads
    • Can conceal movie images

    Privacy

    I tried every way I knew how to get to the pictures in the vault without using my password and was unsuccessful.  I scoured several file organizing applications and could never even find a file with a name Vaulty Free, much less a picture.  I now feel like I can control and seal the content on my phone I don’t want others or my son to see…it’s a very comforting feeling.  If I misplace my phone I won’t be worried about lovely pictures or video of my wife showing up on the Internet.  In this information age with so little privacy…this application has greatly increased my confidence; I know the pictures and videos on my phone are safe.

    Summary

    If you have pictures or videos on your phone you just don’t want your kids, coworkers, or strangers to see…this application is an absolute MUST OWN.  It’s one of those applications after you’ve owned for a while you’ll wonder what you did without it.  The application is free, it was developed by Theron Rogers, and it does exactly what it claims.  I would strongly recommend downloading this application, there is a reason this is the most popular application at the Android market under the “kids” category.  Booya!

    Check out some other articles for parents at Booya Baby.

    1 Comment "

    Best Toys: Little Tikes Drive Chip & Putt Golf Trainer

    May 1st, 2011

    Okay, I gotta admit it…I love Tiger Tiger Woods Yall!  When I look at my son I can’t help but imagine a 15 year old smashing 350 yard drives at Augusta National.  It may be a little premature, as my son is only 17 months old, but it seemed like a good enough time for him to start swinging it.  My son had so much fun with the Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set I had to sample another of their toys.  I picked up the Little Tikes Drive, Chip, and Putt Golf Trainer and experienced the same wonderful success.  These products by Little Tikes are affordable, fun, and durable; the golf set is only $24.48 at Amazon.com (Little Tikes Drive & Putt Golf Set).  In a time when most of us are trying to save money while providing for our children, these toys are working beautifully for me and my family.  As a former college baseball player (@WSU…go Cougs!) I naturally gravitated to the game of golf.  I’m now in love.  It is certainly a dream of mine to one day play a round with my son…and I am hoping this golf set will get him as excited about golf as Dad.

    Best Toys: Little Tikes Drive Chip & Putt Golf Trainer

    Assembly

    There is really nothing to the assembly of the golf set, it basically comes fully assembled.  All you have to do is plug a few pieces in place and your child will be driving, chipping, and putting a plastic golf ball without breaking anything in the house (very crucial).

    How it works

    Little Tikes Drive & Putt Golf Set comes with three different clubs which all have a hole in the base for easy storage (driver, iron, & putter).  There are 3 plastic golf balls along with the ball on a rotating arm.  The arm can be easily swung in 180 degrees from tee to fairway with the push of a button.  My son is a little young to be able to utilize the ball connected to a rotating arm, but Dad took it for a test run…it was VERY entertaining.

    Best Toys: Little Tikes Drive Chip & Putt Golf Trainer

    Child Response

    My son is only 17 months old so he so he does not yet have coordination to take full advantage of the set (recommended age 2-6 years), but he still has loads of fun with it.  He takes the putter and whacks the balls around the house, hokey style, while letting out joyous baby sounds.  I really feel like the motion of swinging the club and focusing on striking the ball has increased his hand eye coordination.  He has stepped all over the base, tugged it and pulled it, and it has not broken.  I am very satisfied with the results and can see this golf set becoming more useful as my son’s motor skills increases.

    Summary

    Little Tikes toys are 2 for 2 in the Booya 808 household; the EasyScore Basketball Set and Drive, Chip, and Putt Golf Trainer have kept my son occupied and having fun while being active.  Since I have purchased these toys his coordination has increased exponentially.  He loves to shoot hoops and swing his clubs; they have taken over several of his younger kid toys (baby rings & stuffed animals have been kicked to the curb).  If you’re looking to help your little one swing it like Tiger…I would strongly recommend this affordable toy that grows with your child. Little Tikes Drive & Putt Golf Set gets a virtual high five from Booya Baby!

    Best Toys: Little Tikes Drive Chip & Putt Golf Trainer

    1 Comment "

    Best Android Apps for Parents: Baby Music Box (New)

    May 1st, 2011

    Andruids.com just released a new application called Baby Music Box at the Android Market…and Booya Baby is on the case.  The application is free and it’s been created to help soothe your child and put them to sleep.  If you’re old enough you remember having a musical stuffed animal with a pull string and you wanna bring back the OLD SCHOOL, you may enjoy this app.  It’s really simple; you pick a character, pull a virtual string, and for the next 5 minutes some of the all-time great lullabies play to help your child drift off to the Land of Nod.

    Best Android Apps: Baby Music Box (New)

    Best Android Apps: Baby Music Box (New)

    A New Way to Put Baby to Sleep

    One of the nicest features of the Baby Music Box is the 3D characters that move when you touch them.  I initially thought this app was just for babies, but my 17-month old son thoroughly enjoyed playing with the app.  He danced and swayed side to side as the characters hung and twisted in virtual space.  The application is not the most sophisticated piece of programming, but it did entertain my son and may do the job of helping your baby go to sleep.  Give it try and see what you think, it can’t hurt…it’s free.  Here’s what I thought about it after a test drive:

    Plus

    • Simple-I really enjoyed the simplicity.  There are no bells and whistles, not even a menu, but it does what the developers say it will do
    • Entertaining sound and motion for kids-There are some old school lullaby songs that have been proven to work.  The pull string is easy so kids will have fun with it, this may not be as effective for the younger kids
    • 3D characters-LOVE the 3D characters…definitely one of the highlights of the app
    • My son’s response-This is the ultimate measure of any application in my opinion.  My son loved it.  He had fun busting a groove to the music and it made him smile.  No coomplaints here.

    Minus

    • Only four characters-I felt there was room for more characters, songs, or both.  There is one character you can’t really make out; he kind of looks like Darth Vader with a magical staff.
    • Songs/chimes not the best sound-I wouldn’t necessarily call this music, it resembles more the styling’s of a 3 year old on a $10 keyboard.  My wife begged me to turn it off as the sound irritated her immediately.
    • 5 minute limit-Hopefully your child falls asleep within 5 minutes, otherwise you will have to pull the virtual string again and again.
    • No menu-This was one of the first apps I’ve ever reviewed with no menu…

    Summary

    Overall I think the app does what the developer says it will do, they have definitely developed a new way to soothe your baby.  I think there is room here for significant improvement…I would suggest an upgrade in sound quality and possibly a menu for more customization.  However, with this app in his hands, my son had a great time and enjoyed the 3D characters and music.  This is a new app that just hit the Android Market with a unique perspective on helping your baby sleep.  Try it out and let me know what you think of the virtual, string toting, 3D characters from Andruis.com and the Baby Music Box.  Booya!

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    Best Toys: Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set

    April 26th, 2011

    Best Toys: Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set

    After a year of dreaming of this moment…my son is finally old enough to get a basketball set.  As a former college baseball player and sports enthusiast, getting a basketball hoop for my son was a foregone conclusion.  I started my search as I typically do by reading owner reviews at various sites, Amazon, Babies R Us, and EBay.  The one basketball set that consistently stood out was the Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set.  After a few weeks of use I can see why this basketball set is at the top of many parent’s toy list…it’s very affordable, easy to set up, and fantastic for your son or daughter to use.

    • Cost and Assembly

    I grabbed The Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set for only $30.70 with FREE shipping at Amazon.com.  I was surprised by the cost, I thought I would be paying at least $50 for a quality set.  The assembly was also simpler then I could have imagined, in five minutes you will be shooting hoops with your son or daughter.

    Best Toys: Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set

    • Child Response

    My son is 16-months old in the video I shot, which was done right after assembly.  You will see just how much he loves it!  This hoop instantly took over as his favorite toy in the house, and is now the center piece of his play room.  As you will see he has learned how to throw the ball in the hoop, which happened in under a week.  We clap and laugh when he makes a basket and he smiles and dances as the ball goes through the hoop and returns to him.

    • Features and Adjustability

    One of the best features of the Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set is the ball return.  The basket is designed so that when the ball goes through the hoop it hits the base of the basket and bounces back to you.  The basketball set also has 5 different adjustable heights, ranging from 2 feet to 4 feet.  This allows the toy to grow with your child, which in my opinion is always essential for parents (especially if you have multiple children at different ages and developmental stages).

    • Possible downsides

    It was very difficult to find downside in this fully functional, well built, cheap, and easy to assemble basketball set.  The one concern I do have is the nets durability.  My son is constantly tugging and pulling at the net, it hasn’t broke, but it is pretty easy for a child to take it off its hook.  Another possible downside is the fact that you have to fill the base with sand so it doesn’t topple over.  I’d venture to say most of us don’t have a bag of sand handy.  Water will work, but there is always a chance of a messy situation when water and children are involved.  Neither of these concerns are enough to offset positives this toy will bring.

    • Summary

    Due to the amount of fun my son and I have are having with the Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set I would strongly recommend getting one for your family.  The adjustability, solid construction, and most of all, the entertainment factor for your child will make this toy a parent MUST OWN.  Hopefully, this review helped you in determining which Basketball Set is best for your child.  Booya! Check out the unbox, assembly, and basketball hoop in action:

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    Best Android Apps: 10 Great Apps for Parents

    April 20th, 2011

    It’s difficult to keep up with all the technology out there, especially when you’re a busy parent.  Booya Baby reviewed over 50 applications designed specifically for parents and picked the top 10.  The research has been done for you and here it is…Booya Baby’s Top 10 Android Apps for Parents 2011:

    • 1 Baby ESP (by Hewitt Software)

    Cost-4.99 (Trial Version is Free)

    Android Market Review Score-5 stars

    If you’re expecting a baby this app is for you.  It will save you time, organize your life, and help you provide the best care for your baby.  I hate to admit it, but I can’t tell you how many times I had to ask myself “whens the last time I changed his diaper?”, or “what time did he go to sleep?”  If you master this app…that will never happen to you. As a first time Dad of a now 16 month old son I was completely blown away with the detail and usefulness of the application.  Baby ESP is the only app I reviewed that received a 5 star rating, with nearly 2000 reviews that is a very difficult task at the Android Market.  Unfortunately, I didn’t discover this app until recently, but rest assured I will be using Baby ESP when we have our second child.

    This app has it all!  In the most busy and overwhelming time of your life…Baby ESP helps you keep it together.  It does this by allowing you to track when your baby is eating, peeing, pooping, nursing, sleeping and so much more.  It will print out a detailed report or spit out statistics for you so you can identify patterns and begin developing a schedule.  You can set reminders for anything and everything, which will be the most useful aspect of the app for me.  Keep track of formula, milk, bath time, medication, pumping, and diapers with your magic fingers.  They left nothing out and they made it simple…definitely Booya Baby approved! Baby ESP

    Baby ESP

    • 2 Sex Offenders Search (by Fibercode)

    Cost-$1.99

    Android Market Review Score-4.5 stars

    This application is absolutely a must own for any parent.  You will be amazed by how many registered sex offenders there are out there who can prey on innocent children.  This app gives you their exact address, picture, height, weight, and offense with the tap of your finger.  Another fantastic feature is that the database is updated on a daily basis.  It will automatically adjust to your location, but you can also search by address, city, or zip code.  I tried several other applications and this Sex Offender Search had no competitor.  For $1.99 you can know in full confidence if your next door neighbor is a registered sex offender, really that’s all I need to say.  Keep your family safe by having information about sex offenders in your neighborhood, near the park your child plays, and around your child’s school.  This app is simple and extremely powerful, I was surprised to discover that a man 2 blocks from my house was convicted of child molestation.  That’s just something I feel every parent needs to know.  Amazing App. Sex Offender Search

    Sex Offender Serach

    • 3 Baby Center My Pregnancy (by Babycenter)

    Cost-Free

    Android Market Review Score-4.5 stars

    This application is like the “What to Expect When you’re Expecting” book in a powerful application.  If you are expecting, this free app will help you to track your pregnancy, educate you about your baby’s development, provide you a to do list, suggest activities, show videos, provide birth clubs for Moms, and much more.  My wife was hooked to the what to expect book, but she couldn’t always take it with her.  I secretly enjoyed the updates about my son’s development and what stage he was in.  I remember thinking “wow his ears are working, he can hear his daddy”.  This is a great way for Dads to keep up with their knowledge hungry (and plain ol hungry) partners.  This is an expecting family must have, even if you just want to fool around with it.  You’ll be hooked in no time. Baby Center My Pregnancy

    Baby Center My pregnancy

    • 4 MedScape (by WebMD, LLC)

    Cost-Free

    Android Market Review Score-4 stars

    Is there anything more important than your child’s health?  This app is as in depth and thorough as you can imagine when it comes to medication, disease, surgeries, and research.  My wife is an amazing Mother, but she also doubles as a Registered Nurse during the day.  My wife actually uses this application at work as well as at home for our family.  Medscape is Mom, nurse, and Booya approved.  I have personally used it to research what my recent ankle surgery would be like before it happened.  The app can also tell you things like just how much infant Tylenol you should give a 16 month old.  If you want the latest FDA approved medication for a sickness or disease this app is fully loaded. The app contains over 6000 generic and brand name drugs, over 4000 disease and condition topics, and over 600 procedures (many have step by step videos).   A nice aspect of this app is once it downloads (takes about 20 minutes), you do not need to be connected via 3G or WiFi to have full access.  News, articles, an interaction checker, an amazing drug database and educational literature make this application a must have for parents seeking valuable knowledge for their family in the medical field. MedScape

    MedScape1

    • 5 Life 360 Security Center (by Life360)

    Cost-Free

    Android Market Review Score-4.5 stars

    Okay I have to admit…I wanted this app just to see if I could really track my wife when she makes a trip to our neighborhood Fred Meyer.  It works.  Obviously I’m not giving my 16 month old a smart phone to check in with Mom & Dad, but it is nice to know I have the option to keep track of my family members.  You can purchase a small GPS devise from Life360 to put on your pet or your child if you so desire.  My favorite feature of this app is the “check in”, this way when I forget my wife was having lunch with her friend I don’t panic when I get home from work and she’s not there.  The free app also incorporates a sex offender search and panic/ family alert button.   As soon as I launched the application it tracked my location to within 40 feet.  It was very easy to set up my wife’s phone (you can either send them an invite, or take the phone and do it yourself).  I don’t have a teenager, but I’m sure this would be a wonderful application to make sure they are where they’re supposed to be.  One downside, as with all apps that utilize GPS, it does drain your battery life quickly.   This app is customizable, simple, and fun…I would strongly recommend giving it a go. Life Security 360

    Life 360 Security Center

    • 6 White Noise (by TM Soft)

    Cost-$1.99 (Lite Version is Free)

    Android Market Review Score-4.5 stars

    This is a straight forward and simple app that you can use anywhere you need your baby to sleep.  It’s kind of like a pack-n-play because you can take it with you, on trips, at your in-laws, or even while riding in the car.  White noise has been a proven sleep aid helping parent’s sooth their babies and children worldwide.  This application combines 40 of the most amazing ambient sounds in a nice little package that is user friendly and very effective.  It’s a can’t miss and must add to your parent app collection. White Noise

    White Noise

    • 7 Toddler Lock (by Macro Nelissen)

    This is Booya Baby’s features app with a dedicated article and demo video .  Click on the link below and be amazed by an app that locks your phone and entertains your toddler.  This app is simple and extremely useful.

    Booya Baby Toddler Lock Featured Article w/video

    • 8 Our groceries (by Headcode)

    Cost-Free ($4.99 if you want no ads)

    Android Market Review Score-4.5 stars

    How this app checks in at #8 just shows how deep this top 10 is.  I LOVE this app!  I really have an aversion to grocery shopping, so when I do go…I want to get in and out as quickly as possible.  My wife unfortunately does not have this issue.  So when I saw this app I had to try it.  I guess this is not necessarily a parent only app, but since becoming a parent I have spent much more time at the store.  The absolute best feature of this app is you can sync the grocery list with you partner, and make changes that show up in a matter of seconds.  So fellas…when your wife is at the store and you forgot to tell her to grab you a 6-pack, you better believe it, you can instantly add it to the list.  Um…SPECTACULAR right?  The grocery list is simple to make, there are an endless number of categories, and you can type search items as well.  You can create your own categories and items, but everything you need is already loaded.  I will probably never shop again without this app and I hope they continue to upgrade as there seems to be so much potential here.  This may have been my favorite, but only because I can’t stand the grocery store, thus the slide to #8 for the people. Our Groceries

    Our Groceries

    • 9 Intellijoy Kids Educational Games (by Intellijoy)

    Cost-$1.99-$3.99 (Lite Versions Free)

    Android Market Review Score-Range from 4 to 5 stars

    I am always weary when it comes to kids games as I do not want my son to be attached to a TV, Ipad, or smart phone.  However, there are times as a parent when you just need a little time to do the laundry, wash dishes, or take a break.  I LOVE the variety of games on the Android market by Intellijoy.  This collection of games is simple to use, fun, and most importantly educational.  Intellijoy does a wonderful job incorporating shapes, numbers, colors, letters, and puzzles to keep kids busy and learning.  They even offer games in HD with much higher resolution for slightly more money ($3.99 instead of $2.99).  I do wish there was a package deal in which you could purchase all the games for a discounted price, but they do give you the option to try games with free lite versions before you buy.  Be careful…if you download one, you may want them all. Intellijoy Educational Games

    Kids Math

    • 10 Alphabet Car (by Baby Cortex)

    Cost-$3.09 (Lite Version is Free)

    Android Market Review Score-4 stars

    This game is fun.  The main attraction here is the Gyro (or tilt) technology used to drive the alphabet car (which is really a bus).  Your child will steer the bus by tilting the droid device to the right and to the left.  You will laugh as you watch their body language as they desperately try to run over letters to spell a word.  This app is relatively new, has clean simple 3D graphics, and utilizes the very cool Gyro technology.  As you advance levels you can upgrade and customize your car/bus.  There are over 40 levels so kids at various stages of development can play.  Spelling is the key and learning and fun combine in this app that rounds out Booya Baby’s top 10.  Alphabet Car BOOYA!

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    Best Android Apps: PdaNet – Tether your Android to your PC

    April 19th, 2011

    If you want to learn how to use your Android device as a modem (more commonly known as tethering your Android) you’ve come to the right place.  The reason I began exploring this technology is because I happen to live in an area with horrible connectivity.  No matter which provider I try (Comcast/Clear) I cannot sustain my Internet connection.  I’d be in the middle of an email, Skype, or an online purchase and inevitably the dreaded “page cannot be found” screen would show up.  This is a frustrating reality for people in some areas.  So…I dove head first in to tethering to see if it could be an answer to my constantly Internet connection problems.  To my astonishment tethering is not only easy to setup, it’s cheap, incredibly reliable, and pretty darn fast.

    Best Android Apps - PdaNet Tether Android to PC

    What you Need

    • Android device
    • USB cable (can also use Bluetooth)
    • Desktop or laptop computer

    Install and set up

    The simplicity of the set up was the most surprising part of process.  Thanks to PdaNet, by June Fabrics Technology Inc., you will be surfing the Internet on your computer using your Android device’s WiFi or 3G capabilities within 15 minutes! (without hacking the device)  I fully expected a 10 to 15 step process…but that just was not the case.  The 3-step process was as easy as 1, 2, 3:

    • Step 1

    Download the PdaNet application on your Android device from the Android Market

    • Step 2

    Download PdaNet application on a PC or Mac for Android (also free)

    Best Android Apps - PdaNet Tether Android to PC (2)

    • Step 3

    Connect your Android device using a USB chord when you are instructed to (make sure you have enabled USB Debugging on your Android device (Menu>Settings>Applications>Development>USB Debugging)

    Best Android Apps - PdaNet Tether Android to PC (1)

    And Booya!!!  You’re a technology guru!  It’s really that simple.

    Best Android Apps - PdaNet Tether Android to PC (7)

    Quality and Speed

    I have been using this app for two months now and have been disconnected far less often then i was with my old modem.  The surfing speed is easily comparable to the basic Clear setup I was previously rockin.  However, the download speed is noticeably slower.

    Save Money Tether your Droid

    If you only support one device (you don’t use a wireless router for multiple devices) you could easily replace your Internet service and save yourself $40 a month ($480/year) in Internet service provider charges.  The only drawback to doing so is when your Android device is tethered, you are not able to make or receive calls while staying connected.  This may not be an issue if you have a home phone.  Up until recently PdaNet was absolutely free…however within the last few weeks they have blocked secured websites to free version users.  For all intensive purposes making the application no longer free.  It is now a one-time purchase of $15.95, soon to be $23.95.  In my opinion still entirely worth it for such a useful application—–updated 4/26/11

    Features and tricks

    Although the application does not allow calls to be made or received while staying connected, it does have a very cool feature that “intercepts” SMS text messages (the SMS Agent has been upgraded with the recently released 2.45 version of PdaNet).  You can both send and receive texts on your Android device through your computer while connected (much like instant messaging; typing your message on your keyboard).  Your contacts from your Android device will automatically sync. Your Android device will also charge while tethered so there are no battery life issues.

    Best Android Apps - PdaNet Tether Android to PC (6)

    Summary

    Overall I was honestly blown away by the ease of use, the stable connection, and the cost of the PdaNet application ($15.95).  Whether you want to go mobile with your laptop, replace a faulty connection, or show off to your friends…tethering your Android device has never been easier.  Booya!

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    InStep Sync Bicycle Trailer Owner Review

    April 15th, 2011


    InStep Bike Trailer Booya Baby

    10 Years ago there is no way I would have made the following statement…”man I can’t wait to go on a bike ride with my family”.  But since my purchase of the smooth InStep Sync Bicycle Trailer, I’ve been having hours of fun doing just that.  Summer and sunshine are on the way and there is no better outdoor experience for a family man, or woman, then a bike trip to your neighborhood park or romp through the closest bike trail.  Not only do you get a work out, but you get to spend quality time with the people you love most.  Honestly, some of the best times in my life with my wife before we had our son, who is now 16 months old, were riding around on our bikes together.  It was like our own little adventure. InStep Sync Single Bicycle Trailer, Green/Gray (See it on Amazon.com)

    Joy Ride

    Now not only do we pack up our lunch, water bottles, and rain gear…we can also pack up our son.  Because we have so much fun riding bikes together the purchase of a bike trailer after our son turned one was an absolute must.  Ladies if you really want quality time with your man (especially if he’s an outdoor type), this is a great way to get it.  Pick out some decent bikes within your budget (we have his & hers Schwinn Solitare’s, $244 @ Wal-Mart, great buy), grab a bike trailer if you have a child and get out there.  I guarantee you’ll enjoy yourself and be happy to be exercising; pedaling down the street with a smile on your face.  If your kid is anything like mine…he/she will love it too.

     

    The goal of this article is to show you exactly what you will be getting when you purchase the InStep Sync Bicycle Trailer.  I will show you what’s in the box, how to assemble the trailer, how to attach it to your bike, and what it looks like rolling down the street.  I do this because I care.  I love reading reviews of items before I purchase them and I appreciate a thorough and in depth write up.  It helps me feel good about spending my hard earned $$$, especially when buying online (I purchased the trailer from Wal-Mart Site to Store).

    InStep Bike Trailer Booya Baby

    Cost and Assembly

    The InStep Sync Bike Trailer is only $85.54 at Wal-Mart:

    If you have two kids  would strongly recommend checking out the InStep Quick N EZ Bike Trailer, which also received excellent reviews and it’s only slightly more expensive $109.54.

    So far I have been very impressed with the trailers sturdy build, durability, and ease of use.  The assembly was also surprisingly easy.  The trailer is practically put together for you in the box.  In my opinion the engineering behind the simple yet sturdy design worked perfectly and made getting the trailer from box to street simple and almost fun.  This assembly really should take you no longer then 15 minutes (especially if you use Booya’s step by step unbox & assembly video)

    The frame and seat are already put together, you just have to fold out the sides snap a bar in place and bam!  You see what it will look like.  The Tires just snap in place, the canopy has buttons…easy to maneuver straps…and some Velcro.

    Attaching the Trailer to your Bike

    The trailer was nearly as easy to attach to my bike as it was to put together.  Basically you will be removing the nut from your back tire, attaching the trailer, and screwing the nut back on…simple right.  Here are some visual step by step instructions to make it even easier:

    Step 1

    Remove the nut and washer from your back tire

    InStep Bike Trailer Booya Baby

    Step 2

    Place tab washer from trailer on the axle

    InStep Bike Trailer Booya Baby

    Step 3

    Place the coupler plate on the axle with the big hole on the bottom.  (hard part is alighning the little knobs on the washer with the holes on the plate)

    InStep Bike Trailer Booya Baby

    Step 4

    Put nut and washer back on (at this point you’ve done most of the work)

    InStep Bike Trailer Booya Baby

    Step 5

    Insert tow bar in the hole

    InStep Bike Trailer Booya Baby

    Step 6

    Insert locking pin & secure safety loop on the pin

    InStep Bike Trailer Booya Baby

    Step 7

    Wrap safety strap around the bike frame and BOOYA!…your ready to ride.

    InStep Bike Trailer Booya Baby

    5-Point Safety Harness

    If you have a child one or older I am sure you are very familiar with strapping your child in to a car seat.  This process is very similar to the 5-point safety harness for the bike trailer.  The main thing to remember is to adjust the shoulder strap height so it fits properly on your child.  There are 3 different heights you can choose from.

     

    Pros

    • Cheap (under $100)
    • Easy assembly & trailer hitch (you’ll be riding the same day you get it)
    • 5-point harness is very customizable
    • smooth ride, easy pulling
    • sturdy, durable, & light weight
    • Slick look

    Cons

    • Not absolutely rain proof (my sons feet got a little wet in the rain)
    • Tires don’t seem high quality (also flat upon arrival)
    • You have to undo the canopy to put your child in (not easy to get him/her out quickly)
    • Your son/daughter may cry when you stop riding (sorry…can’t ride all day son)

    Summary

    This was by far the most fun project I have worked on for Booya Baby.  The feeling of accomplishment after assembly and trailer attachment was fantastic.  What was even better was my sons smiling face as soon as we started riding around.  Going on family bike rides is now the activity I look forward to every weekend (if the weather permits), and it all wouldn’t be possible without the very slick, easy to assemble, fun to use InStep Sync Bicycle Trailer.  I would strongly recommend picking up this little gadget so you too can enjoy the outdoors in style with your family.  BOOYA!

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