My Internet … Personal Solutions, January 2013

January 1, 2013

Improve Your Podcast Searches
If you like to listen to podcasts on your smartphone but have trouble finding content of interest, then a new feature called Smart Station within the free Stitcher app is worth trying. You hit a thumbs-up button to indicate you like a podcast selec­tion, which improves the algorithm to offer up similar content in the future. If you like a given show, hit a star icon to add it to your list of favorites and new podcast episodes will be added to your favorites when available. Stitcher includes a sleep timer.

Virtual Trainer or Just an Exercise Reminder
Want to eliminate the cost and time commitment of using a personal trainer? If so, try the PEAR Mobile Training Intelligence app. With a Bluetooth heart rate monitor check­ing your body’s response to a work­out, the system provides real-time coaching, support, and data feedback while you listen to your favorite music. Users are able to track progress on hundreds of custom workout plans and share perform­ance with others. Cost is not insig­nificant at $150, but neither is a personal trainer.

If you don’t want a virtual trainer but just a reminder about what part of your body to exercise on a given day at the gym, then get the GymGoal Plus app, at $4.99, for Apple products. It tells you what routines and equipment settings you have used lately.

Advice on Movies to See
If you want to get a quick read on new movie releases, then go to Sym­bols identify which movies you should see (rating a fresh red tomato) and which ones you should skip (a splattered green tomato), along with a percentage of critics who feel positive about the movie. Click on a film and you can see movie summaries, audience reaction, and critic reviews. A free app for the site is available.