So, this week we found a few apps that seem to be magical, or at least have features that seem too good to be true. But, they work! And they work well!! First up is Shazam, which allows users to ask the app to identify a song that may hear in the background wherever users may be. The app listens to a unique pattern within the song to create a fingerprint, then compares it to the millions of songs within it's database and within seconds sends information like the artist, title, and even lyrics right to the phone. This is great when you're out somewhere and hear a song you may know but can't recall or what about a song you've never heard of but really enjoy. Users can allow this app to expand their knowledge of music.
Heart rate apps allow users to get a check on their heart rate right from their smart phone. I've become accustomed to the feature within my Apple Watch so I know about what my range is. It's taught me personally what types of things affect my heart rate so that I can pay attention and learn to slow it down if it increases too high. The app Instant Heart Rate uses the camera to view changes in color on users fingertip to identify a pulse then shows the details to users within a few seconds. This one could be a life safer!
Pedometers can be utilized through apps on your phone or even through a stand alone device that you purchase separately depending on your interest. I recommend trying to use the free apps if you're just testing out the functionality. They give users a pretty good idea of how many steps were taken that day - as long as users have their phones on them. I view my Dashboard in iHealth to see how many steps I take each day and allow that to motivate me to push myself further each day. This keeps me aware of which days I have enough activity and then which days I need to try to incorporate more into my day.
Lastly, we take a peek into the sky for a little star gazing. Apps like The Night Sky, Star Chart, and plenty of others allow users to use augmented reality to see the names and locations of stars, planets, and constellations just by pointing their phone up towards the sky. Using GPS the app identifies the location, then adds a 'layer' describing details of what's in the view of the phone as the user scans the sky to see what's visible to them. I love using these apps on a clear night to expand my knowledge of astrology and just think of the uses in education. What a great homework assignment! Download one today and see what you can learn right from your own backyard.