3 iPhone Apps That Make Divorce Much Easier

Modern-day technology can be of great help when it comes to getting a divorce. The divorce process is not only painful but also quite senseless at times, with people struggling to understand it, and that’s where phone apps come in. Fortunately, Ipod Touch and iPhone users dispose of a number of apps, which are sure to assist in terms of learning new things about the process of divorce.

Cost of divorce
One app worth mentioning is the Cost and Prep App. This app will tell you how much money you will probably end up spending on the divorce, as well as what kind of information you need to have. This can be very helpful because we usually end up spending a lot more than we planned, which is a cause of stress on top of divorce being an extremely stressful event in life as it is. So, this app offers two advantages – you spend less money than you otherwise would, and you face a lower degree of stress.

An app within the one mentioned above, which is called Divorce Cost Estimate, is what helps you establish the costs and differentiate between soft and hard costs. Hard costs are those that can be measured in exact dollar amounts, while soft costs are more subjective – they involve the impact on you personally.

Another feature of this app, Divorce Preparation, gives information on the type of documents you need to get and at which time. You will be told when to file, which documents can be printed off a web site and which cannot.

Estate division
A second useful app for divorcees-to-be is the so-called Estate Divider App. This app is like a calculator in that you can enter the cost of your assets and liabilities depending on how much each of you own and owe. Then you can divide these costs and values based on the percentage of your choice. This app can also give you the values of the alimony, the respective amount in taxes, and whether either of you will be liable for any kind of tax advantages or deductions by structuring and adjusting the alimony payments. The app also lets you email the estate division to your soon-to-be-ex, if you are no longer on speaking terms, and wait for their reply.

Divorce goals
Another option, this one for men only, is the Divorce Source. This app comes with two helpful books on divorce. One feature of the app, Divorce Goals Assistant, lets you set your divorce goals. This includes issues like child custody, division of assets, establishing the divorce cost and more. You can email these to your future ex and your divorce attorney. The app also features access to thousands of family law articles, answers to common and not-so-common questions, and a Family Law Reference Section. The app allows you to find divorce attorneys near you, email stories or share stories on Facebook and more. This app can be used by iPhone and iPad users. Having said all this, do not rely on apps only. Divorce is a very complicated process.

Melissa Dean writes about , Credit Cards in Credit Cards Canada

Meet Iris – A Siri alternative for Android

Users of Apple‘s iPhone 4s have touted the voice service Siri as a killer feature on the latest iteration of the phone. Though voice support on Android has been around for sometime, it has not quite enjoyed the kind of buzz that Siri is enjoying. That’s what prompted the guys over at Dexetra to develop Iris, a Siri alternative for Android. 

It started out as a lazy Friday with half our team missing, the influx of tweets and posts on the “Awesome Siri” were flying everywhere. Suddenly, I got the urge to do something similar for Android. Since we have been working on NLP and Machine learning for over an year now, I had a crazy belief that I could pull this off. Somehow I managed to write a tiny engine that could answer your questions, digging the results from the web.

The result was Iris, or Siri in reverse. It took them 8 hours to hack together a functional, working Iris albeit currently in alpha mode. “Gone are the days when you “Google searched” for information. Just “ask” Iris. She will talk to you on any topic. Ranging from Philosophy, Culture, History, science to general conversation.”
If you’re an Android user and want to yet another voice service in addition what already comes with Android, Iris, this freely available alternative to the Siri on iPhone 4s is your answer. It’s currently available on the Android Market. You’ll need to have “Voice Search” and “TTS library” installed to use Iris, both of which are available on the Market.

Can Google create another Android with Plus?

Since the launch of Google Plus, one question that I keep asking is whether Google can replicate the success of Android by disrupting the social realm.

After the iPhone set the pace for what a smartphone is supposed to be like, Android came over and disrupted the market such that established leaders like Symbian were virtually torpedoed out of the market.

This time around Google has Plus, its third major attempt at entering the social space. Though the smartphone market is distinct from the social space, it may not be far fetched to stick one’s neck on the line and make the Android claim for Plus.

From how I understand Plus, Google’s fundamental goal is to force Facebook to open up so it (Google’s) crawlers can access the vast store of user data behind the Facebook walls. And what better way to do this than offer a far superior platform that has everything Facebook and more?

Of course Facebook will not sheepishly open up just like that, something evident from its doing its utmost best to frustrate any attempt at exporting one’s “friends” list.

To pull aother Android with Plus, Google would need to iterate faster than Facebook can copy. Not long ago we wrote here about how Google could take on Facebook simply by straddling the latter. Well it seems Google did that and more, so Facebook is the one to now do the straddling, or copying from Plus.

Also Google would need to make Plus as open as possible to as many other social networks as possible. For instance, I should be able to post from my Plus account to Twitter and vice versa. The Liberate your data feature of Plus is already a good sign of how open one can expect Plus to be.

Of course Plus is not even public yet, so it’s too early to say what form it will take regarding inter-operability. However, if Google wants to really pull off another Android- which I expect is going to happen with time- in the social realm, it’ll first need to make Plus as open as possible, putting the end users in at the center before advertisers.

Has the Blackberry developer exodus began?

Update: Reuters reports that RIM has began handing out layoff notices to its employees. No specific numbers have yet been given and no official comments yet from the company.

Seesmic, makers of the popular social media client on the various smarphone platforms has announced a discontinuation of development for their app for the Blackberry platform effective 30th June.

The reason given is to “focus development efforts on our most popular mobile platforms: Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7″ and they are encouraging those affected by this change to “try out Seesmic for Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7, as well as Seesmic Desktop and Web.”

It’s not clear from the announcement if they mean platforms on which their clients are popular or platforms that are popular with consumers. If it’s the second case, then it’s really amazing how Windows Phone 7 can possibly be more popular than Blackberry.

This move, depending on how you look at it, may be a sign of what’s to come and in store for RIM in terms of developers. It could be the beginning of a developer exodus away from Blackberry giving its increasingly declining market share to Android and the iPhone. 

Or it could just be Seesmic does not deem it justified to spend resources to develop further for the platform because it’s user base there is very negligible. Either way, this move does not come at the right time for the not so happy Research in Motion.

What’s Happening Inside Research in Motion

Much has been written about Research in Motion, makers of the Blackberry line of smartphones in recent months. Most of these posts are very gloomy and talk about the impending “doom” of the company in the wake of the rapidly increasing popularity of its rivals iPhone and Android line of phones.

Business Insider has a very interesting piece by an “insider” that gives a detailed view inside the minds of the people running Canada’s pride.

But issues such as these are merely symptoms of what are arguably deeper, cultural issues. RIM’s failure to understand the consumer market from product, to messaging, to platform, and it goes right to the top. Despite the deep respect I have for the co-CEO’s of RIM, and their world-class strength in some areas – they are very weak in others. The problem is that they brim with hubris regarding their success in the corporate market and are culturally blind to the gaping holes in their armour regarding consumer. They honestly think they understand consumer product, business, mentality, marketing – but they really don’t. 

It’s a very interesting piece albeit from an unamed “insider” that gives a glimpse of what’s happening inside the walls of the home of the Blackberry device. 

Google Updates Sync Service for iPhone and iPad

Google Sync is a service from Google that keeps your phone’s native mail and calendar apps in sync with your Gmail, Calendar and Contacts.

An update to the service today has added three new features;

1. The ability to search all emails on Gmail, not just locally stored mail by iOS mail app.

2. Ability to send mail from a different account other than Gmail.

3. Accept, edit and decline calendar events from the iOS calendar app.

Both Gmail and Google Apps email users will benefit from these updates. You can follow this guide to set up Google Sync for your iOS device.

Unlocked iPhone 4 Goes on Sale in the US

Apple has somehow quietly started selling the iPhone unlocked to customers. Aimed at those who don’t want a ties to a single carrier or travel outside the US and would like to use their phones with local carriers, the 16GB model goes for $649.00 and $749.00 for the 32GB.

If you don’t want a multiyear service contract or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone 4 is the best choice. It arrives without a micro-SIM card, so you’ll need an active micro-SIM card from any supported GSM carrier worldwide.

This sale is only GSM model, with the CDMA model still firmly remaining Verizon only for now. This move is going to be very interesting and we wait to see how it’s going to impact on the already declining market share of the iPhone in the US thanks to Google‘s Android OS.

Apple 0 – Nokia 1

The long running battle between Apple and Nokia has ended with a scoreline pleasing to Nokia. Cuppertino has been charged to one-time payment and royalties to the Finnish handset maker.

“We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees. [T]his settlement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market.” Stevem Elop, Nokia CEO

This ruling comes after an epic battle in European and American courts between the two handset rivals, with Apple to a large extent, being the strategic cause of Nokia’s woes following the introduction of the iPhone.

As Florian Mueller said on his blog, “other companies that Nokia will ask to pay royalties will have to think very hard whether to pay or pick a fight.” The amount of settlement is rumored to be in the millions of Dollars. 

It’s also not clear how this ruling is going to impact on Android handset manufacturers like HTC and Samsung, with Apple equally embroiled in a court battle over IP infringement claims. For now however, the scoreline is Nokia 1- Apple 0. Nokia fans can rejoice. Below is a map of the patents in question 

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Android Location Tracking is Opt-In

The iOS operating system tracks your location without your knowledge and stores the data it collects in an unencrypted form on your phone. For Android users who maybe wondering the same thing, no, your location is will not be tracked without your express permission and approval.

I vividly remember the first time I booted into Android, going into the settings and under the geo-location tab, you are expressly asked whether you’d like opt-in to anonymous location data collection and whether you’d also like to use your location for search results and other Google services.

So yes on Android your location can be tracked but you’ll first have to approve of it. Then even with that the collected data is anonymized in such a way that it cannot be traced back to you as per this Google statement

All location sharing on Android is opt-in by the user. We provide users with notice and control over the collection, sharing and use of location in order to provide a better mobile experience on Android devices. Any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymized and is not tied or traceable to a specific user.