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4 Apps to WOW your Instagram Photos

4 Apps to Wow Your Instagram Photos MainLove Instagram? Do you often get frustrated when you take a beautiful picture, and can only fit in a fraction of the picture in your Instagram post? Have you seen those great pics where people created a matrix of several pictures, complete with caption? Wish there were more options?

Here are 4 super fun Instagram apps to complement the beautiful Instagram posts you have in your mind’s eye that you’ve been dying to share.

1. InstaSize Android iPhone FREE

Instasize

With the InstaSize app, you don’t even need to go into Instagram to post. You can add titles, stickers, backgrounds, and a collage of several pictures…and they all fit into your Instagram post without cropping! Love this app!

2. PicFrame Android | iPhone | Blackberry 99¢

PicFrame

PicFrame is similar to InstaSize, but even more robust, allowing you to add up to 9 photos, videos, or text in a collage and includes 73 fully adjustable frames, effects, shapes, backgrounds, and more!

3. Everlapse iPhone FREE

Everlaps helps you to create interesting flipbooks with your photos. Add a bunch of pictures and you can show time lapses, a quick slideshow, or even create an Instagram Top 20 Highlights – which automatically takes your top rated Instagram photos and makes a flipbook. See my Instagram Highlights here.

4. Split Lens iPhone FREE

SplitLens

Split Lens allows you to create photo collages also but you can choose the collage type first, than shoot your pic live into each individual picture for the collage. You can then individually adjust each picture, adding filters and moving it around in the frame so it’s just right. It’s easy to share on multiple platforms, in addition to Instagram.

Any one of these apps can add some extra zest and excitement to your Instagram portfolio. And these apps just scratch the surface; there are a ton of Instagram-related apps available on all mobile platforms. Craving more Instagram apps? Here’s a bunch more! And don’t forget to follow @Life360App on Instagram to get peeks of what’s happening in our offices!

Getting a new Note 4? A gift for you, from Samsung and Life360

Life360 is thrilled to announce that we have been chosen by Samsung as a Galaxy Gifts partner for the new Galaxy Note 4 device! What does this mean for you?

galaxy gifts life360 announcement

When you purchase a new Note 4, you’ll find Life360 as a part of the Galaxy Gifts program, which will give you six months of our Premium service upgrade for free! This means you’ll have access to a 24/7 Live Advisor, roadside assistance, unlimited use of Places, expanded location history, $100 in stolen phone protection, and location lookups for non-smartphones.

galaxy gifts life360 screen

“We are proud to have been selected by Samsung as a Galaxy Gifts partner for the Galaxy Note 4 device,” said Chris Hulls, co-founder and CEO of Life360. “On the heels of our international expansion and our focus on growth in new markets, expanding our relationship with Samsung through this integration complements our overall growth efforts and will help us engage millions of new families on our platform.”

We’re excited to welcome new Note 4 owners to the Life360 family.

Will you be getting a new Samsung Galaxy Note 4?

Back-to-School? What? 

life360It’s like summer just started and we were basking in the our goals of having more fun, keeping our kids busy and off screens, hitting vacations, and kicking our kids outside to enjoy the sunshine. Now, we’re checking and double-checking to see when the first day of school is for our kids. Well, I am checking anyway.
I’m in Georgia and we start school before the tail end of summer. I am not telling you a story! We typically go back the second week in August. I know, I know, we get out of school in May but we go back to school when community pools are still open. I was thinking about all the things I had to do to get the kids ready for school. More importantly, I was thinking about what I have to do to get them (and myself) ready for school!
  • Back up bedtime. A week before back up bedtime and wake time. I know I am not too jazzed about getting up at 5:45 so we’re going to ease into it. Start 8:30 and back it up slowly over the week.
  • Rotate the clothes… see which pieces fit, clean out what doest fit, and shop a couple of thrift stores for some mix and match pieces or buy at full price at an expensive mall and send them to a thrift store next year.
  • Get a backpack. My son uses a huge backpack meant for swimmers because he apparently does not believe in using a locker at school and he will use last year’s but the girl needs a new one. So, get a great, not expensive backpack. Which I am sure I will order from online after much searching RetailMeNot.com for coupon codes for a new one. Better yet, check RetailMeNot when you buy anything online, ever.
  • Be flexible, within your routine. We’re a family of routine. Well, myself and my son thrive in routine, so I make the entire family think they need a routine. We really work hard the first week of school carving out a routine for us including all we have to do, with a little flexibility in there so we don’t make ourselves feel too structured we can’t enjoy something that comes along after school because we’re tied to homework between 3:45 – 5:00.
  • Get those supplies. I used to get the kids’ supplies on my own but for the past few years, I’ve made the kids go with me. No reason why they can enjoy running all over, in the heat of summer, to find supplies are on backorder.
  • Relax. Don’t freakout or be tense about the first day of school because kids are really intuitive and play off of our emotions.
  • Be the parent who takes THOSE photos. I regret not taking the same positioned photos each year with my kids on their first day of school. If you’re kids are still little, start that. My teenagers look at with nothing but serious annoyance when I pull out the “real” camera, and just mild annoyance when I pull out the phone camera.
  • Bring your teacher a treat. A note to wish them luck this year and to thank them for being a teacher? A little fruit and yogurt? A Starbucks gift card?
  • Bring a good attitude. I’ve found this extremely helpful.
I hope you have until after Labor Day for the first day of school. Either way, I hope you have a smooth transition back into reality. Let’s all take a deep breath..we can do it, together.

Don’t forget to enter our Back to School Instagram contest! Just follow @life360app, then share your back to school photos and tag them with #Life360BTS! We’ll randomly choose a winner (on 8/29/14) to win a $100 Amazon gift card!

Turn phone photos into summer memories

photos into memoriesJudging by the aisles at Target, the back to school countdown is on and summer is winding down. Like most of you, my phone’s camera roll is full of summer memories. This year I have resolved to not let them linger there. Join me?

Here are five fun ways to use your phone photos!

1. Posters from Prinstagram: The gold standard of Instagram printing, Prinstagram turns your pics (you can use non-Instagram photos too) into a 200 image poster. What a fun way to not only remember your summer, but to decorate your walls (the prints fit into standard size frames.)

2. Magnets: Go on a virtual vacation anytime you grab something from the fridge with photo magnets. For $15 (including shipping,) Sticky9 turns nine of your favorite summer Instagram shots into magnets.

3. Postcards: If you kid is missing their camp friends, cheer him or her up by having phone pics turned into postcards. Postagram lets you take any phone photo, add a message, and turn it into a postcard for a $1. THe recipient is able to punch out the photo.

4. Projecto Instagram Projector: Slides are not a dead art form with this tiny INstagram photo projector. For only $35 (including shipping) you can pick nine photos and turn them into a tiny reel. The projector attached to a keychain you so can bore your friends with vacation photos at will.

5. Groovebook: Why stop at summer? Save your memories from every season with this clever subscription service. For $3 a month, you get a book of 100 of your phone books. You can keep them in the book or punch them out for framing.

10 Apps for a Better Summer

summer appsIt’s tempting to take a tech break during the summer. But don’t put down your smartphone just yet. Here are ten apps that will help you have a better summer! (And of course, we’ve left Life360 off this time around, but it’s a great solution for road trips, vacations, and amusement parks!)

  1. Weber’s on the Grill: Go beyond the steaks and marinated chicken breasts with this app. It contains more than 300 class Weber recipes. save your favorites, create shopping lists, and email favorites. Includes recipes from celebrity chefs as well as how to videos.  Android and IOS
  2.  Project Noah: When it’s hot outside, it can be tough to get kids excited about hiking, camping, and even being outdoor. This app turns the user into a citizen scientist. Upload pictures of flora, fauna, and animals and then tag with details. Not sure what it is? The community will help you figure it out. Android and IOS
  3. EWG Skin Deep : The environmental working Group created this app to help guide your skincare choices. This app helps you pick a sunscreen that not only protects you from the sun but is also healthy for your skin. Android and IOS
  4. Next Issue: You will need your tablet for this one but it’s worth the extra space in your bag. This app gives you access to hundreds of magazines for one low price. Perfect for pool side reading. Try it for free with a thirty day trial. Android and IOS.
  5. Forecast.io: This web app (you can install it on your phone as well) goes beyond the temperature to show you humidity. PLus it shows you when it will be overcast and drizzly rather than outright storming. Perfect for when you want a shady and cooler day at the pool or beach.
  6. Groovebook: In an ideal world, you could share your summer with all of your family and friends. Groovebook gives them the next best thing. For $2.99 a month (including shipping and handling,)this app prints up to 100 of your phone photos in a 4.5×6.5 photobook. The photos are perforated for easy removal. Android and IOS.
  7. WaterIn: Keep hydrated in the summer heat with this app. You set the amount you are aiming to drink and then it reminds you when it’s time to take a sip. IOS only.
  8. Field Trip App: This cool location-based app will alert you when there are cool or interesting things nearby! It’s a great way to explore if you’re in your own town, or to find interesting things when you’re away from home. Android and iOS.
  9. Gasbuddy:  The gold standard of gas apps. When the gas prices soar along with the heat, use this app to find the cheapest gas. To really be a gas saving ninja, use it in conjunction with Fuelcaster, which will tell you when the cheapest day and time to fill up is. Available on Android, IOS, Windows, and Blackberry.
  10. Back to School Countdown: Parents will appreciate this one. When you are at the end of the rope, install this customizable back to school countdown and know exactly how long you have until your darlings are entertained by someone besides you.

Got summer apps you love? Share them in the comments so we can all have a better summer.

 

SXSW was saved by Life360

kristi at sxswIt seems like South by Southwest (SXSW) was just yesterday. In reality, it was back in March. I had just been notified that I was part of the Blog Ambassadorship with Life360 days before I arrived in Austin.  What I didn’t expect to see where three brand new electric BMW i3 cars rolling around with the Life360 logo on them.  Life360 partnered up with BMW to bring a safe ride experience to a select few of the VIPs and Executives roaming around the tech portion of the conference. Luckily, my friend Robert Scoble who is the Startup Liaison Officer for Rackspace, was one of the chosen few for the cars.

By hooking up your smartphone to the car’s interface screen, the Life360 app popped up on the large screen. We were able to see where all of our friends were and it made it easier on the driver to map out a course to pick everyone up. The i3 looks small from the outside, but it is oh so roomy on the inside. We were able at times to get five people in this car!

We made a few Circles within the app while at SXSW. One was just used by Robert Scoble and the rest of the Life360 team to schedule rides and manage everyone. Then there was a Circle of our friends so we could see what venue everyone was at. There were quite a few messages going back and forth about the cool things we saw on the streets (it was SXSW after all!) or where we might be enjoying some grub and a cold craft brew.

A few times I lost my friends in the massive conference center and I would pop open the app and I navigate myself right to them. It was awesome!! I am a talker so there were many times when the guys would continue on to our destination and I would use the app to catch up. Life360 saved me from having to play the phone game of – Where are you? Where is that? What is that by?

On the way to an after party, I jumped into a cab with my friends as the Life360 cars were busy. Everything was great until I realized that my phone had slipped out of my pocket. I logged into the Life360 console online and watched as my phone took a ride all over Austin!  That GPS tracking feature is no joke! The cab company refused to give it back even though I could tell them the exact address of where it was. All weekend I watched my phone have some serious SXSW fun until the battery died. Bye bye my little phone friend, you were missed. 

I hope Life360 partners up with other conferences not only for this unique way to transport guests, because it makes staying connected to your friends and colleagues so much easier. For me, SXSW was saved by Life360 and I couldn’t possibly fathom going to another conference without this app. Oh, and those cars – they picked us up in the middle of the night on more than one occasion. Lifesavers, really!

Our Kids’ Intuition

Just as I was blogging last time about giving some freedom and in fact forcing my kids to leave the house this summer, there’s something that happened to my 12-year-old daughter that has me reassessing that freedom.

Last week she was walking alone to meet her BFF at our pool, something she started doing last summer and again this summer. It’s a freedom I love for her to have and something I encourage. On this day I pulled up in the car when she was leaving and she waved goodbye, smiling that she just texted me that she was going to the pool. “Do you want a ride?” I said. She shook her head no and bounced off in shorts with her backpack, as tweens do, holding her phone with probably a headset in blaring the music of none other than One Direction, or “1D” for us hipper parents.

A little bit after seeing my girl leave our driveway, I get a text that says, “When I was walking to the pool this car stopped right next to me and he screamed “get in” so I started running and he soon just drove by me.”

I gulped, my heart stopped and I could only think of wanting to be with her.

I got in the car and drove up to the pool to hear the story of the man in a white, sporty car, who drove by her slowly and she noticed. She said she “got a gut feeling something was wrong” when the car slowed, enough for her to turn her head to find him parked for at least five or ten seconds. He then backed up onto another street to drive towards her where he slowed or stopped (she didn’t remember which) and yelled at her to “GET IN!” and she took off running and then he took off driving past her. We went through the proper channels of filing a report and have since been interviewed by detectives and our local new stations to share our story because my daughter isn’t the only one approached, apparently.

news story

How can we talk to our kids about their intuition?

  1. Talk to them often about their “gut feeling” or intuition. I think intuition is largely squelched out of us by the time we’re adults. If we don’t talk about it when they’re kids, it’ll be harder to recognize in themselves.
  2. Talk about certain circumstances in which intuition might come into play… stranger situations, friends or family member in trouble, when they are alone at parties etc., or even in group situations with people they know.
  3. Talk about what a “gut feeling” feels like. To my daughter, she said she got immediately “nervous” and “scared” and she didn’t know it, but it was a feeling of vulnerability.
  4. Talk about not fighting the gut feeling and staying in danger. Talk about how it doesn’t matter if feelings are hurt, even with adults. Adults will understand if they are protecting themselves and if they don’t, oh well.

I am, obviously, grateful my daughter’s intuition served her well. I hope this never happens again to her, but this experience has been a reminder that while our kids seek their independence (and she will walk alone again) maybe we can help them by talking about their intuition or “gut feelings” and how they can serve them well.

Long-distance peace of mind

I travel a lot for work, but this week, I was further away from my son than ever before. While I was in Washington, DC, he was in Wyoming as he and a group of kids from his school district headed to the Grand Tetons. According to the Life360 app, we were 33 hours away from each other. That is a lot.

reeves family

There are so many reasons why being so far apart is manageable. First, I trust my son. He’s a good guy and I know he deserved a trip where he could grow. Second, the organizers of the trip are keeping families updated with daily emails about their activities and daily photo dump to a Facebook page. It is SO cool to see the images and stories coming from this adventure. I encouraged my son to take a ton of pictures, but who knows if the camera will make it home!

The trip was a really big deal. And I didn’t want to be “that mom” who kept bothering him while he rode on a bus for 17 hours to and from the Teton Science School. Luckily, Life360 helped me keep tabs on his location without being annoying to him. Plus, it gave me a chance to give updates on Facebook to other parents with kids on the trip.

Being so far away from my son was a strange feeling. I knew he was safe and even better, when he was allowed to use his cellphone, I knew his location.

Windows Phone Family Locates Life360!

life360 windows phone screenThat’s right, it is finally here! The Life360 Family Locator app is now available in the Windows Phone store for WP8 and above. That means now everyone in your family can stay connected on Life360 regardless of the device! iPhones, Androids, Windows Phones, and even non-smartphones.

Most of us have families that have all kinds of devices and different operating systems. The addition of Life360 for Windows Phone fills that gap for this growing segment of users. This also means that if you decide to change phones and switch to a different type you will still be able to continue using Life 360 without any interruptions. Just download the app to your latest device and log in to be connected to your existing account.

If you are new to Life360 you will be amazed at what it can do. You create a Circle (group) of your family and friends in the app. Then Life360 uses GPS technology to locate all of the group members and it neatly shows you each member on a map with their own icons. Alerts can be set up so you receive a notice when someone in your circle arrives or leaves a location, like home, school or work.  This is perfect for keeping that piece of mind that your kids arrived to school safely and made it back home the same way!  Life360 also keeps families connected- especially when schedules change or you’re traveling. Messaging within Life360 allows you to quickly let everyone know things like where to meet for dinner or that it is time for the family to meet back up at a certain spot in the mall to head home.

While you can do some of these tasks on your smartphone already, Life360 brings everything together in one place, and now on everyone’s platform, making it easier to locate and connect with the people in your inner circle in a private setting.

So for all of you Windows Phone fans out there (myself included) head over to the Windows Phone store and get the new Life360 Family Locator app now and give it a try. You will love the simplicity of the app, and how it keeps your family connected and provides the extra piece of mind.

Summer and Teens

teens and summerSummer is here. It’s right after that season of Spring and when Spring hits, if you’re like me, a little panic sets in because you wonder if your kids are going to be sitting in the house, playing video games and listening to One Direction all Summer. No, really. Hours of One Direction music and reading One Direction Fan Fiction (the reading is educational, right?) are for sure on the docket.

This year is a little different for our family because we moved our business home. Nearly all of our clients are out-of-town and we don’t need a big conference room and eight-line phone system anymore. I am sure we’re going to cramp the kids’ style by working from home, but it will also allow us to (strongly) encourage the kids to leave home.

We have a neighborhood pool they can go to if they want to meet a friend, they can ride bikes the less than two miles to the mall for Coke Icees, cinnamon pretzels and Game Stop or Forever 21.

Freedom. If you’re old enough, you remember a time when you left the house sometime in the morning with a bag, a snack, a dollar and didn’t come back until the streetlights came on because that meant it was time for dinner. It would never occur to me not to know where my kids are for six or more hours a day, kudos to my parents for giving us the freedom. I am going to try to be a little more gracious of their schedules. My goals for the family for summer…

  • Kids have to go outside nearly everyday. I don’t care if it’s in the front yard to read a book, but they have to see sunlight. We’re guilty of the lounging pajama day – and I still see a huge value in those as a family too – but for the most part, outside in the sun.
  • We (continue to) eat together as a family. It’s terribly easy to let schedules go every which way and during the summer, more so, but I cherish dinner conversations and laughs.
  • Practice instruments and touch-typing and do chores.
  • Flexible (this is mostly for me).
  • See friends a few times a week. This is especially important for my anxiety-ridden son.

The kids know that I have Life360 on their phones because it’s part of our deal right now. I think it actually gives them freedom instead of squelching it, so that is how we are going into the summer. I might even be okay with them leaving in the morning and not coming back until the streetlights come on for dinner.