Review: What Should I Tip?, The Tip Calculator App | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

· Saturday, December 22nd, 2012 in Apps and Software · 1 Comment

This is a review of What Should I Tip?, the tip calculator app by Wavelength Media, LLC that allows you to set a ‘tipping philosophy’.

What is What Should I Tip?

Simply put, it’s a tip calculator. Quickly executable, and simple to setup.

What Should I Tip? Is A Different Type of Tip Calculator

This tip calculator allows you to set your own ‘tipping philosophy’. You can choose either:

  1. Generous
  2. Fair
  3. Stingy

Which of those are you? Ha ha!

Moving forward…
Within the tipping philosophy that you choose, you’re able to rate the service you received either:

  1. Amazing
  2. Great
  3. Okay
  4. Sucked

Pretty straightforward, right?

Design & Usability

The user interface is awesome because of the big buttons and the clear direction. It’s easy to determine where sliding / flicking is available, even without written directions. Because there are only a few large buttons, the app itself isn’t overly complicated, and is easy to navigate.

Application Value

During a get-together at Rush Street in Culver City a few days ago, members of our rather large group received their individual bills with a line items for gratuity already added to the bill, along with a line item to add an “additional tip”. Besides this, there was the total line & signature line (of course), as well as three lines noting 10%, 15%, and 20% gratuity options. The gratuity line item that was automatically added to our bill was actually 18%. Awesome…not.

Based on our waitress’ service that evening, a few of us probably would have opted to choose a ‘stingy’ tipping philosophy, along with a side of service meter marked ‘sucked’. She seemed like a nice person, but we rarely saw her, and when we did, we had to remind her of what we needed.

The What Would You Tip? App would have definitely come in handy.

Make sure you grab it before January 23rd, 2013. After January 23rd, the app will be available for around $.99 in the iTunes App Store.

Review: Bamboo Stylus CS100 for iPad | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

· Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 in Reviews · 0 Comments

Since I’ve been required to draw more and more lately for clients at work, and for my new recreational site (TBA later), I’ve been forced to invest in a better stylus for my iPad.

After purchasing two (2) different styli from eBay, I decided to use my brain and find some reviews and recommendations for best styli used for drawing on the iPad 2.

MacWorld seemed to have the most extensive reviews. But most of the the recommendations I found around the web are the same, in that they rank the Bamboo Stylus for iPad by Wacom quite high on their lists. Next in line was the SGP Kuel H10, which was actually half the price. However, being that I’ve got 2 of these things lying around already, I figured I should just “splurge” a little and get what I paid for this time.

Well…so far, so good. And that’s saying a lot for a company who pissed me off and cost me a re-stocking fee with their original (beta-style) Bamboo Tablet five years ago.

Yep, the Bamboo Stylus CS100 is winning.

Basecamp Classic vs New Basecamp – a Swindle | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

· Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 in Reviews · 5 Comments

NOTE: If you try (90 day trial) the  “New” Basecamp, only create dummy projects until you’re sure that you want to upgrade. You will NOT be able to move real projects BACK to “Basecamp Classic”. They are two separate systems. 

37 Signals just released the new Basecamp, and while they’ve packaged it up to look really nice on the outside, there are some underlying facts that you should know.

If you’re already a user, 37Signals is banking on your getting used to the NEW Basecamp during your 90 day upgrade trial. Moreso, they’re banking on the fact that you will create new REAL projects in “New” Basecamp, and will be forced to upgrade when the trial is over, if the project is not closed first. However, upgrading to NEW Basecamp is only beneficial if you’re:

  • already a “Plus” plan user,
  • only need less than 10 projects open at once, or
  • if having fancy features outweighs the number of projects you’re getting.

If you start creating projects under the “New” Basecamp, you can NOT move them BACK to Basecamp Classic once your 90 day trial is over. So you’re basically making your decision when you opt to try the “New” Basecamp, unless you’re ONLY creating dummy / test projects in the “New” Basecamp and keeping your real projects in Basecamp Classic.  See how they did that?

Classic “Basic” Plan to New “Basic” Plan

Upgrading from Basecamp Classic to New Basecamp under the Classic “Basic” Plan would mean that you’re sacrificing 5 project slots for some fancy new features. And if you rely on Basecamp, you’re probably already fighting for project space and trying to consolidate where you can.

If you take the bait, chances are that you’ll need more than 10 project slots, and you’ll have to upgrade to guess what? Yep, the New “Plus” Plan with 50 project slots. There is currently no in-between.

Classic “Plus” Plan to New “Plus” Plan

Upgrading from Basecamp Classic to New Basecamp under the Classic “Plus” Plan would be beneficial because you’re gaining 5 project slots and some fancy new features for only $1 more per month.

All New Basecamp clients are signing up for the New Basecamp, so they don’t have a choice. Which leads me to believe that they’ll be forcing “Classic” Basecamp users to “New” Basecamp users pretty soon – even though they’re saying that they’ll continue to support “Classic” Basecamp users. No new features are planned for “Classic” Basecamp. 

“The majority of our design and development efforts moving forward will be focused on the all new Basecamp, but we’ll continue to support Classic as long as customers continue using it. We expect that to be for many many years.”

The above quote from 37 Signals means:

No, we won’t force you to upgrade, but we’ll slowly squeeze you until you feel forced to upgrade, because that’s where we want you to be anyways. Hence why they’ve been hyping their “Plus” plan as their most popular plan for the past 2 years. Being that “Plus” is more popular, most people will pay the $1.00 extra for the fancy features and 5 additional projects.

It’s not a new tactic – all software companies use it.

Make your decision wisely.

Review: Want! | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

· Thursday, January 12th, 2012 in Reviews · 0 Comments

It wasn’t what I was expecting.

I mean, Want! looked great in the App Store, so I thought I’d try it on for size.

Want! was launched early last year, and cited as a “Window Shopping” application that allows users to “like” the things that they Want! in real life. Not only that, but it allows the user to create categories and walls of images – to organize their wants.

The Huge Process of Registering and Logging In.

  1. I wasn’t able to register to actually use the app through the offered Social Media Accounts: Facebook or Twitter. The app kept crashing each time I selected to register with Facebook or Twitter.
  2. I thought it was my phone, so I rebooted.
  3. I attempted registering with my Facebook and Twitter accounts once more before I gave up.
  4. I had to register directly with through the app which meant that I had to enter all of my details by hand instead of having them pre-populated with Facebook or Twitter.
  5. Once I hit the final “Register” button, the app hung and crashed.
  6. The only reason I knew that the registration went through was because I received three welcome emails. THREE.
  7. Once I logged in, it crashed again.
  8. The second time I logged in, I was able to get as far as clicking around to view a few other “Want” items from other users. But the second I hit “Add Want”, the app crashed again.
  9. In a last stitch attempt, I logged in to see if I could at least look around a little more…
  10. And then I realized that all of the location listed were in New York.

The app was made primarily for those people who live…in New York.


There’s Hope for a Great Concept.

I mean, “Window Shopping” is a great concept.

Want! is similar to another “window shopping” app that I downloaded last year. But, I ended up deleting that app for the same reason. It was primarily for those users in Los Angeles. I’ll update when I remember the name.

You can create category-specific “Walls” to organize and display your wants.

You can add wants from other users to your “want walls”.

Want! allows you to click and visit the actual online store for the item.

If they really wanted to, they could figure out a way to leverage the redirect, and score some affiliate points.

Wish I could offer more of a review, but the registration and login process was a beast and I kind of lost interest.