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What are Hummingbird, Rankbrain, and Smart Bots anyway? Is it possible to actually use an algorithm to improve functions on websites such as Google. Today, The Tech Ranch explores what these strange-named string of “things” are and how they help.

Free Stuff

App technology is amazing. Especially when it’s free. Deciding what is actually free and what has a hidden fee is the tough part. The Tech Ranch searched for amazing Apps that are not only helpful, but free. Very free.

  • Google Trips – turns your smartphone into an all-in-one travel assistant, consolidating travel itineraries and reservations from your emails into automatically sorted trips.
  • Mobile Passport – It’s a U.S. Customs and Border Protection-approved app that helps speed you through lengthy immigration lines by letting you submit your passport control and customs declarations from your phone.
    Skiplagged – A neat app that can keep your travel costs down by taking advantage of “hidden city flights,” where flyers get off at a layover, instead of at the flight’s final destination.
  • Transit – Helps you plan out the fastest public transport routes to your destination. 
  • Unfold – This clean and easy to use creative tool focuses on creating slick and polished Instagram Stories.
  • Automate – Automate, which uses a visual, flowchart-based interface for making your own custom-designed scripts.
  • HabitHub – Designed to help you develop and maintain good habits, regardless of whether you’re trying to develop a new healthy living practice or just want to add a new task to your daily routine. 
  • Dreamlab – Dreamlab takes advantage of your smartphone’s idle time to help in the fight against cancer. 
  • Fabulous – Fabulous is a self-improvement app aimed at upgrading mind and body to help make you feel… well… fabulous. 
  • Trusted Contacts – Google’s Trusted Contacts works similarly, letting you share your location or see where your contacts are. 
  • Podcast & Radio Addict – Podcast & Radio Addict is one of the best options available out there that covers basics with automatic episode updates and downloads, as well as automatic deletion features to save space, variable speed playback, silence skip, volume boosting, a sleep timer and other neat features. 
  • PhotoScan – If you have multiple shoe boxes filled with old photos that you’ve always wanted to digitized, Google’s PhotoScan will create a high-quality digital image of any print picture. 
  • CamScanner – CamScanner is more powerful because it gives you numerous tools for recognizing text, helping you grab a clear image, and sharing it across various services like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Evernote, and Box.
  • RetroArch – Retrogaming emulators allow users to run classic video games by emulating obsolete game consoles and handhelds on modern devices. 

If you would like the “Guru of Geek” to do a product review and have it featured on The Tech Ranch, let us know! Leave us a comment on this episode or call 701-204-6674 for more information.

Join the “Guru of Geek” Marlo Anderson and “Tech Geezer” Jim Walsh every week for a new episode of the Tech Ranch.

Episode 364 – Aired April 15, 2019