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With the current state of the economy, I’ve been surveying the real estate market in my area to see if I can find a great bargain. The problem is as a first time home buyer I’ve come to find that the process is way more complicated than it should be. Trying to research and compare homes across numerous websites can be a total time killer, not to mention quite the chore. On top of that, I often found myself trying to memorize addresses of houses I saw on that market so I could look them up on the computer when I got home.

So, when I came across HomeSnap Real Estate and saw that it so casually declared, “Just snap a photo of any home, nationwide, to identify it and find out how much it’s worth,” I was intrigued. Part of me was skeptical at first, but there were enough good reviews to keep me interested (and it doesn’t hurt that it’s free).

Before we get into the nitty gritty of how it works and if it’s worth your time there’s one thing I should mention. HomeSnap is only currently available for users in the United States. If I’ve still got your attention, then read on to discover if this app is for you! (more…)

You may or may not know that the hardware for one of Apple’s most beloved products, the iPod, was developed by a guy named Tony Fadell. You also may or may not know that Fadell next turned his focus to building the best thermostat he could possibly conceive. And he called it Nest.

The Nest Mobile app was designed to work with the ingenious Nest thermostat, aka the Learning Thermostat, allowing you to control your heating or air conditioning right from your phone, as well as view reports on energy use and check or set your Nest’s schedule. Check out an overview of how it all works after the jump. (more…)

As rumors abound that Apple is moving towards an inevitable removal of the beloved home button, a second possibility crops up in the form of a capacitive sensor that replaces the woes of a physical button.

Today we’ll discuss why the home button is a central element of the iOS experience and whether or not it can be replaced with something such as a gesture or touch-sensitive switch without a dramatic reduction in usability.
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The iPhone’s ability to connect to wireless systems via Wifi and/or Bluetooth opens up a wide range of potential devices that the iPhone can control. This functionality isn’t limited to your television or stereo but expands over a variety of electronic equipment in your home.

Today we’ll take a brief look at ten iPhone applications that are built to control elements of a home automation system. Examples include everything from video cameras and security systems to lighting rigs and automatic blinds. What will you control?

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