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  • "Vibe" Proivdes Personal Info Based on an Email AddressIf your inbox looks anything like ours, chances are you get a lot of different email from a lot of different people throughout the day.  On occasion, you may receive a new "lead", introduction, or important email from someone that you don't know anything about (or at least very little.)

    Here's where Vibe comes in.

    "The fastest way to know your contacts" is the name of their game.  Vibe is an app and browser extension that provides you instant extended information on your email contacts simply by hovering over their email address.  This could include some, if not all of the above information:

    • Their full name
    • A picture
    • Their location
    • Their job information
    • A biography
    • Links to their various social media sites (including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and more)
    • A list of keyword topics related to their interests

    Vibe has been designed as a Chrome extension and a application for Mac OS products.  The Chrome version naturally only works for email addresses found within the web browsers, while the Mac version works across the entire desktop.

    How does Vibe find information?

  • 5 Apps That Work Between iPhone and MacThe integration between Apple products is something that keeps their customer pool coming back for more. The integration is about to get a lot tighter in OS X Yosemite (the coming Mac OS) and iOS8 (Apple's next iPhone/iPad operating system.) It's going to be really cool.  But you don't need to wait - there are a number of tools for platform integration now. 

    There are 5 really clever apps recently mentioned by LifeHacker that that have your iPhone and your Mac working together like a charm.  Here's the scoop.

    1. Notifyr: Send notifications from your iPhone up onto your Mac

    Notifyr is the app for those who don't want to miss anything while they're working at their Mac, iPhone out of reach.  Just pair the two together with Notifyr (which uses Bluetooth Low Energy for minimal battery usage), and you'll get iPhone notifications right on the screen of your Mac.  You can mute certain apps so that they don't show up on your Mac.

    2. Command-C: Share clipboard data between devices instantly

  • 5 Apps You Need To Create a Paperless Office (Image Source: Pixabay Creative Commons)

    You've probably received an email from a contact that looks like this: "At the Smith and Smith Electric Repair, we do our best to conserve resources and work towards a paperless office. In that respect, we ask that you print off the attached document and fill it out before an electrician arrives."

    It sounds a bit like a joke, right?

    Imposing paper and printing costs on the customer isn't a route towards conservation nor is it tech-savvy protocol. A truly paperless office implements thoughtful uses of apps that satisfy the needs of both business and consumer. Here are some apps and programs to take on when closing the door on your office's paper use. 

    1. Evernote

  • App of the Week - Adobe Apps for Android

    Looking to design on the go? Want to put a professional spin on that selfie before you shoot it off to your contact list?

    With the suite of apps that Adobe recently released for Android devices, you have more design and publishing options at your fingertips than ever before.

    For anyone looking to do some serious layout and wireframe work for web, mobile, or print platforms, there’s Adobe Comp CC, built from the ground up with the mobile user in mind. Layer designs, lines, and shapes, experiment with color, and choose your favorite font – all without ever cracking open a laptop.

  • App of the Week - Allo (Source: google.allo.com)

    Considering all of the communication channels we have available on our smartphones and tablets, doesn’t it seem like it should be easier to communicate by now? Shouldn’t our apps be smarter, more intuitive, more in line with the way we actually speak, work, and think?

    That’s where Allo, from Google, comes in! Billing itself as the “smart” messaging app that “helps you say more and do more,” Allo is a truly intuitive instant messenger that combines the best of texting, Snapchat, and Siri in one convenient, easy bundle.


  • We all have art movements we’re drawn to, whether it’s abstract expressionism, realism, or cubism. And because some of us aren’t able to replicate some of these famous art styles with a physical paintbrush, there’s a new app that does the hard work for you.

    CalledAnimatix, the app promises to bring your photos to life in a fun and exciting way. Basically, the app helps to turn your still photos into animations that can mimic a classic cartoon style, or replicate hand-drawn sketches and pieces of art.

    DeveloperCode Organa describes the app as:

    “us[ing] real-world animation techniques to breathe life into your still photos, adding motion that makes their edges and color come alive.”

  • App of the Week - Apollo 15 Moon Landing VR (Source: Google Play)

    We’re virtual reality junkies here at Geek; we love looking at the latest trends in the VR industry, and we’re just as liable to be found playing with our Google Cardboard as refreshing our Twitter feeds.

    Our other big love? Space! We follow NASA’s social media exploits with bated breath, and we’ve written time and again about Star Wars, Star Wars, and more Star Wars.

    So when an app comes along that merges our love of VR experiences with our passion for the stars, we’ve got to share it with you. Enter the Apollo 15 Moon Landing VR.

  • As anyone who’s ever visited the Geek Chicago office would tell you, our team is passionate about music. We’re totally devoted to our tunes, and not a day goes by that our workplace isn’t filled with somebody’s music, whether it’s wafting from a speaker or contained between two earbuds.

    And as serious music fans, we’re all about finding the best way to consume music, anytime, anywhere. For that music fan who’s always looking for the next big thing, Bandcamp is the place to be.

    Billing itself as a way to “discover amazing new music and directly support the artists who make it,” Bandcamp is an online platform that allows artists to sell their music directly to listeners, at whatever price they’d like. In recent years, it’s become a haven for indie music labels and their fans, who have flocked to the service for its cheap prices and an incredible roster of artists, including creators from all over the world, working in genres ranging from hip-hop to punk to traditional folk to jazz.

  • bloxelsbuilder.com

    Ever wanted to design and share your very own video game? With Bloxels, it’s never been easier to put your imagination to work and craft the side-scrolling game of your dreams.

    Billing itself as “a hands-on platform for kids to build, collaborate, and tell stories through video game creation,” Bloxels uses both tactile gadgets and an easy-to-learn app to make building a game easy, for kids and adults alike.

    Players start by using the physical Game Builder board, laying out blocks to design video game level layouts and totally unique characters. From there, users save their designs into the app, where they can add layers of customization, from environmental skins (like grass or water) to story elements.

    This is the coolest. My seven-year-old took a video game building class after school, and now he uses Bloxels to build his own video games. Seriously, how cool is that?
    - Jason Finn, our Chief Geek

  • App of the Week - Brain it On! (Source: brainiton.com)

    A deceptively challenging puzzle game that combines the best parts of physics and art classes? Brain It On!

    We haven’t been able to stop playing Brain It On! since downloading it. The game’s simple interface and surprisingly deep gameplay make it a perfect fit for daily play, whether you’re trying to kill time at a Metra station or recharge your brain for the afternoon doldrums.

    Brain It On! offers dozens of physics-based challenges, each with multiple solutions. Users draw out their solutions using a finger or stylus, then watch as the game animates their blueprints to see if they really work. Don’t be surprised if it takes you a little bit of time to really get the hang of it - just about every puzzle is trickier than it seems at first glance!

  • App of the Week - CamCard (Source: camcard.com)

    From the social calls of the Victorian era to the Silicon Valley meet-and-greets of today, business cards have a long and storied history in our culture.

    And while cards are still one of the easiest and quickest ways to make a solid first impression and keep track of your contacts, there’s no denying that they can get frustrating. They’re easy to misplace or lose track of, and even the highest-caliber paper gets worn and torn over time.

    Fortunately, there’s an amazing app bringing business cards into the digital world: CamCard.

  • App of the Week - Camelizer Browser Extension (Source: camelcamelcamel.com)

    Ever noticed how much prices can change on your favorite e-commerce sites? Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly when prices are at their lowest, so you can jump on the bargains while they last?  

    For all of the curious online window shoppers who need a little push to seal the deal, or for budget-conscious sleuths always hunting down a sale, Camelizer is here to help.

    A browser extension available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, Camelizer takes stock of historical pricing data from camelcamelcamel.com, camelbuy.com, and camelegg.com, allowing you to look at pricing trends on just about any product without you having to so much as open a new window.

  • App of the Week - CARROT (Source: meetcarrot.com)

    If you’ve ever tried to motivate yourself or a colleague to do something, then you probably know about the theory of the carrot or the stick – that is, for the best results, either offer rewards or punishment. With the amazing A.I. app CARROT for iOS, you’ll get the best of both worlds.

  • ClearLock Productivity App

    We’ve all been there. Sitting in a slightly less than interesting meeting, you assuage the boredom by checking on Instagram. You’re trying to get your writing quota for the day out of the way when the irresistible urge to jump on Twitter guides your hands away from your keyboard and over to your phone.

    For those of us looking to boost our productivity – or just cut out a few of our smartphone’s many distractions – there’s an app here to help.

    ClearLock bills itself as a “productivity app” that allows you to block other apps in order to focus your attention on the most pressing task at hand.

  • Are you looking to learn something new every day? Why not turn education into a fun, immersive game?

    All it takes to get started is downloading the Curious app!

    Billing itself as “the game of lifelong learning,” Curious allows you to engage with bite size lessons and take on fun, brain-stimulating challenges, all at your own pace and on your own schedule. Even if you have as little as five minutes a day to commit to Curious, there’s still value to be had in this amazing app.

    Here’s how it works: Once you download the app, you’ll complete a brief interview. This will allow the service to customize your settings, based on your experience levels and interests with a variety of different topics, broken down into categories ranging from “STEM” to “Aesthetics.”

    With these steps out of the way, you’ll be all set with your own, totally personalized “CQ Wheel.” Every day, Curious will use your Wheel to send you a unique “CQ workout,” a multimedia regimen that help you “learn interesting facts, view bite-sized lessons, take in-depth courses, and even watch fascinating conversations with curious people.”

    Grounded in decades of learning science and boasting some remarkable partnerships and content – including access to a variety of TED Talks and NPR shows – there’s a reason why Curious has been called “the Netflix of learning!”

    Want to get started training your brain, spicing up your daily routine, or even just collecting fun facts for your next cocktail party conversation? You can get started with Curious for iOS and Android devices. Users can pay by the month for $9.99, or buy a year’s subscription for $69.99 (both offers come with a free trial period).

    Think there are any other geeky, learning-centric apps our team should try? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line today on Facebook or Twitter to keep the conversation going!

  • As any avid smartphone user can attest, there’s nothing scarier than getting that dreaded text message from your service provider. If you’re anything like the Geek team, you probably know the one. It goes a little like:

    “YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR MONTHLY DATA LIMIT. EITHER PAY US $1 MILLION RIGHT NOW OR YOUR PHONE TURNS INTO A ROCK FOR THREE WEEKS, BUDDY. MWA HA HA HA. SUCKER.”

    OK, OK, so maybe we were imagining certain parts of that message. But the idea is true. Running low on data is a major hassle – and one that can prove costly. After all, nobody wants to pay an unexpected overage charge! And, even before that monthly cap hits, nobody wants to try to handle their everyday business with a lagging, spotty smartphone.

    For all of these reasons and more, tracking your smartphone’s data usage is of the utmost importance. And, if you’re an Android user, you’re in luck! There’s a “stylish and simple” new app out there that’s promising to help you better understand, monitor, and manage your data.

    It’s called Datally, and it comes to us courtesy of the fine people over at Google.

  • App of the Week - Distiller (Source: Pixabay.com - Used as a royalty free image & Distiller.com)

    Look, even Geeks love to drink. It’s why techies invented gadgets like Coravin and why history and pop culture buffs around the world unite every week for pub trivia.

    Sometimes the intersection of tech and alcohol can make magic, like the Distiller app, the coolest way to browse the liquor store without taking your eyes off your smartphone.

  • App of the Week - DIYZ (Source: DIYZ.com)

    If you’re anything like us, there’s a back-log of home improvement projects you want to tick off your to-do list: Fix that pipe. Install that backyard fire-pit. Replace the banister.

    So what’s the problem? From finding the right materials to getting reliable instructions to avoiding injury during the job, DIY can be truly daunting. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a trustworthy, expert guide over your shoulder for all of your home improvement projects?

    That’s where DIYZ comes in.

  • do-stuff-app

    “What are we going to do tonight?”

    It’s a question that has plagued millennials of all stripes on countless weekend nights. Well, with the Do Stuff app, there’s no excuse for not taking part in everything that a big city like Chicago has to offer.

    The DoStuff suite of apps – including Chicago-specific Do312 – acts as a constantly updating social calendar, alerting users to the very best events happening in their town on any given day, ranging from concerts, to museum exhibitions, to beer tastings… With a little bit of everything else in between.


  • There are so many distractions we face while driving, both within our cars and coming from the outside world. The
    Driving Detective app aims to help eliminate the ones that come from your phone.

    Driving Detective will automatically disable various notifications to your phone while you’re in motion. Users can customize within the app to determine which sounds and navigation tools they’d still like to hear when driving.

    And it’s hard to overstate how important this can be! Distracted driving leads to countless accidents every year. Being able to eliminate some of those notifications competing for drivers’ attention spans can help drivers reduce their mobile phone usage while in transit - which truly could save lives.

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).