Apple announces iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iOS 7

Posted on September 10, 2013 | Apple, Apps, cell phone, cell phone trade-in, iPhone, Mac, smartphone

Apple promised to “brighten everyone’s day” with today’s new product launch, and they didn’t disappoint.

Here’s the ExchangeMyPhone rundown of the many highlights from Cupertino:

The first new feature to be announced was the iOS 7.

iPhone iOS7

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, promised that “iOS 7 will quickly become the world’s most popular operating system.” It will be released on September 18th and Apple is projecting to have 700 million iOS devices sold by the end of the month.
iWork will come free with all new iOS devices along with over 200 new features, including iTunes Radio – Apple’s answer to Pandora.

Moving along quickly, Tim went on to introduce the eager audience to 2 new phone designs (to replace the iPhone5):

1) iPhone 5C
Essentially a plastic and colorful iPhone5 for $99. In the words of Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, Jony Ive, the “iPhone 5C is beautifully, unapologetically plastic.” The phone comes in green, white, blue, pink and yellow.

iPhone 5C

It is more fun and more colorful but “made with all the incredible technology of the iPhone 5.” The phone has a A6 processor (same as the iPhone 5), the same 8-megapixel rear-camera, a larger battery than the iPhone 5 and a brand new FaceTime HD camera on the front (including larger 1.9u pixels and backside illumination). The phone supports more LTE bands than any other smartphone in the world.

Apple has also created custom cases with a “soft-feel silicon rubber.” They are $29 each and environmentally friendly.

iPhone5C covers

The next up was the much-hyped…

2) iPhone 5S
Phil Schiller describes it as “the most forward thinking phone anyone has ever made.”
It comes it silver, gold, and a “new space gray” (aka slate).

iPhone 5S

We will get to the wealth of features below but most exciting is the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, “You can simply touch your home button to unlock your phone”. Forget trying to remember passcodes, the iPhone 5S “uses a key you have everywhere you go”.

iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner

The iPhone 5S is also 5 times faster than the iPhone 5 with a new A7 processor that packs faster performance and better graphics. It has the first ever 64-bit chip on a smartphone.

There is also an M7 “motion co-processor” that measures the accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope. It can tell apps if you’re stationary, walking, driving, etc and Nike is already taking advantage of it with a new app called “Nike+ Move.”
The battery life is improved, with up to 250 hours on standby.

The phones also sports a new iSight camera, a five-element Apple-designed lens with an F2.2 aperture. When you take a photo, it actually takes multiple photos and picks the best.

iPhone5S iSight camera

The iPhone 5 is gone but you can upgrade to the iPhone4S for free.

iPhones

What do you think?! You can pre-order on Friday September 13th.

If you’re as excited as we are, and want to get your hands on the new iPhone 5C or iPhone 5S, why not upgrade and sell your old smartphone today? www.exchangemyphone.com

Smartphone app: Why boycott when you can buycott?

Posted on May 21, 2013 | Android, Apple, Apps, cell phone, smartphone, Tech tips

In our consumer culture often the most powerful vote we cast is with our dollar.  Each purchase we make is an endorsement of the philosophies and practices of the company responsible for making/providing the item or service.  However, this process of consumer endorsement is not nearly as simple as it sounds.  The complex (sometimes even deliberately so), conglomerate structures are a huge barrier in responsible patronage.

Enter, Buycott: the smartphone app that is cutting through the confusion in the name of consumer empowerment. The app’s most basic function reads bar codes and translates the webs of endless subsidiaries into an easy to read “family tree” for any product.  Thus, for instance, if you scan a scan a box of Splenda you’ll know that its parent, McNeil Nutritionals, is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

Demystifying the consumer experience has never been so easy.  But it doesn’t stop there.

The app is also organized into campaigns (you are free to join an existing one or start your own) around values like safe working conditions, LGBT rights or “Say No To GMO.”  If you join a campaign Buycott also executes a cross-check on any scanned items against the brands included in your campaign so it can red flag any conflicting product.

Buycott is actually the opposite of ‘boycott.’ So, by endorsing brands that support gay marriage (Absolut and Starbucks for example) you are buycotting; while choosing to not purchase Monsanto or genetically modified food is boycotting.  Whether by boycotting or Buycotting, the aim of the app is to give consumers the information to make the informed choices that are right for them.

“I don’t want to push any single point of view with the app,” the app’s inventor Ivan Pardo told Forbes. “For me, it was critical to allow users to create campaigns because I don’t think it is Buycott’s role to tell people what to buy. We simply want to provide a platform that empowers consumers to make well-informed purchasing decisions.”

Buycott is available for iPhones and the Android version is coming soon.

Top Valentine’s Day smartphone apps

Posted on February 13, 2013 | Android, Apps, cell phone, iPhone, mobile, smartphone, Tech tips

Just in time for Valentine’s Day we have found you the 4 best smartphone apps to help you with everything from finding love to sending the perfect gift…

Finding Love

If you have an iPhone, Let’s Date is one of the most popular dating apps to help smartphone users find love. It calls itself, “the Instagram of dating” and lets you to create a “dater card” through your Facebook profile. You can browse other people’s dating cards and, when you see one you like, you simply hit “Let’s Date.” If the other person likes you too, you can chat through the app and set up a Valentine’s date.

Lets Date smartphone app

Creating the perfect date

If you’re bored of nights at the cinema, or have scored a date with someone you particularly want to impress, Goby will help you plan the perfect night out. The app helps you find interesting local activities and events based on your location.

Goby app

Giving a gift they’ll love

Valentine’s day has a bad habit of sneaking up on us. This year treating your significant other (or your best mate) to the perfect gift can be as easy as scrolling through an app on your phone. The Sesame app lets you pick from a variety of themed experiences (from a home spa day to a snow day) and they will then send your gift to the lucky recipient.

Sesame smartphone app

Telling them how you feel

If you want to celebrate the people you love, and make their day, you can send personalized Valentines straight from your cell phone with CleverBug. After you download the app, and connect via your Facebook account, Cleverbug will pull up all of your friends so you can choose who to send cards to. It then pulls together Facebook photos of you and whichever friend you’ve selected, and lets you customize the design of the card however you wish. The best piece? Your first card is free so you just pay for postage and send!

Cleverebug cell phone app

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The smartphone app that helps detect skin cancer

Posted on January 16, 2013 | Apps, cell phone, iPhone, mobile, phone, smartphone, Tech tips

Is one of your new year’s resolutions to stay healthy? Many of us are kicking off 2013 with an early morning run or a new yoga membership, but let’s not forget about regular check ups.

Over the years we’ve built up a healthy respect for the sun but, however good our sunblock habits are, moles can still appear. Most of them are probably harmless but it is worth getting them checked out just in case. This is where the SkinVision smartphone app becomes your new best friend.

SunVision smartphone app

Available on Android and iOS, this app scans and assesses your moles and lets you know whether a visit to the dermatologist is in order. It is no replacement for in-person check ups but it can be a great first step in knowing when to book your next appointment.

The technology behind this app is pretty brilliant. It uses a mathematical algorithm that was created by dermatologists, engineers, and mathematicians to analyze skin lesions. You take a clear picture of your mole (their website gives tips on how to take a good picture) and seconds later you’ll have an analysis. You can even keep track of your mole over time by using the app’s archive function.

Skin Vision app archive function

If you’re worried about anything at all, the app will show you a map of all the dermatologists in your area so you can book an appointment.

At only $5 we’re encouraging everyone we know to download it!

5 Tech Resolutions for the New Year

Posted on January 02, 2013 | Apps, cell phone, ExchangeMyPhone tips, phone, tablet, Tech tips

New year’s resolutions traditionally seem to revolve around drinking, smoking, eating and exercising. More of some and less of others. On January 1st they are conscientiously begun and, by the middle of the year, they have been almost entirely forgotten.

new years resolutions

So we have come up with something a little different: 5 tech resolutions that are easy to start and require very little willpower to maintain throughout the year:

1) Change your passwords. If you haven’t done it in the past 4 months, it’s a great idea to change all those passwords you use online. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes and you’ll feel incredibly responsible afterwards, safe in the knowledge that you have secured all your personal information. If possible, try and do it at least 3 times this year. If you’re worried about keeping track of all those passwords, look into storing them in a password vault.
2) Back up your data. We have all seen those Facebook status updates from friends (or perhaps we’ve posted them ourselves) saying that their phone was stolen and/or broken and they’ve lost all of their contacts. We all know how important it is to back up our data but it is one of those jobs that always gets pushed to the bottom of our to-do lists. Why not bite the bullet and set up an online backup service or invest in an external hard drive? If you have an apple device, it couldn’t be easier, just make sure your iCloud backup is turned on throughout the year.
3) Go through all your emails. This may take a little longer than the first two, but it is well worth the effort. There is something deeply gratifying about tidying up your inbox, deleting old messages, putting important emails away in folders and unsubscribing from those email newsletters that you never read. Plus, it will make opening your emails every morning much easier and far less time consuming.
4) Delete apps you’re not using. This is a great and easy way to clean your devices and create new space. Go through your phone and computer and delete any apps and files you haven’t used in a couple months.
5) Take tech breaks. Spending time on our laptops, cell phones and tablets can become addictive, and not always in a good way. Step away from your gadgets and make the time to take a walk, have a coffee with an old friend and read a great book. Sometimes disconnecting for a while can be just the ticket to regaining some energy and perspective.

 

Do you have any tech resolutions for the new year that you’re excited to start?

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5 ways to use your smartphone to get ready for Black Friday

It’s time to prep for Black Friday. I’m not sure about you, but it takes a lot to get me off the sofa and into the stores mere hours after eating far too much pie and turkey. Still Christmas is just around the corner and picking up some gifts for everyone on my list, without breaking my bank balance, seems like a very good idea indeed.

So, at ExchangeMyPhone, we have put together some tips for getting the most of out your Black Friday experience:

1) Sell Your Old Phones

If you have recently upgraded, or are looking to buy a new phone in the Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales, don’t forget about your old phone! You can sell your old and/or broken smartphones at ExchangeMyPhone and pad your pockets in time for some serious holiday shopping.

2) Downland Zoomingo

This innovative shopping app lets you track all the holiday sales right from your smartphone or tablet. The app lists all the Black Friday sales from all the major retailers and lets you create a ‘Watch List’ of items you love so they can notify you as soon as they go on sale.

Zoomingo

3) Download Red Laser

If you are into comparison shopping, this app is perfect. You simply use your phone to scan the barcode and you can find out what the item is going for at other local stores or even online. As a bonus, you can discover similar items you didn’t even know you wanted.

Red Laser app

4) Download Mint.com Personal Finance

Does your generosity sometimes get the better of you? If you are one of those people who splurges on incredible gifts for everyone and then dreads looking at your bank balance once the new year rolls around, Mint’s free app is perfect for you. Before you set off on your Black Friday shopping spree just add your bank accounts, credit cards, loans etc so you can manage your budget and track your spending.

Mint.com Personal Finance app

5) Download FatWallet

Sadly, this app is only available on the iPhone but it is a brilliant tool for planning the ultimate shopping trip. You can use this clean, simple and speedy app to shop by specific categories, items or retailers.

FatWallet app

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5 foodie smartphone apps that have, almost, nothing to do with politics

Posted on November 07, 2012 | Android, Apps, cell phone, iPad, iPhone, mobile, smartphone, Tech tips

Perhaps you have a real hangover (after too much partying last night) or perhaps you are as exhausted by politics as this little girl. Either way, here at ExchangeMyPhone we think that everyone deserves a little comfort and, as ever, our thoughts are turning to food.

With politics on the brain, we looked to Obama’s stand-by potluck dish, his family’s famous chili, and Romney’s favorite peanut butter and honey sandwiches, but we wanted more. So we turned to our smartphones and compiled the top 5 smartphone apps for making the best food you can, wherever you are in the country, and whatever your politics.

How to Cook Everything

We are big fans of New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman. However much we love his real books, this app is much more portable than the original and just as user friendly. Recipes are organized by ingredient, just as in the book, but the app shines by offering everything from grocery lists to how-to illustrations. Bittman is so thorough in his writing that it is almost impossible to mess up a dish and, even if we tried, each recipe even has a built in timer to keep us on track.

How to Cook Everything smartphone app

Harvest

This is the perfect app to take with you when you’re out shopping at the supermarket or your local farmers’ market. It tells you what’s in season and how to test and make sure that the produce you’re buying is ripe. As an added bonus the app even tells you the pesticide level for each piece of fruit or veg so you can decide whether or not to buy organic.

Harvest smartphone app

Appetites

If you have ever hankered to take a professional cooking class, but haven’t wanted to spend the money, this ultra-modern and interactive app offers step-by-step cooking lessons and tips from chefs and bloggers. Each recipe that you buy – most go for 99 cents – has a corresponding video shoot from the cook’s perspective that takes you clearly through the recipe one step at a time.

Appetites smartphone app

Epicurious

Conde Nast’s popular recipe aggregator has been re-purposed for mobile users and offers access to their vast access of professionally tested recipes from magazines like Bon Appetit and Gourmet. You can search easily and quickly collate the recipes you’ve selected into a grocery list.

Epicurious smartphone app

Speakeasy Cocktails

For anyone who is still celebrating, or drowning their sorrows, this app contains nearly everything you need to know to mix a great drink. It comes with hundreds of recipes and dozens of tutorials and videos. It even gives you all the info you need to cleverly stock your bar with the necessary tools and booze.

Speakeasy Cocktails smartphone app

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Inform your vote with these Election smartphone apps

Posted on October 17, 2012 | Android, Apps, cell phone, iPhone, mobile, smartphone, Tech tips

In the wake of last night’s debate, the Romney/Obama race is all anyone is talking about. With Election Day less than 3 weeks away, the pressure is on to take every chance to stay up to date on the latest political news, campaign promises and poll results. Luckily, staying in the know has never been easier, thanks to a slew of politics-themed smartphone apps that put the latest news at your fingertips. Here are a few ways that your smartphone can help you be smarter about the political landscape:

PolitiFact

Touted as the simple new way to get the truth any time, any place, PolitiFact has created an on-demand fact-checking app. Whether you’re checking up on state officials or promises made by President Obama, this mobile app lets you find out who’s telling the truth and who’s stretching it.  The Settle It! Argument Ender even lets you look up Truth-O-Meter fact-checks to verify the “facts” being thrown around by both candidates. You can fact check by searching name, keywords, and subject, browse the Truth-O-Meter ratings by person and subject, share your finding to Facebook and Twitter, and take the PolitiFact Challenge to test your knowledge.

PolitiFact smartphone app

New York Times 2012 Election

With all the excitement that comes at the late stages of an election cycle, there’s a lot of dates, data, conversation and coverage to follow. The NYT 2012 Election app does the hard work for you by aggregating news from across the web. Curated by a Times editor, the app’s news feed (its central feature) includes articles, blog posts, videos and tweets from external sources. Election 2012 is free to download, but only Times digital subscribers have access to all the app’s content, such as the Election Guide. As a non-digital subscriber, you can just see the top six stories.

New York Times 2012 Election app

NBC Politics

NBC’s Politics app for iPhone and iPad delivers the latest up-to-the-minute NBC election coverage in a beautifully packaged, image-rich and easy-to-read format. Features include video of the latest agenda-setting interviews and reports from “Meet the Press with David Gregory,” “The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd,” “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” NBC News’ entire line-up of news broadcasts and platforms, a Battleground Map (iPad only) that gives you the tools to test potential electoral votes outcomes, a Tip Sheet that gives a round-up of the day’s most memorable, must-know moments and headlines, live election results and details about both Presidential candidates.

NBC Politics smartphone app

PollTracker

Developed by Talking Points Memo, the PollTracker app allows political junkies to keep up to date on the ups and downs of polling data. Poll-hungry users can activate push notifications for alerts every time new poll results emerge. Users can also use the app to drill down into a myriad of polling data from around the country.

PollTracker smartphone app

AdHawk

This ingenious app is billed as the “Shazam for political ads on television”. When a political ad next interrupts your favorite show just whip out your phone and fire up AdHawk so it can ‘hear’ the radio or TV and tell you who is paying to influence you vote. The app scans Sunlight Foundation’s database of super PAC ads to see who/what is responsible for the message being piped into your home.

ad hawk smartphone app

Stitcher Election Center

For the avid talk-radio listeners among us, there’s Stitcher. This app lets you follow particular candidates, commentators or issues across talk radio, podcasts and local radio, all right from your cell phone.

Stitcher Election Center smartphone app

Politico Playbook

Dubbed “the ultimate insider’s guide for political outsiders,” this app curates the must-know stories of the day and makes them easily accessible on your cellphone or tablet. If we all start reading now, we’ll be even better armed to make our decision come November 6th.

Politico Playbook smartphone app

Newser

While it was not specifically created for the election, Newser creates a beautiful grid view of the day’s top stories and, at this time of year, that means a huge number of interesting election topics. Every day, editorial staff members select 60 of the most essential, and often quirky, news stories and then summarize them into two concise paragraphs.

Newser smartphone app

2012 Map

This app creates live maps that are updated daily with the newest polling data. To give you a historical perspective, they also have maps that detail every election from 1789 through 2008. If you want to customize your own map you can tap states to change their colors or tap and hold to see their details including percentages for each candidate, electoral votes, and previous winners. If you like what you have created, you can even share your scenario on Facebook or Twitter.

2012 Map smartphone app

ElectNext

Known as the match.com of politics, this app is perfect for the undecided voters out there. You simply select the issues that are most important to you, answer a series of questions, and ElectNext finds out which candidate is your perfect match.

ElectNext smartphone app

What smartphone app will you use this election? Tell us in the comments!

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How to setup your new iPhone 5 like a pro

You got a new iPhone 5. You’ve done the celebratory dance and ripped open the packaging, but now what?

From the looks of things, the bulk of this year’s iPhone buyers are converts who have switched over from Android or BlackBerry. So we have put together this guide to get the newbies started, and give a few tips and tricks to the Apple veterans out there:

1. Email setup

This couldn’t be easier. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, and Calendars. From there, you can add several accounts. The process is automated for each different email provider, you just have to enter your username, password, and a label for that mailbox that only you can see (personal, work etc).

If you want to save battery power, select Fetch. This means that your iPhone will scan for new emails at regular intervals. If you choose Manually, your new email will only load when you touch the Mail app. If you’re an email junkie and need to stay in touch every minute, select Push. This means that new emails will automatically load on your iPhone as soon as they arrive.

2. If you only install one app…

…make it Find My Phone. We have all been known to drop our phone down the sofa cushions, leave it in a cab or worry that someone has nicked it. When you set up your phone make sure you create an iCloud account. Once you have that ready, the Find My Phone app can track your phone to a cross street at all times. You just go online at icloud.com to locate and retrieve it.

3. Safeguard your privacy

First things first, you should set a password. Go to Settings > General and select Passcode Lock. Second, if you don’t want advertisers spying on your iPhone activity go into Settings > About > Advertising and switch Limit Ad Tracking to the On position. This way advertisers will no longer be able to bombard you with targeted ads and you won’t sending advertisers information about your movements and smartphone usage.

4. Back up, reset and wipe your old iPhone

If you are selling your old phone, you will want to back up everything you have and then wipe all your personal data (rest assured every phone sent to ExchangeMyPhone is double-checked and wiped of all personal data during the inspection process).

Backup: Connect your iPhone to your computer via Apple’s USB sync cable. Launch iTunes and right click your iPhone in the left panel. Select “Back Up” from the right-click menu.

Reset and wipe: Remove your SIM card, if you have one. If you’ve got a Verizon or Sprint iPhone, call them up or go to their website to deactivate the phone. Go to Settings > Messages > iMessage and turn off iMessage. This will stop your messages from going to your old phone even after you have erased and started using a new phone. Finally, go to Settings > General > Reset and select Erase All Content and Settings. This erases all of your content so you can safely sell your device, or give away as a gift.

This guide is by no means exhaustive (for a full rundown go to Apple’s website) but we hope you found it helpful in getting accustomed to your new iPhone.

Don’t forget, if you just upgraded to the new iPhone 5 you can sell your old iPhone at ExchangeMyPhone and make your week even better.

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Smartphone apps: Let your phone lead the way this Labor Day

Summer is officially sliding into fall, our white trousers are making their final few outings and we have one last three day weekend to celebrate before the new school year kicks off in earnest. However you plan to celebrate, we have five smartphone apps and phone gadgets to help you make the most of the weekend:

Last-minute Travel

If you are planning a getaway this Friday, and haven’t yet found a great place to stay, download the Airbnb app on your smartphone. The free Airbnb app links you up to more than 200,000 rental spaces worldwide and gives you the opportunity to live like a local wherever you go. You can book a hip apartment in New York, a tree house in Vermont or even a castle in Italy.  If you are feeling really adventurous, or perhaps just really strapped for cash, you can rent out your own apartment while you’re away to cover the cost of your mini-break.

Airbnb smartphone app

Capturing the best holiday snaps possible

Our phones have become so much more than just the devices we use to chat with our friends or answer emails. With their high-resolution specs, they often become our favorite camera as well. Phone-photography has improved in leaps and bounds, but sometimes you need a little hardware to capture the perfect moment. Whether you need a steady hand for a video or want to jump in the picture with your friends, a tiny tripod is often the way to go. Of all the models out there, the Gorillamobile flexible tripod is our favorite. It can stand anywhere and works with nearly every phone.

Gorilla mobile tripod

Home Decorating

With September promising cooler nights and the start of a new season, you may be keen to get a head start on some home improvement projects this weekend.  If you are tempted by a bit of a home makeover, there are some great mobile tools to get you started. You can browse Houzz for inspiration, pick paints with Benjamin Moore’s Color Capture or test out those colors on your own, virtual walls at Home Decorator.

houzz smartphone app

Treasure Hunting

If you’re anything like us, you can think of no better way to spend a weekend morning than exploring yard sales and stoop sales in your neighborhood. It is a great way to get to know your neighbors and you can often find some hidden gems that need a new home. Any yard sale expert (aka our CEO) will tell you that you need to arrive early to snag the best treasures, but how do you know when and where the nearest yard sales are going down? Gone are the days or having to read chalk signs on the pavement, or scour the trees and telephone poles for signs, you can download the Yard Sale Mapper on to your iPhone and easily find out where and when there are yard sales happening throughout the country.

Yard Sale Mapper smartphone app

Staying in the city

While everyone else flees the city for the weekend, do you love to stay put and revel in the fact that you have the place largely to yourself? It is a well known secret, particularly amongst New Yorkers, that holiday weekends are the best time to stay in the city. The crowds thin out for a couple days and, most importantly, you don’t have to wait for hours for a table at your favorite restaurant. Why not take the opportunity of the three day weekend to explore the perfect dining experience? Yelp and Zagat have pretty great smartphone apps, but our favorite is LocalEats. Only $0.99 on the iPhone, the LocalEats app serves up the top 100 restaurants in 50 major cities, as selected by professional foodies.

LocalEats smartphone app

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