Tech News: The Hottest iPhone Rumors Of The Summer

Posted on August 26, 2013 | Apple, cell phone, iPhone, Mac, mobile, Tech tips
It’s that time of year and the rumor mill is spinning nonstop.  No, we’re not talking about heading back to school we’re talking about the dizzying, high expectations of Apple’s newest iPhone, said to be hitting stores early September.  If you haven’t been tuned into the tech grapevine this summer we’re here to fill you in on the most popular rumors that just might be true.

1. The new, cheap iPhone 5C
This seems to be the whisper that won’t go away.  Pundits, techies and analysts alike have been predicting since last year that a wallet-friendly addition to the iPhone family was on it’s way. Experts tend to agree that a more affordable iPhone would be the necessary catalyst for Apple product proliferation in the  global marketplace, especially in countries like China.  It is believed that this new phone could possibly replace the 4S and would be a pared down model without features like Siri.  It would be made of plastic, versus the aluminum and metal materials used for the iPhone 5 and retail around $199, with a contract.

iPhone 5C
2. Fingerprint I.D.
Last year Apple acquired AuthenTech, famous for their fingerprint-sensor technology, for three hundred and fifty million dollars.  This move made waves, and now many predict that Apple will put their new purchase to use in iPhones and possibly tablets. This would predictably change the face of device security as fingerprints would eclipse passwords.  Experts are predicting this iPhone would be dubbed the 5S.

3. Shades of things to come
Remember those now vintage iBooks and desktops that came in a rainbow of colors? We know that, on occasion, Apple does dabble in different areas of the color wheel – as we saw more recently with iPod minis.  One of the rumors getting the most attention is the iPhone Gold, which is exactly what it sounds like, and would represent a total visual departure from what we know as the iPhone brand.

iPhone gold
4.  Best of both worlds?
There’s a growing opinion, or perhaps wishful thinking, that this fall Apple will do what it’s never done before and release two new phones, both the 5C and 5S, simultaneously.  Could that be hoping for too much?
What rumor are you banking on? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Tech News: Cybercafes Get A New Interface

While the cybercafé has grown increasingly rare in North America, in many developing nations it remains the gateway to the Internet and a gathering place integral to community life.  Such is the case in many African nations where these local cafés are still very relevant and the standard way to get online.

The typical scene in these cafes is a crowded one, both with people and bulky computer units that that serve a very limited number of users at a time given the space and energy they require.  Internet connection is often slow, machines unreliable and energy costs huge.

The system could be much more efficient for customers and owners alike. Which is why Google is rethinking the “user interface”, not of a new digital software but of the physical space of the internet cafe.  What, exactly does this look like?  A tablet café.  By replacing desktops with tablets the entire experience of getting online has been transformed for locals in Dakar, where Google is piloting the program.

The first major advantage of the program is economic: tablet cafés make good business sense.  Owners stand to save a significant amount of revenue on electricity, savings that Google Africa hopes, “can be reinvested in faster connectivity to bring in more customers.”

From a social-change standpoint, potential benefits of the program are even greater.  Though customers do not own the tablets, the impact of putting cutting edge technologies into the hands of under-served populations is immeasurable.   Customers emerge with something much more valuable than a tablet: technological literacy that corresponds with some of the most advanced devices and operating systems in the world.  The potential for the democratization through knowledge here is huge.

Finally, from a community building perspective the physical layout tablets afford is inherently more social and much closer to that of a traditional cafe.  Rather than hunched over in separate cubicles customers can sit comfortably on couches, chat and share with total ease.

Do you think tablet cafes are the future face of internet access in the developing world? Can the barriers to sustainability of the program be overcome? Share your thoughts with us!

Tech Tips: 5 Way To Maximize Your iPhone’s Battery

Dim Things Down

One of the simplest ways to maximize battery life without compromising user experience is to dim down the brightness of the screen light: the lower the light the more effectively you are using your device.  Just use the handy slider to test out different degrees of light intensity.

Settings – Brightness – Wallpaper

Skip the Bluetooth

Wireless transmission of data really puts a drain on your battery, especially during large chunks of the day when you may not need this feature (like when you aren’t using your headset/earpiece or are using your computer/tablet or primary device).  By switching Bluetooth off you can extend your battery life significantly.

Setting – Bluetooth – Off

The DIY Approach

Your iPhone is programmed, by default, to fetch data automatically (this is called “Push” in apple terms).  While this is perfect for getting email instantly, it is no always necessary and uses a lot of battery power.  By fetching your emails manually, you can receive mail only when you want to read it and enjoy a much longer battery life.  This approach is a user favorite and has made a big difference for many iPhone users.  Checking your mail manually on an iPhone 5 is even easier than tapping “refresh”: simply pull down the top of the browser and the page updates!

Settings – Mail – Contacts – Calenders – Fetch New Data. Here, you can turn off Push completely, schedule it for intervals of your choice or, select “Manual”.

Curb Your 3G Use

If you have an iPhone 3G or later model you know the joys of a very fast 3G of 4G LTE network connection.  But this faster browse-ability comes at a battery cost.  If you are in a bind and not trying to load webpages turning off your 3G/4G LTE connection will help you avoid that that red battery icon no one likes to see.

Settings – General – Slide Enable 3G to “Off” on some models or Enable LTE to “Off” on the iPhone 5 or newer

Bring Airplane Mode Down to Earth

Contrary to popular belief, Airplane Mode isn’t only for jet-setting, it is a setting that can save your battery!  Remember, this mode disables all data services, translation: no calls, texts or data. So its really best if you are just saving enough juice of a quick call in the near future.

Setting – Airplane Mode “On”

Are smartphones emasculating?

Posted on March 06, 2013 | Android, innovation, mobile, smartphone

At the recent TED conference in Long Beach, Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, proposed an unexpected argument.

Wearing a pair of Google Glasses, he told the conference attendes that his latest invention would help fight the antisocial and “emasculating” habit of compulsive smartphone checking.

He argued that, on a smartphone, everyone is isolating themselves by constantly looking down to check in on email or social media. In his words, “you’re standing there just rubbing this featureless piece of glass.”

In contrast, Google Glass allows people to keep their head up as digital information is overlaid onto their world, no matter where their gaze is pointed. The innovation moves towards fulfilling one of Brin’s long-held dreams to give users highly relevant information without actually having to run searches.

The technology is exciting to imagine but both his smartphone attack and the potential impact of Google Glass have ignited debate across the internet.

At Information Week, Thomas Claburn, focuses on the sexist undertones of Brin’s remarks (is he implying that isolation is unacceptable for men but fine for women?) and gives male readers a variety of ways to reclaim their smartphone. These range from armoring it in a suitably rugged case to developing new ways of interacting with our touchscreens so users can slam and hammer their touchscreens (rather than the ‘feminine’ touch or tap).

Over at Wired, Ryan Tate explores the ways that Google Glass might affect the way we interact. He agrees that there are all sorts of social problems around smartphones, but ponders if those same problems may be evident, if not exacerbated, when people are constantly looking at the little displays attached their face. In his words, “Surely losing your friend’s eye contact halfway through a sentence would be emasulating and socially isolating in its own way.”

What do you think about Brin’s argument? Do you see your smartphone as emasculating? Are you excited or appresenive about the possibility of Google Glass?

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New Android smartphone – HTC unveils The One

Posted on February 20, 2013 | cell phone, mobile, smartphone, Tech tips

Yesterday HTC unveiled its latest Android smartphone in a global launch that included simultaneous events in New York and London.

HTC unveils The One to android smartphone market

At their New York event, HTC President Jason MacKenzie, said that the One isn’t a set of incremental improvements, rather it is a bold step forward for something new and fresh.

So what’s the ExchangeMyPhone take on it? At a tactile level, the phone has an instantly ‘premium’ feel with an entirely aluminum constriction.

On the software side, there’s even more to love. When you turn on the phone the One’s home page displays as a “BlinkFeed”, rather than a screen full of apps. This unique layout creates a curated collection of news stories, social status updates, pictures etc for you to scroll through.

Travelling further into the phone, our favorite HTC addition is the camera. They have created a camera to rival the iPhone5 and Galaxy SIII with a front-facing wide-angle lens, enhanced rear-facing lens and the unique ‘Zoe’ shot. If you’ve ever watched Harry Potter and coveted those moving portraits you’ll be hooked – essentially the camera begins one second before the user presses the button (through buffering) and continues for three more seconds. This creates a short video and makes the shots in your photo album appear to ‘come alive’. Photos from a specific event are then automatically collected and joined with music to create “Zoe Highlight” videos.

HTC One boasts unique camera

AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile will sell the One, along with many smaller regional telecom companies. The 32GB version of the One will retail for $199.99 with a two-year contract, and the 64GB version should sell for $299.99 (HTC is still hashing out the final details).

Can’t wait to get your hands on it? Don’t fear – the phone is set to hit stores in March.

Have any questions? As always, ask away in the comments section below.

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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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How to delete data from a blackberry

Question: I want to sell my old Blackberry in anticipation of buying a new one. How can I delete data from a Blackberry for good?

Answer: Erasing data from a smartphone couldn’t be easier. Just follow our simple, step-by-step guide. See our past tutorial on erasing the data from your iPhone.

Before you do anything make sure the gadget is plugged in or has a full battery.

1. Press the Blackberry button on the keypad. It’s located left of the trackball, and it opens the main application menu.

2. Scroll to and select the “Options” icon.

3. Open “Security.”

4. Select “General Settings.”

5. Press the BlackBerry button to open a list of options.  By default, E-mail, Contacts and User Installed Apps are pre-selected.

6. Select “Wipe handheld.”

7. Confirm that you want to wipe the handheld data by choosing “Continue.”

8. Confirm the reset again by typing “blackberry” on the keypad, and then press the trackball.

9. Wait for the phone to clear all the data and to restart. The phone will be reset to default factory form.

delete data from a blackberry

All done! Now that you’ve cleared your Blackberry you can safely sell the phone, send it in for repairs or pass it on as a gift.

One last question – do I have to delete the data myself if I send my phone to ExchangeMyPhone?
Most people want to stay on top of deleting their own data, and we are happy to offer these explanations.  Of course, here at ExchangeMyPhone our standard procedure includes total immediate data wiping for all products received. So, if you are sending a phone to us here at ExchangeMyPhone, there’s no need to worry about doing it wrong or having sent a device with data still on it – we’ll always double-check and rewipe.

If you’ve any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

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!

How to delete data from an iPhone

Posted on January 09, 2013 | cell phone, How to, iPhone, Mac, mobile, phone, smartphone, Tech tips

Question: I want to sell my old iPhone in anticipation of buying a new one. How can I delete my iPhone data for good?

Answer: Erasing your data from a smartphone couldn’t be easier, just follow our step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Back up your iPhone’s data

You will probably want to restore all your personal data on to your new phone when you get it, so it’s best to take a backup before you erase everything.

Depending on which version of iOS you’re using, and your sync preferences, you’ll either backup to your computer or Apple’s iCloud service.

Back Up via iCloud:

iCloud automatically backs up most of the important data on your iPhone (running on iOS 5 or higher) on a daily basis but here is how to take one final, manual backup:

Ensure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.

1. Launch the Settings app
2. Navigate to iCloud > Storage & Backup
3. Tap on Back Up Now

This can take several minutes depending on when your iPhone was last backed up to iCloud.

Back Up via iTunes:

1. Connect your iPhone to the computer that you normally sync it with.
2. Open iTunes and select your iPhone under Devices in the left-hand navigation pane.
3. Right-click (or Control-click) the device and select Back Up.

Step 2: Delete data and settings

If you have a newer iOS gadget, this process should take only a few minutes to complete. If you have an earlier model, it might take an hour or more. Make sure the gadget is plugged in or has a full battery before you begin. Otherwise, you might have to start all over.

1. Launch Settings app. Tap on ‘General’

Delete data and settings - step 1

2. Scroll down to the bottom and tap on ‘Reset’

Delete data and settings - step 2

3. Tap on “Erase All Content and Settings” option

4. If you’ve set a passcode, it will prompt you to enter the passcode. After entering the passcode, it will prompt you one last time if you want to delete data and settings from your iPhone.

5. Tap on ‘Erase iPhone’ button

Delete data and settings - step 3

All done! Once you’ve deleted your iPhone, it will restart and you’ll have an iPhone with all new settings and a completely empty memory. From here you can:

1. Sell it or trade it in
2. Send it for repairs
3. Give it to your best mate

One last question – do I have to delete the data myself if I send my phone to ExchangeMyPhone?
Most people want to stay on top of deleting their own data, and we are happy to offer these explanations.  Of course, here at ExchangeMyPhone our standard procedure includes total immediate data wiping for all products received. So, if you are sending a phone to us here at ExchangeMyPhone, there’s no need to worry about doing it wrong or having sent a device with data still on it – we’ll always double-check and rewipe.

If you’ve any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

Smartphone holiday gift guide

Posted on December 12, 2012 | Android, cell phone, iPhone, Mac, mobile, money saving, phone, smartphone

Are there any gadget junkies you know who would love a new smartphone under the tree? Whether you’re on a tight budget or fancy splurging on something extra special, check out our list for the best mobiles you can buy:

Budget-friendly

HTC One X

The HTC One X for AT&T combines excellent performance, a fantastic camera and one of the best displays on the market. It is packaged in a stunning handset and is set to get even better with an upgrade to Android 4.

Price: $0.01 (AT&T) or $20 (Sprint) at Amazon Wireless.

HTC One X

Motorola Droid RAZR M

The Droid RAZR M has a speedy dual-core processor, dependable battery life and a fantastic camera. The HD display is a bit sub-premium and there are better video cameras but, for the price, it is an incredibly well-rounded phone.

Price: $0.01 (Verizon) at Amazon Wireless.

Motorola Droid RAZR M

Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G

The Galaxy S Blaze 4G comes 3rd in the budget contenders, but it is excellent value for T-Mobile customers. The phone offers robust performance, long battery life, excellent call quality and a respectable camera.

Price: $20 (T-Mobile) at Wirefly.

Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G

Mid-range

Galaxy S III

The Galaxy S III is an excellent smartphone and has the advantage of being available from all the major national carriers. The phone boasts a spacious display, an excellent camera, fantastic performance and solid battery life. Better yet, like the One X, the Galaxy S III is set to receive an upgrade to Jelly Bean in the near future.

Price: $40 (Sprint), $100 (AT&T) or $60 (Verizon) at Amazon Wireless; $200 (T-Mobile) from Wirefly.

Galaxy S III

Motorola Droid RAZR HD

One of the most anticipated smartphones to debut this season, the Droid RAZR HD for Verizon Wireless is a huge improvement on the original Droid RAZR. It boasts incredible performance, a higher-resolution display and excellent battery life.

Price: $150 at Amazon Wireless.

Motorola Droid RAZR HD

Nokia Lumia 920

The Lumia 920 deserves special consideration for its camera which boasts a floating lens, a sensor that brings unparalleled image stabilization and great low-light performance.

Price: $70 at Amazon Wireless.

Nokia Lumia 920

Splurge-worthy

iPhone 5

Available for AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and a number of regional carriers, Apple’s latest offering ranks among the most sought-after smartphones of the year. Exceptional performance, a top-notch display, good battery life and an excellent camera are all wrapped up in beautiful hardware. If you decide to plump for the 32GB or 64GB model, the lucky recipient will be able to fill it with all their favorite movies, music and photos.

Price: $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB) or $399 (64GB) from Apple.

iPhone 5

Samsung Galaxy Note II

The Note II is among the leaders in terms of sheer performance. It also has a spacious HD display, an amazing camera and the S Pen (which lets you quickly jot down notes and annotate photos).

Price: $230 (Sprint), $250 (AT&T) at Amazon Wireless; $280 (Verizon), $300 (T-Mobile) at Wirefly.

Samsung Galaxy Note II

Nexus 4

For Android fans, it is hard to bet the Nexus 4 whose display and camera are miles ahead of the previous Galaxy Nexus.

Price: $299 (8GB) or $349 (16GB) from Google.

Nexus 4

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