Uchek turns your smartphone into a mobile urine lab

Posted on February 27, 2013 | Android, Apple, innovation, iPhone, phone, smartphone, Tech tips

TED fellow Myshkin Ingawale wants to harness technology to help people to better understand their own bodies. Drawing on the powerful cameras and processing power of smartphone technology, he has created an Uchek – a urinalysis app for the masses.

Unveiled at the TED conference today, the seemingly simple app is easy for anyone to use: a chemical strip is dipped in urine, a picture is taken of the strip with a smartphone and Uchek analyzes the strip to produce an accurate and easy-to-understand result.

With the color comparisons as a guide, the app creates an almost instant breakdown of the levels of glucose, bilirubin, proteins, specific gravity, ketones, leukocytes, nitrites, urobilinogen and hematuria present in the urine. This information is particularly helpful for those managing diabetes, or kidney, bladder and liver problems.

The app delivers the information in language that everyone can understand (positive or negative results or descriptors like “trace” or “large”). If you don’t know that the presence of leukocytes might indicate a urinary tract infection, you simply tap on the leukocytes tab for more information. “The idea is to get people closer to their own information,” Ingawale, 29, explained.

Ingawale is optimistic it will be made available to iOS users soon and an Android version is in the works.

According to the GSMA, the organisation which represents the mobile industry, mobile health service could help save one million lives in Africa over the next five years. According to Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer at the GSMA, “Mobile health has immense potential to improve people’s lives since it increases patient access to quality healthcare whilst reducing costs”. Much like other health-related smartphone apps, Ucheck is not meant to diagnose disease. Rather it is meant to make you and your doctor better aware of your health issues.

We’re excited to see what other smartphone technology emerges from this year’s TED conference!

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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.

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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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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How To Buy a Cell Phone

Posted on November 28, 2012 | Android, cell phone, cell phone trade-in, mobile, phone, smartphone

With the launch of the Apple iPhone 5, a host of excellent Android handsets, and the rise of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 OS, choosing the right smartphone has never been more difficult, or more exciting.

how to buy a cell phone

Whether you’re treating yourself to an upgrade or planning to give a new phone to someone on your holiday gift list, it helps to be armed with the knowledge necessary to make smart shopping decisions. To make it all a little less daunting, we have put together this ‘how to buy a cell phone’ guide with all you need to know (from choosing the right mobile platform to picking the perfect model):

Features

Whenever possible, do some easy hands-on-tests in the store to see if the phone works for you:

1) Call quality: These days smartphones are used less and less for making calls, with features such as e-mail and games taking precedence, but we still recommend that you make a test call at the retail location, listen for any static, tinny voices or interference.

2) Design: A phone is such a personal product and you might find yourself strongly drawn to one style or another. If you are trying to decide between a few options, ask yourself some of these questions: Is it comfortable against your ear? Do you prefer a large screen for watching videos and viewing photos or something more pocketable? Do you want something more subtle or more flashy?

3) Operating system: If you aren’t fiercely loyal fan to one platform, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone each have a lot to offer. As very brief rundown, iOS’ strengths are its well-integrated ecosystem and intuitive interface, but you’re locked in to iTunes for content. Android is much more customizable, but each carrier has its own twist, which can make it less easy to just pick up and use. Finally, Windows Phone 8 is building in features that make for good high-end phones, and its fresh, simple interface is appealing.

4) Camera: For many people, their phone has become their to-go camera. If this is you, then you’ll want to pay attention to the phone’s camera specs. Try to take a few pictures in the store to get a clear idea of the camera’s photo quality. The best camera phones out today are probably the Nokia 808 PureView, Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC Droid DNA.

5) Battery life: With swelling screen sizes and processors, energy consumption on cell phones has never been higher. All phone batteries will run out eventually but the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, HTC Evo 4G LTE and Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE have the best battery life. For a complete guide to extending your phone’s battery life, check out our “Battery Life Savers” post.

Which carrier is best?

Consider whether or not you want a contract, whether you want a small data plan or a large one and which carrier covers your area best. National and regional carriers sign you on for a two-year contract and offer phones at a subsidy (hence cheaper). They often have the widest coverage, the lowest up-front costs and offer premium phones. However, every national carrier also has a prepaid option. Some, like, T-Mobile and AT&T, offer a different, usually cheaper, range of phones and Verizon lets you buy nearly any phone at retail value and then pay month-to-month. Depending on how you use the services, prepaid service could work out to be cheaper over time. You also won’t have to worry about breaking your contract and paying a fee.

Finally, don’t forget to sell your old phone to subsidize your upgrade! Depending on the age and condition of your old phone you may be able to completely, or at least partially, cover the cost of your upgrade.

If you have any questions on how to buy a cell phone, feel free to ask away in the comments section below.

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Phone recycling: New York’s ExchangeMy(Pay)Phone

Posted on November 26, 2012 | Amazing tech, eco-economy, iPad, mobile, New York, phone, Re-use, Recycling, tablet

At ExchangeMyPhone sometimes we feel like we are the only ones who love to “geek out” about phone recycling but as it turns out we have company…a lot! In fact, the City of New York shares our niche passion but only when it comes to a very specific type of phone: the pay phone. Remember those? Yes they still exist, actually there are 1,500 pay phones in Manhattan alone. But in a town where even some toddlers are iPhone clad, most of the pay phones sit idle collecting soot and taking up space.

pay phone recycling

So what’s the solution?  The city government has teamed up with developer City24x7 to launch a pilot program to turn 250 pay phone booths into free information kiosks in all five boroughs.  But wait, there’s more. These kiosks are interactive, touch screen devices that connect users to all kinds of vital information: from where the nearest Pinkberry is located, to live transit updates and evacuation routes in the event of a natural disaster.  The development of this new communal software leverages the neighborhood watch philosophy by putting “vital messaging onto our streets and into our hands; providing everyone with access to urban communication when and where they may be.”

City24x7

The cornerstone of  City24x7′s Smart Screens is the the democratization and proliferation of mobile media, or as they put it, “built with access for all.”  The devices provide geo-specific content on a high contrast screen for the visually impaired, they have a Wayfinder key-fob access point for the blind, headphone jacks/induction loops for the hearing-impaired and are wheelchair accessible as well as multilingual.

The 32-inch touch-screens are made from ATM strength glass so defacement is not a top concern.  Really the only possible buzz kill could be the potential germ swapping, which, if you live in New York you are already well aware of.  But according to City24x7 they’ll be more sanitary than an ATM. “They’re built to be cleaned with a jet hose,” said CEO Tom Touchet, the former executive producer of the “Today” show. “They’re waterproof and dust-proof.”

re-imagined pay phones for New Yorkers

So not only are these re-imagined pay phones good for New Yorkers, they are good for the city budget.  The installation and operation runs at no costs NYC but, after the pilot program, 36% of revenue will go to fund other city programs.  Furthermore, with the information kiosks as a platform, local government will be able to remind citizens about bike-shares, free events and even how to get their tax refund.  Now what payphone can do that?