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

Sustainable Living: Born to Die Phones

At ExchangeMyPhone there’s nothing we’re more seriously passionate about than fighting e-waste; it is quite literally what we’re all about.  So naturally, nothing makes us smile like when others join the crusade.
John Rogers, lead material scientist and resident e-waste butt-kicker at UI Urbana-Champaign, has just wrapped up a project developing circuit boards, specifically for cell phones, that dissolve when wet and know to break down when they have become obsolete.  The project has appropriately been dubbed “Born to Die.”
So, what does cell phone expiration look like? Basically a slow withering away that Rogers likens to a dead plant drying up. So far, the largest challenge is ensuring that the devices to not perish prematurely; so other words, if you spill your tea your cellphone won’t dissolve on the counter-top.  Such cell phones would have a “use before” date just like edible commodities.
“We’re talking about electronics that are very specifically engineered to have excellent properties, time independent, until the programmed moment at which you don’t need the device anymore, and then is dissolves away…” Rogers says, “that’s the trick.”

We are incredibly excited to see where Rogers’ research goes and will be cheering on our new ally!

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.

Samsung announces the Galaxy S IV smartphone

So, what do you think about the Galaxy SIV smartphone?

Galaxy S IV smartphone

Are you tempted to sell your old phone and upgrade when it comes out in April?

Hopefully we can help you decide. Here’s the ExchangeMyPhone summary of Samsung’s latest unveiling:

As the fourth update of the electronic giant’s flagship smartphone there’s no doubt that Samsung continues to raise the bar for competitors. By super-sizing the screen and packing in even more specialized software the Galaxy S IV is clearly establishing itself as a rival to the iPhone5.

The S IV draws on the design of the S III but the screen is larger (5 inches), the weight is lighter, the resolution greater, the battery capacity higher, the processor faster and the rear-facing camera enhanced with more megapixels.

In the software department, the Galaxy S IV runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the most up-to-date version of Android. Two features we particularly like are the multi-view mode (splitting the screen so you can interact with two apps at the same time) and the Smart Pause. The latter is particularly innovative as it halts a video you’re watching when your eyes dart away, then resumes when you start paying attention again.

S IV smartphone features

We’d love to hear your thoughts – do you think? Are you excited to buy the S IV?

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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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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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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!