Smartphones/Tablets

Take Pictures Like a Pro With Your Galaxy S7 Phone

Samsung Galaxy S7 EdgeIf you fancy yourself a bit of a photographer, and wish you had more versatility and control over the camera in your new Samsung Galaxy S7, well then you need to look into using “Pro mode”.

You can change settings like filters, focusing, white balance, ISO, shutter speed and exposure.

So go out and have fun with your new phone taking pictures.  There’s lots of color in the world this time of year to capture.

Learn all about it here in an article in Digital Trends:  http://goo.gl/6aDVX6

Be Careful Who Repairs Your iPhone 6

image“Error 53” is the issue.  If you have your phone repaired by a non “Apple Authorized” service, depending on what parts get replaced, your phone may become useless – or in geek terms “bricked”.

It has to do with the fingerprint reader and the home button.  This article in The Guardian explains it all….  http://goo.gl/n73TS8

Parental Controls for Apple, Android and Windows Mobile Devices

selfieYahoo has a good article on how to set up parental controls on that new phone or tablet your child may have gotten as a Christmas present.  If they had them even before Christmas, it’s just as valuable.  Here’s the link:  http://goo.gl/KqanqP

Connect Your Phone/Tablet to Wi-Fi with a Barcode!

imageI can’t believe I haven’t heard about this before.  Lifehacker.com posted an article about this a year ago.  If you have an Android phone or tablet, this is absolutely the easiest way to connect to a wi-fi network.  I’ll get to you Apple folks below.

What you’ll need is 1) a barcode scanner app (ZXing’s Barcode Scanner in the Play store is one of the best, and free.)  2) You’ll need a QR code of the network.  This is easy to make and so whenever you want to share your wi-fi network with someone, all they have to do is scan the QR code.

To generate the QR code, go to http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/.  Enter the name of the network (the SSID), the password and the Network type (of encryption – WEP or WPA) hopefully you’re using WPA or WPA2.  You can leave the other settings alone and click on “Generate”.  What you get will be something like the QR code you see above.

If you scan it, you’ll see I created a fictitious network called “TEK-CHIC QR TEST” with a password of “MonkeySeeMonkeyDo”.  Scan it, click on connect and IF this network existed where you were, you’d be instantly connected.

So what you say?  How about you create the QR and then PRINT it out.  Whenever someone comes to your home and would like to connect to your network, they can just scan the QR code and they are connected – you don’t even have to tell them the password!

OK, now for you Apple folks.  Unfortunately Apple won’t let you just scan a code and change wi-fi settings. BUT, you can scan the QR code and copy/paste the information in (at least you won’t have to type it all in.)

If you don’t have a barcode reader on your Apple device, then you can try QR CODE READER by Scan to read the QR codes.

The Cell Phones are Coming, The Cell Phones are Coming!

imageIf you’re ready for a new smartphone, you might want to hold off for a few more weeks, for there are some new phones a comin’.

On September 4th, Motorola is expected to announce both their new Moto 360 watch, and a new version of its Moto-X phone.  If I’ve been to your home the last few months, that’s my phone that I just talk to without having to even touch it.  The Moto-X wasn’t even a top of the line phone when it came out, but the features were amazing.  Now, with the expected announcement of what has been called in the press the Moto-X +1, most are expecting to be even bigger with a 5.2” screen, more memory and a faster processor to put it up with the best performing phones currently available.

Next is September 9th, when Apple is expected to announce the new iPhone 6.  It’s expected to have a larger 4.7” screen, with a larger 5.5” version perhaps coming a little later.  Like the Moto-X +1, little else is known, both companies have done a pretty good job at keeping their secret a secret.

On September 3rd at the IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany, many other cell phone makers are expected to announce their latest models, though none of them will probably come out as soon as the Motorola and Apple phones.

So if you’re Apple all the way, wait until September 9th.  If you’re an Android or Windows Phone user, then at least wait until September 4th.  There’s lots of cell phone goodness in our future.

Good News for AT&T Cell Phone Customers

Sorry to trick you but no, there is NO good news for you if you’re an AT&T cell phone customer.  Apparently there was a data breach and the personal data of their customers, including social security numbers as well as who was called and for how long was taken by hackers. 

It’s bad enough that it happened at all, even worse is that it happened TWO months ago between April 9th – 21st and they are just now admitting it.

If you know how to put a fraud alert on your credit report, that would be a good idea.  AT&T is trying to sell this as saying the bad guys were only interested in stolen phones.  That originally may even be true.  But when they realize the information they have can be sold to others who have other uses for the information, what do you think will happen?

I’m not an AT&T cell customer, but if I were, I’d be on the phone with them demanding that they PAY for a year of identity theft protection with Lifelock or another company offering that service.  Just be nice to the person on the other end of the phone, it’s not their fault.  If they can’t help, ask for a supervisor.

iOS 7 Upgrade (Do it Now or Later?)

The new iOS 7 operating system on display at an Apple event on Sept. 10.

Apple has release an upgrade to its iOS operating system (iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch) from version 6 to version 7, so it must be better and you should do it as soon as possible, right?

Well, first it just came out.  Have they worked out all the bugs?  They won’t know until millions of people have downloaded it and sent their negative feedback back to Apple.  So if you want to help Apple get all the bugs out – by all means download it now.

Second, this new version looks different enough that it might throw you for a loop.  You might want to read more about it before you do the upgrade.

My advice is to wait a couple of weeks to see how it all shakes out.  Meanwhile, read articles on iOS 7 like those from Nick Bilton with the NY Time (click here) for transitioning to the new operating system so you’re not caught off-guard.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying “DON’T UPGRADE”, I’m saying take your time and be aware of the changes you’re about to put onto your Apple device.  I’ve already heard reports that it’s faster than iOS 6, just be prepared, that’s all I want to pass on.

iPhone Lovers–The Rumor Mill is Busy

September 10 is the date you want to mark if you’re waiting for the next iPhone.  Now remember, this is only a RUMOR because Apple is very good at keeping their secrets, but the sources seem to be sound so I’m going with it.  The picture to the right isn’t necessarily what it may look like.  Some rumors think it will have a wrap-around screen, others thing a curved screen.

What we DON’T know is will it be just an updated version of the iPhone 5 (which frankly will probably leave the iPhone behind the new Android phones in capabilities) or will it be an all new iPhone 6 with features no one knows about yet.

If you have to buy a new phone today, I’d say go toward the HTC One, the Samsung Galaxy 4S or even the Nokia Lumia 1020 (Windows Phone 8) which has a crazy great cameral built into it.

But if you absolutely HAVE to have an iPhone, and you’re close to getting a new one – wait a few weeks and lets see what Apple brings to the table where the bar is ever rising thanks to competition from Android and Windows 8 phones.

Apple Introduces iOS7

imageApple announced its next new operating system for iPods, iPads and iPhones – iOS7.  It has some new, cool and unique features and some “borrowed”, new features already found in Android phones. 

Whenever Apple announces anything new, all the tech blogs get all excited to see who could be first to publish and many of them are what is known to be Apple “fan boys”.  So the details of the new OS is all over the web, one place you can read about it is at Gizmodo: http://goo.gl/CKuez

The bad news is that you have to have a current iPhone 5 or iPod touch to get all the features.  If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S you will a few of the new features.  If you have an iPhone 3S or earlier, forget it – Apple insists you buy a new phone.  Only the newest iPad gets all the goodies, older iPads get fewer and fewer of the toys.

But if you have the latest phone, you should certainly benefit from the improvements.

Deal: 16GB Nexus 7 Tablet for $199

imageThe Nexus 7 is probably the best 7” tablet on the market today, and Walmart has the 16GB version on sale for $199 ($50 off.)  It runs the very latest version of the Android operating system (Jelly Bean.)  It has a quad-core processor, wi-fi, bluetooth, can display 720p HD video and weighs a little under 12 oz.

Here’s the link: http://goo.gl/YFVDC

The iPad Mini – Is it Worth $329?

image The new iPad mini is a tough sell at $329 when there are tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD priced at $199.  But there ARE some reasons why you might want to consider Apple’s entry into the smaller tablet market.

Becky Worley (who knows her stuff) has a nice impartial video review of the iPad mini that you should take a look at if you’re considering a one of the 7” class of tablets.  Here’s the review:  http://goo.gl/jzDaK

Amazon Kindle HD is “Comin’ Round the Mountain”

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Amazon announced Thursday their new Kindle Fire HD tablet – it’s an almost 9” screen with a 1920×1200 (more than enough for HD) resolution, includes 16GB of storage and will cost $299.  There will also be a 4G LTE version with 32GB of storage available for $499.  The price of the original Kindle fire will drop to $159 and should have a faster processor for good measure.

The $299 Kindle is slated to be available September 20th, with the LTE version due in November.

If You MUST Buy a New iPhone–Wait….

imageApple sent out today an invitation today to the media to an “event” on the 12th of this month.  The best educated guess is that they will announce the new iPhone 5 and the latest iOS 6 software.

IF they do announce a new phone, it will be available a couple of weeks later – so live with that old iPhone for another few weeks and get the latest one (if you must.)

Want a 7” Tablet? Meet the Nexus 7 by Google

imageGoogle’s Nexus 7 is simply the best 7” tablet available right now and it only costs $199 – that’s the amazing part.  This has a lot more power than the Amazon Kindle Fire.  It has a quad-core processor, 1GB of memory and 8GB of storage (for an extra $50 you can double the storage to 16GB – it’s probably worth it.)  It comes with built-in wi-fi and Bluetooth, it’s very thin and light being only .41” inches thick and weighs only 12 ounces, and is the only device being sold right now with the latest version of Android (called Jelly Bean.)  It has a 1280×800 resolution display, and right now comes with a $25 credit toward the Google Play store where you can buy music, movies, apps, books and more. 

Want to buy a Kindle Fire because you want to read books you buy from Amazon?  Download the free Kindle app from the Play store and you can do all the reading you like and you’ll be doing it on a better device for the same price.

Here’s the link to to Google’s page:  http://goo.gl/q3F35

Three ways your smartphone can hurt your career

imageTech Republic’s Toni Bowers has written an article on how the improper use of your smartphone can actually hurt your in your business or your career. 

Follow this like to the article: http://goo.gl/J9qMd

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