Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

Want some out-of-the-box ideas on repurposing that old smartphone? Just because you have a new iPhone 6 doesn’t mean your old gadget has to start collection dust, so try one of these awesome options and get some more life out of your old device!

Posted in TechNow

Apple’s new iPhones are sweet, sexy pieces of tech, and were there to go hands-on with them shortly after their worldwide debut. Check out the video above and the photos, and do your best to contain your excitement!

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Posted in Top tech news

It wasn’t that long ago that in order to have service at a snap you had to be a member of a royal family. These days, it’s as simple as tapping a smartphone app. Do you want your faucet fixed with the flick of your wrist or have a delicious meal whipped up in your own kitchen? Want to feel like royalty? Just boot up one of these apps, and see how many helpers your thumb can summon.

MR. FIX IT

A drippy pipe, clogged drain, or broken power outlet is a bummer, and if you’re not a home improvement guru, taking the tools into your own hands can do more harm than good. If you’d rather hire an expert instead of risking an unfortunate hole in your wall or electrical snafu, Handybook can get it done.

Covering over 20 highly populated regions in North America, the app provides access to repair experts of all specialties, including electrical repair, plumbing, and even cleaning. You can get super specific with your request, and even specify what particular part of an appliance is malfunctioning. You’ll receive an instant quote for the work and with a tap of a button you can have a handyperson on your door by 7 AM the next day.

FRIEND TRUSTED

This fantastic Windows Phone app makes you the king of your own home improvement empire. Just snap a photo showing whatever you want done, from plumbing to masonry, maid service to tree trimming, and everything in between. Friend Trusted forwards your request to its list of contractors who will bid against each other for your business.

Once you see a bid that fits your budget, you can connect with the contractor directly through the app and schedule a time for your work to be done. The best part is that Friend Trusted pre-screens all of its would-be workers, so you’ll never have to worry about being matched up with someone shady.

SUMMON A SITTER

Finding quality childcare isn’t easy, especially on short notice. You don’t want to leave your youngsters with a potentially creepy random stranger, and taking the time to research a sitter’s background and experience means you’re probably not going to make it to the opera in three hours. UrbanSitter takes the guesswork out of babysitting and turbocharges your search for a kid-watcher.

Boot up the app, browse the available sitters in your area, and check out reviews from past clients to verify their credibility. You can see a photo of the person, call or message them, and even see how many families have repeatedly hired them, all before you trust them with your kids. A few taps of your touchscreen and you’re free and clear for a night on the town. How awesome is that?

WHAT’S FOR DINNER?

It’s been a rough week at work, you’re worn out from the daily grind, and the family is expecting an epic home-cooked dinner tonight. Forget ordering greasy take-out, just fire up the Hire A Chef app and have a delicious dinner crafted for you right in your own home. Spare yourself the dirty work, and hire a chef from the app’s massive list of the American Personal Chef Institute’s on-demand professionals.

With chefs specializing in all types of food and many servicing multiple cities in various regions, you’re sure to find a food flinger worth your attention. Snap your fingers and have a restaurant-quality meal whipped up right in your own kitchen, and maybe even pick up a few pointers along the way! It’s time to eat like a king.

LADIES, THIS ONE’S FOR YOU

If “it’s so hard to find a good man these days” is your mantra, you’ll find Rent-A-Gent to be a godsend. Whether you’re looking for a man to help you with some household chores, take you shopping, or even provide a few laughs for your long-planned Ladies Night, you’ll find them on Rent-A-Gent.

The site, which is optimized for mobile, has a huge collection of pre-screened men that are not only easy on the eyes, they’re also extremely skilled in everything from dancing and dog training to home improvement and martial arts.

STYLE SEAT

If you’re looking for anything from manicures and pedicures, to stylists and fashion consultants, all it takes is a few taps of the StyleSeat app. StyleSeat finds experienced beauty professionals near you, and can even provide you with their schedules and regular appointment times. You can grab the next available slot and browse reviews and ratings to make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for, before you drop your credit card on the counter.

Posted in TechNow

Quite possibly the best invention since whatever came before sliced bread, a new iOS device wakes you up with the sweet scents — and sounds — of sizzling bacon. We all knew it was just a matter of time before a “smell-o-phone” came along, but leave it to the genius minds behind the Wienermobile to create the ultimate baconator: the Wake Up And Smell The Bacon.

Fresh from the The Oscar Mayer Institute for the Advancement of Bacon, the porky plug-in is filled with bacon-scented liquid. The tiny accessory slides into the headphone jack of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod (sorry Android and Windows Phone fans), where you pair it with the free companion app, set an alarm, and then bask in the heavenly bacon-filled cloud wafting your way come morning.

I’m absolutely addicted to it. It actually smells sweeter than you might expect, the sizzle sounds beat the nails-on-a-chalkboard screeching alarm beep any day, and a man’s gentle voice also serves up a hearty dose of Baconisms the longer you wait to turn it off. My favorites so far are, “A world without bacon is like the Earth without the world,” and “Time passes and civilizations crumble, but bacon is forever.” Sigh.

So now that you’re sitting in your computer chair, with drool dripping down your chin, you’re probably wondering how you can get your hands on this little slice of gadget goodness? The marketing minds at Oscar Mayer know how much we crave our salty strips of heaven, but they’re not going to sell their magically meaty device in stores. You’ll have to win one by entering your details on the Wake Up And Smell The Bacon website between March 6th and April 4th. Now clean your keyboard, you’re making a mess.

This isn’t the first time Oscar Mayer has had some fun with America’s still booming bacon-mania obsession. Last year it launched an e-commerce site encouraging people to give bacon gifts for Father’s Day, with it’s awesomely schmaltzy, Say It with Bacon campaign. Just a few months ago, popcorn brand Pop Secret made a similar play for our senses with Poptopia plug-in and app pairing, which released the smell of buttered popcorn.

How about an egg to go with that bacon?

All this talk of bacon makes me think of eggs, which is a weird but oddly effective segue-way into another gadget that I can’t get enough of this week — the new Bass Egg speaker. It’s a small, portable Bluetooth speaker that turns virtually any surface into an amplified subwoofer.

It’s truly magical: You simply place Bass Egg on any surface you see fit, whether it’s your desk, the kitchen counter, your car, (the start-up guide tells you not to put it on pets, which cracks me up because of course, you’ll want to) and the powerful little instrument transfers vibrations to produce audio. Music is really quiet on the device until you set it down. Then, it totally booms. And different surfaces can add funky touches to your tunes. For example, a wood surface produces a much different vibe than metal or glass.

You can sync the Bass Egg up with any device that supports Bluetooth speakers, including your iPhone, Android, and Windows smartphones, so you can rock out to egghead music while your bedroom smells like bacon. It’s a dream come true!  Unlike its pork-scented breakfast counterpart from Oscar Mayer, you can buy the Bass Egg, which comes in black or silver hues for $99.95. But be warned, you’ll need to budget for several hours of time that you’ll run around your house putting it on every surface imaginable before you realize that yes, it really does turn your entire house into a massive speaker system. If only it could make everything smell like bacon too.

Want more bacontopia? Be sure to check out the video with this column, as well as the new Wake Up and Smell the Bacon commercial.

Posted in Great Gadgets, TechNow, Top tech news

From USA Today’s Tech Now with Jennifer Jolly (click here to watch the video):

Did you know that your cherished iPhone hides secrets from you? That’s right, a simple nod of the noggin could shift the way you use this precious gadget.

Apple’s iPhone is a revolutionary gizmo that has changed the mobile landscape forever, but even if you’ve had one for years, there are still a few things you probably don’t know about it. Each major update that Apple rolls out — and there have been many — brings new features and changes. Here are just a few of the things you’ve likely missed along the way.

1. CONTROL YOUR PHONE WITH YOUR HEAD

The iPhone is a “smartphone,” but it might be even smarter than you ever thought. There is a special control option built into it that lets you use tilts of your head to perform various functions. It’s part of a feature called Switch Control, and you can enable it in the Accessibility menu of the iPhone settings.

IPAD TIPS: 5 things you had no idea your iPad could do

You can set up a Switch Control command to notice when you tilt your head to the left or to the right, and use that movement as input for things like pressing the home button or checking the notification center. It’s built into the phone to assist those with certain disabilities, but it can also be convenient for controlling your device when your hands are busy with other tasks — like when you’re wrist-deep in dinner preparation, and don’t want to get goo on your gadgets.

2. UNDO TYPOS WITH A QUICK SHAKE

Tapping quickly on a tiny screen with our big ole’ clumsy thumbs means typos are an annoying and inevitable part of life. So rather than send texts laden with errors, just give your iPhone a little shake, as I show you in the accompanying Tech Now video. That motion brings up a prompt to undo the typing or cancel and continue. It also works if you accidentally select, copy or paste text you didn’t want to. Seems so simple, yet can be so satisfying, when it comes to dealing with this daily digital dilemma.

3. A BURST OF CREATIVITY

Taking an important photo only to have it turn out poorly is one of the most frustrating things in the world, but you can greatly increase the chances of capturing the moment perfectly by using your iPhone’s burst photo feature.

Normally when you take a photo you simply tap the on-screen capture button, which produces just a single photo, but if you hold down the button you’ll automatically activate burst mode. Using burst mode, your phone will capture a ton of photos in rapid succession, and save them in a small gallery. Taking photos this way ensures that between the inevitable blinks and giggles, you’ll snag a perfect photo.

4. LOCATION-BASED REMINDERS

Have you ever gotten home and realized that you forgot to pick something up from the store? How about arriving at a relative’s house and remembering that you have something for them back at home? Believe it or not, your iPhone can help with this common occurrence using its Reminders app, one of the most underutilized iPhone functions.

All you need to do is set up a Reminder as you normally would — and if you’ve never set up a reminder before, it takes just a few seconds — and then tap on the information icon that pops up. From this menu you can activate the location feature, which will use the iPhone’s GPS to notify you of the reminder whenever you enter or leave a specific location. It’s like having a personal assistant with you at all times!

5. BLOCK PESKY CALLERS AND MESSENGERS

Is there a telemarketer who just doesn’t get the hint to leave you alone? What about a texting service that you accidentally gave your number to, that buzzes you at all hours of the day and night? You can easily block those annoying communications using your iPhone!

Head into the Phone menu of your iPhone settings and add any offending numbers to the Blocked list. That’s it! Now, if the bothersome calls and texts continue, you’ll never hear a peep. Peace of mind at last.

What are some of the magic tricks you use on your iPhone? Be sure to let us know.

Posted in Great Gadgets, TechNow, Tips & Tricks, Top tech news