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iPhone Review: 3 Key Upgrades Coming for the iPhone 6s

Apple iPhone

On the surface, the Apple’s new iPhone 6s may look like the iPhone 6, but looks are where the similarities stop. Updates under the hood include a boost in RAM, a better camera, and 3D touch. However, the iPhone 6s is noticeably heavier, thicker, and has a shorter battery life. Apple considers the iPhone 6s to be its best phone yet, but is it worth the upgrade? Let’s dive in for a closer look.

 

Camera

The 16 MP Samsung Galaxy S6 and Sony’s 23 MP Xperia Z5 have recently put pressure on Apple to improve its camera. The iPhone 6s has upped the ante from an 8MP camera on the iPhone 6 to a 12MP rear and 5MP selfie worthy front camera. Another great upgrade to the camera is the movie feature. Slo-mo can now crank out 240FPS which results in way smoother capture. Although the iPhone 6s won’t produce Hollywood quality movies, it will deliver 4K quality home flicks.

Power

iPhones have never been known for their power. This lack of power has generally gone unnoticed due to the iOS’s minimal memory requirement. Nonetheless, the new 3D Touch system requires a bit more horsepower. Apple added a 64-bit A9 chip, which allegedly boosts operating speed by over 70 percent over the iPhone 6. Add 2GB of RAM and you have the most powerful iPhone to date.

3D Touch

3D Touch is One of the most anticipated upgrades to the iPhone line. Users interact with apps differently based on how much force is applied to the screen. “Peek” and “Pop” let you preview apps without having to fully engage. For example, instead of simply clicking on an email in your inbox to open it, you can “Peek” it. A light press on the screen allows you to view the email without actually opening it. To fully open the email, just press a little harder to engage the “Pop” feature. Consider this a touch screen “preview” before you commit to a full click.

Conclusion

The iPhone has never been known for fantastic battery life and the iPhone 6s is no exception. For continuous use, you should consider a portable charger to give you the extra boost you need for music streaming, web surfing, and much more. Overall, if you love the Apple’s operating system and are looking for the fastest iPhone yet with serious camera performance, the iPhone 6s is definitely worth the upgrade.

Travel Tips: How to Breeze Through Airport Security

People traveling through the airport

Are you done with having to spring through the airport?

We’ve all been there. Whether you have mere minutes between connecting flights or you get stuck in traffic on your way to the airport, security is one step of your journey that can truly be hit or miss in terms of time costs. As you shove your feet back into your shoes after emptying your pockets, taking off your belt, and so on- you may ask yourself, “Is there a way to make this process easier?”

Fortunately for you, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” We’ve broken down how to get through airport security with less hassles into these simple and easy-to-follow tips:

TSA’s Pre✓ Program

Before you leave for the airport, make sure you’re ahead of the game. One of your biggest time-saving opportunities is TSA’s Pre Check program. The program permits travelers to bypass the traditional security line into your own designated security checkpoint.

The program is gaining popularity amongst travelers, but lines still remain fairly short. You can join the program through partner airlines such as American, Southwest, Delta, JetBlue, and many more. TSA’s Precheck program is currently housed at more than 40 hubs across the country. Click here to see if they offer the Precheck program at your most-visited airports.

Know your Airport

Knowing your way around the airport is key to zipping through the process. Before you leave to catch your flight, check available parking. Being aware of which lots are full in relation to your terminal will save you critical travel time from your car to security. During peak travel times, lots fill up fast which should give you good enough reason to plan ahead. Consider these apps to help you pick the best airport parking spot.

clothes-travel-voyage-backpack

Be Dressed for Success

This objective is clear – take only the bare necessities to meet your travel needs. While traveling light has its own advantages, you can maximize the affect during security checks by packing efficiently as well. Pick a certain color scheme and go with only colors that match so you can mix-and-match outfits during your stay. During the colder months (or when you travel to a cool destination), consider layering to replace a single, bulky overcoat. This will enable you to breeze more quickly through security and eliminate the need to remove you coat during the security screening process.

Also, save the accessorizing for after you get off the plane. Watches, belts, shoes, and other items have to be taken off during screening. The more clothing and accessories you have on, the longer it will take you to move through security.

Always be Prepared

Always check your flight status. You never know if there’s a delay, gate change, or cancelation. Flight Aware and Flight View are both free apps for Android and iOS that allow you to check your flight status, gate, and departure time.

Since your phone helps you stay on schedule, always be sure to pack an extra charging cable. Most airports now have USB charging stations and outlets you can use for a pre-flight charge and many airlines now have USB plugs at your seat for on-the-fly charging. Now that you have the necessary tools to get you though security, it’s time to get out there and explore!

3 Best Free Apps for Working Moms

Free Apps for Working Moms

Being a mom is a full time job. Keeping up with your children’s doctor appointments, soccer games, diaper changes, etc. can be challenging and overwhelming at times. This becomes even more challenging when you have to manage all these requirements alongside the responsibilities of a full-time job. As a working mom, time is a hot commodity. The good news is there are many free apps for working moms that will save you time and help you keep your life organized and sane.

According to the U.S Department of Labor and Statistics, 70% of women in the U.S with children under 18 participate in the labor force. These three great apps are designed to save you time and make your “mom life” that much easier:

1. Cozi

Cozi is your one-stop shop for all things “Mom”. Cozi allows you to manage your family’s calendar, set reminders, and add appointments. When you set an appointment, Cozi automatically syncs your information to help avoid the dreaded double booking. Cozi also helps keep your to-dos organized and lets you add items to lists while on-the-go.

Never miss a milestone or memory with Cozi. Its family journal feature lets you log events as they happen using the family journal feature. Available for both iPhone or Android users, Cozi is an excellent resource to keep you organized and save you time.

Download Cozi:

2. Coupon Sherpa

Don’t have time to clip coupons? Coupon Sherpa is a great replacement for breezing through the weekly circular to save you time and money. This free app replaces the tedium of organizing, printing, and clipping coupons and provides on-the-go access to over 5,000 sales and special offers at your most-visited retailers. Coupon Sherpa is available for both Apple and Android operating systems.

3. Mom Maps

Finding safe and kid-friendly locales on the move just got a LOT easier. Mom Maps allows moms to find playgrounds, restaurants, indoor play areas, and much more. The Mom Maps app uses your phone’s location services to automatically pinpoint over 28,000 family hot-spots all around the United States. Mom Maps is free for both Android and Apple devices to help save valuable time and find the best spots for your family to recreated. Download the app below:

Remember your backup: Portable Power

As you navigate your busy day, your mobile device becomes your go-to personal assistant – keeping you connected and up-to-date on weather, appointments, friends and family, and much more. Since your phone is your lifeline, you have to have a dependable battery back-up to avoid being left with a dead device. The Powerocks Thunder Power portable charger fits easily in your purse or satchel and packs multiple charges for a wide range of devices to get you through the day. Remember, as a mom, you have to be ready for everything that comes your way and can’t let a dead battery ruin your day.

Beginners Guide: How to Take the Best Selfie

Learning the technique that’s involved with taking the perfect selfie takes some skill. Growing in popularity, the “selfie” has yielded well over 155 million searches on Instagram this far and was recently added to the English Dictionary. It leads to the question: how do you take the best selfie?

Tips on How to Take the Perfect Selfie

Choose the Best Possible Lighting

Lighting will make or break your picture. Avoid flash whenever possible and try to leverage natural lighting. Posing in front of a window often provides ample natural lighting for a great shot and can help eliminate any pesky shadows that may interfere with capturing the best shot. When’s the best time to take advantage of natural light? Watch for the “magic hours” – one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. Experiment with front and back-lighting to produce interesting effects with your photos but be sure to watch for camera and selfie-stick shadows! Use framing and positioning to eliminate these shadows whenever possible.

Spice Up Your Background

The best selfies are taken with either very interesting backgrounds or very simple ones. Beware of the in between. Consider your surroundings and beware of the photo bombers that could be lurking in the background. Background elements can make or break a great shot, so beware of framing your photos where strong background elements interfere or interact with your subject. The classic example is framing your shot where a tree appears to be growing out of your head!

Use the Proper Filters

Filters are a fantastic way to add some flavor to your selfie. Make sure to choose the right filter to get the most out of your photo. We recommend Aviary, which provides typical photo filtering features such as lighting adjustments, removing unwanted color, and teeth whitening. Aviary also offers an easy-to-use meme generator, frame additions, and a plethora of sticker options.

It’s All about the Angle

One aspect that could really impede on your selfie is a bad angle. Always view yourself on your phone’s screen before taking the photo. Experiment with poses from each side of your face. For most of us, one side usually produces a stronger photo than the other and either angle is usually superior to a straight on shot. Also, pay attention to your shoulder angle. It is usually best to avoid positioning yourself (or your model) with the shoulders square to the camera. If you can create at least a slight angle, it will result in a stronger portrait and help ensure that your face is the primary focus of the photo.

Avoid a Dead Battery

There are few things more frustrating than setting up the perfect shot only to discover that your battery has died. Fortunately, there are a variety of portable chargers available to provide an emergency charge when your phone’s power dwindles away from an outlet. Thunder Power is great option due to it’s compact size and durability.

Use a Selfie Stick

Don’t be left out of your next family photo. The selfie stick has revolutionized the art of taking the perfect selfie. Selfie sticks allow for the photographer to expand the selfie to include more people and a larger background. We recommend the retractable Wired Selfie Stick by Key Enhanced. This selfie stick offers great usability at an awesome price ($19.99 with Free Shipping).

Interested in learning more about the art of selfie photo taking? Start with a search on both Twitter and Instagram for particular hashtags such as #selfie, #instagood, and #photooftheday.

 

 

5 Tips and Tricks Every Android User Should Know

andriod

No matter if you are new to the Android platform or have been with it since the “Cupcake” (Android’s first operating version) days, we think you’ll learn something new from our list of tips and tricks! One major factor to consider as you dive into this article is that the Android platform is WAY more customizable than Apple’s iOs counterpart. So if you like to tweak your system to perfection, you’ve made a great choice for your mobile device. And others seem to agree. As of 2014, Google’s Android platform surpassed Apple’s iOS and currently holds 80% of the global marketshare.

As we go through these tips, keep in mind that each version of Android is slightly different, so you may have to browse through your device to find a certain feature or setting. Let’s start with battery life.

1. Conserve Battery Life

We consider battery life to the most important tip to consider for obvious reasons. Without a charge, your phone is nothing but a pricey paperweight (or projectile, depending upon the current need for a working phone). Android devices are known for fantastic battery longevity, but there are some tricks you can employ to help conserve your battery. The first feature of note is to simply adjust your screen brightness. Go to Settings → Display → Brightness and from there you can properly adjust your screen’s brightness to its lowest setting that still provides great usability.

Another tip to saving your battery is to engage the “Screen timeout” feature. This feature will automatically put your phone to sleep once you stop using it. We recommend setting your screen to timeout between one and two minutes after you stop interacting with it. In the case of an emergency, always carry a portable charger to make sure you aren’t left stranded with a dead device.
(See Also: 4 Simple Ways to Extend Your Phone’s Battery Life)

2. Snap a Screenshot

It’s pretty easy to take a screenshot on an iPhone (pressing and holding the Home and Sleep/Wake button does the job) and it’s just as easy on an Android device! All you have to do is press the power and “volume down” buttons simultaneously and your screen will be captured to your photo library. Give it a shot. This is a fun and easy way to share directions, hilarious texting autocorrects, or contact information

3. Keep a Watchful Eye on Your Data

Nowadays, most smartphones come with a mandatory (but usually limited) data plan. As new streaming options like Netflix and Spotify become more popular, blowing through your allotted data can be very easy to accomplish. To avoid a huge cell phone bill at the of month, go to Settings → Data Usage. Here you can set your data limits, alerts, and billing cycle. You can also get a pulse on how much data you have used for the month, along with which apps hog the most data. When at home or places with Wifi, always make sure to connect to reduce your data usage.

4. Give Out a Wifi Code Without Your Password

That’s right. When you have friends and family over to your house begging for a wifi code, you don’t have to give up your precious password. Use this site to generate a QR code that is specific to your WiFi network. All you need is your wireless network name, password, and network type. Print out the QR code and stick it on your refrigerator. To scan the QR code, we recommend installing the QR Code Reader App from the Google Play store. Your guests can now quickly access your Wifi without you having to disclose your password info!

5. Block Unwanted Contacts

Do you have someone that just keeps calling you whom you wish would just knock it off? Luckily, there’s a way to silence them. In the Contacts app, find the person you are needing to ignore, select their contact name, then tap “edit”. If your Android device runs on version 5.0 or newer, tap the menu in the top right corner and select “All Calls to Voicemail”. In other Android versions, simply scroll down to “Additional Info” and follow the same steps as above. Now any calls from that individual will be directed straight to voicemail where you can better manage your options for when to respond.

Get Social

Now that you have some basic Android knowledge, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up on the latest technology trends, how-to guides, events and sales/specials. We’d love to hear from you and remember to always stay connected!