All Articles Tagged "iPhone"

Which Smartphone Is Best Suited To Your Needs?

April 3rd, 2014 - By Janel Martinez
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hand zen htc oneThese days, the average smartphone can do it all. It is a photo-taker, portable search-engine, organizer, newsmaker/slash social-media updater, an actual device for making phone calls (which we sometimes forget), and perform even more valuable functions. Many people rely heavily on their smartphones for day-to-day tasks; and, for many, these portable devices are the only means of connection to the Internet.

While Internet use is virtually universal among younger, college-educated adults and those with high incomes regardless of race, the gap is far greater when age and race are factored in, according to the Pew Research Internet Project. Figures show smartphone usage is nearly equal among Blacks and whites — 56 percent of African Americans and 53 percent of whites are smartphone users. Furthermore, African Americans have high rates of social networking site usage, over-indexing on Twitter. When it comes to younger African Americans, some 40 percent of African-American Internet users, ages 18-to-29, report they use Twitter, as opposed to 28 percent of whites of the same age.

With smartphones serving as the entry way to the world of digital for communities of color, MadameNoire takes a look at which handsets are best for some of our daily needs:

Health: Samsung Galaxy S5

Health tech has taken off, allowing users to monitor their caloric intake, sleeping patterns and activity levels. The Samsung Galaxy S5 takes it to another level. Users can select the heart-rate monitor icon from within Samsung’s S Health 3.0 application, which comes pre-loaded in the Galaxy S5, and place their index finger on the center of the flash module to the right of the flash. Holding your finger in place for a couple of seconds, you’ll receive your heart-rate info, which can be used to plot exercise and training regimens (viewing it in hours, days or months). Technically, you can use the iPhone 5S in the same manner if you download an appropriate app.

We can do without the plastic exterior, but you can’t beat the 5.1-inch display or amazing 16-MP rear camera either, or that it’s water resistant. The device goes on sale on April 11.

Stay Up to Date: HTC One (M8)

We love to stay connected and the newly released HTC One (M8) will satisfy your there’s-an-app-for-that needs. It’s Blinkfeed newsfeed app, which allows you to display your favorite content (thanks in part to HTC’s top-tier content partners like The Associated Press, MTV, and ESPN) and social updates  on your home screen.

It comes with more storage (ahem, the 2,600 mAh and Snapdragon 801 processor), so you can store more information on your device. Whether it’s pictures from the family reunion or business files, you’ll have them at your fingertips.

For more on the HTC One (M8), click here for our review.

Greater Photos: Nokia Lumia 1020

There so much talk of the iPhone 5S or the latest Galaxy devices that other brands get squashed. But don’t sleep on this Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is equipped with a great camera phone, boasting strong manual controls, a selection of photo Lens apps and a 21-MP sensor. Yes, you’ll get sharper photos and greater creative control. AT&T dropped the price of the Lumia 1020 from $299 to $199 on contract.

Cool Videos: iPhone 5S

It’s not a never-before-seen feature (you can definitely capture these on the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S5 or phones with the SloPro app), but we’ll give it to them for now because there’s been some great videos captures with the device. Take a look for yourself.

Which is your favorite smartphone? We want to know how you use it and why it’s better than the rest?

Based in New York City, Janel Martinez is a multimedia journalist who covers technology and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of “Ain’t I Latina?” an online destination geared toward Afro-Latinas. You can follow her up-to-the-minute musings on Twitter @janelmwrites.

MN Business Tip Of The Day: Clean Up Your Apps

February 24th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

How many times in a day do you pull out your mobile phone and think to yourself, “How did I get so many apps on this thing?”

You ought to use your mobile device for what it’s meant to do — make your life easier and keep you connected. But if you’re always putting new apps on your device, you’re actually diminishing its performance, wasting the reason why you have the device in the first place.

Way back in 2012, The New York Times offered up a few suggestions for cleaning up your app situation, among them, using folders and getting rid of things you don’t use. Here are a few suggestions for cleaning up and speeding up your Android device. And here are suggestions for both the Android and iPhone.

The common thread for all of these articles is to be judicious about what you’re putting on your phone. Even if it’s free, if you don’t need it, don’t download it.

Unsure About Having An STD? New SmartPhone App Help Confirm If You Do!

January 23rd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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"couple in bed pf"

Shutterstock

 

From HelloBeautiful 

A new iPhone app has been designed to make getting tested for STDs easier. Hula, the free app directs users to the nearest STD testing center, allows users to receive their test results on their phone and even share their results with partners, which takes the awkwardness out of having the “Have you been tested?” conversation.
According to TIME, the creators of the app are trying to make getting tested not only easier, but also serving faster test results. With clinics across the country being short staffed, waiting to get results can take weeks with a lot of sexually active people opting for the “no news is good news” as their answer for their sexual heath, not knowing that even those who test positive for results are often not notified.
Hula makers want to fix this broken system by allowing clinics the option of sending the lab results to users and translating the lab jargon into plain English. So that means that a result for “non-reactive Syphilis” simply comes up as negative.
Read more about this new app at HelloBeautiful.com 

How Low Can You Go? Best Buy Selling iPhone 5c For $1 With Trade-In And Contract

December 20th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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via Apple

via Apple

One buck! That’s what a new iPhone 5c will cost you — if you head to Best Buy. The retail chain is selling the Apple device for just $1 when users trade in any working smartphone on Dec. 20th and 21st.

Here’s the lowdown: To get the deal, consumers must sign up for a two-year service contract and trade in any working smartphone that can power on and has no screen cracks or water damage, reports The Los Angeles Times.

For an added perk, the retailer said that “if a customer’s smartphone is worth more than a guaranteed credit, they will receive the positive difference in the form of a Best Buy gift card.”

Also, through Dec. 21 Best Buy is giving new wireless service customers $50 off when they purchase any new smartphone except for the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.

Best Buy isn’t the only store with a great deal on the iPhone. Last week, Wal-Mart announced it was dropping the price of the device to $27 with a two-year contract. And Target is selling the iPhone 5c for $50 with a two-year contract, a deal includes a $50 Target gift card (so basically free except for the contract fees).

Soon after its debut, industry observers declared the iPhone 5c a flop. The iPhone 5C is  the cheaper, more colorful plastic version of Apple’s higher-end iPhone 5S. “Apple has not released figures breaking down sales of the 5C versus the 5S (An earnings report on October 28 may change that). But independent analysts estimate that the fancier 5S is outselling its candy-colored cousin by 3 to 1 or, in some cases, even more,” reported CNN in October. Apple, reportedly, even cut back production of the 5C because of lack of consumer demand.

So it seems Apple’s loss, may be your gain.

The President Still Owns A BlackBerry! Obama Not Allowed To Use An iPhone For Security Reasons

December 12th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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TNYF/WENN.com

TNYF/WENN.com

Your smartphone just might be a lot cooler than our President’s mobile device. While everyone is flocking to Apple to purchase the new iPhone 5S, Barack Obama must tote around a once-popular phone that has grown obsolete — the dreaded BlackBerry, LA Times reports.

During an event promoting the Affordable Care Act at the White House, Obama admitted that he’s forbidden from owning an Apple mobile device. “I’m not allowed for security reasons to have an iPhone,” he told the crowd. The Secret Service, according to The Week, is less wary of the Blackberry due to its “superior encryption standards.”

It’s important to note that back when Obama was sworn into office in 2009, the Secret Service didn’t even want him to own a BlackBerry either. But Obama begged to keep the business-oriented device; he told the agency that the phone could be programmed so that only 10 people can have access to his personal email. The secret service conceded. (The President does have an Apple iPad.)

If Obama did own an iPhone, his e-mail, GPS coordinates, personal photos, texts, and countless other classified material could easily be hacked by gadget-savvy troublemakers. So although the BlackBerry is seemingly doomed for failure among its rivals, the antiquated smartphone finds loyal customers within the political atmosphere.

Apple has been working on tightening its security measures “like encryption, forced PIN entry, and the ability to wipe your phone remotely if it’s stolen,” said Slate, but White House members just aren’t ready to risk using an iPhone.

Now as Obama’s comments imply that the iPhone compromises privacy, it brings up questions about the NSA and its data gathering practices, used for spying on Americans. It has been revealed that the NSA collects five billion geolocation records daily!

Slate writes, “Apple was one of several major tech companies identified in leaked NSA documents as being part of the agency’s PRISM surveillance program. And while Apple has insisted that its users’ iMessages are secure, hackers have called those claims into question.”

As for Malia and Sasha, they are totally allowed to own Apple smartphones. Obama’s points out that his phone bill consistently reminds him of his daughters’ iPhone obsession. Those shots of the First Daughters snapping selfies at dad’s inauguration speak to that.

Prosecutor Says Wireless Carriers Blocking A Simple Solution To Phone Theft

November 22nd, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Some news stories actually make you want to start believing in conspiracy theories. Here’s one that might. It seems that wireless carriers may be blocking a relatively simple solution to phone thefts in order to make a profit. About 1.6 million Americans had their phones stolen last year, with nearly 40 percent of all robberies in major U.S. cities involving mobile devices.

Not only do people buy more phones is they need to replace stolen ones, but also customers are more apt to opt for insurance offered by phone companies.

This is actually a lucrative side hustle for carriers — the top four wireless carriers will earn more than $7.8 billion this year in insurance premiums from their customers, according to an estimate by industry trade publication Warranty Week (via Huffington Post). According to Businessweek, Asurion, a phone insurance company that pays the wireless carriers for each policy they sell, made an estimated $98 million in profit in 2010. Typically, phone insurance plans range between $7 and $11 monthly, and they require consumers to pay deductibles as high as $200 for a replacement phone. And most often, these are nor new phones but refurbished used phones ones. Asurion’s insurance plan doesn’t guarantee customers will receive the same model as the one they lost.

“If you do the math, the phone companies are making out like bandits,” Richard Doherty, a director for Envisioneering Group, a market research firm, told HuffPo.

But here’s the kicker. A top prosecutor is accusing phone companies of standing in the way of a solution that could protect consumers from violent robberies just so that they can make more money.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón claims he has obtained emails showing how phone companies are blocking the introduction of a so-called kill switch that would render phones inoperable if stolen. If installed on phones, it would undercut the value of phones being sold on a global black market, which would lead to a sharp reduction in thefts.

“These emails suggest that the carriers are rejecting a technological solution so they can continue to shake down their customers for billions of dollars in insurance premiums,” Gascón said in a statement. “I’m incensed. … This is a solution that has the potential to end the victimization of their customers.”

Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have now demanded that phone manufacturers create new smartphone technology to make the devices less attractive to thieves. Apple and Samsung have already introduced new features this summer that they said would render stolen devices useless.

Phone companies have “worked hard over the last year to help law enforcement with its stolen phone problem,” the CTIA said in a statement, pointing out that a new database of phone serial numbers is being shared among carriers. Last year, wireless companies agreed to share serial numbers after being pressured by the Federal Communications Commission and police chiefs nationwide to reduce cell phone thefts.

iPhoneless for Ten Hours: My Survival Story

November 4th, 2013 - By Rana Campbell
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

The moment I realized I forgot my iPhone at home, I thought I was going to have a panic attack. How was I going to do anything? How was I going to breathe? But most of all… how was I going to check my Instagram?

For a second I debated going back home to get my phone. But, I was already at the train station, and the train was scheduled to arrive in two minutes. There was no way in hell I would be able to run the four blocks back to my house and then back to the station without missing my train. (This was a moment when I realized jetpacks would be very useful.) I sucked it up and got on the train. iPhoneless. I, a self-proclaimed cell phone addict, was facing digital death.

My twenty-five minute ride to New York City was riddled with anxiety. How many texts had I missed? What if there was an extreme emergency and some long lost cousin of mine was trying to reach me? I glanced around and jealously glared at all the happy commuters, mindlessly texting or watching away on their smartphones. My hands started to feel a bit itchy. With nothing else to do, I closed my eyes and napped. When I got to New York and was heading downtown on the subway, I had nothing to help me block out the muddled sounds and frenzied conversations that make up the busy hum of rush-hour commuter foot traffic.

The first hour at work was normal. I ate my breakfast. Checked my email. Made my to-do list for the day. And then I reached for my phone. Only to find nothing. Another brief panic attack overcame me. Oh no, I thought. I’m probably getting Snapchats from Olivia Pope about urgent information that I won’t be able to respond to. Feeling defeated, I started on some research I was working on. For the next few hours, I channeled my frustrated and angst for my forgotten cell phone into this work document that I would be presenting later in the day.

By lunchtime, I felt a little better. I was halfway there. Normally, this is when I do a full phone haul and respond to notifications that I hadn’t responded to during the day. I ate my lunch. Could others tell I was going through a digital separation? I can do it, I told myself. I can make until the end of the day.

The next few hours flew by so quickly. I was so focused on my work that I didn’t realize it was 5:30 and time to leave. My train ride home was calm. I did something I don’t normally do and took the time to admire the scenery, looking out the glass windows as the sun slowly faded into the horizon. I noticed I was alone in doing this. Mostly everyone else was too engulfed in their digital devices.

As soon as I stepped off the train, the panic hit me again. I don’t think I ever walked home so fast in my life. Some guy tried to hit on me and I gave him a huge smile. He thought I was happy he called me beautiful, but I was really happy that I was only now one block from my house. As I got home, I ran up the stairs to my bedroom to retrieve my beloved child, mi bonita, mi preciosa, my iPhone 5. I hurriedly unlocked it and was shocked:

Nobody cared about me that much.

Although I thought people would be trying to hit me up, I only had one text message and a few Instagram notifications. No phone call from my long lost cousin. No urgent message from Olivia Pope. Nothing interesting. I whined for a little bit, but then it hit me.

Why was I so obsessed with a little 4 inch device that, at the end of the day, wasn’t really that important. It’s just a thing that gives me pleasure but doesn’t really give my life more importance. Why had I made such a big deal that I was phoneless for ten hours?

I’ll admit. It was sorta nice not having a phone. I wasn’t distracted. I was able to focus more at work. I was forced to observe the people and things around me on my commute. I actually was living through me and not through a mobile device. Ten hours without my iphone didn’t turn out to be digital death. Those ten hours were a must needed digital vacation that brought clarity and forced me to self- regulate my anxiety and participate in rational thinking. Also, knowing that my phone was somewhere that I could get it later was also comforting. Now, if my iphone had been stolen for ten hours… I don’t even want to think about that one.

Have you even been iPhoneless (or phoneless) for a day? Share your stories below.

Rana Campbell is a journalist, branding expert, and self- proclaimed “digital butterfly.” Follow her on Twitter Instagram, orFacebook to connect or check out her website www.ranacampbell.com.

 

 

Exposed! We Now Know The Woman Behind The Voice of Apple’s Siri

October 8th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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A screenshot from the interview with "Siri"

A screenshot from the “Red Chair” interview with “Siri”

She’s told us if there were thunderstorms in our future. She knows exactly where the nearest Italian restaurant was located. She knows virtually everything. And she’s virtual. If you’ve got an iPhone 4S or later, you know Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant who lives in your device. The voice Siri remained a mystery for two years… until now!

Her name is Susan Bennett, Parade reports. The CNN program “Red Chair” (clip below) revealed that Bennett is a 64-year-old voice actor from Atlanta. Although Apple won’t confirm if CNN has got the right woman, the news network seems all-too-certain that Bennett is Siri.

“Professionals who know her voice, have worked with her and represent her legally say she is Siri,” CNN said. “And an audio-forensics expert with 30 years of experience has studied both voices and says he is ’100%’ certain the two are the same.”

In the interview, Bennett said she began her career has a voice actor nearly 40 years ago. Bennett was the voice behind “Tillie the All-Time Teller,” the first ATM machine. “She had no idea she’d someday be speaking to more than 100 million people through a not-yet-invented phone,” CNN added. Her voice can be heard on countless mobile devices, GPS systems, and even in Delta airport terminals.

So why did Bennett decide to come forward after all these years? Well, tech blog Verge uploaded a video that led many users to believe that a woman named Allison Dufty was the mystery woman behind Siri. Bennett, who spent four hours every day recording her voice to construct Siri back in July 2005, believed it was finally time to end all the speculation:

“I really had to weigh the importance of it for me personally. I wasn’t sure that I wanted that notoriety, and I also wasn’t sure where I stood legally. And so, consequently, I was very conservative about it for a long time. And then this Verge video came out … And it seemed like everyone was clamoring to find out who the real voice behind Siri is, and so I thought, well, you know, what the heck? This is the time.”

Unfortunately, with Apple coming out with a new mobile operating system and a new Siri voice, Bennett as the voice of our era is slowly coming to an end. “She is passing the telephonic torch to a new Siri,” CNN added.  “Bennett would be lying if she said she wasn’t a bit disappointed, but in her field of work she’s learned to expect evolution — and even revolution.”

Rotten Apple! Users Report iOS 7-Related Sicknesses

September 27th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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iphone

 

Whether it is modifications on Facebook or phone updates, we all have become sick and tired of the changes technology puts us through. No really. Some of us have literally become ill.

According to the New York Daily News, users of the iOS 7 Apple software updates have experienced nausea and headaches. They have also stated that while looking at apps on their iPhone or iPad they have experienced symptoms of car sickness. The iOS7 zooming animation is the cause of the problem.

On an Apple support forum, a user wrote, “I had severe vertigo the minute I started using my iPad with iOS 7, Lost the rest of the day to it… And not happy at all.”

Unfortunately, there is no way to downgrade an iPhone or iPad operating system. Users who became sick decided to buy Apple products that had older versions of iOS installed.

Check out the report out of Cincinnati, OH below. Has this been happening to you? Separately but related, what do you think of the new operating system?

Download Success Or Struggle? iPhone Users Flocking To The iOS 7

September 18th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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ios 7If work isn’t getting done today, it’s because everyone is feverishly trying to download the new iOS 7 operating system. As we type, #iOS7 is trending as users tweet with anticipation about getting all the new goodies on their smartphones and tablets. Apparently, the frenzy is causing a few delays since #thestruggle is also recording some of the issues people are having getting the new system.

ICYMI: Apple’s new iOS 7 system is available to owners of the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4 and 4S, many iPad models, and the iPod Touch. You’ll need to prep your device first. It has a new look, new colors, and new features, including “AirDrop, a quick way to send content to iOS users nearby,” says Mashable. The site also warns that Apple servers are going to be working hard today, so expect slower download times.

Mashable also has a rundown of some of the apps you should race to download once the iOS 7 is all fired up. Among them: Evernote, Pandora, and TED. Also, Siri can be a man, baby!

TIME lists Siri’s gender swapping among the six reasons why you should download iOS 7 ASAP. Also, it’s much more user-friendly, the App Store is improved, and it’s easier to multitask.

However, there are some reasons you might want to consider waiting.  Among them, the aforementioned wait to download it (kind of the same reason why you want to wait until the day after a new iPhone is in stores so you’re not sitting on the sidewalk for hours like a jerk) and the “learning curve.” In other words, wait until you’re home on the couch with a bottle of wine so you can play with it a bit rather than messing with it secretly under the desk, out of view of your boss.

Are you one of the lucky ones who got it already? What do you think?

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