All Articles Tagged "iPhone"

Customers Voice Frustrations Over Verizon Wireless Trade-In Deal

October 21st, 2014 - By Rhonesha Byng
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When the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus phones were announced, phone carriers scrambled to offer the best deals, plans and discounts to lure new customers and incentivize current customers to upgrade. However, Verizon Wireless seems to be giving several customers the run around when it comes to cashing in on their trade-in promotion.

The company’s promotional trade-in program is supposed to allow customers who purchase the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus to trade-in their old iPhone and receive up to $350 in-store credit (depending on the phone’s condition, make and model). Models that are eligible for the promotion include the 4S, 5, 5C and the 5S.

Full disclosure, I am also a Verizon Wireless customer who attempted this deal. For my 4S which was in good working condition I was quoted $200.

All went well initially. I was able to complete some information online and got my packaging information within seven days. I cleared off all my data, reset my phone and deactivated Find My iPhone–also known as the Activation Lock.

There were a lot of steps to complete to ensure that the full value of the promotion would be honored so I went into my local Verizon Wireless store just to make sure I had done everything correctly. I got the all clear and sent my phone in the mail on September 22nd. Then, I heard nothing for weeks, until I got an email that said they had not yet received my device, and in the meantime they’d give me a $36 gift card.

However, Verizon has a website where you can check the status of your device. Upon checking that site, I realized they had received my device but changed my value to $36 because they claimed my Activation Lock was not turned off. Knowing this was not true, I attempted to get in touch with them to correct the issue. (There’s also another website where you can enter your device’s serial number and check the status of the Activation Lock, upon checking this I learned that my device’s Activation Lock was definitely off). However, due to high call volume, you cannot reach anyone at the trade-in program customer service desk. It’s simply a recording that offers a few prompts and then hangs up.

A quick look through Twitter shows several customers have taken to social media to air their frustrations after being unable to get in touch with the customer service representatives for the trade-in program, and being denied their promo deals:

One user points out that they were told the trade-in program is being handled by a third party. Verizon Wireless has not yet confirmed or denied this claim with us. However, not everyone is complaining.

But further inquiry revealed that she hadn’t completed her promo deal yet. She just received a quote and sent her phone in the mail.  

For those customers who were able to go into the store to redeem the deal, the process seemed to go smoothly.

Other customers like Larry Artzner, who emailed us, are experiencing frustration because they intended to complete the deal, and have not received the mailing materials to send the old iPhone in.

“Long story short: I am completely in limbo with the trade in. I have been left to hope that the mail-in materials arrive, and Verizon honors the trade-in despite the fact I received my phones more than 7 days ago,” he explained in a lengthy email to us detailing his experience. “This was absolutely the most horrendous display of customer service from start to finish (whenever it’s finally finished).”

T-Mobile and Sprint have previously stated they would match any trade-in offer. Sprint also offers another deal called the “iPhone for Life” plan. According to Sprint, the plan allows customers to lease the newest iPhone for $20 a month and after two years you can trade up to the newest iPhone while still paying $20 a month.

We reached out to Verizon Wireless for comment. Here’s what they had to say:

While we do not disclose numbers I can say that we have been experiencing higher call volumes due to the positive reaction to our latest trade-in promotion. The teams are working to ensure customers have a positive experience and I can certainly pass along the feedback to the teams here.

We reached out with further questions specifically addressing where a customer can turn if there’s a dispute regarding the condition of the phone. We also asked whether Verizon is handling this program internally, or if they’ve brought on a third party. We have not yet heard back regarding those specifics.

Have you successfully completed the trade-in program for Verizon Wireless? Let us know if you have a success story or a frustrating failed experience with the promo deal in the comments below.

Apple Unveils Two New iPads, Two New Desktops, New Software

October 17th, 2014 - By Rhonesha Byng
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On October 16th, Apple had another one of it’s much talked about and hyped about announcements. This time wasn’t as awe-inducing as the iPhone announcement but there are quite a few interesting updates, new devices, and an official roll out of some features we’ve been expecting. Here’s a rundown of the highlights from Apple’s latest announcement.

Circle Sept. 9! Apple Rumored To Announce iPhone 6 Next Month

August 6th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

iPhone lovers mark your calendars. Tech blog Re/Code reports Apple will officially debut its latest smartphone, the iPhone 6, on next month September 9th. If Apple does make the announcement on that day, the phones will hit the market 10 days later, on September 19.

The phone is expected to be larger than any iPhone before it, featuring a 4.7-inch screen. “Apple has also been said to be working on a 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6, but recent reports have said Apple may not announce that version until later this year or possibly in early 2015,” reports The Los Angeles Times. Japan’s Famitsu newspaper reported the iPhone 6 screen would be “significantly” higher in resolution. The resolution for the iPhone 5S is 1136 x 640.

The larger-screen iPhone is expected to help Apple compete with smartphones by Samsung and HTC that have screens larger than the 4-inch iPhone 5s. However, it might be tough to match the sales of the iPhone 5. During its first weekend, the sales figures for the iPhone 5s and 5c totaled nine million, making it Apple’s biggest launch, reports 9 To 5 Mac.

Additionally, the iPhone 6 is rumored to be thinner and will feature an all-new metallic design.

“One of the most persistent rumors has been that iPhone 6 will be covered in near-indestructible sapphire glass. Several online videos purported to show users bending, stabbing, scratching and hitting these displays to prove their worth. However while sapphire will still be used for the camera lens and home button, analysts recently said there had not been enough sapphire glass in the manufacturing supply chain to indicate the phone will be covered in it,” reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

Of course, Apple is staying mum on the details for now.

New iPhone Case, The CaseCam, Helps You Get Your Arm Out Of Selfies

July 30th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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One of the worse things about selfies–other than they tap into everyone’s narcissism–is the photos almost always have your camera-holding arm pictured as well. Well, someone has come up with a way to get rid of the “I-am-taking-my-own-picture” look. It is an unofficial new iPhone case called CaseCam. It actually works as a mini tripod so you don’t have to hold the phone while taking photos.

It has a little mirror that holds your phone up that serves as the tripod. The camera is then basically taking a photo of the mirror, which is pointed at you, reports The Huffington Post.

And it comes with a free app that has a built-in timer so the camera takes the picture itself. And, if a friend also has the app, it allows you to connect your two phones via WiFi and view yourself on the second phone. “That way you can control the camera remotely and make sure you’re looking fabulous,” reports HuffPo.

The one drawback: you have to find a surface of the right height to use the case properly. But still a cool idea and now the makers of  CaseCam have launched a Kickstarter page. They want to raise $25,000 before August 21 to make the CaseCam for iPhone 5 and 5S. The proposed price: $40 for a CaseCam.

The CaseCam might turn into something big. Who doesn’t take a selfie these days? Even President Obama has been caught doing so. “Millions are shared each and every day across all the major social media platforms. Indeed, according to data from Samsung, selfies make up almost one-third of all photos taken by people aged 18-24, with Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat bearing the brunt of that load,” reports AllTwitter.

10 Ways To Extend Your iPhone’s Battery Life When You’re In The Red Zone

July 25th, 2014 - By Rhonesha Byng
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Shutterstock

Team iPhone won’t hesitate to rattle off a long list of features that make their device superior to other phones. Still there are some things about the iPhone life that drive us mad!

Perhaps the most infuriating alert to pop up (aside from the message telling you you’ve run out of space and can no longer take photos) is the “Low Battery” message. When we’re out enjoying the day, or having a night out on the town, it’s inevitable that before the night is over you’ll be racing and running around to find an outlet.

Well, if you’re reading this post you’re in luck, because we dug up a few tips and tricks to help you stretch that battery life when you’re in the dreaded red zone.

The 250 New Emojis Are Not What We Were Expecting

June 17th, 2014 - By Rhonesha Byng
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via Unicode

via Unicode

Unicode Consortium (the company that regulates the presentation of text across software platforms and devices) officially released version 7.0 that comes with close to 250 new characters including: shopping bags, a bed, a camera with flash, and the highly sought after “back of envelope.” Needless to say, this is not quite the update we were expecting. The good news is, you can now officially give people the finger via text. The Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended is among the new emoji characters set to come in this new update. The bad news is the only hand that we’ll see will still look like a white person’s hand.

After Apple received an email from MTV about the lack of diverse emoji characters, Apple responded. However, since Apple does not create or control the emojis, they’re actively working with the Unicode Consortium to update the standard and create more diversity amongst the emoji characters.

Celebrities like Tahj Mowry and even Miley Cyrus agree that there needs to be more ethnicities and races reflected in our emoji symbols, but since this new update doesn’t quite add brown hands or faces to the character set we will have to continue to wait and see. While the Consortium released their update yesterday, the new emoji characters will not be available on your phones until a software update is issued that would allow your phone to support Unicode 7.0, which some predict will arrive sometime in July.

You can check out the full list of new emoji characters here.

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

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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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.