Tag Archives: iPhone

Tracking sleep, activity & food – the Jawbone UP app

Imagine being able to track every calorie you burn, every calorie you consume and every minute you are sleeping? We came across the Jawbone UP and are just amazed at the capabilities this app possesses. It needs to be coupled with the UP wristband to function (available on their site for about $129 or on ebay for less than $100). The app is compatible with iPhone and Android.

Here’s some of the amazing features:

Sleep and nap tracking – it tracks your sleep including the amount of light sleep vs deep sleep.

Power Nap – need a power nap? UP will let you get one in and wake you up after the perfect amount of sleep is achieved (26.5 minutes according to the UP web site).

Smart Alarm – UP will wake you up at the best possible time in your sleep cycle – this will help you feel more awake and refreshed.

Food and Drink Tracker – helps you keep track of what you eat and drink to get the whole picture of your health.

Activity Tracker – UP tracks every calorie you burn, every activity you do.

There are many more features (like a mood tracker) that you can also monitor but the bottom line is that this system helps you keep track of every bit of your lifestyle and delivers information to help you live a healthier life and encourages you to keep moving forward. Sound interesting to you? We’re hooked! We love the idea and are placing our order today for our first one. We’ll keep you posted on our experience with it.

Still have audio cassettes laying around? Get a cassette to iPod converter!

OK, so maybe we are showing our age here by even talking about this but we are taking bets that we are not the only ones on the planet with a cassette collection. Yes, we’ve made the transition to CDs and now our MP3 players but we’re still hanging on to all our great music from the 80’s and 90’s with just about no way to play that music.

Enter the ‘Cassette to iPod Converter’ which we think is a great find! This device will convert your cassette tapes into MP3 files then store them on your iPhone or iPod. Insert the tape, dock your iPod or iPhone and press ‘play’ to start the conversion process. Pretty cool, huh? You can also convert the tapes to a PC (Windows7, XP or Vista required) or Mac. Priced at just under $80, we think this gadget is a great gift idea for anyone – like us – that is stuck in the 80’s!

11 secret controls on your iPhone headphones

If you have any Apple brand device, chances are you have at least one pair of their headphones laying around. If you use them on a regular basis, here are some tips to get the most from your Apple headphones:

During phone calls:
1 – Incoming calls: Tap the center button to answer a call
2 – Ignore a call: Long-press the center button to ignore the call – you should hear 2 ‘beeps’ and you will know that the caller was successfully sent to voice mail
3 – Swapping calls: Tap the center button once to swap calls – Hold the center button down for about 2 seconds to end the new call
4 – Disconnecting/Hanging up: Tap the center button once again to hang up

When listening to music:
5 – Toggle pause/play: Single tap the center button
6 – Skip a song: Double tap the center button
7 – Return to the previous song: Triple tap the center button
8 – Fast forward a song: Tap the center button two time; long-press the second tap
9 – Rewind a song: Tap the center button three times; long-press the third tap.

Using the camera function:
10 – Shutter Release: Tap the volume-up button to snap a picture. This trick will help you get very steady shots.

For Siri users (iPhone 4S and above):
11 – Activate Siri: Long-press the center button

Remember – any Apple device that utilizes their headphones and have these functions (i.e. iPad and iPod) can also take advantage of these features. Do you know of any headphone tricks that we’ve missed? Send them our way!

Take better pictures with your cellphone camera

Whether you have an iPhone, Android or any other phone with a camera, here are our top 3 tips for getting better pictures with every shot.

1 – Composition:
Even with an entry level camera phone, remember the basic rules of composition when taking cell phone pictures. The rules of thirds is important: don’t place the subject of your photo in the middle of the frame. Place your subject in about 1/3 of the way into the frame. Also, if you are photographing people, line up your shot so that their eyes are about 1/3 from the top of the frame.

Another tip for composing great photos is to declutter your background. Taking a picture of your new car? Be sure your garbage can is put away. Compose your backgrounds to tell a story. A day at the beach can be told in pictures with the sun, sand and surf behind your subject. If you can, change your perspective – always shooting from a standing position will never get you the best angle for the best possible picture.

2- Blurry pictures:
The most common problem with digital pictures is that the camera is not held steady which often produces a blurry pic. Brace your arm on a table or against a wall. If there is no table or wall in site, tighten your arms against your body and hold your breath as you take the photo. Release your breath as you take the photo.

3 – Lighting:
Poor lighting can produce blurry pictures, poor color and shadows. Whether you have a flash or not on your camera phone, be sure to compose your pictures to get the best light possible. Stay away from bright sunlight – that will create pictures with harsh shadows. Instead, compose your pictures in the shade. While this will result in a darker photo, you will have a more even tone without the harsh shadows caused by direct sunlight.

If you are indoors, try to keep curtains open and the lights on – but keep your subject from being right under bright lights. It is better if the light is all around the room rather than right over your subject.

With these tips and some practice, you will be able to take great photos on your camera phone.

Android smartphone sales up a whopping 886%

Research firm, Canalys, reports that Android platform smartphone sales increased an amazing 886% in the 2nd quarter.

An even bigger accomplishment is the fact that Android based phones now account for 34% of the market – topping all other platforms including Apple’s popular iPhone platform.

The press release from Canalys also reports that Android devices combined reached almost 475,000 units in Q2 2010 from no presence in the country a year ago. The Google-backed Android is available in phones from HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG, among others.

In total, the US market for smartphones is the largest established market in the world, and it still continues to show rapid growth. In the 2nd quarter of 2010, there were 14.7 million smart phone units shipped.

10 Things Your iPhone Can Remote Control

Among the estimated 50,000 iPhone apps, you can find quite a few that make your life easier by functioning as a remote control. After looking at many, we found that these were the 10 coolest things (mostly electronic) that you can remote control with your iPhone.

  • Using the Pocket BLU app, you can control your Blu-Ray Discs for playback, pausing, etc
  • With a Keynote remote and the iWork suite, you can remote control your presentations
  • For $2.99, you can buy a PhotoKeys Photoshop app which gets the Photoshop toolbar on your iPhone
  • The free Apple Remote app will allow you to remote control your iTunes Jukebox
  • Air Mouse Pro lets you convert your iPhone into a wireless trackpad and keyboard
  • Some DVRS like the ones from DirecTV, DISH Network and Comcast can be controlled with an iPhone app

  • Use the Zipcar app to book a rental car – then you can use your iPhone to make the horn beep or unlock the car
  • An app for Schlage LiNK allows you to use your iPhone to lock, unlock your doors, turn lights on, turn your security system on or off, etc
  • The L5 remote add-on will convert your iPhone into a universal remote control
  • iCarly fan? Get the “Sam’s Remote” app which turns your iPhone into the iCarly remote – complete with sound
  • The best app for the iPhone? How about “The Boyfriend Remote”…Increase his income, make him take you shoe shopping. Possibilities are endless.