Wireless Zone® Blog

Your source for mobile technology information and insight.

How Everyday Gadgets Have Gone Mobile [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Andrea Drag on Sep 22, 2015 9:00:00 AM

It wasn’t long ago that the most exciting feature your mobile phone had was a calculator. These days the average smartphone can match the functionality of a laptop computer. If you don’t own a smartphone yet, it’s worth learning more about everything these versatile devices can do.



Swiss army knife technology
The list of features that users have access to when using a smartphone is extensive. Modern mobile devices can act as radios, alarm clocks, flashlights, electronic readers, GPS, gaming consoles, news resources, music players and portable storage devices. Smartphones can even be used as personal planners that sync seamlessly with the user’s personal and work email accounts.

There’s plenty of room for smartphone technology to advance as well. It won’t be long before smartphones are capable of acting as wireless Wi-Fi ports that rival the speeds of home connections or can act as the user’s digital wallet. Innovative, free apps are also available for iOS and Android devices that further expand the capabilities of mobile devices.

Smartphones are here to stay
This myriad of uses is a big part of why smartphones have quickly become ingrained into the daily lives of average Americans from coast to coast. Nearly half of smartphone owners use their device to listen to their favorite tunes and thousands use their iPhones or Androids to keep up to date with the daily news or latest boxscore. After all, the convenience of a computer’s worth of processing power is a valuable resource.

Senior citizens and college students alike are constantly discovering new ways to expand the functionality of their smartphones. With a bit of research, users can find a unique use for a smartphone that makes their lives just a little easier. Visit your local Wireless Zone to ask our technology experts all the cool features your phone can do and test out the advances of the latest smartphone devices.

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Topics: Smartphone, technology

5 Ways College Students Can Protect Their Tech From Thieves and Hackers

Posted by Andrea Drag on Sep 9, 2015 12:02:06 PM


While college and university campuses are great places to learn and grow, they can sometimes host a variety of hazardous scenarios for your smartphone. The risk of theft (both digital information and tangible devices), by fellow students and non-students alike, is a serious one. In fact, Farmers Insurance reported that cell phones ranked among the most commonly burglarized items on college campuses across the country. Take these 5 steps to secure your smartphone before the semester gets too far underway:

1. Always keep your smartphone within eye's reach

Eyey_iconAlthough campus may be a safe place, never assume your device won't get lifted by a student hanging out in a residence hall common area or a stranger lurking in the dining hall. Smartphones are extremely valuable and they also often store data that is worth more than the device. Financial information could be recovered by a thief if personal data like credit cards and passwords are stored within applications.

Be diligent in keeping an eye on your phone and avoid leaving your device out in the open or in the care of strangers. Even a seemingly friendly acquaintance may not think twice about scoping out another student's credit card information. It's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to securing a smartphone on campus. 

2. Phone locator apps are essential to a theft recovery plan

Phone_LocatorThe only way to be truly ready to deal with smartphone device theft is to have organized contingency plans set in place. Thinking ahead and planning for the worst will serve your time as a college student well. Thankfully, advances in app technology make it easier to respond to a smartphone theft than ever before.

Both Android and Apple smartphones come equipped with applications - Android Device Manager and Find My Phone, respectively - that allow users to locate their phone remotely, erase saved credit card data and lock the device from being opened, according to CNET. These actions can all be performed remotely. Familiarize yourself with these services depending on your smartphone and register your devices before heading back to school.

3. Lock screen passwords keep your identity safe 

passwordSmartphone security isn't just for device theft prevention. Encrypting your phone and protecting it with a complex password can help keep curious eyes out of your personal information. About a third of the entire U.S. population has absolutely no smartphone protections whatsoever to defend their device. This lack of security makes it a simple task for would-be identity thieves to access your most secure data. CNBC warned that criminals are more focused on mobile devices than ever before, so it's more important than ever before to be more proactive about smartphone security. Basic encryption or a longer, complex password can make a smart device a bit more difficult to hack and less attractive to thieves.

4. Backup data in case your device meets its end

data_redRisk factors beyond smartphone thieves threaten your device, so be sure to prepare for multiple types of worst-case scenarios. Accidents like spills, drops and other forms of collegiate collateral damage can bring down a high-end smartphone in seconds. In addition to ruining a valuable device, these types of incidents can also put students in hot water if important school data, documents and contacts are being stored on their smartphone.

iPhone owners are in luck. Most apps are optimized to store information in the iCloud , so data loss for these users is not so big of a setback. Android users will have to do a bit of research and compare a few options to find a premium backup and syncing app like Helium that meets their phone security needs.

5. Unsecured Campus WiFi may pose a digital security threat

WifiLast but not least, students should keep their eyes open for traditional hackers as well. Now that smartphones are operating more like tiny computers, many of the same security problems that once created issues on the PC are now turning into pain points for smartphone owners. Misclicks on pop-ups can now lead to malware infecting a smartphone, slowing its performance and populating its hard drive with unwanted programs. Without a smartphone virus protection app, your device remains exposed.

Refrain from using credit cards or otherwise making online purchases in public places with shared, unsecured wireless Internet. While easy to access, these networks are also very easy to monitor by hackers searching for smartphones to hack into and data to steal.

For more tips on protecting your device during college, check out our 6-step guide and visit your local Wireless Zone to discuss protection options with our knowledgeable staff of mobile technology experts.  


Click Here To Find Your Local Wireless Zone

Topics: Device Features, Wireless Technology, college students, hackers, Mobile Apps, smartphone hackers, theft protection, smartphone theft

A Green Guide to Recycling Your Old Smartphone

Posted by Andrea Drag on Sep 1, 2015 6:19:08 PM

Reduce_reuseElectronic waste like old cell phones only makes up a small part of our nation’s trash cycle. However, discarded electronics are responsible for over 70 percent of environmental pollution and the problem is escalating quickly. One way that you and your family can help limit the growth of this waste is by recycling your phone at your local Wireless Zone before upgrading to a new device. Recycling your old smartphone helps to lessen the overall burden on the environment and put thousands of pounds of valuable materials back into production. Learn more about the process to find out how giving up your old device will benefit our planet.



Old mobile phones are a growing resource

One of the best parts about recycling mobile phones is that there won’t be a short supply any time soon. There are billions of devices in use around the world, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Over a hundred million of those phones are retired annually as people decide to upgrade their model or their device stops working.

Considering that mobile phone sales continue to climb in the U.S. and worldwide, there’s no fear of the 
population running out of smartphones anytime soon. On the other hand, this flood of phones also contributes to a quickly increasing pollution problem, making it imperative to take advantage of this renewable resource.

Phones go in and precious metals come out

When phones are too old or damaged to be used by another consumer, entire batches of devices are smelted into a liquid form, making it possible to extract the precious metals like platinum, gold, silver, copper, nickel, zinc and iron. Mother Jones Magazine reported that over 300 pounds of copper and other precious metals can be recycled from batches of just under 9,000 phones. While this ratio may seem a bit less than ideal, the return of investment compared to traditional mining is sizable. After all, a ton of gold ore contains a small fraction of pure gold. A ton of smartphones, however, contains roughly 40 times that amount.

Materials are becoming easier to breakdown and reuse

Smartphone recycling is becoming more manageable every year due to smart phone manufacturers being more sustainable about how they build their products, using less overall materials that cannot be recycled for future use. In addition, the rate of people who are aware of smartphone recycling and willing to donate their phones has significantly increased in the past decade. This means it’s even easier to organize a phone drive at your workplace or gather your families’ old devices for donation.

Reminders for phone recyclers

CBS News warned that there are a few important precautions that phone owners should take before recycling their device. First and foremost, take care to delete any and all personal data on the phone. It may take time to do so but the personal security is well worth the effort. If your phone has a SIM card inside, be sure to physically remove the tiny storage device as well. If possible, take your battery out as well, as those go through a completely separate recycling process. You may also want to backup all of your photos and contacts before going through this process to ensure you carry everything from your old smartphone to your new one.


Upon visiting your local Wireless Zone, our wireless professionals can assist you with these preparatory tasks and even offer trade-in value for certain devices you recycle. Reducing environmental pollution through our mobile phone recycling program is not only the right thing to do for our planet but can benefit your pocket as well.


Click Here To Find Your Local Wireless Zone



Topics: go green, recycle, reduce reuse recycle, mobile phone pollution, how to recycle your old phone

Is Your Child or Teen Ready for the Responsibility of a Smartphone?

Posted by Andrea Drag on Aug 25, 2015 1:44:00 PM



Smartphones are powerful and versatile, but they are also expensive and don't take kindly to being dropped. That's why some parents are left guessing when is right time to introduce such high-maintenance technology to their children. The wonders of mobile technology have plenty to offer your family when your kids are ready, and there are plenty of factors to consider when each child seems ready for a smartphone of their own. Evaluating how your kids have handled a number of other challenges and responsibilities is a good start. You can also weigh-in the following criteria to ask yourself: Is my child ready for the responsibility of a smartphone? 

1. What's your child's maturity level?


First and foremost, the main factor to consider when deciding on whether or not to purchase your child or teen a smartphone is your current communication patterns. Is your kid upfront with you when he or she makes a mistake? Is he or she willing to be held accountable for their behavior? Do you feel like you can trust them to take care of an expensive electronic device?

Trust your gut.  If your response to these inquiries is a resounding "No!", then you may want to reconsider the purchase until you feel confident and comfortable trusting your child or teen with the device. Purchasing them a smartphone will feel more like a safe bet if he or she is responsible and has safely handled less costly electronics in the past.

2. Do the circumstances create a necessity?


There's a big difference between purchasing a smartphone for your child as a reward and equipping them with a smart device to improve communication. Likewise, children and teens alike are predisposed to treat a family phone "on loan" differently than a smartphone that was purchased intentionally as their personal device. According to the Child Mind Institute, establishing these types of boundaries is important.

Worried that the adolescent in your home isn't ready to manage a device? Purchase one for the family instead and let your kids know that how they handle the loaner phone will impact how quickly they get a device of their own. This strategy allows you to test your child's ability to follow strict instructions regarding smartphone usage without risking your pocket book to get the job done. After all, there's no rule book requiring their starter phone to come with all the bells and whistles. A more economically priced device may better serve your purposes.

3. Do the benefits outweigh the risks for your family?


At a certain point, it may seem that it's more trouble than it's worth to not provide your child with a smartphone. After all, there are numerous practical perks to hooking your child up with advanced technology.

Putting a phone in the hands of your kids means better family communication:

  • Getting your child's attention is a bit easier when you can text, phone or video chat your kids at your leisure. When they are constantly busy with extracurriculars, transporting the family turns into a logistical nightmare and a simple means of getting touch becomes priceless.

Smartphones provide your kids with a calendar/organizer that's always on hand: 

  • Kids that struggle with scheduling often need a little extra help to get organized, and the impact of this skill deficiency becomes more apparent - and more counter-intuitive to their success - as children grow older. The convenient and streamlined nature of a smartphone's apps might be the extra tool your kid needs to add some extra structure to their lives.

Sometimes it makes the most financial sense to consider family phone plans:

  • Wireless Zone stores often sell multiple smartphones of the same make and model as part of family packages. In scenarios like these, including your kids on the plan makes more financial sense than purchasing new phones for each family member a la carte. These plans often come with discounts on large monthly data limits, a must when one or more kids in the family is using a smartphone.

4. Is college is just around the corner in your child's life?


All the organizational and educational advantages of owning a smartphone are even more relevant for college students. Likewise, a reliable means of communication is essential once your kids are out of the house and living closer to campus. If your child is still without a smartphone after high school graduation, it can serve as a highly practical graduation present.

Be sure to send them off to school with important accessories like a protective case, extra chargers and products designed to keep the device clean. Be sure to program emergency contact numbers into the phone before sending kids off to school. College life can be trying and unpredictable, so taking these precautions helps to educate your kids about the rigors of adult life will make it easier for them to care for their newly purchased smartphone.

Click Here To Find Your Local Wireless Zone

Topics: family technology, smartphones for kids, tips for parents, when to buy my child their first smartphone, smartphones for teens, when to buy your child a smartphone

6 Ways to Protect a Smartphone From Your First Semester of College

Posted by Andrea Drag on Aug 18, 2015 6:06:00 PM

The fast-approaching fall semester promises hundreds of new adventures and opportunities, especially for incoming freshmen. Among these new experiences are also additional chances to break your phone. A totaled or stolen smartphone can put a big damper in your social, professional and academic lives - year one of college revolves around seamless communication more than ever before. From finding the right case to installing security apps, there are plenty of ways to keep your phone in your pocket and out of harm's way if you follow our 6 simple suggestions to protect your tech.

1. Waiting to replace your case is a dangerous game


Whether you've got a new phone without a case or simply haven't found the right style for your current device, make sure to find a protective phone case before the first day of class. You'll be happy you did if your smartphone takes a tumble to the concrete on the steps outside your dorm or gets knocked from your hand in the chaos of the food court.

Cases do more than just prevent your phone's exterior from getting scraped and scuffed. They also protect your device's delicate screen from impacts and accidents. You'll find the entire gamut of styles at your local Wireless Zone. Make sure to do your case shopping in person so you can get a feel for your newest smartphone accessory.

2. Battery life can be extended by charging smarter


You smartphone is powered by a lithium-ion battery, and the long-term performance of the battery is largely based on how often and to what percent you charge your phone. According to Gizmodo, you can help maximize the performance life of the lithium-ion cell by keeping the device charged above 50 percent as consistently as possible. It's helpful to let the smartphone discharge completely once a month to allow the chemical process within the phone to calibrate. On most days, however, keeping the charge somewhere between 40 and 80 percent is ideal.

You'll have to avoid a few behaviors that degrade your phone's battery if you want it to last you until sophomore year. Stop leaving your smartphone plugged into the wall after it reaches 100 percent. Doing so will contribute to more rapid battery degradation. It's also important to remember that your smartphone is rather sensitive to heat. Leaving your device in the car on a hot summer day could lead to reduced battery performance.

3. Let your device leave your sight and face the consequences


At the end of the day, losing your phone often comes to leaving the device in the wrong spot at the wrong time. If you find yourself at a party, for example, remember that countertops are the worst place to leave your phone. Not only are they easy to swipe, but are also vulnerable to spills and other late night shenanigans that could leave you with a broken screen and an awkward conversation to have with mom and dad.

On the bright side, keeping a closer eye on your phone isn't too difficult. Start by picking a pants or purse pocket where your smartphone will always reside, and teach yourself to double-check that your phone is where it should be on a routine basis. You can also increase phone safely by investing in a unique, brightly colored case - the visual will make it easier to spot your phone from a distance if you accidentally leave it behind.

4. You can develop theft response plans with the right apps


Are you a careful planner willing to go above and beyond in the name of phone security? Then you should put some time into researching applications that aid in this effort. The Wireless Association explained that programs are available that track the location of your phone, lock the device from unauthorized entry and, in some cases, delete personal information before it can be accessed by an intruder. Some apps even trigger alarms to other phones or to the police if they detect attempts of unauthorized entry.

5. Recognize that smartphone malware now poses a serious threat


Unscrupulous fellow students aren't the only threat you'll have to prepare your smartphone for before college. As smartphones have become more like little computers they have also been targeted more frequently by hackers and their malware, warned TechRepublic. You'll need to download removal software to delete malware and get your phone back to full operation. Failure to do so will create opportunities for hackers to access your device and make off with any sensitive or valuable information. A proactive defense is the best way to keep your smartphone safe, from digital and physical threats alike.

6. Make an educated choice insuring your phone


College can be a crazy time of late night library treks to rowdy adventures off campus. The best way to insure your phone does not fall prey to a study sesssion coffee spill or get damaged on a night out on the town, it's best to protect your tech with smartphone insurance. Aside from saving you hundreds of dollars should an accident occur, protection plans often come with a lot of great side benefits (plan dependent) including: on-demand tech support, wipe/lock/locate features, cloud back up, and even a guaranteed buyback value. Don’t end up disconnected from the rest during your college days – protect your phone. Learn what options your phone has for protection at your local Wireless Zone.

Click Here To Find Your Local Wireless Zone

Topics: Back to school, tips for college freshmen, smartphone protection

Tools for Success: Our Top Tech Accessories to Bring Back-To-School

Posted by Andrea Drag on Aug 4, 2015 4:36:00 PM



The classroom is becoming increasingly digital as colleges adopt more technology to cut costs and improve the student experience. That's why parents of college-bound graduates may need to rethink their approach when it comes to back-to-school shopping - Traditional staples like pens and paper are still important for a college education, but have taken a back seat to smartphones, tablets and Wi-FI access. Making sure your kids are ready for college means ensuring they have the technology necessary to stay competitive in the classroom. Look over this list to learn more about which tech accessories are essential for going back-to-school.


1. Portable drive



Email provides one of the most convenient ways for students to communicate with one another and share files. However, Internet connections can sometimes be unpredictable, even on the most technologically advanced campuses. That's why important to back up your files and always have another form of data storage available. Portable USB drives are a handy solution, making them a must-have for any back-to-school shopping list. 


2. Protective cases



Unfortunately, high tech devices like smartphones and tablets that can help your student with their education are also the most vulnerable to accidents. That's why it’s vital  to protect your student’s tablets and phones by equipping them with a case that will keep their techsafe in case of an accident. This small investment can help you avoid a costly replacement in the future and can add a stylish statement a student’s device


3. HDMI cables



HDMI standardization is making it easier than ever to plug computers into peripheral devices with minimal set-up or settings adjustments. This convenience is critical in college settings where students are regularly asked to do in-class demonstrations - the ability to easily connect a laptop to another device will come in handy all four years. That's why it makes sense for parents to toss a few extra HDMI cords into their child's box for college.



4. Multiple chargers



There's nothing worse than losing a smartphone charger and not being able to plug in a dying smartphone. Likewise, students can find themselves in sticky situations if they misplace their charger but need their smartphone for class or to get around. That's why it never hurts to visit your local Wireless Zone and invest in a few extra device chargers for your student.



5. Reliable surge protector



College apartments and dorm rooms are typically chock full of electronics. Finding a place to plug them all in, including your student's computer or printer, can be a challenge. Investing in a new surge protector is a great way to make sure that your student can operate all his new devices in safety and convenience



6. Backup printer



Most school campuses have plenty of resources for cheap student printing. However, computer labs aren't always open and sometimes students won't have time for a last-minute trip to the library. In situations like these, your college-bound graduates will be happy you supplied them with a simple, workable printer for their room.



7. Bluetooth Speaker

7A speaker system that connects to your student’s device has a lot of versatility. From playing voice memos and recorded lectures to providing relaxing music to distress and study by during finals, the applications of a quality speaker are endless. Pump up some motivational music before a trip to the campus gym or do some work-outs to your favorite songs right in your dormitory with roommates and friends. Celebrate after big project with a dorm room dance party—just be sure to respect the rules of your housing’s quite hours before turning up the tunes too loudly. 


8. Mobile Hotspot



Some campuses might not be completely wireless, so a mobile hotspot lets students connect multiple devices to 4G LTE access anywhere they go. Library and computer labs overcrowded during finals week? Then spread out with your devices and a blanket on the quad for a relaxing study atmosphere with signal strength provided by your very own mobile connection.



Provide your student with the tools for success before their next semester. Visit your local Wireless Zone® for a great selection of tech accessories and devices for back to school! 

Click Here To Find Your Local Wireless Zone

Topics: technology, college checklist, tech for students, tech news, Back to school, accesories, tech accesories, what to bring to college

Top 10 Apps Every Student Can’t Live Without

Posted by Andrea Drag on Aug 4, 2015 4:26:00 PM


College is tough. At times it will feel impossible to balance demanding classes, time-consuming extracurriculars and other entertaining distractions. Thankfully, the secret to surviving college is already in the palm of your hands. Downloading these free apps to your smartphone will give you an advantage when it comes to staying ahead of schedule, keeping your grades up and making smart moves with your money. If you don't have a smartphone, these apps are a great example to show your parents why you need one before college starts. Stay at the top of your classes (and out of your parent's basement) by installing these essential apps for college students.

1. Any.do



Bad excuses and hastily scribbled "doctor's notes" only go so far in college, and staying disorganized for the entirety of your freshman year will hurt more than your GPA. On the bright side, smartphones double as extremely convenient daily organizers.

One of the best free organizer apps available for iPhones and Android devices is Any.do. The app's clean interface and drag-and-drop functionality make it a breeze to keep track of classes, homework, club meetings and job hours.



2. Groupon



One of the easiest ways to save money during college is to buy in bulk, everything from socks to frozen taquitos. Purchasing tickets for more expensive outings is cheaper when done in a group as well, and the Groupon app for iOS and Android makes finding these deals a cinch. The app offers regularly updated deals, some up to 70 percent off, on the most popular events and restaurants in 500 major cities. Not only does the free app make it easier for you to find deals with you and your friends, the app's suggestions make it easy to explore a new city on a budget.



3. Dropbox

DropboxThe Internet is an amazing thing. Not only does the power of 4G LTE allow you to watch YouTube videos in your college dorm, Internet-capable smartphones also allow you to summon any file from your hard drive anywhere on campus. The Dropbox app lets iPhone and Android device users access their stored files via their smartphone, even if the campus Internet goes down. This perk alone could be a life-saver during midterms, so be sure to afford yourself the luxury of Dropbox access via your smartphone.




4. Mint



Finding hot deals is an important part of not going broke during your time at college, but it would also help to track your spending. No fear, Mint is free and makes budgeting on your iPhone or Android device extremely simple. By collecting and displaying all your bills, expenses and incoming funds in one interface, you get the entire picture of your finances in a single glance. No more wondering if you've got enough money in the bank to cover your trip to the student union - Mint has you covered.



5. Dictionary.com



One of the most helpful apps you can download before the start of the semester is the Dictionary.com app. In addition to generating suggestions that help you expand your vocabulary, this robust resource will also make it easy to look up words from your reading assignments with a few swipes of your thumb. The app provides help from Thesaurus.com as well, comes with a pronunciation tool and is free for Android and iOS users.



6. LinkedIn


While a lot of your college career will be dedicated to book reports and keeping up with your lectures, don't let that stop you from getting a start on your personal career. There's plenty of time to squeeze in an internship or two, and if you choose to boost your resume this upcoming semester, you might want to download the LinkedIn app to your Android or iPhone.

The app allows you to create and edit your own profile on one of the most popular professional social networking sites on the web. You can even use the app as a resource to learn more about any of the companies you’d like to intern for next year. Make sure to take a new profile picture for your LinkedIn page, preferably in business attire.


7. Evernote

EvernoteOne of the easiest ways to remember what your lecturer says during class is to take notes. Taking dictation the old-fashioned way could hurt your wrist and your scribbles may be impossible to transcribe or organize after class. That's why it makes sense to collect all your notes digitally in one place. Evernote allows you to do all this on your iOS or Android device and more.

The true beauty of Evernote is how the free app takes advantage of cloud storage, making it easy to access and edit your notes from one device to the next. Even better, Evernote lets you drop pictures and draw items directly onto your notes, making the app versatile when taking notes on a wide range of subject matters.


8. Skype



It's worth it to get in touch with your parents at least a few times during your semester, especially if they control your smartphone bill. Thankfully, you can make this task easier with the right smartphone app for your Apple or Android device. Skype, for example, makes it easy to face-chat and message any of the 300 million people who have already downloaded the app. That's another great thing about Skype - your parents probably already know how to use it. You and your family can trade photos over Skype without having to worry about email box size limits as well.


9. StudyBlue

flashcardsNeed a way to make a bunch of flash cards in a hurry or need access to huge archive of generic, pre-made study tools? StudyBlue for iPhone and Android has you covered. The free app puts intuitive, flexible options for making the perfect deck of flashcards right on your smartphone. With your flashcards with you at all times, you'll be more likely to study them while on the bus or train.

You can even share flashcards with your study group, making it easy for multiple classmates to contribute to a single collection of detailed study guides. A big part of surviving freshman year is finding ways to make work and play more efficient - this flashcard app is a way to achieve that balance.


10.  Meetup


Remember that even though grades and school clubs are important, your time at collegeis about a great time to learn about yourself, make new friends and enjoy new experiences. That's why apps like Meetup are a must for your Apple or Android smartphone. The streamlined social app allows users to browse group activities sorted by interest and location.

If you find a like-minded group filled with fellow college students on Meetup, reach out and join their event. Group interests range from book discussions to hiking trails, so you'll be sure to find an activity that piques your interest. Even if it doesn't work out, you can say you gave it the ol' college try.



Topics: apps, Android, Apple, college checklist, college students, smartphone apps, Top 10 Apps Every Student Can’t Live Without, Apps for Students, Must have apps, college apps

5 Tech-Friendly Cleaning Tips for Disinfecting Your Devices

Posted by Andrea Drag on Jul 28, 2015 5:42:00 PM

Human hands are the preferred hangout out of all types of bacteria. That's why the Center for Disease Control is so adamant about the importance of hand washing. If you've got a smartphone, then there's a good chance your device is constantly picking up a myriad of crumbs and microscopic critters from regular contact with your palms and pocket. Take an active approach to smartphone hygiene by following these 5 tech-friendly cleaning tips.


1. A microfiber cloth won’t scratch a dirty screen

MicrofiberDespite how convenient cleaning your smartphone with a paper towel or tissue may seem, doing so may cause long-term damage to your smartphone. Scratches left by these materials on your device's face can erode the sensitivity of the touch screen. Eventually, this damage could limit your smartphone's functionality, especially apps that depend on precision swiping, dragging and tapping. A microfiber cloth is the preferred solution for cleaning devices, including the camera lens and screen as they won’t leave scratches across the surface. When removing sticky or dried stains, Digital Trends suggests using a microfiber cloth and a sprinkling of water. As long as you are extra wary of vulnerable spots like mics and speakers that could allow moisture into the phone, this cleaning method should do wonders removing any sticky spots off your smartphone screen.

2. Make due in a pinch with scotch tape



You may find yourself, perhaps at school or in the office, needing to get some crud off your smartphone's screen but short on time and options. Scotch Tape is widely regarded as a reliable, anytime-anywhere solution for making smartphone screens a bit more presentable. Simply laying pieces of the tape over the screen of the phone and peeling the tape off will remove tons of visible dirt, dust and fingerprints from your phone screen. This strategy isn't very effective at sterilizing the phone, but removing surface grime is an easy way to make your smartphone look and feel significantly cleaner.


3. Smartphones and cleaning supplies don't mix



No matter how much it may seem like a good idea, never try to cleanse your smartphone with household cleaning supplies. CNET warned that a vast majority of these chemicals are far too powerful for the special coatings applied to several parts of the smartphone, including the screen. Failure to heed this advice could lead to you doing permanent damage to your smartphone and rendering the screen unusable. Keep your device clear of products like dish soap and glass cleaners.



4. UV lamps provide the ultimate clean



If you're consumed with the desire to make your phone as clean and germ free as possible, you may need to hunker down and invest in a special device that removes bacteria with UV lights. The technology takes advantage of the properties of special light waves that bombard the phone and fry any residual germs that may be lurking on the phone's surface. Such lamps are far from cheap, but many double as phone chargers, making this utility practical for extremely germ-wary smartphone users.



5. Keep fingers off your phone with a new case



At the end of the day, a big part of keeping your smartphone stain and germ free is keeping the device safe from contact with grime in the first place. A trip to your nearest Wireless Zone can help you find the perfect solution to your smartphone hygiene problems. Replacing your current case with one that is equipped with a screen protector will considerably limit the amount of contact that occurs between your phone screen and human fingertips. You may also want to invest in a case that grips your device more tightly and leaves less space for loose pieces of dirt or food.



With the right case, screen protector and these handy disinfecting tips, your device is on its way from being bacteria ridden to a pristine piece of technology. 

Click Here To Find Your Local Wireless Zone

Topics: Smartphone, tech, Tips, cleaning, tech tips

6 Skills for Galaxy S6 Owners Looking to Master their Device

Posted by Andrea Drag on Jul 14, 2015 11:30:00 AM



Samsung has gone above and beyond to turn the Galaxy S6 user interface into a truly customizable experience. Several intuitive features and means of personalization will appeal to smartphone users who feel perpetually disappointed by phone design. If you've ever felt like you could do better at designing your phone's interface than the manufacturer, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge provide a beautiful canvas to give it your best shot.

Customization options aren't limited to the aesthetics. Samsung has given users widespread freedom to modify how the phone and its apps operate. If you're in the market for a highly personalized device or the proud owner of a Samsung S6 interested in learning the phone's ins and outs, these steps will start you on the road to S6 expertise.

1. Start customizing with TouchWiz

TouchWiz, the preloaded interface included with the Samsung Galaxy S6, is a great tool for initial personalization and getting a feel for all the features available on your new device. You'll be able to re-order icons, change wallpapers, load widgets and organize folders to your liking, making the interface is an all-around step forward for the Samsung Galaxy device family. Those familiar with iOS will find that the TouchWiz takes some inspiration from the iPhone 6's iconic layout.


2. Use Themes to create the smartphone experience you've always wanted

Those looking for more customization than TouchWiz can offer will be happy to learn that the Samsung Galaxy S6 is supported by a rich community of Theme developers. Themes can be downloaded directly onto S6 devices and used to completely change the look, feel and function of your smartphone.

You'll find plenty of options to choose from, including movie-inspired choices like the popular "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and simpler Themes featuring landscapes or animals. More advanced Themes allow you to modify system apps and user interface features, turning your Samsung Galaxy S6 into a truly customized device.

3. Secure your device against nosy friends and family

Have a pet peeve about people browsing your phone without permission? The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge come equipped with the ability to Pin windows. Activating this setting adds an icon to the bottom of each app. Pressing the icon will open the app you want to use but prevent the device from accessing any other apps or menus. Customizing the smartphone's interface in this way makes it easy to lend your phone out to make a call or bring up a map without worrying an over-curious loved one will dig through your texts and photos.


The new Samsung S6 devices take personalization to the next level.

4. Make your Samsung look and feel like your own with the right case

A sturdy case is an important investment for any smartphone owner. Protecting your Samsung S6's display and exterior is important, and choosing a case grants you another opportunity to personalize the device to your liking. Be sure to keep your daily lifestyle in mind when selecting a case.

For example, if you're regularly accessing your smartphone on the go, then you might want to choose a rubberized case that firms up your grip. The best way to find a case that fits your hand, pocket and sense of style is to try them out in person. You can visit the nearest Wireless Zone store to choose a unique case for your device.

5. Tinker with developer options for further customization

Android's Lollipop operating system lends itself to experienced techies and novices alike who are interested in customizing their phones on a deeper level. That's why the manufacturers made developer options available.

Want to speed up the animations of your interface? Try modifying the transition and duration scale. Looking for an easy way to conveniently take dozens of screenshots or run debug commands? Developer options loaded on the Samsung Galaxy S6 make it possible. This ease of customization make the S6 a great choice for smartphone users looking to explore a developer's perspective on smartphone design while still enjoying a popular, high-end device.

6. Samsung S6 Edge owners have even more opportunities to personalize

Samung_ScreenThe Samsung S6 Edge takes its name from the innovative screen added along one of the device's curved sides. Perfect for displaying push notifications, phone calls, texts and email notices, this special edge provides users with even more customization options.

Gotta Be Mobile recommended that users start by configuring the S6 Edge's information stream. Adjusting this setting will provide you with control over which pieces of information end up displaying along the end of your phone. You can also set contacts on this edge screen, allowing you to call or message friends and family with a quick swipe at the home screen.

Get your hands on the Galaxy S6 or S6 edge at your local Wireless Zone to try these customization options out for yourself.

Click Here To Find Your Local Wireless Zone

Topics: Smartphone Tips, s6, Samsung Galaxy s6, Samsung Galaxy s6 Edge, customization, samsung galaxy

5 Hot Fitness Apps To Get You Moving This Summer

Posted by Andrea Drag on Jul 7, 2015 11:30:00 AM

There's no time like the summer to commit to a new workout routine. Gyms offer seasonal specials, swimming pools are open and the sunny weather is perfect for outdoor exercise. You can organize your workout and add some daily motivation by using a handy smartphone application as an exercise assistant. There are plenty of options on the market, but the following apps represent a few highly rated programs categorized by your favorite summertime exercise.


1. Use Runkeeper to start a new routine

One of the hardest parts of running is getting started. This is especially true in the summer when there are plenty of distractions deterring you from exercise. Nevertheless, setting goals and workout schedules for yourself is a huge first step toward running on a regular basis and getting healthier this summer. That's why it makes sense to download a free app like Runkeeper and turn your smartphone into a means of tracking improvement.

The app, compatible with iOS and Android, is simple to use but delivers a surprising amount of information via multiple performance metrics such as distance, pace, heart rate, and calories. Keeping track of your progress is a breeze; users can compare their average runtimes, stride rate, and pace per mile. Goal tracking and achievement badges incentivize the exercise and runners can add notes and post pictures from their run with a social option to share with a community of other joggers. It's a great app for anyone looking to get started with running this summer or a seasoned jogger interested in improving their times with technology.


2. Get your bike gears in motion with Strava

Available for free for iOS and Android, Strava improves basic bike features like time tracking and route keeping by adding a social component. Your times can be instantly uploaded and compared against other riders biking over the same route, providing you with a new goal for your next outing. Encourage fellow bikers to download the app and you can track their performance as well with a few swipes. Sharing group goals can help keep you and your fellow bikers in great shape all summer.


3. Hit the weights with JETFIT

There are several ways that smartphone users can use their devices this summer to exercise more often, even if cardio isn't a favorite activity. Also available on iPhones and Android devices, JETFIT is a free workout tracking log with an emphasis on lifting and strength training. In addition to offering pre-loaded routines, JETFIT is capable of suggesting custom regiments based on the weight you lifted last time and how often you visit the gym.


4. Sworkit helps you up your heart rate

You won't always be able to hit the gym or leave the house to burn some calories. Free apps like Sworkit allow iPhone and Android owners to use their smartphone as a central resource for cardio workouts that can be done at home or in the backyard. These workouts are also great for squeezing a bit of extra exercise into an already packed schedule. A bit of flexibility, when it comes to your workout plan, will help you manage your summer stress levels.


5. Speedo Fit will keep you in the pool

iPhone users are lucky enough to have exclusive access to Speedo Fit, one of the best free swim tracking apps available. In addition to making it simple to track your best times in the water, Speedo Fit can help users locate nearby pools, as well as connect and challenge friends over social media.

Swimming is one of the best exercises you can do this summer to improve your strength and burn off the leftover pounds from the holidays, and the Speedo Fit app makes this process even easier. Android users should try MySwimmingTimes, another free performance tracking app, if they're interested in getting their feet wet this summer.


You'll also need a reliable, durable protector to keep your phone handy while you exercise. Visit your nearest Wireless Zone location to find out more about the right case for your device. 

Click Here To Find Your Local Wireless Zone

Topics: iPhone apps, Fitness, Fitness Apps, Top apps, Swimming, Andriod Apps, Running, Work Out Apps, Hot Fitness Apps, Home Gym, Work Out, Weight Lifting, Biking, Summer work out

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