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

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

 

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

The Samsung Galaxy S6’s Futuristic Features Are Out of this World

Posted by Andrea Drag on Jun 30, 2015 9:30:00 AM

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Samsung is committed to packing as much technology and convenience into their flagship Galaxy smartphones, and the Galaxy S6 is the epitome of this concept. One might even refer to the device as "futuristic" given that many of its features, including a fingerprint scanner and virtual reality capabilities, were considered safely within the realm of science fiction just twenty years ago.

Who would have ever thought these perks would come packaged on a smartphone? Samsung pulled out all the stops, rebuilding the Galaxy S6 from scratch to keep the device competitive with Apple. According to several reviews, the impressive technology makes the contest between the two phones a very competitive race.

New hardware turns the S6 into a true iPhone rival

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It should be clear to mobile phone technology buffs that the Samsung Galaxy S6 is no simple rehash of a previous model. The device is chock-full of new technology, some features are a first for Samsung while others are making their first appearance on the market. For example, the Galaxy S6 features a nimble 14 nm mobile processor on its own Octa-core 64-bit Exynos processor. The Samsung-developed hardware replaces the Qualcomm Snapdragon processors found in the S6's predecessors, according to the Guardian.

Also premiering in the phone are an LP DDR4 memory stem and UFS 2.0 flash memory, in addition to new pre-loaded codecs that allow the phone to read and display higher resolution images. The phone's battery received an upgrade as well, and is now capable of being quick-charged by using wireless pad stations. Visiting your local Wireless Zone will give you a chance to try out these stylish, innovative features in action.

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CNN’s product review boasted that the Samsung Galaxy S6 comes packed with one of the best cameras ever to be installed on a smartphone. Both the 16-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel front camera features feature high-end F1.9 lenses and are equipped with numerous features that help Galaxy owners take crisper, clearer shots from their mobile. Examples of integrated photo technologies featured in the new S6 include IR white balance detection, a smart image stabilization system and automatic High Dynamic Range.

The phone’s display features two curved edges, is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4 and are equipped with a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen. The Galaxy 6S screen is so advanced that the device has clinched the record for pixel density with 577 pixels per inch, meaning the Samsung device has the most pixel-dense smartphone display available. The beautiful display, which performs better than most standard high-definition screens, is just the tip of the iceberg, however. It's the technology behind the Samsung S6 screen that is the real star of the show.

Virtual reality is now mobile

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Virtual reality is just one of the many futuristic features on the Samsung Galaxy S6.

Nothing evokes thoughts of science fiction films like the subject of virtual reality, but recent advancements in display and motion tracking technology are quickly closing the gap between VR fantasy and reality. Samsung Galaxy S6 is a great example of that shift - consumers can use their new smartphone in conjunction with the manufacturer's Gear VR headset to enjoy a fully immersive experience, said Engadget. Redesigned to fit the 5-inch Galaxy S6 screen, Samsung's latest Gear VR even comes equipped with a USB port for easy charging and better ventilation to facilitate extended virtual reality gaming sessions or 360 degree films.

Content available for the Gear VR is currently slim, but the popularity of Oculus Rift, the base of Samsung's virtual reality technology, means that this content shortage won't last forever. Oculus is currently working on the debut of its own online store that will make it easier for users to access the latest VR software.

Advanced fingerprint sensors add security and privacy

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Why lock your phone with a keycode if you can do so with your fingerprint? According to TechRadar, the Samsung Galaxy S6 features a fingerprint scanner that outperforms almost everything else on the market. The resource noted that the system is extremely responsive, requiring minimal contact to activate and deliver impressive consistency. The fingerprint scanner creates new opportunities for app functionality. Users will be able to make secure transactions with their phones. For instance, if the phone can verify a certain user based on the fingerprint reading sent from their phone.

 

 

These examples are just a few of the innovative features at work in the Samsung Galaxy S6. Tech lovers will be able to find out even more about the new Galaxy's hardware by getting their hands on the device in their local Wireless Zone store.

Click Here To Find Your Local Wireless Zone

Topics: Samsung, mobile device, devices, Smartphones, Device Features, Wireless Technology, Andriod, s6, samsung vs apple, Samsung Galaxy s6, Samsung Andriod, Virtual reality, Cool phone features, Samsung Galaxy s6 Edge, fingerprint sensor, s6 edge, VR, samsung galaxy

Plan the Perfect Road Trip: One App at a Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Andrea Drag on Jun 23, 2015 1:56:29 PM

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Keep your phone handy the next time you and your friends or family hit the open road. A few smartphone apps can help you optimize trip planning, stay well-fed and find your way off the beaten path. These apps are just a sample of the trip-saving features you can access from the palm of your hand.


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Get organized on the cloud

Apps like Google Calendar and iCloud make it easy to share travel plans from your personal computer to your smartphone. Pen and paper itineraries are unnecessary when you can scroll through your entire schedule from a touch screen.

Access the ultimate navigator

Why dig into the glove box when Android and Apple devices both have reliable built-in apps in the form of Google Maps and Apple Maps? You can depend on these devices to get you where you need to go thanks to regularly updated map data and turn-by-turn navigation.

Tag local favorites on the fly

There's no fun in hitting up fast food chains at every stop. Give your family the chance to experience new flavors by tracking down local favorites with apps like TripAdvisor and RoadFood.

Find a place to lay your head

Need to make an unexpected pit stop for maintenance? Forget to secure a hotel before you left the driveway? There's a long list of apps like Hotel Tonight that make it simple to book a room on the go.

Turn up the jams

No road trip is complete without themed playlists and family favorites. You can load music directly onto your smartphone, or play apps like Pandora and Spotify on the car stereo with an auxiliary cable.

Share your entire journey

This is probably a no-brainer, but memorable photos taken with your smartphone camera are just begging to be posted on social media. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all have easy to use apps that you can use to make your friends feel like they were there.

 


Download these apps to make your next road trip easier, safer and more fun than ever before. The right smartphone apps and accessories will simplify the entire vacation and let you spend more of your time enjoying the trip with your friends and family.

Topics: apps, Smartphones, travel apps, travel smart, roadtrip, apps for travel, road trip apps, travel, Road trip

7 Tips For Protecting Your Tech This Summer

Posted by Andrea Drag on Jun 16, 2015 11:58:00 AM

Summer is a great opportunity to spend time with your family, relax by the pool and attend fun seasonal events. Whether you plan to spend June, July and August at music concerts or in the comfort of your back patio, you'll likely have your smartphone by your side. Unfortunately, the busy days of summer involve extra chances of dropping your phone or damaging your device - Follow these 7 easy tips to help take extra care when using smartphones during this season's outings.

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1. Keep phones away from pools

It may seem obvious enough that smartphones and pools shouldn't mix, but that doesn't stop hundreds of people from losing their Apple iPhones or Samsung Galaxy S6s in the backyard swimming hole. Gigaom emphasized that a quick dip can have catastrophic consequences for your device.

That's why it makes sense to come up with a few alternatives to laying your smartphone anywhere near the pool. Investing in a bluetooth speaker with voice command, for example, would make it easy to use your smartphone to make calls or listen to your summer playlist without having to actually hold the device in your hand. Likewise, consider taking a quick trip inside before sending texts or emails near the water.


 

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2. Protect your phone from sweat

Everyone is prone to sweating during the summer months, especially those who like to stay active. Letting your smartphone swim in sweat is a risk to its internal components, so you should strongly consider investing in an arm-band accessory before your next trip to the gym or track. Phone cases designed for active use are capable of protecting your device from sweat and are the perfect accessory for any smartphone user interested in getting fit this summer. You can test the arm-bands of your choice by visiting your local Wireless Zone location.


 

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3. Be cautious in large crowds

There's a good chance that you and your friends or family will attend at least one large event this summer, be it a state fair, music festival or live performance. It's easy to drop a smartphone or leave one behind at events with large crowds of people. Such events also come with the risk of being targeted by pickpockets as well.

Consider the benefits of leaving your smartphone stowed away while navigating through a large mass of people at crowded events. The subsequent hustle and bustle of people only increases the risk of a random elbow or misstep that could send your smartphone soaring to the pavement.


 

iStock_000046456230_Large4. Encourage kids to be more mindful

Between day camps, sports leagues and friend visits, there's a good chance the kids will be out of the house quite a bit this summer. If they have smartphones of their own for the sake of staying in close communication with the family, then make sure to emphasize the importance of keeping a close eye on their device. Set expectations for how kids are expected to treat their phones and you can help to reduce accidental damage in the future.

You can also help kids out with taking care of their phone by letting them pick out a case. Instilling kids with bit of extra ownership will help your children to remember their phone is privilege worth looking after on a daily basis.


 

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5. Watch pets around tech

More time spent with your family during the season also means more time spent near and around your pets. Dogs in particular can be a bit unpredictable when it comes to nibbling on pieces of small technology. A wayward tail swipe outdoors could also send a smartphone tumbling toward the pool. Keep an eye on your pets and avoid leaving your device on low surfaces like foot rests or chairs. Unattended smartphones in these locations could be quickly pilfered by a bored or curious pet.


 

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6. Research options for device recovery

If all else fails, you can make sure any device that is lost or stolen this summer can be recovered by thinking ahead. Apple has even done the work for iPhone users - Find My iPhone, an application built into iOS, allows you to monitor the location of your phone online. You can even use the same app to lock your device if you believe that it has been stolen.

Android users have access to the same functionality via the Google-developed Android Device Manager. Like its iOS equivalent, the Android Device Manager allows users to delete the contents of their phone if they believe the phone is no longer recoverable.


 

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7. Rest assured with an insured phone 

Knowing that you’ll be more active during the summer months, you will want to make sure that your expensive smartphone is protected.  We all know that nothing will ruin a fun summer day quite like finding out that it will cost you upwards of $600 to replace your unprotected smartphone.  Aside from saving you hundreds of dollars should an accident occur, protection plans these days also come with a lot of great side benefits (plan dependent) including: cloud back up, on-demand tech support, wipe/lock/locate features, and even a guaranteed buyback value. Don’t end up disconnected from the rest of the world this summer – 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: Apple, smartphone user, Smartphones, Tips for summer, Andriod, Summer tips, Tips, Smartphone Tips, Protect your tech, Ways, How to, Summer Blog

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