All posts in Iphone

How to Kid Proof Your Smartphone or Tablet

Azalee with Remote

Tenesea and I were on Breakfast TV Edmonton on Monday talking about kid proofing technology. It was a lot of fun, but 4 minutes go really, really quickly on live TV. I figured it would make sense to put all of my tips into a post, so here you go.

Let’s face it, handing your child a smartphone or tablet is a sure fire way to grab a couple of minutes of silence. Especially, when the thing that you want most in the world is to go to the bathroom alone. If you are going to hand your kid your smartphone or tablet, take some precautions.

Ways to kid-proof your smartphone or tablet: 

Apple Products: 

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How to get US Netflix in Canada

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It all began with the need to watch the third season of Sons of Anarchy. I would say it was a want, but no, I needed to see what was going on with Jax, Opie and Gemma right now.

I reached out to Twitter for ways to get US Netflix in Canada and tried a couple of suggestions:
- Change my DNS to OpenDNS. The instructions are here. In essence, you change you DNS to one that Is open and voila! you can view US Netflix. I tried this and kept getting Netflix errors and buffering issues. I guess the key is to keep trying new DNS’ until you get the right one. When it comes to Sons of Anarchy (and most things in my life), I just don’t have the patience.

- Free Streaming TV: You just click on this link and it takes you to free streaming episodes online. This worked for about 20 minutes and then I got kicked off ever 30 seconds or so. Might work better on days/ times with less demand. I was asking a lot from a free service on a Friday night.

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Cool App: GPS4Soul

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I was checking out new apps today and came across GPS4Soul. It’s a free app by Huffington Post that I found in the @HPGoodNews twitter feed.

When I looked for GPS4Soul in iTunes, I saw that it has a feature that allows you to check your heart rate using your iPhone camera lens. Sounded way too cool not to try out.

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Cool App: Dropbox

Every time I upgrade my phone or change devices, I start panicking a little. Okay, I panic a lot. I think about the absolute worse thing that could happen: I lose all of my pictures.

I take a lot of pictures, if you follow me on Instagram, you are probably shaking your head in agreement right now. What can I say? I think my daughters are way too awesome not to share with the world. Seriously! Just look at this:

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So, I found a solution to my fear of losing my pictures- Dropbox

Dropbox is a free service (mine is free up to 6.2GB and they have very reasonable packages for more space) that will upload your photos from your phone or laptop/desktop automatically or if you initiate it.

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By doing this, you are saving your photos, videos, songs and files to a server that you can access anywhere. I have Dropbox on my phone, tablet and laptop and find it super convenient.

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I love that I can share my pictures and files to people easily. The girls’ grandparents, my grandpa and their aunts and uncles and Hubs can all have access to my photos. This is awesome as I don’t have to email each one separately. It also helps them decide which cute pictures they want to print out.

You might ask me what they difference between using something like Dropbox and an external hard drive is. Good question!

The truth is, any data that is contained solely in one physical place can be lost or destroyed. Just ask my poor friend Bill who lost his entire external hard drive including 150,000 songs and all of his photos when it fell less than 3 feet off of his desk. The cost to try and retrieve his data is very high and there is no guarantee it’s going to work.

My worst nightmare!!

I also use Dropbox to keep track of my passwords and retrieve them everywhere I am. This comes on handy a lot. I may be a tad forgetful at times.

We use Dropbox for teams at Kick Point as well. This way, we can access our files and proposals from the office, home or client sites. It’s a great small business solution.

So, go download Dropbox and let me know how you like it. You might end up thanking me later.

I was not paid for this blog post, I just really like Dropbox. If they would like to have me represent them, I would gladly take their money.

Cool App: Songza

I’m absolutely stoked to get a treadmill tomorrow. I’m looking forward to be able to get more runs in a week and will need more playlists to get me through it.

Previously, I was downloading albums from iTunes. I even downloaded a workout playlist that was the top 35 pop hits sped up for cardio. The first time I heard it, I gasped. It was like the Mini Pops. People were singing the songs, not the original artists. Me running to karaoke tunes = sad.

Thankfully, I found Songza. It’s a streaming service off the Internet that provides you with music. It’s free, but make sure to use it when you’re connected to wifi. Streaming can use up a lot of data.

Besides the fact that Songza streams really well with little buffering, it has tones of really awesome playlists and a concierge service.

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You can click on any of the moods and Songza will recommend a playlist.

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You can find typical playlists and ones that make me laugh like this one:

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I listen to Songza playlists non-stop. Sets the mood for showering, getting ready, working, spontaneous dance parties, cleaning and sleepy time.

My favourite playlists right now are:
- Hipster Hop
- 90′s School Dance
- Old School Rap
- Sing-Along
- Coffee Shop Indie
- 90′s Pop Punk
- Unexpected Best Night Ever
- Marathon Workout

You can stream from their iPhone/Android app or from their website. The only thing I don’t like I’d that you can only skip a certain amount of songs per hour. I get that it’s a licensing thing and I’m sure that’s how they make money off of the site, just be a little choosy about your playlists and you’ll be fine.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

*I was not paid for this post. I just really like Songza. If they would like to pay me to represent them, I would welcome their money with open arms.

How to Fix a Phone With Water Damage

I may or may not have dropped my iPhone in the toilet a couple of months ago.

Okay, I did.

I was carrying my phone in the back pocket of my jeans. When I went to sit down, I heard a kerplunk and water splashing. It was completely submerged. As I fished my phone out of the clean (thank goodness) water, I silently screamed and said some choice four letter words.

I tried to turn it on, but I got the black screen of death. The “you really messed up this time” screen.

Luckily, I knew what to do. I hopped into my truck, went to the grocery store and bought a bag of plain white rice. I took it back to my office, found a container with a lid and layered my phone between the rice. I said a bit of a prayer and put it off to the side.

Although the thought of waiting 18-24 hours for the rice to soak up the water was tough, I knew I couldn’t touch it. I REALLY didn’t want to fork out hundreds of dollars for a new phone.

When I finally took my phone out of the rice, it turned on with no hesitation. All of my information and pictures were intact. I squealed in delight and did a happy dance. A $3.49 bag of rice saved my phone as well as the embarrassment of having to admit to an Apple Genius and my husband that I dropped my phone in the toilet.

Mind you, immersing your phone in water is definitely going to mess with your warranty. Apple has water detectors in all of their devices, here are the points that turn red in iPhones.

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BUSTED!!

Thankfully, I never had to bring my iPhone into an Apple Store so I bypassed any warranty issues. Since then, I have upgraded my phone and no longer keep it in the back pocket of my jeans.

Hopefully you never end up dropping your phone in a bathtub, snow drift, sink, sprinkler, toilet or urinal. But, if you do, just put it in rice to soak up the water. It really works!

Rice, it’s not just for eating :)

Cool App- Baby Center- My Pregnancy

Being a typical geek, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I went straight for the app store.

There are a lot of apps for your iPhone, iPad and Android device. After playing with a lot, I have only kept one- My Pregnancy app by Baby Center.

My favorite part of this app is the weekly updates. You get great in-depth explanations into your baby’s milestones in text, pictures and video.

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I absolutely love that they associate the size of your growing baby to fruit/vegetables. It has been super fun tweeting out things like “Baby Banks is the size of a carrot” or “Baby Banks is the size of a banana”. Speaking of which, anyone know what a jicama is?

I also really like their checklist feature. It reminds you to do important things like setting up pre-natal classes and to do something nice for yourself. I appreciate this as most of the time, I see myself as the host to a baby. Not all that different from Sigourney Weaver in the movie Alien, really.

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One part of the app that I haven’t been using is the Birth Club section. The intent of this piece of the app is to connect you with other moms who are expecting in the same month as you.

Unfortunately, I took a look at the messages being left on the board in December and most of them were stories of miscarriages and premature babies fighting for their lives. It was very hard to read.

I’m sure the messages are much happier now. I’m going to try the boards again.

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Overall, this is a great app. It helps you remember what week you are in and celebrates your milestones with you. I love getting push notifications on my iPhone every Sunday morning with details on how my baby is developing.

Even better? It’s free.

Social Media Free Weekend

About every 6 months, I randomly pick a social media free weekend. To me, this is a way to remind myself that there was life before Facebook and *gasp* Twitter. I spend the time focusing on my family and friends and less time reading mentions and comments. More enjoying life, less Tweeting about it.

This social media free weekend was really hard on me. Both physically and emotionally.

I ended up getting the dreaded flu that’s been going around. I  threw up for hours and hours. With tears flowing down my face and sweat dripping off my my forehead, I felt helpless and defeated.

I also felt lonely.

When I wake up, I post “Good Morning” to my Twitter followers. Starting my day this way, I get greetings and kind messages back. It sets the tone for my day. I get to connect with people even before I have jumped out of bed. This is my favorite part of the day.

Feeling so terrible and awful, with the words “Just put me out of my misery” echoing through my head, I had no one to turn to. Yes, I could turn to my husband, but he was under the weather too. I could text a friend, but it was 2:00 in the morning.

I missed my constant stream of support and best wishes. I missed my friends that know would have tried to make me laugh, even in this terrible position.

I just felt incredibly lonely.

I remember this feeling when I first had Little T. I had all of the support of my friends and family, but felt so alone. Who really wanted to hear about how tired I was anymore? Who would hysterically laugh with me as I flooded the bathroom while holding a newborn who would not.stop.crying?

For me, I will always have my good friends that I can call anytime and they are there for me. I am very blessed. I also feel blessed to belong to an online community that lifts me up when I need it and reminds me to breathe when I get carried away.

Am I going to say that I will never do another social media shut down again? No way. I needed this time to reflect. I needed to be grateful about my community again, not upset that a social media metrics site changed their algorithm and dropped my score like a hot potato. I needed to be reminded of the power of connection on social media, not worried about why someone unfollowed me on Twitter. I needed perspective and I definitely got it.

Oh, and as a bonus. My iPhone actually held a charge for more than one day this weekend. It  was a miracle!

Once every 6 months is good enough for me

 

Cool App- BabyMed

Are you thinking about having a baby? I used to think that having a baby was one of the easiest things to do. Egg + sperm = baby. No brainer, right?

That’s until I had issues conceiving Little T over 3 years ago and just recently, I went through it all again. I think I spent half of our mortgage on pregnancy tests every month. This was the month. This was the month.  This was the month. Usually followed by tears and disbelief.

I decided to take my fertility issues to my iPhone. I wanted an app that would track my schedule and give me assistance on the days that I would be most likely to get pregnant.

My favorite app by far was BabyMed.

It’s very simple. You put in the first day of your last period, save the data and view the calendar. If your last period was on September 15th, this would be your calendar for the month of September.

The little hearts are pretty cute, right?

I used this app for a couple of months before becoming pregnant. Now my calendar shows the weeks and days of how far along I am in my pregnancy. This is great for when you have baby brain at appointments.

This app is very easy to use and very simple. Too bad Baby Med’s website isn’t the same.  Don’t even click that link, it’s not worth your headache. Actually, I wasn’t even able to find a mention of this app on their site. Weird.

You can find the Baby Med Fertility and Pregnancy Counter in the app store for your iPhone. I have no idea if you can use it on a Blackberry or Android.  I can’t find any information on it at all. If you do find it on these platforms, can you let me know in the comments?

Happy baby making :)

Cool App- Talkatone

Having been in the US recently, I was using WhatsApp to connect with the people I was traveling with. I didn’t even think about how much it was going to be to call home. You could add a travel bundle to your cell phone package for calls and text messages or you could upload a free app that allows you to use your Wifi connection to make free calls or send text messages.

SERIOUSLY! I found an app that allows you to make long distance calls and text (SMS) messages using WiFi. Cool, right?!?

Talkatone uses your Google account to connect with your Google phone contacts as well as the contacts already in your iPhone. It only takes seconds to get started.

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Looks just like your regular iPhone phone screen

Pros:

  • Free calls and text messages are awesome
  • Reception is good
  • Works with your existing Google Account
  • You can use it right away to make calls to contacts in your iPhone

Cons:

  • Being in Canada, I am limited to only using it for outbound calls
  • As a Canadian, I can’t chose my own phone number to call out from on Talkatone. It chooses a number for me and it looks a lot like a telemarketer phone number. Because of this, I have to let the person I am calling know before hand.

I hope that Talkatone evolves to add Canadians to have the ability to SMS and chose your own phone number. I will still use it for making calls from my home and office to long distance numbers for free. I like free :)