Friday, August 17, 2012

BlackBerry executive confirms BlackBerry 10 is for real, “the hardware and software is there”

It’s about time! Research In Motion (RIM) has confirmed that the next generation of BlackBerry 10 (BB10) devices is in beta testing. Thorsten Heins, RIM’s chief executive, recently shared that the hardware for BB10 is finished and the software is almost complete. Analysts and BlackBerry lovers around the world collectively sighed upon hearing the confirmation.

Heins said that the BB10 will seek to change the way people use smartphones. For example, the new BB10 will enable users to switch, shift or alternate between apps with a simple thumb swipe. The company is calling this feature “BlackBerry Flow.” With BlackBerry Flow, users will be able to maximize the multitasking capabilities of the BB10’s new hardware and software. In fact, the BB10 will be the first smartphone to thread together applications—something the company needed in order to compete with heavyweight operating systems, Android and iOS.

In addition to BlackBerry Flow, RIM plans to provide BlackBerry users with an easy way to tap their contacts' public profiles-- including blog posts, tweets, emails and other details. By streamlining the phone’s features, the company is attempting to set Blackberry apart from other smartphones on the consumer and enterprise market. However, users will have to wait until early next year to find out whether the BB10 devices will be a success or not.

Tell us, will you consider buying the new BlackBerry 10?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Four Essential Summer Olympics Smartphone Apps

Who could forget Michael Phelps’ famous seventh gold medal win in the 100-meter butterfly final in Beijing? Phelps won by the thinnest of margins, 0.01 of a second, which was incredible to watch! With narrow victories and nail-biting events, just like Phelps’, this year’s Olympic Games are sure to be one of the most exciting ones yet. In anticipation of the games, we’ve gathered a few smartphone apps that will make watching the games even more exciting. As the Olympics progress, let us know which one is your favorite!
  1. BBC Olympics app: While NBC is the official network carrying the Olympics for Americans, BBC is Britain’s main news network reporting on the games. Their free app, which is available on iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices, provides users a text-based rundown of the current events and scores. Live updates and commentary from BBC reporters and Olympians are also included in the app. Users can find a breakdown of the number of medals won by each country. Plus, the app is location-based! So, if you’re checking it from the U.S. it will include more news and updates about the U.S. team.
  2. NBC 2012 Summer Olympics app: With free, live streaming of the games from NBC’s Olympic app, you won’t miss anything! Whether you’re operating from an iPhone or an iPad, the app is very video-focused. Users can tap into NBC’s social media profiles to see updates and interviews with athletes as well as scheduled events. However, we noted that the app isn’t 100-percent free. To watch all of the videos users must verify their cable and/or satellite subscription. Perhaps the coolest element of the app is the push notifications, where users can receive updates about their favorite sports or athletes. 
  3. Curly’s Pocket Guide to Sports: Available on iOS devices, this app has information about each sport and its associated rules. If you’re planning to watch a sport you don’t know a lot about—aka archery—this app lays out the guidelines and rules in a witty way and even adds in some interesting trivia! 
  4. The 2012 Team USA app: The official app released by the U.S. Olympic Committee offers several of the same features as the three previous apps. Just like NBC, they ask that you verify your cable and/or satellite subscription before you can watch videos. One of the most fun elements of this app is the “cheer” button, which lets users send a personal message to athletes on Facebook and Twitter. Users can also purchase Team USA gear and even donate to help support the team, from within the app. Some have noted that the news tab loads slowly. 
Whether it’s from your phone or television, we hope you enjoy all of your favorite sports! Let us not forget to send a big hip-hip-hooray to Team USA!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Keeping Kids Safe this Summer with Smartphone Apps

Summer is only a few weeks away, and while kids are ready to spend long days playing outside with their friends, parents are trying to arrange activities to keep them busy and safe.  Between scheduling summer camps and play dates, parents can ensure their child is safe throughout summer by taking the time to install smartphone applications to their child’s phone. From helpful location-tracking applications to caller ID, a smartphone can keep kids in touch with parents and out of trouble. Just in time for summer, we have the latest tips for parents to keep their kids safe this summer.

1.      GPS Tracking: Parents can keep an eye on adventurous children by installing GPS tracking applications on their child’s smartphone. Kids can travel safely around town without worrying about an overprotective parent accompanying them to every activity while on-the-go parents can remain focused at work or at home without second guessing their child’s location.
2.       Weather Applications: Summertime brings warm temperatures, unexpected thunderstorms and high exposure to the sun. Kids who aren’t prepared for excessive sun exposure or occasional storms can be caught in situations that compromise their health. Installing a weather application on your child’s phone can help them stay on top of the weather in your area. Plus, push-notifications allow kids to know if a storm is moving their way without ever checking the application.
3.       Privacy Applications: Whether they are wandering the mall with friends or hanging out at the local park, kids will exchange phone numbers with plenty of people this summer. Sometimes new acquaintances lead to great friendships, other times they lead to inappropriate text messages or random callers. Parents can install an entire line of caller ID applications that monitor who is calling or texting their child. If a child is of driving age, Text ID and Voice Cue applications announce the name of the person trying to contact them. Either way, parents can rest assured that their child is safe with privacy applications installed on their phone.

 To maximize summer fun for kids, remember to apply lots of sunscreen, wear a hat and eat lots of popsicles! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Missed Call, Missed Opportunity

Everyday, smartphone owners receive hundreds of text messages and phone calls, some from people in their contact list and some from people whose numbers aren't yet in their phone. For Lauren, Jason and Coach Ted a missed call and/or text message turned into a missed opportunity. Find out what happened to each individual in our latest video series. Tell us, which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Three Must-have Fitness Apps

With warmer weather and long days at the pool just around the corner, it’s time to get bikini-body ready. But when fitness advice seems to be all over the Web, it can difficult to know exactly where to begin your workout regimen. Since we know you always have your smartphone on you, we’re making it simple and sharing three of our favorite fitness applications. If you’re consistent and use the social settings to share your workouts with your friends, you will be ready for the pool in no time!
  • Nike Training Club: This is one of our favorite applications because it’s practically a personal trainer. Users select which goal they want to achieve: lean, toned, strong or focused. With each goal, users can then select a level: beginner, intermediate or advanced. The app breaks down each workout move by its name, how many reps or the length of time you need to do the move. It’s easy to use and free! We highly recommend for users who have access to an iPhone or iTouch. Nike hasn’t created an application for Android owners, yet.
  • MyFitnessPal: This app is gaining more popularity among smartphone users. It’s a food diary that calculates how many calories a user needs to consume in order to lose or gain weight. It breaks down how many calories you’re allotted for that day based on the information you enter. If you have trouble remembering exactly what you ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner you can enter it online or on your smartphone before or after your eat. In addition to the food diary, users can enter the amount of time spent doing cardio or strength training. The app also has an optional social setting so users can share their diet with friends. MyFitnessPal is available for iOS and Android operating systems.
  •  MapMyFitness: One of the coolest applications on the market for outdoor lovers is MapMyFitness. Whether you like to bike, walk or run, this app loads nearby trails, tracks your time, updates you on your overall progress and keeps your pace. Plus, users can share their location with friends! If you’ve been dying to spend time in the sun and enjoy local trails, this is the app for you!
We hope that you enjoy these apps as much as we do. Leave us a comment about your favorite fitness app and remember to have a happy summer!