Which Phone Should You Buy?

The newest iPhone’s have just been released as of September 2018, and the newest Samsung and Google devices have been announced. I originally wrote this article in 2014, but I think the same philosophy applies today, and have re-published this to help people decide which phone is best for them.

I don’t know how or why everyone started acting like kindergarten children when it comes to the technology we use, and bragging about how their device, is so much better than your device, but no doubt, you have gotten into one of these discussions yourself, and may even be confused about which phone you should buy?

You also need to be careful about taking someone’s advice or “opinion” on what you should get because lets face it, opinions are like, You-Know-What… and everybody has one. The problem I have seen, is that their needs, or situation, might be different from yours, and these devices have become so “personal”, that you really need to take your own needs into account when deciding.

I normally would not even bother giving my opinion, because mine is not necessarily any better than anyone else’s, but I get asked so many times, almost daily, about which one is better, So here goes.

While my preference is usually with the Apple devices, because I have other IOS and Mac products, I have asked a lot of people about their devices, and rarely have I had anyone say it was a bad experience, and the reality is, you will probably love any of the current offerings out there. The most common feedback from people who buy other devices, like Samsung are, that they can do things you cannot do with an IOS device. This can be technically true, but I have interviewed hundreds of users and rarely have I seen a useful example, for the average user, of when this is true. Most people I have interviewed, that like the ability to customize or “tweak” their devices , are usually more technically inclined too, and average users are usually more concerned with the whole user experience, and again, everyone I have interviewed, has provided feedback that they love their device, no matter which one they had.

I do a lot of support work about not only mobile devices, but also desktops, laptops and many other technologies, and one important thing not always discussed is the “entire” user experience. What I mean by this is, if you have other Apple products, an iPhone might be the best choice for you, where as, if you are entrenched in the Windows world, maybe a Windows phone would be a better choice? Without going into too much detail about this one, let me just say that feedback from users has been more positive from the Apple world, than with some of the others. Does that make any of the others bad, absolutely not! It really depends on your own needs. Very rarely do I talk to anyone who does not use either an iPhone or a Samsung, these are without question, the 2 most popular.

That being said, here is what I own. The iPhone XS Max 256GB. I usually always find a reason I want the newest, which is the iPhone XS Max, as of this posting. iPhone, iPad, iMac, IBROKE!

Top 3 smartphones

  • iPhone
  • Samsung
  • Google Pixel

With the millions of apps available, I have found I can carry out anything I could ever want to do, and creative ways of using these devices, are being discovered daily.

Interested in learning more about how to use your current IOS device? Or maybe not sure if you need one? For those of you that live near Minden or Gardnerville area, I will be giving a class at the community center. More classes and subjects will be offered in the future as well.
cool-ios

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A Safer Gun

After buying one of these for myself, I started doing research online and found that there is nothing unique or innovative about this gun or the “Chemical” pellets that it shoots.

This gun is nothing more than an air pistol by a company called Tippmann Supply, and even the “Chemical Pellets” or “Pepper Pellets” are readily available from many sources and for a lot cheaper.

On one hand this was very disappointing to discover, on the other, it’s a good thing because that means there are a lot of choices for guns, accessories, and ammunition.

Below are images of the “Safer Gun” by Salt Supply and the TIPX Pistol by Tippmann Supply. Look Familiar? $350 at Salt Supply and about $220 for just the gun from MFG.

Link to TippMann – makers of the gun and accessories

Link to dealer where you can buy the gun and “Non Lethal” Peppershot™ PAVA Max Payload Live Agent Less Lethal Rounds (10X Hot) Tube of 10

tipx-airgunsalt-gun

The Safer Gun is designed primarily for home protection, that fires chemical bullets instead of regular bullets, so you can protect yourself and your family without being “lethal”. I have carried and owned guns for many years but I would prefer a non-lethal way of protection. I can’t imagine even being in a situation where deadly force was necessary, and I would feel much more comfortable incapacitating someone, and letting the authorities handle it from there. I have not had a chance to try this out for myself, but will do soon, so I can give feedback on its effectiveness and how well it works. I also am a proponent of the safety and emergency apps available for your smartphones, here is just one example.



Here is one users review of the Gun recently.

Here are a couple of videos that may help you decide if one of these is right for you?

Scanner Pro by Readdle

Check out Scanner Pro by Readdle Here

I have been using this app for a few months now, and it is the coolest and most useful app I have found for turning your mobile device into a portable scanner, copier, fax and more. The only thing I tried that did not go as expected was the fax portion. More on this later. Everything else has been great and I highly recommend this app for all your scanning needs.

Scanner Pro is the best app for quickly scanning and saving a digital version of a paper document. Scan any papers, ranging from a receipt to multi-page documents. Scanner Pro will automatically detect borders, correcting distortion and geometry. Share, email and upload your perfect scans. Use OCR to convert any scan into a text.

SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive

SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive instantly adds up to 64 GB** of storage space to your iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, and Android™ device. Portable and easy to use, the drive gives you wireless mobile access to your movies, photos, music, and documents. You can wirelessly connect up to 8 devices and stream media to as many as 3 devices simultaneously**–without the need for an Internet connection. The drive’s battery recharges via USB and offers up to 4 hours of continuous streaming on a single charge**.

  • Instantly adds up to 64 GB** of storage for your mobile devices
  • Connects wirelessly to up to 8 devices–no Internet required
  • Supports up to 3 simultaneous media streams**
  • Provides up to 4 hours of wireless streaming per charge**
  • Works with SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive Mobile and Web apps** for easy media file management
  • Compatible with iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Android devices, and PC and Mac computers

Don’t Fall For This Scam

There are a number of variations of this scam around the internet, but the symptoms are very common, and here is just one example. This example happened in Google Chrome, on a PC, I have not tested on the MAC yet, but have had similar situations on my MAC.

You type into your browser to go to YouTube but you accidental type the address incorrectly, say “YouTuber”, in this example.

Next thing you know, a Pop Up or “PUP” (Potentially Unwanted Program”) comes on the screen and says your computer has been infected. See the following message and screenshot.

typical-scam

Your computer with the IP address (an IP address will show here) has been infected by the Virus RDN/Yahlover.worm!055BCCAC9FEC-Your information (for example, passwords, messages, and credit cards) have been stolen. Call the Technical Support number below to protect your files and identity from further damage.

It even locks you onto the page, with seemingly no way to get out of the browser, and for a lot of users, this only reinforces, that the message must indeed be legitimate.

I have heard they will ask you to pay an amount, say somewhere between $30 – $150, to fix your computer, usually by someone pretty rude!

I was going to actually call the number listed, in this case 1-888-373-0151, and record the actual phone call, but trust me, this is a scam and there are many variations of it!

I recommend if this happens to you, launch task manager and “End Task” on your browser to force it closed, or if on a MAC OS “Force Quit” your browser.

I personally clear my browser cache, and immediately run something like Malwarebytes scanner, just to be sure.

One other thing worth mentioning, I always recommend to people, to use a password manager, to store your usernames, passwords, etc. This is just one more reason to use one. Don’t store your password or login information in your browser, that’s one potential place they are probably trying to steal it from.

Oakley Airwave

Man! I wish these Oakley Airwave Goggles would have been available back when I was into skiing and snowmobiling!

Product Overview for Airwave™

Technology that Delivers the Goods. Straight to Your Brain.

Ever have one of those downhill runs where you’re sure you broke some speed record? Ever pull-off a trick with such amplitude that you could swear you left earth’s atmosphere for a sec? And wouldn’t it be cool to know for sure? Well now you can. Airwave™ takes Oakley goggle design and technology to the next level with a built-in heads up display that integrates GPS, Bluetooth® and more. Onboard sensors give you instant access tospeed, vertical drop, distance, and altitude. But there’s so much more: preloaded maps, music playlist control, buddy tracking, and so on. And now, with the addition of the free Airwave GoPro® Connect App, you can turn your Oakley® Airwave 1.5 into a powerful remote and viewfinder for your GoPro® HERO4 camera. With Airwave GoPro® Connect, capturing your day on the slopes is easy and fun.

Airwave isn’t merely a goggle; it’s a mobile dashboard.
Heads-Up Display

Airwave™ delivers crisp, widescreen graphics using innovative prism technology. This technology provides a heads-up display perceived to be the size of a 14-inch screen viewed from a distance of 5 feet.
What You Can See, Track, and Share

Speed
The GPS integration can accurately measure how fast you are moving down the slope.

Trip Viewer
Review your performance stats, like max speed, total vert and max air, in detail, run by run or for the whole day.
Vertical
Measure your vertical feet by run, by day and over the course of the season.

Navigation
Pinpoint your location on a resort map, find the run or point-of-interest you’re looking for.

Buddy Tracking
Locate and track friends that have the Oakley Airwave goggle or App on their smartphone.

Music
Music control gives full control of what you hear as you ski or board.

Smartphone Connectivity
View incoming calls and text messages. Low Energy Bluetooth connectivity allows the goggle to interface with your smartphone, heart rate monitor and more. Compatible with both Apple® and Android® operating systems.

Switchlock™ Technology
Change lenses quick and hassle-free to take advantage of the company’s wide array of premium performance lens tints that optimize vision for environmental conditions.
Fit, Form, Function

The goggle’s fit, form and function features a chassis made of durable O Matter® and Oakley’s O-Flow Arch technology to reduce nasal pressure for a balanced fit and all-day comfort. F3 anti-fog technology is paired with dual-vented lens design to keep vision clear. Oakley Plutonite® lens material filters out 100 percent of all UV, and Iridium® lens coatings balance light transmission
High Definition Optics® (HDO®)

High Definition Optics® (HDO®) take advantage of patented innovations, like XYZ Optics® for unbeatable clarity at all angles of vision — even at the sides of lens contours that open peripheral view and optimize protection against sun, wind and side impact. HDO® lenses surpass ANSI Z87.1 standards for clarity, refraction and prism.

DJI Phantom 4

Technology changes fast and I had previously posted about the DJI Phantom 3, which has now been replaced by the DJI Phantom 4. This thing is even more awesome and will definitely be put on my list of recommended drones. Here is a video and specs.

 

  • Avoid obstacles automatically.
  • Track moving subjects automatically using ActiveTrack.
  • TapFly lets you fly with a tap of the finger.
  • Smart Return Home allows the Phantom to avoid obstacles as it returns home.
  • 28 minute maximum flight time, maximum control range of 3.1mi (5km).
  • Maximum speed of 44mph (72kmh).
  • Integrated gimbal for greater camera stability and smoother footage.
  • Optimized Vision Positioning System raises positioning altitude up to 10 meters.

 

Typhoon 4K Drone

Got an extra $1000? You are going to want one of these! This Typhoon 4K drone is one of the coolest I have seen, and it won some awards at CES 2016. I have a feeling this one will require special registration with the FAA due to its size and weight. Check out their website for the complete lineup of drones and other photography gear.

If you need a pro level drone, check this one out!

Hound

There is a new player in the voice assistance arena, and it’s called Hound. By the makers of SoundHound. As I have said before, the more we use these speech recognition technologies, the better they will become!

You can read about all the other voice assistants I have covered here.

So far this thing is amazing! And it’s available on iTunes and Google Play.

The first thing you will notice when you start using it, is how complex of a question you can ask it, and it will give you amazing results.

You have to try this voice assistant! See video for samples.

 

Pebble SmartWatch

Bad-Experience

I already posted about smartwatches here, but wanted to create a separate post about the Pebble SmartWatch, because I have found the quality of this watch to be a problem and wanted to warn you, based on my own experience.

Pebble SmartWatch

pebble

My own experience with the Pebble smartwatch has not been a good one. I had issues with the watch screen letters getting unreadable or fuzzy, and at first the company seemed good in their tech support and customer service by replacing the defective watch with a new one. The new watch however is doing the same thing. They responded and said now the watch is out of warranty, so there is nothing they can do about it. I suspect they have some sort of manufacturing defect because it is very suspect that the replacement watch has the same issue as the first one. I did send them a request asking about this possibility, but they won’t even respond now.

This is a screenshot of a brand new out of the box Pebble, and this is the second one I have received, that had the same issue!

pebble-smartwatch