In the middle of last month, the world once again witnessed a tech revolution – the release of yet another wildly anticipated iPhone. The 5S was said to offer countless improvements over its predecessors and enticed those who were waiting all year long to use that convenient phone upgrade to get their hands on the new toy everyone just couldn’t stop talking about. Given the considerable hype surrounding each of Apple’s recent iPhone launches, one is always left to wonder whether the changes being made are really that crucial to the device’s improved functionality.
For instance, the 5S boasts improved camera quality (a feature that didn’t seem to be problematic on previous models) and a stronger physical core, presumably to prevent the ease of inflicting damage. The claim from the American software giant – year in, year out – is that “this is an entirely new phone.” In all likelihood, this is last year’s phone with added shine, a slightly better camera, and, in truth, a suspect battery. It is fully unnecessary to even delve into the cost of a reliable insurance plan such as “Apple Care” or the definite impossibility of fixing seemingly minor damage to the screen without replacing the entire device. Oh, and don’t get me started on the iPhone 5c.
I never truly bought into the iPhone hype for a variety of reasons. Besides the shocking cost (usually $600 up front in addition to a $50 per month contract), the devices never really captured my attention with any alternative capabilities. There is no special appeal to an Apple product besides its aluminum casing and mirror-like display. For these “novel” elements, you shell out thousands of dollars on repairs even for minuscule exterior damage.
Instead, for mobile phone purposes, I’ve opted to side with Apple’s competitor – Microsoft. Windows Phones have recently gained popularity thanks to Nokia’s “Lumia” model that boasts having “the best mobile phone camera.” Being an owner of exactly this device, I cannot disagree. Having been surrounded by iPhone users for years, I can confidently say that the Lumia does everything and more than what any Apple device slyly advertises. Seamless connectivity, a slick Windows 8 interface, and a variety of social media channels make the Lumia a joy to use. Most importantly, it opens the eyes of those blinded by Apple’s shiny, fragile displays and silences the chatter surrounding the “Genius Bar” – all for good reason.
This is my personal opinion, as a non-iPhone user. I would love to hear some of your thoughts on the subject!
Are you behind on your holiday shopping list? Still shopping for your college kids? Or are you looking for the perfect gag gift for your buddy? I think I can point you in the right direction. Skinit.com offers “skins” for phones, laptops, iPods, iPads, and the like. “Skins” are protective covers that will help keep your electronics safe, and display virtually anything that you want. They are guaranteed not to interfere with product functionality, they leave behind no mess, and they are specifically designed for each product.
There are endless possibilities in finding the right skin, ranging from sports team’s designs to artsy designs to customizable designs, which allow you to add your favorite picture, shape, or text. Get your girlfriend a skin for her laptop with her favorite picture of you two together for some added “brownie points.” Get your buddy a skin for his iPhone with the most embarrassing picture possible for $19.99. Skinit.com provides a cheap way to find a great gift for your friend or loved one. Check out the endless possibilities at Skinit.com, and you’ll see why they have become such a popular gift for people of all ages. Skinit has something for everybody.
Let’s face the facts, our generation demands instant access to information. Incoming freshman have been raised on high speed internet and cable t.v. (they didn’t even have to deal with AOL dial up connections and rotating hour glasses!). Cheap mobile devices have completely changed the game. Now I can look up name of Ben Stiller’s character in Anchorman, manage my fantasy football team, and upload pirated concert footage onto my Facebook profile; all from a device that fits in my back pocket. That’s pretty sweet. If an armed mugger tried to steal my iPhone while I was playing Angry Birds, I’d whip out my trusty sling shot and go for the high score!
According to a study conducted by technology pioneer Cisco, “33% of respondents under 30 said that the internet is of equal importance to their daily life as air, water, food, and shelter. 55% of college students polled believe their life’s daily sustenance is in jeopardy if they are denied access to the internet, while 64% of students would select an internet connection instead of a car.” Sounds about right lol.
Consider me part of the 64%. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m on my smart phone 24/7. I have all my favorite websites bookmarked, my Facebook & Twitter feeds on constant monitor, and a crap ton of apps that essentially run my life. If you have the same symptoms, you may have heard of a few of the apps below. If you don’t have this sickness, I’m very proud of ya! But here are some awesome iOS and Android apps if you’d like to indulge and join your brethren. At the very least, they might help you out this semester.
iStudiez Pro – $2.99
This is more of an interactive calendar that has built-in reminders and daily lists you can schedule in to keep organized. Also stay ahead of those long-term projects by building in reminders along the way.
EverNote – Free
Let this software be a hub for all the notes you will ever take about anything. Organize your notes from school, to personal to-do lists, to baking recipes, etc (Also available for Android).
Wikipanion – Free
Imagine all the great information Wikipedia has to offer in an app. Research information on just about anything you can imagine.
DropBox – Free
Drop a file or folder from your computer, and access it from your smartphone. Helps for any student looking to work on school away from their laptop (Also available on Android).
PageOnce or BudgetBuster – Free
Pay your bills and organize your finances seamlessly on this app. You can even sync with your online banking (PageOnce also available on Android).
Wunderlist – Free
One of the most popular “Get Things Done” app. This will get your lazy schedule into an efficient, organized, kick-your-calendar-into-shape schedule for those who are trying to keep their A-game during the semester.
Logical Dimension – $0.99
If you’re new to campus and have a hard time figuring out where to go, this is the app for you. Find your way through campus, and be able to get home without losing your cool.
Cram – $3.99
Study with flashcards and have multiple-choice questions to quiz yourself on the material. It will even track your progress to see how ready you are for your exam.
MyGPACalculator – Free
Figure out your semester, cumulative, or letter grade GPA. Customize it to the way your university ranks their grades.
Convert – $2.99
Find out any type of conversion for your needs. Ease up on that brain work and let this app do some math conversions for you.
ShareYourBoard – Free
Take pictures of the whiteboard you’ve been aimlessly staring at and get extracted text to study from.
Taskos – Free
Sync this app with your Google calendar for a more interactive to-do list for scheduling your busy semesters.
Mint – Free
The same concept as PageOnce, this app utilizes your finances and keeps you on track by computing your budget.
Android Agenda Widget – Free
This app tracks your daily activity quickly and efficiently. It is very customizable and uses a visually appealing scroll feature that is user-friendly.
Class Buddy Pro – $2.49
Keep track of individual homework assignments, quizzes, and test grades to see where you stand in that particular class. This app also lets you calculate your semester and overall GPA.
DroidScan – $6.99
Take pictures of documents and save them as high-resolution PDF’s to scan, print, or share. This is extremely helpful especially for students who have teachers that don’t email or post slides online.
GoogleDocs – Free
Seamlessly post, edit, download, and share documents through the ‘online cloud’ that other users can do the same with. Don’t forget that this can save a lot of time when working on group projects with classmates you’ve never met before.
Recordoid – Free
Record lectures, notes, and more to help remember what your professor emphasized in class. This is useful when going back over your notes and trying to conceptualize material covered in class.
Check ‘em out and comment on your favorites!
I’m reading Operations Management