Thursday, July 24, 2014

All Windows Devices Will Be Running On The Same Software Soon

There are so many different versions of the Windows operating system for all the different devices out there, and it is really confusing and sometimes even frustrating. Microsoft realizes that they may have made a 'booboo', so they are planning on fixing it. Pretty soon you won't have to worry about all of the different versions of Windows on all of your devices because they will all be running on the exact same one.

CEO Satya Nadella told analysts this big news during the company's quarterly earnings call this past Tuesday. It seems like a way better idea considering that all of the different versions of Windows out there all use the exact same code. One of the executives even came right out and said that there were too many different versions of Windows out there. All signs have been pointing in this direction for a while, but this is the first time that there was an official statement about it. They are finally going to turn the next version of Windows into a single converged operating system that will work on all platforms and screen sizes.

The CEO also said that all the work will be done in the next year. This puts the big change on schedule with the introduction of Windows 9 which is supposed to come out in sometime in 2015. This means that by the end of next year all of the Windows phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and even the Xbox will all be running on the same system. All of the huge differences between the regular Windows OS and the ones on Windows phones won't exist anymore. The only difference between each device's operating system is going to be the size of the screen it's running on.

There will, however, still be different ways that the software will be packaged and marketed. There will still be the basic and Pro versions of Windows and there will still be special modifications for company owners and things like that. But either way, all of the software will be able to run the same apps, which is a big deal to Microsoft because they have already tried to do the whole Universal Windows App thing.

There are still a few questions that remain unanswered. We don't know how it will work on the Xbox, and we don't know if Windows Phones will have a desktop. The truth is that they don't even know yet, but there is a huge team of engineers working on figuring all of that out right now.

This will be the first time that a major platform creator has unified its operating system across all of their devices. Exciting stuff!

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

How To Maximize Your Battery Life

So you are in a hurry, rush out the door, and forgot to grab your phone charger, laptop charger or car charger on the way out to a meeting; sadly there is no way to stop battery life from draining, but there is a lot of things you can do to slow it down so you can continue your day stress free.

So what drains your battery the most? In order to maximize your battery life, it's important to first understand what is the source of the major life-sucker of your laptop and/or phone. A lot of the times it is coming straight from your graphics, brightness settings and programs that are still running. Keep in mind that add-on devices on laptops; like flash drives, USB mice and PC cards are known to drain your battery life very quickly.

One tip is to change your power plan settings on your device. Whether it's your cellphone or laptop, turning down the brightness on your screen and closing out of apps and programs that are not in use can save you a ton of battery time. Adjust your devices LCD screen brightness. You already know that the brightness of your screen takes up a lot of power on your battery percentage, so the quickest way to save your battery for a while is to set your screen to the lowest possible setting. Next you want to take it a step further and try to find a section where Advanced Power Plan settings are available to change. Make sure to change anything that may lower battery life. For laptops, use the low power mode, the system cooling policy setting allows you to change whether the laptop will rely on fans for cooling down, or slow the processor down when the temperature gets too hot. Your computers performance might have a slight change in how fast it responds, but your battery will stay with you for a little longer.

For laptops, using hibernate mode instead of sleep mode allows your laptop to completely use zero power. So if you are taking a break, make sure to set your laptop in hibernate mode instead of sleep to reduce the risk of a dead battery when you return. Laptop batteries are always going to slowly lose their ability to charge as the years pass by, but when your laptop is constantly overheating your battery life is decreasing twice as fast. Make sure to never run your laptop in a hot environment for an extended period of time.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Apple's iWatch Rumored To Have Round Face, But Should You Even Care About Wearables Anymore?

I'm a firm believer in "Don't knock it until you try it". The way that technology continues to grow and progress is so alarming that it's almost scary. I feel there is a shift happening right now. Some of us are oblivious to it. Others may know exactly what I'm talking about. New technologies are popping up left and right it seems. The biggest "trend", as some may call it right now, has got to be the wearables. There are so many of them popping up that I'm sure many of us have seen them somewhere. Google Glass was one of the main wearables that caught the attention of many people. After the "smart glass", we saw a lot of the smartwatches coming into the spotlight. Just about every large consumer tech company is creating their own wearable. Samsung has advertised their Galaxy Gear well enough that everyone should know about. Then there is Apple.

Apple is, essentially, the top dog in terms of overall consumer popularity and usage. They know this as well. They're far from oblivious. I can't tell if they've made the conscious effort to hold off on releasing their own version of the smartwatch. I suppose it wouldn't be too farfetched to say that Apple's iWatch is just fashionably late, but then again, it may be a business strategy.

Apple has had time to look at the competition. They've been planning and observing. Because of this they've been able to see the crowd response. They've looked at how the customers are reacting to the design of these smartwatches. Most of the smartwatches out there (including the Galaxy Gear) have a square face. This is where Apple's tardiness may have benefited them. Again, their absence in the smartwatch field is up to interpretation from anyone and everyone, so I could be wrong with my assumptions. Having said that, I personally think that this was their plan. The newest rumor spreading over the internet isn't regarding the release date or price. The rumor is actually talking about the design. Instead of the ever-popular square face, Apple's new iWatch is rumored to have a round face design. This could be the entire reasoning behind the whole "year late to the party" thing. Design does play a big role in this type of technology, especially since it can be viewed as a fashion statement.

Even though Apple may be the company to pull the wearable out of the grave, I still feel that the wearable is on its way out. It's not become popular enough to warrant any real purchase. There are usually certain stipulations involving these gadgets. They normally have to be coupled with some other type of mobile device, i.e. your cell phone. The smartwatches out now aren't designed to stand alone. If Apple's design team is able to make something that can stand alone and doesn't need to be tethered to a phone, they may just cause the wearable market to thrive.

If Apple isn't able to keep the wearable market alive with their iWatch, then I feel it's safe to say that the wearable market is a dead end. They've had the time to analyze the reception of the new devices and are able to develop theirs with that reception in mind. Here's hoping that the iWatch can make the change, but if Apple can't do it, then it would be my suggestion to the rest of the consumer tech companies to throw in the towel.

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This Security App Will Email You Pictures Of Who Stole Your Phone

This past Wednesday, Lookout added some new features to their mobile security app. These are features that you won't find on most other mobile security apps. With Lookout, you can now protect yourself from malware and spyware, and with the newest version of the app you can even protect yourself against theft. Now, the app will send theft alerts just minutes after it detects suspicious activities.

That moment when you realize you haven't checked your phone in a bit and you decide to grab it from your pocket just to find out that it isn't there is one of the most terrifying experiences anyone can have. Especially if your phone is a really expensive one that would cost a lot to replace or if you have a lot of personal information on it. The goal for Lookout with their new features is to help put your mind a little more at ease in those dark times of fear and desperation.

The way it works is pretty awesome. You can set up a custom list of actions that will trigger alerts. For example, you could make it so that your phone triggers an alert when someone removes the SIM card, enables airplane mode, turns the phone off, or if someone enters the wrong passcode.

When one of these things happens, it triggers an alert. When an alert is triggered, your phone will immediately snap a picture with its front facing camera and will record the exact location of the device. Once the picture has been taken and the location has been recorded, it will send you an email with a picture of whoever has your phone and give you its location so that you can go track down your stuff and beat someone up for stealing your phone. Or, you know... just ask nicely to have it back or call the cops. The email it sends will also give you the resources you need to file a police report on the spot if you want.

The app itself is free for either Android or iOS. To get the theft alert feature you'll need a subscription that costs $3 a month or $30 a year. It seems like a very small price to pay for any business travelers out there who find themselves in different places and situations more often than most people. If you already have the app, you can use the theft alert feature for free until September.

Theft and violence have been growing problems that surround smartphones and smartphone users recently. It has become such an issue that some states are even passing new laws to combat those issues. In California manufacturers are even requiredto give customers a way to remotely disable their phones and wipe them clean in order to prevent as much damage as possible.

This isn't the 1950's, and crime seems to be affecting everyone these days. You might as well protect yourself with one of the coolest security apps out right now.

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Skype's Video Calling Is Now Free For Everyone

The day has come where Skype's group video calling feature is free for everyone to take advantage of. Skype has had video calling since 2010, but in 2011 they made it a feature that you had to pay extra for in order to use.

Currently, group video calls aren't supported on mobile, but the company has said that they are working on making this available across all platforms. This probably means that group video calling will be coming to mobile in the near future at no cost.

Back in 2010 when Skype first came out with group video calls, it was the only service that could offer that type of feature on such a large scale. Around the time that Google+ and Google Hangouts came about, they changed the game by offering the same thing for free. Many people ditched Skype for Google Hangouts, especially when it came to professional group video calling for business related purposes. Why wouldn't they? Google really stuck it to Skype with that one.

However, it quickly became clear that Google Hangouts wasn't quite as reliable as the service that Skype was offering. Google was still the main choice just because it was free, and Google was the first to bring group video chats to its mobile apps, which was a huge convenience. The Google Hangouts service kept getting better, and last year they even started integrating all of the VolP, text, video and chat features into Google Hangouts which made it even more convenient and made Skype less relevant.

Since Skype has decided to make their group video calling feature free, this probably means that they realize they have fallen behind because of services like Google Hangouts. Google isn't the only one either; there is FaceTime, ooVoo, Tango, Line, Viber, Qik, and so many other services doing the same thing, that it is actually amazing that Skype hasn't fallen off the map completely yet.

It doesn't take much for a website or service to be forgotten about these days when something new and better comes out. Maybe making their group video calling feature free will be enough to save them, but they may have waited a little bit too long on this one. The one thing they have going for them is the fact that they are probably one of the most reliable video calling services, and they were the biggest name for a while. They still have the most recognized name in their field, so maybe bouncing back won't be that hard.

The main point here is this: the service is free now, so go ahead and take advantage of it.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Working On The Go With Only A Smartphone

Everyone has a smartphone these days. Lots of people have adopted them as one of their main sources of entertainment. But for a lot of us, they are more than that. Sometimes when you are traveling, they can be one of the only tools available to get a job done. You need to be able to stay productive no matter what situation you're in. Today we're going to show you a few different apps that can get you by when you are away from your office and still need to take care of your responsibilities.


Dropbox is one of the biggest providers of cloud storage, and whether you are on your phone or your computer, it is one of the most useful tools for many different business applications. As far as cell phones go, did you know that you can back up your phone completely with Dropbox? If it gets lost, stolen, broken, or damaged to the point where it isn't usable, as long as you have backed up your files and contacts to Dropbox, you are completely fine aside from needing a new phone. You can also set it up to automatically upload photos and contacts every time you add a new one. You can access your files from your smartphone or computer, so it is an awesome storage tool for all of your important documents, even aside from what is on your phone.

CoPilot GPS

Obviously, when you are traveling, you have to know where you are going and how to get there. You may think that Google Maps is the best GPS service for your phone, but what happens when you are in an area that doesn't have very good cell coverage? We've all been there: Stuck in the middle of nowhere, and can't figure out where to go because you have no service and Google Maps won't load. CoPilot downloads your maps and stores them offline so that you will never be stuck without them again. If nothing else, its great as a backup when you are in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night and scared for your life when you have no service.


Instant messaging might seem like a thing of the past, but this app is actually one of the most useful things to have when you are communicating with co-workers or any other situation where you have to speak within a group. For those of us who have iPhones, and only talk to other people with iPhones, group messaging isn't a problem. The problem with that is the fact that it never happens, because not everyone has an iPhone. WhatsApp allows you to have super easy group text conversations, no matter what type of phone or service you have. I really don't have to explain why this is necessary, do I? Also, you don't have to come up with a goofy and unprofessional screen name, it just uses your phone number.

These are just a few apps to help you get by in every day life while you are on the go. You can get all of these apps for either iPhone or Android. Have fun staying rich and productive.

Need A Short Term Technology Rental For Your Next Business Trip? Click Here To Learn More About Our Tech Travel Agent Rental Services Or Call Today At 800-736-8772

Saturday, April 5, 2014

New Mid-Range Galaxy Tablets From Samsung Could Be Perfect For You!

Let it be known that tablets are taking over completely, if they haven't already. What used to be thought of as a luxury can now be found in almost any home, and to be honest, no one is really complaining. Obviously though, this didn't happen over night. There is a lot that has gone into making these devices more affordable and accessible. The biggest reason is obviously the price range has decreased. With so many other companies following suit from Apple's iPad, almost any tech company offers a multitude of different tablets for customers to choose from. Ever since the release of the iPad and it's many progressions, tablets are no longer a burden to get. Companies like Samsung are even offering tablet options for customers who may want something better than the bottom, but not too many bells and whistles at the same time.

Samsung has actually just released a new line of tablets for those of you who may be looking for a newer mid-range tablet. Perfect for those of us who may want to have our tablets do what we want them to do, as well as do a bit more.

The new Tab4 series could be perfect for that college student in need, or the business exec with the meeting next Friday.

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If we look under the hood to see whats making these mid-range tablets so "mid-range-y", we'll find some decent inner workings. A Quad-core 1.2GHz processing chip along with the Android 4.4 KitKat OS should guarantee that your new mid-level tablet works exactly how you need it to. Again, nothing to flashy, but definitely will get the job done. The tablets come standard with Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n Wi-Fi capabilities as well so you'll be able to surf the web properly and have your video conference calls on your Bluetooth headset. For those concerned about the photo taking qualities, the new tablets will come with a 3MP rear camera and a 1.3 MP front facing camera. The screens aren't bad either, coming in at 1280x800 pixel resolution rate.

So far there are only 3 sizes for the Tab4 series as well. Samsung has released a 7 inch model, an 8 inch model, and a 10.1 inch model as well. You're given the choice of either black or white when going with your tablet. Aesthetically they look very clean, as you would expect from Samsung. It does seem a bit weird to have a model that is only 1 inch bigger than another when they all have the same specs. Not sure if that extra inch is really gonna mean anything in the long run other than the slightly larger screen. If you are going for a larger screen though, you may as well cut out the middle man all together and just go for the 10.1 inch model. Either way it's all up to the customer.

If Samsung is able to put the price tag at somewhere around $350, then you can bet that all of the other tablet competitors have something to be nervous about. Half of the time, the name is what raises the price of a device. However, if Samsung can give you a good quality device, with their name, and put it at a reasonable price, then they are showing that they can hang with the big dogs and possibly sway some customers over to their side.

If you aren't sure about the tablet though, it may be the best choice to rent before you buy and commit. At least this way, you can see what you may possibly want to throw you're money at later on.