When I was a kid, I figured out that Mom & Dad hid the holiday presents in their closet, so every December when I was home alone I’d do some sneaking around and figure out what was going to be under the tree. These days, kids or snooping spouses need to do even less to find out what gifts they’ll be getting because quick check through the shared computer’s browser history or your email and BAM—the secret is out of the bag.
Although we’re increasingly doing our shopping and purchasing online, there are some easy precautions you can take to make sure your holiday surprises stay a surprise. Here’s my top tips:
1. Set up a throwaway email address
You’re probably signed into your email on not just your computer at home, but at the office, on your smartphone and probably even a tablet. How vigilant can you be about making sure the kids or your spouse aren’t snooping on one of these devices when your back is turned?
To truly keep online gift purchases a secret you’re going to want to create a throwaway online email account that you only use to make and track your online purchases this holiday season. And every time you’re done you sign out of the address, and poof, it’s gone without a trace.
Halloween is a great time for Apps to help you get in the spooky spirit. There are tons to check out, so start with the the App Store Editorial Feature which has a ridiculous number of Halloween Apps and Games (iPhone, iPad) to try. Here’s a couple of others I’d call “can’t miss:”
Not only is the eBook version of this children’s classic interactive, you can do all kinds of other cool stuff with it as well. I like the tool that helps you create your own Peanuts character as well as the ability to carve your own pumpkin. All of the illustrations have been digitally remastered as well, so the book pops in a way that the edition gathering dust on your bookshelf never did. Plus, it combines the voices, dialog and music from the original 1966 animated TV special to really bring the work to life! Read more »
Apple today annonced a range of new iPads. The top-of-the-line iPad 4 has been replaced by the newer iPad Air at the same price point, starting at $499.
The now 3 year old iPad 2 is sticking around at $399.
Also at $399, you can get the new iPad mini with Retina display.
And at the low end, getting a $30 price drop, is last year’s iPad mini at just $299.
Apple is widely expected to launch the new iPad 5 today, as well as the latest version of their desktop operating system, OS X Mavericks. A refresh of the Macbook Pro line as well as the Mac minis seems likely, and observers are hoping to see a new iPad mini with Retina display as well. But what else will Apple announce? A television? A watch? Something totally unexpected? The best way to find out is to stay tuned to this liveblog for all of the updates!
We’ll be bringing you everything you need to know about Apple’s latest devices live starting at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern today. Read more »
It’s launch day, and you know what that means—millions of people lining up at Apple stores across the country to get the latest and greatest iPhone models. If you’re looking to skip the lines and you’re an AT&T customer, however, there’s no need to abandon your office this morning. You can order either phone directly and have it shipped straight to your door:
Later today, probably in just a few hours, Apple will begin rolling out the iOS 7 update for the iPhone and iPad. Arguably the most major software update to ever grace an Apple handheld device, iOS 7 brings a whole new look and feel to Apple’s line of smartphones and tablets, as well as tons of new functionality.
But before you upgrade your devices to iOS 7, there’s a crucial step you should take: back up your devices!
While most Apple upgrades are a smooth, simple process, there’s no guarantee that you won’t lose data when you decided to upgrade. Since we’re doing more than ever from our smartphones and tablets (and some even consider those devices more important than proper hygiene), the fallout from losing data on your device could be devastating.
So here’s how to back everything up before you upgrade to iOS 7. Read more »
Earlier this week, in my article about how the iPhones 5S and 5C will impact your life I joked about the new fingerprint sensor in the 5S:
Potential thieves will find themselves with an expensive brick unless they also steal your finger.
As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one with this thought. But, here’s what’s cool: somebody actually looked into it!
Mary Branscombe, writing for CITE World really went into depth about how the iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor ACTUALLY works, and what she found is amazing! Apparently, the sensor is so evolved that it only reads LIVING SKIN. Check this out:
With the new sensors you don’t have to move your finger, just press it against the reader. And like the sensor in the iPhone 5S, the sensors that will be in laptops and keyboards and other phones can detect the ridge and valley pattern of your fingerprint not from the layer of dead skin on the outside of your finger (which a fake finger can easily replicate), but from the living layer of skin under the surface of your finger, using an RF signal. That only works on a live finger; not one that’s been severed from your body.
Yup, it turns out that if someone cuts off your finger, they won’t be able to unlock your iPhone 5S. How sweet is that!
Galaxy vs. iPhone
One question we’re getting a lot is, “How do I choose between the new iPhone 5S/5C and the Galaxy phones?” Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. There are two current Galaxy phones, the 5” Galaxy S4 which is the most direct competitor to Apple’s offerings. But there’s also the 5.7” Galaxy Note 3, which was just announced and is the latest gen “Phablet” which includes a stylus.
There’s also two top-of-the-line Apple devices now. The slightly-cheaper iPhone 5C is colorful and comes in an array of bright plastic designs. The high-end 5S includes all the latest whizzes and bangs and even comes in the excludive, blinged-out gold (or “champagne” or whatever you want to call it). Read more »
Today’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C announcements were big news, but you can’t just look at a spec sheet and get the full picture of what Apple is releasing in the coming weeks. The two new iPhone models announced today, the 5S and 5C, represent more than just the most advanced tech and the most affordable top-of-the-line smartphone to come out of Cupertino, they suggest a major shift in how consumers protect their data, shop for phones, and use mobile technology.
Apple’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launches are now over, but we’ll be weighing their impact online and on TV all week.
For now check out our first blog post, This is how the new iPhone 5S and 5C will impact your life, business, and family.