Tag Archives: Apple

The Tech Essentials List for College Students

Heading off to college for the first time and not sure what gadgets you’ll need? Sending your child to school and want them to succeed? This list has the essential gadgets you need, with no unnecessary extras, and picks out the best in each category.

After a year of interning with zBoost, I head back to college for the last time. Only one more year of school and I will be a real adult! Ah scary! Now you can benefit from the years of college under my belt, and take note of which gadgets you need to ace classes.

By: Idea Go FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By: Idea Go

Obviously you are going to need a laptop. There are school computers you can use, but are you really going to walk all the way to the library to take your 5 minute homework quiz that’s due at midnight? Your laptop will become your baby and go with you everywhere; to class for notes, home for Netflix and uhh homework. So now the question is: do you save money and go with a nice Windows laptop or get fancy with a Macbook Pro?  I am in no way a diehard Apple fanatic but I truly love my Macbook Pro. It turned 5 years old this month and is still going strong. Never having to worry about viruses, along with all the features Mac includes, makes the Apple Macbook Pro the recommendation for me. Long-term this is the best bang for your buck. Continue reading

Gadgets Ping, Are You Listening? zBoost Holiday Gift Guide for Staying Connected

Businessman working at his workplace

Wi-Ex, a leading provider of consumer and commercial cell phone signal booster kits, announced today its zBoost Holiday Gift Guide for Staying Connected. Whether video chatting a loved one abroad, wishing your News Feed ‘Happy Holidays’ or simply sharing festive photos, staying connected is a holiday necessity.

According to Microsoft Tag, on average, Americans spend 2.7 hours per day socializing on their mobile devices. Because 91% of mobile internet access is to socialize, it’s important to have devices that keep up with your connection demands.

Continue reading

Setting up iCloud on your Apple Device

Normally working with my iPhone seems so intuitive but I am having problems downloading the new iOS, which appears to have many benefits that I am interested in adding.  If you haven’t already upgraded here is the link for specific directions.  I followed these and received error messages but I have now read that the Apple server traffic was so heavy that many users received error messages.  I’m going to give it another try today with hopefully more success.  Please share any tips that you may have found helpful in getting your devices update.   http://www.apple.com/icloud/setup/


Disappointing! No iPhone 5 for this year

My son and I have been waiting for the iPhone 5 announcement.  He was hoping to get his first iPhone over the summer and I talked him into waiting for the iPhone 5.  I currently have the 3GS and am having serious battery problems and have been holding out as long as possible for the iPhone 5.

There is only one problem, there is no iPhone 5.  Disappointing for sure, but some of the new features, such as the speed and the improved camera are appealing.  Not sure what our next step will be but in case you haven’t read or heard the details, here are some of the specifics from Ben Parr at mashable.com. To see the entire article and pictures go to http://mashable.com/2011/10/04/apple-iphone-4s/#view_as_one_page-gallery_box2585

Apple Announces iPhone 4S

Apple has unveiled the iPhone 4S, the next version of its popular smartphone.

The new iPhone looks much like the iPhone 4, confirming previous reports. It comes with upgraded internals, including the new Apple A5 chip and 1 GB of RAM. Apple VP Phil Schiller revealed that it will be the first iPhone with a dual-core processor and dual-core graphics.  It is “up to seven times faster” than the previous iPhone, he announced.

The device also contains a new antenna system that allows it to switch between two antennas for better sound quality and download speeds. The theoretical max of the iPhone 4S is a whopping 14.4 Mbps down, a vast increase from the iPhone 4′s theoretical max of 5.8 up and 7.2 down.The device also contains a new 8-megapixel camera that can take 3264×2448 images, an increase of 60% from the iPhone 4. It is capable of taking in 73% more light than the iPhone 4 and is 33% faster. It includes a redesigned Image Signal Processor that includes auto-face detection and 26% better white balance. It includes a new f2.4 lens for wider shots as well.


Bits blog: Is the iPad 2 a Lot Better Than the Original?

Thinner iPad 2Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Apple says the iPad 2 is 33 percent thinner than the original model.

Over the weekend, Chris Dixon, an entrepreneur and co-founder of the social site Hunch, lamented on Twitter that he still had not purchased a new iPad 2. Although Mr. Dixon hopes to buy the highly coveted device soon, he questioned whether it was a “must have” upgrade from the first generation iPad.

I responded, along with a number of other Twitter users, that the new model had changed everything for me. I personally find that I use the iPad 2 for about 15 hours a week; when I owned the first-generation iPad, I used it for only one to two hours a week.

For me, there are several explanations. The iPad 2 answered a number of complaints I had with the previous model, which always felt a little too heavy and slow. Although the new model is only slightly smaller around the edges — Apple shaved millimeters off the exterior bezel — it is quite a bit thinner and lighter. As a result it is easier to hold when reading or surfing the Web. It is also more manageable on a morning commute.

Others I spoke with who have upgraded iPads also liked it better than the original version.

“Although the new iPad isn’t dramatically thinner, lighter or faster than the first, the collection of small improvements Apple has made make it feel like a huge deal,” said Alex Rainert, a designer who is head of product at the location-based start-up Foursquare. “The first iPad always felt a bit too heavy when typing or surfing the Web. The changes to the second generation make it feel like a fundamentally more usable device.”

For me, the iPad 2 also feels considerably faster than its predecessor. In part this is because the new smart cover, as I’ve written in the past, turns the device on as soon as you open it.  Typing is quicker, apps are more responsive, and the Web browser to me feels almost as fast as that of a desktop computer. In the past, the browser was extremely slow with image-heavy Web sites.

Justin Ouellette, a developer at BetaWorks, noted that the small increases in performance on the iPad went further than they would on a desktop computer.

“The iPad kind of ‘becomes’ whatever app you’re currently running, and being more powerful and physically slighter allows it to deliver that transparent experience ever more convincingly,” Mr. Ouellette wrote in an e-mail. “The best user interface is one you don’t notice because it never lags or causes you trouble.”

What do you think? For those of you who have upgraded to an iPad 2, do you think it’s a big improvement? Is it a “must have” upgrade?


CNET First Look: Apple iPad 2

Asking all zBoost Your Life readers:

How many of you got the iPad when it first came out and how many of you waited for the iPad 2 to make your decision?

Are any of you looking at other tablet devices like the Motorola Zoom versus the iPad 2 and why?

Five things we want from the new iPad, and why

From WIRED.com

It’s been reported that Apple will make an iPad 2 announcement on March 2nd, giving us a few days to dream about what the next generation of iPads has in store for us.

(WIRED) — Apple will announce the iPad 2 next Wednesday, as made rather obvious by invites sent out to press this morning.

Apart from the new iPad, that means one thing: speculation. I’m not immune, so here’s my list of things I think will make it into an already capable machine. I have stuck to features, rather than things like CPU speed, as the internal specifics matter less than what they actually enable you to do.


Obvious, this one. We’re almost certain there will be a front-facing camera for FaceTime and other webchat applications, but I really don’t care. I’ll use that for Skype once in a while and that’s it. What I want is a decent rear-facing camera, like that in the iPhone (not the crippled piece of junk in the iPod Touch).

Why? Because it would be so useful, and not just for photography. Augmented reality, Instagram, scanning things, snapping photos and then drawing on top of them, the list goes on.

One of the things I took away from all the tablets I tried at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week was just how good a camera is on a big device. It seems like it would be awkward, but the big screen is great for composing and the size turns out not to matter at all.


The single iPad speaker isn’t bad, but for movies and music you really want something beefier, and preferably in stereo. The rumors point to at least one big speaker grille on the back of the iPad’s case. Currently I get around this with an assortment of Bluetooth speakers around my apartment, but I’d rather do without them.

SD card slot

This one would be purely for importing photos and video. Basically, it would be nothing more than a built-in camera connection kit.

The Apple’s Camera Connection Kit is great, but it is one more thing to lose and carry. I use my iPad more and more for processing photos (courtesy of Photogene and FX PhotoStudioHD), and until I can send direct from my camera via Eye-Fi, a slot is a lot more convenient than yet another dongle in my bag.

A better connector

The 30-pin dock connector is one of the worst things Apple has made (the other is “all mice it has ever created”). It is symmetrical, so it’s hard to put in the right way in bad light. It’s delicate (the cord breaks easily where it enters the plug) and worst of all, it’s huge. In fact, the iPod Nano is barely big enough for the connector slot.

The likeliest candidate for a replacement is Light Peak, or Apple’s rumored implementation of it, Thunderbolt, which might show up in this week’s new MacBook Pros. This could be a small port that could carry power and data of any kind.

That in itself would be good enough, but you know what I’d really like? A Thunderbolt data-cable with a MagSafe plug. That would be just about perfect.

Better case

The size and weight of the current iPad are just fine. Anyone who complains that a 1.5 pound sliver of aluminum and glass is too heavy needs to shut up and go join a gym. But it is slippery. I keep mine in Apple’s own case 24/7. This is partly to protect the screen, but mostly to stop me dropping it, especially when I’m walking on crutches with it tucked under my arm.

A little more friction on the back would help a lot. Perhaps a plastic rear, or just a grippy coating.

Bonus: The screen

This is a small request. I don’t want a retina display (or rather I do, but I don’t want the current penalties of price and battery life associated with it). All I want is a dimmer screen.

The brightness at the top end is fine, but even at its dimmest setting, the screen is too bright for using indoors at night. It’s true, I keep my apartment fairly dim (I call it “moody and romantic,” but you may call it “cheap”), but unless you keep your place lit up like an office, the screen glows a little too much.

Those are my requests. What about yours? Do you want a built in printer? A near-field communications chip to turn your iPad into the world’s biggest wallet? Or even a flashlight? Let us know your suggestions, as ever, in the comments.