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.

Macworld Expo 2011: Day Two

Welcome to Macworld Expo: Day Two! This morning we had a few minutes to walk around and check out some of the cool products around the show floor. Here are a few of our favorites:
Alphyn Industries, Inc.

Alphyn Industries, Inc. makes hi-tech gear for you to wear around town, while incorporating and protecting your beloved iPad, Tablet, iPhone, or iPod.

The above picture shows their jacket which features a sleeve cover for your iPod or iPhone, as well as a pocket on the stomach where you can safely zip in your iPad or Tablet and secure it in place.

SubCostume provides photo quality cases for your iPad, iPhone, iPod and Smartphones. You can completely customize covers for your electronics, and can even use your own photos!


Tune Up

Tune Up is a necessity for any music lover! It’s a digital music manager that makes your iTunes into the music library we all wish we could have! It restores “Track 1”, “Unknown Artist” and all those misspelled attempts at labeling your music library to perfection– “Automagically!”


dvGarage looks like they’re having the most fun of anyone on the show floor at Macworld. They have a green screen set up and are making their own 3D movies on the show floor! Attendees are encouraged to watch their team ninja kick and punch their way right at you with 3D glasses on.

Wi-Ex: Blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking LIVE from Macworld 2011!

Stay tuned for cool products, companies and pics from Macworld 2011!

The YX545 is a Macworld First Looks product this year!



Close up for the YX545 on the First Looks board.


Wi-Ex at Booth #543 at Macworld 2011! Stop by and see how we can help boost your cell phone!

Check in later for more updates!


Lots of people here for day 1 at Macworld!

The Droid Guy tests out the new zBoost Metro!

The Droid Guy was the first to review the zBoost Metro! Check out what he has to say:

Bad Signal? Femtocell Not working out try Zboost

Let’s face it death grip or no death grip some of us just happen to live in areas where cell signal is bad. At my home I get a very good voice signal with Sprint however I live relatively close to a power grid, 500 yards from Camden Yards, next to a light rail station etc etc etc. It makes cell phone service kind of spotty at times. I’ve tried everything from those dumb stickers you put on the back of your phone to femtocell to other solutions and while femtocell works I’ve found something that is a one-time payment device.

Check Out Zboost and the Zboost Metro
I originally saw Zboost at the Pepcom show in New York last month and have been dying to try it however my travel schedule has been out of this world and I needed a moment to set this thing up and try it out.

At first glance the box was intimidating, in fact thats why I didn’t set it up until last week. There is a window mount, base station, antenna and about 20 feet of coaxial cable in the box. As a tech person I thought to myself man I’ve got to actually install this thing? However after glancing at the instructions and realizing it’s really only 5 pieces (Window Mount Antenna, Power Cord, Coaxial Cord, Device, Device Antenna) it was a piece of cake. It took about a minute to find a spot and 2 minutes to put everything together.

Realy in short the Zboost is a nicely packaged signal amplifier for cellular radio networks. It seems to be doing wonders for my AT&T, and Verizon phones I am waiting to check out T-mobile because there is a rumor that they lit up HSPA+ in my neighborhood that Im not sure would be compatible.

AT&T and Verizon are definitely showing improved strength in my home. But more on results in one weeks time.

The unit iself is not obtrusive at all it looks no bigger than a router or cable modem. The Window antenna, could probably use some design work but if you’re in an urban dwelling and have ditched MaBell you may want to sacrifice asthetic beauty for sheer performance.

Here are some other Key Benefits for the Zboost Metro:
– Perfect for Single Story units (although Im using it in 2 with good results) no vertical separation neeed
– Increases signal strength up to 1500 sqiare feet
– Decreases dropped or missed calls
– No Cradle or connections to your phone
– Extends Batttery life,
– Works with all US Carriers
– Delivers voice and data

In One week I’m going to report back on the Zboost Metro with pics and results on how it improved service on all four carriers in my house. I also have the ZBoost Zpocket which is a similar system designed for travelers. I’m going to use it in the next two weeks in Texas, New York and California.

Stay Tuned
for more information visit Wi-Ex directly for Zboost

 Visit The Droid Guy’s blog to read more of his reviews!