Top Smartphones That Still Have Physical Keyboards

Physical keyboards are great for searches, like a telephone directory.

Call me old-fashioned, but I love physical keyboards on smartphones. I was a huge fan of BlackBerry phones back in the day – actually, I still am. Their physical keyboards made them easy to search for anything, from a telephone directory website to a nearby Chinese takeout place. Did you know that there are actually some smartphones out on the market right now that still have a physical QWERTY keyboard? Here are the best ones.

BlackBerry Priv

The Priv is an extraordinary smartphone.
The Priv is probably my favorite smartphone on the market right now.

Remember how I said that I still loved BlackBerry? Their phones may have fallen out of popularity due to the rise of Apple and Samsung, but they’ve still been developing some amazing devices. The BlackBerry Priv offers a large touchscreen, Android Lollipop, and an 18-megapixel camera. However, my favorite feature is its slide-out, physical keyboard. It makes it easy to send emails, find a telephone directory, and write quick texts. And when you’re not typing, you can just slide it back out of view.

LG Xpression 2

What’s great about the LG Xpression 2, besides having a physical keyboard, is how affordable it is. Most retailers offer it for less than $100. If you just need a simple phone with touchscreen capabilities and a physical slide-out keyboard, perhaps solely for texts or work emails, this is the one for you. Its design is also a bit of a throwback to the iconic Sidekick, which definitely brings some nostalgia for me.

BlackBerry KeyONE

Unsurprisingly, BlackBerry is on this list twice. Their KeyONE model combines the productivity of a physical keyboard with Android’s efficiency. Like the Priv, the KeyONE is ideal for people who send a lot of texts and emails with their phones. In addition, it features a 12-megapixel camera and a battery that typically lasts an entire day on a full charge.

Any of these phones would make a great holiday gift for a friend, family member, or even yourself. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to a phone that combines the best of old and new technology. If you already have a touchscreen smartphone, though, you can look into buying a keyboard cover. Samsung offers several for their flagship Galaxy models.

The Best Electronics for a Country Person

A cell phone spy app can help parents out in the country keep track of their kids.

It goes without saying that city folk and country people have very different lifestyles, but some electronics appeal to both of them. For example, Apple’s smartphones and laptops are popular in both urban and rural areas. Not only are they easy to use, but it only takes a few minutes to install a cell phone spy app on an iPhone. But, if you’re a country person, you probably also appreciate other electronics that city people have no need for. These include satellite phones, fishing radars, and even trail cams that track where deer are feeding on your property.

Top Electronics When You’re From the Country

iPhone

Contrary to popular belief, country people love their smartphones, too. If you need a phone to send texts, make calls, and use the Internet, the iPhone is a fantastic option. Parents can also install a cell phone spy on their child’s phone to supervise them. Many people don’t know what living in the country is actually like; a smartphone with these features can be incredibly handy when you’re surrounded by tons of land. Plus, a cell phone spy program lets you know where your kid is, even if they’re miles away.

Trail Cam

If hunting is your favorite pastime, then a good trail cam is an invaluable device on any ranch or deer lease. It’ll enable you to see what kinds of animals are out there, including that buck you’ve been trying to catch. Trail cams are great because there’s only so much that you can do at night, when there isn’t enough light to see and hunting is illegal for most animals. You’ll still be able to see what animals are around.

 

GoPro

Use a GoPro to record your outdoor activities and pastimes.
A GoPro is the best device for capturing footage while you’re on the move.

A GoPro is an exciting electronic device that’s not only great for hunting and fishing, but much more. You can use it for snowboarding, skiing, riding dirt bikes, and pretty much any other outdoor activity. Plus, these electronics are waterproof, so you can take them underwater to record incredible footage. This makes them perfect for scuba diving and spearfishing, too.

Fishing Sonar

Instead of radar, the more appropriate term for this is “fishing sonar.” Similar to a submarine, sonar installed on a fishing boat will let you know where the fish are down below in the depths. This is one of the best tools (besides the fishing pole itself) for fishing down by the lake. If you have a boat without fishing sonar, you’ve been missing out.

 

In short, country and city life are very different from each other. Some popular hobbies and pastimes in the country just can’t be done in the city. If you live in the country, these helpful electronic devices will help you make the most of your outdoor activities. They’re also convenient gadgets to use while you’re on the go.

Authentic Content and Other Social Media Trends in 2017

Connecting with others on social media can lead to how to spy on text messages without installing software.

Social media is a medium that is constantly changing. It also goes hand-in-hand with technology. As new technology develops and people change how they use social media, new trends emerge. This year, the hottest trends in social media are the ones that give people more insight into each other’s lives. Many people want to learn more about their significant others as well. They may wonder what their spouse is up to and might want to discover how to spy on text messages without installing software. Here are some of the defining trends on social media for 2017:

Video Content and Live Streaming

Several crimes have been committed over Facebook Live.
Facebook Live creates a lot of potential for crime.

Authentic content, such as videos and live streaming, is the hottest trend in social media this year. Twitter has had streaming available through Periscope for a while. But in 2016, Facebook launched Facebook Live, which allows people to stream video content in real time. Twitter is updating its platform to allow a similar feature. Plus, other social media platforms are following suit. There are both positives and negatives to live streaming video. It can be a great way for you to connect with loved ones, without knowing how to spy on text messages without installing software. Businesses can also use it to engage potential customers and clients.

The downside of streaming video is that it’s difficult to track. In several news-worthy cases, there have been crimes committed on Facebook Live that could not easily be traced. The ability to essentially launch your own reality TV show is tempting for people who want to be notorious. So, use caution when creating authentic content or allowing your kids to live stream videos.

Chatbots

Chatbots are solving the customer service crisis for businesses. These days, people expect customer service representatives to be available 24/7. They also want one-on-one customer service through social media, phone, email, and live chat. It’s expensive for companies to train and pay enough customer service workers to cover all of these outlets. Chatbots fill in the gaps. They’re automated customer service messaging bots that are available on social media. They can answer limited customer questions and refer customers to live help during normal customer service hours.

Augmented Experiences

Have you seen social media photos of your friends with animal ears and noses? What people about whose features are morphed or covered in stickers? Those are considered augmented social media posts. Augmented social media is the ability to add stickers, emojis, and other decorations to photos and videos. It’s one of the most popular social media trends in 2017 and social media platforms are jumping all over it. Right now, people are using apps on smartphones to augment their photos and videos before posting them on social media. They may also be interested in how to spy on text messages without installing software. In addition, they can use their smartphones to track their friends’ locations with Snapchat’s new feature. However, social media platforms are rolling out changes that will allow users to create augmented photos and videos directly from their desktop computers.

Augmented photos and videos are extremely popular right now and are likely to stay that way at least into 2018. While this is a trend that probably won’t last long, authentic streaming content is likely going to stay for a long time. If you’re an avid social media user, you might want to start getting your camera ready now. To read about some gadgets that can help you take photos while you’re on the go, click here.

Essential Gadgets For People Who Are Always On The Go

Portable devices can help you enjoy your commute.

Modern technology is fascinating, but it’s not always easy to find portable devices. I’ve made a previous post about some of the best gadgets to bring on vacation, but what about ones you can use everyday? Whether you’re traveling for work or you just have a long commute by bus or train, these are some of the gadgets you should pick up. Some of them are great for entertainment, while others are just plain handy. Once you try them, you’ll wonder how you were able to live without them.

Tablet

Get some work done while you're out with a tablet.
A tablet can let you easily access the Internet when you’re out and about.

Nowadays, it seems as if there are very few things that tablets can’t accomplish. In fact, they’ve begun to rival laptop computers in efficiency. While iPads continue to reign supreme, there are plenty of options and brands to choose from for these portable devices. Tablets let you explore the Internet, take notes, read ebooks, stay in touch with loved ones, and much more. They’re also generally small, slim, and lightweight, so you can take them anywhere.

Portable GPS

A portable GPS is a good investment if you always find yourself in your car. You can easily mount it to your windshield, save addresses, and look up local points of interest. A few GPS models even allow you to customize what your car looks like on the screen’s map. Others can alert you if there’s traffic, a red light camera, or an important landmark ahead. Best of all, a portable GPS system is a safe way to get from one place to another.

Nintendo Switch

If video games are more your thing, you should think about getting a Nintendo Switch. It combines the best characteristics of home and portable consoles, resulting in a system you can play wherever you want. Although its main purpose is to function as a home console, a removable component, around the size of a tablet, allows you to easily take it with you. You can play your favorite games while you’re waiting in line, at the doctor’s office, or on a long flight.

Cell Phone Charger Case

There are few things that are more stressful than having your phone die when you won’t be near an outlet anytime soon. Attaching a charger case to your cell phone will eliminate that from happening in the first place. All you have to do is charge it, along with your phone, beforehand. Then, once your cell phone’s battery is low, just turn the case on. You’ll see your phone immediately start charging. It’s that easy.

3 Ways To Check In At Home While You’re On Vacation

A phony spy app can help you watch your house while you're on vacation.

Continuing my series on how technology can actually enhance your vacation, I’ll show you how to monitor what’s going on at home while you’re thousands of miles away so accurately that you’ll know if something as minor as a garage door spring moves. The newest technological advancements make it easier than ever to stay connected at all times, whether it’s with texting, calling, a phone spy app, or remote video surveillance. It’s time to consider how some of these tools can make your vacation truly worry-free.

Home Security Camera

Many new home security cameras allow you to connect to them via your computer or smartphone. So, no matter where you are, you can check up on your home, family, pets, and even plants. You’ll never have to wake up in the middle of the night again, wondering how your loved ones are doing while you’re away. Instead, you’ll have instant peace of mind, allowing you to continue enjoying your vacation without any unnecessary stress.

Phone Spy App

When you’re away from your kids, no matter how short or long the duration is, it’s only natural to worry about them. One of the best ways to keep track of what they’re doing and making sure they’re not getting into any trouble is with a phone spy app. This type of program will keep track of what your child does on their phone, allowing you to read their texts and follow their GPS location. You’ll be able to quickly see that they’re safe and sound.

Smart Home Technology

These smartphone apps are essential to give you peace of mind during vacation.
You can use your smartphone for much more than taking pictures while you’re on vacation.

Did you forget to turn off the thermostat? What about locking the front door? In the rush of leaving for vacation, it can be easy to neglect something that may raise your energy bill, or worse, leave your house unsecured. With a smart home automation system connected to your smartphone, you can control the lighting, temperature, locks, and much more from another state or even continent. Not only will this keep your home safe and comfortable, but you’ll also give any on-lookers the impression that you’re still home.

Top 5 Gadgets To Bring On Your Next Vacation

Find out which gadgets you should bring with you on your next vacation

If you happened to have read my first post about vacation apps (which can be found here), then you know I’m in favor of bringing technology on vacation. While some people believe leaving your smart devices at home while traveling is the best way to enjoy your vacation.  I believe your smart devices can only help you get the most out of your time abroad.  If you’re one of these people as well, here’s a list of gadgets that you’re sure to love.

Top 5 Most Useful Travel Gadgets

Smart Suitcase

Bluesmart Suitcase
Never pack an overweight suitcase again with this smart suitcase

 

Have you ever had the misfortune of losing your suitcase at the airport? Or have you had to pay additional fees for bringing an overweight suitcase with you?  If so, a smart suitcase is just the gadget you need for your next vacation. These suitcases come standard with GPS tracking, an internal scale, remote locking and a charging station that’s powerful enough for even laptops. There’s also a smartphone app so you can easily monitor these features.

Universal Plug Adapter

Universal (All-in-one) Plug
With a universal plug, you can be sure that no matter where you stay, your devices will have power.

 

If you’re like me then you’re sure to have have brought a few electronic devices with you on your vacation.  And sooner or later you’re going to need to charge those devices.  Unfortunately, not every countries outlets are the same.  Lucky for us there are inexpensive gadgets that will make charging your electronics a snap.  A universal plug adapter allows you to easily select the country you’re staying in, giving you the correct plug for that country’s outlet.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Noise Cancelling Headphones
Crying baby on a flight? Hotel on a busy corner? Drown out all outside noise with these headphones!

 

Have you ever been on a long flight with a crying baby right behind you, or a loud snorer in the seat next to yours?  Even if you haven’t, I cannot overstate just how important a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones are for traveling.  Whether you’re an avid music listener or you just want some peace and quiet in a loud environment, noise-cancelling headphones are a must have.

Bluetooth Speakers

Bluetooth speakers
No wires, no problem. Bring your own personal soundtrack wherever your vacation takes you with these wireless speakers.

 

If you’re thinking of spending some time on the beach or poolside during your vacation, then some quality wireless speakers is sure to be a necessary gadget for you.  With so many options to choose from, it’s hard to give a recommendation that suits everyone’s needs.  My best advice would be to figure out where you’ll be bringing the speaker.  If you’re going to be outdoors make sure it’s rugged and waterproof.  If you’re going to be staying in then you can focus more on sound quality.

Portable Battery Charger

Portable Charging Station
Make sure your devices never run out of battery, even on the go with these portable battery chargers.

 

If your planning on spending most of your time outside the hotel, then bringing a portable battery with you is a necessity.  You don’t want to be left without your GPS or smartphone while you’re in a foreign country.  Once again there are many different options to choose from.  Choose the one that best fits your vacation plans.

 

The Must Have Travel Apps For Your Smartphone

Smartphone apps

While you can use your smartphone for just about anything nowadays, having that same functionality while traveling abroad might be a different story.  To help get the most out of your time abroad, try out some of these smartphone apps.

Smartphone apps for travelers.
Stay safe no matter where you travel with these smartphone apps.

Whatsapp:

There’s no doubt that Smartphones are revolutionizing the way in which we communicate to one another.  “Whatsapp” is definitely part of that revolution. This app allows you to keep in touch with friends and loved ones, while avoiding those costly SMS roaming fees that most carriers charge while you’re abroad.  Features include text, group chat, photo and video sharing, voice and video calls and file transfers.

Google Translate:  

While planning a trip to a foreign country, the local language is something that must be taken into consideration.  Especially if  your plans include some non-touristy locations.  If this sounds like your travel plans then the Google Translate app is definitely for you.  The app comes with the ability to translate 103 different languages (52 languages in offline mode).  This can help you interact with the locals, decipher a menu at dinner or learn a few common phrases.

XE Currency:  

Planning out the expenses for an overseas trip can be difficult.  Even more so if the currency differs from your own.  XE Currency helps make this issue less of a nightmare by providing the most up-to-date conversion rates for just about every world currency.  Even if you happen to be stuck without WiFi or service, XE Currency will save the last most recent rates which can be accessed offline so you’re never in the dark about finances.

DDI Utilities:

Taking some vacation time to visit a new country is an amazing experience for the whole family.  That being said, parents tend to worry far more about their children while they are traveling.  Young children can easily get lost in a crowd, while teenagers might want to venture out by themselves without their parents watching over them.  So how can parents know their family is safe without having to stand over them the entire trip?  The answer?  Installing a monitoring app on their child’s smartphone.  This allows parents to remotely monitor their children’s smartphone activity.  Everything is accessible, from texts and calls (even deleted ones) to their exact GPS location.  This app really gives parents the piece of mind they need while on vacation.

Circa:

Designed for the business professional (or anyone who finds themselves traveling between multiple time-zones in a short amount of time).  Circa allows you to keep track of the time in different areas of the world.  You can even display multiple locations at the same time too, so you always know when it’s appropriate for you to call that family member or business partner while overseas.

Want to know more about smartphone apps? Send me an email!