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Eliza Herring

Give The Gift of Technology This Holiday Season: The Best Smartphones on the Market

By | Uncategorized

The holiday season is fast approaching, and soon we’ll all be stressing about buying the perfect present for our loved ones. If you want to play it safe, there’s one gift pretty much everyone loves to receive (well, other than money, of course): a smartphone. If you have a technology lover in your life who appreciates having the best of the best, then the latest smartphone is something that will definitely not fail to please. If you’re interested in exploring options other than the iPhone (other smartphones do exist, after all), here are some of the best options available today that the technology lover in your life will appreciate:

  1. woman-smartphone-girl-technology-mediumMoto Z: This ultra-thin model by Motorola is certainly an upgrade from the Motorola Razr. This smartphone comes equipped with built-in magnets on the back of the phone, which allows you to clip on accessories. Another version of this smartphone is the Moto Z Force, which comes with a completely shatter-resistant screen and extra battery life. Following in the footsteps of the iPhone 7, the Moto Z has also ditched the headphone jack, so you’ll have to use the adapter that comes with the phone. See a full review here.
  2. Google Pixel: This phone from Google is a newcomer to the game. It’s great for VR and has an easy-to-use interface. The camera is one of the best of any smartphone out there, so anyone interested in photography will also appreciate this phone. This powerful phone is quickly becoming competition for the iPhone 7, but this review claims that the battery life isn’t too great. (But that’s why goCharge is here!)
  3. HTC 10: Music lovers won’t be able to get enough of the amazing sound quality that this smartphone boasts. This phone has a sleek and clutter-free design and also delivers a fast performance that allows for a more enjoyable user experience. This phone isn’t just for audiophiles: it has plenty of other features that smartphone users will appreciate. Find out more information here.hands-coffee-smartphone-technology-medium
  4. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: This smartphone is right up there with the iPhone 7 for the title of “Best Smartphone in the World.” The screen bends around both sides of the phone, which makes it look like no other smartphone on the market right now. This handy feature also allows you to slyly check in on your phone without having to pick it up or press a button. Your friends will definitely want to test out this smartphone (which also comes with an added bonus: good battery life!).
  5. Nexus 6P: This sleek and stylish smartphone comes equipped with a high-tech fingerprint scanner conveniently placed on the back of the phone, where your index finger naturally goes when you pick up your phone. This fingerprint scanner is one of the best among all the smartphones out there—it will unlock your screen in nearly half a second. (Unlocking your screen with the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone became a bit more complicated with iOS 10, so this will be a welcome change for tech lovers.) This sleek and minimalist smartphone is quickly becoming one of the most popular out there!

We hope this burst of technological inspiration helps you out in the coming weeks when it comes time to start holiday shopping! And remember, no matter how great a smartphone is, they all have one common flaw: battery life. This is a feature that even the best of the best smartphones struggle with today. Luckily, goCharge is here to keep your smartphone charged up at all times so you never have to miss a thing. Happy shopping, everyone!

What iOS 10 Can Do For Your Smartphone

By | Uncategorized

If you have an Apple smartphone, you’ve probably made the upgrade to iOS 10 by now. With every new version of the Apple software, we see the same mixed reactions: some people love it, and some people are a bit hesitant about all the new changes and are happy with the way their phone worked before. Well, whether you love it or hate it, here are some of the coolest things you can do with your iPhone thanks to iOS 10 that you might not have known about it!

  1. bliog-photo-2Send Messages With Effects: iOS 10 comes equipped with a fancier and admittedly slightly confusing new messaging system. You can now send your iMessages with a variety of special effects, including confetti, lasers, fireworks, balloons, and shooting star graphics that fill the whole screen once you send your message. There are also new special effects that apply to the chat bubble itself — the various effects make the message larger or softer on your screen and can even turn it into invisible ink. To send the effects, simply hold down on the arrow in the right hand corner of the text box until the effects screen appears!
  1. blog-photo-1Send Handwritten Notes on iMessage: This is a fun way to add a personalized touch to your messaging. Make sure your lock rotation mode is off (this can be turned off by flicking upwards on your screen and making sure the lock button in the top right isn’t highlighted), and flip your screen sideways until the keyboard turns. Click on the small scribble in the bottom right corner of the screen, and draw whatever your heart desires! Your loved ones will be able to watch you write the message in real time.
  2. Smarter Siri: Siri can now access apps like Venmo and Whatsapp, so you can tell her to send a friend some cash or send a message using Whatsapp. She also comes equipped with more sophisticated searching abilities – ask her what’s on your calendar for a specific date or to find all emails from your boss from last Friday, for example.blog-photo-3
  3. Smarter Camera Roll: You might notice that your camera roll got a major makeover with iOS 10. Apple’s facial recognition software has identified which faces you have the most photos of in your phone and categorized it under the “People” folder. You can also search according to keyword, which makes it a lot easier when you’re hunting for a specific photo.blog-photo-4
  4. Messaging Apps: You can now download apps specifically to be used in your messaging with friends. Download Fandango and easily share movie tickets with a friend, Venmo to share payments, and a variety of games to play with each other. They will all be stored in your messages with one another!

 

So do you love or hate these new features? Which ones are your favorites?! There are tons of more cool and helpful features to iOS 10, but these are just some of our favorites. For a more extensive list, check out this article by the Washington Post.  And as is the case with every Apple update, these cool new features are sure to suck up a good portion of your phone’s battery. But no need to worry, because goCharge has got you covered on that one!

Cellular Survival: How Our Cell Phones Keep Us Safe

By | Uncategorized

“If you were stuck on a desert island and you could only bring one thing, what would it be?”

It’s probably a question you’ve thought about at one point or another. In other words, what are the bare essentials that you would have trouble surviving without?

cell phone beachTurns out, for most of us, the answer to that question comes in the form of the rectangular box that is probably in arm’s reach to you right now: your cell phone. Cell phones are among the top 3 most common answers to this popular question, which just goes to show that a lot of us associate our smartphones with survival and safety.

While there are some people out there who might argue that cell phones are ruining society and that people no longer know how to communicate face-to-face, there’s plenty of evidence that actually suggests our cell phones help us survive. And I don’t just mean that we can no longer survive in a world without SnapChat and Facebook–although, come on, how difficult would that be?

I’m not sure how useful a cell phone would be on a deserted island (Is there wifi? A charging station? Our phones are going to die eventually, after all…), but we take for granted just how safe our cell phones can make us in today’s world. Here are some small ways that cell phones allow us to be safer and survive:navigation

  1. Make Calls: Yes, it’s the simplest thing, but think about how much we take for granted the ability to whip out our phones and make a phone call during times of emergency! Cell phones have totally changed how we view emergency situations, and now, our first instinct is to call for help.
  2. Find Out Where You Are: Ah, the beauty of GPS. Before smart phones, getting lost in an unfamiliar area was a lot scarier and more complicated. Thanks to smartphones, you can figure out where you are 100% of the time, no matter how lost you might be.
  3. Light Your Way: You’ve probably not thought about it too much, but if your building had a fire and you had to make your way down the stairs and you didn’t have a flashlight, you’d be in a pretty tricky situation. All of our smartphones come equipped with built-in flashlights to help us find the way during emergency situations. (Or you know, navigate to the bathroom in the middle of the night when we can’t see anything.)
  4. Alerts Us of Emergencies: Before cell phones, the best way to alert the masses of emergencies like dangerous weather, shootings, and child abductions was to broadcast it on the TV/radio. And while this definitely was an effective method (and one we still use today), if you didn’t happen to be watching TV/listening to the radio, you’d be in the dark. Today, our phones will buzz like crazy until it gets our attention to alert of us Amber Alerts and severe weather warnings. It keeps people informed & on the lookout!
  5. Reduces Crime: Yes, according to a 2012 study by the University of Pennsylvania, there has been a 1/3 drop in crime rates since the 1990s, and it might just be thanks to cell phones. The study speculates that cell phones, which make it that much easier to report a crime, are a deterrent to criminals. It’s a lot harder to get away with crimes nowadays!

So what do you think, does your cell phone make you feel safer? Could you survive without your cell phone?! And if you’re planning on making any trips to a deserted island in the near future and can’t leave your mobile friend behind, be sure to check out charging stations. A dead cell phone certainly won’t do any good for your survival.

Around the World in 80 Phone Calls

By | Uncategorized

Cell Phone Culture Around the WorldTraveling to different countries and exploring a world entirely different from your own is a pretty awesome experience. And if you’ve been lucky enough to have this experience, you’re probably familiar with one not-so-awesome aspect of traveling abroad: using your cell phone.
Sure, when you’re traveling and exploring a new country, using your cell phone and staying in touch with your social media should probably be the last thing on your mind. But we all feel the need to stay in the loop and plugged-in while traveling, and that’s perfectly normal! (How else are you going to share all of your amazing adventures with your social media followers?) Although the struggle of asking for the WiFi password wherever you go is pretty much a universal thing for people who travel abroad, there are some surprising differences in how cell phone practices/uses differ in various countries. Check them out below:Cell Phone Culture Around the World
1. We don’t all refer to smartphones with the same lingo, and there are some pretty interesting differences in the language we choose to refer to the trusty sidekick that sits in our pockets. A study by CNN on cell phone usage reveals how different countries refer to their phones: In the US, it’s a cell phone, while Britishers prefer to call it a “mobile.” Other interesting phrases include:
Keitai: literally means “portable”, Japan
Shou-ji: “hand machine”, China
Muthophone: “phone in the palm of your hand”, Bangladesh
Nalle: “teddy bear”, Sweden
(We’re totally down for referring to our iPhones as teddy bears from now on.)
2. There are some vast differences in what’s considered the proper cell phone etiquette around the world:
USA: There’s an unwritten rule of speaking quietly on your cell phone while in public so as not to disturb people around you. And if you’re somewhere like a movie theatre, restaurant, or church, your phone should probably be put on silence or vibrate! Also, no phones calls 9:30 PM unless it’s an emergency.
Egypt: It’s customary to exchange pleasantries/engage in small talk for 5 minutes before actually starting a conversation! It’s also common to exchange phone numbers with strangers you meet on the street or a train. (Major props, because this sounds so tiring.)
Russia: There are no 5 minute small talk sessions for Russians. Because the phone lines in Russia are not very reliable, they get to the point quickly while talking on the phone! It’s also common in Russia to not say anything when you first answer the phone and to wait for the person who called to begin talking.
India: If someone is calling you after 10PM, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an emergency! This is perfectly normal in India, as is speaking on your cell phone in a library or keeping your ringer on loud while in public.
• Check out this awesome infographic from Gizmodo to read more about cell phone etiquette in other countries!

Cell Phone Culture Around the World
3. Turns out, no matter what the different etiquette might be, we all love our smartphones. The top 10 countries* according to cell phone usage worldwide are:
• 1. China: 1,100,000,000 cell phones
• 2. India: 893,862,000 cell phones
• 3. United States: 310,000,000 cell phones
• 4. Indonesia: 281,960,000 cell phones
• 5. Russia: 261,900,000 cell phones
• 6. Brazil: 248,324,000 cell phones
• 7. Japan: 138,363,000 cell phones
• 8. Vietnam: 134,066,000 cell phones
• 9. Pakistan: 125,000,000 cell phones
• 10. Nigeria: 112,780,000 cell phones
*This data is from a 2012/2013 study.
So whether it’s the lingo we use when referring to our cell phones or the unspoken “rules” about the right and wrong ways to use it, there are some pretty major differences with how cell phones are used around the globe. Some things are pretty universal, though: we all love using our phones, and we all struggle with a draining phone battery throughout the day. We’ve got you covered on that last thing, though.

What is Geofencing and What Can It Do For Your Business?

By | Tips & Tricks

Have you ever been out strolling downtown and receive an alert on your smartphone for a sale, coupon, or advertisement for a local store? How lucky and fortunate for you to be in the right neighborhood, right? Or, maybe it isn’t luck. Nothing about this scenario is coincidental. Local businesses are able to market to potential customers live and in line with their locations. This is all thanks to the GPS tracking system concept called geofencing. Business owners, this is the new strategy your brand needs to adapt in order to thrive and grow.

Geofencing for Businesses

 

We are all familiar with global positioning systems (GPS) and typically use them to get to our desired destination, from point A to point B. However, the software behind a GPS tool is able to do much more than just direct you to where you’re hoping to go. Global positioning systems allow brands to track and target their desired consumer through location services with the hope that they can then convert them by marketing a relevant sale or promotion of sales for your business.

Geofencing and BusinessesImagine if every area of shopping districts was divided into fenced off areas. As soon as someone opens the gate and walks through, you can recognize the proximity of their location with the store address and offer special deals in hopes to draw them into your brick and mortar. Essentially, geofencing is the creation of digital fencing throughout the shopping streets to make this consumer targeting possible.
Geofencing is not just limited to a person in relation to a company’s store location. Businesses are able to alert individuals when entering the geographical fencing of a competitor location as well, in hopes to sway the mind away from giving them a sale. This is a feature that needs to be handled tastefully. Could you image every time you passed a Starbucks coffee shop, you receive a coupon code for Dunkin Donuts? Too much contact! We don’t want to annoy or overload our customers. For a local clothing boutique or nail salon, mobile fence alerts are a more ideal strategy.
The strategy behind geofencing doesn’t stop at a walking shopper. Vehicle tracking systems are able to pull the same analytics for businesses to track who would be a potential consumer. When someone is cruising down the highway, your company is able to push promotions to that driver, in hopes of them making a U-turn into your store’s parking lot. The details can be as precise as shopping habits of the driver, so business owners can decide exactly which individuals that come through gps tracking would be worth that extra coupon or pop up ad. The ability to market for your local brand will now have the chance to directly target legitimate leads for sales.

Learn more about another new lead capturing technique, the “Intelligent Cell Phone Charging Station with Data Cabapbilities,” also known as Canvass, by goCharge.

goCharge at 2016 New Orleans Jazz Fest

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gocharge miller lite charging stationAre you going to the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival? Well, we are! Our hi-top charging stations will be available the whole weekend so you can continue to jam out and save the memories on your smartphone. The festival is being held April 22nd – May 1st, and with over 130 different acts performing, how are you expected to keep a charge for that long? Not to worry, we are coming to the rescue. As mentioned in our festival blog post, not having a charged smartphone can make or break your experience at these events. We would know, we’ve been to some of the biggest in the country: The Sundance Film Festival, Bonnaroo, and Electric Zoo just to name a few.

So starting this weekend, those in the crowd can record, snap, and save every dance move and song serenade of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Dogg, Nick Jonas, FloRida, and more. These acts will definitely make it a weekend to remember. So leave your phone cords at home and come over to a goCharge hi-top table with a drink to recharge your phone and yourself! Even this festival’s headliner, Stevie Wonder, is ready to take the stage with goCharge. We can’t wait to see you there!

stevie wonder piano gif gocharge