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Tips & Tricks

5 Ways To Keep Your Cell Phone Charged for the Next Snow Storm

By | Business Intelligence, Cell Phone Charging, Food for thought, Gaming, Lifestyle, Mobile Charging Kiosk, Music Festivals, Tips & Tricks
How to save your cell phone battery

How to save your cell phone battery

Whether you trudged through the streets to get to work or didn’t leave your sweatpants all day, the one thing everyone needs during a New York City snowstorm is a charged cell phone battery. Even if you have your charger with you, a snow storm could most certainly mean a power outage—which is why you should follow these tips to have your phone battery lasting as long as possible.

Turn Off Wifi or Data

You may not be aware, but Bluetooth and Wifi are power eaters—and they run in the background all day, using your phone battery for no reason if you’re not actively using those specific features. Your phone’s software searches far and wide to pick up any Wifi signals it can get, at all times. The mere act of searching takes a lot of power. However, this tactic is only recommended if you have strong LTE and Data signals. If not, your phone will try to switch between whichever signal is stronger, which uses tons of battery. So pick one over the other and choose whichever one is solid and strong.

Disable Push Notifications

Apart from emergencies, there is no need to have push notifications if you’re trying to conserve battery life. Here’s where to start: email, apps, alarms, reminders. (Also switch from push to fetch or manual for your email.) Think of it this way—when you’re not using your phone, it goes into a light sleep, using very little battery. Every push notification jolts it awake, using a bit of battery every time. If you have 5-6 push notifications per hour, this will significantly use up your battery. Turning them off will allow your phone continue in its light sleep mode, and let’s admit it—it would be nice to have less interruptions throughout your day.

Limit Screen Usage

Did you know the screen is the single most power-using part of your smartphone? Think about it: it’s the one thing that gets used every single time we use our phones. The simplest solution? Limit your phone usage. Especially in a snowstorm, where battery life is vital, try to curb your Facebook or Netflix addiction and replace it with the old-fashioned entertainment like a book or crossword puzzle. Another option is turning the brightness down or shortening the delay until your screen turns off when you’re done using it. Here’s how on an iPhone: Settings–>General–>Auto-Lock. For an Android: Settings–>Display–>Sleep.

Stop Streaming

Movies, TV shows, and more frequently these days—music. Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Radio, they all eat up tons of battery. If you have music saved directly onto your phone, listen to that instead. If you have a computer nearby whose battery you’re not worried about, listen  to these streaming Apps on there instead of your phone. Streaming requires constant Data and Wifi, which as explained above, will use a lot of battery. Services like Pandora or Apple Music allow you to download music directly to your phone (for a premium, of course) but this means you can also listen on Airplane mode (during flights) or underground on the subway when there is no signal.

Airplane Mode or Low Power Mode

When you’re on the last leg, it’s time to take extreme action. This is the time when you simply have no other choice than to use Airplane Mode or at least Low Power Mode. Both iOS and Android phones include an Airplane Mode feature which disables Wi-Fi, Cellular Data, and Bluetooth. Of course, as the name suggests, it is meant for travel—to prevent cellular signals from interfering with airline communication, and for those times when you’re outside of the country and don’t want to be charged an arm and a leg in data fees. Turns out, it’s also useful for when you’re inside the country and running low on battery. On Airplane mode, your phone uses very little battery even with regular usage. But we suggest always limiting your smartphone usage when you’re in a battery pinch.

The Best New Phones for 2017

By | Cell Phone Charging, Food for thought, Outdoor Events, Tips & Tricks
New phones for 2017

New phones for 2017

The iPhone 8 and the Samsung Galaxy 8 are both due in 2017—a year that is meant to bring a record high in innovative mobile technology. One particular part to note is the new Snapdragon 835 chip that helps with faster performance and longer battery life. Before you head to the store to complete your upgrade, check out goCharge’s list of the best phones coming your way. Patience is key—you may want to wait a few months for the best new phone before taking the plunge too early.

  1. Apple iPhone 8. Everyone’s always looking for the next best thing. While the iPhone 7 has been a huge hit, there are already talks about the iPhone 8.  Click here for iPhone 8 rumors. Take note: there will be no physical Home button on the iPhone 8!
  2. Samsung Galaxy 8. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 didn’t exactly have the greatest 2016—what with the explosions, and all—and you can guess that Samsung is eager to introduce a new phone to the market. The Samsung Galaxy 8 will be the first smartphone to feature Snapdragon 835. This phone is the most anticipated for 2017.
  3. HTC 11. Just because HTC 10 wasn’t well received by its consumers doesn’t mean HTC is stopping there—the HTC 11 is supposed to be better than ever. You can expect more RAM (8GB) and a better battery life, and a faster processor.
  4. Xiamo Mi 6. It will be the first Chinese phone to feature the long-awaited Snapdragon 835, and with the good response from consumers about the Mi 5, the Mi 6 should be one of the best upcoming Android smartphones to consider.

Which smartphone are you considering in 2017? If you’re ever at an event and your battery is dying, make sure to look out for a goCharge charging kiosk!

More you’ll love:

 

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 Featured on KGO Radio in San Francisco

By | Tips & Tricks

 

goCharge was featured on San Francisco’s KGO Radio this past Monday, the 12th of October, explaining why goCharge cell phone charging stations have been so successful among customers looking for a simple solution to charging their devices in a variety of locations, where plugging in and charging might otherwise not have been possible. Check out the interview with goCharge’s David Sklaver below.

Blacksburg, VA Shows How goCharge Charging Stations Can Help Keep Students Safe

By | Lifestyle, Tips & Tricks
Source: WBDJ7.com

Source: WBDJ7.com

goCharge is proud to have had its charging stations added to several bars in Blacksburg, Virginia. A downtown Blacksburg bar called Champs has become the first in the area to take advantage of goCharge’s cell phone charging stations with the goal of keeping their student patrons safe during a big college football match against Ohio State. The idea is that offering students a cell phone charging solution at no cost to them will encourage them to power up while watching the game, so they won’t be without battery when making their way home. Other bars and restaurants in the neighborhood are following suit and installing charging machines to help increase customer satisfaction and even keep patrons in their establishments for longer periods of time.

Sources: wdbj7.com and roanoke.com

Cell Phone Statistics: How Do People Use Their Smartphones?

By | Food for thought, Tips & Tricks

This month, goCharge brings you the latest smartphone stats in the United States as researched by the Pew Research Center. Everyone loves a good infographic, especially when it focuses on cell phone statistics. goCharge found that 97% of all smartphone owners report using text messaging on their cell phones. The majority of smartphone owners find their cell phone usage makes them feel productive. As expected, 99% of all smartphone owners use their devices at home, and a shocking 17% use them while exercising. Don’t fall off your treadmill!

Smartphone Statistics - Cell Phone Usage

From ACM News – Multiple Standards Hinder Growth of Wireless Charging

By | Lifestyle, Tips & Tricks

The three-way standards battle for supremacy in wireless charging technology shows little sign of abating, with the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) and the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) holding their ground, and only the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) suggesting any real compromise through a technology contra deal with A4WP.

The lack of agreement on standards among these organizations is no surprise in a global market potentially worth billions of dollars, but it is also the reason why many suppliers are taking a cautious approach to introducing products incorporating wireless charging technology, and why the market is not accelerating as fast as might be expected.

Essentially, the standards battle is between two core technologies: closely coupled magnetic induction and loosely coupled magnetic resonance.

WPC offers Qi (pronounced “chee”), a low-power wireless charging specification using closely coupled inductive technology, although it is hedging its bets with late development of a spec for loosely coupled magnetic resonance technology that is expected to manifest itself in supplier products late this year.

A4WP is developing loosely coupled magnetic resonance technology under the Rezence brand, and says that compared to first-generation inductive technology that charges a single device carefully positioned on a charging mat, second-generation resonance technology can charge multiple devices with different power requirements at the same time. Products based on the Rezence spec are expected to come to market late this year as well.

PMA, founded by Powermat Technologies and Proctor & Gamble to develop an inductive technology standard for wireless charging, takes a slightly different stance, with a focus on developing a global network of wireless charging services. In February 2014, PMA and A4WP agreed to adopt each others’ technologies, giving each of them a foot in both the inductive and resonant technology camps.

To date, induction technology owns the market. There are over 500 Qi-certified wireless chargers and compatible products available, with recent additions including Nokia’s Lumia mobile phone range. PMA has also had some success, with Powermat securing a contract to provide wireless charging based on the PMA standard at Starbucks, and most recently working with Cadillac to integrate wireless charging for smartphones in some of its automobiles. These products and applications may appear promising, but these are early days in the development of wireless charging, and the emergence of resonant technology could change consumer expectations and, in turn, supplier strategies.

Ryan Sanderson, principal analyst for wireless power at consultancy and research company iHS, explains, “There is pent-up demand for wireless charging and there are some products in the market, but the big product providers say they won’t promote wireless charging to consumers until there is clarity around the standards and interoperability.”

Uncertainty around the multiple standards is causing market friction, with iHS reporting that only 20 million devices and accessories (including wireless charging receivers, such as sleeves for mobile phones) were shipped last year, against total shipments of 1.5 billion mobile phones. While interoperability between products based on different standards could stimulate product supply and market growth, Sanderson suggests another catalyst for growth could be the adoption of one of the existing standards by a large device provider to the extent that it becomes the dominant standard.

This is a sound theory, but until it becomes a reality, consumer product suppliers not already wedded to one technology through membership in one of the standards groups remain concerned about selecting a standard that could fall from favor, and are either waiting for clarity about interoperability before building products or developing multi-mode products integrating chips that are compatible with the different standards.

goCharge, a provider of mobile handset charging stations, is waiting to see how the standards battle pans out. Ben Richman, president of goCharge, says, “We have a blank canvas and can adopt different standards and build what customers want, but we won’t pick a wireless charging standard until the market picks one, and we probably won’t make a charging solution until Apple or a large android provider selects a standard.”

Moving down the supply chain, Broadcom, a semiconductor supplier to wireless communications providers and a member of the A4WP consortium, is riding the wave of uncertainty with the provision of a multi-standard smartphone power management unit that drives A4WP’s Rezence technology into the mainstream, while providing compatibility with deployed inductive technology standards from WPC and PMA. Looking forward, Reiner van der Lee, director of product marketing at Broadcom, says, “Ultimately, all standards, including WPC Qi, will evolve to include resonant technology, which we expect to become the dominant technology used for wireless charging. The market will decide which standard will be the most attractive to consumers.”

WiTricity, a spin-out from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of A4WP that has contributed technology to the Rezence stack, has no doubt this standard will emerge as the winner in consumer markets with multiple brands that must interact. Among the companies already licensing WiTricity Rezence technology are Toyota, which will include the technology in its next Prius model, and Intel, which will introduce tablets and laptops based on the technology next year.

Despite WiTricity’s commitment to Rezence, CEO Alex Gruzen acknowledges it will take time for the market to settle on one standard. “There will be multi-mode products in the transition to a single standard, but this is not unusual when innovation is coming from different directions.”

The standards organizations all agree that both inductive and resonance technologies have a place in the broad scope of wireless charging – for example, inductive technology is best for charging a mobile device in a vehicle, but resonance is best to charge an electric vehicle. They also agree there would be advantages in working together on standards development, but they disagree on issues such as sharing and paying royalties for intellectual property, disagreements that will pale into insignificance when the market makes its move.

Sarah Underwood is a technology writer based in Teddington, U.K.

How to Run Your Business From a Phone or Tablet

By | Lifestyle, Tips & Tricks

Gone are the days of outdated tower PCs, here’s how to get your small business working with your mobile devices. We’ve got advice for everyone from the dog-walker-for-hire to the tech start-up founder.

Ask anyone who worked in IT in the last two decades and they’ll tell you that getting new hires set up typically involved scrounging a repurposed PC and monitor; setting up an account on the corporate network; and crawling under a desk to set up the workstation. How times have changed. Gone are the days when employees will put up with an outdated tower PC. These days, companies (particularly smaller businesses and start-ups) may give a new employee a laptop—but that is increasingly the extent of company-issued hardware. New employees have very strong ideas about the hardware they want to use (and that they are skilled at using) and it’s likely to include a mix of laptops, tablet, and cell phones. The business user’s demand has shifted from, “Give me the tools I need to get my work done” to “Here are the tools I use. How do I get my work done with them?”

Mobile Devices: Near-Perfect Business Tools
The smart IT person realizes that changing to accommodate this new demand is not just a matter of making users happy; it’s also just plain smart. Why? Because, properly implemented mobile devices can be near-perfect end user tools.

First, mobile devices are ubiquitous. Just about everyone (particularly anyone who has a job) owns at least one, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or notebook.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Second, the extreme portability of mobile devices means employees and business owners are unfettered from the workstation and can work at anytime, from anywhere.

Third, they give the ultimate return on investment as far as business tech hardware goes. Unless the business has to adhere to some sort of government or industry compliances, businesses may not even have to buy mobile devices, because employees often want to use their own personal devices for work. If a business does decide to assign mobile devices, they are often a much smaller investment than traditional workstations.

Centralize Your Data
To really leverage the awesomeness of “anywhere, anytime” access to your data from mobile devices, you need to make your data accessible. “Accessible” means that your data needs to reside not on the C drive of the old Windows XP machine under your desk, but rather on some secure location to which your business partners, employees, and customers can connect. This, of course, is where cloud storage comes in.

Arguably the most widely used cloud services are those used for data storage. If you are not already using a service such as Box.com eFileCabinet, or Microsoft’s OneDrive, you should look into them. You can even get free storage through Google Drive—which you already have access to if you use Google apps or Gmail.

Box (for Android)

If you have data residing on multiple computers that could be a hassle to place online (maybe because it’s a lot of data) but you still would like to provide remote access to that data, you can look into any number of file-syncing services. These allow you to have multiple instance of the same data on each of the machines; if you change the data in one location, the service updates it on all the locations. One example is SugarSync, which can sync data among your machines, keeping everything up to date and remotely accessible.

And cloud services aren’t just for data, either. You can actually create networks of devices that are scattered all over the world via cloud-based services such as Pertino. Pertino is a network cloud service that allows you to add any device, or anyone else’s device, to a shared network in the cloud. It’s great for creating a business network that incorporates offsite workers, telecommuters, external partners, and their mobile devices. Best of all (from the small-business perspective), it’s tailored to those who are not tech gurus, and offers a sophisticated, yet simple-to-deploy way to create a centralized network for data sharing.

In a nutshell, there is no shortage of ways to get your data centralized and accessible from anywhere at any time.

Communication
One of the biggest benefits of bringing mobile into a business is instant communication. At a recent small business summit hosted by Brother in New York City, several small business owners gathered to discuss the impact of mobile on their business. One realtor gave others pause when she declared that she won’t even conduct business with others who are not onboard with mobile communications—mobile is just that important for the success of her business.

Incoming Call

We already text and email so much with our phones that many of us rarely make calls anymore! You now have the option to conduct business meeting on your mobile devices with services such as SkypeGoToMeeting and the many other mobile conferencing apps.

Of course, the fact that you can instantly access and contribute to social media from your mobile devices is also a big benefit for your business. Don’t think that Instagram, Vine, and Twitter are just for kids and celebrities. Recent studies show that 88 percent of small business owners list Facebook as their top social media channel for marketing. And 63 percent of small businesses actively use digital platforms to market their wares and services. If you aren’t using these services from the mobile devices that you always have on hand, you are putting your business at a disadvantage.

Productivity
Many businesses have balked at the idea moving away from traditional desktop because there weren’t many good alternatives to having productivity powerhouse, Microsoft Office running locally on a desktop. Guess what? That’s no longer true for most productivity needs.

One of the biggest uses of mobile that separates business use from personal use is document management. Businesses documents need to be not only accessible, but viewable, and often editable. Microsoft Office for iOSPolaris Office 5 (for iPad), or OfficeSuite Pro for Android are just a few of the productivity apps downloadable for you to get your document work done. Of course, tablets can be outfitted with a keyboard and mouse and transformed into mini-workstations for all of your document editing needs.

 

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Other apps help you manage team projects. One great app we’ve reviewed (and use!) is team project management app Asana, which provides mobile apps and access via a Web browser.

For several years, many balked at moving away from traditional desktop because there weren’t many good alternatives to having productivity powerhouse, Microsoft Office running locally on a desktop. Guess what? That’s no longer true for most productivity document needs.

Security
Unfortunately, it’s not just business owners who are aware of how important and ubiquitous mobile platforms have become. Hackers and digital malcontents are noticing too, and they have begun to shift their attention away from traditional PCs and PC operating systems in favor of often less well-protected mobile gadgets. As you make the shift to conducting more of your business on mobile, you must look into the abundance of security solutions for mobile platforms.

There are a couple of fronts you need to secure when it comes to mobile devices. Malware is one concern. Some products tested in the PCMag Labs to combat mobile malware include Bitdefender Mobile Security and Antivirusavast! Mobile Security & Antivirus, and McAfee LiveSafe are just a few of the security apps that can protect your device from malware.

 

avast! Mobile Security & Antivirus (for Android)

 

However, malware is not (yet) the biggest mobile threat. Can you guess what is? Losing your device. In an interview with PCMag’s SecurityWatch team, Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, said, the biggest threat to Android users is theft or loss. He reported that F-Secure had run a study and found that, “1 in 10 said they had their phone lost or stolen.”

Thankfully, most security apps allow you to remotely wipe a lost or stolen device. Of course, both Google and Apple provide services to help you track down a misplaced device. These are important tools, particularly if you are using your gadgets for business. Most of the mobile security suites mentioned above also offer some sort of remote lock and wipe capabilities, as well as alarms you can trigger remotely.

You should also look into putting a password manager on all your devices. Whether your device is actually stolen or someone nosey picks it up off your desk to a little spying, you’ll want to make sure that you have good, strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts. And of, course, the more productivity, cloud-based storage services and so on that you use for your business, the more logins and passwords you will need to manage. The only way you can hope to have maintain good passwords is to use apassword manager. To beef up password security and to avoid forgetting your passwords, look to apps like Dashlane and LastPass.

Other Considerations…
We’ve barely begun to cover all the reasons to go mobile with your business, and the ways you can begin. As your business needs grow, you may be surprised at the level of sophistication already available via mobile for a vast number of business uses. Whether it’s mobile point-of-sale solutions or VPN services or custom applications, the only limit to making your business mobile-friendly (and mobile-powerful) is your willingness to adopt new mobile technology and services.

 

This post is originally from PCMag.