Monthly Archives: June 2014

Smartphones Help you Find Anything Using Tracker Devices

Let’s face it, you probably can’t count on only one hand the amount of times you have lost your wallet, keys and/or cell phone. Lucky for all of us, there are several tracking devices that will help you find your wallet and keys and a few of those trackers will also help you find your phone. A few of these devices started out as kickstarter projects so they could be funded by anyone interested. Two of them  (Tile and PhoneHalo) have finally come to fruition.

Lets start with Tile . It  is just what it seems to be, a small tile that can be connected to a keychain or stuck to a laptop.

Track your stuff with Tile
Tile tracker
  • Works with iPhone 4S and newer, iPad Mini, iPad 3rd gen and newer, and iPod Touch 5th gen and newer.
  • You can see yourself getting closer and further away from the Tile when within a 50 – 150ft range.
  • Use Tile on as many things as you want. Add up to 8 Tiles on an account.
  • Tiles will play you a melody if triggered. If you can hear it, you can find it.
  • The app remembers where it last saw your Tile, so you can easily find it right where you left it.
  • Tiles last a year. We’ll remind you when it’s time to order new Tiles and send you an envelope to recycle your old ones.

Phone Halo StickR TrackR is pretty similar to Tile but it has a built-in, replaceable battery. It also allows you to track your phone if you have the TrackR device. It has a button on it which will alert your phone. Watch Video

TrackR app on iPhone and Android
TrackR app
  • TrackR displays the distance between yourself and your items. Finding keys has never been easier.
  • Item Ringer-With a quick tap of your finger, cause your misplaced item to ring.
  • Phone Finder-Press the button on the TrackR device to cause your phone to ring, even in silent mode!
  • Crowd GPS-When another user walks by your item, you will be updated with the items’ latest location.
  • No Recharging-Don’t worry about batteries. TrackR lasts for over 1 year on an easy to replace coin cell battery.
  •  Multiple Devices-TrackR can keep track of all your essential items. A single phone or tablet can track up to 5-10 items simultaneously.
  •  Fully Customizable-You can fully customize your StickR TrackR. Including sound alert settings and more.
  •  Cross Platform-Works on iPhone 4s & later, iPad with Retina Display & later, and Android 4.4 devices with Bluetooth 4.0

Kensington Proximo

Kingston Proximo Key Fob
Proximo Fob
Kingston Proximo Tag
Proximo Tag
  • Proximo Tracker is similar to the others. There is a Fob for your keys and a smaller Tag for your purse or laptop bag.
  • Available for both iPhone and Galaxy S. Explore how Proximo can safeguard your phone and make every day easier.
  • A Fob on your keys and up to 4 Tags on other items means all your possessions won’t get lost.

There are tons more of these in the works and probably out there in the marketplace but these are three that I have tested and these all work great. Peace out, The Gadgetista

Top 5 Father’s Day Tech Gifts

Whether your Dad is techie or just appreciates when things run smoothly with little fuss, there is bound to be a gift here for him.  There might even be a few things here that catch your fancy. I personally like all of these although as a renter, I have no need for the Smart Sprinkler System but my landlord would probably love it.

Rachio Iro Smart Sprinkler System

Rachio Iro sprinkler system
Great Father’s Day idea: Rachio Iro Smart Sprinkler System

All your sprinkler system needs to know is a little weather awareness, some lawn analytics and you and your smartphone can do all the rest. “Our smart sprinkler controller, Iro, can maintain your watering schedule for you when you simply don’t have the time. It will automatically adjust for changes in weather and seasonality, using as little water as possible while keeping your landscape looking its best.”  Rachio Iro Website

Jawbone Up 24

Jawbone Up 24
Jawbone Up 24 Activity and sleep tracker

Everyone could use a little assistance watching your activity, sleep and what you are eating. Help Dad take the guesswork out of all of that. He can connect to a smartphone or tablet and log and track his progress. I didn’t think I’d like this device as it has a removeable part (the cap that comes off when device is charging) but I’ve been using it for a few months and all is well and I haven’t lost the part as I keep it with the device while it is charging. The interface and food database is very easy to use and understand. I also like the “look” and “feel” of it over the Fitbit.
Jawbone Up 24

Boogie Board

If you house or your parents was/is anything like mine, you could never find a piece of paper when you needed one. The Boogie Board eliminates the need! For under $20 you have an unlimited notepad and pen!

Boogie Board
The ultimate note taking device

Boogie Board on Amazon


iGrill Mini

iGrill Mini
iGrill Mini

The digital Fork is soooo five minutes ago. This little beauty plugs into that marinated tenderloin and alerts your smartphone when it reaches the correct temperature. So Dad can kick back and open some other Father’s day gifts or throw back a beer while he is grilling for the family on his special day. The only drawback is Dad needs an IOS device (iPhone or iPad) for compatibility. Available at various retailers.


GoPro waterproof camera
GoPro Hero 3

What Dad hasn’t done something cool enough to catch on camera? Whether he goes cycling, snowboarding, fishing, whitewater rafting, sailing, snowmobiling, ziplining, all Dad’s love to brag and show off their adventures.

This entry level camera can be mounted on anything , it’s waterproof and it’s only $199

GoPro Hero 3

If you have any more ideas for Dad, hit me up!
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s. Enjoy your family and take the day off!

Hey iOS8: Imitation is the Highest form of Flattery

iOS8 releases in the fall

I have both Apple and Android roots and since I have been in the Mobile Life “space” for the last 15 years, I have a lot of thoughts about the operating systems that both Apple and Android have to offer up for your smartphones and tablets. I have both Operating Systems and I have to say until now, I have widely preferred Android. There is so much customizing possible and I am all about making the device WORK FOR ME…the way I WANT IT TO WORK. Are you with me so far?

On June 2, Apple made the big announcement at WWDC2014 in (where else?) San Francisco; the land of all good tech announcements! iOS8 will be available this fall and it will be sporting some really great features (albeit most have already  been part of Android’s OS, some for years). Anyway, I guess better late than never, so here is what you can look forward to:

NFC is finally mature enough for iOS

Android launched this great way to make mobile payments a few years ago, but Apple is finally bringing NFC or near-field communication to their iOS devices. They tried to make up for it with the Passbook app but if you’ve ever had the chance to use NFC on an Android, you’d see how much more clever it is. Simply wave your phone over a terminal and you’re done, you’ve paid for a soda, pair of shoes, gas, Dunkin Donuts or other items at hundreds of thousands of other retailers. Verizon’s ISIS service  has made huge strides in this arena and the consumer gets some great discounts.

Third-party keyboards

I am not exaggerating when I say I have been using a SWYPE keyboard for about 5 years. Some of those were still in Beta but none-the-less, it’s the fastest way to enter type. Check out this article What’s all the Hype about SWYPE I wrote about it back in ’09. Anyway,  iPhone users are going to LOVE it. There are others like SwiftKey but SWYPE has by far been my favorite for years.

SWYPE keyboard
Third party keyboads will be available for iOS8

Siri gets an awakening

When you are in the car, you will now be able to say “Hey Siri” to wake up your iPhone. Moto’s Droid Ultra and Moto X allow that now and at anytime. For example if I am walking through my house looking for my phone, I can say “Hey Google Now” and it will wake up and wait for my next command. Which in some cases is “Ring My Device” so I can find where I left my phone. Siri has been upgraded with new languages and some new commands.

App Previews

The ability to preview an app before you buy it with a video seems only natural…so much so that Google’s Play store has been doing that for ages. I don’t think there is an app in that market that doesn’t have a video with it. There I go giving Android props again. Well now iPhone and iPad users will get the same benefit with app previews. Along with that improvement, there will be enhanced app searches, app bundles, and Beta testing.

Increased Storage on the Cloud

When Apple launched their iCloud service, they only offered space for 1000 photos for one month. Quite frankly I saw that as a way to piss people off, who only needs their pictures for a month? Luckily, they smartened up and now offer 5GB with no time limit and the photos can be accessed from any device. Google offers a variety of storage solutions. Google+ Photos is free and unlimited and for documents, Google Drive which offers 15GB for free, which is much more generous than the 5GB offered by Apple’s iCloud Drive. But you now have a place to keep stuff accessible across your devices, you just need to tidy it up once in a while… like every 5GBs worth.


I think these changes were warranted a long time ago but they are finally coming when iOS8 launches in the fall and they will make iOS devices even better than they were before. Hey, I never said they weren’t great devices! They certainly are, I just prefer a little more customization in a mobile device.

What do you think? Are these features you are looking forward to? If you are an Android user, will any of them make you jump ship over to an Iphone/iPad?