Tech Explained

USB Type C

What is USB-C?

If you’ve seen the latest, super-thin Macbook from Apple, then you may have noticed a very strange change they’ve made to the ports on it. Namely, that besides the headphone jack, there’s only one: a USB-C port. What is this mysterious USB-C port? Why did Apple get rid of the Thunderbolt, MagSafe charger, etc.? Let’s discuss in today’s Tech 101 for the week. What is USB-C?   The USB Implementers Forum, the same group that came up with the original USB standard, are the people responsible for the new USB-C, or USB Type C, standard. This group, comprised of over 700 different …

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Calling While Overseas

The Definitive Guide to Using Your Phone Overseas (Video)

I just recently got back from Canada for the Women’s World Cup (USA! USA! USA!) and besides a new love for Montréal – amazing food, beautiful European architecture, and everyone speaks French but isn’t angry to speak to you in English after an initial “Bonjour”, how can this place be bad? – the other thing I brought back with me was the understanding that not a single person I went with knew how to use their phone once we crossed the Canadian border. While they were scrounging, nay fiending, for open wifi networks, I was ready with Yelp reviews of where we …

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Apple Watch Walkthrough

Video: Apple Watch Complete Walkthrough

Apple recently started shipping their latest gotta-have-it device this month, the Apple Watch. Given the entirely new nature of the device (see: iPhone on your wrist, sorta?), people – understandably – have a lot of questions. Whether you’re one of those who are still waiting for your Apple Watch to arrive in the mail and you’re just plain curious on what the heck this new fangled watch thingamajic actually does, here’s a quick walkthrough of the Apple Watch, its OS and hardware, and what exactly you’ll probably end up using it for in real life. Hardware One of the most appealing things about the Apple Watch …

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Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo Unboxing (Video)

Amazon recently released their new Echo device. Marketed as a bluetooth speaker and voice assistant similar to how Siri or Cortana works, the device has been on sale since the middle of January, but just started shipping this month to users who pre-ordered it and patiently have been awaiting its arrival. You know, like me. So as mine finally arrived, figured it was appropriate to do what we all do with our new tech here on the web: an unboxing. Here’s my unboxing of the Amazon Echo: So far it seems more of a novelty (and possibly a decent bluetooth …

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Apple Watch Unboxing

Apple Watch Unboxing (Video)

I know it’s been out a while, but, considering most people won’t get their Apple Watch until June (thanks, Apple!) and I just received mine, I figured there might still be some people out there interested in seeing what it comes with, how it fits (I made a surprising discovery when I put it on regarding this), and check out some of the basic specs of the thing. I know it’s late, but thought it might help anyway, did you learn something you might not have known? Do you have any other questions about the Watch while I have it? …

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Disable Auto-Updates on Galaxy S6

Automatic Updates: The bane of any power user’s existence. Why should some faceless, mega-corporation decide when we should have our apps updated?! I’m sorry… I thought this was AMERICA. However, all is not lost. Thanks to flexible settings, care of Google Play, we have the option to say “NO” to the atrocity that is auto-update… Ok, I’m being dramatic. Admittedly at times, auto-updates are sweet. (Especially now that Facebook has decided to roll out a new version every two weeks.) Nevertheless, for the sake exploring the far reaches of Android’s flexibility, let’s take a look at the topic. Keep reading to find out how to disable (potentially …

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Where is the Decline Button on Incoming Calls for iOS 8?

Whether you find yourself absorbed in the gentle retreat of a radiant sunset, the sound of children laughing, or a heady guitar solo from Trey Anastasio, sooner or later we’re all prompted to think deeply about our lives. Musing profound and penetratingly on life’s big questions… Or maybe you’re more like me and wondered, “Why does my iPhone let me decline incoming calls only some of the time?” Why is the Decline Button Missing Sometimes I’ve traversed space and time (i.e. Google) to help find an answer to this metaphysical inquiry. Turns out the answer is way more attainable than other modern …

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6 Awesome Apps for Managing Your Budget

Whether you’re on iOS or Android, budgeting and personal finance apps are about as plentiful as that hoard of amassing bills hidden in your sock drawer. No better time than now to clear out that proverbial sock drawer and get your finances back on track! Decide Which Budget App is Best for You Often, the most important difference between budget apps is the lens they assume to help you view your personal and/or family’s finances. Everyone has different needs, so here’s a rundown of 6 popular apps with varying strategies aimed to get you back on the right track without needing …

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Video: How to Get Rid of Cable

Table of Contents Why It’s Taking Cable So Long Why It’s Finally Happening How to Get Rid of Cable Recap The Future of Cable I’ve been trying to get rid of cable for a while now. And, don’t get me wrong, if you just want to watch a TV show or two at your convenience, there are tons of options out there to justify cutting the cord: from Netflix, to Hulu, to illegally finding it on any plethora of websites based in Europe, if you want to watch something on demand, you’ll find it. But there’s something to be said for …

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Apple Watch

Apple Watch: Everything You Need to Know

Well, it’s finally time. The Apple Watch (the watch formerly known as the iWatch) has now been fully detailed at an Apple event today and if you weren’t watching the live feed religiously (you’re clearly not a real Apple fan and shame on you) I figured I’d give you a rundown of everything you’d need to know: from the price, to the release date, customization options, and other points worth noting about the upcoming wrist companion to your beloved iPhone. Before we begin, we need to address the name. It’s not called the iWatch, it’s just the Apple Watch and there isn’t …

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Video: Make Emojis Personal, How to Turn Yourself into an Emoji

Sometimes the little yellow faces just don’t quite cut it. I mean, sure, sending someone a pointing finger and an “OK” is always a good time, but what if you could make it a little more… personal. Thanks to a friend, I recently discovered a new app called Bitmoji. The app takes our obsessive past-time of emojis and kicks it up a notch. After downloading the app from the Play Store/App Store, it walks you through the process of choosing physical characteristics step by step (video gamers will be very familiar with the tedious process of choosing just the right eyebrows for far too long) until …

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Take It from Photo to Art: Best Photo Editing Apps for iOS & Android

To say there are a lot of photo editors out there, might be a bit of an understatement. When I typed the words “photo editor” into my App Store search bar, it came back with 6,779 results. Woah there, developers, slow your roll. It can be a bit of a slog to figure out which ones are really worth your time, and which aren’t. If, for example, you really want to hyper-pixelate all your images, then sure, Pixelwakker is just what you’re looking for. Or maybe you want to replace your sister’s face with a shark head in all your …

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New Year’s Resolution Slipping Already? 5 Apps for Getting Back in Shape

Oh, the gym. You elusive devil, you. All relationships are tough to maintain in life, but the on-again-off-again relationship we all have with staying in shape and going to the gym is perhaps the most enduring. Whether you’ve got fluctuating weight or a fluctuating work schedule, no matter the excuse – fortunately (or unfortunately) for us, our smartphones make it hard to give a good reason to not stay in shape. With an app market that is littered with ways to monitor or motivate good health, we as smartphone users now have the ability to get creative in the way …

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Insomniac Much? These 7 Apps Can Help You Sleep

We all toss and turn at night nowadays, don’t we? While half the time the guilty culprit for keeping you awake is your device itself – constantly keeping you plugged in to the rest of the world and its goings-on’s – we can still look to our phones or tablets for help getting us to bed. The app marketplace is flooded with options to aide your sleepless nights. So, put on your favorite set of jammies, tuck yourself in, and check out this list of the best apps to help you sleep. I. Relax Melodies This stacked app not only …

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Home Automation: It’s Finally Time to Try It

Technology, automation, and efficiency. Three things nerds like us get way more excited about than your average person. (Who doesn’t love a good spreadsheet once in a while? Ah, that’s the stuff.) Thankfully for us, we’re living in an age where technology is evolving faster than it ever has before, and our phones, tablets, computers, cars, and other tech are all trying to anticipate what we want them to do before we even know we need them to do. Sometimes they’re suggestions are more useful than others. I didn’t know I needed to go to the casino during breakfast, thanks, …

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