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9 Must-Have Smartphone Accessories for 2019

9 Must-Have Smartphone Accessories for 2019

2019 is set to see the release of some great smartphones and a lot of people already upgraded to an iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy Note 9 this Christmas.

If you’ve already got the phone, you’re probably wondering what accessories to by in order to make your smartphone experience as good as it can be.

In this article, we’ll take a look into 9 smartphones accessories to put on your wishlist for the coming year.

1. Wireless Headphones

One of the most important smartphone related items to purchase this year are wireless headphones, that’s if you don’t already have them, of course!

In their most recent releases, Apple took the bold move to remove headphone jacks from their phones, making Bluetooth headphones an essential item for most Apple users.

However, the rise in the use of AirPods and other wireless headphones has led to wired headphones falling out of fashion- and fast.

Samsung and other major smartphone brands are still clinging on to headphone jacks, but it’s likely that new models of smartphones will eventually follow suit and the future will be completely wireless.

If you’re keen to be on trend and up to date, then wireless headphones are a must-have!

2. Power Banks

In 2019, most people do just about everything from their phone. Whether it’s keeping up-to-date with friends, watching movings and playing games or working, our phones can do it all.

The only problem with this is that the batteries that manufacturers are putting in the smartphones just aren’t equipped for the heavy usage they have to endure on a daily basis.

As a result, we as users are left frustrated in a constant state of low-battery, scrapping to find the nearest plug to get some juice.

That’s where power banks come in. Whether you need to make sure you’re phone’s power lasts through the day, or your planning a weekend camping trip and don’t have electricity, power banks are always handy to have.

The good news is, they’re also fairly cheap. Although there are more expensive ones available, you can get a cheap one for around AUD$10.

 

3. Car Mounts

It goes without saying that driving and texting, or making calls whilst driving is dangerous and illegal in most countries. However, if you’re a busy person with a demanding job or hectic social life, then not having access to your phone whilst driving can be a pain.

The good news is that with the help of Siri, Cortana or whichever random voice activated woman you choose to spend your time with, you can actually access your phone and make calls using your voice.

Great, right? Well, it is, when your phone doesn’t go flying down the dashboard every time you turn.

That’s why car mounts are an essential item in 2019, as they can help you to stay connected and safe when you’re on the road.

 

4. A Selfie Case

If you’re a smartphone user under the age of 30, then it’s highly likely that you spend at least 30-40% of your time on your phone trying to capture the perfect selfie.

In a social media world, snapping the perfect picture is much more important than it used to be, but what if there was a gadget that could help you improve your selfie success rate?

Well, there is! Selfies cases are the answer to every Instagrammers prayers and can help you take the perfect pic, whatever the lighting conditions.

At the club? No problem. A backlit selfie case can help to make sure you never miss another opportunity to take a magnificent mugshot.

 

5. Fitness Trackers

If you’re a fitness enthusiast, or you’re really passionate about tracking your avocado consumption, then a fitness tracker is an absolute must-have accessory.

Whilst they’re not strictly smartphone dependant, most popular fitness trackers will seamlessly link up to your smartphone to help you to efficiently track your progress.

If you started the new year with a resolution to exercise more or stay fit, then a fitness tracker could help you to achieve your goals by giving you regular updates and reminders via your smartphone.

6. Portable Keyboards

If you’re the type of person that does a lot of work or sends emails from your phone, then a portable keyboard could make your life a lot easier.

There are a few different brands that sell portable keyboards which are foldable, pocket-sized and link up via Bluetooth to your phone.

These gadgets are perfect for sending long emails from your phone without getting thumb fatigue.

 

7. Gaming Controllers

If you’re a gaming fanatic who loves playing Fornite whilst you’re on the go, then this is the must-have accessory for you.

Lots of companies are now releasing gamepads that emulate the controllers of popular gaming brands like Xbox and PlayStation that can be used with your phone.

The controllers have a holster for your phone and can help take your smartphone gaming to the next level.

8. Waterproof Cases

Planning a big trip this year and want to make sure you can capture the perfect beach snaps? A waterproof case can help you do just that.

Whilst most modern smartphones come equipped with some level of waterproof capabilities, it’s always a good idea to give your prized possession some extra protection when you’re enjoying some seaside fun.

There are lots of different waterproof cases available, some more expensive than others, but most are reasonably priced and sufficient for providing an extra layer of protection for your peace of mind.

9. Selfie Sticks

Selfie sticks aren’t exactly a new concept, but they’re always handy to have, especially if you’re planning a holiday this year.

Selfie sticks can help you take the perfect group pictures and can also help you to snap great shots if you’re alone.

Whatever you’re up to, selfie sticks are usually quite useful in most scenarios, and they’re a pretty cheap accessory to add to your repertoire.

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6 Tips For Getting Your Smartphone Repaired

6 Tips For Getting Your Smartphone Repaired

In the modern world, we use smartphones for just about everything. They wake us up in the morning, they help us all day at work, and they provide some much-needed recreation when we get home each evening. For all the reasons and more, when your phone breaks, it’s important that you know what to do and how to go about having it repaired. In this article, we’ll list some tips that can help if you’re unfortunate enough to suffer from some sort of smartphone malfunction.

1. Avoid Repairing it Yourself

When your smartphone breaks, it’s second nature to immediately hit the internet in search of a quick fix that can get you by. Whilst this is all that’s necessary in some cases, it’s never a good idea to start undertaking complex repairs using a guide that you found on Google. Granted, some people have a better knowledge of technology and electricals than others, but for most of us, undertaking tasks like replacing a broken screen or removing and replacing parts of a mobile phone are not familiar concepts. If you do find yourself in this particular situation, the best course of action is to hand over the phone to a professional.

Whilst paying for the repair might seem expensive on the surface, attempting it yourself will likely result in further damage and further expense if it’s completed incorrectly.

 

2. Don’t Go Directly to the Manufacturer If You Don’t Need To

With some smartphones, especially Apple devices, people may advise you to visit the manufacturer’s store if you need a repair. Whilst this is good advice, it could end up being more costly than visiting a generic repair shop. If you are still under warranty, you should check the repair information in the warranty agreement before going elsewhere, but in many cases, the manufacturers will be charging over the odds for simple repairs such as screen replacements and software repairs.

In some cases, a generic repair shop might not be able to help you, but they will be able to let you know what needs doing and they will probably advise you about situations when you will need to go to the manufacturers for help. However, if you’re not under warranty and you want to save money on repairs, then it’s always a good idea to get a few different quotes for the work, rather than defaulting to visiting the registered store.

 

3. Check Reviews

In the last point, we discussed the benefits of choosing local repairs shops over manufacturers but it is important to note that not all repair shops are made equal. Unfortunately, there is a small percentage of repair shops that don’t have the training required to carry out repairs to a good standard. For this reason, it’s important to be on guard for low-quality repairs and make sure you check out the shop’s reviews before going ahead with the repair.

In a lot of cases, word of mouth recommendations from family and friends is enough to go off, but if you are unsure, check out the repair shop’s website, or Google reviews to find out what type of experience previous customers had. In most cases, you’ll find that repair shop workers are well qualified and are keen to earn an honest living, but it’s always a good idea to be cautious.

 

4. Get More Than One Quote

Smartphone repairs can range in price, but if you’re on a budget, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible. Our tip is to shop around a bit and see who is offering the repair for the best price. You may find that a lot of the shops are offering similar or the same price, but you should also find out how long it’s going to take.

Nobody wants to be without their phone for a long time and some shops may be able to offer quicker turnarounds than others. This is usually because they can source parts from their suppliers more quickly than their competitors, so there’s no need to be put off by fast turnarounds.

 

5. Check Your Warranty

As we touched upon a little bit earlier in this article, your phone may be covered by a warranty. If you think you may still have a warranty, check what type of repairs it covers, as this could make your repairs free or heavily discounted. If you do think your repair will be covered by your warranty, be sure to contact the manufacturer and double check what steps you need to take, as you don’t want to void your warranty by going to the wrong place or paying for a repair yourself.

 

6. Check Your Insurance

Some people decide to take out insurance when they buy a new phone to cover them for damage and repairs. However, some insurance policies will not cover repairs unless the customers adhere to all the terms laid out in the insurance agreement. Some companies can be notoriously stringent in their approach to make claiming for repairs extremely difficult, so it’s important to check your entitlements before you take any action.

As well as this, you may have insurance for your phone that you’re not aware of, so it’s important to check before you pay unnecessarily for repairs. In some cases, home contents insurance may include cover for your phone and some bank accounts may include insurance policies that cover personal items like smartphones and laptops. Of course, not all policies are the same, but it’s worth checking to make sure you aren’t paying for repairs that are covered by an insurance policy.

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10 Smartphone Apps to Help You Get Fit this New Year

10 Smartphone Apps to Help You Get Fit this New Year

When the new year rolls around, almost everyone you’ll meet will tell you that they’re going to get healthy and lose weight this year. It’s a great goal to have, but a hard one to achieve. However, technological advancements are making it easier than ever to stay true to your fitness goals, with apps available to help with just about any type of workout. In this article, we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of the best fitness apps, so you can focus on working out and dieting hard!

1. Aaptiv

Aaptiv is an audio-only fitness workout platform that allows you to stream workout classes delivered by qualified fitness instructors, straight to your Smartphone. Aaptiv is great for people who like to workout at home whilst still having access to expert classes and instruction. The app is available on iOS and Android, making it accessible on just about any smartphone. The only downside is that Aaptiv isn’t free, but many reviews regard it as worth the money if you’re really committed to working out every day.

2. SweatCoin

For people that prefer to reach their fitness goals at a slower pace, SweatCoin could be the answer. SweatCoin is essentially a pedometer app that rewards users for the number of steps they take. Most reviews regard the idea of SweatCoin as really good, but unfortunately, the rewards really aren’t that exciting. However, tracking your steps is always a good way of encouraging yourself to do more physical exercise, and the app allows you to share your walking achievement on social media too. SweatCoin is free to use and available on iOS and Android. The app also allows you to interact and exchange SweatCoins with other users which could inject some healthy competition into your walking.

3. MapMyFitness

If you’re the kind of person that enjoys meticulously tracking your fitness endeavours then this app could be for you. MapMyFitness is run by UnderArmour and allows users to track just about any type of activity they want to. Whether you want to count your steps or estimate you burnt calories during exercise, MapMyFitness will be able to help you. You can record how long you run for, where you ran, and plan your future routes. It may not necessarily help you to exercise more, but it will sure make you feel as though you’re putting the effort in!

4. FitBod

FitBod is the perfect app for gym junkies and weightlifters. It uses intelligent software to devise highly personalised workout plans that can ensure your workouts are efficient and effective. It offers advice and tips on new exercises and correct form and is available on Android and iOS. Unfortunately, the app isn’t free, but a free trial is available that can allow you to get a feel for how useful the software could be.

5.  HowUdish

HowUdish is an app available on iOS only (sorry Android users!) and is designed to making eating healthy on the go easier. One of the hardest parts about sticking to a diet is knowing how many calories are in foods that you don’t cook for yourself. HowUdish is aiming to make this easier by offering location-based suggestions for restaurants that might fit your dietary requirements and allowances. It also stores your personal weight loss goals and statistics to help you to make better food choices when you are out and about. Despite it only being available on iOS, it is free, which is good news for iPhone users that love eating out.

6. Pocket Yoga

Pocket Yoga is perfect for any aspiring yogis looking to gain flexibility and enlightenment this new year. This app can help you to align mind and body by giving you access to full yoga routines and a comprehensive yoga pose dictionary on the go. There are some similar apps available, but this one is available on both Android and iOS which is why it made the list. Of course, yoga may not help you to shed your Christmas weight quickly, but it can help you to improve your flexibility and muscle fitness which goes a long way to making you feel healthier.

7. Calm

As the saying goes, the key to a healthy life is having a healthy mind, which is why this app made the list. Calm grew in popularity in 2018, as it aims to tackle the ever-present problem of stress and sleep deprivation. The app is available to trial for free on iOS and Android and has got tons of positive reviews. Mindfulness might not be for everyone, but many fitness gurus will tell you that looking after your mental health will help you to be more successful in achieving your diet and exercise goals.

8. MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal is another extremely popular app that can help you to diet more successfully. The app is essentially a huge database of food products which you can use to check the calorie and nutritional information of what you’re eating. The app is available from the various smartphone app stores and is a great download for anyone attempting a calorie controlled diet this year.

9. FatSecret

FatSecret is another diet planning and tracking app, that allows aspiring dieters to log what they eat and cook in a diary. As well as this, FatSecret has a large database of healthy recipes for users to try and rate. The app is available for free in major app stores and advertises itself as being unmatched by other available calorie counter apps, but you can be the judge of that!

10. Lose It!

The final addition to our list, Lose It!, is a popular, all-encompassing fitness app that has elements of many of the apps listed above. If you’re keen on using just one app to reach your fitness goals, then Lose It! can offer you fitness and diet tracking as well as access to a like-minded community of… losers?  Anyway, the app be can download the app on iPhone or Android for free, but there are some in-app purchases available.

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8 Ways You Can Use Your Smartphone To Stay Organised

8 Ways You Can Use Your Smartphone To Stay Organised

Smartphones are fast becoming a necessity and almost everyone has one, but not everybody uses their phone to its full potential. When you go phone shopping, you’re often overwhelmed by salespeople listing hundreds of different features that you have no idea to use. Whilst this can be annoying, it’s possible to use your phone for more than just calling and texting and checking your social media; it could be used as a pocket-sized digital organiser. As much as yearly planners and diaries are nice to look at, they’re less functional than digital alternatives and let’s face it, they’re pretty outdated. If you’re finally ready to make the switch to digital organisation, here’s how to do it.

1. Download a To-Do List App

One of the main things everybody needs to stay organised is a good to-do list. However, many of us are still writing out the most important information on scraps of paper or post-it notes that we found in the bin. If you really want to get organised, it’s a good idea to download a to-do list app, that’s at your disposal, whenever the need strikes you. There are loads of great to-do list apps available across all platforms, and they’re usually free. Some of the most popular include Google Tasks, Todoist and Evernote.

2. Choose a Calendar App

Switching from a physical diary to a calendar app can be quite difficult, but once you’ve committed to the transition, you’ll probably find that you’re much more organised. Calander apps are often very intuitive and can link to other apps on your phone to help your days run more smoothly. For example, if you have a day full of meetings in different locations, you may find some calendar apps that can integrate with mapping apps and weather apps to help you to be prompt and on time for every meeting, and it may even warn you about weather conditions that could cost you time.

3. Re-Organize Your Alarm Clock

Getting out of bed in the morning is usually the hardest task of the day but with the help of your smartphone, you may be able to make it a little bit easier. The idea of using a smartphone as an alarm clock is certainly not foreign to most people, but disorganised alarm apps can cause you problems to your schedule. If you take a look at your alarm clock, you’ve probably got a lot of random presets that you won’t ever need to use. By deleting these you eliminate the risk of accidentally setting your alarm to the wrong time and being late. You should also check which days your daily alarm is set to sound so that you are prepared for all of your working days and you don’t get woken up at 6:30 on your day off.

4. Delete Unused Apps

Are you the kind of person that has hundreds of apps downloaded that you never actually use? You’re not the only one! However, having too many apps on your home screen can cause you to be less organised and lose precious seconds of your day looking for the app you need. If you want to be more organised, delete the apps that you don’t need and organise them so you see the apps that you use most regularly first. If you have any apps that you don’t often use but you really can’t part with, then stick them in a folder out of the way of your important apps like calendars, google docs and social media.

5. Clear Out Your Contacts

A simple email from a co-worker saying ‘Hi it’s Katy – give me a call’ can cause an organisational meltdown if you don’t cultivate your contact list regularly. Having duplicate contacts, not saving new numbers, or not specifying which Katy is which when you save numbers can be a nightmare. In order to avoid awkward interactions and spending time searching for the right person, clear out any contacts you don’t need any more and update your existing contacts to make it clear who they are and how you know them.

6. Link Your Email Accounts

Despite popular email providers like Gmail and outlook spending a ton of money on smartphone optimised apps, a lot of people never actually get round to linking their email accounts to their smartphone. Although it works, logging into your email via your phones web browser takes much longer than using an app, and it can be harder to read the emails and respond if you need to. Linking your account in the app can help you to keep a better track of your emails when you’re on the go and it only takes a few minutes.

7.  Make Use of Voice-Activated Virtual Assistants

Whilst Siri and Cortana still have a way to go before they achieve the AI greatness we all expect from them, they are extremely useful when it comes to maximising your time and staying organised. Virtual assistants are great for setting reminders, answering questions fast and helping you to send texts and make calls hands free. Learning how to use virtual assistants and finding out what they can do could help to improve your productivity and stay organised.

8. Link your credit cards

Using your phone to pay for everyday purchases is becoming more popular and can help you to be more organised. Apps like Apple Pay allow you to scan your phone as opposed to credit cards when paying. As well as this spending tracking apps can help you to stay on top of your finances by logging what you spend via credit cards and receipt scanning. If saving money or keeping track of what you spend was one of your new year’s resolutions then linking your credit cards to your phone could help you

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10 Best Gifts for Smartphone Lovers this Christmas

10 Best Gifts for Smartphone Lovers this Christmas

Christmas should be a time for mince pies, warm fires, and family fun, but in this modern world, the most exciting thing about Christmas for some people is upgrading their tech. One of the most popular gifts to give at Christmas time is a new smartphone, and this is a great idea for children and adults alike.

If you’re someone who doesn’t know an iPhone from a Samsung, then buying the perfect gift can be hard but you don’t need to worry, because we’ve done the hard work for you. Let’s take a look at the best gifts to buy for the smartphone addicts in your family this Christmas.

 

1. A Phone Case

If your loved one has just received an expensive new phone for Christmas you can be sure that they will want to protect it from damage anyway that they can. Although a phone case may seem like an inexpensive and thoughtless present, you would be surprised at how much thought you can actually put into choosing the right case. There are lots of different types available, some with backlights for taking photos, some that have a ring on that makes them perfect for selfie-takers and some which are super durable for the clumsiest among us.

 

2. Headphones

Headphones are always a great gift that are well received and you can really tailor them to any budget. If you have loved ones who love their music then you could try a high-quality pair of full headphones which they can use around the house. If your loved one uses their headphones on the go, then a smaller pair of earbuds might be better suited. Pro Tip: Be sure that the person your buying for has a phone with a headphone jack, if not, you may have to opt for wireless headphones.

 

3. A Power Bank

One of the biggest drawbacks with modern phones is battery life and smartphone lovers tend to be the people that are most affected by this. For someone who is addicted to their phone, there is no better gift to give than battery life. With a portable power bank, your loved ones can recharge their phones on the go and make sure that they never miss a Facebook update or an Instagram post.

 

4. Mobile VR

Mobile VR is still in its infancy, but it’s becoming more popular, and better. Devices like the Samsung Gear for are extremely popular for Samsung users and give access to over 800 VR apps. If your loved one loves VR and likes playing games and watching movies using their phone, this could be the perfect gift. Whilst devices like the Samsung Gear don’t come cheap, there are mobile VR devices at a range of different price points.

 

5. A Phone Tracker

If you or someone you know has spent hundreds of dollars on the latest smartphone, the worst fate imaginable is them losing it. The good news is, you can ensure they always know where their beloved phone is by treating them to a tracker this Christmas. Trackers like the TrackR Pixel are an affordable gift which can be attached to a smartphone case. The device works via Bluetooth and can help users to track down the location of the phone and it can even make the phone ring when on silent mode.

 

6. Car Accessories

For extreme phone addicts, putting down their smartphone when they are driving is a hard task, but you can help keep them safe this Christmas by decking their cars with smartphone accessories. Accessories like car phone mounts and chargers are a smartphone lovers best friend, as it means they can stay connected whilst on the road without sacrificing their road safety.  

7. App Store Vouchers

It can be really hard to get smartphone lovers gifts because it often seems like they don’t do anything but play on their phone, but the truth is that they probably spend a lot of money on the various apps that they use on a daily basis. Whilst some people feel it’s impersonal to give cash for Christmas, vouchers are a more acceptable present. It’s easy to find vouchers for all the major app stores, but be sure to find out which operating systems your loved ones are using, to avoid any disappointment on Christmas day.

 

8. A Smartphone Camera Lens

This gift is perfect for the selfie kings and queens among us. With the growth of social media platforms like Instagram, a lot of different products have become available to help us to capture the perfect snap. One of the better products is the detachable lens for smartphone cameras. Popular models such as the Moment Tele Lens make a great mid-range gift for Christmas and are sure to be a hit with young social media moguls.

 

9. Smartphone Remote Control Toys

These are gifts that are more exciting for the younger generation of smartphone lovers and are sure to sufficiently annoy everyone on Christmas day. There’s a good selection of robots available that link up and can be controlled using a smartphone. Popular models include tanks, planes and the Sphero BB-8 for the star wars lovers.

 

10. Bluetooth Speakers

This is the perfect gift for smartphone lovers who enjoy a good party. Bluetooth speakers link to smartphones easily and can provide a great backing track to any event. You may find that you’re Christmas day is overrun with cheesy Christmas tunes if you buy this as a gift, but they are sure to be a hit with the music lovers in your family.

 

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