BeBizzy Break : Episode 10 – Death of Note 7, Verizon Pixel Updates & Kiss Me On First on LinkedIn

BeBizzy Break : Episode 10 – Death of Note 7, Verizon Pixel Updates & Kiss Me On First on LinkedIn

Episode 10 of the BeBizzy Break Podcast features some commentary on : 

  • Why do you still have your Note 7? Samsung has stopped the sale and replacement, so turn it in!
  • Verizon promised to push Google Pixel updates at the same time as unlocked phones. 
  • Verizon is also asking for a $1B decrease on the offer to buy Yahoo! due to some information regarding Yahoo!’s screening account information for intelligence informaton, and the 2014 data breach that affected around 500 Million subscribers.
  • Twitter is being shopped around… still. Why hasn’t Google just written a check yet?
  • And if you’re going to “friend” me on LinkedIn, at least wait more than an hour to try and sell me something.
Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Sticher Radio, and PocketCasts!

BeBizzy Break : Episode 7 – Google & Twitter, Yahoo Breached, a C-64 Fixed My Car?, and the Debate

BeBizzy Break : Episode 7 – Google & Twitter, Yahoo Breached, a C-64 Fixed My Car?, and the Debate

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 7

Today’s episode of the BeBizzy Break Podcast features some discussion on :

  • Google, Microsoft or Verizon interested in acquiring Twitter? What does that mean for the social media platform?
  • Yahoo was breached back in 2014. Change your password now!
  • When is it time to give up on your old technology and move to something modern and possibly more reliable?
  • Project AirGig
  • And tonight’s Presidential Debate

 

Why Haven’t You Backed Up Your Phone Data?

Why Haven’t You Backed Up Your Phone Data?

“… and you didn’t have this backed up?”

I got to utter those words a month or so ago when I was called about a computer that was taken over by a ransomware program.

As a computer tech these words bring so many emotions. Despair, confusion, anger… they all are there. And yet several times a year we get that computer, tablet or smartphone and the user lost all of her photos, all of her contacts, and all of her documents.

There are several reasons for this, first, you just expect technology to work. There’s also lack of knowledge of backup options, inability to afford costly solutions, lack of time, and let’s face it, sometimes it’s just being lazy.

Technology Fails

Well let’s just get this out of the way… your technology WILL fail at some point. Hard drives can only spin so many times before they die, flash memory isn’t immortal and phones get dropped. So knowing failure is inevitable, why would you NOT back up? And it’s easier, and cheaper, than you may think.

Below are a few ways to get information off your phone and into the cloud. We’ve all heard the term “cloud” being thrown around, but it’s simply this. It’s a series of computer servers accessible through a controlled login system that allows users access to their data from any device that can control that access. Meaning if you save something on the cloud, you can usually get to it from nearly ANY phone or computer you own, or in some cases just are able to access the internet.

A quick word of warning! Getting this information off your local device and backed up, even to a system claiming to be encrypted or secure, can make the data more vulnerable.

  • Your Mobile Phone Provider Network : Most mobile phone networks have a way to back up your phone automatically with tools like Verizon Backup Assistant. You will get a certain amount of data for free, then pay a small amount to keep more data.
  • Dropbox : My favorite backup solution is Dropbox. This cloud service can be set up to automatically back up photos as they are taken, transfer documents to/from your smartphone, and share folders out to co-workers or family. All of my documents I would like to back up are saved on my computer not to the Documents space, but to my Dropbox folder where they are automatically uploaded and saved to other devices. You can also use it to save sound, video and other files. And the cost to get a business account is minimal compared to recovery or ransomware costs.
  • Your Google Account : I get common complaints about two things when a new phone is purchased or a phone is damaged; I lost my contacts and I lost my photos. Many of you have a Gmail account, especially if you are an Android user, and if you’re not, they are FREE at https://www.google.com/gmail. There are at least two things that should be done with your Google Account, set up Google Photos, and move all your contacts to be managed by Gmail.
    • Google Photos : Google Photos is a free or low cost (depending on the size of files being backed up) storage of photos that are available on ANY device you happend to be logged into. Smartphones can be set up to upload photos as they are taken and your phone has access to wi-fi. This means the risk of losing photos is minimized. But, a word of warning, photos you may NOT want saved are uploaded immediately as well, so blurry shots and photos of subjects you may not want to save for a variety of reasons are backed up, so clean that out on the Photos app as well.
    • Contacts in Gmail : By importing all your contacts into Gmail, and then adding new ones to Gmail instead of saving locally to your phone, you are again making these available on any device. So when you log into that new Moto Z Droid and connect your Google account, all your contacts are automatically downloaded to the new device. Easy and free, and can be done any number of times you wish.
    • Google Drive : Another major FREE part of your Google account is Google Drive. It can be used really two ways. Some use it as an alternative to Microsoft Office by creating and collaborating on documents right in the browser. A second method is to use it as storage by uploading Office docs, PDFs and other items.
  • iCloud : If you’re an iPhone user Apple has the iCloud built into iOS. It’s located in Settings and you can turn off specific apps to keep unneeded data from being backed up.
  • Back Up To A Computer : Your phone is essentially a data storage device in the eyes of a computer. You can always back up your photos and other information by plugging it in as a USB device and pushing/pulling data from it almost like treating it as another hard drive. The downside to this is that you’ve moved it from one potential failure device to another, but the odds of both failing at the same time are remote. And for what it’s worth… BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER TOO! You’ll be happy when your hard drive stops, you need that important Word doc, or ransomware takes over your computer and you could fix it by re-installing Windows instead of paying that shady dude on the phone $1k.
  • Paid Backup Apps : There are a few paid solutions like Carbonite & iDrive out there. These promise a bit more encryption and safety so if you have more that just a few photos and contacts, you may wish to consider going this route.

Why are you still reading?

Please, please, PLEASE back up your phone and computer data! It really only takes a few moments and you’ll be SO happy when the day comes to either move to a fabulous new phone or your device meets a horrible end. I personally back up my photos/videos to both Dropbox and Google Photos simply because it’s cheap and I can get them from anywhere. And I change phones as a Verizon Lifestyle Blogger every few months so having my contacts sync immediately is a huge benefit.

Or, take your chances that your device won’t ever fail while you own it, and if it does you can pay me a few bucks to try to salvage things off the memory. Personally, I’d rather show you how to set up the new device than attempt to recover damaged data, so you can stop reading and set up your backup now.

Have suggestions, questions or comments on these backup solutions? Either use the Contact Us form, or drop me a message on Twitter @BeBizzy!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

BBP : Episode 5 – New Office, iPhone 7 & WordPress Updates

BBP : Episode 5 – New Office, iPhone 7 & WordPress Updates

On today’s show we talk about why I missed last week while I moved computers, desks, exercise equipment and a host of other junk to a new office.

We also talk why this year’s iPhone is just a place holder for next year’s 10 year anniversary device, and updating WordPress and Divi.

Have a comment, question or even an interview suggestion? Contact me or send me a note on Twitter @BeBizzy.

Then leave the technical stuff to us!

Motorola Moto Z Droid Smartphone

Motorola Moto Z Droid Smartphone

Most Olympic swimming events are decided by tenths, even hundredths of seconds. During this Olympic cycle there have even been several ties for medals as there was literally no way to separate athletes as they came to the wall.

And then there were the races that had Katie Ledecky.

Ledecky won the 800m freestyle final by 11 SECONDS. The entire field of runners in the Mens 100m sprint ran their complete race in a shorter amount of time than that. And aside from Katie just being a superior athlete, a main reason for her dominance was a change in the stroke she was using. By changing the game, she changed the outcome… by a lot.

Same goes for technology. When we were tired of carrying CD’s around, mp3’s showed up. When we were tired of carrying multiple sets of media around that stored mp3’s, the iPod appeared. As a DJ I’ve used LP’s, VHS tapes, cassettes, CDs and now mp3 and mp4 files stored on laptops for all my music allowing thousands of songs instead of a handful of records in crates.

On the mobile phone front we were at a bit of a crossroads. Both Android and iOS are pretty good at what they do, and unless you were an enthusiast the same phone would work for years at a pretty acceptable level. All have good cameras, have LTE network service (some networks are better than others), decent processors and are built thinner and lighter. Many have expandable storage. All can have cases and protective covers added.

But once in a while someone changes the game. The Motorola Moto Z Droid is that change. AND, it’s exclusive to Verizon Wireless.

On the surface, the phone is like most any other high-end smartphones.

  • 5.5″ Gorilla Glass screen
  • Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM, 32/64GB memory, expandable up to 256GB
  • 13MP primary, 5MP selfie camera
  • Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, accelerometer
  • 2600 mAh battery
  • NO headphone jack! Don’t worry, there’s an adapter to connect to the USB-C in the box and another way to listen available.

Ok, the lack of a standard headphone jack is weird, but other than that, pretty standard stuff.

The MODS

Moto ModsWhat changes the game, is the MODS.

For those of you not familiar with the new mods for the Moto Z, here you go. Mods are attached to the main phone body by a series of powerful magnets, making the attachment easy and not requiring any disassembly of the phone. These mods allow you to transform your phone so the capabilities are extended and include:

  • Moto Insta-Share Projector
    Project your phone screen up to 70″ on any surface, self adjusting the keystone to accomodate the picture. Great for business people who may need to show spreadsheets or slides, or just anyone who may want to show photos or video to friends or family.
  • JBL Soundboost Speaker
    High quality JBL sound anywhere with a built-in kickstand. There’s even an extra battery that brings up to 10 hours of extra battery life.
  • Incipio offGRID Power Pack
    Need up to 22 hours of extra battery life? This sleek battery “case” looks like a beautiful case and continues to work with wireless charging.
  • Moto Style Shell
    Add materials like real wood, genuine leather and more as a styling case to the Moto Z with the Style Shells. Magnets allows you to change in seconds, and while the unprotected back of the phone has the camera protruding a bit more than most phones, the shells (and other mods) bring the camera flush and protected.

So why the big deal?

Phones like the iPhone do a great job of finding the “happy medium.” The have good storage, a good camera, decent battery and ok speakers. Several Android phones maintained the slightly “better-than-average” features as well with better cameras and ok sound, or a great battery, but poor front camera.

The Moto Z mods allow additional functionality to be added to an already great device by simply attaching extension mods to the original phone via strong magnets. So a business person who doesn’t need impressive sound can have a 70″ projector in his pocket, or a power user can have an additional 2200 mAh of battery ( for a TOTAL OF 4800 mAh!!), or that girl who takes a ton of videos can show them using the JBL speaker mod with the attached kickstand.

Throw in the fact that most of us buy some sort of case but may want to go without, or with a different look for multiple events and this makes the mods invaluable.

This phone and the mods are a great step forward in mobile technology. Sure, eventually, we’ll all have a projector built in, a great battery, and amazing speakers in a same small footprint occupied by the Moto Z and other great smartphones. But until then, the Moto Z forces other mobile phone companies to take a look at their devices and think, “What about this?”

Check out the Moto Z Droid and it’s mods at a local Verizon store or at the Verizon Wirless website.

Want to learn more about the Moto Z mods? Watch the official video:

or this great review of the projector and speaker from Hot Hardware.

Do you have, or want, the Motorola Moto Z Droid? I’d love to hear your review on the device, or get questions if you need some clarification on something before you take the plunge.

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

Right Time To Move To A Phablet?

Right Time To Move To A Phablet?

Most of us have used cell phones, or more recently, smartphones in our daily life. In recent years, our phones have replaced our computers as our go-to internet device, our communication device, even our entertainment device.

Even more recently companies like Samsung, Google and even Apple have moved to larger devices. Some have included a stylus, some have included extra battery, but all have added screen real estate which makes video, games, and even apps better and easier to use.

So is it time to move to a phablet (phone/tablet)?

I have used cell phones since the day of bag phones (yeah, I’m old… I  know). Since the bag phone I’ve used large brick phones, small flip phones, a large Microsoft Pocket PC with a hidden keyboard, iPhones, Android phones, and yes, even phablets.  I’ve been the COO of an internet company, worked in inside and outside sales, a marketing agency, and now own two businesses.

Of all my experiences, needs and uses my favorite phone to this day is my Samsung Note.

To be fair, I use my phone for a TON of different things like taking notes during meetings, keeping my schedule up to date, websites, emails, social media, photos and much, much more. But really, what could you get from that extra screen real estate?

  • Larger videos for you and the family to watch Netflix or your own videos.
  • More readable font sizes without cramming things on to your narrow screen
  • Pen stylus for note taking, picture drawing, or stylus-specific apps.
  • Better screen for GPS apps
  • Better mobile internet viewing, especially for mobile-enabled pages, but even when viewing websites that have not been made for mobile viewing (call me if this is your page… I can help!)
  • An awesome social media experience when it comes to Facebook, Instagram and others.  Photos and videos just look better in a larger format.
  • And more…

What might be some of the negatives?

  • Larger footprint takes up more space in purse or can be tough to fit in a pocket.
  • For those with smaller hands (me!) it can be problematic to use one-handed (the Note software compensates for this if activated).
  • The larger screen does use battery at a faster rate
  • If you already use a tablet, some of the features could overlap, or possibly be replaced by a phablet (positive?).

So with the recent announcement of the Samsung Note 7, and the impending iPhone 7+ (rumored) announcement days away, now might be the time to consider a larger phone. Personally, I am out-of-contract, and am definitely considering the move to the Note 7 when it’s released in early September. After viewing the launch announcement and reviews (like this one from T3.com) it looks like very comparable specs to my Samsung Galaxy S7, with a larger screen and a few other great features like a bigger battery, more memory, the external memory is back, and of course, the S-Pen and assorted apps.

As the release date approaches and the iPhone announcement becomes official, I would encourage you to read reviews online, talk to your local Verizon store, and even watch the #VZWBUZZ hashtag on Twitter to get some awesome information on the Note 7 and the many benefits of the phablet devices. I can’t wait!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

Learn Your Smartphone Features This Spring

Learn Your Smartphone Features This Spring

Untitled designBy now the odds are good that you either own a smartphone or are considering one. Or maybe it could be that your husband or kids have joined the smartphone ranks recently. And while these devices are amazingly powerful computers in our pockets and purses, most users don’t understand how to use all of the features of smartphones.

Well, getting outside and doing some fun activities are a perfect opportunity to use these awesome smartphone features and to learn some new ones.

NOTE : Using some of these functions will utilize your data plan, so be care and keep track of your data use if that is a concern.

Camera

One of the best features of today’s smartphones is the fact we have a wonderful digital camera that shoots both photos and video at the ready at all times. My new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has one of the best mobile cameras available! As you’re out biking, hiking, or just playing in the sun, many photo ops will present themselves. Take a few moments to document beautiful, fun, or out of the ordinary things that mean something to you, or could be shared with others via email, text messages, or social media. There are more advanced apps available for taking and editing photos like Snapseed, so play around with them and start taking some fun photos.

Don’t forget to back these items up by using cloud services like Dropbox, Google Photos or others.

GPS, Location and Weather Services

Need to track an outdoor adventure or find new places to explore? Your smartphone has amazing location services at your fingertips. Google Maps is a default, but don’t forget to look for specific apps for your activity. I like to use Maverick for hunting/fishing, but there are city-specific apps that show trails and parks, apps for hikers that track altitude and others that will document trail progress.

And don’t forget the weather apps. Having weather data widgets Morecast and apps like Radarscrope can provide up-to-date radar, temp, wind and other weather data that can make starting, or stopping, your adventure on time a little easier.

Music and Other Media

Remember the days of having to cart a large boombox and a case full of cassette tapes to the beach or tennis court in order to have some entertainment while having fun outdoors? Not anymore! Now all you need is a smartphone and some headphones to have access to almost any song ever recorded. Throw in a bluetooth speaker and you can share this entertainment to the group. If your device supports it, you can store music on external memory, or use a streaming service like Spotify, Pandora or even Sirius XM if you’re a subscriber.

On the video side, keep yourself entertained with apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and HBO GO. There’s no excuse for being bored with access to your smartphone!

Social Media

In the last five years social media has captured over half of the adults in the US. We love to share photos, videos, news articles and random thoughts with anyone who may want to listen. So why not share where you are, what you’re doing, and who you are with in real time using your smartphone? Get out that camera, share locations, and let your friends feel jealous about you taking that kayak out today. Some of the more popular social media sharing sites are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

And don’t forget about sharing video in these sites using Facebook Live, Vine, Periscope and others.

The list of apps that allow you to share experiences with friends and family is endless. There are apps that help you with construction and remodel projects, travel, outdoor activities, and much, much more. Really, I think you would be surprised how many apps can help you have fun or document your adventures.

Grab your phone, and even your tablet, and get outside. Start taking photos, sharing adventures, and learning how to use all these great features on your tech. There’s plenty of demos and tutorials on YouTube and other resources. Then, when it comes to taking a photo of a wedding, sharing that video of your child singing at a school play, or finding a secret hiking spot on your next vacation, you’ll be a seasoned pro!

Have a tip you’d like to share with others about learning your phone’s features? Send it to me on Twitter @BeBizzy or leave them in the comment section below!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz

 

Customizing Your Android Smartphone Screens

Customizing Your Android Smartphone Screens

settingsAndroid smartphones are wonderful devices. The ways you can communicate with friends, family, co-workers and clients are almost limitless. Text messaging, instant message, social media, news sites, and yes, even phone calls are all just a finger press away. Add some calendar apps, weather widgets, productivity tools, media programs, a camera and news readers and you have a full-blown computer in your pocket or purse.

So why are you still using that default home screen background and ringtone? Your device has so many ways to customize the experience based on personal or business criteria, making the smartphone a much more powerful way to manage your life.

Below are some tips to make your phone, well, yours. Make it easier to get at apps, data, contacts and more with just a few minutes of customizing. Enjoy!

Launcher

The launcher is the look, feel and function of the whole operating system. It controls how many icons you can add to a page, how large the widgets can be, what shortcuts you have on the dock at the bottom of the screen and more. The default launcher installed by your mobile company is pretty good, but did you know that by adding free or really cheap launchers you can extend the capabilities and function of the launcher? My favorite launcher app is Nova Launcher. I use the $4.99 version to get a few extra features, but the free one works pretty well. This little program will allow changes to :

  • Number of vertical and horizonal apps allowed in the grid. Great for tablets that have WAY more real estate.
  • Icon and folder size and the label layout.
  • Whether or not the Google Search Bar is present and how it looks.
  • How the App Drawer (where all of your installed apps are located) looks including scrolling direction and type, color, , animation and much more
  • Custom gestures and other inputs.
  • The ability to back up your desktop layout and import it into a differernt phone/tablet. This is HUGE is you’re transferring to a new device.

Try out the Nova Launcher or one of the many other launcher programs at the Google Play Store.

Folders

One of the limitations of the iOS platform used on iPhones and iPads is the inability of having an icon located in more than one place. That is NOT an issue with Android, so if you want an application link in a “Tools” folder, and also in a “Financial” folder, you have this option. Creating folders on your home screen, or just about anywhere else, is very simple.

  1. Drag an applcation shortcut on top of another icon. The system will hesitate for a moment and then drop the icon into a newly created folder along with the original appllication.
  2. Repeat this process for all of your applications until the folder is filled with your desired apps.
  3. Click on the folder once to open, then click on “Unnamed Folder” at the bottom and give your folder a name that identifies the types of apps contained like “Contacts,”  “Tools,” or “Social.”

I create multiple folders on multiple pages so I can get at business or personal specific information quickly.

Widgets

Widgets are an awesome way to bring some additional functionality to the Android environment. They are essentially ways to display app data on a particular screen in a way that makes it available at a glance or directly get to the app data. Some examples of widgets are weather data, email accounts, news and tasks.

  1. Widgets can be added anywhere there’s room and is done simply by clicking and holding anywhere on an open area of screen, opening the widget option.
  2. Click “Widgets” and select the information you’d like to add to the page like your weather app, or email.
  3. Drag the widget to the location of the page and release. If it fits, you will usually see some options to configure the layout, color, update times, etc for the data.

And below are a few of my favorites:

  • MoreCast – Great weather app that has several widgets to display current weather data and forecasts.
  • TypeMail – I have four email accounts on my phone so having unread counts or easily viewable widgets makes it easy to get to each account without opening several apps.
  • GTasks – I use Google Tasks to manage my several businesses and personal tasks. GTasks keeps them separate, but combines if I need.
  • Month – Have multiple Google Calendars on your device? Month combilnes them into one easy-to-view calendar widget.

Pages

Still trying to cram all of your information or data on to one screen? Android will let you keep as many pages as you wish, move them around so you can access them on the left or right swipe of your thumb, and set your “home” page.

As stated before, I have four businesses on my phone that I keep track of. Each business has a “page” full of contacts, tasks, email and other widgets and shortcuts. This allows me to keep everything separate and if I need a client phone number I go to the business page, pull up the “Contact” folder and click on the contact to make the call, email or text. I also keep links to specific apps here, shortcuts to web pages, and even a quick way to get to my OneNote or Drive accounts so I can access files or take notes on a specific client.

Pages are also a great way to separate your media like music or podcasts, books, and games from work related or personal information, or just to create a news and social media page loaded with constantly changing info that doesn’t interfere with your main page functionality.

Ringtones

Early on the Android system provided a way to assign new ringtones, and eventually a way to assign ringtones to specific contacts.

This is incredibly handy if you want to keep business and personal contacts straight, or even to know when your daughter calls. Now, changing the default ringtone is pretty simple, but editing a contact with a specific ringtone can be a bit more difficult for inexperienced users, but essentially:

  1. Pull the contact up in “Contacts” and “Edit” the contact.
  2. Select “More” at the bottom of the contact and scroll down until you see “Ringtone”
  3. Select one of the pre-programmed ringtones, or “Add ringtone” at the bottom, which will allow you to search for songs or other ringtones and assign it to the contact.

As I said before, the Android operating system has a TON of ways to customize the experience exactly to your liking. Charge up that phone, create some pages, start adding shortcuts and widgets, and turn that computer in your hand into the device your friends and family will envy!

I have included some images below of my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge pages. Use them as inspiration if you need, or tell me how YOU customized your phone or tablet @BeBizzy on Twitter or in the comments below!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz

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