My 2017 Smartphone Wishlist

My 2017 Smartphone Wishlist

You have a smartphone. Heck, you might even be reading this on a smartphone.

And we take these wonderful gadgets for granted. We shop on them, entertain ourselves on them, run our business communications on them, and some times we just waste time on them. But it’s rare that we’re ever happy with what we have because the next big thing is always six months away, right?

So with the 10 year anniversary of the iPhone almost upon us I thought it was a good time to compile a list of things I want in my next smartphone. All of the flagship phones  from Samsung, Motorola, Google, and even Apple are close, but they always seem to have one or more things missing. I know, I know, there’s only so much space in these ever shrinking product profiles, but a guy can dream, right?

So here it is…

My 2017 Smartphone Wishlist

  • Screen size – I’ve always been a “bigger is better” fan, but the 5″ screen is really a sweet spot. However, knowing I need more space for battery and other stuff, I think we’ll need a 5.5″ screen. Besides, watching videos, reading emails and doing just about anything else is just better on a bigger, more colorful screen.
  • Battery Size : Speaking of battery, we need to find a way to get to 4000mAh batteries without causing heat or cramping of other stuff. We put a more powerful computer that I owned five years ago on my DESK, in my pocket, so the wizards at the battery company can find a way to do this. Also, why every phone doesn’t have wireless charging as an option is beyond my comprehension.
  • Camera : A really, really, really good rear facing camera. Like the one on the Pixel, good, camera. 15-20mp, image stabilization, low light correction, like the Google Pixel. If you want/need to cut corners on something do it on the front facing camera. I rarely use it for selfies, video or anything else, but we need a good main camera, like on the Google Pixel (did I hit that one home?).
  • Case : Drop proof, spill proof, not overly thin and not overly light. I like to feel like I have something made well, but not a brick.
  • Memory : Expandable memory!!! I am a mobile DJ and also run a web design and consulting business. I LOVE to have backups of my data, so if I can have all or most of my websites on my phone, and critical music to play at a wedding all saved on a memory card, life is good. Others could save critical documents, photos, notes, just about anything on their phones. As far as onboard memory, I think any phone needs to be at last 32GB going forward. We all have too many apps and other information to use an 16GB phone anymore, of course 64 is better, right?
  • Speakers : Stereo speakers are a must-have. The end.
  • Accessories : I am a big fan of the Moto Mods. The ability to easily snap on a JBL speaker to workout of sit around a fire outside, easily add extra battery without working with difficult cases, or adding a crazy-good camera to an already good camera is wonderful. Other manufacturers should take a look at this method as an option. I’m agnostic about the headphone port. Although the old ports worked well, the USB-C adapters or wireless headphones get the job done.

Well there you have it. Build this phone, keep it under $800 and make sure it safely goes about its job, and anything else you add to it is just fluff. I hear things like a possibly curved screen on coming iPhones, flip phone smartphones that hinge the screen in the middle, and even have seen phone attachments that project a touchable phone image on your arm. We’re at that point where, like cars, things are being added to the smartphone that are nice-to-haves, not needs. For those of us who rely on mobile computing to run businesses and other parts of our life, we just want the needs covered more reliably and for an acceptable cost.

What do YOU want on your next smartphone? Better selfie-cameras? A standard headphone jack? Let me know in the comments below or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter.

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 19 – Twitter Suspensions, 9.4 Billion in Mobile Profit, and Milebug

BBP: Episode 19 – Twitter Suspensions, 9.4 Billion in Mobile Profit, and Milebug

Happy Week After Thanksgiving, everyone.

Hope you had a wonderful long weekend, or OK short weekend if you were working.

Episode 19 – Twitter Suspensions, 9.4 Billion in Mobile Profit, and Milebug

  • Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, got his Twitter account suspended by accident last week. I’ve had this as well. What can you do once this happens?
  • Smartphone PROFIT for the 3rd quarter was $9.4 BILLION globally. Out of that, Apple gobbled up 91% of that profit.
  • Microsoft continues to attempt to make it OK for the LinkedIn purchase with the EU. Now opening Outlook to 3rd party app developers in regards to LinkedIn info
  • Real News – What is real news? Can you actually build something to filter out “semi-real” news? How does this affect advertising?
  • Milebug – Awesome Android and iOS app to track mileage and other expenses. I’ve been using it for years and highly recommend it.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP: Episode 18 – Closing Datamarket, Get AMP’d & Corrected Facebook Data

BBP: Episode 18 – Closing Datamarket, Get AMP’d & Corrected Facebook Data

Happy Monday, everyone! Just a quick podcast today as I’m heading out of town for a client meeting.

Episode 18 – Closing the Datamarket, Get AMP’d & Facebook Reporting Errors

  • Google has announced last week that while it likes mobile sites to be build with AMP (accelerated mobile page) in mind, it will still show desktop site results above AMP sites, even in mobile searches.
    • Takeaway might be to put AMP design on the back burner and focus on responsive right now.
  • Microsoft Azure Datamarket is closing March 31, 2017.
    • Start looking for alternatives now to avoid the rush
  • Facebook acknowledged it found reporting issues in video views and more back in September and it has adjusted numbers accordingly.
    • The company has promised to bring in more 3rd party data reviews to ensure the accuracy of information.

That’s it for today!

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

 

BBP:Eposide 17 – Holiday Marketing with Mandy Edwards and Google Photoscan

BBP:Eposide 17 – Holiday Marketing with Mandy Edwards and Google Photoscan

Oh the weather outside is frightful… or at least it will be in a few days. Big storm a’comin’ to the midwest and heading east.

BBP: Episode 17 – Google Photoscan and Holiday Marketing

But inside here on the BeBizzy Break Podcast we’re just talking about the holidays and your marketing.

  • Google Photoscan – need to digitize your old photos and upload them to social media or a secure cloud location? Photoscan will do just that. Available for the iOS & Android devices you can easily scan any old photo or document and keep it digitally.
  • Mandy Edwards from ME Marketing Services  joins the Break to discuss getting your small business ready for the holiday season with some tips on making your digital locations as well as your traditional marketing efforts a bit more seasonal.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP: Episode 16 – Yahoo! Mail, SSLs & Wearable Security

BBP: Episode 16 – Yahoo! Mail, SSLs & Wearable Security

It’s November 14, 2016… and it’s 56° in North Dakota. Something’s not right.

Episode 16 – Yahoo! Mail, SSLs and Wearable Security

But on today’s BeBizzy Break Podcast I talk a little bit about:

  • Yahoo! Mail, and why you should get rid of that thing moving to Outlook.com or Gmail
  • Why you should start planning on getting an SSL installed on your website to use HTTPS, even if you don’t collect secure information and just want it to maintain your current search position.
  • And wearable device security.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

Hasselblad True Zoom Camera Mod for the Moto Z

Hasselblad True Zoom Camera Mod for the Moto Z

moto-mods-hasselblad-pdp-specsexpanded-d-vzwI’m normally fairly neutral on smartphone accessories. Yeah, bluetooth speakers, cases, and charging stations can make life just a little bit quicker, brighter or better sound-wise, but they don’t change the operation of the phone a whole bunch.

But the Moto Z has changed that dramatically with their speaker, battery and projector mods. And last week I was asked to try out THE accessory that changes the game… the Hasselblad True Zoom Camera mod.

Hasselblad True Zoom Camera

The Hasselblad looks like a small-form attached lens camera, but when you snap it on to the Mozo Z magnetic connectors it changes the Moto Z into an awesome 10x-zoom enabled camera.

The camera comes with a on-off switch which calls up the camera app and opens the lens on the Hasselblad, and also a wide/tight zoom toggle switch. Tapping the camera snap button once focuses the shot on auto and holding it down longer snaps the photo or starts the video.

I tried the camera in a variety of lighting situations and the focus and pixels were phenomenal, even with the camera “only” being 12MP.

Other specs include :

  • 12MP photo camera/1080p Full HD video at 30fps
  • 2 Mics
  • Aperature f3.5-6.5
  • Zoom : 10x optical/4x digital
  • Pro Mode Options : Focus, white balance, f-stop, ISO, exposure
  • White Balance Options : Auto, incandescent, florescent, sunny, shade
  • File formats : JPG, DNG (RAW) – Video : MPEG4
  • Battery Life : Phone Dependant

There are a few things I’m not 100% pleased with, mainly the camera is powered solely off the camera power. The projector and speaker mods both have their own on-board power and I think the camera would benefit if a large number of photos are going to be taken. And a manual focus ring instead of using the software would be nice. But both of these concerns don’t hurt the performance much and are not deal-breakers.

I am really excited to test this camera out in the next couple of weekends as I attend and DJ weddings, but if it performs like it does in the other situations I’ve already tested it in I will only get more impressed.

The Moto Z phone the mods are a wonderful leap forward for smartphone accessories and if you’re looking for that new smartphone, consider the Moto Z Force as you test flagship phones.

Demo Photos and Video

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img_20161105_080100605_hdr HB4116

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 14 – Laguna, Microsoft Teams & Lastpass

BBP: Episode 14 – Laguna, Microsoft Teams & Lastpass

Happy Day After World Series Day, everyone!

Congratulations to the fans of the Chicago Cubs on the team’s big Game 7 victory over the Cleveland Indians last night. It was the first baseball game I’ve watched in years and boy was I glad I did. Great game, and the horrible national nightmare of the 108 year winless streak is finally over.

Episode 14 Show Notes

  • Microsoft Teams – a Slack competitor
  • Microsoft Introduces a trade-in program from Macbook Pros to Surface devices.
    • Program ends November 11, 2016, so hurry up!
  • LastPass – making the mobile app free! You can use Lastpass to manage secure passwords across all of your logins and keep it safe with one secure password
    • Mobile traffic from StatCounter has finally passsed desktop. 51% of all web traffic is now mobile. – Have you updated your website yet?
  • Get ready for Snapchat Glasses – codename Laguna
    • Video camera sunglasses going on sale in the coming weeks
    • Synced to smartphone and snapchat accounts
    • Video files up to 10 seconds
  • Hype – Live Video Broadcasting app from the creators of Vine
      • Creators were not happy when Twitter announced Vine was being shut down.
      • iOS beta app
      • Competitors include Periscope, Snapchat, and Facebook Live and the rumored Instagram livestreaming app, GoInst

As always, make sure you send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

BBP : Episode 12 – LinkedIn Company Pages, Surface Studio & Toggl

BBP : Episode 12 – LinkedIn Company Pages, Surface Studio & Toggl

Sorry we missed Monday’s broadcast, but I was on SuperTalk 1270am to guest host the Tech Ranch radio show and most of the afternoon/evening at an open house for Harvest Events, a new wedding venue in Mandan, ND. 

Episode 12 Topics

  • The Smartwatch is dead, or not…
  • Mac Sierra 10.12.1 was released, upgrade today!
  • New beta LinkedIn Company Pages are being rolled out to some
  • The new Microsoft Surface Studio all-in-one computer was announced today:
    • 32GB RAM, 2TB HD/SD storage, four USB 3.0 ports, MiniDisplay port
    • Surface Dial – haptic feedback device that can be placed on the touchscreen
    • Hinge allows the 28″ monitor to be laid perfectly flat for document markup, design work and more.
    • True Scale function features a 1″:1″ actual scale.
    • $2999, available for pre-order today
  • Toggl
    • Great time-tracking app I have used for a few months
    • Pushes time, projects and client info to virtually any device in almost real time.
    • Free for small/solo users, but cost ranges from $9-59 for a variety of features
    • http://www.toggl.com 

Best Hunting Android Apps

Best Hunting Android Apps

For many of us, fall is our favorite season because it’s finally hunting season. Millions wander out into the wilds of the United States with friends and relatives in search of small game, birds, and big game, and most of us are taking our phones with us.

Best Android Hunting Apps

Hunting is a way states and other government agencies use to both manage the populations of game species, and acquire money for a wide variety of conservation efforts. Those of us that participate spend billions (yes, with a B) of dollars to travel, eat and engage in hunting activities. Mobile technology is making hunting safer with navigation, weather and communication apps, and can make the hunt a bit more successful with some range data and environment apps.

  • RangeLog – $4.99 – App for tracking your range time and shooting stats. Great if you shoot competitively or just want to see how your firearm is performing each time you wander to a range.
  • Solunar – Easily see fish and game activity based on the sun and moon locations and visibility. It also displays sunrise and sunset times based on GPS location.
  • SAS Survival – Free – Stay safe in any situation by seeing how to perform first aid, water discovery, and shelter building. Hope you don’t need it.
  • Zello – Free – Use your phone like a walkie-talkie. Only works when you have a signal, but will work across any distance.
  • Maverick GPS Navigation – Free or Paid – Great for marking game or fish location, with the ability to save photos and other data for these locations.
  • Google Maps – Free – This powerful little map app lets you save and label pinpoints on the maps, and then even show you how to get there using the navigation function. AND, it’s probably already on your device.
  • Family Locator – Free – Want someone to know where you are at all times? The Family Locator will broadcast the GPS location as long as you have a connection. Great if you plan on going somewhere new, remote, or alone.
  • Brag! – Free – Post that photo of your big buck or first stream-caught trout on this photo sharing app.

Well, now you’re all set. Head out into the wild and pursue your dream buck. But first get that phone ready with some apps to make your trip more enjoyable.

Good luck, and stay safe!

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

Choosing Your Next Smartphone

Choosing Your Next Smartphone

It finally happened, didn’t it? You dropped your smartphone and the screen is either damaged or doesn’t work at all.

So you wander into your nearest Verizon store and only then it hits you… there are DOZENS of choices! Samsung Galaxy, Moto, HTC, Pixel, iPhone… and much, much more.

How is it even possible to decide what phone is best for you, your spouse, your child, or even your parents?

Choosing Your Next Smartphone

  • Decide on Deal Breakers : What do you absolutely NEED in your phone? Usually there are one or two absolute must-haves you will want and/or need on your next phone. Some features that can be decided upon are :
    – Operating system (iOS/Android/Window)
    Carrier, if you are out of contract and want better service
    – Screen size
    – Camera specs
    – Onboard memory size
    – Expandable memory
    – Spillproof
    – Speed, screen resolution, weight, fingerprint scanners, accessories, etc
  • Look of the Phone : Like it or not many of us like to have a phone that LOOKS cool. Apple used to have a monopoly on recognizable form factors, colors, and more, but now there is a vast number of possibilities in the Android lines like combination plastic/glass/aluminum form factors, bezel sizes, available cases, or even if it comes in “Really Blue” like the new Google Pixel.
  • Friends and Other “Experts” : Have friends, family or other resources that you trust to guide you on this journey to new technology? Ask them, knowing full well that they may be biased towards certain operating systems, manufactures or devices. There will be a advocates on many sides based on their personal needs and usage, so filter all of that out as needed.
  • Apps : Sometimes apps just don’t work well on certain phones. Unfortunately for many of us on the bleeding edge of technology it can be too late to find out a certain app doesn’t work on a recently purchased phone. But if you’re getting into the game a few weeks after launch it will often become obvious by reading reviews, online reports or other sources that the apps you need to function at work, your personal life, or entertainment does or does not work with the device you had in mind.
  • Ease of Transition : Most manufacturers have apps that will make the transition from your phone to a new device extremely easy, especially if you are moving Samsung to Samsung, or Motorola to Motorola. This can be a concern to someone who is not very technical or does’t have access, or is willing to pay someone to move apps, data and settings to the new phone. There are other apps that will do this for you as well, my favorite being My App List, which keeps a list of all installed apps that can be transferred to a new phone/tablet for easy install. I also use a custom launcher (Nova) and after all the apps are installed, I can transfer the layout of my home and other screens to the new phone and all the shortcuts and widgets will automatically be created or laid out for me. You can also ease the transition by moving images and videos to Google Photos, contacts to your Google account, move documents to Dropbox, and more!
  • Compare the Specs : All the “easy” stuff is done, and if you still haven’t made up your mind, there are the pure technical specs of the phone that could sway you one way or another.  Below are few of the flagship Android device specs as listed on the Verizon Wireless website:Google Pixel
    Standby Time – Up to:19 days
    Usage Time – Up to:22 hrs
    Camera12.3 MP
    Front Camera8 MP
    Width2.74 in
    Weight5.04 oz
    Height5.66 in
    Screen5.0’’ FHD 441ppi AMOLED, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 >75% Active Area
    Battery2770 mAh
    Operating SystemAndroid Nougat 7.1
    StorageRAM: 4GB LPDDR4, Flash 32GB or 128GB (Actual formatted capacity is less)
    ColorsQuite Black, Very Silver, or Really Blue (Subject to availability)
    SARHead: 0.92 W/Kg@1g, Body: 0.58 W/Kg@1g
    Hearing Aid CompatibilityM4/T4
    Network3x Carrier aggregation; CAT 9 (450 Mbps DL/50 Mpbs); CDMA: BC0/BC1; LTE: B13, B4, B2, B5;
    Global NetworkLTE (Global) B3, B7, B20, B28; GSM Quad B5, B8, B3, B2 (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) UMTS Quad B5, B8, B2, B1 (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz);
    ProcessorSnapdragon 821; MSM8996 pro AB Quad Core 2+2 Kryo 2.15GHz / 1.6GHz
    HD VoiceExperience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.


    Samsung Galaxy S7

    Standby Time – Up to:12 days‡
    Usage Time – Up to:27 hrs‡
    Camera12 MP
    Front Camera5 MP
    Width2.74 in
    Weight5.36 oz
    Height5.61 in
    Screen5.1” Quad HD, Super Amoled, 577 PPI; Full Touch Bar
    Battery3,000mAH, Non-removable
    Operating SystemAndroid Marshmallow (6.0.1)
    StorageRAM: 4G, Flash 32GB (Actual formatted capacity is less)
    Expandable MemoryRemovable microSD up to 256GB (sold separately)
    ColorsBlack Onyx or Gold Platinum (Subject to availability)
    SARHead 1.24 W/kg; Body 1.41 W/kg
    Hearing Aid CompatibilityM4/T3
    NetworkCDMA 1X and EvDO Rev 0/RevA; LTE (Domestic) B13, B4, B2, B5
    Global NetworkLTE (Global) B3, B7, B20; GSM Quad B5, B8, B3, B2 (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) UMTS Quad B5, B8, B2, B1 (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); TDS CDMA 34, 39 TDD LTE 38, 39, 40, CAT 4 / CAT 6 / (CAT 9 capable)
    ProcessorQualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 Quad Core processor (MSM8996, Quad-Core, 2.15GHz + 1.6GHz)
    HD VoiceExperience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.


    Moto Z Force Droid

    Standby Time – Up to:20 days
    Usage Time – Up to:29 hrs
    Camera21 MP
    Front Camera5 MP
    Width2.98 in
    Weight5.75 oz
    Height6.14 in
    Screen5.5” AMOLED, 1440p Quad HD (2560 x 1440), 535 ppi; Shattershield™
    Battery3500 mAh (non-removable), TurboPower for up to 15 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging
    Operating SystemAndroid™ 6.0.1, Marshmallow
    Storage32 GB, 4GB RAM (Actual formatted capacity is less)
    Expandable MemorySupports microSD card up to 2 TB (sold separately)
    ColorsBlack/Lunar Grey or White/Fine Gold (Subject to availability)
    SAR0.78 W/kg (head), 1.14 W/kg (body)
    Hearing Aid CompatibilityM3/T3
    NetworkCDMA: 850, 1900MHz;GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); 4G LTE (B2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 13)
    ProcessorQualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 processor
    HD VoiceExperience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.

One final tip…  Join the #VZWBUZZ chat every Friday at 2pm Central on Twitter. We talk about tips on using your phones in real-world situations, give away great phone and accessorie prizes, and provide access to lifestyle professionals that use their mobile devices in a very wide spectrum of uses. Attendees may either have some of the same questions as you, or would benefit from YOU asking questions of the group. See you there!

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