Stylish smartphone protection isn’t always easy to find. Sometimes the style outweighs the protection elements, and let’s face it, most of the time the really protective smartphone cases aren’t very stylish at all. Recently, I got the opportunity to try out the OtterBox Commuter series cases which offer just enough style and protection that any on the go woman (or man) could use.
The Commuter series cases are one of the best cases I’ve put my hands on. Not only are the cases protective, but once you entrust your smartphone within its grasp it’s feels downright indestructible!
3D Commuter Series Western Flower
Protection: The Commuter series cases come with 2 layers of protection (actually it’s three). It includes an inner rubber case, a hard shell exterior AND an easy to install clear screen protector. Smartphone ports need protection from crumbs, dust and everything else too and OtterBox keeps the debris out with easy to maneuver port covers. After placing my iPhone 5s in this case, I literally felt like I could toss the phone across the room and it wouldn’t suffer a scratch, dent or one but of damage from impact. This case keeps your device so secure that it took longer to remove the protective case than it did to install it. (It was so secure that I was a little timid in maneuvering the removal for fear of damaging my device.) That’s real protection.
Style: The 3D Commuter series western flower case in sea foam, is a feminine break away from the typical glitter, rhinestone and pretty in pink cases. The two tone of aqua teal hues, coupled with the 3D floral design was a welcome standout to what’s considered as fashionable smartphone accessories.
Overall: As one of the most protective OtterBox Commuter cases that I’ve used, this case definitely gets an “A” for protection and “A” for style. What more could you want from a smartphone accessory that showcases your personal style while protecting your beloved device!
Commuter Series Wallet
Protection: The Commuter series cases come with 2 layers of protection (actually it’s three). It includes an inner rubber case, a hard shell exterior AND an easy to install clear screen protector. Smartphone ports need protection from crumbs, dust and everything else too and OtterBox keeps the debris out with easy to maneuver port covers.
Style: This case isn’t the most stylish, but it is protective and quite practical. The OtterBox Wallet secret card tray houses 3-4 cards. (I used mine to keep my ID, bank card and Metro Card in my hands at all times, since you can rarely catch me without my smartphone in hand.) It’s not as stylish as one would expect, which is why I added some flare with a mirrored protective screen cover. This practical smartphone case is now a wallet and a mirror. SCORE!
Overall: As one of the most protective OtterBox Commuter cases, this case wallet case is handy when going out without a bag or purse. It easily slides in and out of your pocket with ease. Now that I’ve added a mirrored protective case it’s a welcomed update from a one dimensional practical accessory into three and that makes me a pretty happy gal!
What do you look for in stylish and or practical smartphone accessories? Which one of these OtterBox Cases do you like best? Share your opinion below.
Watching Dr. Oz always leads to great information and products we can use to help us manage our health a little better. We use smartphones to pay bills, monitor our home, and start the car so why not use it to live a healthier life. To add to the list of health and fitness apps like calorie counters, progress trackers, and first aid guides, these wellness apps can help you manage the basics and get prompt medical information right at your fingertips. Well, here is a new one by Dr. Oz – and it’s FREE.
The health dashboard for your iPhone, Dr. Oz AskMD App was launched in December by Dr. Oz and former CEO of HowStuffWorks, helps us keep track of our health, identify symptoms and what might be ailing us. It is to help you be prepared and be a more active patient when visiting your doctor – come prepared, ask questions, track your symptoms. For example, you can enter your symptoms by tapping through a list of questions based on your ailment and the app will tell you the possible causes.
I think it’s a useful tool to help monitor our health and a place where we can store our health data. Where do you right the information you want to share with your doctor? On a sticky note, scrap paper, or do you think you will remember it? I never do and can never find the scrap of paper either. Most important the app is designed to track your symptoms over a period of time giving you a more accurate timeline for symptoms and being able to share it with your doctor. I think it’s worth it. How about you?
App Name: AskMD
Devices: iPhone and iPod Touch
Lets face it, now more than ever before we live in a mobile world where getting work done on the go is a must. When multitasking is the name of the game, being held down to a hard line phone for a conference call is the last thing on my mind. Last week while surviving Snowpocalypse Pax in NYC I decided to re-create my conference call experience in my home office with the addition of a powerful, portable speaker. I hung up my bluetooth earpiece and tested the latest in mobile conference call speaker systems – the Philips WeCall HD Bluetooth Conference Speaker.
Who knew a device so compact and small could create a conference room space within my home office? The lightweight WeCall speaker comes out the box already charged and ready to be connected to your iPhone wirelessly via Bluetooth or Mac/PC using the included USB. The setup was relatively easy if you’ve ever paired a device on iOS/Android or Mac/PC before. The USB isn’t just for connecting your computer either, it’s also the primary way to charge the speaker as well. With a max battery time of 8hrs – one charge should last you at least 8-10 conference calls or 3-4 girlfriend chats (because we all know how a 20-minute chat with your girlfriend can transform into a 2hr chat with your girlfriend in an instant.)
The microphone is what really sets the WeCall apart from it’s competitors and standard phone/tablet/computer hardware. Once connected, I noticed that my conference call clarity was far superior using the WeCall than the speakers on my iPhone 5s or the MacBook Air at the same distance. Moments where I’d fade out standing up and walking around on standard hardware, the WeCall would increase sensitivity as I moved away from the mic. This can be attributed to the four omni-directional microphones that can pick up your voice from 360-degrees. Which is perfect if the device is sitting in the middle of a conference room space, or if you tend to walk around during a particular conference call – the WeCall will pick up your voice from more than 3 feet away. Never again will you have to hover over your speaker microphone to ensure a clear, crisp call.
If you’re like me when making conference calls, you often want to adjust the volume or mute the call so you can either A.) Talk smack about the person on the other end of the call. B.) Make sure call participants don’t hear your television blaring your favorite reality tv show in the background. C.) Hear the “other” call conversation you have going on your other line. The WeCall buttons for hanging up, volume control and muting can easily be found on either corner on the top of the speaker (making it easy to jump back into the conversation the moment your attention lapse or (attendance lapse) has been felt. [Check out the Philips WeCall in action HERE.]
Just in case you need a calendar organizing system to keep a conference call schedule, the WeCall also comes with a free app in the Apple Store. The WeCall App acts as a secondary conference phonebook/calendar which stores numbers and codes for one-touch connection with ease. The WeCall app not only automatically dials into conference calls when they appear on the calendar; it also enters the conference call ID number for the consumer making it the perfect virtual assistant in the office and on the road.
Overall, the Philips WeCall is a great tech addition to any home office or conference room space. No wonder the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has awarded it with the prestigious 2014 International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award. As an award recipient for outstanding design and engineering in consumer electronics products, the Philips WeCall HD Bluetooth Conference Speaker ($149) should definitely be considered the next time you’re thinking about upgrading the tech in your office space.
CES Unveiled LAS VEGAS is the Official Media Event of the International CES and is attended by more than 1,200 media to cover boundary-breaking innovation from more than 70 exhibitors from around the world. Press come to catch the latest products in one room and get a preshow look at what will be making headlines during CES. There were major companies highlighting the best in fitness, gaming, desktop computing and more. We scoured the showroom floor for the haute and stylish accessories that you want to see. The female-friendly standouts at CES Unveiled includes washable headphones, stylish UV protection jewelry, and a funky Bluetooth boom box better than anything you’ve seen before.
Humlan by Urbanears
Humlan is a brand new concept in headphones from Urbanears. Humlan’s headband and ear cushions can be removed and thrown in
with the wash,just like your favorite T-shirt. Your listening experience is guaranteed to befresh and clean, even if the music you listen to is not. Humlan’s slim on-ear fitmakes it super easy to wear, and its angled speakers deliver a clear and precisesound. Because Humlan belongs to the Urbanears family, it also comeswith some handy features like the ZoundPlug for instant music sharing and microphone and remote for picking up calls and hands-free talking.
June By Netatmo
Discover when and how to protect from UV rays, avoid sun damage and prevent premature skin aging. With JUNE on your wrist, measure sun intensity in real time and monitor your total daily sun exposure. JUNE is designed in the spirit of a diamond, with facets that glimmer and shine like the rays of the sun. Versatile, JUNE can be worn as a bracelet or as a brooch and comes in three glamourous colors – platinum, gold or gunmetal. The JUNE App gives tailor-fit sun protection advice based on your habits and skin type.
The bracelet observes the habits of the user and the companion App determines the recommended sun protection for their skin type whether it be applying SPF, putting on a hat,wearing sun glasses or seeking out shade. JUNE will be available in the second quarter of 2014 in select fashion, beauty and consumer electronics stores. Suggested retail price is $99. The JUNE App will be available for free download and will be compatible for iPhone 4S and above. Discover more at netatmo.com.
iHome Retro Bluetooth Boombox
iHome keeps it Retro with their newest addition to their Portable Bluetooth speaker assortment, the Retro Boombox Series. The new series was engineered with dual two-way stereo speakers featuring two 4 Inch woofers, and two 1 Inch tweeters. Powering these four speakers is a built-in class D digital amplifier providing users with incredible depth, and detail on whatever they choose to listen to. Compatible with the latest bluetooth streaming formats, the iHome series retro boombox is a perfect compliment to your bedroom, office, garage, or wherever you want to listen to some cool tunes from your tablet, or smartphone. If your old MP3 player does not have bluetooth, fear not, iHome equipped this retro ghetto blaster boombox with a 3.5mm mini-jack (Aux In) input for all non-bluetooth compatible devices. In addition, this stereo speaker system features a built-in FM radio, 5 band graphic equalizer, USB smartphone, tablet, iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc. device charge port, and can accompany users anywhere. The rubberized finish on this boom box was intended to survive the rugged conditions of outdoor usage. Suggested retail price is $199 for more visit ihomeaudio.com
What do you want to see at the Consumer Electronics Show? Want more of the latest MUST SEE tech from CES 2014? Follow @DivasandDorks along on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #CES2014 #CesOnTrend and #ConnectedByOnStar all week long!
It’s one day left until the new year and you’re looking to take control of your mobile plan, once and for all. You’re not looking for a new device, just a better voice plan that you control. Why not take a look at Aio Wireless? Aio Wireless is a great alternative, keeping you free from long contracts, expensive monthly fees and could ultimately help you save the money you want – for all of your new year, new you resolutions.
Aio Wireless keeps it simple with three plans at affordable prices. All plans include unlimited talk, text, and data – including 4G LTE. Plans range from $40 to $70 per month, with taxes and fees included.
There are three easy ways to enjoy Aio’s affordable service with a device you already own and love: You can buy it, bring it or trade it.
BUY IT: Customers can purchase from Aio’s great selection of smartphones, tablets, and feature phones from Samsung, Nokia, ZTE, and others.
BRING IT: Or, bring a device you already own to an Aio store for activation with Aio service; (you can even activate it on your own online at www.aiowireless.com.)
TRADE IT: if there’s an Aio Wireless in your town, you can bring a qualifying wireless phone to an Aio store to trade-in for a credit towards an upgraded phone or accessory.
Aio Wireless was created for today’s value-conscious connected consumers who want it all. There are more options than ever before and with Aio Wireless’ new service and value savings – saving money could be a new year’s resolution that you can actually keep. One with no-annual contract, friendly service, uncomplicated plans and the mobile phones and tablets you love. All of Aio’s phone plans include unlimited talk, text, and data, with taxes and fees included – the price you see is the price you pay.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Aio Wireless through The bLink Marketing Network. All opinions shared are my own.
stores tracking customers
When you walk into a brick and mortar retail store like a Nordstrom, Cabela, or even Family Dollar, you’re being tracked around the store. Not by an over-suspicious security guard, but by the store’s wireless network, using your phone’s Wi-Fi. The store then uses your phone to track you around the store, determine if you’re a repeat visitor, see what departments you visit, and more. Here’s how they do it, and how to stop them.
The New York Times broke the story that a number of retail stores are either experimenting with or actively using technology that uses your phone’s Wi-Fi to track your movements around the store. We’re not talking about location within a few meters either—we’re talking about exact location.
stores tracking customers
Nordstrom, the store that the New York Times focuses on in its piece (although it’s not the only one doing this) installed sensors around some of its stores that would scan for smartphones with Wi-Fi turned on and scanning for networks. The sensors would then make note of the device’s MAC address (an address that’s unique to your phone) and use it to identify and follow the device as it moves about the store. Information about how frequently that MAC address visits the store, which departments it visits when it’s in the store, how long it stays in each department, and how long it stays in the store. Granted, you are not your phone’s MAC address, but if you carry your phone with you all the time, you may as well be. As the NYT explains:
Nordstrom’s experiment is part of a movement by retailers to gather data about in-store shoppers’ behavior and moods, using video surveillance and signals from their cellphones and apps to learn information as varied as their sex, how many minutes they spend in the candy aisle and how long they look at merchandise before buying it.
All sorts of retailers — including national chains, like Family Dollar, Cabela’s and Mothercare, a British company, and specialty stores like Benetton and Warby Parker — are testing these technologies and using them to decide on matters like changing store layouts and offering customized coupons.
This controversy isn’t likely to die down anytime soon, but if all of this cell phone tracking makes you uncomfortable, there’s a simple answer: Turn off Wi-Fi on your phone when you go shopping, or turn your phone off entirely.
If your phone is using mobile data, these systems can’t connect to your device to track it, so turning off Wi-Fi is a good option if you still want to be able to use your phone while you shop. The only surefire way to make sure no one’s tracking you though is to turn off your phone entirely. That doesn’t get you out of video surveillance (which most stores make it clear you’re opting into when you walk in anyway), but it does get you out of these programs if you want out.
Does store surveillance using your smartphone wifi worry you? Would you consider shopping elsewhere if you discovered a store tracking your every move while shopping? Sound off below!
stores tracking customers
What is fashionable tech? Fashion meets technology is the name of the game & now there’s no reason why your personal tech should lack style and individuality that reflects you! We’ve got a taste of our favorite must-have trends for the season (MOST of them under $100) including iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S4 cases and much, much more below!
Leather arrived as a strong trend on the 2013 Spring runways this past season, with more lightweight options than have been previously characterized by the classic material to accompany the traditional cropped leather jacket and skinny leather pants. Elle pointed out this particular shift in their 2013 Spring Trend Guide, and we are seeing the same trend in tech accessories, with leather options ranging from leather tech gloves to quilted leather headphones. Discover some of our favorites from designers like Kate Spade below.Kate Spade New York Quilted Logo Leather Tech Gloves ($148, Bloomingdales) | 2. A.L.C. X Frends 20th Anniversary Capsule Collection Exclusive Taylor Headphones ($275, Intermix Online) | 3. Trendy Techy Black Quilted iPad Bag ($20, Miamica) | 4. iPhone 5 Madison Case ($80, Case-Mate)
Everyone from Elle and Cosmo, to even Oprah noted the 2013 Spring print trend that was seen abundantly on the runway in every form from floral to graphic, strips to tribal, and all prints in between. With so many print possibilities, they began to pop up fairly quickly in the tech accessories space from designers such as Jonathan Adler and Lilly Pulitzer.Lily Pulitzer Floral Print Mobile Charger ($28, Nordstrom) | 2. Kate Spade Harrison Stripe USB ($50, Kate Spade New York) | 3. Urban Outfitters Printed Earbuds ($4.99, Wanelo) | 4. iPhone Jessica Swift Giselle Print Case ($40, Case-Mate) | 5. Jonathan Adler On-The-Go iPhone 5 Charger ($38, Horchow)
Shine and sparkle seem to always be on trend in fashion, but for spring 2013 it was all about everyday bling. Daytime shine became the new daring fashion statement, according to Instyle, and with sequins and rhinestones no longer only for a night out, we began to see this trend infiltrating the world of everyday tech and mobile accessories as well.iPhone 5 Champagne Glam Case ($50, Case-Mate) | 2. Audio Technica Headphones w/Swarovski Elements ($564, CrystalRocked.com) | 3. Everwanted Glitter Mini Speaker ($21.95, Zazzle) | 4. Swarovski Crystalline Memory Stick ($60, Macys) | 5. Iridescent Beauty Glitter Laptop Skin ($40, Etsy)
The natural retro vibe has begun to grow back in to fashion in the form of wooden accessories, as noted by Vogue who points to the bags and wooden platforms seen in the Resort 2014 collections of everyone from Michael Kors to Chloe. The same is true in the world of mobile and technology accessories. See some of our favorites in the market below.Triple C ‘iSolar Backup’ Portable Solar Battery ($45, Nordstrom) | 2. Driftwood iPad Dock ($108, Anthropologie) | 3. Triple C ‘BluBoom’ Portable Speaker ($74, Nordstrom) | 4. iPhone 5 Zebrawood Case($50, Case-Mate) | 5. Hasselblad Stellar Zebra Wood Camera ($1,950, HasselBlad Stellar via Werd.com)
The runways of Spring 2013 also saw metallic accents in everything from shoes and handbags to jewelry as documented by FashionMagazine.com. Though, metallics accents may not seem like a novel concept for tech accessories, we have seen a shift from solely the traditional silvers to the inclusion of fashionable metallic colors such as rosegold and the pairings of different textures, such as polished and brushed.Stelle Audio Pillar ($349, Stelle Audio Couture) | 2. ‘Taylor’ Headphones ($199.99, Nordstrom) | 3.Damier Graphite USB Key ($540, Louis Vitton) | 4. iPhone 5 Brushed Aluminum Case ($50, Case-Mate) | 5. ‘Ella B’ Earbuds ($99, Nordstrom)
Via Case-Mate blog
Ahhhhhhhh…. Spring is in the air! It’s finally time to bring on the flirty dresses, rooftop happy hours and smartphone dating? Yup, you read that right! With mobile dating being the fastest and easiest way to find and meet new singles near you, it was only a matter of time for the latest mobile app to make dating easier than ever ever before! Now available on your Android or Apple smartphone, get ready to start swooning today!
Swoon, a new dating app that allows users to connect with cool people nearby, has bridged the gap between smartphone platforms and debuted an iOS app, making it the first app of its kind to be available to both Android and iPhone users.
In celebration of the iOS launch, its time raise a glass and celebrate the SwoonLife at the Official NYC Launch Party. On Tuesday, May 21st, Swooners will have the chance to test their swooning skills at Haru Gramercy over lite bites and cocktails. Hopefully, Swooners will meet the man or woman of their dreams!
Swooners can also enter for exclusive giveaways and prizes, like an Android phone, and many others!
Who: NYC’s 20-somethings now have a reason to celebrate the dating world the SwoonLife way, whether you are looking to meet new people, or are single and ready to mingle. Guests will also have the chance to meet and hang out with the Swoon Men, VIP Guests, and Dating Experts!
How: Upon arrival, guests are asked to download the app as admission into the happy hours. Swoon is the mobile app for finding cool people nearby. It’s completely anonymous until there’s a mutual match. Swoon is available on Android and iOS. Join the conversation and tweet us at the event using #SwoonUpNYC.
When: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Haru Gramercy, 220 Park Ave South (Corner of E 18th St)
For more information, visit www.swoonapp.com.
Disclosure: Thanks SwoonApp for sponsoring this post. I was selected for this opportunity and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #SwoonApp #SwoonUpNYC
Wacom Bamboo Mini Stylus
Are there times where you wish you had a stylus for your smartphone or tablet at any given time? Are you an iPad owner wanting to design more ideas on the go but tired of having dig into your bag or purse for one? Wacom is here to the rescue with their new line of Bamboo mini stylus.