Posts Tagged ‘gadgets’

Your summer smartphone (and gadget) survival guide

Phone survival guideSunshine, sand and water may sound like the recipe for a perfect summer’s day, but it can also spell disaster for your devices. In honour of the first day of summer, we’ve come up with five ways to help you get the most out of your gadgets all season long:

1. Seek some shade. Direct sunlight can cause overheating, so be sure to stash your devices somewhere shady. If you do trigger an “overheated” alert, be sure to turn off the device and move it to a cooler location.

2. Invest in a quality case. In the summertime, the living is easy – but not for your gadgets. Sticky fingers from ice cream, blowing sand and condensation are just a few of the perils the season brings for your devices. There are a ton of options on the market, including rugged cases to help protect from drops and waterproof options to help keep things safe poolside – or tabletop during meals. While some people swear by the old zipper-top plastic bag option, note that any residual moisture will create condensation – exactly what you’re trying to avoid.

3. Limit the glare. Sunlight can make your screens hard to read. You can tackle this in a few ways:

A. Adjust your brightness settings. Navigate to your device’s “Settings” menu, then select the “Display Settings.” You can modify both “Brightness” and “Backlight” options on most devices: the higher the brightness settings, the easier it is to read your screen in sunlight. Some devices also offer an “Auto Brightness” option that automatically adjusts your screen for optimal viewing.

B. Purchase an anti-glare cover which will help make your screen more legible in bright light.

C. Find some shade. Cozy up under an umbrella or tree for some temporary relief.

4. A day of choosing filters on Instagram and mapping can drain your batteries before you’re ready to call it quits. Consider a battery boosting case or a solar powered charger to help extend your playtime.

5. Kick it low-fi. Summer means impromptu gatherings, which just beg for a great soundtrack. But if you’re not toting portable speakers, you can try this simple trick to pump up the volume: Just place your music player in a bowl or glass to amplify your device’s speakers.

For more tips on getting the most out of your technology, visit

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Gadgetopia: Connected Rogers Magazine Live @ CES

Sure it may be cold and dark outside here in Canada, but the sun is shining on Las Vegas as gadget lovers around the world gather starting today for the world’s largest consumer technology trade show: CES 2011.

This year our Connected Rogers Magazine team will be on the show’s floor hunting for the latest gadgets, accessories and tech trends for the year ahead. The magazine’s coverage will include regular blog posts with pics and videos of all the action. You can find it on their website here. They’re also sending regular tweets via their @connectedmag Twitter account.

Just how big is CES? According to reports, 140,000 people will attend the show that comprises roughly 1.8-million square feet of exhibit space. There will be 2,900 companies showcasing the latest gear, software and technology.

In addition to Rogers products and services, Connected Rogers Magazine also covers non-Rogers technology, lifestyle and entertainment. And while we may not carry everything you read about from the show, attending events like CES provides us with a first glimpse at what’s hot among consumers – and what’s next.

What are you looking forward to hearing about from CES 2011? Have you ever been to the event?

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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The long-weekend menu: BBQ, beverages and fresh-off-the-grill apps (not necessarily in that order)

abs apps reviewAhh, Victoria Day weekend: the unofficial start to summer. The BBQ is heating up. You’ve got a drink in one hand; your smartphone in the other.

And if you’re going to be on your smartphone, why not spend a portion of your vacation time making sure you’re getting the most out of your device by grabbing some of the hottest apps?

URmagazine, a Rogers publication that covers the latest in personal technology and gadgets, puts together a weekly roundup of the hottest app reviews, updated every Friday so you can be in the know on the latest mobile software, games and entertainment.

Pick up your 12-pack of reviews – including my faves EasyBartender and Anywhere Abs (screen shot above) – here:

Have a great long weekend.

Have you tried any of the apps in URmagazine’s reviews? What apps would you like to see reviewed in the future?

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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