Smartphone

This Is How Kids Entertained Themselves Before Smartphones Existed

If you have kids these days, they likely can’t fathom a world that doesn’t include smart technology. No laptops, no iPads, no smartphones, and no device that turns your lights off for you when you’re not home. Certainly no refrigerator that can tell you when you’re out of something!

I was born in 1979, which makes me part of the last generation to completely grow up without this kind of technology being pervasive – we had a computer starting when I was in middle school, the Apple IIE – but it had like two games and a word processor. By the time I was in high school, cell phones were available (and they were slightly smaller than the one Zack Morris carried on Saved By the Bell), but we left them in our glove compartments in case of an actual emergency – if we were lucky enough to have our own to begin with. Even through college, laptops were novelties and cell phones weren’t pervasive. We were still dialing up our Internet (though Instant Messenger was all the rage).

That life? Anyone born five years after I was will never know it. Which is as odd to me as life without technology will seem to my son. So if you’re one of those crazy kids…

How to Stop People From Swiping Through Your Smartphone Photos

If you want to show somebody photos on your phone but don’t want them wantonly scrolling through the rest of your camera roll, there are a few clever tricks you can employ to ensure that they see what you want them to see…and nothing else.

Smartphones have become our take-everywhere, do-everything, all-in-one pocket computers that we manage (and record!) our entire lives on. Unlike handing somebody the little photo book from your wallet that we used to carry around, handing somebody your smartphone gives them access to your personal photos and more. And we’ve all handed someone our phone to show them one photo, only for them to start swiping through to look at everything else.

Rather than simply accept that, you can easily use these tricks to put a lid on rampant camera-roll-scrolling behavior and keeps their eyes just on the photos you want to share.

For Single Photos: Just Zoom In a Little Bit

This tip is a very low effort one, and best suited for showing someone a single photo on your phone while you’re there to supervise them.

On nearly all image gallery apps, including the default gallery apps on iPhone and Android, using the pinch-to-zoom function on a photo “locks” it into place. This locking mechanism isn’t intentionally intended to lock the user onto that photo, but is a side effect of how the activating the zoom function also activates the swipe-to-pan function so you can move around the zoomed in image.

Depending on the operating system and application the photo either stays locked until you zoom out or until you attempt to swipe multiple times—on the iPhone, for example, swiping on the photo bumps into the sides of the screen, and you have to swipe multiple times before it zooms out and resumes normal camera roll functionality.

The only thing kittens love more than yarn is pinch-to-zoom.

To take advantage of this unintended feature, simply pinch-and-zoom every so slightly on the photo (zooming even the tiniest amount will do the trick). Unless the person looking at the photo understands both the concept of pinch-zooming and that the reason their swipe left/right failed, then they’ll likely just scratch their head and hand it back to you. This is a perfect super low effort solution for those times that you’re handing your phone to, say, a relative who doesn’t get the concept of digital privacy (or that you’d even have racy or private photos on your phone in the first place).

Create Albums to Contain Groups of Photos

What about those times you want people to swipe through some photos, but not others?…

Tracking Your Workout Activity: Several Ways You Can Do It

track workouts
track workouts

A lot of people struggle with starting a workout regimen. A lot of them lay out several excuses in order to postpone their training sessions.

This is where motivation kicks in.

Depending on the type of your personality, you have to find one specific motivation to get you up and running for your workout program. One of the best and most interesting motivators you can find is technology.

No matter if you are an amateur or a professional, you can take advantage of the latest technologies in order to track your progress. If you love the old ways of tracking workouts, you can always choose to do so as well. The most important thing is that you organize and track your progress.

Why should you track your workout?

When you start a workout regimen, the exercise selection is fairly small and you can easily remember the number of reps per workout you can make.

However, as you get in better shape, the more routines and variations you can make. It now becomes impossible to keep all the information in your head.

This is one good reason why tracking your activity is a necessary step.

Additionally, writing down everything that you do during every workout is going to show how fast you are progressing. It’s a good way to get a clearer idea of what changes and adjustments you need to make. By doing this, you can create a more efficient regimen that is going to bring you better results.

What are the best ways to track your progress?

It’s quite simple to accurately track your progress. First of all, it all depends on your personality. You can focus on a few important details or keep track of all workout-related information.

Here are a few examples:

Calendar

This is the most common way of tracking your workout activity. This type of tracking allows you to plan out the days on which you are going to perform your workouts. Thanks to modern smartphones, you can have a calendar with you at all times.

Electronic calendars can store more information about your workouts. Plus, there are reminders that you could set to notify you about your upcoming workout schedules.

If you prefer an old-school approach, you can hang a calendar on a wall and track your activities with a pen. This is the easiest way of tracking your workout progress. However, it does not a lot of space for details, except your schedule and the number of repetitions you are able to perform.

Online websites

There are lots of great online tools that can help you track your workout progress. One good example is bodybuilding.com. Apart from tracking, the website offers a big community of people who share the same interests as yours. This is…

7 Useful Mods to Upgrade Your Smart Phone Camera

Snapping photos with a phone is fast becoming it’s own subgenre of photography: “iphoneography.” While the cameras in our phones get better and better, there are still some things — macroshots, decent lighting, the perfect selfie angle — that you can’t expect your phone to manage straight out of the box. To help you get some unique shots, here are TK projects to mod your smartphone and experiment with photography.

Gobo Arm Camera Phone Stand

Overhead shots can be notoriously tricky to get right if you’re holding your camera in your hands. If you’re doing a lot of “Step-by-step” photography, often overhead shots are the easiest way to illustrate a step (trust us, we should know!). This stand will latch onto your workbench allowing you to get your top-down shot without having to juggle your phone, your project, your tools, and allow you to focus on what’s really important: your hand modeling.

Inexpensive Digital Microscope

Perfect for the citizen scientist, this project uses the lens from a laser pointer and some cheap materials to create a digital microscope rig that just needs your phone’s…

Some Ways to Speed Up Your Smartphone

Much like computers, smartphones can start to slow down after years, or even months, of use. However, there are some ways to keep your iOS and Android devices running as good as new until you have to upgrade. Here are eight simple ways to speed up your smartphone.

1. UPDATE YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM.

If your smartphone is running slower than usual, then your operating system (or OS) might not be up-to-date. Having the latest version of iOS or Android on your phone is the best way to ensure it works at its zippiest. Just make sure your phone is connected to Wi-Fi and backed up before you update your phone’s software, and make sure that your phone can handle it. Newer operating systems might not be optimized for older or lower-cost phones.

iPhone: Go to “Settings,” then “General,” and then “Software Update.”

Android: Go to “Settings,” and then “About Phone.” Tap “System Updates” or “Software Updates” at the top of the screen to check if you have any Android updates.

2. REDUCE MOTION AND ANIMATION.

Animations might look cool when transitioning from one app to another, but they can really slow down your phone, as they use up space and resources. Disabling animations on both Androids and iPhones can be tricky, but it’s worth it to make your device run faster.

iPhone: On iPhones, there is a setting to reduce motion by going to “Settings,” then “General,” and then “Accessibility.” If you have yet to update to iOS 9.3.2 (there are probably a few of you out there) there is a convoluted way of disabling all animations, but that bug was patched in later updates.

Android: Your phone has to be in developer mode to disable animations. To do so, go to “Settings,” then “About Phone.” Find “Build Number” and continuously tap the option until you’re granted “Developer Mode.” Go back to “Settings” and “Developer Options” to find “Window Animation Scale,” “Transition Animation Scale,” and “Animator Duration Scale.” Set all three options to “Off.” Then you might need to restart your phone (although this has been known to create glitches, so be careful).

3. GET RID OF WIDGETS.

If you’re an Android user, stop using widgets on your home screens. While widgets are useful for quickly giving you info at a glance, they are serious data hogs. Many widgets constantly refresh in the background to find new information and updates, so if you don’t need it, you should probably delete it.

4. STOP USING LIVE WALLPAPER.

Live wallpaper is a fun feature to show off your new smartphone, but much like widgets, they eat…

Quick and Easy Hacks to Make Your Living Space Smarter

Your home should be a place of comfort and ease. Yet between space constraints and the absurd pace of modern life, our living spaces can get a little chaotic. Here are 11 ways to make the most of what you’ve got.

Studies have shown that both natural and artificial light can interfere with our ability to fall and stay asleep. Most curtains filter the glare but don’t prevent it. Invest in a set of light-blocking curtains and get ready for some seriously satisfying snoozing.

2. STOP VACUUMING.

You have better things to do than pushing around a noisy, heavy beast. Today’s robotic vacuums are easy to program, fun to watch, and are serious time-savers.

You’ve got so much more room than you realize; all you have to do is change your orientation. Clear space on your kitchen counter by installing magnetic strips on the wall for your knives. And hanging organizers, the kind you generally store in your closet, can sort more than just shoes—think dry goods, kids’ toys, or tools.

4. MAXIMIZE YOUR WI-FI.

The placement of your router has a huge effect on the strength and success of your wireless internet. Routers are sensitive to all kinds of surfaces, including glass and brick, so the best spot is often in an open area at the center of the house, as high off the ground as possible.

Not only will mirrors create the illusion of a larger space,…

This Tiny PC That Fits in Your Pocket

Nearly everybody is packing quite a bit of processing power on their smartphone or tablet, but there’s a new piece of tech that’s smaller and even more powerful than anything you can get at the phone store. The Ockel Sirius B pocket PC is as powerful as a desktop computer, but it’s so small that you can carry it along with you while you work, study, or travel.

The simple design hides a powerful device, one that can run Windows 10 and includes 2GB of RAM, high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, and the ability to connect to other…