Top 10 Smartphones for the 2013 Holiday Season

iphone gift

Are you thinking about giving someone a smartphone this holiday season, but are unsure which one to purchase? With so many brands and models available today, the choice can be quite difficult, indeed. Nevertheless, to ensure that your gift recipient will be pleased, we’ve compiled a list of 2013’s hottest smartphones on the market for this holiday season.

iphone5s deal

1. Apple iPhone 5s

This phone has the same form factor as the iPhone 5; however, it has an improved 64-bit A-7 processor and a fingerprint-enabled touch ID central home button. iOS 7 first launched with the 5s bringing improved Siri integration and notifications.

2. Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

One of the most sought-after Android phones today is the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, due mainly to its water-resistant features. The Active can survive a 3 foot plunge for up to 30 minutes. The device also boasts a built-in TV remote and an 8-MP camera.

3. HTC One X

The HTC One is known most for its speedy photo abilities, and the new HTC One X is even faster. This phone has a beautiful LCD display and top-class hardware offering a fantastic user experience.

4. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The Galaxy Note 3 is perhaps the most capable Android device on the market today. With its large 5.7 inch display, 13 megapixel rear camera, 16GB internal memory and 3,200 mAh removable battery, this phone is one of the best around.

5. Google Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 flaunts many great features including, a Snapdragon 800 processor, Qi wireless charging and an eight megapixel camera with optical image stabilization. This phone is the first device with Android 4.4 offering a terrific user experience.

6. Kyocera Torque

Looking for an indestructible phone? The Kyocera Torque is the perfect choice. This phone is extremely sturdy, waterproof and provides Smart Sonic technology, which allows you to transmit call audio through headphones or a helmet.

7. Moto X

Motorola’s Moto X is assembled in the U.S. and offers excellent voice control functioning and active notifications on a lock screen. The Moto X also boasts an extremely long battery life. As the first smartphone that lets you customize the colors, this is sure to be a big hit this holiday season for those wanting to add a personal touch.

8. Motorola Droid Maxx

Next to the Note 3, the Droid Maxx offers the best when it comes to memory and battery swap capabilities. This phone comes with a five inch AMOLED display, 10 megapixel camera, Qi wireless charging and 32GB internal storage.

9. Sony Xperia Z1

Another top choice in the waterproof category, the Sony Xperia offers a high-powered 20.7 megapixel camera, a five inch HD display and a 16GB internal storage.

10. Nokia Lumia 1020

The Lumia 1020 may be the best device that Windows Phone is offering today. This phone is a must-have for people who love to take pictures as it rivals some of the best point-and-shoot cameras on the market. Popular apps for the Lumia 1020 include advanced camera lenses, Nokia Music+ and HERE Map’s turn-by-turn voice-led navigation.

It seems as if everyone either has a smartphone today or certainly has it marked down on their wish list. If you have a friend or family member who would love to have a smartphone, why not consider giving him or her one of the top smartphones for the holiday season? All of these phones have great features, and any one of them will be sure to please that special person in your life.

The Best iPhone Pranks

broken iphone appIn the mood for a good laugh? One of the easiest, yet most effective ways to pull off a hilarious practical joke is via your unknowing victim’s iPhone. Obviously your victim must own an iPhone in order to accomplish one of these devious tricks, but if they don’t…with over 150 million people owning an iPhone, you’ve got more than a handful of other oblivious targets to choose from. The tricky part will be getting your hands on their cellphone without igniting suspicion, but if you can successfully snag their iPhone for a few minutes, you can easily generate some laughs by applying one of these harmless, yet hysterical pranks!

1. Scare Your Prank Victim with Fear2

What’s funnier than scaring the living daylights out of someone? With the downloadable Fear2 app, this task couldn’t be easier. Once the app is loaded onto the phone, set the provided timer and the next time your victim goes to use their phone, the timer will run out and an extremely frightening face will appear on the screen accompanied by a blood-curdling scream (so be sure you turn the volume on as well).  The unexpectedness coupled with the shocking elements will certainly provoke a quality reaction. As funny as this will surely be, think about pulling off this prank in an area with a soft floor as there’s a good chance they will drop their phone in horror!

2. Make Your Victim’s Touchscreen Appear to Stop Workingblurry iPhone

This iPhone prank will take the most time to implement, so make sure that your friend is properly distracted before you put it into motion. As soon as you have a secure amount of time, take a screenshot of their iPhone’s home screen. Next, you will need to move all of the icons from this screen into a folder on the second screen. To complete the prank, you will turn the screenshot that you took into their wallpaper. Once all of these steps have been completed, your victim’s iPhone screen will look normal, but it will not do anything when they click on it. This prank will definitely frustrate your prey like no other.

3. Use a Free Web Based Trick to Make Your Victim’s Screen Look Broken

Grab your friend’s phone and visit for a plethora of options to substitute with their home screen. Options include fallen icons, a cracked screen, a blurry screen and a screen filled with smudge marks. Browse through this website for additional tricks you can try out on your friends.

4. Change their Autocorrect Settings

Everyone has experienced some frustration at the hands of the iPhone’s inferior Fallen icon iphoneautocorrect, but you can use this exasperating nuisance to your advantage by implementing this entertaining prank. Simply go to Settings, Keyboard and then click on Add New Shortcut. From here, you can choose any common word (pick a few that they are sure to use often) and provide a funny phrase that will be automatically input each time they type the specified word. Just think how annoying it would be to see the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” pop in to your conversation every time you try to type “the.”

5. Place a Good Old Fashioned Prank Call with a Twist

If you would rather not mess with the settings of your victim’s phone, you can use the PrankBoard app from your own phone to send them a prank call from a wide variety of celebrities, including Mister Rogers. Additionally, this app has the option to send the recipient a prank call from several other annoying sources such as a telemarketer. The options are endless with this great app, so peruse through the options to find the perfect match for your naive victim.

Have a Safe Halloween with a Little Help from Your Smartphone

Halloween is only a few days away and we know there are probably quite a few parents halloween pumpkinwho will be reluctantly sending off their children to go trick-or-treating without parental supervision. Although it will be hard to completely rid yourself of that innate worry that comes with being a parent, smartphones offer a variety of apps that will make the whole night a bit more tolerable.
If your child owns a smartphone or you are willing to loan one to them for the night, you will be able to take comfort that they possess a powerful tool that will allow you to give your child more freedom while simultaneously maintaining some knowledge of your child’s safety. teens on halloween

By simply browsing through the app store you will come across multiple choices to aid you throughout the Halloween night. However, some of the best features you may want to look for include:

* GPS tracking – check your child’s location from your smartphone or computer
* Location button – instantly send your location to your child or check your child’s location in real time
* GeoFences – set up safe zones for your child and receive alerts when they leave those zoneshalloween sign
* Battery check – check your child’s phone remotely to see if they are running low on battery

To guarantee a safe and fun Halloween for your children, we recommend the following three top apps

Family by Sygic (iOS and Android)

This is one of the more diverse smartphone tracking apps, helping to keep your family connected well beyond Halloween. The program is downloaded into every cell phone used by your family members and provides basic tracking on all phones, free messaging between phones, and programmable alerts between phones.

One of the more unique features is the ability to receive notification when your child arrives at or leaves a specific location. GeoFence allows you to program in a safe zone in which your child must remain. This feature is excellent for Halloween because you will receive instant notification if your child wanders off the approved route. If you ever need to know where your child is, they can send you their location or you can check their location by the touch of a button.

Life360 (iOS, Android, Blackberry)

This app offers many of the same features as Family by Sygic, but the maps may not be as detailed or up to date when you download the free version. You can upgrade to the premium version which offers unlimited location checks, enhanced history checks, and protection from phone theft. If you ever wonder where your child has been, the history database will deliver that information.

Find My Kids – Footprints (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)

This app offers a free alternative to the paid options available. These features include real-time location checks, location history records, and GeoFences. One unique feature for this app is the motion sensor. You can set the phone to notify you whenever your child is in motion. Again, not only will this be useful on Halloween, but it could come in handy any time you deem it necessary to keep tabs on your child’s location.

As the saying goes, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” Extinguish your anxiety this Halloween, download a safety app, and allow you and your kids to enjoy the holiday.

Smartphone Apps to Survive College

Going back to college can be stressful and overwhelming, from packing all of your back to school essentials to getting back in that student mindset, there’s a lot that goes into the whole process. However, to aid in the many anxieties of going back to school, you can pretty much guarantee: “there’s an app for that.”  So, take out your preferred smartphone, or tablet of choice, and download some of these helpful apps to ensure a smooth and pain-free readjustment to college.

Staying Studious

studyingAmazon Student – Possibly one the most dreaded parts of heading back to school is buying books, lots and lots of books.  Eliminate some of the stress by avoiding the campus bookstore and deal with the process online. Buy and sell your books on Amazon Student and receive free shipping. At the end of the semester, instead of taking your books back to the bookstore to sell for a depressingly fraction of their cost, resell them to Amazon in exchange for an Amazon gift card you can use to buy next semesters’ books or supplies.

ITunes U – Gain access to loads of educational material from prestigious universities all over the world. If you’re interested in getting additional knowledge on a subject or looking for a lecture to help you understand a certain topic a bit better, this college survival app offers downloadable lectures, course notes, presentations and more, right at the touch of your fingertips.

Bench Prep – Have a big test coming up but need some help studying for it? Bench Prep offers an interactive course library with graduate and professional exam study material including practice questions, flash cards, study lessons, etc.

Staying Organized

class scheduleEvernote – Going back to school often comes with attached with information overload. Basically, what this college survival app does is sync all of your “stuff.” This allows you to access (and remember) everything you save and do across all of the devices you use, and then get ahold of it from anywhere.

myHomework – This app allows students to track deadlines, assignments, grades, class schedules, etc. The ultimate organizer, myHomework will definitely help boost productivity. Push notifications consistently remind students when something important is coming up, to make staying on top of your studies easier than ever.

Dropbox – Don’t risk losing track of notes, forgetting a project saved on your home desktop computer or having that paper that’s due tomorrow mysteriously disappear from your laptop. Keep papers, reports, assignments or projects stowed away in this cloud storage service so you can have access to all of your work from one location, no matter where you actually are.

Staying Economical

Mint – College is without a doubt expensive, but this college survival app can help make it a bit more manageable. Monitor your financial accounts, set reminders to pay bills, keep budgeting charts and watch your spending with this finance organizer.

SpotMe Payments – If you’re attending college, chances are you have a roommate, or even multiple roommates. Managing household expenses, splitting rent and utilities, or sharing grocery costs can be made easy with SpotMe, an app to allocate and manage payments between numerous people.

Staying Social

social network

LinkedIn – During college it is essential for students to start preparing for internships and jobs. LinkedIn is the best way to show off your talents and skills and network with the people who might be critical connections in your future job search. These days, networking is extremely important and this college survival app is a great way to get your name out there.

Facebook – No matter how far away from home your college may be, be sure to stay in touch with your friends and family. Facebook is an ideal platform to help you stay in the loop with the people you may not see as often.

Twitter – It isn’t uncommon to stay up-to-date on current news via Twitter. Be sure you know what’s going on in the world by following news sources, people and companies in your field of study, or anyone else who you may provide information you are interested in.