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  1. What 10 Years Will Do To Your Smartphone

    What 10 Years Will Do To Your SmartphoneHappy New Year!

    As 2019 ends and 2020 begins we mark the beginning not just of a new year, but also a new decade. For better or worse, we have the roaring 20's (again.)

    The folks at TechRadar.com decided now was a good time to prognosticate about what we might see in smartphone technology for the NEXT decade (2030.)

    It's a pretty cool, in-depth look at what are natural extrapolations of where the technology has gone up to this point, and how that indicates where it is likely to go in the future.

    While you may think the future will bring you phones with plenty of smartphone cameras, far more so than now, that might not end up being the case: there are only so many different kinds of lens, so we’ll soon reach a point where adding more lenses adds nothing new.

    No, in fact, the real change will likely be megapixel count – at the end of 2019 the highest resolution in a smartphone is 108MP in the Xiaomi Mi Note 10, but it looks like a number of phones in 2020 are gearing up to match that. In 10 years, though, that number could be through the roof.

     

    They make a few interesting predictions for the next decade, but it does make us wonder if we won't hit those marks even sooner as companies continue to attempt to one-up each other in terms of the next Big Thing.

    Read the entire TechRadar article here and let us know what you think the next decade will bring for our smartphones.

     

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  2. Introducing the Escobar Fold 1

    Introducing the Escobar Fold 1So, a world renowned drug dealers brother, who once also worked for the drug cartel himself, is introducing a new foldable smartphone called the Escobar Fold 1.

    Yes, the drug dealer mentioned previously is Pablo Escobar, but it's his brother, Roberto Escobar, now 71 years old, who is releasing the foldable smartphone.

    Roberto De Jesús Escobar Gaviria, the brother of late Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, is going toe-to-toe with the $1,500 Motorola Razr, $1,980 Samsung Galaxy Fold and $2,400 Huawei Mate X by releasing a foldable phone: the Escobar Fold 1. It's a whole lot cheaper at $350, coming unlocked and compatible with "all networks" worldwide.

     

    You can't buy one yet but you can read a bit more about it and watch some, erm, interesting marketing videos in this article at CNET.

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  3. Your Phone Is Only As Good As Your Network Signal

    Your Phone Is Only As Good As Your Network SignalYou might have shelled out hundreds (perhaps thousands) of dollars for the latest and greatest piece of smartphone hardware you could get your hands on.

    Now, if you could just find a decent signal you'd call your friends and let them know about your new phone.

    Poor smartphone signal got you down? Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can try if your smartphone is having trouble connecting to your network. Dropped calls, poor call quality or just "No Signal" messages are enough to make anyone scream from the rooftops (where you likely went to get a better signal.)

    This article from Digital Trends has some great suggestions for getting connected and staying connected:

    We’ve all done the signal bar dance, trying to find that elusive sweet spot where the bars pop up. It’s common to have dead spots in homes or offices. They can be caused by interference or building materials blocking the signal. The simplest thing to do is try moving somewhere else to make a call. Go upstairs, go outside, go to the window, find a spot where the reception is good and remember it for future calls. While this may work, it’s not ideal if your desk or living room happens to be in a dead spot, so you may want to try something else.

    In this Digital Trends article they offer some very specific tips and tricks for getting through when the technology just will not co-operate with you.

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  4. Start Your Holiday Shopping Early

    Start Your Holiday Shopping Early Thinking of going all out and getting your significant other a new smartphone or smartwatch for Christmas?

    Maybe what they really want is a new ebook reader or a new tablet, but who knows which one is best and which one is available at the best price for the holidays?

    Fortunately, Engadget  has a handy gift guide loaded with the latest and greatest gadget, cell phones and tech accessories available.

    This year's picks include Apple's iPhone 11, its cheapest flagship in years, and Google's Pixel 3a, whose sub-$400 price belies its amazing camera. We've also included our favorite portable battery pack from Anker and Amazon's latest Kindle Paperwhite, and the Brydge Pro remains one of the best keyboards for transforming your iPad Pro into something resembling a laptop replacement.

    As an added bonus not everything on their list is a brand spanking new smartphone. There are tablets, accessories and gadgets galore. For each item, Engadget breaks down its specifications and the best price available. they also explain just who mgiht appreciate that particular piece of technology.

    Engadget did a great job with this list and just in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping! Check out the full list in this article by Engadget and then, don't forget to grab a new smartphone case from Luvvitt!

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  5. What To Do With Your Old Smartphone?

    What Do You Do With Your Old Smartphone?If you are like most people you currently have a box, possibly a drawer or an old tote bag, pratically overflowing with old smartphones.

    The questions becomes, what do you do with them?

    Selling them is a fairly common option. Of course, you'll never get anywhere near what you paid for it, plus, you have to remember to factory reset the device so some stranger doesn't end up with your Flikster password information.

    So, maybe selling them isn't the best option for everyone. Which is probably why we all have boxes, bags and drawers full of old phones.

    Fortunately, if you don't want to sell there are some viable options. Like making it into a dashcam:

     

    Plugging and unplugging, mounting and unmounting can be a pain. So if you have an old smartphone, make it your permanent dashcam by plugging it into a power source, mounting it and downloading an app like Autoboy Dash Cam.

     

    or home security:

     

    You don't have to drop tons of money for a simple home monitoring device. Just dig out an old smartphone, charge it up, and install a home surveillance app like Presence, Manything or AtHome Camera.

     

    Popular Mechanics has a very cool article with some nifty ideas for getting further use out of your old smartphones without the hassle of having to sell them to strangers. Read the entire article here and let us know if they missed any in the Comments below!

     

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  6. No SmartPhone For Nearly A Year

    No SmartPhone For Nearly A YearA Elana Mugdan, a 29-year-old fiction writer from Queens, New York, has gone more than 8 months without a smartphone. Instead she uses an old-style Nokia flip-phone to send text messages or make phones. But that's all. No YouTube videos, Facebook feed or Instagramming for her. If she is still smartphone free in February 2020, she will win $100,000 from Vitaminwater, for her troubles.

    In December, Vitaminwater chose Mugdan from a pool of more than 100,000 applicants for their "Scroll Free for a Year" challenge. If she can go an entire year without using a smartphone or tablet, she gets the money....

    Nearly eight months into the challenge — and still going strong — Mugdan says it's been one of the best adventures of her life.
    "Getting away from the smartphone has been freeing, and it has opened my eyes and made me more aware of some of my other bad health habits." Mugdan told CNN.
    "Now I'm working on turning my life around, slowly but surely, day by day."
    You can read more of Mugdan's interview with CNN right here.
    We're interested in knowing what it would take for you to go an entire year without a smartphone. Could you even do it? Tell us in the Comments below.
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  7. Keep Your Smartphone Battery In Good Health

    Keep Your Smartphone Battery In Good HealthToday's smartphones do a whole lot more than make calls. Texts, email, social media, apps, smarthome control -- there seems to be no end to what your smartphone can do, provided it has enough charge to last.

    There have been repeated warnings from smartphone manufacturers about the dangers of charging your smartphone for too long. But did you know letting it run down to zero is also not the best idea? Wireless charging versus traditional plugged-in charging: is one worse or better than the other? Meanwhile manufacturers are offering software updates that promise to increase battery life. But do they work?

    Up, down and around and around. Smartphone battery care can be almost as confusing as the smartphone itself.

    Fortunately, there is lots of useable information available for consumers who want to get the most life out of their smartphone battery.

     

    Like the tips in this article from Wired:

    Managing battery life is a delicate operation, and it's something that iOS and Android are gradually getting better at. You shouldn't really need another reason to keep the software on your phone up to date, but if you do, this is it.

    Thanks to lots of proactive nudging by manufacturers, it's getting increasingly difficult to keep your phone out of date for long. Which is great, not just battery life but the security of your device, compatibility with other apps and hardware, and so much more. In fact, you should go ahead and turn on auto-updates everywhere you can.

    There's a whole lot more smartphone battery care tips in that Wired article. You can read them all right here.

    In the meantime, what special steps do you take to care for your smartphone battery? Let us know in the comments below!

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  8. 5G Is Coming Sooner Than Thought

    5G Is Coming Sooner Than ThoughtCan't wait until next year to get your hands on a suped-up 5G capable smartphone?

    One-Plus feels your pain, and so its announced new 5G smartphones coming in 2019. (That's this year for those of you without a calendar.)

     

    From a recent Forbes article:

    One-Plus CELO Pete Lau confirmed the details in an interview with the Financial Times. XDA Developers’ Jeff McIntire has the details:

    "OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed his company is preparing to manufacture a second 5G phone before the end of 2019, this time being 5G-capable globally… This device should pick up the mantle from its predecessor OnePlus 7 Pro, the company’s first 5G-capable phone."

    The news comes as a surprise to many and a relief to early adopters who weren't satisfied with 5G hardware stuffed into a smartphone model that was 'same old, same old.' They want something new and spiffy to show off not only the blazing fast speed of 5G but also the latest smartphone design.

    So if you've been itching to get your hands on a new 5G capable smartphone, you might want to keep your eye on OnePlus. Or wait until next year to see what Apple may (or may not) be releasing next.

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  9. Are Your Smartphone Apps Spying On You?

    Are Your Smartphone Apps Spying On You?Have you tried the new FaceApp challenge to show your friends what you might look like 50 years from now?

    Neither have we.

    The reason is because it is an insecure app which basically wants to retain the rights to your images for any purpose they see fit to use them for. This is not too different from the disclaimers which come with other apps (Have you ever read the Snapchat or Instagram terms of use?) The big difference here, however, is the company behind the app. Forget for a moment they are a Russian company and focus instead on the fact they really have no track record by which a user could determine their eventual intentions. Good? Bad? Trustworthy? Untrustworthy? Nobody knows.

    That got us thinking about other apps being downloaded by the thousands (millions?) every day. Are smartphone users taking the right steps to protect their privacy and keep their data protected? Probably not.

    And it turns out, we're not the only ones wondering how careful app users are being with their data. Business News Daily had an excellent article detailing all the steps a person can take to both enjoy the use of apps and protect their data:

    The apps we download are what make our phones unique to us. We entrust our data to these apps in exchange for their use. But what happens when that trust is violated? In recent years, major apps have been the center of massive intrusions from hackers and data breaches that have left our private data exposed.

    To help you keep your private data safe, we spoke with security experts about the steps you can take to make sure the information on your phone data isn't vulnerable – whether you're connected to your small business's network or just watching cat videos.

     

    The article goes on to list different steps you can take to protect your yourself from intrusive apps that might steal, sell or simply mis-use your data. It's definitely worth a rad, especially if you're prone to downloading an app without reading the user agreement. Read the article here, and start taking your data privacy a little bit more seriously.

     

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  10. Is Your Smartphone Secure? It Should Be

    Is Your Smartphone Secure? It Should BeYour smartphone may seem secure--you use a thumbprint or facial recognition to log-in and you are always careful about which you download and trust--but is it really as secure as you think it is?

    The number of mobile phone account take overs nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018--that means fraudsters have been striking lucky often enough to make smartphones a more attractive target.

    Kansas City Business Journal has a handy list of all the precautions you should be taking to protect your privacy and account while using your smartphone.

    With smartphones playing a critical role in our everyday lives, personal security is becoming an even more prevalent discussion than past years. Mobile security is more advanced than ever before; however, scammers are also getting smarter in their tactics.

    When it comes to your smartphone, there are many precautions you can take to eliminate the risk of fraud and increase security measures. Keep these tips in mind as you navigate your life from home to work and everywhere in between.

    You can read the article for the entire list, here. In the meantime, let us your thoughts on smartphone security in the Comments below. Do you feel safe using your smartphone? Do you feel your smartphone is secure enough? Let us know!

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