Category Archives: Cool & Interesting

Siri and The Rock

You know we love Siri – she is at once helpful, witty, compassionate and snarky.  All the things we treasure here at TechRestore.   A sense of humor is indispensable and we just couldn’t help ourselves, we had to share this fun with you!

On a side note, we want to hang out with the people whose job it is to make these short films because they get it.  We’d all like to imagine that our favorite stars’ days are as epic as this.  We also can’t help but wonder (hope!) that there will be more along this line.  A day in the life of Samuel L Jackson or Jennifer Lawrence seem inevitable (and welcome!).

If you ask Siri “Was it was fun doing a commercial with the Rock?”, she will show her discreet side, pointing you to articles about the commercial.  A trusted friend, indeed.

Here is the film.  We hope you enjoy it and that your day is epic too!

Cool and Interesting on FaceBook This Week

Ok, so we’re going to go a little further back than “this week” because we have been posting some weird and wonderful things  on FaceBook! Here are the highlights, in case you don’t follow us on FB.  If you don’t, you really should – we don’t always do a recap of postings on our blog, but we post fun facts, useful tips, new and weird tech from all over the web on our page everyday.

Leading the top 5 weirdest things we’ve ever posted: The Third Thumb.  Please, please watch the video and see if you can stop thinking about how helpful this could be!  I mean, some of those people don’t look too coordinated and they were doing just fine.  Coming in at honorable mention in the weird things category, the “10 Weirdest Emoji”, unraveling the mystery of the enigmatic emoji. (Que dramatic music.)

If you are looking for cool things to do with the incredible camera in your pocket, you may get some inspiration from Burton Rast. His 100 photos in 100 days were taken on his iPhone 6s.  He used an app to edit them to draw your eye to what he wants you to see – with incredible results.  If you have your own gang of photographers, put together an amazing project without a third party app, using Photos’ Shared Albums feature.  It’s the best reason yet to scatter and reassemble (and you may learn some things about your friends, families or co-workers, too).

Apple’s HomeKit is now available to try at select Apple stores in an unexpected way.  It goes way beyond “Why can’t you just get up and switch off the lights?”.  With the advances in Augmented Reality, we imagine it won’t be long before you can see it “work” in your home using just your phone.

With all this talk of photo taking and editing, the possibilities of AR, your iPhone battery may be feeling faint! Fear not, here are 10 in depth, pro-level tips to fix battery drain (some you may not know about, we didn’t!).

Speaking of Pro-Level .. Bill Nye the Science Guy.  The coolest things he’s ever done, well, only a few people really know that.  But for the vast majority, who have kindled or rekindled a curiosity of the sciences, engineering, life on earth – these are 11 OF the coolest things.  We feel like any one of us could increase this list to infinity (and BeYOND .. c’mon, you know you said it too).

If you’ve enjoyed the drone footage of Apple Park coming together like we have, well, it will soon be over.  For good reason, of course.  If you do a search for “drone footage of Apple Park”, there are approximately a gajillion. A nuisance at best and a real security risk at worst, especially as employees begin moving in to the massive new digs.

There were more tips and a “Happy Birthday App Store”!

If you have ideas or fun, weird, interesting facts to share, please comment!  If you dig what we’re doing and want the undying thanks of all your closest family and friends, please share us!  And be sure to follow along on FaceBook.

Have a great weekend!

Your friends at TechRestore

 

 

Apple’s Job Creation & Q2 announcements

Tim Cook, Apple CEO did an interview this week on “Mad Money” on CNBC.  If you’d like to see the whole thing, you can watch it on their website.  He was there to talk about Apple’s Q2 earnings call and what the company plans to do with those mountains of cash.

We liked it because a wide range of topics were covered that we can look forward to hearing about in more detail in the near future.  Some felt Tim “dumbed it down“, but the context of the show, by nature, is not optimal for serious, in depth interviews.  If you want to know how Apple’s CEO feels about something, he does speak often in appropriate venues.

On Apple’s website, you can see a comprehensive breakdown of their job creation numbers.  You can even look state by state to see how many employees, manufacturers and app creators are represented.  Tim Cook also spoke briefly of a $1Billion fund created to invest in promoting advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S.  More on that later this month.

TechCrunch did a great job of breaking down and comparing numbers both from the website and the interview.  One point Tim Cook made during his talk, was that the jobs created by Apple products don’t stop with employees, manufacturers and app developers.  Apple is creating a ripple that expands outward with support jobs and even whole industries.  TechRestore is part of that ripple effect, and has been for over a decade.  Our repair business has relied a lot on our specialty in Apple products and their ecosystem.

We also appreciate that Apple, as a company has values that go far beyond compensating their investors.  Along with the myriad ways they conserve, they innovate and they don’t wait for government regulations or social pressure to make changes that make a positive difference.

Possibly my personal favorite quote (I’m considering making it my ringtone, but don’t mind me) was this:   “A company should have values, because a company is a collection of people.  And people should have values, so by extension, a company should.” 

He went on to talk about ways they give back, just because it’s the right and wise thing to do.  It feels like the culture Apple is fostering is one we could all do well to adopt or to use as encouragement to go a little further with our own current efforts.

Read the full transcript of the “Mad Money” interview here and be sure to watch for updates and announcements from Apple coming later this year.

 

 

Setup Emergency Contact (ICE) on Your iPhone

Most people know about ICE (in case of emergency) contacts in their phone.  But what if your phone is locked?  While you may never need it, having your emergency contact information available for anyone to find could come in handy.  If you have a medical condition or severe allergies, it could save your life! In the latest Apple Watch OS, you can call emergency services and text your emergency contacts just by pressing and holding the side button .

Setting up Medical ID on your iOS device is simple.  You can add as much information as you like (just remember, it’ll be visible to anyone who knows how to access it without unlocking the screen).

First, open the “Health” app (it should be on your iPhone iOS 8 and newer and you can’t delete it).   If you can’t find the icon on screen, swipe down and search for it.

Now in the bottom right corner, select “Medical ID” and then “Create Medical ID”.  Be sure to allow “Show When Locked”.

              

Now you will have the option to add all sorts of useful information, which emergency personnel may need to know, especially blood type, allergies, existing conditions, etc.

 

                                     

Scroll down to “Emergency Conctacts” and choose “add emergency contact”.  You can add as many people as you like from your contacts here, and designate their relationship to you.

Now, when your phone is locked, press the home button, and instead of entering your passcode, choose “Emergency” and on the bottom left corner, you will see “Medical ID” in red. When you choose it, it will show all your emergency contacts and allow you to call by pressing their name.  If you use the SOS feature on Apple Watch, it will text them your location after you contact emergency personnel.

                    

Here is a helpful guide to setting up the SOS feature on your Watch.   How to set up SOS on Apple Watch

And, if you’re still not convinced, here’s a story of the Medical ID/SOS in action!  College student credits Apple Watch with saving his life.

We hope you never have to use it, but being informed can make a difference.  Be sure your loved ones have this useful feature enabled, too!

Be careful out there.  From your friends at TechRestore.

Apple’s Ecosystem is by Design

It always surprises us when people talk about Apple’s ecosystem and how brilliant it is, like it’s a new thing.  We know that we are now, and have always been, passengers on Apple’s train.  Yes, we can each have our own room, or we can go into the club car, or we can invite other people into our room, but we are still not driving the train.

Some people don’t like giving up that ‘control’, but people who are immersed in the Apple ecosystem are really happy they don’t have to lay the tracks or pay for the gas.  All you have to do is maintain and manage your own little space.

Maybe Apple isn’t really worried about being “the top selling” laptop/desktop/phone.  The changes they have made through the years (which are often criticized at first) have proven to be beneficial to their users.  Long before SuperDrives were removed from MacBooks and iMacs, there was a gentle incentive to ditch physical media (and who doesn’t love the extra closet space CD’s used). Apple didn’t respond to that market, they created it.  So if you miss multiple ports and resist USB-C, you can be sure that soon you’ll think it’s the best thing ever.

Is it any wonder, then, that Apple appears to be bringing a lot of its component tech development in-house?  It’s an iceberg – this has been going on for years already, right under our noses.  They are not suddenly leaping into new business ventures.  Take a look at the massive Apple Park that’s near completion after years of construction.  Just like their devices, it seemed uncalled for when we first heard about it.  Who needs that much space?!  But now … ooohhh, it all makes sense.  They have also expanded their Seattle center and other satellite offices, even in China.

We do love the Apple Ecosystem.  It has existed – by design – from the start and has expanded and evolved, and continues to grow in unexpected ways.  Like Legos, Apple devices just fit together and work (mostly) seamlessly.  And if Mac users sometimes seem fanatical, it’s just because they enjoy knowing that if there is some adjustment to make in using a new product, it will be short and well worth it.

We completely agree with AppleHolic on this: Apple has a big picture in mind.  Apple’s secrecy doesn’t mean they are stagnant and with an entire industry built on Apple rumors, it’s nice to seem them all come “magically” together sometimes.

So, whether you’re only plugged in using an iPod nano or your house, car, tv and communications are all aboard the train, we’re glad you’re here with us!  We do have a passion for Apple products and have dedicated ourselves to helping the people who use them any way we can.

 

Spotlight on – TechRestore Apple Mac and iPhone Information Posts on Facebook

At TechRestore, we like to stay up to date on Apple, Mac and iPhone information. Each day, we share something new we have learned – or something interesting we already knew about – on our FaceBook Page.

This week, we included news about innovations, the halo effect of smartphone technology, iOS 10 feature highlights and fixes, and a new discount program in honor of Veteran’s Day.

There is no shortage of opinion about the new MacBook Pro’s released a couple of weeks ago. There is also the expected speculation about what the new features will mean to future renditions. At the end of the day, no one can deny that Apple has been years ahead of our imaginations since the beginning. Often, changes are perceived as “underwhelming” when announced and upgrades are appreciated more in hindsight, as the software changes to take advantage of the hardware.

Here are the links to the articles shared this week.

Saturday 11/5: What the touch bar says about Apple’s approach to innovation and how others may follow suit.

Monday 11/7: Halo effect of smartphone technology in a specific region of China and in consumer electronics as a whole.

Tuesday 11/8: Some features worth mentioning in the upcoming iOS 10.2

Wednesday 11/9: How to unlock your Touch ID enabled device without pressing the home button OR Damn, I miss the SWIPE!

Thursday 11/10: The new technology in MacBook Pro drastically improves speed.

Friday 11/11: See our post in honor of Veteran’s Day.

We hope you’ll join us on FaceBook, and comment or share your own insights and experience. You can also check back here for a weekly roundup of our posts and see what might interest you. As always, we love to hear from you! Your feedback makes all the information more reliable and relevant.

Enjoy! We hope your Veteran’s day weekend is filled with gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy.

Last Week in Apple

Here are some of the stories that caught our eye in the world of Apple and consumer electronics last week.

 

 

For daily updates on everything interesting and new in the world of Apple, visit and like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/TechRestore.

iPads In The Classroom

The tablet is a device that many of us have come to love and have integrated into our daily lives and activities. We use it to surf the web, check our email, or maybe kick back and watch a movie. In recent years tablets have been used increasingly for other applications such as education.

We live in a world dominated by technology. Many children manage to get their hands (and mouths) on their parents phone or tablet before they can fully walk. So incorporating the technology that students have been inundated with all their lives into the classroom environment seems to make sense.

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There’s not a lot of conclusive evidence about the benefit or detriment of using iPads for education since the device’s release in 2010. While some are skeptical that iPads are a distraction from learning in the classroom, early studies from small sample groups seem to be positive. Schools where students use iPads in the classroom seem to show an increase in literacy and competency in mathematics.

I recently spoke with Dr. Gary Jung, one of the customers we support through our EDU program. Dr. Jung is the Head of Technology at Berean Christian High School in Walnut Creek, CA, a small school with a little over 400 students.They manage and maintain about 500 iPads for their program. I asked him if he had noticed a change in the way students learn since iPads were integrated into the classroom. His response was not only positive, but offered some additional insight as well.

Yes, I’ve noticed a change in the way students interact in the classroom. I believe it’s been a success for us, we’ve seen an increase in students test scores coinciding with the implementation of iPads. Technology is the way of the future and I believe it’s a good idea to educate them using the technology that they will go on to use throughout their lives.

While not every school or situation is ready for this shift away from traditional modes of learning, iPads and tablets may have a place in the classroom environment. It’s food for thought when considering the future of public, private and home school scenarios. Will we one day see an educational culture where all students are connected this way? It’s something that you wonder about when you think of the future of iPads in the classroom. What difference do you think it could have made for you as a student? What additional things could our kids learn not just from using an iPad but from breaking and fixing one?

 

 

Claim Your Short Stack of Flapjacks

IHOP celebrates 10 years of giving today with  its 10th National Pancake Day.

Every year IHOP offers a free short stack of their famous buttermilk pancakes to all customers as a fund raiser, patrons can leave a donation if they are feeling charitable. IHOP runs the program in conjunction with Children’s Miracles Hospital and other charities, and has raised $16 million to date.

Screenshot 2015-03-03 09.32.26It’s a tasty event that’s for a good cause. Who doesn’t love pancakes? These buttermilk pancakes topped with peaches and drizzled with sweet raspberry syrup make my mouth water.

Don’t miss out. 1,500 IHOP restaurants will be participating today from 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM.

 

 

Inside A Wilson Football Factory

Are you  ready for some football?! Well, with the Super Bowl being this Sunday and all the recent “Deflate-gate” media hype, I thought it’d  be interesting to take a look into the factory that makes these balls. Here we have a short video from the New York Times that goes behind the scenes of the Wilson Football Factory. The video includes a interview with a sweet older woman, that worked there for many years and took pride in what she did. If only we all took this much pride in what we did, the world would be a better place.

Watch Super Bowl XLIX from Your iPad or Mac

Don’t miss out on any of the action this SuperBowl Sunday. NBC Universal just announced that it will be offering a free live stream of the event to promote its “TV Everywhere program”.

From NBC Sports blog:

SuperBowl49_EMR0100a_2014_SCC_SRGBThe special access event kicks off at noon ET with NBC’s Super Bowl pre-game coverage and concludes with The Blacklist, which follows post-game coverage at approximately 10 p.m. ET. Consumers accessing NBC Sports Live Extra and NBC.com during “Super Stream Sunday” will not be prompted to log-in with their cable/satellite/telco credentials; however, as part of this special access, they will receive consistent messaging in and around the experience about the ease in authenticating after the end of The Blacklist.

Viewers can watch over 11 hours of live coverage including the pre-game, post-game, and half time show via the NBC Sports Live Extra app for iPad and nbcsports.com/liveextra from desktops. No cable subscription or sign up is required, just download the app or visit the website to watch. However, Verizon has exclusive streaming rights to smartphones through its  NFL mobile app.

iPod Dominoes

This is one our older videos, made purely to have some fun with the products we service. We use 215 iPod Nanos as dominoes, which were valued at $35,035 at the time of filming.

What do you think? Should we do more videos like this in the future? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Beautiful Photos Captured With iPhone

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to capture a picture that is stunning and leaves a lasting impression. Many people have the power in their pockets. These pictures are some of the 2014 winners from the iPhone Photography Awards (IPPA), all photographs were taken with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

Julio Lucas- Photographer of the Year

01-julio-lucas-1stpoty

 

Micheal O’neal- Animals

04-michael-oneal-1stanimals

 

Yilang Peng- Architecture07-yilang-peng-1starchitecture

 

Danny van Vurren- Children10-danny-van-vuuren-1stchildren

 

Jenny Anderson- Flowers13-jenny-anderson-1stflowers

 

Felicia Pandola- Nature25-felicia-pandola-1stnature

 

 

Brandon Kidwell- Lifestyle22-brandon-kidwell-1stlifestyle

 

Elena Grimailo- Landscape19-elena-grimailo-1stlandscape

 

Alexa Seidl- Food16-alexa-seidl-1stfood

To view more of the winning photos and galleries, visit the IPPA website. You may even think about entering into their 2015 contest, first place winners receive a solid gold bar.

 

Behind The Scenes VFX Shots From TV And Film

Great VFX (visual effects) in TV and movies helps to create a setting and atmosphere that draws you in and helps to better connect you to the characters and story. When done properly it’s nearly impossible to tell when VFX are being used.

Boredpanda.com compiled  some of the best behind the scene photos from around the web showing us just how shows and movies like Game of Thrones, The Hobbit, and The Walking Dead do it.  It’s mostly green screen (which doesn’t actually need to be green).I found it interesting  to see how much in each scene isn’t actually there while shooting, it makes some of the films even more impressive to me.

Game of Thrones

green screen scene game of thrones

egret game of thrones falling from wall green screen

 

Ugly Betty 

ugly betty green screen

 

The Dark Night 

scarface the dark night green screen

 

The Hobbit

the hobbit green screen

For a gallery of more shots like these you follow the link here.

 

Audi: A Car Sharing Company

white audi r8 in motion

Audi’s R8 Sports Car

Audi, the company that brought you the beauty in the picture at the right, is trying something new with car sharing. Audi is developing a car sharing program in Sweden that aims to make car sharing simpler. From an article on fastcoexist.com:

It aims to eliminate the annoyance of owning a car—the service takes care of things like insurance, maintenance, a monthly car wash, and, since it’s in Sweden, winter tires.

Their “microsharing” plan would allow three or four friends or coworkers to all use the same car as a group, aided by an app and technology that automatically recognizes who’s driving. The drivers would choose the car to share for a year or two. Drivers can check the gas tank, reserve the car, track their usage, and split the bill right from their phones.

Audi plans to launch this program in other countries eventually. With air pollution and traffic congestion becoming more of a concern in metropolitan areas around the globe, it’s likely well soon see similar programs here.

Gadget: Henge Dock

Still searching for that perfect gift for your Mac fanatic? Check out the Henge Dock.

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Its a sleek and stylish vertical docking station for your MacBook. The Henge Dock makes cable management a breeze. With pre-installed mini Displayport, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt connections, this gadget is ready to support your peripherals and dual monitor setup. The Henge Dock would be a great addition to any workstation. I wouldn’t mind finding one of these in my stocking. You can take a look at the Henge Dock website.

Apple Versus Samsung

So which is better, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or the iPhone 6 Plus? Watch as these phablets are tested head-to-head to determine which is superior.

So which one is it? The test results are a bit inconclusive, but I think the winner is the blender.

The World’s Smallest Movie

This is the world’s smallest stop-motion film titled “A boy and His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie”. The film was made made by IBM researchers during their research in the field of atomic memory. IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules into position and capture the shots for the film.

From IBM site:

In 2012, IBM scientists announced the creation of the world’s smallest magnetic memory bit, made of just 12 atoms. This breakthrough could transform computing by providing the world with devices that have access to unprecedented levels of data storage.

While laptops and smartphones get thinner and more compact, the future of computing may be a lot smaller than some of us realize. You can enrich your mind and learn more about atomic memory, data storage, and big data here at the IBM website.

 

Philae Probe Lands Succesfully

After traveling for 10 years and across nearly 310 million miles of open space, the space probe Philae made its landing Wednesday. The European Space Agency’s mission marks the first time in history mankind has delivered a lander onto a comets surface. It is a monumental moment in human history.