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Archive for the ‘smart phones’ tag

My quarter life crisis: Life without a smartphone   1 comment

Posted at May 23, 2013 @ 4:06pm gadgets and gizmos,social media,Story Time at TurnKey

bigsttockI am the one percent.

No, I don’t have the 99% Movement outside my office, protesting here at TurnKey, but in a way, I am the One Percent. That is, the one percent of the office—and maybe of all IT offices in the country—that does not have an iPhone, Droid, Blackberry or any sort of smartphone device. Yes, I do hear it every day, people. I have been stuck with my Samsung Intensity II for the past 2 years, and the only thing intense about this phone is the scrutiny I get for it from my friends, co-workers, and loved ones.

Every day is like showing up to move-in day at college and bringing my desktop computer, while everyone else is running through the hallways with their iPads playing Angry Birds and Temple Run.

Imagine that it is 1997, and you are walking through a park, jamming out to Jewel’s new single “You Were Meant for Me.” All of the sudden, you see a guy with an 80’s boom box on his shoulder, pretending he’s “got game by the pound”, belting out Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” Well, that guy would be me. And while I may have better taste in music than you, I certainly would be jealous that you could take a stroll and listen to your music privately with that classic Walkman.

There may be a problem, however—one that has persisted straight through years of technological developments to smartphones. These days, it seems easier to disconnect from human interaction and to hide behind a four-inch screen. I see it all the time. A few of my friends will get together on a Friday night and, at some point, I guarantee I’ll look around and find all of them silently Tweeting, texting, Instagraming, Facebooking, etc. It’s a problem that my 23-year-old self and most people 50 and up can relate to… We are not a part of the Smartphone Club.

I’ll admit that, even without a smartphone, I do this from time to time. I’ll be walking through the mall, and, although I’d love for someone to massage my hands with lotion, I am not willing to spend $50 on it and then have to do it myself every time after that. That is when I quickly grab my phone and pretend to check my text messages, avoiding any and all human interaction and blatantly ignoring the people waving products in my face. It is a habit—without a doubt, a bad one—but one that is shared by most of the people I know.

These issues are long-coming, and continue to rise as new technology does. It is inevitable that all of us without a smartphone will have to accept them. We will eventually have no option but to buy a smartphone, and will ultimately be a part of this culture someday.

But of course, these devices aren’t all bad, right? It is reported that nearly half of all Americans own a smartphone. So for what reasons may I soon jump to the maybe-not-so-dark side of the mobile telephone?

The first reason is that smartphones have basically eliminated the use of a GPS system, a map, or however you prefer to navigate. I can’t count how many times I got lost when living in New York City, and again after moving to Albany. Albany is one thing, now that I have my car and my GPS, but being lost in The Big City is a whole different ball game. Forget the danger of being alone and lost at night in the city (I leave my safety in the hands of Batman), the frustration of trying to get from one place to another, or simply being able to find a location, was enough for me to almost crack and get a smartphone.

Music is another reason that I became envious of smartphone owners. With applications like Spotify, a smartphone can eliminate the need for an MP3 player. A few months ago I left my iPod at my friend’s apartment in NYC and I still haven’t gotten it back. At this point, I don’t really need it since almost every song on that iPod is on Spotify. I can access Spotify with my computer, but I can only imagine how much I would use it if it was with me everywhere I go. It’s amazing to think about how much music I could consume in one day—while on a walk, driving in my car, grocery shopping, working out, etc. Smartphones open up a whole new outlet to discover, stream, and share music.

The last reason—for now—is what I feel my life, and millions of other people’s lives revolve around lately: the Internet.

I know this kind of encompasses the reasons I mentioned before, but it just goes to show how many benefits there are to a smartphone. To be able to Google a restaurant, find the time a movie is playing, Instagram a photo, Tweet a message to someone, or whatever else you are trying to do—having a computer in the palm of your hand, I imagine, makes some things in life a little easier. Being able to keep a schedule of what you need to do and where you need to be, to write notes and answer emails, to use the thousands of helpful apps available—a smartphone is becoming almost the staple of being a professional adult…or maybe even a functional member of society.

Here is where I need your help: Which smartphone do you prefer?

When I finally man up, grow a mustache, and get a smartphone, I’m sure Emily Wegener will keep you posted on the progress here at TurnKey Internet via our Instagram.

 

 

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Written by Dylan on May 23rd, 2013

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YouTube Capture vs. Vine   no comments

Posted at May 8, 2013 @ 12:21pm social media,tech news

bigstock-NEW-YORK--NOV---A-deal-was--27569138 (1)Now, you may remember my first blog post here at TurnKey. Remember–the one about Twitter’s video app, “Vine”?

Back in February?

Hello?

Well, regardless of if you read it or not, let me give you a little run-down on what it was all about!

Twitter acquired the company “Vine” back in October of 2012, and released it to the public this January as an iOS app. Vine gives users a “stop-and-go” way to record whatever they want, and to compose it into a six-second video.

For example, this one, of a cute dog.

Or, similarly, this one, of Busta Rhymes and crew.

Vine has quickly caught the attention of Twitter users all around the world, and just last month it was the most downloaded free app in Apple’s App Store. Judges at the Tribeca Film Festival even asked people for Vine entries this year, and said they were “impressed with the creativity at play when it came to the submissions.”

In a response to Twitter’s acquisition of Vine, YouTube has created an app called “YouTube Capture”. Now, while Twitter focuses on the brevity of a six second Vine, YouTube is sticking to its “post what you want” approach. This app makes it easy and hassle-free for users to record videos on their mobile phones, and upload them straight to YouTube.

With YouTube Capture, you simply press a button and the video begins to record. It continues to record until the button is pressed again, then the video is over. Next, you are asked to enter a title, then given options to color correct, stabilize, or trim the video, and even to add a “soundtrack” to it. The soundtracks are pre-made, ringtone-type music clips, which I thought was an interesting idea. Lastly, you press “done”, and the video is uploaded directly to your YouTube account.

So, who do I think wins the Video-App-Super-Bowl-World-Series-Stanley-Cup-Green-Jacket-Gold-Medal-Championship Award?!

I give it to Vine, simply because of its originality and the fact that it’s so easily shared among friends on Twitter. Vine has limited functions, but with a six-second video you’re just trying to get to the point. Vine videos can also leave a lot of room for creativity, like in this one, for example.

YouTube’s app is incredibly easy to use, and very handy if you want to make simple videos of day-to-day things, like a visit to the zoo, or your cat in water. The features that YouTube Capture provide are pretty nifty, but it lacks any major editing tools and the app itself is a lot less interactive, in my opinion. While it depends on the purpose of your video, both apps are great in their own way, but Vine just has that easy-to-use, interactive element. Sorry YouTube, but you are about 100 years old in technology years, and while you are a classic, my friends need to see my life played out in 6 seconds at a time!

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