Tech with Spice

Tech news and product reviews made simple

My review of the Roku 2 XD media streaming box

For Christmas my parents got me a Roku 2 XD media streaming box. This product has been amazing so far. For those of you who do not know what a media streaming box is it is a device that connects to the internet and allows you to stream music and movies from the internet directly to your TV. The Roku 2XD is capable of streaming 720P HD graphics with the use of an HDMI cable which is sold separately. The box comes preloaded with a couple really good apps such as Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus, and Amazon instant movies. Do note that some of these apps do require a subscription such as Netflix, and Hulu Plus. the Roku box was extremely easy to setup and it only took a couple minutes to activate. This media streaming box is a great value for music and movie lovers. However products such as the apple TV do have more features but in order to take advantage of those features you must have several Apple products such as an Ipad,Iphone,ECT. The layout of the Roku 2 XD is super simple and very easy to navigate and adding new channels is super easy through the channel store. It also comes with an infrared remote that is used to control the device. The range on the remote is awesome I have had no problems at all with it.  The price point of this media streaming box may shock you at $79.99 compared to the Apple TV 99 dollar price point. Another cool thing about Roku is that they have several models to choose from compared to the ONE option you have with the Apple TV. The Roku 2 XD is the middle option. Ever since I have activated the device it has been very hard for me to stop using it. I think this streaming player is perfect considering the price point and what I use it for. I would highly recommend that people at least think about adding this device to your life, I promise you will not be disappointed with the results or at least I wasn’t.

POST BLOG QUESTION

Would you ever own a media streaming box?

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My Top 5 Android Apps of the year

As we say goodbye to the year 2011 and hello to 2012 I would like to take a moment and spotlight the 5 Android apps that I used most through out this last year. The first app is called Words With Friends. For any of you that have played the game you know that it can be very very fun as well as very addicting. One of the things that I love most about Words With Friends is that you can play with all of your Facebook friends and twitter followers giving you a wide range of people to play with. The second app that I am going to spotlight is called ESPN Score Center. As a huge sports fan there have been several times over the past year where a big game is on and I don’t have access to a TV or Computer to catch up on all the scores, Well this app keeps you informed no matter where you have to be. The third app that I am gonna spot light is called Shop Savvy. With Shop Savvy you can always be sure you are getting the best deal on something just by simply using the camera on your device to scan the barcode. Once you have scanned the barcode it will show you all the stores in the area that have the item and what their price is for it. I like it because it does not take super long to scan the barcode and get your results plus it has saved me a ton of money over the past holiday season. The fourth app is known as Tango Video Caller. Tango Video Caller allows you to make video calls using the camera on your device. I like being able to have a way to see the faces of family and friends that live far away. Best part about this app is that its cross compatible between Android and IOS (Apple). If you are looking for a good way to stay connected with friends and family in a unique and fun way this is the app for you. Last but not least the fifth app is Called Shazam. Have you ever been listening to the radio and wonder what song is playing with shazam all you have to do is load the app and let it listen to the song, after a couple seconds of listening it will tell you what the name of the song is and who sings it. It will also save all the songs you use the app for so you can look them up later to buy them. With this app there is no time spent on google trying to figure out the name of the song which means more time for you to live life with your favorite music. All of these apps are great and very user friendly, and best of all they are all free apps in the android market meaning that you can share with me the joy of making these apps a part of your everyday life.

POST BLOG QUESTION
What is your favorite mobile app?

As always thank you so much for reading and supporting this blog. If you are new to this blog please feel free to check out my about me page to find more about who I am and why I do what I do.

Look at what the cloud is doing.

With the introduction of portable media and the cloud we have seen some pretty incredible stuff surface that most of us never thought could be possible. Probably the biggest thing thought of when thinking about that cloud is “c;loud storage”. Cloud storage has allowed us to be able to save a document and open it where ever we are when ever we need it. We also now have the ability to watch shows that have been recorded on our home DVR’s thanks to cloud technologies.This makes it impossible for people to miss out on their favorite shows. Now on to some of the newer things that were at one point in my life time would have been impossible to carry out. The first cool new thing that I would like to shine a light on is a thing called the nest thermostat. what could be so cool about a thermostat you ask, well maybe the fact that this thermostat is WIFI enabled meaning that you can change the temperature of your house straight from your Ipad or Iphone. As of right now the app only exists for IOS devices but in that it was a success and works properly I am sure there will be a multi-platform app released at some point. Another cool device is a camera known as the Dropcam. The Dropcam is a new surveillance device that can be placed just about any where you could imagine. The cool thing about this cam is that you can log into the camera any where you have an Internet connection and view what is going on. All of these new devices are becoming very popular in this day and age. As we can clearly see by looking at all of our new technologies the cloud is clearing shaping more new products beyond just computers, smart phones, and tablets.

POST BLOG QUESTION
What do you think about what the cloud has done to the world of technology? What is your favorite cloud product?

As always thanks so much for reading and supporting me. If you are new to this blog please feel free to check out my about me page to learn more about who I am and why I do what I do.

Old fashioned print media seems to be dead.

In a recent report released by a company known as Emarketer it was discovered that adults now spend more time on their mobile devices than they do looking at old fashioned print media (such as newspapers and magazines). It is estimated that people spend about an hour a day using their mobile devices compared to just over half on hour spent with old fashioned media. This is the first year that significant mobile device usage has been recorded since the company started taking the survey in 2008. What we do not know from this survey is how is the usage time being spent. Are people reading and catching up on the news or are they surfing the net and playing games. Along with the growth in mobile device usage it was also reported that there was an increase in the amount of time people spend in front of the television in an average day. On average people spend about 4 and a half hours a day in front of there televisions. That number is up 30 minutes from previous recorded years.

POST BLOG QUESTIONS
Do you think our mobile devices are making us lazier? How much time per day do you spend using mobile devices?

As always thanks for reading and supporting me. If you are new to this blog please check out the about me tab found above for more about who I am and why I do what I do.

The Samsung stratosphere 4G Android cell phone review (Verizon Wireless)

Earlier this month my mom received the new 4G LTE Samsung Stratosphere cell Android phone for her birthday. The Samsung Stratosphere runs on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. The Stratosphere runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has a single core 1 GHZ processor built in, and 4GB of internal storage as well as an additional 4 GB SD card installed right out of the box. When I turned on the phone for the first time I noticed that the 4 inch super AMOLED display looks absolutely incredible. The display is very nice and bright as well as super vivid. the only physical buttons on the phone are the screen lock power button and the volume rocker. reaction times on this device are very good and the sensitivity of the screen is very reasonable. The Stratosphere features Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface which is very user friendly. The call quality of this phone also deserves an honorable mention. Every sound came through crisp and very clear. Another cool feature of this phone is the slide out 5 row physical QWERTY keyboard. The layout of the keyboard is very good the keys are a really good size and they are spaced out very well. The phone Also features a 5 Megapixel rear facing camera the allows you to take clear photos. The phone also features a 1.3 Megapixel front facing camera for a nice vide communication experience. This phone paired with the 4G network that it runs on makes a great DUO. If I had to give my personal rating of this phone I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. Its features and speed are nice but for it being a new device on the 4G network I think it deserves a bit more than a 5 Megapixel rear camera. Overall I would say if you are looking to upgrade to a great 4G phone I would look no further than the Samsung Stratosphere from Verizon Wireless.

As always thank you for reading and supporting my blog. If you are a new reader please take some time to check out the about me tab found above for more information about me.

Its that time of year again…Time to be safe that is

I know I have already posted this once this year but I do feel that it is worth another mention. Black friday is tomorrow and cyber monday is right around the corner. With that being said this is the time that online predators are looking to have fun at your expense,But before they get the chance to have fun I would like to remind you all of some tips that will help you stay safe and secure while enjoying this buying season. Tip one ALWAYS buy from known reputable sites if possible. You can always trust a reputable site to be safe and secure. Tip two If buying from a site that you are new too do some research first. What I mean by research is before hitting check out do some clicking around and see if you can find any evidence that would make you feel insecure about buying from the retailer. TIp three keep a close eye on prices and bank accounts to ensure that you are the only one making purchases in your name. The best way to do this is to check your accounts online some where between 2 and 3 times a week. If you follow all these steps you have a much better chance of staying safe this holiday shopping season.

 

POST BLOG QUESTION

Will you partake in the online buying season? what are your favorite sites to buy from?

 

As always thanks for reading. if you are new to this blog please feel free to check out the about me page for more about who I am and what I do.

Excitement for whats to come in the future

I was coming out of the movie theater the other day when I noticed a pole that looked kind of like a parking meter in front of a few cars. This got me curious as to what it was upon further inspection I noticed it was a car charging station for the new electric cars. Seeing this got me really excited for some reason. I dont know if it comes down to the fact that I love the idea of having an electric car or if its just the normal excitement I get when I discover new technology at work in the community I live in. what ever it is I like it a lot. I am most excited about seeing the acceptance of electric cars into every day life because it means we will have to use less and less gasoline as a country on a daily basis. Not only will this help the the owners of the electric cars but the owners of the gas cars as well, because this means that gas prices could fall because of the surplus gas that is not being used. So really electric cars area a win win for every one. I hope that we continue to see more and more electric cars make there way onto the market in the near future.

POST BLOG QUESTION

Do you like the idea of electric cars? Would you ever think about buying an electric car?

As always thank you for reading and supporting me I appreciate it so much. If you are new to this blog feel free to check out the about me page found above for more information on who I am and what I do.

Make easy payments on the GO

I was doing some reading about new Techie devices this morning when I stumbled upon a device known as the Go Watch. What is the Go Watch you ask? The Go Watch is a digital watch that has a contactless payment chip inside of it that acts as your credit card. When paying for something using the Go Watch all you have to do is wave your wrist in front of a scanner that will read all the credit card information and make the transaction. Also the Go Watch can store medical information as well. This means that if you are wearing the Go Watch and something was to happen to you paramedics could scan your watch and instantly know all the information they need to help save your life. I personally think that this is a very very cool device, But I also think it could lead to a lot of bad. In that all you have to do to buy something is wave your wrist in front of a scanner its gonna make buying things much much easier which could lead to more debt  if you are not careful.

 

POST BLOG QUESTION

What do you think about the Go Watch? is it a product that you would think about buying and using?

As always thanks so much for reading and supporting. If you are new to my blog check out the about me page found at the top for more on who I am and why I do what I do.

yet another Android milestone

A recent report by the search giant Google said that there are now 200 MILLION android devices active world wide. Android is very close to passing Apples IOS in total activations (IOS is about 50 million a head still). there was also a new graph released of the mobile market footholds in which we found that Android has a 43% share of the smart phone market trumping Apples 27% share. Google expects there total number of activations to soar in the coming weeks with the release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. surveys find that most Android device are running one of the 2.X platforms wether that be 2.2 froyo or 2.3 gingerbread, The number of devices running 3.0 honeycomb is very small. In my personal opinion I like Android a lot and can not wait to see how much bigger it grows in the coming months.

 

POST BLOG QUESTION

Do you like Android or IOS better? When Android first came out did you ever think it would become this popular?

 

As always thank you for reading and supporting. If you are new to this blog or would just like to find out more about who I am and why I do what i do please visit the about me page found at the top of the page.

What is the connected car

I recently watched a tech video all about the “connected” car. You might be wondering what is a connected car, Well I am here to explain that to you. A connected car is a car that has a built in 3G radio that will connect you to the internet. I got to thinking why do I need the internet in my car, then it was explained that the 3G connection is used for several cool purposes. The first purpose and probably the nicest one is navigation, it will allow your GPS to pin point your location making it easier to get places. another cool thing that connected cars can do is connect to internet radio such as I-heart radio and pandora, eliminating the need for a FM tuner and your smart phone. the final use as you may have guessed is telecommunications, such as making and receiving phone calls and it also supports services such as On Star and other helpful services. Another thing that this allows is the ability to control your electric car right from your smart phone via an app that connects to your car (not every manufacturer has an app out). Through the app you can control when your electric car charges, you can also make it auto start as well as do a couple other various things. In my opinion connected cars are going to lead the future of the automotive industry. I am actually surprised that this technological advancement was not released sooner.

 

POST BLOG QUESTION

What do you think of the idea of a connected car? would you ever think about getting one? what feature would you like best?

As always thank you so much for taking the time to read and support my blog. Check out the about me page for more about who I am and why I do what I do.

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