Friday, July 25, 2014

Top 5 Favorite iPhone Hacks

Top 5 Favorite iPhone Hacks

Do you ever wonder what other cool uses there are for your iPhone? I know I’m always looking for some little tips and tricks to navigating my smartphone. Here are some fun things I have recently come across.

  1. Your iPhone can double as a Level
    If you ever wonder if your picture is hanging straight but don’t have time to find a level somewhere in your garage, then this will definitely come in handy! All you have to do is open your compass app that comes on the iPhone, slide the screen to the left and your level will appear! Now you have a handy level no matter where you go!

  2. Use the volume button to take a photo
    Instead of having to use the circular button that appears in the camera app, there is another easy way to take a quick shot. Simply aim the camera towards your target and click down on either of the volume buttons to snap your photo fast!

  3. Hold down the photo button to take a “Burst” of frames
    If the subject you are trying to capture is moving really fast or you simply don’t want to miss out on a great shot, then this is extremely helpful! If you hold down the photo button (either the volume button or the white circle) the camera will take 10 frames per second. Just keep holding the button down until you are done shooting!

  4. Shake your phone to delete text
    Ever start typing something and then decide you don’t want to send it? Sometimes using the backspace button can take too long when you’re in a rush. Simply shake your phone and a message will pop-up asking if you wa nt to delete the text, then click undo. All of your recently typed text will disappear and you can start typing again from scratch.

  5. Seeing what time my text sent
    I love this one! It’s great for seeing how long ago I sent my text or looking back to see when my friend sent me something. All you have to do is slide left when you are looking at a conversation. Then all the time stamps of each text will appear.

  6. Hopefully some of these quick iPhone Hacks will come in handy! They have definitely helped me make better use of my iPhone and made my life just a little bit easier.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Would you let your iPhone control your Home?

Who remembers this movie? 

For those of you that don't know, a 13-year-old boy wins a prize of a computerized home aka "The House of the Future." Mind you, this was 1999.

Things start out great for the family having extra help around the house. But things quickly turn for the worse as the house gets a little too controlling and ends up going on lock-down. (Kind of like when you enter the wrong passcode too many times on your iPhone.)

Fortunately the creator was able to reboot the house and, like all Disney stories, they lived happily ever after...

I think this movie had quite the impact on many people, because who wouldn't want a "Smart House?" Of course, I mean, without the the whole scary lock-down thing.

I think we can all agree it would be nice to have an extra hand around the house. A Smart Home may just be the trick! According to a recent story from NBCNews, Smart Homes may not be as far into the future as we thought.
"Apple is reportedly about to enter the world of “smart home” technology in a big way. According to the Financial Times, Apple is positioning the iPhone as a remote control for home automation, allowing you to turn on the lights, adjust the heat and control appliances with the device."
This could definitely change the way people will use their smart phones and it could bring on a whole new meaning to smartphone.

What would you use your Smart Home for?

Be sure to get the latest and check out the full story here.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

10 Ways to Celebrate May the 4th - Star Wars Day!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....

Sunday, May 4, 2014 is Star Wars Day, celebrated by fans around the world.  There are an infinite number of ways to celebrate!  From cupcakes to crafts, and Twitter to trivia, here are some of my favorite suggestions.

1. Movie Bloopers

Find these bloopers during your Star Wars movie marathon, courtesy of (in words) and (with pictures!)

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Bloopers on IMDB    |    Bloopers on Movie Mistakes

Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Bloopers on IMDB    |    Bloopers on Movie Mistakes

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Bloopers on IMDB    |    Bloopers on Movie Mistakes

Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
Bloopers on IMDB    |    Bloopers on Movie Mistakes

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Bloopers on IMDB    |    Bloopers on Movie Mistakes

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Bloopers on IMDB    |    Bloopers on Movie Mistakes

2. Star Wars character eggs

If you have lots of eggs left over from Easter, or just love coloring eggs so much you want to do it more than once a year.... you can decorate eggs to look like Star Wars characters!

3. Make your own lightsabers

Use empty paper towel rolls and print out these PDFs to make your own lightsaber!
Full instructions here:

4. Make a Death Star pinata

How do you make a Death Star pinata?  A balloon, newspaper, flour, water, and some decoration - I'd probably make a simplified version for fun, but if you're having a fancy party, find the complete directions here: has some of the best activity suggestions! (of course)

5. E-cards

Remind your friends to come celebrate Star Wars Day with you with e-cards like these from

6. Funny Star Wars Twitter accounts

If you enjoy some laughs as you scroll through your Twitter feed, parody accounts are great fun!  Here are some Star Wars-themed suggestions:


7. Star Wars-themed snacks

No celebration is complete without food!  Don't just buy a bag of chips, make your snacks as entertaining as the movies!

Check out CNET's article - Delectable "Star Wars" snacks you can make right now, including these adorable Princess Leia cupcakes from!

Also, here is a sampling of recipes from  Click here, scroll down, and click "cooking" to find more.

8. Special episodes of TV shows

Watch Star Wars-themed episodes of other shows.  In The Big Bang Theory episode this week, they celebrated May the Fourth!

Watch the full episode here!

And a preview here:

9. Quizzes and Trivia

Become a Jedi Master by playing Star Wars categories on QuizUp.  In case you haven't played QuizUp yet, it's an addictive new quiz app, where you can challenge friends or anyone around the world to fast-paced quizzes in nearly any topic you can imagine!

Take this BuzzFeed quiz: Which classic Star Wars character are you?

10. What is your Star Wars name?

Back when episodes I-III were released, I remember finding out what my "Star Wars name" was.  Well, here are the instructions for you to figure out yours, too!  Then of course, you should refer to yourself by your Star Wars name on May 4.

First Name
First 3 letters of your last name
First 2 letters of your first name

Last Name
First 2 letters of your mother's maiden name
First 3 letters of the city in which you were born

How will you celebrate Star Wars Day?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hidden Secrets of Google and YouTube

Do you like finding hidden treasure?  Yes.  Who doesn't?  Well, this post is like a scavenger hunt!  The tricks listed here will make your Google visits a lot more fun.  Software engineers have hidden fun features and games, known as "Easter Eggs" to make life more amusing.  Some Easter Eggs are only active for a short time, to celebrate April Fool's Day, Christmas, etc., so here are some active ones as of April 2014.

In honor of Easter, check out these Google and YouTube Easter Eggs.  Have fun, and enjoy!

~~~ Google Easter Eggs ~~~

Do a barrel roll

How do I find it?
  • Search: "do a barrel roll" or "z or r twice"

Here's a classic hidden feature that you may have seen before.  Based on the Super Nintendo video game Star Fox 64, if you Google this phrase, your screen will rotate 360 degrees.  In the game, the command for a barrel roll is pressing z or r twice, so you can also Google "z or r twice" to get the same spin! (That one wasn't working every time, though.)

Bacon number [celeb name]

How do I find it?
  • Search: Bacon number [celeb name]  (ex: Bacon number Jim Parsons, Bacon number Tina Fey)

Who says Google doesn't know everything?  Based on the popular game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon", Google can even tell you how many degrees of separation are between Kevin Bacon and other celebrities.  Search "Bacon number (your celebrity of choice)".  In case you were wondering, Kevin Bacon's number is 0.

Google in 1998

How do I find it?
  • Search: "Google in 1998"

Remember how Google used to look?  This format appeared in September 2013 in honor of Google's 15th birthday.  There was also a pinata game you could play and still can!  As for what day Google's birthday is, well, even they're not sure.... The Google Doodles page says they've celebrated on September 7, 8, 26, and most recently the 27.

Tilt or askew

How do I find it?
  • Search: "tilt" or "askew"

Another classic, searching for "tilt" or "askew" does just that to your search results.  Maybe while your co-worker has stepped out to use the bathroom, you could tilt their Google page and see if they notice.  Either that, or search "Google gravity" and click on the first link (  The search bar is still fully functional, and your results just fall to the bottom of the page!  It's fun.


What is the loneliest number?

How do I find it?
  • Search: "what is the loneliest number"

In case you've lived under a rock and have never heard "One is the Loneliest Number" by Three Dog Night.... Google calculator will help you learn pop culture.

The answer to life the universe and everything

How do I find it?
  • Search: "the answer to life the universe and everything"

More fun with Google calculator - If you're feeling introspective and reflecting on life, type this into Google, and of course, you'll get the answer from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  42.


How do I find it?
  • Search: "festivus"

This holiday is celebrated in an episode of Seinfeld.  A traditional Festivus decoration is a Festivus pole, an unadorned aluminum pole.  Google's search results show "A festivus miracle!" and the pole along the left side of your results.

sqrt(cos(x))*cos(300x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(6-x^2), -sqrt(6-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5

How do I find it?
  • Search: "sqrt(cos(x))*cos(300x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(6-x^2), -sqrt(6-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5"

Yes, THAT is what I would like you to search.  It's probably best to copy and paste this one.  This gives you results in the form of a Google graph.  I'm torn as to whether I want to show you a picture or just have you be surprised.... Ok sure, I'll post the picture here.

~~~ YouTube Easter Eggs ~~~

Do the Harlem shake

How do I find it?
  • Search "do the Harlem shake"
  • Wait a few seconds for the shaking to begin

Disclaimer: Don't worry, you don't have to watch any Harlem shake videos for this hidden feature.  Just search "do the Harlem shake" on YouTube, and wait a few seconds.  First, the YouTube logo on the left will start shaking, and then after a few more seconds, your whole page will join.

Beam me up, Scotty

How do I find it?
  • Search: "beam me up, Scotty"

Here you go, Star Trek fans!  YouTube search "beam me up, Scotty", and your results will beam right to you, traveling in a haze of blue down your screen.  If you've never seen Star Trek and just want to see the pretty blue lines, that works, too.  Click on one of the video results while you're there to see the famous quote's source.

Doge meme

How do I find it?
  • Search "doge meme"

Comic Sans.  The words strike fear into some people's hearts. (#firstworldproblems)  Others love the friendly font.  Well anyway, search "doge meme" on YouTube to have your whole page turn to Comic Sans!  While it can be quite a polarizing subject, I personally do not have the strong feelings toward the font that the Google search results for "Comic Sans" do.  However, it probably doesn't belong everywhere.  For example, it doesn't scream "the intimidating man in this car has a gun and can throw you in jail".  Here's a picture of a real police car.  I am not lying.  I have seen these in person.

~~~ Games! ~~~

Atari Breakout

How do I find it?
  • Search: "Atari Breakout"
  • Click an image OR just wait a few seconds for the game to begin
  • Play using keyboard arrows OR mouse 
These games are some of the most fun Easter Eggs I found.  Search Google Images for "Atari Breakout".  Select a picture, and you get to play this fun game!  Yes.... you are absolutely focused in that endless, boring meeting.  After all, you're staring at your computer with a concentrated look on your face.... You must be working hard.

Google Pacman

How do I find it?
  • Search: "Google Pacman"
  • Click the first result "30th Anniversary of PAC-MAN - Google"
  • Click "Insert Coin" to start game
  • Play using keyboard arrows

Probably as fun as Atari Breakout, you can also play Pac-Man on Google.  A Google doodle from May 21, 2010 celebrated the 30th anniversary of the PAC-MAN game.  A very enjoyable Easter Egg!

BONUS: If you hit "Insert Coin" a second time, Ms. Pacman appears, and it's a 2-player game!  Pacman is controlled by the arrow keys, and Ms. Pacman is controlled by the WASD keys.


How do I find it?
  • Play any video
  • Press Down arrow OR Right + Up arrows together (*You may have to skip to later in the video, or try it when the video is buffering.  Other arrow keys work sometimes, too.)
  • Play game using keyboard arrows

Another one of the world's favorite pastimes, Snake!  You will no longer hate buffering videos, because now you can play Snake while you're waiting.  Sometimes it takes a few tries and a few different arrow combinations to make the game appear.  Try fast forwarding to later in the video if it's not working.  You can keep playing while your video is playing, too.

Missile Command

How do I find it?
  • Play any video
  • Type "1980"
  • When the game appears, click to start
  • Click at the missiles to play

Play this 1980 arcade game by Atari while watching any YouTube video, from "State of the Union 2014 Address" to "cute otter squeaks when put in water".

Also of note, Google's language settings include things like Klingon, Elmer Fudd, and Pirate.

Have you seen Google Mars? shows you the surface of Mars.  Click on spacecraft, craters, and other options at the top to see images and learn about our incredible exploration of the red planet.

How did you do on that scavenger hunt?  Go share these fun Easter Eggs with your friends, family, co-workers, people on the street, etc.  If you know of other cool hidden features, feel free to share them!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fantastic Four New Products from LYNKtec

movie poster and best new tech products

You know and love your TruGlide Stylus.  You keep your Smartie Microfiber Cleaning Cloth in your pocket for quick and easy screen cleaning.  But what else can you get from LYNKtec?  Well, we are now proud to offer you these fantastic four new products - the Exo|Tec Clutch Case for iPhone 5/5S, the 360 Grip Stand for tablets, the Champagne Gold TruGlide Stylus with Tether, and the Dual USB Car Charger.

See how our brand new products match up with the Fantastic Four superheroes below!

Exo|Tec Clutch Case | Wallet Case for iPhone 5/5S

With as often as we have our phones in our hands, it makes sense to have a functional, efficient case.  There are phone cases that double as Swiss army knives.  Ok, you may need that someday.  But this phone case doubles as the frequently-used wallet, AND it can make it through airport security without hearing "sir, I need you to step over to the side.  Male agent needed!"

The lightweight, hard protective phone case features a hidden faux leather wallet with a magnetic closure.  The perfect way to securely and conveniently keep your stuff at hand.  The two card slots can store your driver's license, credit card, Starbucks gift card, PetSmart rewards card - whatever is most useful to you, right at your fingertips.

a wallet and a phone case in one, hidden wallet for security and convenience
Exo|Tec Clutch Case | Wallet Case for iPhone 5/5S

360 Grip Stand | Universal Tablet Stand

Stick the 360 Grip Stand to the back of your tablet for slip-free support.  The lightweight and sturdy aluminum stand rotates 360 degrees, so you can instantly flip from portrait to landscape mode.  The stand is perfect for keeping your tablet in place while taking notes, reading, watching movies, and playing games.  You can carry it around by the handle, and then lay it flat when you're done.  Look up a gourmet recipe and prop your tablet up in the kitchen while channeling your inner Gordon Ramsay.

adjustable tablet stand perfect for any use ipad
360 Grip Stand | Universal Tablet Stand

TruGlide Stylus | Champagne Gold w/Tether

The Champagne Gold TruGlide Stylus with Tether is the perfect accessory for your gold iPhone!  The end snaps into the headphone jack on your phone, so you'll always have your stylus ready for immediate use.  The high-quality woven fiber tip provides smooth, precise, scratch-free navigating.  It also looks great with black and white phones, if you love the stylish gold look, but you're not quite ready to buy an iPhone 5S yet.

match your stylus to your iphone
TruGlide Stylus | Champagne Gold w/Tether

Dual USB Car Charger | for iPhone, iPad, iPod and More

No more comparing who has the lowest battery percentage to determine who gets to charge their phone. This car charger has two 5-volt USB ports for two times the charging.  I use this nearly every day, and in my opinion, it's one of the most useful LYNKtec products I have.

Quickly and safely charge any device that uses a USB port.  Cheap car chargers continue the flow of power into your phone even after it's fully charged, causing long-term damage to the battery.  However, the Dual USB Car Charger features a "smart charge" function, stopping the charge at 100% to prevent damage to your phone.

most useful car charger for your phone
Dual USB Car Charger | for iPhone, iPad, iPod and more

How Do the New LYNKtec Products Compare to the Fantastic Four Characters?

Match LYNKtec's new products to Marvel's Fantastic Four

Invisible Woman vs. Exo|Tec Clutch Case

Tough and protective, the wallet case defends your phone against damage.  The wallet becomes invisible in an instant, hiding itself from the bad guys.

Fantastic Four and LYNKtec's amazing new tech products

 Mr. Fantastic vs. 360 Grip Stand

Flexible and slim, the 360 grip stand adjusts to any angle for any use.  The ingenious, engineering marvel flattens and rotates to win any battle.

New LYNKtec products compared to Fantastic Four characters

Human Torch vs. Champagne Gold TruGlide Stylus w/Tether

Fierce and sleek, this tether is always close at hand and ready for action.  Blaze through the tech metropolis with this hot new stylus.

how do the new LYNKtec products compare to Fantastic Four characters

The Thing vs. Dual USB Car Charger

Energizing and powerful, the Dual USB Car Charger gives a super boost of power to your phone without smashing the battery.  Your phone is juiced up and ready to tackle the world.

Which Fantastic Four character is your favorite?  Which is your favorite new LYNKtec product?  All of these are available from if you haven't had the chance to try them yet!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Making Snow with iPhones and Other Advanced Technology of the Sochi 2014 Olympics

pretty view of mountains at the olympics
What if Sochi doesn't get enough snowfall for the Olympic skiing and snowboarding events?

Is there an app for that?

Well actually.... Yes!

Snowmaking machines being used for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics can conveniently be operated by computers or even iPhones.  You can start up compressors, water pumps, and change the position of the snow guns with an iPhone.  The remote operation is very beneficial because workers do not have to physically go to different areas of the mountain to turn snowfall on and off.  This same technology is used at Northstar California Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe.

Check out CNET's article Snowmaking with computers and an iPhone and video below to see these machines in action!

Facial Recognition

Facial recognition will be incorporated into the Sochi airport as well.  Artec ID's Broadway 3D Face Recognition System uses facial geometry and is capable of telling identical twins apart.  It has a recognition time of less than 1 second and can even identify people while they're walking.


recognize faces as you walk by

Team USA Bobsled

BMW - builder of street cars, racecars, and bobsleds.  Former racecar driver and designer and current creative director of global design for BMW DesignWorks USA, Michael Scully, was the lead designer for Team USA's new and improved two-man bobsled.  Kevlar and carbon fiber are some of the lightweight materials BMW used to create lighter, faster bobsleds.  BMW also created a motion tracker for USA Swimming that can provide analysis about a swimmer's kick and technique.


Team USA's bobsled, luge and skeleton get high-tech tune-up -

lighter faster bobsledding for the olympics

For more about the incredible, advanced technologies that athletes and venues are using, read Sochi Olympics 2014: 10 Technologies In Spotlight by InformationWeek.

Click here to visit the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Official Website, and enjoy the Olympics!
 Winter Olympics in Russia

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chicago Tribune's Blue Sky Innovation Features the TruGlide Apex Fine Point Electronic Stylus!

The TruGlide Apex is one of the Top 10 Most-funded Chicago Design & Tech Kickstarter Campaigns of 2013!  This article was featured on Chicago Tribune's Blue Sky Innovation website - a new site dedicated to sharing news about "startups, technology, innovative new products, services and entrepreneurial best practices." -

 See what amazing inventions Chicagoans have created this past year:

best Kickstarter campaign ipad stylus

In October, we went to Kickstarter to fund our latest and greatest product - the TruGlide Apex fine point electronic stylus.  With just a 2.3mm tip, the TruGlide Apex and your iPad will be your new pen and paper!  3,090 Kickstarter backers generously donated $183,014 to create the Apex.... that was 762% of our goal!

We have been hard at work sending out the first round of Apexes to our 3,000+ Kickstarter backers!

If you haven't done so yet.... PRE-ORDER your TruGlide Apex here!  Thank you for all your support!

best stylus you can get smallest tip stylus for iPad