Reporting the Reviews — Inappropriate Reviews In the App Store and Google Play Store

Spam and misuse of platforms, such as the App Store and Google Play Store, is a form of platform manipulation abuse. Platform manipulation is a tactic that is purposely intended to negatively impact the experience of a user or company. 

You can help Apple and Google out by reporting the spam you see. Since it only takes less than a minute, it’s your choice to try and make the internet a better place. Obviously moderators need some help; otherwise their tools would properly filter out the offending reviews and maybe we would see less of these things.

Why is reporting this information important?

Re-humanizing online platforms and helping the moderators is such an important role to play on the internet, especially these days with all the fake news flying around. So when you see something that shouldn’t be there, don’t be afraid to report it. Moderating platforms can be surprisingly challenging to keep up. If reviews aren’t kept under control, the queue can fill up quickly and it could take days to moderate and filter. When these platforms start to fill up with “reviews” that aren’t actually reviews at all, chances are the platform will start to lose its “trustworthiness”. If the reviews are misleading, offensive, trying to scam you or just plain waste your time, we all suffer. Why not give a hand and support your favorite apps when you come across something that shouldn’t be there? When reporting you should have the option to rate the review helpful, not helpful or of course to report a concern. There is good in this too.

I went to check out reviews for a few apps in the App Store and Google Play Store. Upon my research, it seemed there were more spam reviews in Apple’s store than Google’s. I mostly came across stupid messages that make no sense about the app — just complete nonsense that probably shouldn’t be there because it makes no sense. 

Reporting on iOS in the App Store

Hold your finger over the review and choose out of the three options:

1) Helpful

2) Not Helpful

3) Report a concern 

Reporting on Android in the Google Play Store

Click on the three dots and choose out of two options:

1) Flag as inappropriate

2) Flag as spam

Let’s help out more! I am so tired of seeing strange behavior, offensive usernames and time-wasting reviews, and I am sure you are too. Reporting a review might not be your cup of tea, but when recognizing this type of behavior, reporting it will help the online community out a just a little bit more. It should only take less than one minute to report and you are contributing to helping the internet be a better and safer place. So if you have the time, just take a few extra moments out of your day to do something worthwhile and beneficial to you and other users.

Wireless Heaven: All About Bluetooth

Bluetooth technology is part of almost all digital devices. We have now reached the tech phase where it feels like everything comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth offers a wide range of functions and has become a big part of the wireless revolution. In a world full of wireless networking, you have likely come across it at some point in your life. It is very simple to connect, free to use, and easy to figure out.

What is Bluetooth Technology?

Bluetooth technology is a standardized protocol that was originally created in 1989. The technology uses short-range wireless communication to connect users to many different types of electronic devices like cell phones, speakers, personal computers, video game consoles, printers, cameras, and numerous other gadgets, which connect and share information with each other without proprietary cables.

Bluetooth allows your gadgets to communicate easily by connecting any two devices to one other wirelessly. This technology reduces the need for all those cords and adapters since your devices can sync directly with each other. Not only is Bluetooth a convenient way to wirelessly connect two devices together, you don’t even have to be in close range to use whatever device you choose.

The Beginning of Bluetooth

In 1994, Ericsson Mobile Communication proved the skill of connection and established the Bluetooth project. The name came from the story of the Danish King Harald Blåtand who was nicknamed “Bluetooth” because he loved eating blueberries, or maybe had a nibble on his enemies’ frozen flesh if you believe that crazy story! Over a thousand years ago, the king stopped the fighting between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden and brought them together, just like the Bluetooth technology connects all devices so they can work together instead of fighting each other. The Bluetooth name was supposed to be temporary, but it stuck and has become an established symbol on all of our devices. That blue and white logo is actually a bind rune combining King Bluetooth’s initials.

Simple Setup: Pairing and Bonding

Pairing and bonding your devices through a Bluetooth connection is easy and quick. Pairing is the first step that leads to bonding your gadgets together. When the devices are in range, they can discover and connect to each other, but must be paired before they can communicate. Once the device finds the discoverable one, you may be asked to enter a number as instructed by the user manual but one isn’t always required. Congratulations, your devices are now bonded.

Life is Easier With No Strings Attached

Bluetooth has become part of our everyday lives and made things easier thanks to the advantages and key features offered by Bluetooth. A big benefit of Bluetooth technology is the ability to live a stress-free life without tangled cables. Now you can get rid of the clutter that connects to your personal computer, headphones, speakers, and other gadgets, leaving you with a clear and well-maintained room free of wires lying on the floor. No more mess to look at or trip over! Finally, you no longer need to worry about what plug goes where.

Entertainment Everywhere

For a connected viewing and listening experience, you can’t go wrong with Bluetooth. These smart entertainment devices range from your home to the car and the rest is left to your imagination. All of these devices have the potential to add something exciting to your everyday life. For example, imagine doing your chores and not completely hating it thanks to your Bluetooth ‘buds rocking your favorite music, or hosting a Bluetooth ghetto-blasted outdoor party! On the deck, by the pool, or at the beach, you can take your music everywhere. 

Smart Home Devices

Bluetooth technology gives you the ability to easily turn your devices off and on wirelessly without even getting off the couch. This technology is designed to make your life more convenient than ever before, and it can provide essential assistance for seniors and people with mobility issues. By easing the burdens of life in many ways, Bluetooth technology can turn a home into a comfortable, relaxing, and complete atmosphere.

In The Car

Talk about 21st century problems. When operating a motor vehicle, it is extremely dangerous to drive with only one hand while you’re distracted by the smartphone in your other hand. Checking your Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook feeds is not an appropriate drive-time activity because you should always have both of your hands free while driving. Now, thanks to Bluetooth technology, you can use your voice to interact with your online life while driving safely. You are truly living in the future.

Health Benefits

When it comes to your health, Bluetooth can actually be put to good use. Using a physical activity tracker like Fitbit or apps on your smartphone, you can stay healthy by working out and living an active lifestyle. These devices and apps encourage you to keep track of daily tasks that will contribute to your general well-being and overall health.

Everything Is Better With Bluetooth

What Can You Do With Your Old Smartphone?

Have you ever really thought about what you can do with your old smartphone(s) when it’s time you’ve decided you no longer want it? You’ve pulled it out of that dusty drawer and now you don’t know what to do with it. Who knows, maybe you have a few smartphones stashed away somewhere? It’s not your fault, technology moves quickly or maybe your phone is at the stage of burnout. Well, I have a few ideas of what you can do with your old smartphone besides giving it away to large corporations that already make tons of money anyways. 

Did you know – just because there is no cell service on your old smartphone(s) that doesn’t make it completely nonfunctional? 

Don’t forget your smartphone is basically a mini computer. If it’s still working, it may still have some uses. Sure, it might be a little slow, but there are quite a few things you can do with it. And don’t you dare think of throwing it in the garbage can because at this point in time,  we damn well know that’s just messed up and it’s definitely not the answer. Here are some ideas of what you can do with it instead: 

Think of it like spring cleaning. Before you decide on whatever you want to do with your old device, perform a backup of your precious data and head over to settings and complete a reset by erasing ALL content and settings. This is final so make sure you have EVERYTHING that’s important off there and on somewhere that’s safe and easily accessible so you can live with no regrets. If you end up giving it away or do keep it after all, a reset will refresh everything and make that device feel good again – like spring, a nice feeling of renewal.

  1. Giving it away/donating. If you are thinking about giving it away, either to family or friends, or even donating it, you should see how the phone’s overall performance is. Old devices are usually stored in that old drawer for a reason after all 🙂 Even though you’re giving it away for free, if it can be helped, you should never give away a phone to anyone who is going to be completely clueless to what they are getting, because that just wouldn’t be fair. Do a little testing first.

Give the phone a complete charge, and once it’s reached 100% charge it for another two hours to ensure you’re giving it a really good charge. Once the battery is fully charged, unplug it. If you haven’t already, connect to wifi. Play around with the phone a little bit to see how it’s functioning. Check the battery percentage – does it seem to be holding a decent charge? Or is it draining too quickly? Make a test phone call to make sure the speaker and microphone are working correctly. Since there will most likely be no cell service you can download an app like Google Hangouts or Skype to do a check phone test. If all seems to be good with the device, you’re ready to give it away, partially tested for the new user. Since you already deleted your data, you are being responsible and won’t have to worry about any of your data being leaked. 

If the device seems to be functioning poorly, you can still give it away but you should let the next user or company know some of the known issues that you found out while testing. 

  1. Selling. If you still don’t know what to do with your device at this point, consider selling it. You will want to do a little more in-depth testing with the device to make sure everyone is happy on both ends. But don’t let that discourage you –  knowing the health of the phone will help you a lot when it comes time to sell your old device. Since you already backed up your data and reset all settings to factory default, by now you should already know the status of the battery sound and speaker. You might want to make note of the body. Are there dents, scratches? Check the charging port, is there any corrosion, or is the port loose or wobbly when plugged in? Things like this are very important in an ad and are very important to a buyer, so you want to provide as much detail as possible. Testing your device’s software and hardware has never been simpler than just downloading an app. Kinda weird right? I recommend downloading a helpful app diagnostics tool that will diagnose any issues with your device. For iPhone I use “Phone Diagnostics” (created by Test & find Repair Shop) and for Android I use “Phone Check and Test” (created by inPocket Software). These apps have helped me a lot and almost always provide accurate information. Once the tests are done, this app will help you know more about your phone and will help with your decision on the price your phone is worth. 

Occasionally I come across good deals on smartphones. Sometimes they are fixable, while others are just not worth my time. When I do come across the ones that are not worth my time, lately I’ve been thinking of things I can do with them so they don’t turn out to be completely worthless. When I say not worth my time, I mean cracked screen and battery issues to the point where the only way the phone is slightly usable is by having it plugged in all of the time or at least most of the time. Once you get connected to wi-fi, here are some ideas you can try to get the most out of that expensive smartphone when you don’t know what to do with it or it feels like there’s nothing left:

  1. iPhone/Android smartphone media entertainment centre. Stream video or audio from your phone to TV, speakers or headphones – and there are a few ways to do this by turning your old smartphone into a media centre!

For TV – HDMI or Airplay. Once connected you can mirror your screen to the TV. This is good for many reasons. You can stream horizontally for the full widescreen size effect. There are so many apps to choose from in the App Store, not just iTunes – Netflix, Amazon, sports and even more to stream your favorite TV apps. 

Music player: Speakers. Turn your smartphone into a music player. Your old device will probably support Bluetooth. Connect your favorite Bluetooth speaker to your old smartphone and turn it into nothing but a MP3 player to listen to your favourite tunes out loud! The App Store has so many music apps to choose from – Apple Music, Spotify and your favorite Radio apps. Who knows what else you can find when you search music!

Music Player: Headphones. Same idea as the speakers, but with the sound in. Have a great experience with just your old smartphone and a pair of headphones. Don’t limit yourself to music – you can enjoy some peace and quiet while meditating with your favorite meditation apps. Nothing else to disturb you when it’s just a music player instead of a fully functioning smartphone.

  1. A real dedicated gaming device. How many of you currently have games on your smartphone? Probably most. Turning your old smartphone into a gaming centre is the perfect solution for your mobile gaming needs, especially if you want to save some space on your current device. Mobile games take up a lot of space, so why not transfer them to your old device and organize your mobile gaming library?
  2. E-book reader. If you don’t mind reading on a small screen, this could be a cheap solution for e-book lovers. Turn your old smartphone into an e-reader by using the Kindle or Kobo app or downloading PDFs into your files. This option also gives you more storage space for all those books. 
  3. A universal remote. Most digital media players offer remote apps – Apple, Roku and Amazon Fire TV to name a few. Download these apps on your old device and you have yourself a handy universal remote! 
  4. Security camera. If you don’t already know, home security cameras can be expensive. If someone (or something)  is lurking around your home at night, be it on two feet or four, you should be able to have the luxury of a camera to detect any intruders. Well, if you have an old smartphone laying around, you can turn it into a home security camera for basically 0 dollars! Try to make it as discreet as possible. 
  5. Kids camera. Let’s be honest here. Kids take terrible pictures – their arms aren’t fully developed, their pictures are blurry and out of focus and just generally bad, and it’s not their fault. Get them familiar with your old smartphone – that way when they are older they will be ready to whip that smartphone camera out like a pro. 
  6. GPS. It should be connected anyways, so if you need a GPS this could be a great solution for a road trip in the car or just biking around the city. Make sure to test it before leaving home.
  7. Money making device. If you like to make some money on the side, your old device could bring you in a small amount of dough. There are apps you can download that will allow you to watch videos, play games and more in exchange for points you can redeem for rewards such as gift cards or PayPal payments. To save wear and tear on your primary device, you can run these apps on your old smartphone instead. Cha-ching!! 😉

And if you really don’t know what to do with it – please, recycle it the proper way. A certified company will know exactly what to do with it. Be kind to our planet, let’s not pollute it with more e-waste.

Buyers Tips – Reliable Phone Cases: What I Recommend For Your Smartphone Apple or Android Devices

Your smartphone tags along with you everywhere you go. Do you drop your phone often? Are you up for an adventure if your case doesn’t do the job protecting it from falls? Or… do you even believe in case protection at all?

What is your idea of the perfect phone case? What makes you choose the perfect one?
Is it.. Protection? Durability? Looks? Comfortability? Price? What do you specifically go for when you want to dress up your phone? Maybe you aim for them all but can you find one that does it all?

The real question is, what SHOULD you be looking for when buying a case if you’re serious about protection? Price doesn’t matter – you need to pay attention to certain details when looking for this stuff and sometimes it’s tough.

Here are some keywords to look for when shopping for a reliable case:

Durability
Protection from impact
Dual layer
Grip
x foot drop protection
Military grade protection
Shock barrier

Everything else you get is just an extra bonus 😉

Let’s start with the packaging – what does the packaging say about the case? This can tell you a lot about the product… have a close look at it. Get to know the brand. Does the packaging do a good job of advertising the product? If the description looks like it’s done up quick or there’s not much of one at all, but the case looks pretty and dope while also looking sorta thin and cheap – it probably is and it might not protect you fully. You should have something reliable.

Look to see if it would be slippery in your hands or slide around on a surface. Does it look like cheap plastic? Can you see any grips on the back? It should have a slightly thick-ish solid rubber to protect from falls. That’s what really prevents your device from being damaged. This is what I mean by not worrying about the price. At Dollarama they sell different cases for iPhones and some of them seem to be decent enough for the price. Before you buy it, have a look at the company – check out what they got going on Google. The case should have a thicker edge and look like it’s got some grip on the back. If you can spot these two things, you should be good to go. Don’t worry, you can cheap out on some of these. If you buy the right one from Dollarama, it will do a decent job. These are okay to buy. I mean, not everyone can afford a somewhat expensive phone case.

Often when devices see the tech trainers, it’s because of shattered screens. If the phone drops and it lands on the corner, it’s definitely going to smash or crack the screen. Certain cases do a great job at protecting against these things. If the case doesn’t have a pre-installed built-in screen protector, you should consider tempered glass for maximum protection.

My new favorite smartphone company is Speck and I think I will be sticking with them. When I look for a case, I want something that offers solid grip and good protection, but I also appreciate having a colorful design. I need a case with a good grip that feels comfortable in my hand since I use my phone for hours on a daily basis. It’s a good feeling when you find an honest brand to know your device is safe from falls. I’ve had so many phone cases, I’m tired of dealing with new ones.

Candyshell Grip — Designed For Impact
Drop-tested: Meets or exceeds military standards
No-slip grip: Raised rubber grips for secure hold and confident control
Dual-layer impact protection: Exterior layer disperses impact while interior layer absorbs shock
Bezel screen protection: Raised bezel protects screen from impact

This company seems to be promising. I decided to look on Twitter to see what the latest tweets were under keyword “Speck case” and I came across someone’s tweet that said they had dropped their phone from a three-storey apartment and their phone survived intact. That’s crazy good. Their device was being protected with Speck. So yeah, it’s got to be good.

You don’t have to be, but you should be slightly concerned if your phone isn’t fully protected. These devices are super expensive; who wants to spend extra money and waste time dealing with problems caused by accidental falls? Certainly not me – I do care about my sanity. Are you one that has spent numerous dollars on smartphones because of accidents? Think about it, some of these phones are just as much as rent for the month. You break your phone accidentally and you end up having to buy a new one on top of paying all your other bills. Investing in the right protection for such a valuable device seems like a wise decision to me.

Food Fight: Apple VS Prepear

Apple is taking legal action towards an innocent meal preparation company called Prepear because they think their logo is too similar to their own. What is Apple thinking?

Do they really think this would cause confusion in the marketplace? Would people really use the Prepear app thinking about Apple? Not really… I mean this pear looks totally different to me.

This is really silly. Don’t worry, Apple, everyone already knows who you are. No one is taking your place. Not only that, you want to sue them but don’t you realize you are giving Prepear free publicity? I’ve never even heard of this app before reading this story. They’re a small company with five employees. They are not in any danger of putting Apple out of business.

Just leave people’s creativity alone and let people enjoy their meal preparations. The pear logo is green and designed in a different style. It looks perfect with this app. Does this mean no company could ever use a fruit as part of its logo ever again? All because of Apple? Geez. It seems like a bit much. Should Prepear have used a banana instead? Would Apple have even noticed?

Why do you hate small business, Apple? You were one once; what’s your damn problem?!

I might just give this app a try. It looks pretty useful and they deserve as much support as they can get.

Let’s support small business!