Tag Archives: technology

4 Apps You Need Right Now

Filed under: All Things Tech, Tips - Angelina
Tags: ,

Serena Piper Blogger Biography





There are millions of apps available to install on your phone, tablet, or even laptop. Games, music, photography, social media… you name it! All are just a click away! But how do you choose which ones are the most worth it? We can’t blame you if you don’t want to spend $5 on an app only to find out it isn’t as great as you thought it would be. Apps aren’t refundable, so we took the guessing work out of figuring out which ones the savvy college student should have on his/her phone.

Here are the four must-have apps to get right now:

1. Viber

If you’re constantly on the phone and tend to use up your minutes quickly, Viber is a must have app. You can make calls from anywhere and everywhere for free, plus text and picture messages. When I went to teach abroad, Viber was what I used to call back home and text friends when Skype and regular texting wasn’t available. It was a real comfort, when I want to be frugal with phone minutes.

2. Yelp

Don’t want to spend money somewhere you haven’t been if it won’t be worth it? Heard some bad reviews about a restaurant and want to see if they’re true? Yelp is the best place to go for honest, in depth reviews. I’ve used this before going to hair and nail salons, sketchy restaurants in my city, and computer repair shops. It’s the best way to assure you’re going to get your money’s worth. It’s also perfect for sharing your own opinion of a place with other Yelp users. When you do find a place you like, the contact info, hours, and prices are usually listed, too. Likewise, ScoutMob free for Android will look for all the newest, wallet-friendly specials at restaurants off campus. Walk into a restaurant and it’ll alert you to the current deals.

3. MoneyWiz

For those of us with trouble keeping our money in our wallet, and bad with impulse buys, MoneyWiz is the perfect solution. For just $4.99, you can enter in your checking and savings info, your student loan info, and any other accounts you may have, and then you can enter in each purchase or deposit you make. This app will also remind you when your bills are due, and even draw up a budget based on your finances. This app is truly a wise investment to help you become more financially responsible.

4. Gojee

Ever struggle with what to make for breakfast, lunch, or dinner when you don’t have all the ingredients you think you need? Gojee is an award-winning app developed to be your personal kitchen assistant. Food and drink bloggers supply you with hundreds of recipes based on what you list is currently in your kitchen cupboards. Complete with photos, Gojee will pull up the perfect recipes in line with both what you’re craving and what you don’t like. Similarly, AllRecipes takes the work out of making sure you have all the ingredients for something delicious. Search by ingredients you have, and even by dietary needs, or cooking time. Who says you need a chef?

What is your favorite go-to app? Share with us in the comments below!

Add a Comment

The New iPhone 4S

Filed under: All Things Tech - BookRenter Team
Tags: , , , , , ,

…What we’ve been waiting for: the new iPhone 5 iPhone 4S

By guest blogger Jessica Ridgeway
Jessica is a journalism major at the University of Oregon. She is finishing her final year focusing in magazine journalism with a minor in communications. She spends her free time writing or hanging out with friends. College has introduced her to a new found love for sports (Go Ducks!) and the French language.

Apple Inc. has done it again – they’ve released a brand-new Apple product that surpasses the last. This October the iPhone 4S, formerly rumored to be the “iPhone 5,” is available for technology-lovers everywhere.

The new iPhone 4S doesn’t physically differ from its predecessor, the iPhone 4. It’s the same weight and shape with all of the same functional buttons. However, it’s the phone’s capabilities that make it shine.

First there is the phone’s new dual-core A5 chip – which is the same processor found in the iPad 2. It works twice as fast, opening Apps and Safari web pages faster than ever. The phone also runs on the new iOS 5 operating system; it includes 200 new features that the iPhone 4 lacks.

by Photo Giddy

All of the main programs on the iPhone – Music, Contacts, Photos, Mail (to name a few) –  all run under iCloud on the new iPhone 4S. iCloud wirelessly stores and transfers your files, photos, and pretty much everything else to your other devices. So if you take photos with your iPhone 4S, they will automatically appear in iPhoto on your Macbook Pro and iPad, for example.

The camera of the Phone 4S completely tops the iPhone 4’s. This camera is 8 megapixels and has all-new optics for better pictures. Apple has increased the aperture, which allows more light into the photo, and has added a fifth lens for a sharper and more detailed image. It also has face-detection programming, allowing the camera to focus and expose the image accordingly. For the iPhone videographers, the new phone records at 1080p and at 30 frames per second. There is also a stabilizer, keeping the videos from looking like you’re experiencing an earthquake.

Lastly, the new iPhone 4S includes a new program called “Siri.” The Apple website calls it the “amazing assistant.” Siri listens to voice commands and works with the phone. You can set reminders, send text messages, search for directions, and so much more using only your voice. Aside from all of the many advancements the iPhone 4S has, it’s Siri that sets this smart phone apart from all of its competitors.

Siri can answer any of your questions, even abstract ones

As a new iPhone 4 user (I’ve had mine for almost two months now) I’m mildly impressed. I’m intrigued, of course, but not enough to swap phones. I use my iPhone for three things: phone calls, text messages, and e-mail. I feel that the more features added to phones will eventually cause people to avoid personal communication all together. I have also been told that “Siri” is available as a free App on the iTunes store – but I don’t think I would ever use it. I find it a little strange to talk to my phone like it’s my robot assistant.

Overall, I congratulate Apple on another successful release. I have no doubt in my mind that the elusive “iPhone 5” will make an appearance soon.

We value the diverse voices and fresh ideas that our guest bloggers bring to BookRenter. However, the ideas and opinions expressed in guest posts are strictly those of the post’s author and don’t necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of BookRenter. The information in guest posts is often drawn from a variety of sources, and we count on our guest authors to verify and fact-check the content they post. BookRenter  makes no claims, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of guest post content or the suitability of the content for a specific purpose.
View Comment | Add a Comment

Moore’s Law Bites Again

Filed under: All Things Tech - BookRenter Team
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In which Keith goes through 6 cell phones in less than a year – and lives to tell about it.

by Guest Blogger Keith Kaplan I ALBION COLLEGE: Brains (double-major honors student, Mortar Board, College Fellow) and brawn (swim team captain and an avid outdoorsman who most days can be seen paddling on the river that runs through his campus). Regular blogger. Co-founder of the eponymous DK Cookies (on Facebook!).

So you know that feeling you get when you buy something and a week later a new and better model is released? That’s how it is with me and cell phones, which seem to be released every month, boasting features and capabilities that make my previous cell phone(s) immediately obsolete.

The phenomenon is described by Moore’s Law, which says that the capabilities of digital electronics increase at an exponential rate each year. This is why we now have phones like the iPhone when four years ago we had the Motorola Razr. But in my own typical theory-busting way, instead of having a more advanced phone every year (as described by Moore’s Law), I’ve had six phones in the past year, all with more or less the same capabilities. Kind of crazy, right?

All the phones that Keith has owned in his life

The first phone I owned was a Motorola flip phone. Then I upgraded to the second phone from the right, which looked as if it were going to have a long, successful run, right up until the time it got fried when I was dancing at a party one night. (Of course, that’s not the entire truth. Leave a comment if you want to know the real story, and I might tell you.)

A one-time mistake forced me out of a phone for two months. When I went back home for winter break, I used my dad’s old Motorola Razr with a cracked screen. This phone only lasted for a month before the screen died. My mom also had an old Razr, so I borrowed it for three or four months. By that time, the phone couldn’t even hold a charge.

So now I was seriously fed up with poor-quality cell phones. It was time for a smartphone. It’s still time for a smartphone, but I haven’t bought one yet. Convincing my parents that I needed a smartphone in the first place took a lot of time. About four weeks ago, though, my parents were finally convinced. Soon enough, we were at the Verizon store looking into family plans.

Now we went from AT&T to Verizon because we wanted the option of an unlimited data plan, which AT&T didn’t give us. This all had to be done by July 7 because that’s when Verizon switched to a tiered data plan.

Here’s the best part: instead of buying a two-year contract, I’m on a monthly plan, and when the Galaxy S2 is released (hopefully within the next month!), I’ll buy the phone at the two-year contract price and happily indulge myself with unlimited data.

You’re probably asking yourself where the other three phones came in. Well, since I wanted to wait for the Galaxy S2 to come out, I had to get a temporary phone, which turned into three temporary phones. I contacted a friend, who came to the rescue with an old Verizon flip phone. Since the phone had no charger, it died after a week, so my buddy gave me an even older phone. How old? You had to pull out an antenna to use it. This phone held a charge – as long as it was plugged in. I went through these phones in no more than two weeks. Finally, another friend, taking pity on me, gave me her old Blackberry Storm.

So with all this experience under my belt, I have a few suggestions:

  • If you go without a phone for two months, be prepared for a lifestyle change. You might find yourself not talking to as many people.
  • Before you go and buy a new phone, make sure you’re up to date with the latest information about phones. Pay attention to blogs, forums, and any and all buzz about cell phones.
  • Don’t throw your old phone(s) away. Either recycle or save them. You never know when you might need one of them.

We value the diverse voices and fresh ideas that our guest bloggers bring to BookRenter.com. However, the ideas and opinions expressed in guest posts are strictly those of the post’s author and don’t necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of BookRenter.Com. The information in guest posts is often drawn from a variety of sources, and we count on our guest authors to verify and fact-check the content they post. BookRenter.Com makes no claims, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of guest post content or the suitability of the content for a specific purpose.

Add a Comment