Inverselogic’s Father’s Day Tech Gift Guide

BlogFather’s Day is in 10 days, but only 6 business days away; this might leave you a little short on shipping time if you plan on purchasing Dad’s gift online. We’ve been there, done that and we’re here to make sure you don’t have to worry about showing up to his BBQ empty handed. Inverselogic has put together a Father’s Day Tech Gift Guide which features gifts that will put a smile on any dads face. We’ve made sure every gift on this list (with the exception of one) is available either in store or on Amazon Prime (Thank you, Amazon! Us procrastinators owe you, big time).

Smartwatches

  1. The Huawei Watch $350 (Android Wear only)

Father's Day Tech Gift Guide watch

The Huawei Watch (pronounced “wah-way”) is a line of wearable technology that originates from the Huawei phones. This brand of Android Wear watches is said to have the highest display resolution of any smartwatch of its kind. The display on this watch sets it apart from its competitor as it’s the first to feature an always-on, sapphire crystal display. The crystal should make it sturdier and does a better job of protecting it from scratches or breaks. In addition, the always-on display keeps you from needing to tap or flick your wrist to see the face.

As this smartwatch is geared more towards the fashion-forward father, it presents more like a traditional watch than any other in its category. It provides simple functions such as step counting, heart rate monitoring, and calories burned. Interchangeable bands are also available.

Click Here to Purchase

  1. The Moto 360 Watch $300-$430 (Android Wear only)


Father's Day Tech Gift Guide AndroidThe updated Moto 360 Watch is another high-class wearable that’s gives you the most versatility in design and function. You can customize your watch on the website and interchange bands to match your outfit. The LCD screen is a nice touch, though the resolution is said to be noticeably better on the Huawei watch. The nice part about this watch is that WiFi is built in, meaning you can still use it even if you leave your phone behind.

Click Here to Purchase

Phones

Phones are a great go-to gift for parents, but you should definitely be sure that you’re aware of their preferences. Are they Apple lovers? Dedicated  Android users? Whatever the case may be, there’s a great selection to choose from.

  1.  iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, or iPhone SE

Father's Day Tech Gift Guide iPhone

Apple iPhones are a tried and true gift for any parent. If dad is due for an update, you can’t go wrong here; just make sure he likes the simplicity of the iPhone. The iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, or iPhone SE allow for a variety of shapes and sizes to fit your dads smartphone needs. The updated camera, faster processing speed, a more proactive “Siri,” and force-touch abilities are handy improvements.

Click Here to Purchase

  1. Samsung S7 Edge


Father's Day Tech Gift Guide EdgeIf your dads a loyal Android user, the Samsung Edge is a pretty great gift option. It’s almost identical to the Samsung S7, the only difference really being the larger curve and battery. It features expandable storage, a super sleek & sexy design, phenomenal camera, and an incredible battery. Though the cost is a bit higher, the S7 Edge won’t disappoint.

 

Click Here to Purchase

  1. Mophie 3000 Powerstation External Charger $59.99


Father's Day Tech Gift Guide MophieIf your dad spends a lot of time on his phone, he’s probably complained about the battery life once or twice. Mophie offers a powerful solution to the weak battery lives with their Mophie 3000 Powerstation Charger. Though they offer Juice Pack’s (phone cases), they are limited to iPhone’s only. The Powerstations are connected via USB to whichever cord charges your smartphone, making it versatile enough to use on various devices.

Click Here to Purchase

For the Office

We know dad probably spends a lot of time in the office, which is why we’ve prepared a few options to make his desk a little more exciting.

  1. Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard $29.99Father's Day Tech Gift Guide Logitech

If your dad is a multi-device user (meaning smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.), he is going to love this. This nifty little gadget gives you toggling capabilities between 3 different devices at the same time with the press of a button. If you’ve gone between a PC and a Mac at any point in time, you’ve probably realized a few minor keyboard differences. Fortunately, the Logitech Keyboard is able to pick up and differentiate between the two operating systems as well as between iOS and Android.

Click Here to Purchase

  1. Belkin Duo Outlet Travel Rockstar $59.99


Father's Day Tech Gift Guide BelkinIf your dad travels for work a lot, this little gadget might come in handy. It serves as a surge protector, USB outlet, and even an external battery for when you’re
not plugged into the wall. It also offers increased charging speed. Though it may not be the flashiest gift, it’s definitely one of the most practical.

 

Click Here to Purchase

For the Course

For the dad that loves the course… This little tool is easily the most hobby-based gift on our list, and if your dad is a data enthusiast, he’ll appreciate this!

  1. Zepp 2 $149.99

Father's Day Tech Gift Guide ZeppFor golfer dads, this gadget is the next best thing to gifting him actual clubs! If he’s looking to beat his buddies on the greens, the Zepp is handy enough to help him do that. You simply attach it to your glove and it measures your swing, speed, and accuracy. 360 3D visualization gives you personalized coaching to help you improve your game! Compatible on both iPhone and Android.

Click Here to Purchase

For the Beach

If you’re fortunate enough to enjoy the sunny beaches like we are here in SoCal, your dad will appreciate these gifts.

  1. Solar Panel 5+* $81


Father's Day Tech Gift Guide SolarWe’ve all experienced the drained battery at the beach, especially if we’re streaming music from our phones. I’ve used one of these guys before and let me tell you – it is
handy. This solar-powered charging unit gives you a sundial to align with the sun for maximum power, a kickstand, and is sleek enough to travel with.

Click Here to Purchase – Not Available for Prime*

  1. Jawbone Mini Jam Box $179.99

Father's Day Tech Gift Guide JawboneThis wireless bluetooth speaker is perfect to take with you to the beach, or anywhere for that matter! This specific speaker is said to be better sounding than the original and the best designed system for its size. You can customize voice prompts and
make use of its built in microphone.

Click Here to Purchase

For the Home

Our last gift in Father’s Day Tech Gift Guide goes to the techy-dad who appreciates a good smart home.

  1. August Smart Lock Home Kit $229


Father's Day Tech Gift Guide August LockConsidering the fact that you’re looking for something that’s secure and reliable, we understand that choosing the right lock is important. The August Smart Lock has proven its reliability, security and is easy to install and use. The app is integrated with Nest, Logitech Harmony, Comcast’s Xfinity Home and Siri, so it’s not just limited to Apple users.

Click Here to Purchase

This concludes our Father’s Day Tech Gift Guide for the almost-late shopper. We’ve thanked Amazon Prime for their ability to save us on numerous occasions, this one being no different. Inverselogic wishes you all a very Happy Father’s day, whether you’re being celebrated or celebrating someone else.

 

BlackBerry Limited at the "Starting Line"

Today RIM made some pretty big announcements with two new phones, a brand new operating system, and a new corporate name, BlackBerry Limited. These are some drastic but necessary changes for the company which watched as its market share slipped away over the last few years. CEO, Thorsten Heins claims “Today is not the finish line, it’s the starting line,” but will these changes be enough to keep BlackBerry in the race?

CEO Thorsten Heins demonstrates Email on the BlackBerry 10 OS

The traditional keypad BlackBerry Q10 looks pretty standard for fans of this interface. The touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 specs stack up against its competitors, and we were impressed by the BlackBerry 10 operating system. The OS has already earned praise for the accuracy of its auto correct, predictive text, voice recognition, and the ease of use for its touch interface. It also has the ability to switch from work to personal profiles, keeping the device desirable for its corporate audience by eliminating the need for employees to carry two devices.The Blackberry store, recently rebranded as BlackBerry World, has 70,000 apps and will now sell movies, games, and music, directly competing with iTunes.

Close up of the BlackBerry Z10
Thorsten Heins shows the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 side by side

Among other surprising announcements was the fact that singer Alicia Keys is BlackBerry’s official creative director. Keys admits that she was “playing the field” with other devices, but is back together with the new BlackBerry. While a bit corny, the metaphor probably resounds with others who abandoned their BlackBerry devices when other phones became more appealing.

Alicia Keys is BlackBerry’s new Global Creative Director (Mark Lennihan/Associated Press)

Investors do not seem to be impressed by these developments, however, as RIM’s stock price dropped 8% after the announcements. While this is no good news, it’s not necessarily an indicator of the company’s future performance. The new phones look promising and RIM’s willingness to unite its company behind the BlackBerry brand shows they are going all in with everything developed thus far. We will have to wait until the phones are available here in the U.S. in March to get any hands on experience. Major carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint are expected to offer the Z10 in the standard $199 price range, with pre-orders starting next week.

Give me back my BlackBerry!

By Ara Aslanian

BlackBerry 850 – introduced 1999

After experiencing some device problems with my new Verizon BlackBerry Bold 9930, and due to continued media and financial setbacks by RIM, I decided to switch to the iPhone 4s. The timing was perfect… the holiday season would give me enough off-time to get acclimated with the iPhone. Having used a BlackBerry device since the first BlackBerry 850 was introduced in 1999, I knew this was going to be a drastic change for me. Although the first BlackBerry was hardly a smart phone, the e-mail only device which had very limited HTML browsing capabilities, was undoubtedly a revolutionary transition from the beeper.

The transition of moving contacts and e-mails from my Bold to the iPhone was painless and easy, with the exception of my notes. I knew there would be a learning curve for the use of a touch screen only device; luckily, being an iPad and iPod Touch user, I am very familiar with the iOS operating system and know most of the phone’s functions.

The iPhone 4s provides lots of eye candy and fun with its amazing camera, all the cool apps and games you can ask for, gorgeous screen resolution and of course Siri, the talking assistant. After a few days of playing with my iPhone and being told how great it was by everyone, I began to really get into it and use it as I would my Blackberry: constant e-mails, notes to myself, to-do lists consisting of client needs, calendar entries and e-mails to my staff and partner for client related matters.

I soon began to realize the great effort it took for me to fulfill these necessary functions. Doing what I did with the BlackBerry on the iPhone required extra time, taps and slides. However, I wrote these off as a part of the learning curve I was overcoming and was sure my efficiency would increase over time and with familiarity. All the same, my experience never improved.

Although the iPhone had many great functions, it fell short of those that really counted for me. The lack of intuitive e-mail, calendar and contact management were my biggest issues with the phone.

Siri was helpful but could only recognize certain names such as Jeff, Mike &John. It had difficulty with Armenian names and required me to repeat the name with different pronunciations before it could bring up the correct persons contact information. For me the most important use if Siri was to help me make calls on the go, but if you have ever used a BlackBerry device with a keyboard, you know that each key can be programmed as a short cut to dial a name from your phone book. I use “I” for Inverselogic to call the office, “J” for Jeff, etc. This to me is much more efficient than clicking and holding the home button on the iPhone, waiting for Siri to wake up, then asking it to dial my office; in most instances it would ask me to repeat again or would tell me it couldnt help me at the moment.

I also missed the thumb click on the BlackBerry; it is not until you no longer have the feature that you realize what an amazing tool it is. One click and you have everything at your finger tips: reply, forward, attach, delete, etc. With the iPhone, you have to move and slide your finger all over the screen if you are reading an e-mail, and if you wish to call that person, you must scroll all the way up to the top and hit the call button.

Simple things like attaching a photo to your e-mail become a time-consuming task; you must save your e-mail as a draft by hitting cancel, or by exiting the mail application by clicking the home button, go to your photo album, copy the photo, come back into the mail app, and finally paste it! This becomes frustrating when you are trying to get an e-mail out before a meeting or are on the go.

Last Friday, I boarded a Southwest flight to Las Vegas for the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show with a fully charged iPhone. The plan was to walk the show, visit few vendors and board a flight back to Burbank at 7:00PM. I had made a few calls to the office during the morning hours after my arrival into Las Vegas and sent out several e-mails and text messages. I did however also use the amazing camera to take some shots of new OLED and 3D TVs on display at the Samsung and LG booths. Looking down at my iPhone, I realized my battery was down to 45% by noon and 35% by 1PM. I was forced to shut off my WiFi and my phone so it would last me the rest of the day. It was at this point that I made the decision of switching back to my BlackBerry as soon as I got back to the office. With my upcoming trip to New York on the horizon, I realized the iPhone would not last me the day in the big city and would provide aggravation to my life.

As I switched phones once again, I was happy. It was like having my old best friend back! I was reunited with one click access to everything that I needed to do with my phone; theres no need for apps or games since thats what the iPad is for. All I could ever ask for is a phone that handles calls, e-mails, contacts and calendars extremely efficiently. It may not have the great screen and browsing capabilities of the iPhone or its amazing digital camera, but it sure beats it in what I think matters most to a business professional who is constantly using their phone for messaging and communications.

To all my long time friends and client who think I’m not an Apple fan, I think you’d be happy know that this entire article was written using my iPad and revised on my iPad at JFK waiting for my flight back to Burbank. I must boast that my BlackBerrys battery is still at 70% at 5:22 pm EST. I was here to attend a technology leadership conference and noticed most of us were still using the BlackBerry, a few were on the iPhone, some were on the Android and a handful were even carrying both an iPhone and a Blackberry (BlackBerry for their email and phone communicates and the iPhone for their social media apps and other needs). If New York is any indication of what business professionals still use as their main smart phone, there is no doubt that BlackBerry runs this city.

As I was getting ready to post this article news came that RIM co-CEOs stepped down handing over the control to a new up and coming executive, a move I believe the board should have forced a long time ago. Hopefully the new CEO will be able to restore RIM and BlackBerry to what it was before and is able to keep the company around, as many business professionals such as myself depend heavily on our BlackBerries.

Ara Aslanian is the president and CEO of Inverselogic Inc., a technology solutions company based in Glendale, California.

Use of Phones for Pictures Increase

With an increase in phones that come with some pretty decent cameras, it’s no surprise that people are using their point-and-shoot’s less frequently.

In 2011, about 27% of photos were taken with phone cameras, compared to 17% in 2010.

Consequently, 44% of photos were taken with “single purpose” cameras, compared to 52% in 2010.

There are several iPhone lenses, like the one we included in our annual gift guide, which increase the capabilities of cell phone cameras. This gives consumers more incentive to invest in such an accessory instead of a point and shoot camera, which only serves a single purpose.

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BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930

BlackBerry has announced the Bold 9900 and 9300, known as the Bold Touch. Although there is no confirmed release date, it is expected to be available sometime this summer.

The device is the thinnest BlackBerry yet and features a full QWERTY keyboard as well as a touch screen. The sleek new Bold also features 4G speeds and the new BlackBerry 7 OS which will provide faster and easier browsing capabilities.

Here are some more specs:

  • 10.5mm Thickness
  • 1.2GHz Processor
  • 5MP Camera with HD Recording
  • 768 MB RAM
  • 8GB Internal Storage; up to 32GB with microSD expansion
  • 2.8″ – 640 x 480 –

Here’s Engadget’s exclusive demo of the device:

Blackberry’s Playbook

By: Greg Boyrazian

The Playbook is…well, very playful. 

Research in Motion prominently showcased its upcoming tablet PC, dubbed the Blackberry Playbook at CES 2011. The device is scheduled to hit the market sometime during the first quarter of 2011 – just about the same time as other tablets. The tablet’s 7” wide screen is gorgeous to say the least and features 2 HD cameras (front and back), opening the way for Skyping amongst video chat junkies. No Windows or Android here… the tablet runs on Blackberry’s proprietary operating system.

RIM @ CES 2011

The tablet does support WiFi and can connect to the internet via your Blackberry device. Basically, the tablet “piggybacks” off our existing Blackberry’s data connection, which also means you pay for one data plan. Your existing Blackberry device would serve as a gateway for the Playbook to connect to the internet. Secondly, through a software feature called Blackberry Bridge, you would access all your emails, calendar, and BBM on the tablet. Thanks to the seamless synchronization between the two devices, e-mails would automatically appear on your Playbook.

Now for BBM maniacs, sending messages or pinging for that matter just got easier. Users would be able to chat and send images through BBM on the Playbook. Rumors are floating that BBM would have some video component to it thanks to the front and rear cameras.
So who needs Skype???

Blackberry Playbook at CES 2011

Corporate clients would find the Playbook very useful and cost effective thanks to the marriage between an existing Blackberry and the Playbook. For those concerned about security, the connection between the Playbook and your Blackberry is through the National Security Agency’s approved Bluetooth functionality – putting Britain’s MI6 and 007 to shame.

RIM is a little tight lipped about the storage capabilities of the Playbook; however, we expect for something around the range of 32-64GB, if not more, depending on market demand of course. This is a bit unclear now, since corporate users tend to centralize their data storage. The Playbook’s web browsing capabilities are by far the greatest – it supports HTML5 and unlike Apple’s iOS devices such as the iPad and the iPhone, it seamlessly runs Flash. The device is just less than one pound and can neatly fit in a suit pocket – a definite plus for mobility. The limited number of available applications (either for Blackberry devices or the Playbook) puts the device at a bit of a disadvantage.

The device will be available before the end of March 2011 – creating a showdown between the Apple iPad 2.0 and Google powered tablets. Stay tuned for our next review of the Samsung Galaxy.

For more photos click here:

BlackBerry PlayBook Announced

Photo from Blackberry

Yesterday RIM announced the much anticipated BlackBerrry PlayBook, and we’re impressed! Unlike Apple’s iPad, the PlayBook features Adobe Flash (one of the iPad’s biggest disappointments), both front and rear facing cameras, a 1GHz dual-core Cortex processor, microHDMI and microUSB connections.

Furthermore, the PlayBook can be paired with a BlackBerry, allowing you to view everything on the phone including BBM without having to sync them together.

The PlayBook is expected to release in early 2011; it is believed that the iPad 2 will be released in January of 2011.

CLICK HERE to see more specs and side-by-side comparisons.

CLICK HERE to watch a sneak peek video.

AT&T Accidentally Unveils Newest BlackBerry


At around 8am today, AT&T prematurely posted the Torch, which isn’t scheduled for release until August 12th, on their website.

The phone will be priced at $199.99 and has a 3.2 inch touchscreen, 5MP camera, 1GB RAM and 4GB memory.

For more specifications, follow these links:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/202443/BlackBerry_9800_Torch_Makes_Early_Debut.html?tk=rss_news

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/03/technology/new_blackberry/index.htm?source=cnn_bin&hpt=Sbin