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Our Latest Posts About: Mobile

Landline Text Forwarding

We all know you can't send a text message to a landline phone. Here's a quick solution.


The inability to send and receive texts to landlines is a big problem. This means that about half the phones in the world are incapable of sending or receiving texts. The trouble is, when somebody gives you their number, you may not even realize it's a landline until you discover that your texts go unanswered.

To me, there's an easy alternative, "Landline Text Forwarding". This would be a simple feature for landline companies to offer. All they need to do is give people a way to forward any texts addressed to their landline to their mobile number. Once you receive the text, you could reply using your mobile number.


Apple Needs to Focus on the Front Camera

Considering how often people take selfies, why doesn't Apple make a better front facing camera?


With every new generation of iPhone, the biggest improvement is almost always to the camera, and most of those improvements are only to the rear facing camera. Meanwhile they keep neglecting the front.

I hate having to decide which camera I want to use, balancing between better quality vs ease of use to take selfies. As it stands now, the front camera is nowhere near as good as the back, especially shooting videos.

I realize it could drive up the cost a bit, but since they only need to design one camera to use on both sides the price increase wouldn't be too much, especially since both cameras could share the same chipset and production costs.

Quiet That Phone... Quietly!

Why do some phones make a sound when you turn them on or off?


Have you noticed that a lot of mobile phones not only play music when you turn them on, but turn them off. This makes no sense at all, especially when the person is shutting it off specifically so they won't disturb people in a quiet room, such as a theater, library, restaurant, or church.

Thankfully, Apple doesn't do this, but there are quite a few phones out there that do it, and it puts people in an awkward position. If they forget to turn off their phone, and enter a quiet room, they have to decide between the guarantee of an awkward sound when they shut them off, or leaving them on and taking a chance that somebody might call.

Apple FaceTime is Missing One Thing...

Why doesn't Apple's FaceTime have a way to leave a Voice or Video Message?


Ever since the invention of the telephone, people have dreamed of the day when video calling will replace regular calling as the most common way to communicate with friends and family. Although many companies have tinkered with various video conferencing platforms, Apple's FaceTime was the first one that caught on. The problem is they left out one important feature that is a central part of regular calling, the ability to leave a message when the other person doesn't answer.

There's no reason why somebody calling using FaceTime Audio, or even Video shouldn't have the same functionality as a regular phone, and be able to leave a voice, or even a video message.

The App Store is Missing a Critical Feature

Why doesn't Apple's App Store have an option to sell upgrades to existing customers?


Selling upgraded versions to existing customers has always been one of the most important sources of revenue for App Developers, but for some reason, Apple still doesn't have an option for selling upgraded versions.

While this may not seem like a problem for consumers, it's a deal breaker for a lot of software developers because it means that they won't be able to tap into their existing customer base to sell upgrades. This is one reason many software companies bypass the Mac App Store entirely and look for other ways to market and distribute their software, which isn't easy.

Without this critical feature, some software companies are forced to introduce alternate versions of their Apps wit... [More]

Continue...The App Store is Missing a Critical Feature...

Phone Booths!

I miss phone booths!


You rarely see phone booths anymore, and that's a shame. Now that everyone has a mobile phone, I'm sure a lot of people think they're not useful anymore, but as far as I'm concerned, phone booths are useful specifically BECAUSE everyone has a mobile phone.

Phone booths aren't just a convenient place to FIND a phone, they're also a private and quiet place to USE a phone. The last thing I want to hear in a public place is somebody blabbing away on their cell phone about their hemorrhoids or their most recent fight with their girlfriend.

Just because people already have a phone, doesn't mean they're not interested in finding a quiet place to make a call, so although businesses might not make money directly from the booths, phone booths definitely add to... [More]

Continue...Phone Booths!...

Lockable iPad Apps

Whenever you allow your friends and family to use your iPad, you are also inviting them to read your email.


We all know Apple's iPhone and iPad are very secure. In fact, even law enforcement have a hard time unlocking them. There is, however one small problem. A lot of people unlock their iPads to let friends and family members play games, surf the Web or watch movies, and that means they also gain access to most of your private information such as email, photos, shopping and social media accounts.

The solution to this is pretty simple. Apple needs to create an option to assign a second Passcode to grant access to Apps that need an additional layer of security. This will allow people give friends and family access to less secure Apps without giving them access to more sen... [More]

Continue...Lockable iPad Apps...

Unlocking Better Siri

Siri should be able to launch certain Apps without unlocking.


When put on my headphones, the first thing I want to do is tell Siri to play something. So, I can say "Play The Beatles", and it will start playing my music without even taking my iPhone out of it's holster.

The problem is, Siri can't play anything else, such as Pandora, iHeartRadio or Audible, unless you unlock your iPhone first. This is a pain in the neck, especially if your iPhone isn't in your hands. For me, this is a big pain in the neck, especially when I'm out and about, and it may be difficult to access my iPhone.

Apple should give people an option to launch "Safe" Apps like Audible, Pandora, and iHeartRadio because they don't pose any security risks when you launch them from the lock screen.

This wo... [More]

Continue...Unlocking Better Siri...

How Apple Can Improve AirPods

I love my AirPods, but Apple needs to make a few changes.


Apple's AirPods look and feel just like Apple's original EarPods, with one major difference, there are no wires... or buttons. None of us miss the wires, but overcoming the lack of control buttons is a bit harder.

Apple's solution to the lack of buttons is to let you double tap the AirPod to answer the phone, activate Siri and do things like pause, resume, or adjust the volume.

There's also an option to change this default behavior by letting you pause and resume playback when you double tap, instead of launching Siri. To me, that's not an easy decision. I like the idea of pausing without talking to Siri, but there are definitely times when I need Siri to do something more complex, so I like the option of launchin... [More]

Continue...How Apple Can Improve AirPods...

iPhone Custom White Balance

Why doesn't the iPhone have a Custom White Balance option?


Whenever Apple releases a new iPhone, most of the improvements are related to the camera, because the iPhone is now the most popular camera in the world, yet it lacks one of the most important features that serious photographers need the most, custom white balance.

Custom White Balance isn't a new idea. There is a Custom White Balance feature in almost every camera made by traditional camera makers like Canon, Nikon, and Sony. The question is... why doesn't Apple include this critical feature?

Without a Custom White Balance option, the camera software is forced to guess the color of the light in the room, which isn't very reliable. It's virtually impossible for a camera to know whether it's looking at a slightly y... [More]

Continue...iPhone Custom White Balance...

Landline Texting?

Isn't it strange that we still can't send or receive text messages on a landline?


Mobile technology improves every year, but landlines are stuck in the 20th century. Why is that?

SMS / Text Messaging is more popular than ever. Many people send and receive more texts each day than they do phone calls, making the texting app the most popular app on their phone. Meanwhile, as popular as texting is, it has one major flaw... you can only send and receive texts to and from mobile devices. Isn't it about time that phone companies change that?

It would make things a lot easier if you could send messages to any number in the world, without wondering if the number is a landline or not.

How To Restore Files Deleted From iCloud

Why is it so hard to restore files you've deleted from your iPhone?


Ever since the first Apple Macintosh computer came out in 1984, it's been super easy to get back files you've deleted. All you need to do is look in the trash can. It was so easy Microsoft followed their lead when they put a Recycling Bin in Windows, but for some reason Apple dropped the ball when it comes to restoring files you've accidentally deleted from iCloud on an iPhone or iPad.

Even though iOS has an iCloud App, there is no functional equivalent of the Trash Can or Recycling Bin in it. The only way to get them back right now is from the iCloud website.

Steps:

1. Log into iCloud.Com, and look for a link at the top that says "iCloud Settings".

2. Scroll all the way to the bottom to find anoth... [More]

Continue...How To Restore Files Deleted From iCloud...

What BUGS Me About Apple's Contacts

Contacts is one of Apple's oldest Apps, but it hasn't been improved in years.


It drives me crazy when I use the Contacts App, and I see multiple versions of the same person. This is the result of merging contacts from Gmail, AOL, and Microsoft Outlook that took place over the years. Because of this, some of my contacts are listed 3 or 4 times with various combinations of information. Some have nothing but an email address, while others have a separate entry for their home, work, and mobile numbers.

It wouldn't be as bad if Apple gave us a quick way to merge contacts together. The best they can do is "Link Contacts", which isn't as useful as it should be. To me, there's no point in linking contacts when the better solution is letting you merge them together. In cases wher... [More]

Continue...What BUGS Me About Apple's Contacts...

How Apple Can Improve the Alarm Clock App

You've got a Smart Phone... Why not a Smart Alarm Clock?


The Alarm Clock is one of the most popular Apps on the iPhone because it's far more flexible than a traditional bedside alarm clock. You can configure multiple alarms for each day with just a few taps, and you never have to worry about losing the time if there's a brownout.

As good as it is, I think it can be improved.

One particular improvement would be to confirm your morning destination, including the time you need to get there, and how long you need to get ready, so it can make adjustments based on the traffic conditions.

This means it can wake you earlier when traffic is heavy, and let you sleep later when it's light.

What Bugs Me About iPhone...

Don't you hate when you can't find one of your iPhone Apps?


I've got a lot of Apps, and I do my best to try to organize them by moving as many as possible into folders organized by genre, and then I spend time trying to move them to other pages, but I still have a hard time finding my Apps.

Even if you take the time to put your Apps into folders, you can only see the first 9 in the folder, so you end up scrolling from page to page, then opening each folder and scrolling through 3 or more pages and you still can't find them.

Why don't they give you a simple option to view them alphabetically?


I'm not suggesting they get rid of the current system which lets you organize your Apps and create folders, I'm simply suggesting a second method to make it easy for those times... [More]

Continue...What Bugs Me About iPhone......

Safer Texting Buttons

Texting while driving is unsafe. Here's how to make it safer.


We all know how unsafe it is to text and drive, yet it's hard to entirely avoid the distractions because although we can try to resist the urge to type replies while driving, it's hard to ignore reading messages as they arrive.

The solution is to make it easier for people to quickly switch from reading and writing texts to simply talking (hands free) on the phone. To make this happen, smartphone makers like Apple and Samsung can show TWO easy buttons on the lock screen when a text message comes in.

One button sends a reply to the sender that says "Call me".

The second button says "Call Now". It doesn't send a reply. It just dials back the person who sent the text.

In both cases, the driver doesn't need... [More]

Continue...Safer Texting Buttons...

Beware of Calendar Spam!

There's a new kind of Spam on the horizon... Calendar Spam!


Spammers have found a new way to send you unsolicited advertisements... by sending you Calendar Requests, which bypass your email Spam Filters.

In the past 2 weeks, I've received about 5 or 6 Calendar Spam requests, which popped up on my iPhone lock screen and even on my Apple Watch. Unlike regular Spam which shows up in your Email Inbox, these pop up as notifications asking you if you'd like to "Accept" the invitation to buy something.

A Better Flight Mode

The problem with Flight Mode is that it's not that useful on a Flight.


Just about every Smartphone made today has a feature called "Flight Mode" or "AirPlane Mode" that is used to quickly turn off all radio communication so that it doesn't interfere with the instruments used on airplanes.

Generally speaking, airlines only require you to use Flight Mode when taking off or landing, because they like to encourage customers to purchase access to their WiFi network to check email, update social media and watch in-flight entertainment.

Unfortunately disabling Flight Mode on the plane (so you can use WiFi and Bluetooth) uses a lot more battery than you'd think, because the phone will continuously try to re-connect the cellular connection. Since there is no chance you'll actually... [More]

Continue...A Better Flight Mode...

FitBit Should Support Apple HealthKit

Why doesn't Fitbit work with Apple's HealthKit?


One of the biggest selling features for just about any health related device these days is integration with Apple's HealthKit, but for some reason, FitBit, the largest manufacturer of fitness trackers doesn't support it. That's pretty strange.

Apple's HealthKit is a platform for a wide range of health and fitness apps and devices to share data and work together to share data and give you a better look at your health. Because they work together, you can see the relationship between your activity at any given time, and other factors like you blood sugar, heart rate, and blood pressure.

When Apple introduced HealthKit I assumed Fitbit would be one of the first products to use it, but for some reason they decided not to support i... [More]

Continue...FitBit Should Support Apple HealthKit...

No Headphone Jack? Thanks Apple!

The latest iPhone doesn't have a headphone jack, thank goodness.


Every now and then, Apple does something unexpected and it makes people question their judgement. This time it was the simple elimination of the headphone jack from the latest generation of the iPhone. For some people this was a pretty bold move, because it's the first time a smartphone was manufactured without one.

Apple has a history of polarizing people. You either love them, or you hate them, so when they announced that the iPhone 7 wouldn't have a headphone jack, there were a lot of people saying they went too far this time. How can they make a smartphone without a headphone jack? it's a fundamental feature.

To me, I never questioned that choice. Instead of asking "Why did they remove it?", I wonder... [More]

Continue...No Headphone Jack? Thanks Apple!...

Why doesn't Apple's Photos App let you see or change the MetaData linked to your photos?


Every photo you store on your computer or smartphone has hidden information that includes all sorts of useful information about the photo itself that you can only see using a computer. This includes things like where it was taken, what camera was used to take the photo, and dozens of camera specific settings to tell you things like what your lens settings were and whether you used a flash.

In addition to the information your camera stored, you can also add a variety of other things like titles, descriptions, and dozens of other things using a photo organizing program such as the Mac version of the Photos App.

The great thing about all this "MetaData" is that it lets you search for them... [More]

Continue...iOS Needs an Option To View or Edit Photos MetaData...

Tech Tip. How to Use Apple's Photo Search

One of the coolest features of Apple's Photos App is the ability to search your Photo Library.


As Photo Libraries get larger and larger, it becomes harder and harder to find specific photos when you're looking for them. It's like finding a needle in a haystack. Thankfully, there's a search option built into Apple's Photos App, but most people have no idea how powerful it is.

All you need to do is tap the search icon to open the search box, then simply type in what you're looking for. Believe it or not, it can find just about anything, and it doesn't matter if you've taken the time to create filenames, albums, or even tag keywords. Most of the time, you can find what you're looking for by using some of the built-in search categories.

Some of the search options are pretty... [More]

Continue...Tech Tip. How to Use Apple's Photo Search...

Uber.... For Volunteering

Here's another way to use the concept behind Uber for something completely different... and useful.


Yesterday I talked about the idea of using the same technology as Uber for connecting a labor force of people willing to work with people who need work done. It was called Uber For Jobs. Today, I'm suggesting nearly the same thing, connecting people who need work with people with the time, skills and resources to do the job... as an unpaid volunteer.

This is a perfect adaptation of the core principles behind Uber. Anyone with spare time could use the App to let people know they are available for volunteer work, and anyone looking for volunteers could use the App to find people who are available right now to help out.

An App That Tells You When You're Speeding.

Don't you hate Speed Traps?


I recently received a speeding ticket in the mail that included a photo of my car taken by a traffic camera. What bothered me most was that I'm one of the slowest drivers you will ever see on the road. I make it a point to always go no faster than the speed limit, but in this particular case, I wasn't aware that the speed limit in that particular area was lower than normal. It was a classic speed trap.

If I knew about the lower speed in that area, I definitely would've slowed down, and avoided the ticket. That's when I thought about the idea of an App that runs in the background on your iPhone that could tell you when you are driving over the speed limit. If such an App existed, it could've warned me before I approached the speed trap.

An Instagram App For iPad

Why the heck doesn't Instagram have an iPad App?


Isn't it pretty strange that Instagram STILL doesn't have an iPad App? Ever since they were taken over by Facebook, they've got tons of resources, so why is it taking them so long to make a REAL App that works on the iPad.

Technically, you can use the iPhone App on the iPad, but that's pretty lame. It's not designed for a larger screen, so everything is distorted. When you think of it, Instagram is a photo sharing site, so doesn't it make sense to give people the best possible way to view their photos?

The Fitbit Flex is very small and easy to lose, so there should be an easy button in the App to help you find it.


I misplaced my Fitbit Flex a while back and it took me about an hour to find it. My first impulse was to load the Fitbit App and see if it had a button to help you locate it. After all, it is a wireless device, so it makes sense that there would be an easy way to either pinpoint it's location, or at the very least, trigger an alert on the Fitbit. Unfortunately, there is no such feature.

Although there isn't a feature to locate it, I did notice that the App always shows the battery level of your Fitbit, so I moved from room to room until it showed me my battery level. Once I was able to see the battery level, I knew the Fitbit wasn't lost completely. It had to... [More]

Continue...The Fitbit Flex App Needs an Option To Find Your Fitbit...

Did you know that Apple has a feature to show emergency contacts on your lock screen?


Most people don't know that Apple has a way to show emergency contacts on the lock screen, because it's buried inside the "Health App", where very few people even notice it. That's pretty strange, considering how important it is.

What Apple needs to do is either create a dedicated ICE App that is easy to find, or at the very least, give people an easy way to flag people in your Contacts List as being an "Emergency Contact". All you would need to do is check each contact you want to see in your lock screen and they will be available on the lock screen in the event that police, ambulance drivers, paramedics or emergency room staff need to reach your family in an emergency.

How Apple Can Improve The Voice Memos App

The Voice Memos App has great potential, but it's not as useful as a traditional voice recorder.


I've used voice recorders for more than 25 years because it's one of the best ways to take notes on the go. With a simple press of the button, you record your thoughts so that you can play them back when you find the time.

I stopped using a voice recorder when the iPhone came along, but there's one thing that really bugs me about using the built-in Voice Memos App, there's no way to just hit a REAL (External) button to pause and continue your recording. That's a real pain in the neck, because I would love to be able to launch the App, then use the volume buttons, especially on the headset to pause and continue the recording.

While you're recording, the volume buttons are usele... [More]

Continue...How Apple Can Improve The Voice Memos App...

Follow these steps to free up space on your iPhone!


One of the most common problems with the iPhone is running out of space. It's one of my most asked questions about the iPhone because it can be so tricky figuring out what to do when you don't even have enough room to take one more photo or video.

If you follow the steps in my video, you will be able to get back most of your space, without losing any of your photos or videos. The key is understanding where iPhone stores photos and videos sent via text messages, which isn't optimized, and how to move them to iCloud, where they take up very little space on your iPhone.

The main problem is that photos and videos take up a lot of space. Because of this, Apple has a great option to optimize space by storing your photos and v... [More]

Continue...How To Free Up Space on Your iPhone Without Deleting Photos or Videos...

The iPhone Camera Chip is UPSIDE DOWN

Have you ever wondered why some of the photos you take with your iPhone are upside down when you transfer them to your computer?


One of the weirdest problems with the iPhone is trying to figure out why some of the photos you've taken are right side up, while some of them are upside down. It doesn't seem to make sense. When you look at them on your iPhone, they look fine, but after browsing or editing them on your computer, you have to manually flip some of them. How can that be?

The trouble is, every camera has a natural orientation for the chip that actually records your photos, so whenever you take a picture, the fastest thing the camera can do is store the photo exactly as it came out of the chip. So, all your photos are stored in that one orientation, regardless of how... [More]

Continue...The iPhone Camera Chip is UPSIDE DOWN...

Having only 4 digits for photo numbers is a real problem.


We take it for granted that whenever we take photos, our devices assign a unique filename. Most of the time, this consists of a prefix and a number. The iPhone for example uses the prefix IMG_, and a 4 digit number, for a total of 8 digits, including the underscore in the middle.

Sounds simple enough, but now that people can take hundreds of photos at any given event, that 4 digit number can cause a lot of problems down the road as we approach the 9999 mark.

To compensate for this, whenever you delete a photo, Apple takes advantage of the missing number and it will eventually re-use it, breaking the sequence. So when you bring your photos into your computer and sort by filename, the sequence of photos is completel... [More]

Continue...Photo Numbers on the iPhone Should Be At Least 5 Digits...

iPhone's Shake to UNDO is a STUPID Feature.

Shake to Undo? What the heck was Apple thinking?


Did you know you can shake your iPhone to undo something? From the surprised reactions of people who see me do it, I'm guessing there aren't many people who even know about this hidden feature, and that's one of the reasons Apple needs to re-think it.

What frustrates me is that sometimes you have to shake it pretty hard to get it to work, while other times it's too sensitive and it responds to every major bump in the road when it's mounted on my Jeep's dashboard. That's a problem on multiple levels. Since you need to shake it hard, there's always the chance that it will slip out of your hands... and when it's too sensitive, the popups asking you if you'd like to undo something drive you nuts.

What's even worse than the se... [More]

Continue...iPhone's Shake to UNDO is a STUPID Feature....

Do You REALLY NEED a GIANT Phone?

Why the heck are so many people buying GIANT mobile phones?


I have to admit. I was one of them. I drank the Apple Kool-Aid when it first came out and from that moment on, I kept making excuses for why I thought it was better than my old iPhone 5.

You need to use two hands, because it's harder to hold and you can't reach the whole screen. It doesn't fit into most pockets, so you tend to take it out and put it on a desk or table instead of keeping it with you at all times, which means you miss calls and messages. I can go on and one, but suffice it to say, there were a lot of things I was able to do with a smaller phone that were too clumsy with the bigger models.

Thankfully, I stopped making excuses and traded it in for the iPhone SE, which has most of the same features... [More]

Continue...Do You REALLY NEED a GIANT Phone?...

It's a pain in the neck trying to find a good place in most cars to put your mobile phone.


One of the most frustrating things about mobile phones is finding a good place to put them in your car, especially if you need to see the screen so you can use navigation software like Waze.

There are countless widgets on the market that use suction cups, springs and magnets that mount on the dashboard, windshield or your air conditioner vents, but all of them would be unnecessary if cars had some kind of mobile phone holder built-in. Not only would this be easier than some third-party contraption, but it would most likely include some kind of power connection, so you won't have to deal with wires dangling all over the place.

If your iPhone keeps running out of space... it may be because of photos and videos in the text / messaging app.


The iCloud Photos App does an amazing job of managing storage so that you can have potentially tens of thousands of photos and videos on a device with as little as 16 GB of storage. This is because the iCloud Photos App only needs to keep thumbnails or lower resolution versions of your media on your device until you tap them to get a higher resolution version.

I discovered this recently when a neighbor asked me to figure out why she couldn't take any photos, or read her emails on her iPhone. I checked her space, and she literally had zero bytes of space left. After digging further, I noticed she had almost no music, and didn't have many photos in her iCloud Photo... [More]

Continue...Why Photos and Videos Sent Via Texts Should Be Stored in iCloud Photos...

I love Pandora... but I hate when they run video ads while I'm on mobile data!


Look, I realize that I'm not "paying" for Pandora, so I shouldn't complain about advertising, but when Pandora chooses to run video ads when I'm not using WiFi, I have good reason to complain. After all, bandwidth isn't free, so it's important to conserve it as much as possible.

Not only does this waste mobile data, but more often than not, when you're not in using Wifi, there's a good chance you're driving, which means it is an unnecessary distraction.

I hate the way Apps are organized on the iPhone.


There's no rhyme or reason. When you download a new App, it just ends up at the bottom of your last screen that has space on it. That means that if you want it somewhere else, you need to drag it from that page to the page you want... and that's tedious.

It's bad enough doing it with whatever App you downloaded last, but when you want to organize more than a few Apps, the process takes forever.

What I'd like to see is an option to see a mini version every page in a scrollable area, then let you drag the icon directly to the page you want, instead of slowly dragging them from page to page.

An Option To Pre-Load Maps on iPhone

The biggest drawback of using a SmartPhone as a GPS is that it can use a lot of mobile data loading maps.


Every time you use your mobile phone as a GPS, it uses mobile data to load the maps, even though you've driven the same roads almost every time you use it. Unless you've got an unlimited data plan, that's a waste.

Doesn't it make more sense that Apple at least gives you an option to pre-load the maps for your area? This not only would use less mobile data, but it would save quite a bit on your battery.

Why does Siri ask me to unlock my phone when I ask to Launch harmless Apps like Audible?


Security is very important to Apple, so it's understandable why they don't allow you to launch certain Apps without unlocking your iPhone first, however there are quite a few Apps that are completely harmless that should be allowed to launch without unlocking.

For example, Audible, Pandora, Amazon Music, Shazam, Sirius XM, iHeartRadio and countless streaming Apps have no security risks whatsoever, yet you can't launch them from Siri without unlocking the iPhone first. That's a real pain in the neck when you're simply trying to launch your favorite audio Apps while running, walking, or driving.

All Apple would need to do to allow this feature is to confirm that the App has no potential... [More]

Continue...An Option To Launch Audio Apps Without Unlocking...

You can swap between the front and back camera when you use FaceTime, but they don't have an option to swap cameras while shooting video.


Wouldn't it be great to have an option to switch back and forth between the front and back camera while shooting video on the iPhone? This would be perfect for people who want to shoot a regular video, then switch back to a selfie and wave to the camera.

This biggest hurdle is the fact that the front camera still isn't 1080p HD, which means that until they eventually upgrade the front camera to full HD, the output file will likely end up being 720p. Of course, that also means that you won't be able to use some of the other more advanced back camera features like ultra slow motion, and 4K video.

UPDATE: Although you still can't do this

... [More]

Continue...Switch From Front to Back Camera on the Same Clip...

There's no reason to trigger notification alarms when you've manually launched the Mail App?


Alerts have a purpose... to let you know you should check your email. That's perfectly normal, but why does the iPhone buzz and send you an alert when you are already reading you email?

Think about it. Is there any reason whatsoever for your iPhone to buzz or make a sound while you are literally reading your email... at that exact moment? It's not only pointless, but it draws attention to the fact that you're reading your mail.

For some reason, this is the default behavior. It should be completely eliminated, or at the very least turned off by default.

Right now, the only way to reduce your mobile data usage is to turn off mobile data on data hungry Apps like YouTube. Why does it have to be all or nothing?


If you're like most people, your mobile phone plan has a limit on how much data you can use each month. The trouble is, today's high resolution screens use 4-5 times more data than older screens, especially for full HD video.

Most smartphones have a crude solution to the problem, they let you decide which Apps have access to mobile data, and which ones don't. That's pretty lame. Why should you have to turn mobile data off when using Apps like YouTube, just because your new higher resolution screen uses too much data?

Instead of turning off mobile data, wouldn't it be easier to configure Apps like YouTube to use 48

... [More]

Continue...An Option to Use Lower Resolution Videos While On Mobile Data...

There should be quick a way to temporarily block inbound texts while driving.


We all know how dangerous it is to send text messages while driving. Even people who don't send messages can be easily distracted if they receive a message while driving.

Most mobile devices already have a quick and easy way to enable "Airplane Mode", so device makers should add a button to disable texting too. After all, more people drive each day than fly.

It's surprising that there isn't already an option to disable texting anywhere in the settings menus on today's SmartPhones. Right now, the only way to disable texting is to turn the entire phone off or use Airplane Mode. While that seems like a simple solution, it also blocks you from using the GPS, and from making or receiving calls in the... [More]

Continue...Driving Mode. An Option To Block Inbound Texts While Driving....

Lock Screens have one major flaw... Nobody can find your emergency contact information.


My September 2014 post "Emergency Contact Info Needs to Bypass Locked Phone" was read by nearly 3000 visitors, but as it stands today, mobile phones still lack this essential feature.

When I originally wrote about it, new laws were being passed to force mobile phone companies to include auto-locking features in mobile phones to curb the number of mobile device thefts. Although locking phones is a great way to curb the number of mobile phone thefts, they need to also include a way for owners to display emergency contact information.

All they need to do is create a simple page for the owner to enter a list of people to contact... [More]

Continue...Emergency Contact Information Should Be Visible on Mobile Lock Screens...

Mobile friendly web sites are a pain in the neck because you can't pinch to zoom them.


I'm getting old, and my eyesight isn't what it used to be, so I find myself struggling to read web sites on my iPhone. It's not that my iPhone is too small; it's an iPhone 6 Plus, which has a massive screen for a mobile phone. The real problem is that most web sites that use "Mobile Friendly" / "Responsive Design" can't be pinched to zoom.

This is pretty strange when you think of it. Websites that are designed for desktops are easier to read on my iPhone than those designed specifically for mobile users. I realize that the whole point of a mobile friendly site is to optimize everything so it fits on the screen, so you don't need to scroll around and zoom to read it, but that doesn't mean... [More]

Continue...Why Can't You Pinch To Zoom Mobile Friendly Web Sites?...

Why can't you use your iPhone upside down?


It's pretty strange that you can rotate an iPad in any direction, but you can't do the same thing with any iPhone. It doesn't make sense at all. Flipping an iPhone sideways is a lot more complicated for programmers to support because it changes the entire orientation from portrait to landscape, but a simple flip upside down should be a no-brainer. Everything is the same, except it's upside down.

This is particularly a problem for people like me who place their iPhone in the cup holder when driving. It's a real catch-22. If I place it in the cup right side up, the wire is crushed underneath and it eventually wears out, which can potentially damage not only the wire but the iPhone itself. If I place it in the cup upside down, the... [More]

Continue...The iPhone Should Work in Any Direction, Including Upside Down...

Undo Shouldn't Be A Hidden Option

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Do you want to know why there isn't an Undo button on the iPhone?


A while back, I did a blog post about why iOS Mail Needs an Undo Option. I was venting about how much of a pain in the neck it was to undelete an email you accidentally deleted, because I hated having to leave my inbox, then look through my deleted folder every time I accidentally deleted something.

As it turns out, I was wrong. There already is an Undo option. All you have to do is shake your iPhone. What the heck? Yes. Shake your iPhone. How is anyone supposed to know that? Isn't it easier to just put an undo option someplace?

Look, I'm a big fan of minimalistic design. I love when developers remove options in order to distill them to... [More]

Continue...Undo Shouldn't Be A Hidden Option...

Texting Alias

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Keep your mobile number private.


I had two phone numbers back in the 80s, one was my beeper, the other was my cell phone. I gave my beeper number to everyone, but I rarely gave anyone the number for my cell phone. Clients left messages, and I called them back when I had the chance, using whatever phone I wanted. Cell phones cost about 75 cents per minute back then, so this was mainly a way to save money.

I still avoid giving out my mobile number, especially to companies that ask for it, not because of cost, but because it often leads to telemarketing calls.

The solution is for mobile companies to offer a Texting Alias, which is a unique address used just for texting. You can share the alias on business cards, web sites, etc. and you'll know for sure that you'll never g... [More]

Continue...Texting Alias...

Mobile Data Throttling is Stupid.

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It's hard to imagine a more pointless policy than Data Throttling.


If you look at the fine print on your mobile plan, you might discover something pretty strange. If you use more than a pre-set amount of high speed data in any given month, they reserve the right to lower the speed of your data for the remainder of the month. Are they kidding? Or just stupid?

According to the carriers, the reason they created this policy was because some of their customers "abuse" their network by using too much data. So, once you reach that limit, your speed typically drops from 4G speeds, all the way down to 2G speeds, which are drastically slower.

I guess they're main goal is to punish customers, because slowing down a customer's data speed doesn't do anything to improve speeds for t... [More]

Continue...Mobile Data Throttling is Stupid....

Wireless iPhone Charging

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I hate wires.


I went to Ikea the other day and discovered that they sell all sorts of wireless charging devices, including quite a few that are fully integrated with their furniture.

Wireless charging isn't new, but it was the first time I saw a non-tech company embrace the idea. Some of their chargers can be built into various desks, tables and lamps, while others were standalone units that look like drink coasters that can be placed anywhere.

All you have to do is place your phone on top of the charging pad and viola... it starts charging. There's one small catch, none of Apple's phones support wireless charging.


In order to use Ikea's chargers with an iPhone, you have to buy a special case with a wireless charger receiver, but that adds bulk to the phone. It w... [More]

Continue...Wireless iPhone Charging...
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A split second distraction can cost you your life.


Most people know that it's unsafe to text while driving, but they don't realize it's just as unsafe to receive a text while driving as it is to send one. Regardless of how important a text may be, it's not worth risking your life for.

Resisting the urge to send text messages is pretty easy, but we don't have much choice about when a message comes in because most of the time the sender has no idea you are driving.

Although most smartphones have a Do Not Disturb option, very few people take the time to turn it on when they get in a car, especially since this would also block incoming calls. What SmartPhones need is a way to automatically block inbound texts whenever the phone is moving.

The key here is to turn off the ale... [More]

Continue...Speed Sensitive Texting Block (With Auto Response)...

Tap Apple Watch To Unlock Your iPhone

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I hate passwords, especially on my iPhone.


I never let my iPhone out of my sight. It's either on my desk at home, or it's secured to my belt in a holster, so I never had any reason to set a passcode to turn it on. That changed when I decided to try Apple Pay on my Apple Watch, which doesn't work unless you secure your iPhone with a Passcode.

While I'm not thrilled with the idea of having to enter a Passcode every time I turn on my iPhone, I can understand why they require it for Apple Pay. It's still a pain in the neck, because you need to unlock the phone quite often.

I configured the Touch ID for at least four of my fingers, so I can unlock it without having to actually typing the password, but the problem is it doesn't work when I have wet hands or if I'm wearing glov... [More]

Continue...Tap Apple Watch To Unlock Your iPhone...

P2P Payments By Tapping Mobile Phones.

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NFC has revolutionized the payment industry. Why limit it to purchases in stores?


There's a lot of buzz in the industry about NFC payments, which allow you to securely make payments by tapping payment terminals with your smartphone.

NFC, which stands for "Near Field Communication" uses very low powered antennas that pass data only at very short distances, which means you generally need to tap your smartphone directly against another NFC compatible device to send it, which makes it perfect for swapping contact information, photos, or digital payments, such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, etc.

The great thing about NFC is that it's actually even more secure than a traditional credit card, because the recipient doesn't actually get access to your credit card number. NFC paymen... [More]

Continue...P2P Payments By Tapping Mobile Phones....
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Isn't it strange that there isn't a way to save or forward voicemail on the iPhone?


The iPhone changed the way people use voicemail. It was the first phone to have "Visual Voicemail", giving you the ability to see a list of messages, rather than having to navigate through a series of voice prompts to play back and manage your messages.

Apple made this possible by downloading messages directly to the iPhone, rather than forcing you to call a number to hear them. This not only made it easier to select and play message, but even play them back without relying on over-the-air reception.

Since the iPhone already downloads messages for Visual Voicemail, saving it as an MP3 should be easy for them to implement.


Although you can save a message indefinitely on the iPhone i... [More]

Continue...Save or Forward Voicemail as MP3 Files on iPhones...
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There needs to be an easy way to turn texting off with one button.


Its extremely dangerous to send text messages while driving a car. Even people who have no intention to send messages can be easily distracted if they receive a message while driving.

Countless lives have been destroyed because of texting, so there should be some method to disable texting while driving.


Most mobile devices already have a quick and easy way to enable "Airplane Mode", so device makers should add a button to disable texting too. After all, more people drive each day than fly.

It's surprising that there isn't an option to disable texting anywhere in the settings menus of any of the major smartphones on the market. This option should not be added, but it should be added someplace like... [More]

Continue...Driving Mode Button. Block Texting With One Touch....

What Happened To Siri Confirmations?

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After a recent iOS update, Siri stopped offering confirmations before it saves reminders... Now it sucks.


Like most people, I have a love / hate relationship with Siri. I tolerate all the times that Siri misunderstands what I ask for because it at least gave me a chance to confirm what I asked for before it saved my reminders.

Confirmations of reminders are essential to people who use headsets to create reminders because you can't see the screen to make corrections if the dictation is wrong, which it frequently is.

Before the change, I said something like: "Remind me to get chips", and Siri said "Here's your reminder... it says Ketchup. Shall I create it?" If Siri was wrong, I said "Cancel" or "Change title" and I could fix it.

Now that Apple removed the confirmation... [More]

Continue...What Happened To Siri Confirmations?...

SmartPhones as Hearing Aids?

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In the 70's, hearing aids looked a lot like iPods with earbuds.


Back then, it was difficult to cram all the electronics and the batteries into a unit small enough to fit into your ear, so there was a wire coming from the earbud leading to a little metal box about the size of an iPod that people kept in their pockets. Tim Conway wore one in the Mama's Place sketches on the Carol Burnet show.



There's no question that hearing aids today are completely different. They not only amplify sound, but they let you fine tune the sound to enhance the specific frequencies that the listener may have trouble hearing. This involves extensive testing and adjustments, which dramatically improve the sounds for the listener.

While I'm not suggesting a typical SmartPhon... [More]

Continue...SmartPhones as Hearing Aids?...
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On April 21, 2015, Google stopped including sites that weren't mobile friendly in search results.


They call it Mobilegeddon,. On that date millions of sites completely vanished from search results made by people using mobile devices. Site owners have gone into a panic because they expected to see massive drops in their traffic, especially since the percentage of mobile traffic continues to rise as traditional desktop usage has dropped.

Do you know what I think? It's a big fuss over absolutely nothing.

You've got to see things the way Google sees them. They index a gazillion web pages and it's there job to make sure people find what they are looking for... and to make sure they can actually read it on the device they are using when they requested it.

For some search... [More]

Continue...Surviving Google's Mobilegeddon - It's not as bad as you think....
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Sometimes you need a big phone. Sometimes you don't.


My primary phone is the latest generation iPhone 6 Plus. To me, it's about as good as it gets, but sometimes the size simply gets in the way.

For those days when a big phone is a problem, wouldn't it be great to just swap phones for the day, by moving your phone number to a second phone? Then you could switch back when you get home.

Technically, most phones have removable SIM cards, that let you do exactly that. You just pop the SIM out of one phone, and pop it into another and as long as they are on the same network, the number will ring your second line instead.

The trouble is, on some phones, swapping the SIM isn't easy. On an iPhone, you need to insert a pin into a tiny hole on the side and a little slot pops... [More]

Continue...Quick Swap Cell Phones - Swap Cell Phones Without Changing SIMs....

Sending a Code To Bypass Silent Ringers

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When you call for help, the last thing you want is a silent ringer.


Most phones have a feature to make them silent, but I've never seen a feature to allow a caller to bypass that feature when it's urgent that their call gets through, and that the ringer is as loud as it can be.

The key here is that when a truly urgent call needs to get though, the best way to insure the ringer is not only turned on, but at the loudest possible setting. To make this happen, the phone would have a feature to enter a password that will trigger the ringer, at the loudest setting.

Although Apple has a mode called "Do Not Disturb" that can by bypassed when a caller makes a second attempt within 3 minutes, this merely means that the phone will get through. So, if the recipient has set their rin... [More]

Continue...Sending a Code To Bypass Silent Ringers...
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For people who love to tinker.


Sometimes when I sit down to write about one of my "Original" ideas, I find out that it's not original. While some people might think that would upset me, it actually makes me feel great, because it only serves to validate the idea. This is one of those ideas.

I recently updated my phone to the latest iPhone 6 Plus. The main reason was that I love photography, and the newest model has a lot of improvements to the camera itself... besides, my iPhone 5 camera has something wrong with the lens, so it's not as clear as it used to be.

The point is, just because I wanted the new camera, I upgraded the whole phone. So, I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if I could just upgrade the camera?


That's where this idea started.

While it... [More]

Continue...Modular Cell Phones - Smartphones With Interchangeable Parts...

Group Mobile Phone Pairing

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Remember one phone number reached everyone in your house?


Why not create a feature for all the cell phones in your house, to share a common number... at least while you're home?

Back in the old days, just about everyone had just one phone number for their entire house, and when it rang, whoever answered would often chat for a minute or two, then put the phone down and shout something like "Jan... It's for you. It's George Glass".

It sounds funny, but since cell phones became popular, everyone in the house now has their own direct line, so callers bypass the shared number and call each person directly. That's a shame. Today's younger generation were give cell phones when they were children, so they completely missed the opportunity of picking up the family phone and getti... [More]

Continue...Group Mobile Phone Pairing...
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Why don't cars have a place for your phone?


It took a long time for manufacturers to start making cup holders in car. Even after Drive Thru restaurants became popular in the 80s, there still weren't many cars that had cup holders. Some say the tipping point was when a woman sued McDonalds after a cup of hot coffee spilled on her lap. She didn't have a cup holder, so she just kept it where many people put their drinks back then... between her legs. What choice did she have? There wasn't anywhere else to put it.

Fast forward a few decades, and we have a similar problem. In spite of the fact that car makers have added support for connecting with phones by using Bluetooth, people still don't have a place to put the phone itself. This is a particularly difficult problem for... [More]

Continue...Cars Should Have Built-In Cell Phone Holders...
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A lot of gadgets today are designed to be paired with other gadgets. Wouldn't it be great if your gadgets reminded you when you left a paired device behind?


For example, if you leave your cell phone on a table in a restaurant, as soon as you walk away from the table, your Apple Watch should send you a signal letting you know it's no longer near your phone. This would save you a lot of trouble because you could find it before you drove away, saving you the trip back potentially hours later looking for it.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many devices today that are normally paired that could use a feature like this. For example, Google Glass, Bluetooth speakers, and exercise bands from companies like FitBit and Nike. In each case, when the connection is lo... [More]

Continue...An Alarm For Smart Device Pairs, Separated By Mistake...

Washer / Dryer SmartPhone Alerts

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Did you ever forget to take your laundry out of the washing machine?


If you've ever left a load in your washing machine, this idea is for you, a washer and dryer that let you know when the load is finished, so you don't accidentally leave them in too long.

All it would take is a simple App that pairs your washer and dryer to your SmartPhone via WiFi. Once you set it up, you will get an instant alert, as long as you're in your house.

A more advanced system would take one extra step, which would be to link the washer and dryer to a central server that can even send messages to regular cell phones via SMS / Text Messages.

In either case, the main objective is to know exactly when a load is ready.

As the Internet o... [More]

Continue...Washer / Dryer SmartPhone Alerts...

Location Sensitive Passwords.

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Sometimes you need a strong password. Sometimes you don't.


Wouldn't it be great it you didn't have to enter a password to unlock your devices whenever you were home... but still had the security of a complex password whenever you were away from home? That's what a location sensitive password would do.

Let's face it. If you share your tablet at home, you don't need a complex password. In fact, if you have a small child, you may not want to create a password in the first place.

However, if you leave your home, a good password is essential.

So, you need to decide... do I want to make to make this device easy enough for a todler to use, or secure enough for the real world? I guess you can't have it both ways. Maybe you can.

A location sensitive password could allo

... [More]

Continue...Location Sensitive Passwords. ...
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You're at a wedding, and you just realized you forgot to turn off your cell phone. Don't bother, it'll make even more noise turning it off.


File this under "Stupid", "Pointless" and "Huh?"

I can't understand why some phone manufacturers insist on playing a sound whenever you turn them on or off, especially off.


Yes, Motorola, your Android phones are nifty. Does it have to say "D-R-O-I-D" every time you hit the power button?

It's pretty simple. Most people keep their cell phones on 24/7, but there are rare times when you've got to turn them off, because you don't want to distract people when it rings. In fact, that's the only time people turn them off.

Since the ONLY time people use the power button is in places and times when we don't want the distraction of... [More]

Continue...Cell Phones Shouldn't Make Sounds When You Turn Them OFF....
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Sometimes you just plain need to concentrate on the road.


Mute buttons aren't new; a lot of cars have had them since the 90s. Before Bluetooth came along, Mute Buttons came in handy when your phone rang, so you could instantly silent the radio and answer the phone.

Now that most cars have Bluetooth, you no longer need a Mute Button, because it usually mutes the radio when a call comes in, so you can talk hands free.

I think it's time we re-think the purpose of a mute button. Instead of muting the radio so you can answer the phone, a Mute Button should allow you to BLOCK the call in the first place.


Simply stated, there are times when a phone call can be a dangerous distraction. Rather than reach for the phone and looking for the "Do Not Disturb" option, a steerin... [More]

Continue...A Do Not Disturb Button on Steering Wheels. Mute Everything and Block Calls....
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Your kids are going to hate these ideas. That's why you'll love them.


So, your kids want a cell phone. They told you that all their friends have one, and they are the only ones in the whole school without one. You've held out all this time with the usual speech.

"When I was a kid, nobody had a cell phone... We couldn't even call or text our friends when we had to walk 7 miles to get to school... And we liked it!"

To you, it's not just the money, a cell phone can be like opening Pandora's box, because today's phones are not just for making calls. I think a lot of parents would feel better if phone makers considered some of these Parental Control Ideas.

1. Camera Screening. All photos auto-shared to the parent's account.


When the first camera phones were relea... [More]

Continue...4 Cell Phone Parental Control Ideas Your Kids are Guaranteed to Hate....

Autocorrect Toggle Button.... OFF by Default.

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I don't know about you. But I spend more time fixing autocorrect wrong guesses than I would fixing my own typos.


When Apple created iPhone, they knew people would take some time getting used to texting on a device without a keyboard, so they created autocorrect... typing on training wheels.

Now that people have gotten used to typing on a touchscreen, I think it's time Apple started phasing out autocorrect.


There is already an option "Settings" that lets you turn auto-correction off, but it's somewhat hidden and most people don't change it. I challenge anyone reading this right now to turn it off for one week. If you do, I bet you won't change it back.

With autocorrect turned off, you will still be able to see your spelling errors, so you can fix them, but at leas... [More]

Continue...Autocorrect Toggle Button.... OFF by Default....
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Don't you hate when somebody plays a video on their widescreen TV that was shot vertical?


Yes, I know people love to hold their phones vertically. It's more comfortable. The trouble is when you shoot videos that way, they look terrible when you play them back on anything but the phone.

The solution is so simple, but somehow the major manufacturers haven't addressed it. The video should be recorded in landscape regardless of what position you hold it. Naturally, there should be an option to turn it off, if for some reason you actually want to shoot a vertical video.

Frankly, unless you are trying to film somebody who is standing right in front of you and you don't want the person standing next to them in the shot.... you will always want to shoot horizontal. If you have... [More]

Continue...Phones Should Let You Shoot Landscape Videos... Regardless of How You Hold Them....
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Judge Wapner Taught Us To Get Things In Writing... in the 80s!


Judge Wapner asks "Do you have anything in writing?" One guy says "We have an Oral Contract", the other guy says "No we Don't". Unless there was a reliable witness, or some other evidence, guess what the Judge thought about the Oral Contract?

Hello... this is not the 80s... if you can't put it in writing, just record it on your Smartphone


Now that smartphones are everywhere, your next Oral Contract can be captured in crisp clear stereophonic clarity. So, next time you strike a deal with somebody, all you need to do is say "let's record it, just to be clear".
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I don't know about you, but I HATE the way kids write. They come across to me as ignorant buffoons.


I understand why somebody would want to abbreviate as much as possible using an old touchtone dialing pad. I never felt the need to use texting on those kinds of phones, but I could understand why those who did used abbreviations.

Here's the problem. Many of today's kids use that ridiculous way of writing when they are using a full scale word processor, and even when they write on paper with a pen. Teachers are reporting that students often use TextSpeak / Text Slang when they do school work.

The problem is not just with excessive use of abbreviations with strange combinations of numbers and... [More]

Continue...Autocorrect Should Translate Text Slang into English... Because Kids Actually Think It's Correct Grammar ...

Hey Phone Makers... Our Landline Phones Stink.

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Nobody likes landline phones, especially office phone systems.


Let's face it, landline phones are way behind mobile phones. Even the top of the line office phones are loaded with buttons and confusion blinking lights. For many people, it's easier to walk down the hall to call somebody than to find his number in the speed dial or on some outdated paper taped to the side of your monitor.

How many times have you heard somebody say "Hold on, let me see if I can transfer you, here's my number in case I lose you"?


That's because they have no idea how to use the phone, and there's actually a very good chance you'll get cut off.

There's a HUGE market for better landline phones


If you picture in your mind what your home or office will look like in 10 years... will... [More]

Continue...Hey Phone Makers... Our Landline Phones Stink....

Top 25 Posts


* Note: The ideas on "Idea of the Day" were posted without any formal research into existing inventions.

In some cases, patents may already exist for these ideas, in other cases, there may not be any existing patents and you are free to develop and explore the viability of developing and patenting the ideas.

The authors make no claim that any of the ideas are safe, practical, or suitable for any particular purpose. You are responsible for the results of trying, developing, patenting or using any of the ideas on this site.

For some people, our ideas are just an interesting read, but our goal is to encourage you to take action. If you see an idea that you like, do something with it... Take action.


- Joe
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