Part II – Is your iPhone making you sick?

Last month I posted an article about a co-worker, who didn’t want to be mentioned by name, who thought he drank some “bad” water outside of the United States. We have good news, it’s not the water! He had blood work done and it all came back negative.

However, he did attempt to use his phone less and change a few of the settings, as shown in the previous article, to help reduce the 3D effects potentially giving him the feeling of vertigo. Now he’s feeling better and saving the battery life on his iPhone. Check out a few of the battery saving tips I mentioned I would share in my last blog post.

It seems that until Apple releases a phone with a significant amount of battery life we will likely not be able to use all the functions on our phone at once without zapping the battery life. Unless you want to constantly have your phone plugged in. Take a look at this “How To” video for making your own power with a few household items:

Good luck!

Aaron Snead, UDig Business Development Manager


Aaron SneadPart II – Is your iPhone making you sick?

Is your iPhone making you sick?

About a week ago, one of my co-workers, that would rather not be identified, was feeling dizzy and lightheaded. He mentioned it was hard for him to explain the feeling and thought it seemed like vertigo.

Within the past few weeks, he has returned from a trip traveling outside the U.S. and thought maybe the water he consumed might have made him sick. My opinion was that it’s been nearly two weeks since he first consumed this “bad” water and at this point it should have run its course with more severe issues or likely have gone away. Results are pending on some blood work that was recently done since he’s not feeling 100% still. Nobody else seemed to have the issues that went with him but maybe he was the unlucky one.

Given the travel time to get to and from his location, I figured he was likely using his phone more than normal. I’ve seen him in action first thing in the morning watching ESPN on his phone or even responding to texts or emails throughout the day. It’s normal for most of us to do these things on a daily basis but maybe he’s mentally fatigued with everything happening. I’ve challenged him to stay away from his phone before bed and early in the morning so that he can feel relaxed and give his mind/eyes a break when the brain is not working at its peak.

The challenge starts there but I’ve also asked him to make one other change to his phone settings which I’ve done myself recently as I too felt nauseous when using my iPad and iPhone from time to time. If you are curious about the difference and have IOS7, go to Settings>General>Accessibility>REDUCE MOTION – Turn on. This will stop the zoom in and out feature.

I wasn’t a big fan of this feature from the beginning but after feeling slightly ill, I thought I would alter the settings to see how I react to the change. The truth is I feel better and have had no issues since. The change to the iPhone not only could make you feel better when using your phone but help save battery life. My follow up blog next month will be an update on my co-worker to see if this helps with his dizziness. I’ll also include additional battery saving techniques that I use currently.

-Aaron Snead, UDig Business Development Manager

Aaron SneadIs your iPhone making you sick?

Time for vacation…

Most of us have worked hard all year long and will be enjoying (or already have enjoyed) some time away from the office at some point this summer…I hope.

My wife is a beach bum. Although I’m not a huge fan of baking in the sun all day, I do enjoy a chance to recharge my batteries and spend time with our family. Speaking of batteries, the majority of professionals are carrying a smartphone for work or personal use. In my case, I have the iPhone 4s currently but anyone that has an apple phone can probably tell you the battery life is inferior to other products on the market. I’ll bring my phone with me for emergency purposes but also so that I can easily take pictures, make calls, text, or surf the web at my convenience. I won’t have a charger with me while I’m down at the beach or headed out at dinner so I must rely on a few tricks that I thought I would share:

-Keep the phone out of the danger zone. 32-95 degrees which means not leaving it in direct sunlight or in a hot car at the beach!

-Disable the push E-mail feature. This allows you to get your email downloaded every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or manually.

-Turn off apps for location services (maps, GPS, etc.).

-Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. (Please note: some readers might look to enable Wi-Fi if their cellular signal is not strong thus saving the battery from searching for a signal.)

-Remove vibrations from alerts unless needed. If you hear your phone ring, you might not need the vibration to go along with it.

-Reduce auto-lock time period: These notices keep your phone on anywhere from one to five minutes. You can disable this if you choose to do so but your phone will not sleep unless you manually press the button yourself.

-Change screen brightness. This allows you to darken the screen or make it brighter. Makin the screen brighter will run the battery down even more.

-Closing out unused or dormant apps. This can be done by clicking the home button twice, press and hold an app icon on the bottom row and start deleting.

Happy vacationing!

-Aaron Snead, UDig Technical Account Manager

Aaron SneadTime for vacation…

Digital Commerce is Taking Over

I received an email earlier this week from my bank informing me that they were hijacking the PayPal idea and allowing me to send money to individuals anywhere and at any bank via their SurePay Service. This got me thinking, my generation will likely be the last generation to see and use paper checks. I honestly can’t remember the last time I wrote a check for something. In 5-10 years, I’d be surprised if checks exist at all. My parents still write checks, but that is solely because of the fact that they haven’t figured out how to master an iPhone and send money via a PayPal app (or find their glasses in order to see the screen). No one wants a check anymore either, because it requires you to actually go to a bank to deposit it. Now banks allow you to take a picture of a check and deposit via a smartphone app, but you get my point.

The rise and explosion of mobile internet and other technologies that have simplified online transactions has cut costs and reduced the barriers to entry that have now evolved into brand new kinds of commerce. Entry costs are so low that someone who sells a widget or a service can now access a global market of potential customers and sell from the comfort of their own home. Did you know that Airbnb, a company that brokers deals between travelers and people with spare rooms for rent in their home or apartments, booked more than 10 million stays in 2012?? Analysts predict Airbnb could soon be outselling major international hotel chains, all via an app on your smartphone while sitting in your airplane seat waiting to take off. Starbucks was ahead of the digital commerce curve last year, when they partnered with Square to process payments for a cup of coffee via your smartphone. They are now rumored to be working on an instant photo verification process for buyers.  

The digital commerce trend will continue to evolve and grow over the next decade. Only time will tell what innovation will be next. But for now, if you haven’t become familiar or comfortable with using PayPal or other digital forms of payment, you might want to start. There likely won’t be many other options soon.

-Gordon Kelly, UDig Technical Account Manager

Gordon KellyDigital Commerce is Taking Over

Communication: Texting vs. Emailing

So as a recruiter I am always trying to think of creative ways to get in touch with good people. Nothing will ever compare to meeting someone face-to-face or having a good conversation on the phone. The trick is getting to that point. With the advances in technology over the past few decades, there have been many changes in how we get in touch with the right person: e-mail, voicemail, instant message, message via social media, and texting. I want to focus on comparing text messaging to e-mail as a successful means of communication – since in this day and age most everyone has both.

E-mail is a great form of communication. In my profession, I like to rely on e-mail to get candidates the finite details they need and can refer too on a regular basis for meetings and interviews – info including times and location, material they may need to review, and contact information, etc. E-mail is not as much of an attention-getter as it once used to be. With mass e-mails and spam, email has lost the personal touch that can peak someone’s interest. Not to mention it is so easy to hit the delete button without ever reading the content of the message. You need to have a seriously good subject line to get your audience’s attention!

Text messaging can be a much more effective way to reach your target. The majority of working professionals keep their cell phones on their person throughout the day. I know I check my phone regularly and when I receive a text message I read it relatively quickly even if it is from a number I am not familiar with. Here are some compelling stats from SMS Mobile Solutions (I know they are trying to market a service, but these statistics still make a strong case):

  • As few as 20% of e-mails are ever opened
  • Over 95% of text messages are opened
  • Average time for the recipient to view an e-mail message is 6.4 hours
  • Average time for the recipient to view a text message is 14 minutes
  • Average person checks personal e-mail 20 minutes a day
  • Average cell phone is on 16 hours a day

As a recruiter, texting is a tool I have found to be very powerful. Professionals are busy, they work hard all day and when they get home at night and check their voicemail or e-mail and have a message from yet another recruiter trying to present the best opportunity to ever hit the job market, calling back may seem pointless. For me, a text message during the day introducing myself and finding the best time/method to reach someone is effective. I hope this piece of advice helps you be more successful in your business!

-Josh Machia, UDig Technical Recruiter

UDigCommunication: Texting vs. Emailing

iPhone Tricks

So in my last post I talked about being the family gadget guru/the tech problem go-to-guy and I also shared where to go to find answers (in case you aren’t the guru in your family or you don’t have a guru in your family). In this post, I thought I would take it a step further and give a few helpful hints on how to make your life easier while using your iPhone. I came across this site that gives great guidance on over 40 features you might not know about.

Note:  Although I have not yet made the switch to the iPhone 5, most of these should work on the newest version of the iPhone.

Here are a few of my favorites tips (and yes a lot are related to photos because I take a lot of pictures of my baby boy):

1. Use Your + Volume Button as a Shutter on Your iPhone…
Taking a picture by holding your iPhone with just one hand is an easy way to get out of focus images. Fix it by holding your iPhone with two hands horizontally, and then push down the + button usually reserved for raising the volume. Now you’ve got a stable picture!

2. … and Your Headphones, Too
The same trick above works for the volume button on your headphones, too. This comes in particularly handy if you have a Glif or similar tripod mount for your iPhone. If you couldn’t already guess, this works for Bluetooth headphones as well.

3. Quick Look for Pictures You Just Took
Want to look at the most recent image you shot? Open up the camera app and slide the screen from left to right. It’ll show the last picture taken, and you’ll be good to go.

4. Take a Picture With a Double Tap
Stuck on the lock screen but want to take a picture? Double click the home button and look just to the right of your Unlock slider where you’ll find a little camera icon. Touch it, and away you go to taking pictures.

5. Edit Your Photos
Man, those red eyes in that shot look horrible, right? If only you had some kind of way to tweak your shots so that they looked perfect. Turns out you do, all baked into iOS. Just hit Edit on any image, and you’ll be presented with your tools along the bottom row. They’re not super extensive, but it’ll get the job done in a pinch.

6. Tap to the Top
Doesn’t it suck to scroll through a long webpage and then flip back up to show the Address bar again? Just tap the top of the screen by the clock and Safari will zip back up and reveal the address bar, no problem.

-Aaron Snead, UDig Technical Account Manager

Aaron SneadiPhone Tricks

Who is the gadget guru in your family?

Help, I have an iPhone. Sound familiar?

There is one in each family –  a so-called gadget guru (the family member that fixes nearly everything from phones and printers to computers, tablets, etc).  It doesn’t matter how big or small the problem is or what the request might be. The person in need typically doesn’t attempt to fix the issue (which is best considering they are likely to just make it worse). Instead, they go directly to the gadget guru for the QF (quick fix). If you don’t know who the gadget guru is in your family, it’s probably you! If you haven’t guessed, in my family, it is me.

You know, it’s summer time and you’re relaxing while visiting your grandfather when he suddenly makes his task bar disappear, your mother can’t locate the keyboard on her iPad, or your brother brings his computer (without anti-virus software) to you so you can take off the 333 viruses that won’t allow him to get on the Internet.

My best fix yet has been on an iPhone while visiting my in-laws. A distant relative had their new iPhone and had an issue.  Everyone said, “Aaron can fix it” or “Bring it to Aaron, he’ll get it working right” – as if I am Steve Jobs. It seems that whatever they did, the iPhone was speaking each icon they pressed and requiring them to double click as if they had impaired vision. Well, I jumped on my iPhone and rallied a few answers knowing a series of buttons would fix the problem and voilà!!!  This unnamed in-law was happy as can be – which is why this technical service works only for kudos and high fives.

If you don’t feel like being the gadget guru, here is a great place to send someone having iPhone issues or problems with any Apple product.  It’s a community of users, just like you, getting mostly direct answers:

I would suggest you have them bookmark the page.

 -Aaron Snead, UDig Technical Account Manager

Aaron SneadWho is the gadget guru in your family?

Apple’s Dominance

An article published on after the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference reinforces the idea that Apple wants to dominate the personal technology market. Apple is intentionally ignoring the business world because they know adoption will come naturally through end users. This continued aggressive approach by Apple to release new products and software that are proprietary started to peak my paranoid mind. Is Apple trying to take over the technology world? Apple’s famous 1984 commercial introducing the Macintosh computer while making IBM out to be ‘Big Brother’ was genius. But the reality is Steve Jobs always wanted world domination. His open letter back in 2010 about Adobe proprietary products and the fact that Apple wasn’t going to support Flash on their iOS platform was comical.

The reality is Apple has always been proprietary. How many manufacturers build Apple products? Zero! Apple owns the entire process on all their platforms. That’s why it is twice as expensive to buy an Apple laptop or desktop –  they own the market. If you want an Apple you have to buy from them.

My biggest concerns with Apple are my iTunes collection and the future of the App Store. If you read the BusinessInsider article, you will see they have plans to kill a few popular applications that have been very successful on the App Store. One of them is EverNote. I love Evernote. I have a version on my desktop (I’m using it right now to write this blog post). I also have it on my iPhone and my iPad. With the latest release of Apple’s Note product, they are trying to squash further adoption of EverNote. EverNote has a clear edge on the Apple product but what’s going to stop Apple from making it harder for EverNote to compete. In the summer of 2009, Apple blocked Google’s Voice app from the App store. At that time there appeared to be pressure on Apple to ban any product using Google Voice from their cellphone partner, AT&T, since they owned the cell side of the iPhone. AT&T wanted to make sure they weren’t missing out on revenue for text messaging and voice calls.

What about your iTunes collection? I have thousands of songs and even a few movies that I have purchased through iTunes. What’s going to stop Apple from overcharging? It’s very hard and almost impossible to move your iTunes library to another product. I am not even aware of any competitors that can compete with iTunes. The real competitors to iTunes are Pandora and Spotify which aren’t really direct competitors but more of an alternative solution to listen to music.

Every company goes through a world domination phase and tends to spread themselves too thin and start overspending on R&D, eventually losing their competitive edge in the products that made them successful. Think IBM, Microsoft, Google, etc. Google has spent the past 3 years cutting back on applications that aren’t profitable and don’t fit their core business model. They are still trying to innovate but in a more controlled and systematic approach. Look at Yahoo!, they owned the search market before Google but spread themselves too thin and became obsolete. I fear Apple will do the same thing. They are cool, hip and the darling of the tech market right now. How long will that last? How long for people to start distrusting Apple and their attempts to own every aspect of the media/personal technology market. I am not saying we are there at this time but it definitely appears to be their strategy.

-Andy Frank, UDig Chief Operating Officer

Andy FrankApple’s Dominance

To iPhone 4S or not?

I converted to the iPhone several years ago when the iPhone 3G came out. My then fiancée convinced me to replace our monthly plan with a family plan so that we could save money. Compared to the flip phone that I used to own, I loved my iPhone 3G the moment I got it. I was finally able to get e-mail on my phone! But I admit I never took advantage of the technology…never really used any apps, accessed the beloved Facebook, or searched the web. My biggest problem with the iPhone 3G was the speed – I didn’t have the patience to wait for graphics to load.

But on Friday, everything changed. My now husband and I were in New Jersey for a wedding and we decided to take advantage of our day off together. So we headed to the nearest mall, waited in line at the chaotic Apple store and spoke to the iPhone specialist. As I listened to the sales pitch from the Apple rep and watched him demo the new features, I was hooked. We purchased two iPhones in stylish white and proceeded to spend the rest of the night glued to our respective iPhones, stopping only for dinner and bathroom breaks.

This weekend we used the iPhone for everything: I used the camera to take pictures at the wedding, instead of caring both a camera and a phone in my clutch; I couldn’t be happier with the quality of them. I even loaded the pictures directly to Facebook the morning after the wedding, in a matter of seconds. The map loaded quickly and helped us navigate our way around the area. Siri helped us find a restaurant for dinner and also scheduled a reminder in our calendar so we remembered to return my husband’s tux to the rental shop. We even FaceTimed my parents to check on my dogs while we were away for the weekend (they got new iPhones too).

So for all you skeptics out there, do yourself a favor and go test one out. If you’re like me and had a dinosaur of a phone in terms of speed, you won’t be disappointed. But if you have an iPhone 4 and are trying to decide if you should upgrade or wait till the iPhone 5 debuts next year, check out this article.

Liz Dalton, UDig Technical Recruiter

Brian LowryTo iPhone 4S or not?

Social & Mobile Recruiting: Beyond the Buzzwords

UDig is happy to have Kyle Lagunas, an HR Market Analyst with Software Advice, as our guest blogger once again. Kyle recently published an article that explores two hot topics in the dynamic world of recruiting: social media and mobile technology. As a technology staffing firm, two topics close to our hearts are recruiting and technology.

Where technology once drove the evolution of the recruiting industry, the high volume demands of modern recruiting are now driving the development of new technologies for improving the process. There’s a lot of buzz surrounding these two new avenues for reaching candidates and finding top talent. But how much of it is just buzz and how much of what’s trending will become a permanent part of the recruiter’s toolbox?

Read more on this topic and check out some of the cool mobile apps Kyle spotlights in his article, Social & Mobile Recruiting: Beyond the Buzzwords.

Brian LowrySocial & Mobile Recruiting: Beyond the Buzzwords