Stick to your New Year’s resolutions with the help of your tech

This is it. You’ve got your resolutions for the new year lined up. This is going to be the year that you finally stick to your goals of doing better with your time, money and health. You’re going to exercise more, take more time for you and resist the birthday cakes in the office break room.

Then, reality hits. You get back into the swing of things after the holiday break, fall back into your old habits and convince yourself that your daily venti caramel mocha won’t hurt you after all. Well, the good news is, you’re not alone. According to studies, 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions break them by February.

This year, set yourself up for resolution success with the help of your tech. Here’s some ways your devices can help you meet your goals:

Goal: Save more money.

Whether you want to save money so that you can take an amazing trip this year, or to focus more on planning for your future, there are many apps that can help you achieve your financial goals. Mint is a popular choice for its easy-to-use budget creator and the ability to see how you’re spending your money all in one place. You can also set custom alerts to let you know if you’re going over your budget in a particular area, so you’ll be less tempted to purchase yet another pair of shoes you really don’t need.

Goal: Put down the cookies.

After the nonstop smorgasbord of sugar-filled treats that comes along with the holiday season, many of us are ready to get back to healthy eating — and slimmer waistlines. The MyFitnessPal app is a great place to start. With its database of over 6 million different foods and super simple interface, MyFitnessPal makes keeping a food diary something that can take less than 5 minutes out of your day. Plus, it connects with over 50 other apps, so you can sync it up with your fitness tracker device.

Goal: Get off the couch.

Sure, it can be hard to resist the allure of the latest binge-worthy series on Netflix, but getting up and active more often will pay off in the long run. A wearable fitness tracker like the Fitbit Flex is an easy way to make exercise part of your daily routine. It tracks your activity throughout the day, as well as reminds you to get up and move around if you’ve been sitting too long. The Fitbit Flex also automatically tracks your sleep, so you can set goals for better rest as well.

Goal: Learn something new every day.

The internet is a wealth of information, and your devices can help to bring that information to life right at your fingertips.

Whip up new culinary delights: With the Google Home Hub, you can watch instructional videos for new recipes hands-free while you’re in the kitchen pretending to be a Top Chef.

Speak a new language: Download the Duolingo app onto your phone and broaden your vocabulary by learning a few new words in a different language in less than 20 minutes a day.

 

Listen and learn: Subscribe to educational podcasts on your Android or iOS devices – there’s a podcast out there for just about every topic you can imagine. A great one to start with that covers a range of random factoids is Stuff You Should Know.

 

Goal: Make a difference in the world.

Changing the world doesn’t take a huge commitment or a lot of money – it’s really more about all of the small things you can do that add up to make a big impact. For example, Lyft offers the ability to “Round Up & Donate.” With each ride you take, the transaction amount is rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference is donated to one of nine charities. To opt-in to this feature, go to the Lyft app’s settings menu.

Enjoy exercising? What about giving back while exercising? You can do just that with the Charity Miles app. Simply sign-up for this free app, choose the charity you’d like to support, and then log your movement into the app. Based on how far you go, you’ll earn money for your charity just by using the app! The donations come from corporate sponsors of the Charity Miles app.

Goal: Take more time for you.

With everything going on in our lives, it’s a great goal to set aside a few minutes each day to just focus on your own well-being. The Headspace app offers meditation techniques to help you maintain your mental and physical health, and helps you to relax or stay focused.

Another great way to take time for yourself is to occasionally unplug – check out our 7 essential tips for achieving tech life balance.

As it is with most goals in our lives, the key to success with your resolutions is starting small. Focus on the things that you have the power to change, and set obtainable targets. Everything achieved beyond that will just be the cherry on the ice cream sundae of life.

Find the perfect tech gift for everyone on your list

With so many new and impressive tech products now available, it’s hard to know which one to buy. That’s where we can help – more than 300 million customers turn to us for support for their devices each year. So, we’re sharing some of our own team’s favorite gift recommendations to help you find the perfect fit for the people on your shopping list.

For the smart home enthusiast

Find the perfect tech gift for everyone on your list“There are great options on the market as far as smart devices go, from the Amazon Echo to the Samsung SmartThings Hub, but my personal favorite is the Google Home Hub. My wife and I use our Google Home a lot, but the Home Hub adds an 8″ screen to the mix. We love to use the one in our kitchen for recipes because not only does it read everything off to you and advance the steps based on audio cues, but now you can also visibly follow along with the recipe steps. You’re also able to call up a YouTube video mid-dish if you needs some extra direction on how to cut something properly or some other helpful tip. We were previously using our phone for this – which has a smaller screen and required you to often touch it with messy, food-covered hands – so the Google Home Hub has been a great addition to our connected home.”- Brandon, Innovation Lab Manager

For the fitness fanatic

Find the perfect tech gift for everyone on your listIf you’re in the market for a fitness tracker, good news for you — there is no shortage of options. Fitbit, Garmin, and Apple are just a few that offer up watches and bands to fit any budget range and fitness level. As someone who tries to eat right and workout daily, I also lose complete self-control when there’s queso on the table, so monitoring my diet and tracking my daily activity are important to me. That’s why my pick is the Fitbit Versa. It tracks every part of my day from activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep and —most importantly — keeps me motivated!”- Lauren, Content Specialist

For the person on the go

Find the perfect tech gift for everyone on your list“For me, I appreciate the lightweight and portability of a tablet. From the Google Pixel Slate to the newest iPad Pro, there are countless options in the tablet world that will fit many different needs. My personal favorite is the Microsoft Surface Pro. For a Windows user, this is a great tablet since it allows you to have a fully-functioning version of Windows 10. I’m also a fan of the available stylus for the device – it’s great for taking notes, working with editing software or other graphics programs.”- Gary, Innovation Lab Technologist


For the gamer

Find the perfect tech gift for everyone on your listMy gift choice would definitely be the Nintendo Switch. I grew up playing all the classic games on the original Nintendo, from Mario to Zelda. The Nintendo Switch captures all the magic of the original NES, adding modern takes of those beloved classics, as well as some great new entries. As a father of three gamers, the portability of the Switch allows my kids to play their games on the go and without dominating the living room TV. It truly offers fun for the whole family.”- Zach, Instructional Design Manager


For the forgetful friend

Find the perfect tech gift for everyone on your list “If you’re like me, you’re constantly asking, ‘where did I put my keys?’ I tend to be a bit forgetful and have friends and family members who are the same, so one of my go-to gifts is a Bluetooth tracker. My favorite is the Tile Pro since, unlike some other models available, it has a replaceable battery inside. My dad attached his Tile Pro to his TV remote, which always seems to go missing with 9 grandkids around; my mom attached hers to her phone and her camera bag. They’re super simple to setup and easy to use – just attach a Tile Pro to any item you care about not losing and you’re all set. Bonus: you can even ask your smart speaker (Google Assistant, Alexa or Siri) to help you in your search.” – Jaleena, Content Manager

For the music lover

Find the perfect tech gift for everyone on your listOne of the biggest benefits to Bluetooth headphones is they are cord-free and hands-free. Unlike other headphones, these stay put when running or doing other high-impact activities — which is the top reason I chose the Kinivo Bluetooth Stereo Headphones. You can control your music (or podcasts) directly from the earpiece with a set of intuitive controls. The battery life is excellent; I rarely have to charge it. Not to mention, they’re super comfortable and lightweight. After putting them on, I sometimes forget I’m even wearing headphones.”- Jared, Innovation Sr. Manager

Tech and Parenting: How to help kids navigate life online

We’ve all been there — that moment when you hand your phone over to the youngest person in the room to get them to show you how to do something, or to have them explain what in the heck a hashtag is. Kids and teens today are more tech savvy then generations of the past, with many learning how to use tablets and smartphones before their first day of preschool.

While the case can be made for the benefits of kids being technologically advanced with access to the world at their fingertips, there’s still a lot of things to take into consideration to help kids find their way in the Tech and Parenting: How to help kids navigate life onlineconstantly evolving online world. As Asurion’s Abigail Jones recently wrote in the parent’s guide for protecting kids’ privacy:

“Navigating this territory can be intimidating, even unsettling, leaving parents feeling helpless. But adults can help kids stay safe and smart online at every age – and ensure they grow up engaging in positive ways with the technologies that will define their generation.”


Technology brings many advantages for kids, but also risks

A recent Asurion study, conducted by OnePoll, surveyed 2,000 parents with kids between the ages of three and 18 to learn how they’re using technology to assist with their parenting. 76% of parents said they rely on smart devices like security cameras and video doorbells to help keep an eye on their kids. But, not surprisingly, most parents acknowledged that guarding their child’s safety in the online world was just as much of a priority to them.

Tips for parents to help kids navigate the online world83% of parents agree they should be allowed to monitor their children, especially their digital lives.

 

More than half use parental controls to limit or monitor their kids’ internet browsing and social media.

 

3 out of 5 parents admit to checking browsing history on their kids’ phones or computers.

 

Nearly all of the parents we spoke to said that while technology usage can bring about a certain level of risk for kids, it also is a valuable tool since it allows them to be more involved in keeping track of their child’s activities and who they’re hanging out with.

While keeping up with all of the latest devices, apps and social media platforms can seem like a daunting and confusing task, fear not: we can help.

5 things you can do to protect your kids online

  1. Keep computers and tablets in a public space. It’s a lot easier to keep tabs on your kids’ online activity when they’re in the kitchen as opposed to their bedroom with the door closed. Create a public charging station in your home, a place where all devices (including yours) are charged and left overnight.
  2. Draft an online conduct contract. Set clear rules and consequences that everyone can agree on. Make sure your kids understand your expectations, whether they’re using a phone, laptop, or video game.
  3. Start with the basics.  Teach kids basic ways to protect themselves without limiting their fun. Start with simple changes like opting out of location sharing, setting strong passwords, and covering computer and smartphone cameras when they’re not in use. Be informed about what kids are doing online
  4. Be their friend online. In Asurion’s survey, 45% of parents agreed that something parents should never do is create a fake social media account to follow your child. Be upfront about expectations. If you agree to let your tween use Instagram or Snapchat, make it clear that you’ll have access to the account. You’ll be a friend, you’ll know the password.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Talk, educate, and listen. Be informed about what you bring into your home, and what devices and apps your kids are using. And be conscious of your own digital behavior. Don’t use your phone at the breakfast table unless you want the whole family to do the same.

Tech monitoring for the non-technical parent

If you need a little additional assistance with keeping track of your kids and their technology use, there’s several helpful apps on the market to help with just that.

QustodioTech and Parenting: How to help kids navigate life online offers an easy-to-use interface for even the most non-technical parent. You can get a simplified view of sites and apps your child is accessing and can set time limits, track texts, and even filter out those sites that may not be suitable for young eyes.

Tech and Parenting: How to help kids navigate life onlineFor an even more robust app with additional monitoring options, mSpy allows parents to see who their kids call, what they text, and their GPS location among other activities.

 

This one thing triples the odds of your lost phone being returned

If you’ve ever lost something important to you, you know that absolutely gut-wrenching feeling of not knowing where it is or if you’ll ever see it again. We’re a team of people who take pride in taking care of you –so we lost our phones so you don’t have to.

In a recent experiment, Asurion purposefully “lost” smartphones in three major cities across the U.S. to test the likelihood of them being returned. Jeff Rossen, a Today show investigative reporter, recently recreated our experiment for a segment on the morning show.

Basically, we discovered that while it’s great that so many lock their phones for security (71%, in fact), this makes it more difficult for someone to return your phone. In our study, we saw that displaying alternate contact info on the lock screen meant that your phone was 3x more likely to be returned by a good Samaritan; however, fewer than 1 in 4 actually add this extra layer of protection.

How to add alternate contact information to your phone’s home screen

The simplest way to do this is to place a text label on any photo in your device’s gallery using the photo edit features and include an alternate phone number or email address (you can also use a photo editing app like Snapseed). Then, set that image as the wallpaper on your lock screen. lost phone returned

  • In iOS, choose the image from your gallery. Tap the Up arrow, select “Use as wallpaper” and then choose lock screen.
  • In Android, pick the photo from your gallery. Click the three dots in the top right corner of the image and select “Set as wallpaper” and choose lock screen.

Alternately, Android also has a built-in feature for adding a lock screen message:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Choose Lock Screen and Security, then Clock and Face Widgets.
  3. Select Contact Information.
  4. Enter desired alternate contact info and select Where to show. Then click Done.

Other ways to help your phone find its way home

  • Enable Find My iPhone or similar service: Many people assume this is automatically activated with every phone, but it needs to be manually turned on in your phone settings.
    • For iPhone, go to Settings, tap your name at the top of the Settings list, then tap iCloud, and look for Find My iPhone to confirm it’s on. Set “Send Last Location” to ON. This will automatically send the phone’s location to iCloud any time that the iPhone’s battery is critically low.
    • For Android, download an app from the Play store, such as the Google app Find My Device. Then just follow the set up directions once downloaded.
  • Don’t assume the worst: Many people don’t call the establishment where they accidentally lost or left their phones, thinking there’s little chance of getting them back. During Asurion’s experiment, we heard from many organizations that had drawers full of lost phones waiting for owners to reclaim them.

7 essential tips for achieving tech life balance

Do you sometimes feel like you need to disconnect in order to reconnect? You’re not alone. Dependency on our technology has become a growing theme in past years. Digital distractions are all around us, and our phones can often be the biggest culprit. We use them for everything from work, to connecting with friends, to keeping track of our children’s extracurricular activities. In fact, we feel so attached to our phones that more than 70% of us sleep with them within reach.

Technology is capable of making our day-to-day lives easy, but it can also lead to us missing out on being in the present for moments that matter. Putting your phone away may seem impossible, but our tech experts offer the following tips to help you occasionally unplug and take control of your tech life balance.

    1. Limit your notifications. Fear of missing out, more commonly known as FOMO, is a phenomenon that leads many of us to check our phones and social feeds often — after all, are we really living our best life if we didn’t see the picture Molly just uploaded of her new puppy?! Luckily, there is a cure for FOMO. Turn off push notifications and alerts so you won’t be tempted by the excess beeps and tweets, which can in turn assist with cutting back on your social media usage.
    2. Take full advantage of Do Not Disturb. When you need a mental break throughout the day, try turning on your phone’s Do Not Disturb mode. You can set exceptions, in case you’re waiting on an important call, and still use other features on your phone while in DND mode.
    3. Go grayscale. Your phone is designed to be alluring, full of eye-catching technicolor features and graphics that will grab your attention. Going grayscale makes your phone less attractive so you’ll be less tempted to keep looking at it.
    4. Let an app be your (tech) life coach. With apps such as Moment for iOS, you can track how much time you’re spending on your phone and set daily limits that will help you meet your digital detox goals. For Android, check out Space. This app helps you be more mindful of your phone usage by setting screentime goals and rewarding you with badges once you meet your daily goals.
    5. Power down at least half an hour before bedtime. In a recent Asurion survey, 62% of people say they’ve stayed up past their desired bedtime because they lost track of time while using their phone. Get better rest by removing your phone from the sleep equation. Recent updates in both iPhone’s iOS12 and Android Pie have built-in features that focus on your digital wellbeing and will help to make this change to your bedtime prep even easier. Bonus tip: keep your phone somewhere other than right beside your bed to be less tempted to pick it up and start mindlessly scrolling.
    6. Switch off mobile data. When you’re away from your home or office, try switching off the mobile data on your phone. Not only will this save you money on your bill, but it will also make it harder to use your phone unless Wi-Fi is readily available. Without data, you’ll be less tempted to use your phone and more likely to engage in conversations with those around you. Added bonus: it will improve your phone’s battery life.
    7. Step away from the phone. Last but not least, challenge yourself to put your phone away during certain times of the day – at bedtime and while you’re eating are great places to start. This will allow you to give your full attention to a task at hand, whether it be a work project, time with your kids and significant other, or just some time to be alone with your own thoughts.

How to keep the information on your phone safe and secure

For many of us, our phones are our mini personal assistants, keeping track of everything from our whereabouts to our bank information. We give a lot of thought to all of our phone’s fun features and how much easier they can make our lives by being connected to everything – but have you given much thought lately to how secure your information is? We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but thieves and hackers probably have.

According to Asurion claims data*, nearly 2,000 phones are lost or stolen every single hour — that’s almost 17 million phones a year.

The likelihood of your phone being lost or stolen increases if you’re an iPhone user, and the likelihood also increases for men (score one for you, ladies). Protect your personal data – and your peace of mind – with these tips from our tech experts.

Three helpful tips for creating a strong passcode for your smartphone:

  1. Think of numbers as letters to help you create a passcode that is challenging, but something that will be memorable for you. For example, if you’re a foodie with a sweet tooth, you might use CAKE (2253) or PIES (7437).
  2. Avoid obvious number combinations like 1-2-3-4 or repetitive codes like 1-1-1-1.
  3. Don’t use numbers that can be easily guessed like your birth date, anniversary, your phone number, etc.

Changing your passcode is relatively easy on both the iPhone and Android platforms, so it’d be smart to make it a habit to hop in and change it on a recurring basis. Sure, it’s slightly annoying, but having your information stolen would be a lot more more troubling. Also, if you ever notice strange behavior on your phone, change your password first as a precautionary measure.

How to change your passcode on an iPhone:

  1. From the Home Screen, tap the Settings app icon.
  2. Tap Touch ID & Passcode.
  3. Enter the current Passcode.
  4. Tap Change Passcode and then enter current Passcode.
  5. Enter the new Passcode.
  6. Verify new Passcode.How to keep the information on your phone safe and secure

How to change your pin on an Android:

  1. From the Home screen, pull down the Notification Bar and tap Settings.
  2. Tap Lock Screen and Security.
  3. Tap Screen Lock Type.
  4. Enter current PIN.
  5. Tap PIN.
  6. Enter new PIN.
  7. Enter new PIN again.

Be smart about the information you keep on your phone

If your phone ever lands in the wrong hands, they have an open invitation to access whatever you’ve stored on your device. Protect yourself by keeping your most personal information in a safe place, and not on your smartphone. Information like your social security number, driver’s license, or passport number simply belong in a safer space.

Use a different password for each of your online accounts

Having the same password for everything makes you an easy target for thieves and hackers steal your information. It sounds complicated to try to keep track of a bunch of different passwords, but thankfully, there are apps like LastPass or Keeper that can help keep track of them all for you. Those apps can also help create strong passwords with one click with the built-in password generator.

Be wary of public Wi-Fi

In the confines of your own home, your Wi-Fi is usually secure. When you’re on a public network, however, all bets are off. If you use a public wireless network, you open yourself up to snooping from anyone in the vicinity. If you need to use a public connection (and we all often find ourselves in this situation), use it wisely. Don’t access sensitive information like online banking, digital wallets or payment apps.

Avoid the auto sign-in feature

We know it’s incredibly tempting to use auto sign-in because of its convenience, but it’s not the most wise choice for all apps. It may be reasonable to use for something like Pinterest, but not at all for apps that contain sensitive information like your banking app. If that information ever ended up in the wrong hands, you’ll be out a whole lot more than just your phone.

Keep your accounts separate

As tempting as it may be to use your Facebook or Google account to sign in to websites, apps and social media, we wouldn’t recommend it. Linking sites together through single sign-on can be a risky adventure. A hacker would only need to access one account to hack them all. The easiest way to avoid this is to create separate accounts or disconnect any apps that are linked together.

Turn on find my phone features

GPS is great for lots of things: finding your way around traffic, finding a great happy hour after work, and finding your phone in case it’s lost or stolen. If you have your phone’s native find-my-phone option enabled, you can track your phone’s location or remotely erase your data to protect your privacy.

On Android, go to Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Find My Mobile.
On iOS, go to Settings > {Your Name} > iCloud > Find My iPhone.

 

*Source: 2017 Asurion Claims Data and 2016 CTIA Wireless Customer Information

Asurion lands Great Place to Work certification for second year in a row

Asurion is home to innovators, problem solvers and creative thinkers who all work together to protect the connections that matter. While we help our customers enhance their lives through technology every day, it’s our company’s strong culture and positive work environment that motivates our employees to reach further. And now, it’s time to celebrate. For the second year in a row, we are a certified Great Place to Work®!

Great Place to Work® is a coveted national certification based on ratings provided by employees in anonymous surveys and is effective through September 2019.

Top workplace and Asurion have been synonymous this year. On the heels of being named Technology Company of the Year, receiving recognition as a Top Workplace for the fourth consecutive year, and being listed on Computerworld’s Top 100 Places to Work in IT, the Great Place to Work® certification is a terrific validation of Asurion’s inclusive and collaborative culture.

What makes Asurion a Great Place to Work? Simply put, we’re unique.Asurion is a Great Place to Work and offers tech careers

Our culture of recognitionWith nearly 1,000 annual, quarterly, monthly, and on-the-spot awards available across the company, Asurion makes one thing clear to its employees: We see you, we value you, and we want you to succeed.

Did a colleague go above and beyond? Give them ACE points! Our ACE social newsfeed is designed to celebrate achievements and recognize hard work. Points can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, travel, and more. It’s always nice to say thank you, but showing appreciation with points that can be used for airfare is even better.

Asurion gives back to the community and encourages their employees to volunteer

The fund for employees, by employees: The Compassion Forward Employee Fund enables employees to help each other when life gets complicated. Every penny contributed by employees to the Fund is made available to help assist fellow members of the Asurion team get back on their feet financially when an unexpected catastrophic or life-altering event occurs. Over the last decade, we’ve been able to help hundreds of employees meet critical needs fast.

Extending support into our communities: At Asurion, we have a history of supporting not only our clients, but each other. We’re proud of our culture of giving and volunteerism that makes our communities stronger and takes care of our team members when they need a helping hand, and we continue to put the same passion for helping others into all that we do. For our employees, spending a work day volunteering is not unusual. Many of our teams volunteer together as one team, from building Habitat for Humanity houses to adopting parks for cleanup.

Asurion hosts Hackathons because we believe good ideas can come from anywhere in the company

Good ideas from everyone: We believe good ideas come from everywhere, not just the corner office. That’s why we invest in a culture of innovation, with events like Hackathons, where employees of all levels collaborate to come up with innovative ideas to improve our customer and employee experience. Ideas are pitched to a panel of judges and the winning concepts are set into motion and turned into reality.

Asurion also has what we call “journey teams,” which bring together people from across the company and empowers them to ask the question, “How do we focus on what’s best for the customer experience?” They are encouraged to fully explore the best possible solutions to drive improvements and implement change.

Culture champions: Asurion employs over a dozen People Service Coordinators (PSCs, aka “Culture Champions”) – full-time employees who are solely dedicated to motivating and celebrating their colleagues. Our PSCs help foster a positive work environment. They keep the pulse on employee happiness and organize frequent morale-boosting events. No birthday, work anniversary, or accomplishment goes unnoticed with PSCs at the helm.Asurion Black Employees Supporting Talent Diversity and Inclusion

A commUnity for all: commUnity, Asurion’s diversity and inclusion initiative, is committed to ensuring that all employees feel valued and have a genuine opportunity to thrive and excel within the company. At the heart of commUnity are our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which unify Asurion employees with common interests for networking, mentorship, problem solving, and volunteerism.

Take time for you: We empower team members to manage their work-life balance with a flexible approach to time in the office. Bottom line: We value good work, not how many hours you spend strapped to your desk. In addition, Asurion has a “no policy” time off program, meaning that exempt employees are not limited in paid time off and simply work with their leader for time off.

Asurion's wellbeing program provides employees access to free health and financial coaches

Living your best life: Our wellbeing program goes a step beyond most and provides team members with free access to personal health AND financial coaches. Our programs do everything from providing team members with step-by-step, private financial guidance around major life events (like buying a home or preparing for retirement) to serving up a dose of healthy choices competitions.

Helping our people grow: Our people are our greatest assets and we believe in putting them in the driver’s seat to advance their career and professional development. That’s why we provide the tools – including a library of over 6,000 on-demand learning options, job shadowing programs, and career coaching – for employees to define their own development goals and career plans with support from their leader. If an employee wants to further their academic education, we support them through a tuition assistance program.

Bundles of joy: Asurion families rest easy during pregnancy with the help of our Maternity Concierge, an HR adviser who guides expecting parents through pregnancy by creating custom resources tailored to the family’s exact healthcare benefits. Asurion’s Healthy Pregnancy program gives expecting moms around-the-clock access to nurses and education resources as they prepare for their new arrival.

Want to make Asurion your next Great Place to Work? Asurion has over 16,000 employees in 53 locations around the world, with our global headquarters in Nashville, TN. Click here for career opportunities.

How to create, use and delete your own Memoji in iOS 12

Remember when a smiley face was made by the keys on your keyboard? : ) Well, we’ve come a long way since then! The step from emoticons to emojis was a big one, and we use them a lot today to express an idea 💡 or an emotion 😄.

We’re not just passionate about tech, but making it work for you. So, when the iOS 12 features came out and added a new layer in the history of emoji, Memoji, we jumped in. Learning all we can so we can help you along the way.

We want you to discover, enjoy and experience more out of your technology. And that starts with us being on top of what’s next. Keep reading to learn how you can make your Memoji look just like you … or something completely different!

What is a Memoji?

A Memoji is a new type of Animoji that can be customized to look just like you. And yes, it’s as fun and silly as it sounds. Similar to an Animoji, it uses Apple’s facial tracking technology, but instead of being a unicorn or a robot, you can make it look just like you.

Everything about a Memoji is fully customizable. You can personalize everything down to the smallest detail, from your hair color to freckles. You can also have fun with it. You can try a different look or even make it look like your favorite celebrity.

Want to look a little younger? There’s an option to specify age as well. Beyond physical traits, there’s a huge selection of earrings, headpieces, hats and eyewear.

The coolest part is that you make all the changes in real-time, so if you don’t absolutely love how your Memoji is turning out, you can make changes on the spot. Flexibility is the name of the game. Did we mention Memojis also move? Welcome to the future.

How is a Memoji made?

iPhone X and newer models have front-facing cameras that sense depth, which means it captures your facial movements and does what we can only describe as magic. That’s right – it animates the emoji to look exactly like you based on your choices of features that best represent you. Want to be someone else instead? You can create your Memoji to look like anything you want.

Can you create a Memoji on iPhone 7/8/X?

Unfortunately, this cool new feature is only available if you have iPhone models with the TrueDepth camera system. This means the models that can make a Memoji are iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR. You’ll still be able to get Memojis through video, but you won’t be able to create your own.

How to create your own Memoji in iOS 12

  1. Start by opening a new or existing message
  2. Tap the App icon, then tap the Animoji icon (it looks like a monkey)
  3. Swipe right until you see New Memoji
  4. Tap the plus sign to start your new design

Creating your own Memoji in iOS 12

How to edit & customize your Memoji

  1. Tap through each section to explore different skin tones, hairstyles, and facial features
  2. Scroll to the bottom of each section to add options like freckles, eyelashes, earrings, and beards. You can personalize even more with eyewear or a hat.
  3. To adjust color, choose an option and drag the slider from left to right. You can tap the color wheel for even more varieties.
  4. When you’re finished, tap Done. Your Memoji will be added to your collection of Animojis.

Customizing your Memoji in iOS 12

With a feature as new and cool as this, we had to test it out and make our own. Our talented team of tech experts put together this helpful video to show you how to create your own Memoji. We were especially impressed with how realistically it picked up on facial expressions. And yes, we had a ton of fun testing out the different personalization options.

How to use & share your Memoji on social media

Now the fun begins! You’ve built your own Memoji and you can start using it in messages.

Your Memojis are saved to your Animoji list, which means you choose, record, and send them exactly the same way you would an Animoji. You can even share these with Android-users; it’ll just send as a video file instead of a Memoji.

Another fun fact is that you can create several Memoji and have them all saved at once, so you’re not just limited to one style for yourself.

Here are just a few examples of how you can share you Memoji:

  • Record 30-second video clips of your Memoji talking or singing and send it in a conversation (similar to Animoji).
  • Replace your head with a Memoji head for a photo or video with the new Messages camera feature.
  • Send your Memoji as stickers if you want to send a photo reaction but not a full video.

Now, go get creative!

How to delete a Memoji

To delete a Memoji on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open Messages and tap on one of your conversations
  2. Tap on the Animoji button at the bottom of the screen
  3. Select your Memoji
  4. Tap the three dots (…) button in the left corner
  5. Tap “Remove” to delete your Memoji

Want more tips to help you get the most out of iOS 12? Asurion’s tech experts can help you learn, grow and do more with your technology!

New features to look forward to with iOS 12

More devices than ever before will be impacted by Apple’s newest update to its operating system. Why? Previously, not all iOS updates were compatible with older devices. However, this time around, that’s not the case — the update will significantly boost the performance of older devices. Users should notice a dramatic difference in speed and responsiveness.

Here’s the list of Apple devices that are compatible with the iOS 12 update:

  • iPhone: 5s, SE, 6/6 Plus, 7/7 Plus, 8/8 Plus and X
  • iPad: mini 2, mini 3, mini 4, Air, Air 2, 5th gen, 6th gen, and Pro
  • iPod touch: 6th gen

Asurion’s tech experts got their hands on iOS 12 and shared some of their favorite new features and improvements in the new update:

Brand new features in iOS 12

Screen TimeScreen Time: Monitor your phone usage, including what apps you use the most. There are several settings that will help you “unplug” from your device. For parents, Screen Time can be configured to work in Parental Controls.

 

Siri ShortcutsSiri Shortcuts: Teach Siri commands so you can interact more naturally with your AI assistant. The update allows Siri to perform several operations at once when given only one command.

 

Security Code AutofillSecurity Code Autofill: Detects when apps and websites send one-time verification codes via text and instantly adds them to appear as an AutoFill suggestion at the top of your keyboard.

 

iMessage Camera EffectsiMessage Camera Effects: Add stickers, text and filters to any photo you take during an iMessage conversation.

 

Measure AppMeasure App: Put down the measuring tape and pick up your phone. Using the new Measure app, you can use your iPhone to collect accurate measurements through AR just by using your device’s camera.

 

Memoji ImageMemoji: Customize your memoji to look like you or whoever you want. (Only available to iPhone X users)

 

Improvements to older features

  • Apple Books: Formerly iBooks, has a sleek new redesign. It’s more in line with Apple’s other iOS apps like Music and News.
  • Grouped Notifications: No more reverse-chronological order notifications, they’ll be grouped by application. Tap the group to expand it out to see all the other notifications from that specific app.
  • Shared Albums: Previously iCloud Photo Sharing, Photos will identify if you have photos it thinks you should share. If you do, it’ll asked which ones to add to the album.
  • Face ID: Lets users add more than one face to their device.

Despite Apple announcing Group FaceTime back in June (much to everyone’s excitement), it’s been delayed and will not be available when iOS 12 is released.

Want more tips to help you get the most out of iOS 12? Asurion’s tech experts can help you learn, grow and do more with your technology!