The Latest Tech Innovations for Your Golf Game

Technology has invaded all parts of our lives in the last 25 years—but let’s be honest. The golf gurus among us turned to technology early on.

Many duffers latch on to the search for holy grail technology as a way to improve their game. And why not? The changes in club technology in the past few years have led to dramatic improvements in average drive length. Putters, irons and drivers continue to evolve, but those are often personal choices that you want to feel to buy.

So we checked out some of the non-club tech innovations making the rounds at your local links:

Sure-Set: Build a killer backswing when you practice with the Sure-Set ($99.95), a compact training tool that helps your body learn the right way to swing. That’s the pitch, anyway!

Fitness bands: It’s a year old, but we think it’s worth reading this review in Forbes if you’re in the market for a fitness band that not only counts your steps but also helps you figure distance on the golf course. The review compares Golf Buddy’s BB5 (still available from some sellers for around $200) and the Microsoft Band in great detail and has already talked us into a purchase. Microsoft Band 2 ($249.99) is out now, and it works not only on the golf course, but in many other sports and activities as well.

Microsoft Band 2
Microsoft Band 2

The coolest part for golfers? It maps your shots for your later review.

GolfPad Tags: There are lots of bulky watches out there today offering sophisticated GPS tracking, shot tracking, and more, but these tiny tags give you lots of info without the bulk on your wrist. These small buttons screw onto the end of your clubs and link with your Android phone via near field communication (and soon with a separate GolfPad Link wireless tracker ($99), it will be compatible with your iPhone).

They map your shots and then begin to offer advance on the right club for your shots, and help you see patterns in club choice and shots. For even more advanced tracking, check out PIQ and Mobitee ($269)

Optishot: Finally, there are those days you just can’t get out there. It rains. You have to work late. Sooner or later, it will be winter again. Check out the Optishot 2 golf simulator ($750). It’s expensive, but think of all the extra practice you’ll get in! Hook up to your computer via USB and track your shots, and with a season pass ($99 and up), you can connect to other players online and “play” golf courses around the world.

How to Dry Out a Wet Phone

baby-drop-toilet-384x256It happens when you least expect it. You’re washing dishes after dinner; having a drink at the bar with your buddies; potty training your toddler. And then you hear it. The most awful sounding splash that confirms your worst fear, your phone is wet.

Liquid damage will zap your phone’s functionality before you even realize it happened, instantly erasing the pictures, contacts and data you have on your cell phone.

 

Your phone is wet. Now what?

After the initial panic of realizing that your lifeline is hanging out at the bottom of the sink/beer/toilet wears off, there are a few steps you can take to help recover your cell phone, and the priceless information on it, successfully.

1. Pick up your phone. Sounds obvious, but shock does weird things to our brains. 

2. If you have a protective case on your phone, take it off. Remove the battery and completely dry your phone off with a towel.

3. Place your phone in a warm, dry place and don’t touch it for 24 hours (if you can wait that long).

4. If your phone still won’t turn on, it’s time to call the professionals. Head over to Asurion.com to file a claim.

 

What NOT to do

  • Do not use a hair dryer or other heat source to dry out your phone. Doing so, even on the lowest setting, can melt the hardware inside your device.
  • Do not turn your phone on. I know it’s tempting- you want a sign your precious baby is still alive. But resist! Firing up your device while there’s still water inside can fry the hardware permanently, and you’ll never bounce back from that.

Giving Tech This Holiday? Give Them Tech Support, Too

Last year, Brian, the ultimate holiday shopper, bought his son an Autonomous Robot.  Thrilled, his son speedily unwrapped his present and asked his dad to help him set it up.  Brian soon realized: enthusiasm is no match for the know-how when it comes to tech toys.  Instantly, Brian remembered his access to Asurion premier support, a select group of tech experts on call for “the Brian’s” of the world.  In ten seconds, he was connected to a U.S.-based technician who walked him through set-up so he could keep his status as “cool dad” and get back to his holiday.

Available through your wireless carrier, Asurion premier support is great for those not as familiar with how to use and operate their new tech gifts during the holiday season.  In fact, Asurion expects their technicians to take 2.5 million calls or chats from Black Friday through the holiday season–answering questions like how to transfer data from an old phone to a new one, tips to extend battery life on a tablet, connecting a phone to smart appliances at home and even setting up an Autonomous Robot.

What more could someone want in a holiday gift than the gift of peace-of- mind and unlimited knowledge?  Here’s an example of how it all works:

gifting-tech

Asurion at the Premier Connected Home Conference

CONNECTIONS-2015 banner

Asurion is excited to be sponsoring Connections, a connected home conference hosted by international market research and consulting company, Parks Associates, this week in San Francisco. Throughout the week we’ll hear from several industry-leading keynote speakers including executives from Verizon, Comcast, Samsung, and Nest.

Asurion’s own Peter Blanks, Vice President of Technology, will participate in a panel discussion during the conference, focusing on how businesses are preparing to support consumers in homes that have increasingly inter-connected devices. The panel will also cover how businesses will tailor services to consumer preferences, deliver connected life experiences as services, and handle tasks such as configuration, installation, and management.

To learn more about the conference, visit the conference website or follow the event in social media at #ConnUS15.

The Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, which gives even the most procrastinating child 5 whole days to find the perfect gift. If that isn’t enough good news, we’ve done all the leg work to bring you the perfect gift options for every type of mom.

The Fitness Fanatic
The FitBit is one of the most popular fitness trackers around, and for good reason. It tracks your steps, floors climbed, sleep, calorie intake, water consumption and more reliably without over complicating the user interface. With just a few taps you can get all the information you need, and with several color variations, the stylish mom will love it too.

The Movie Loving Mom
The perfect gift for the mom who loves her shows is the Apple TV. With endless entertainment options, mom can pick from past or current movies, TV shows, Netflix, YouTube and more all from one device, and watch them at a time that works for her. As an added perk, this gift will benefit the whole family.

The Family Photographer
If your mom is the always the one behind the camera, capturing every memory in photos, the Samsung NX3000 would make a perfect gift. The mechanical makeup of this camera is fit for the pros; but it also includes little touches perfect for moms, like the Flip Up Display & Wink Shot feature that makes it even easier to take selfies with the kids.

The Music Loving Mom
Every music lover needs a pair of really good headphones, and mom is no exception. These LG Bluetooth headphones have retractable earbuds and up to 14 hours of battery life, making it the perfect gift for the busy mom on the go.

The Kitchen Wiz
If your mom is the best cook you know, some kitchen tools could be just what she wants. The Anova Culinary Precision Cooker/Immersion Circulator is a cooks dream. The immersion circulator controls water temperature for even cooking and you can operate it remotely via an app. Efficient cooks will love the push notifications sent right to their phone when the device is done preheating and when the liquid’s reached the desired temperature.

Make sure mom’s gift will last her for years to come and protect it with a protection plan from Asurion. Ask about it at your local retailer or visit Asurion.com.

Top 10 Running Apps for iOS and Android

Gearing up for a run these days includes much more than just throwing on your running shoes and heading out the door. Our essential gear now includes a slew of gadgets, dry-fit fabrics and most importantly, apps. Hitting the trails without our smartphone is almost unthinkable—what about our carefully curated running playlist, fitness-tracking apps or GPS?

Having the best running apps can make your workouts more productive and analyzing even the most basic performance data post-workout can help you reach your fitness goals fast. Here are 2015’s best running apps to enhance your workout, and all are available for both iOS and Android.

1. Runkeeper 
One of the first running apps on the scene, Runkeeper is a straight-forward easy to use app that tracks your pace, distance, calories burned, time and more. Look back on past runs to track your progress and use set route within the app to discover new routes near you. This app is great for beginners looking for basic run data.

Runkeeper

2. Map My Run 
This app offers all the basic functionality of a running app: pace, distance, calories burned and time, with the added benefit of linking to fitness trackers and heart rate monitors. You can also input more robust data like food consumption and track the distance logged on your running shoes. The app will alert you when it’s time for a new pair. A cool function of this app is the ability to specify the type of run—are you on a treadmill, on the trails, in your neighborhood or walking the dog, which can be helpful when analyzing your performance.

MapMyRun

3. Runtastic 
Another popular app, Runtastic is your basic running app that links to Google Earth for easy route-mapping, especially if you’re in a new city. The analytics in this app are great with graphs and charts depicting your progress and easy social sharing. It comes with built-in training schedules and even syncs up with Spotify and Pandora for easy music streaming. This app is great for travelers constantly running in new cities and those looking for more robust reporting of your run data.

Runtastic

4. Pumatrac 
Pumatrac offers a sleek interface with all the perks of a basic running app, but with several bonus features to give a holistic view of your workouts. The app pulls in additional information that may impact your run like weather, time of day or day of the month and synthesizes to determine personal insights. For example, you may find you run best on Friday mornings before 10, or that you run faster when listening to rock music.

Pumatrac

5. Nike+ Running 
You don’t have to have Nike products to enjoy the benefits of this app. Set your running terrain (treadmill, trails, sidewalk) and the app tracks your pace, distance, calories burned and time. The thing that set this app apart are the gamified options to share your personal goals, challenge friends and beat your personal record. You can also upload a “Power Song” to play when you need an extra boost on your run.

NikeRunning

6. Strava Running and Cycling 
If you split your fitness routine between running and cycling, the Strava app is a great choice. The unique dashboards track more detailed aspects of your workout like elevation gained plus more traditional metrics like pace, distance and time. Another unique feature are the leaderboards, achievement badges and challenges to push you to reach your goals. This app is great for those who like to run off the beaten path and thrive with a little friendly competition.

Strava

7. Couch- to- 5K 
Perfect for the novice runner looking to get in shape and build up their running regimen, this app gets you off your couch and able to run a 5K in just 9 short weeks. It provides built-in training schedules with 20 – 30 min routes three times a week until your race. The built in pacing tells you when to walk, when to run, and coaches you through your route while gradually building stamina and strength. Chose 1 of 4 virtual coaches to keep you motivated.

Couch to 5k

8. Endomondo 
Arguably the most social fitness app on the market, Endomondo lets users easily share pictures and video from their run and tout progress on their social media pages. You can also connect with other friends to congratulate them on a goal they met or challenge them to an even longer run. You can also give them a shout out mid-workout to cheer them on and swap running selfies. This app makes is easy to connect with a tight knit running community.

Endomondo

9. Zombies, Run! 
This app is in its third season and continues to grow in popularity. For $3.99 you become part of a zombie apocalypse and have to run to escape the lifeless-monsters chasing you. The more miles you log, the more supplies you win to help your village survive. Run too slow, and the zombies catch you! This is a fun app for those looking for an exciting way to spice up their runs.

Zombies Run!

10. Charity Miles 
This basic running app lets you help others while taking care of yourself. Before you start your run, choose the charity you want to donate to that day. There are multiple charities to choose from like the Wounded Warrior Project, Stand Up to Cancer, the ASPCA and more. For each mile you run, walk or bike brands like Timex and others will donate to the cause of your choice. The more you run, the more they donate. Typical donations are $0.10 per mile biked and $0.25 per mile run or walked. Get the kids involved and see how much you can earn for the charity of their choice on your next family walk.

Charity Miles

Download your favorite app and hit the road. But before you do, make sure your phone is protected. Nothing ruins a good workout like dropping your phone while taking a running selfie and busting the screen. Visit Asurion.com or check with your wireless provider for more information on comprehensive protection plans.

Bike Buying Guide: How to Find the Best One

Spring is in the air and everyone is itching to finally get out of the house and enjoy some warm air and sunshine. Spring is also the perfect time of year to get a new bike. Whether you’re getting your daughter her very first bike or upgrading your own, there are a few things to consider before you bring your new set of wheels home.

Below we break down the must-knows for buying a bike for anyone – from tykes to grandparents.

Finding the Best Child’s Bike

The most important thing about buying a bike for your child is making you have the right size. Children’s bikes are measured by the diameter of the wheel, with sizes ranging from 12 to 24 inches. The appropriate size depends on the child’s age and height or leg length. For example, most 2-year-olds start on a 12-inch bike in order to accommodate their shorter legs.

To test proper fit, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children sit on the seat with their hands on the handlebars. They should be able to place the balls of both feet on the ground. Another way to test is to have your child straddle the center bar. They should be able to stand with both feet flat on the ground with about a 1-inch clearance between them and the bar.

Don’t forget the helmet! Teaching bike safety is important, especially at a young age, and helmets are a must have for those still trying to find their balance.

Finding a Bike for Adults

Sizing is important when trying out adult bikes too. eBicycles has a handy guide to choosing the correct-sized bike based on both your height and inseam. Each type of bicycle has different sizing guidelines, so first determine the type of bike you want.

Mountain Bikes

Designed for riding rough, off-road trails, mountain bikes have flat or upright handlebars and a very low gear range for pedaling up steep trails. Most mountain bikes have some type of shock absorbers or suspension. Mountain bikes with front suspension only are called hardtails; those with both front and rear suspension are called full-suspension bikes or duallies. Mountain bikes with no suspension are called rigid and will provide the least “cush” on your ride.

Cruisers

Cruisers offer both comfort and style and are built for long, leisurely bike rides. While these bikes won’t win races or power through rough terrain, they are perfect bicycles for family rides and have a nostalgic vibe. If you’re looking for something easy to maintain and that will give you a smooth ride around the neighborhood with your kids, a cruiser is a great option.

Road Bikes

Road bikes are designed to be ridden fast and on smooth, flat pavement. They have smooth, skinny tires and drop handlebars that are perfect for on-road racing. These bikes are usually lighter than other types of bicycles and are best when ridden on pavement. The lighter, streamlined frame doesn’t absorb much shock, making them uncomfortable and unstable on unpaved trails. Road bikes are perfect for those who cycle for exercise and plan on taking long rides on the road.

Before you decide which bike is best for you or your family members, consider the maintenance that could be involved. Depending on where you ride your bike and how often, a protection plan could be a smart way to protect against busted chains, flat tires and other damages. Ask your retailer about what options are available.

Planning a Wedding? There’s an app for that

Today’s modern couple knows there’s a ton of work that goes into planning their big day. From setting a date to sending invitations and finding the best vendors, there are a million details to keep straight. It can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right apps, your smartphone can make planning your wedding easy and fun.

We’ve picked a selection of apps to help with everything from getting fit to sharing your happy day with the world—and you can keep track of it all on the go straight from your phone.

Get Fit

Zombies, run! 3
The zombies are still on the loose in this third version of the popular app. Users get rewarded for every step they run or walk by earning supplies and tools that help save the human race from the impending zombie attack. If running from zombies doesn’t get you in shape, nothing will. ($3.99; iOS and Android)

CARROTFit
Sometimes we all need a little tough love to get us moving.. And that’s exactly what CARROTfit brings. The weight-tracking app uses some serious sass to keep you moving through its seven-minute workouts. It doesn’t hurt that moves have names like “territory marker” for a lunge and “dragon mating dance” for a push-up into a side plank. ($2.99; iOS)

Get Planning

WeddingWire Apps
Plan your wedding on-the-go with the WeddingWire family of apps. Everything them from staying organized and finding the right vendors to scouring wedding trends and sharing photos of your special day is included in this suit of apps perfect for busy brides-to-be. (Free; iOS and Android)

AppyCouple
Create your own personal wedding website and app with the easy to use AppyCouple software. Track RSVPs, share photos and chat with guests all within your customized app. (Starting at $35)

Get Married

Ustream
Include out of town loved ones that couldn’t make it to your nuptials with real time video streaming. The capabilities of this tool allow you to socialize and track all engagement during the live stream. You can even record your nuptials to watch them for years to come. (Platform starting at $99; Apps – Free; iOS and Android)

Vyclone

Want a more homegrown perspective on the traditional wedding video? Vyclone might be what you’re looking for. This app magically takes all the video from your wedding mixes it together into one perfect movie. You can easily remix the video from within the app to get the perfect recording of your most special day. (Free; iOS and Android)

Don’t let your “something new” be a replacement smartphone. Do yourself a favor and protect your device, the keeper of all your wedding plans, contacts, appointments, pictures and reminders. Check with your wireless carrier for more information, or visit Asurion.com.

Asurion Writes on Tech Trends and Connectivity in Nashville Business Journal

As the leader in technology protection, Asurion has tremendous insight into the industry. We can predict trends, identify customer pain points and create solutions that lead to a better customer experience.

Marketing Vice President Tim Stadthaus recently captured some of these insights in a guest post published in the Nashville Business Journal where he highlights 2015’s top tech trends and the importance of connectivity for consumers.

Tim highlights a few high growth areas within the industry like home automation, wearables and connected devices, and calls out some of the truly innovative products we’re seeing hit the market. With the development of these new technologies, the consumer’s need for protection and comprehensive support has never been greater, and Asurion is leading the way in providing the best products and services to meet these needs.

Click here to read Tim’s full article in the Nashville Business Journal.