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

If you’re like us, your smartphone is your go-to for just about everything. Capturing memories, getting directions, keeping up with loved ones – the list goes on and on. It goes everywhere with us, and that includes our workouts. Whether you’re someone who prefers an at-home workout session or you’re a gym rat, there are countless apps out there to help you exercise more effectively.

Apps make it easier than ever to stay motivated and stick to your routine. When it comes to running, they can track your pace, distance, calories, running routes and more, all to help you reach your fitness goals.

Here’s 2019’s best running apps, available for both iOS and Android. The best part? They’re all much cheaper than hiring a personal trainer. In fact, these nine smartphone apps we’re about to mention are free.

Runkeeper
Great for: Beginners looking for basic run data in an easy-to-use platform

One of the first running apps on the scene, Runkeeper is a straightforward app that tracks your pace, distance, calories burned, time and more for multiple activities. It also keeps track of your progress over time to help keep you motivated, and offers training plans. Runkeeper offers seamless Apple Watch integration, as well as integration with other fitness trackers such as Garmin and Fitbit.

Strava
Great for: Those who like to run off the beaten path and thrive with a little friendly competition.

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 is Beacon, which allows you to share your location in real-time with a trusted person in your life in case of an emergency. Strava is compatible with Apple Watch and Wear OS.

Map My Run by Under Armor
Great for: Logging many different types of activities beyond just running

Map My Run 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, as well as track the mileage on your running shoes (you’ll be alerted when it’s time for a new pair). A cool function of this app is the ability to log over 600 different activity types — running, yoga, cycling, walking, etc. Map My Run syncs with many different wearables, from Fitbit to the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

Runtastic
Great for: Those who enjoy gamification to keep them motivated

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. A really cool feature of the app is its ability to turn your exercise into a game with what they call “Story Runs.” It also offers built-in training schedules and even syncs up with Spotify and Pandora for easy streaming of your favorite running playlist. Runtastic integrates with most popular wearable fitness trackers.

Endomondo
Great for: Going social with your workouts

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. It tracks distance, calories burned and your route on the map. Endomondo syncs with a more limited selection of wearables than some of the other apps on our list, but still offers several options.

Best Running AppsNike Run Club
Great for: Beginners and veterans who benefit from audio guidance and inspiration

You don’t have to have Nike products to enjoy the benefits of Nike Run Club. Set your running terrain (treadmill, trails, sidewalk) and the app tracks your pace, distance, calories burned and time. The things that set this app apart are its gamified challenges, as well as its Guided Runs, which offer inspirational coaching to keep you focused on your goal. NRC also has custom Apple Music playlists and audio encouragement from elite athletes, as well as the ability to play your “Power Song” with the touch of one button – that one song that gives you an extra boost right when you need it most. Syncs with Android WearOS supported devices, as well as Apple Watch.

Pumatrac
Great for: Getting customized insight into what exercise patterns work best for you

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 integrates with both Apple Health and Google Fit and syncs with most popular wearables.

Zombies, Run!
Great for: Those looking for a fun way to spice up their runs 

Run to escape the lifeless-monsters chasing you! This motivational app basically makes you a character on The Walking Dead, putting you into an immersive audio adventure where you’re racing to save your life. The more miles you log, the more supplies you win to help your village survive. Run too slow, and the zombies catch you! Unlock new episodes once a week or with a subscription.

Charity Miles
Great for: Helping others while taking care of yourself

Charity Miles is a basic running app that allows you to make a difference just by exercising. 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. Get the kids involved and see how much you can earn for the charity of their choice on your next family walk.

C25K
Great for: Novice runners looking to get in shape and build their running regimen

C25K gets you from your couch and to being 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.

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.