Tag Archive: Convenience

iOS certainly contains a lot of great features but that also means that to get to some of these features, it requires quite a few menus and clicks.  With the so/so battery life of the iPhone, I like to disable features such as Wifi and Bluetooth when I know that I won’t need them for extended periods of time.  For those of you that want a quick way to do this, try adding a shortcut to your home screen.  In iOS 5, Safari gives you the ability to save a shortcut directly to your home screen.  This feature can be used for iOS settings as well.  I have been been doing this for my Bluetooth and Wifi settings for several weeks now.


Checkout this website for details on how to do this.  For me, I used the “old method” which is towards the bottom of the screen and does not require introducing a new profile to your phone.


Any other creative ideas around shortcuts?


Fitbit Ultra

Get moving…
$95 – $100 per unit; Buy on AMAZON


The Fitbit Ultra is a great concept for providing motivation to get off the couch.  This very small device measures the number of steps you take and stairs you climb in a given day.  From that information, it estimates the number of calories burned and transmits this information wirelessly to the Fitbit website when you are near the included transmitter.  From the website you can review all of your statistics, even including sleep efficiency.  There is also a social aspect to the Fitbit that allows you to connect, share information or compete with friends.  Fitbit has integrated with other sites as well, such as, Lose It!, Myfitnesspal, Foursquare and Microsoft’s Health Vault.  These connections allow the sharing of information between sites and allows the usefulness of the Fitbit to be continually expanded.

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Norton DNS
Norton ConnectSafe (name changed Summer of 2012) 

A safer way to surf the web
Free for home and personal use


First, let’s define DNS.  DNS stands for Domain Name System.  Every object that connects to the Internet has an IP address, something that looks like  These numbers are hard to remember and can change from time to time so DNS was implemented to simplify this.  Instead of having to remember IP addresses, we just need to remember a website address or URL, something like www.google.com.  DNS is what does the translation from URL to IP address for your computer making the process transparent to you.  Norton DNS takes this an additional step and provides an assessment of the site you are requesting.  If the site is deemed malicious or inappropriate then a warning message is displayed.  If the site is safe, you are taken to the site right away.

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Xlink Bluetooth Gateway

Your home and cellular communications hub
$75 – $120 per unit; Buy on AMAZON


The Xlink Bluetooth Gateway is a device that merges your home or office phone with your mobile phone.  Using bluetooth technology, the device connects with up to three mobile phones and allows you to use them to receive and place calls from your home or office phone. No more having to hold your mobile phone to your ear for long periods of time.  With the Xlink you can now use the comfortable telephone handset from your home or office line, or better yet, you can use a headset.


I have been using an Xlink for over two years now in my office with a Blackberry Bold and an iPhone 4S and it is very convenient.  When I enter my office, my mobile phone automatically connects to the Xlink using Bluetooth and all calls are then routed to my office phone which includes a very nice headset, speakerphone and a wireless handset .  It even forwards caller ID information as well to my office phone.  I simply pick up my office phone when I hear it ring.  When placing a call, I have the option to use my office line or my mobile phone.  And if this were in a home setting, up to three mobile phones can be connected so it can accommodate multiple members of a family or is great if you are required to carry more than one mobile phone.  This also allows your mobile phone to stay connected to a charger while in use.

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