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HighTechDad’s 2016 Tech & Gadget Holiday Gift Guide

In Apple, Case, Cellular, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, iPhone, Mobile, Opinion, Review, Technology by Michael Sheehan0 Comments

I’m a procrastinator. I’m still doing my holiday shopping with just days left until Christmas. I avoided Black Friday & Cyber Monday as much as I could. And guess what, my 2016 Tech & Gadget Holiday Gift Guide is…well…right at the very end. But if you act quickly, you might still make those shipping deadlines. Or just print out a picture of the gadget and wrap that up. Or even better, give the gift of kindness! Regardless, if you are scratching your head about what to give that loved one, particularly when it comes to gadgets, here are a few things you may want to look at!

For this 2016 Tech & Gadget Holiday Gift Guide, I’m listing out consumer electronics that I have either tested, am in the process of testing, or know enough about it to mention. I have linked all reviews (note: some of these may be sponsored articles but for the most part, I have tested the items I have written about). I encourage you to read the full review. Or, if you need quick recommendations or have questions, just ask me on Twitter (@HighTechDad) or message me on Facebook and I will try my best to get back to you quickly!

HighTechDad 's 2016 Tech & Gadget Holiday Gift Guide

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True Wire-Cutting: Qi Enables Cordless Charging Solutions

In Android, Apple, Case, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Sponsored, Technology by Michael Sheehan

One of the biggest arguments I have with my kids is not about going to bed, or cleaning their rooms, or doing their homework. It’s actually about finding who had stolen my iPhone charger cords. I have this tangled mess of cords next to my bed to charge my iPhone and iPad. My wife hates the tangled mess as well. But it is my kids who really irk me. As I also have some portable batteries charging nearby, they have decided that it’s totally fine that they take my cables and plug in their phones to a portable battery. The problem is, at the end of the day, the cords are still missing and I have to yell at them to bring them back. I have even resorted to labeling my cables “Daddy’s cable – Do Not Take!” but that doesn’t really work either. But there actually is a solution to my cord madness. There is a wireless charging standard called Qi (pronounced “CHEE) that enables you to go cord-free when it comes to charging your devices.

Qi is the solution to many smartphone owners’ madness. Losing a charging cable means having a smartphone that is dead and of no use to you. And charging cables, whether they be Apple’s Lightning cable or the Micro-USB cables that Android phones rely on, are not built to last. I can’t tell you how many times I have simply had to throw out a cable because it simply stopped working. And if you drive, that means you have to bring a cable with you or have one always connected in the car. And keeping track of working cables is a nightmare. Cables seem to disappear much the same way socks lose their pairs in the laundry. UGH!

HighTechDad Qi Wireless Charging - Aircharge case

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The Best Gift You Can Give Is…Kindness!

In General, Opinion by Michael Sheehan2 Comments

This morning I witnessed something on my morning commute that really affected me…in a good way. It actually made me stop thinking about all of the things I had to do at work, the gifts I hadn’t yet bought, the gift guide I have told myself I have to write for my site (but am running out of time to do), the bills I have to pay, and all of the other items on my ever-growing to-do list that I may never get to cross off. Sound like you? Yeah, life is hectic, particularly around the holidays. But this event that I saw pretty much wiped away all of those anxiety-causing tasks. Here’s why.

As I stood in the crowded BART train (the rail train that connects the San Francisco Bay Area), a gal walked into the train, holding one of those large, covered, aluminum catering trays. She was young and nicely dressed and had a big purse over her shoulder as well. She quickly looked around the train as she got on and saw it was standing room only.

Kindness - passengers

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Pitaka Aramid iPhone 7 Case – Lightweight, Strong & Better than Carbon Fiber

In Apple, Case, Consumer Electronics, General, iPhone, Opinion, Review by Michael Sheehan0 Comments

I must admit, I really haven’t done an iPhone case review in a while. Normally I hold out until I uncover one that does something innovative or truly makes it worth having. I look at things like cases with batteries, solar-powered battery cases, waterproof cases or cases offering wireless charging (like Qi-enabled ones). And honestly, I was a bit reluctant to review the Pitaka Aramid iPhone 7 Plus case simply because it appeared to be “just another case.” It isn’t.

HTD Pitaka Aramid iPhone 7 Case - length

I tested the Pitaka Aramid case for a few weeks. And it passed most of my requirements for a good case, namely:Read More

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The iPhone 7 Plus Is All About Nuance

In Apple, Cellular, Consumer Electronics, General, iOS, iPhone, Mobile, Opinion, Review, Tech News, Technology by Michael Sheehan0 Comments

There are so many reviews about Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus out there, I’m not even going to attempt to write one. Others will and have covered every nook and cranny of it to incredible detail that I probably wouldn’t even do it justice. Instead, I’m going to write about my experience with the iPhone 7 Plus which I have had for just about two weeks now. Honestly for those people who view smartphones as merely utilitarian tools, this article is probably not for you. But if you have an ounce of appreciation for design and aesthetics, you may want to read on.

For the past couple of weeks, I struggled to come up with a word or phrase to describe the iPhone 7 Plus, but I finally came up with one: nuance. There are definitely some powerful chips and technology at work with Apple’s latest iPhone but for me, it became more about the experience. Having spent a year with the iPhone 6S Plus, honestly, the differences from initial view are not something to write headlines about. But there is actually so much more once you get into the experience.

Let’s stop for a second to talk about the word nuance. The definition in the handy Apple dictionary states:Read More

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My Evolution of Blogging, 12 “Pro Blogger” Tips & the #BeginningofME

In Content Strategy, General, How To, Opinion, Sponsored by Michael Sheehan1 Comment

Disclosure: This post was inspired and sponsored by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal domains that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote thought leadership to the tech world. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Just over a decade years ago in November, I started on a writing journey. It was 2005. My oldest daughter was six, my middle daughter was four and my youngest was about one and a half. As if I didn’t have enough to do in my life, I decided to have another baby. This wasn’t a baby in the traditional sense, it was my blog which has, over the years, grown up with my kids. When I first started, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, much the same way you can’t predict how your kids will turn out. And, just like having children, you can never prepare for everything. When you have kids, you will never have enough time, money, patience, sleep…you name it! In much the same way, a blog requires lots of nurturing, new clothes, training and more. But, with lots of care, love, and attention, you can be successful at being a parent of kids and a blog.

HighTechDad - Pro Blogger Tips - #BeginningofME

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Parents & Kids – Set Up Emergency Bypass on your iOS10 Device Now!

In Apple, Cellular, Family, General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mobile, Opinion, Parenting, Safety, Software by Michael Sheehan0 Comments

You need to get ahold of your child. You try calling and texting but there is no response. Panic sets in and you aren’t sure what to do. Are they ignoring you? Is their phone off? Are they in danger? Or is their iPhone simply in “Do Not Disturb” mode? If it is the latter, there is a great possibility that they are simply not hearing or feeling your calls or texts. While I highly recommend setting Do Not Disturb on for “sleep time,” it is easy to turn on whenever it’s needed. Luckily, with the latest version of Apple’s iOS (iOS 10.x), parents and children can set up “Emergency Bypass” on specific contacts like mom and dad, relatives, neighbors or friends. Heck, you may even want to put your boss into that list.

There have been quite a few articles recently about this new “hidden” feature – Emergency Bypass – but I felt that it warranted a little extra attention, particularly when it comes to families. For quite a while, you could set up a “Favorites” list within your contacts to allow you to quickly and easily get in touch with frequently-contacted people, and, there was and still is a setting for Do Not Disturb specifically. I recommend you take a look at that setting and see if you want your Favorites to be able to contact you even if you are in Do Not Disturb mode. Just go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and choose “Favorites.”

iOS 10 - Emergency Bypass - Do Not Disturb Setting

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