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Must Have Mobile Tech: AT&T Unite Pro

 *sponsored series

 

Must Have Mobile TechAs I checked into Treasure Island for CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2014, I was excited to have found a reasonably priced hotel in a central location. I was sharing my room with an east-coast blogger friend and looking forward to seeing her and other tech press friends. One benefit of Treasure Island is the optional “resort fee”, an extra added to the hotel bill which covers internet, health club use, morning newspaper and other amenities. This is great for those like me taking a business trip on a budget.

 

 

However, I was interested in paying for daily in-room Internet access. When they told me it was “20 dollars PER DAY” I was so excited to say “no thank-you” because I remembered I had my new AT&T Unite Pro mobile WiFi device with me. Considering that I would be staying at the hotel for 5 days, I saved $100 on the spot.

 

 

Working with NETGEAR (disclosure) to share information about the new AT&T Unite Pro was great because mobile WiFi is an important tool for my busy lifestyle.  The more time I spend with my own mobile WiFi, the more I realize how it frees me to work on the go no matter where I am. As a busy working parent who also travels, working on the go is essential to being productive each day.

 

My CES roommate was excited to share my mobile WiFi and not pay the daily $20 internet fee! In addition to the security benefit of using our own WiFi, it was great to know we had a reliable WiFi connection to complete our work at the hotel.  I was able to take the device with me to use on the go during the conference; this is a great benefit because I store most of my documents and media in the cloud.  With the AT&T Unite Pro BatteryBoost feature, I was also able to keep my smartphone charged, enabling me to keep my social media updates flowing to my fans without the dreaded “phone dead” syndrome some of my other tech press friends experienced.

 

 

The AT&T Unite Pro is an update from the AT&T Unite which I covered in my first blog post. Here are some of the key features of the AT&T Unite Pro:

 

AT&T Unite Pro

AT&T Unite Pro

 

 

  • Up to 16 hours of battery (all day!)
  • Internet access for up to 15 devices.
  • 2.4  inch Intuitive Touchscreen with keyboard.
  • Password protection and guest WiFi.
  • Advanced  LTE support. First mobile hotspot to offer Dual-Band WiFi which lets you maximize speed and reliability of your data connection.
  • Internationally compatible.
  • BatteryBoost: BatteryBoost lets you share the AT&T Unite Pro’s powerful battery to keep your smartphone going. Just plug-in the special boosting cable provided and connect your smartphone charging cord.

 

Having mobile WiFi also enables me to share connectivity with my kids so they can do homework on the go and reach their productivity goals each day.  In fact, when my teen brought the AT&T Unite Mobile WiFi to his study group, he realized that having a mobile WiFi that offered access to his friend’s devices saved the day by enabling everyone in the group to get their online research done. This also allows me to help one of my twin sons finish a class project while the other twin is at baseball practice. This reduces the logistical difficulty when my twins participate in different sports. Who knew that a mobile WiFi device would help support my twin’s transition into independent paths in life!

 

Pricing and availability:

The AT&T Unite Pro is $49.99 with a 2 year contract and AT&T offers other Unite models from $1 to $99.  There are several flexible and affordable monthly data plans as well.  Any of the Unite products can be added to an AT&T Mobile Share plan for only $20 a month.  Or if you want a stand alone plan, there is a $50 for 5GB monthly option available.  Visit www.att.com/data  for more information.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored series. I received products for review as part of the program. My words are my own.

 

Check out the full line of AT&T Unite mobile hotspots from NETGEAR, including Unite Pro, Unite and Unite prepaid, at www.att.com/unitepro or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube at WiFiFamily.

 

 

Tame Holiday Chaos With OneNote Cookbook

The day to day adventures of a family with three boys is best described as controlled chaos. Adding the November/December holidays to the mix results in wonderful family events wrapped in noise, toys and meals best described as “feeding time at the zoo”. Trying to tame the chaos, I try to plan ahead and organize whenever possible.

 

One of the biggest challenges is the various food requirements of family and friends. I am starting down the road of plant-based Vegan diet as are several other members of my family. My three sons are happy to eat plant-based foods as long as they can have meat and fish in the mix. They especially love vegan Indian food with creamy coconut and curry sauce.  Another family member has Type 1 Diabetes so he needs to have non-starchy foods, lots of veggies, plant-based drinks like Coconut milk and protein. Other family members and friends have different food related requirements, including some with serious allergies. Everyone has found their personal balance with their diet, so I wanted to find a process to support them in their efforts. My solution is to use OneNote http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/ to organize recipes to be used for different events. I found this blog post on the OneNote blog that explains how to create a OneNote Cookbook that includes a template to get started and ideas about using different tabs for different types of food:

 

 

 

Because I already use OneNote for digital note-taking and organization, creating a holiday cookbook was both easy and efficient. I created separate tabs in my Holiday Cookbook Notebook for each of the categories required for a flexible menu: Chicken, Fish, Beef, Vegetarian, Vegan/Plant Based, Gluten Free, Nut Allergy Friendly.

 

 

 

Within each category/notebook I add “pages” of different recipes and sub-categories including “Vegan Appetizers”. All the pages have live links to the recipes online so I can check back when needed and create shopping lists. The OneNote screen clipper tool makes capturing what I want to add to my cookbook easy, especially when I am clipping from an online recipe because it brings the URL with the picture so I can click through to the recipe online.

 

I always try to have vegan dishes available for the Vegans and Vegetarians. For those who need protein I also include dishes with lean meats cooked without dairy plus a creamy cheesy dish (or at least a cheese plate) for those who love cheese! Providing a big salad, vegetable and fruit plate with hummus and olives also helps a variety of diets. Nuts are served separately to help those with a nut allergy stay safe.

 

Best of all, my husband also has OneNote on his mobile phone so we can share shopping responsibilities. Our OneNote Notebooks are synced via my cloud storage on SkyDrive, where we also store holiday photos and albums to be shared with family and friends. I can even share my OneNote Holiday Cookbook via Skydrive with family if they want to add recipes.

 

Getting organized in these ways helps gain some control over my busy holiday schedule. How do you tame your holiday chaos and manage a holiday menu to support different nutritional needs.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored series. All of my words are my own.

 

For more Holiday tech tips check out the one stop shop #MadePossible on who other people are preparing for the holidays and to show how anything is possible with Microsoft Products.

 

 

 

Midnight Launch of Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 #spon

*Sponsored giveaway. See giveaway details and disclosures at the bottom of this post. UPDATE 10/22 Winner was chosen and notified.

 

Our family desktop computer and my work laptop are all running Windows 8. I appreciate the seamless integration between the devices, including single account sign-in and one common user interface. The next step is to add a Windows 8 tablet to the mix, aiding in productivity and mobility for the entire family. Want to win your own Surface 2? Meet me at the Microsoft Store in San Francisco for the midnight launch, tonight from 10 p.m. to midnight! The details are towards the bottom of the post.

 

 

*******In preparation for my participation in the upcoming Surface2 and Surface 2 product launch event, I was sent product information. Here are some of the features that I’m most looking forward to checking out at tonight’s Microsoft Surface 2 (10pm to) Midnight Launch event (where I will be able to take my first test drive!)  You’ll learn more about the cool things happening at the event below.

 

 

PRODUCTIVITY

 

  • The Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro are great not only for parents always on the move like myself, but also to help kids stay productive in between school projects and their many activities. The Surface 2 has a Tegra 4 chip with always on and the Surface 2 Pro has 1.6GHz Core i5 Haswell processor, which is especially important for parents who need fast devices to get things done during the few free moments in their busy day.
  • The machines come with multiple storage options. The Surface 2 comes with either 32 or 64 GB of memory and the Surface 2 Pro has up to 512GB flash. Both models include a hearty 200GB storage on SkyDrive, a full-size USB and a microSD card slot for adding as much storage as your heart desires.
  • Both the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro have out-of-the-box (pre-installed) productivity with touch optimized versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote, along with 1 year of unlimited4 free voice calling to landlines in over 60 countries and free Wi-Fi at Skype hotspots .
  • Beyond the convenience of a tablet, they also convert to a laptop form factor with a kickstand angle and  two cover options:

 

The  TOUCH Cover 2 is similar to the original Touch Cover – it acts as a both a keyboard and screen protector. It now features backlighting and is thinner and lighter than the previous model, measuring only 2.75mm. The magnetic cover easily snaps on and is pressure-responsive so you won’t accidentally type while it’s closed.

 

The TYPE Cover 2 , now also with backlighting, is similar to a regular keyboard where you get to feel the keys work. It has a QWERTY keyboard, a full row of Function keys (F1-F12), shortcut keys, media controls, and trackpad. It’s also more rigid, offering a better experience when you’re using the Surface 2 in your lap.

 

 

  • The Power Cover  (coming out soon) will also be new for the Surface 2. It will offer a similar experience as the Type Cover while extending the Surface 2’s battery life up to 70% and the Surface 2 Pro’s up to 50%. If you’re constantly in action, this one is a great choice!

 

BATTERY LIFE

 

  • The Surface 2 has up to a 10 hour battery life and is ultra thin and light (less than 1.5 pounds and just 8.9 mm thick.) Ten hours of battery life will get me through my day, even though the days of work and kid management can seem endless (but fun!)

 

DOCKING STATION:

 

  • If you’re looking to replace your laptop, try using the Surface 2 Pro in conjunction with the new Docking Station. It can literally transform your mobile experience to desktop, connecting to an external monitor while charging both the tablet and a cell phone. You can also run an external hard drive while making a Skype call on a USB headset.

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT:

 

  • Surface 2 offers a full entertainment experience including a widescreen Full 10.6″ 1080P ClearType HD touch display (Resolution: 1366 x768) providing a large view of your TV shows and movies. The audio has stereo speakers and microphone, as well as sensors (including Accelerometer, Gyroscope and Magnetometer) that will bring gaming to life with interactivity that my kids (and I) enjoy.
  • With the Surface Music Kit you can even mix your own music. My teen son has always wanted to DJ for either his friends or at school events. The music kit will allow him to mix his own music and share it using the Microsoft Surface. For more information, check out the #RemixProject website.

  

 

GIVEAWAY & LAUNCH EVENT DETAILS!

 

If you live near San Francisco, JOIN ME TONIGHT from 10 p.m. to Midnight for the launch of Microsoft Surface 2 & Surface Pro. You can win a gift card for a Surface 2 of your own! Here is the link to the event page: http://bit.ly/SFsurface.

 

 

Event details:

  • There will be a DJ, food and beverages and giveaways (hats, tees, gift cards, etc.) throughout the night
  • Microsoft Store will also be hosting a series of challenges for a chance to win a trip to the Orlando Store opening tomorrow morning, complete with a live performance and VIP meet-and-greet with Pitbull.
  • Three-time Super Bowl Champion Roger Craig will also be in attendance to meet and mingle with fans. He’ll be giving out autographed photos to the first 150 guests at the event!

 

Win your own Surface 2! In addition to the activations sponsored by the Store, you can also win a $550 gift card for a Surface 2 of your own from me! It’s easy to win, just answer the question: “How can you do more with Surface?” between 10 p.m. and midnight PT tonight!

 

Everything happens via social media, so you must do these two things in order for your entries to count:

 

 

I’ll be selecting the winner tomorrow and notify them via DM. Check out the complete rules here .

 

 

DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored post and giveaway. All of my words are my own.

 

 

 

 

RedRover Expands To Local Event Listing Streams

Red Rover appWhen I hear of apps and websites that make parents lives easier, I always love to share the details. I just received the press release for a new feature the site RedRover. RedRover offers a fun and social way to search for local activities.  The press release explained “RedRover users follow event listing streams from their favorite places or brands  — kind of like Twitter, but for time-based activities.  The mobile app and website then give the user the ability to sort by date, distance, age groups and categories. The result is a swift and pain-free decision-helper.” I look forward to checking it out and will share more details soon as it comes to San Francisco. RedRover’s Founder and CEO, Kathryn Tucker, shared information about Founding a startup as a single mom on Huffington Post Parents. RedRover currently covers New York City and will be expanding to other cities soon.

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE:

RedRover Introduces Brand New Service So Families Can Have More Fun

 

NEW YORK (March 8th, 2013) – Today RedRover launches a revolutionary new platform to make parents’ lives easier and more fun. Offering parents a new and truly innovative way to discover the things going on in their town that are just right for them, RedRover has broken new ground in social software by launching a unique and clever platform into a demographic long underserved by innovative software.

 

RedRover users follow event listing streams from their favorite places or brands  — kind of like Twitter, but for time-based activities.  The mobile app and website then give the user the ability to sort by date, distance, age groups and categories. The result is a swift and pain-free decision-helper.

 

“Parents lives are hard enough,” says Kathryn Tucker, RedRover’s Founder and CEO, and mother of two. “I wanted to build a service that eases the burden around trying to figure out what to do — there is too much information out there and no easy way to reduce it to just what’s right for me. My goal is to find the easiest way to connect parents with the kind of high quality, fun events they are looking for.”

 

Partners like The American Museum of Natural History, 92Y, and the New York Public Library were quick to sign on. Tucker reached out to more than 200 institutions nationwide and was met with a warm reception. “These non-profits, which have wonderful programming for kids, saw the point of RedRover immediately. The inefficiency of search for parents has kept traffic from their doors. It took no time for them to see the value of a service which consolidates all the available choices and suggests events to the people most likely to enjoy them.”

 

From the New Victory Theater and Central Park in NYC, to the Denver Zoo, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Bay Area Discovery Museum, The International Spy Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art, RedRover is filled with high quality kid-friendly things to do. Museums, libraries, sports teams, film festivals, farmer’s markets, and nature centers are all publishers on the platform.

 

RedRover partners have the opportunity to publish events in real time and color their event listings with descriptions, photos, directions, and even offers the ability to buy tickets. RedRover gives partners, venues and marketers, a brand new mobile way to reach their customers.

 

“The New York Public Library is proud to be a founding content provider of RedRover. RedRover will promote the diversity of programs available to parents and children, and the Library is excited to share the thousands of free family and educational programs offered by the Library throughout the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island,” said Johannes Neuer, NYPL’s Associate Director of Marketing.

 

RedRover is available on iPhone and iPad as well as on the web at https://redrover.co.

 

The new platform is launching first in New York City with plans to launch in Atlanta, San Francisco, and across the country in the coming weeks.

 

Top Tips For KidTech App’s To Pitch Parent Bloggers

On Nov. 7,  I was thrilled to speak at a KidTech Meetup organized and moderated by Chandini Ammineni , Co-Founder of Activity Hero, to discuss how Kid Tech startups can get in front of their target audience. Speakers included @iRewardChart, @sareosenblatt, and @mike_greenfield at @500Startups in Mountain View. I gave the perspective as a family tech blogger, contributor to tech websites and social media entrepreneur on how KidTech websites/app companies should reach out to parent bloggers.  While I could discuss this subject for hours, the tips below relate directly to the panel discussion and questions I received after.

 

1. IDENTIFY PARENT BLOGGERS: The first step is to identify the parent bloggers who cover your niche or whose audience is your target market. Read their blogs to make sure their writing style fits the type of coverage you desire with your target market. Understand that there are not only general parent bloggers covering parenting issues but also parent bloggers focusing on a niche such as travel, tech, fashion, education and many others. Sites such as CoolMomPicks and CoolMomTech.com have readers that come to the site specifically to shop. Some of the other sites I write for, such as Mashable Lifestyle and LaptopMag – also have an audience of parents that visits the site to get information to help make technology decisions (as well as sites such as CNET that will have reviews showcased at Target and many other tech review sites). There are a great group of tech moms that blog – which I will  cover in another post (and conferences such as the MamaBear and MommyTechCES).

 

Then there are also big parenting community websites such as BlogHerMoms (and BlogHer conference)  , Blogalicious (site and conference),  MomBlogMag, Blissfully Domestic (and conferences), Go MightyType A Parent (site and conference), Project You Mag, Mom it Forward (site and conference), 5 Minutes For Mom, 5 Minutes For Special Needs,   Mom 2.0 and even Dad 2.0!.  There are parenting sites that focus on niches such as Travelingmom for travel, ShutterSisters for photographers, MomPulse for Video,  Getting Gorgeous, Mom Trends and Working Closet for Fashion, MakerMom for STEM, Mamavation and Pure Natural Diva for healthy living, Mouthy Housewives for humor,  Blue Star Family for Military lifestyle, tons of food bloggers,  TeachMama that has an education focus and TheGoToMom for raising emotionally healthy kids.  There are also numerous other parenting sites such as Babble, BabyCenter, Circle of Moms , Cafe Mom and conferences.

 

I told the group that it is important to look not only look at the big sites, but also at the smaller parenting bloggers (such as Project Underblog)  with highly engaged and committed audiences. I will be creating a post by next week starting a list of local SF Bay Area bloggers (and other local bloggers). Audience engagement is a key attribute to consider when picking bloggers to pitch.

 

2. ANALYZE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS OF YOUR TARGET MARKET:  The next step is to decide on the social media platforms your target market uses and identify bloggers that have channels on those platforms. For example,  I explained to the panel audience that many early adopters and social media savvy parents I know are on Twitter, Google+ , Instagram, Pinterest and others. But many of my “in real life” school parents use Facebook, parenting community websites and email groups to get their information. All of the parents I know use search engines and blogs for information – sometimes as their first source when investigating a site or product. Parents also use category searches in the app stores and sites that offer app reviews. Videos are also a big source of information for many parents, especially because their kids use YouTube as their source of information. Lastly, niche sites such as Pinterest offer ways for parents to get a visual representation of information.

 

3. DECIDE ON IF IT IS A PRESS PITCH OR SERVICE PITCH:

I explained to the panel audience that a press pitch is one where you are providing information about your product to the parent blogger. While it is appropriate to ask them if they are interested in reviewing the app, product or website – there can be no request for what they will say or when they will post. A press pitch is simply providing your press release related information to the blogger – and if they feel it is relevant for their audience, they will cover it. You should never “pay” for press coverage, but in return there is no responsibility for the blogger to cover the product. But press coverage is very influential for parents when the blogger is giving their honest perspective on the product.

 

I created TechMamas.com and @TechMama on Twitter to have an authentic conversation about family technology apps, products and websites. When I post about a press release, it is because the topic is valuable to my readers. For a blog to be successful, above all else, they always need to consider what their readers want to see. At the same time, many parent bloggers are flooded with great information, so it is hard to share it all. Because of that, it is  important to refine your “pitch” before you send it (which I will discuss on point 4).

 

A service pitch is when you would like a service (that should be “paid”) such as having the blogger participate in a paid campaign, load ads on their website, host a Twitter party, giveaway, live event or early product test. For example, I am frequently hired to run Twitter Parties where we discuss a specific topic with other co-hosts “related” to the product (and use the product hashtag). Sponsoring a giveaway on a blog is also an effective outreach strategy.  Having a “list of top xyz bloggers” contest where you make people go out and get votes to be in the top list is not a good outreach strategy (and will not engage the influential bloggers). It is better to hire a blogger to help with the contest and develop “editors top picks”, then leave it open to also have people nominate other names to be added on the list. Overall, providing services is something that bloggers should be paid for. Bloggers need to disclose any “sponsored” relationships (and this disclosure per FTC should be part of any contractual agreements). I created a consulting “service” specifically to help companies beta test products in advance of general product availability because of my background reviewing  many products that launched with problems that could have been resolved in early beta testing.

 

Along with hiring bloggers for campaigns (or ads) on their websites, you can hire bloggers to create content (written, photo or video) on your website. It is valuable to hire a blogger to create content or assist with social media because they understand how to reach out to their audience and they already have an engaged community. There is nothing that brings life, social interaction and discussion to a company website like having a blog and social media channel “conversations”.  There are also agencies that have large networks of bloggers for social media campaigns (including BlogHer or Clever Girls Collective).  The key is that the paid blogger campaigns should not be just a “sales pitch” – no one wants to read a sales pitch. Blogger campaigns need to have “authentic” content including experiences that your target audience can relate to.

 

4. REFINE YOUR PITCH BEFORE YOU SEND AN EMAIL:

 

Parent bloggers receive many emails each day and are time constrained. Before you send an email, refine your pitch. Give the same consideration to emails sent to parent bloggers that you give to the elevator pitch used to raise investor funding. Start with an authentic greeting, don’t say “I have been reading your blog and love it” unless your really mean it. Also, it is important to use the name of the blogger on any correspondence instead of “Dear blogger”. I even received a pitch once that had just “Dear ” with no name!

 

After the greeting, you have the first paragraph to make the sale for why they should read on. Include the app, site or product name, URL (including links to apps stores if relevant) and a very concise statement of what it does. Then explain the key features, the value proposition and what is so compelling about your product/app/website that the blogger’s audience will be interested to read about it. After that – It is always nice to give some of the story behind the product, app or site – especially if you are a fellow parent that found inspiration for the product from your life as a parent. Include images they can use for posting and your contact information if they have  questions. Make sure to use a subject title in the email that will grab their attention.

 

Here is an example of a recent pitch email I received about a new website geared towards parents. This is not the only format to use (there are many). But what I liked about it is that it was short, to the point, had a clear explanation of what the site does, included their contact info, press release and high resolution image to use. Best of all – they created a blog post on their site with more information (and included the URL).

 

Great “press” pitch example:

Hi Beth,
(asked how I was doing, said they like how my blog is family +tech and then said that they appreciate that I stay up to date with the trends etc).  I thought you may be interested in our new site called (website name). (Then they includedexplanation of what the site doesand what makes it special etch). I’ve included some more info below, and there’s also a blog post here about the launch (link to post URL). (then they said they would love to share more information about it – and gave their contact info).

Next – they listed the press release and included high resolution images I could use to post.

 

 **No need to mention that they liked my blog, but the way they did it was authentic so it worked for me.

 

Bad Pitch Example -  At the same time, I got this pitch:

Dear fabulous blogger,
We know PR people sometimes drive you nut (they went on to ask me to take a survey etc for the “chance” of winning a gift basket)..

 

 

All I can say – is yes, sometimes PR people drives us nuts. But in the end, bloggers want to build real relationships with brands/businesses. So we appreciate the “good pitches”.

 

4. PITCHING TO BIG WEBSITES:
While I have a personal blog, TechMamas.com, where I share my “personal” perspective, I also have contributed to several sites, including CoolMomTech, Mashable and LaptopMag.  It is important to understand that the editors of the bigger websites decide what their contributors will  cover. It is important to go through the proper channels to pitch to the editor (or “info” email if relevant).  Posts on the big sites also go through an editing process which means that not everything the contributor puts into the post makes it to the final post. Like everyone else, the editors also need to cultivate material relevant to their readers. And for contributors to stay valuable to a website, they also need to put their “readers” first at all time and create content they want to read.

 

Do you have any tips or experiences to share about pitching to parent bloggers? If so, please comment below!

 

 

TechMamas.com is a website that curates the best of family technology and social media. Beth Blecherman’s new book “My Parent Plan” is up on Amazon with the ebook version out in mid November. Beth consults with start-ups and businesses to assist with beta testing family tech products, websites and apps.

 

 

 

TechMama News Tip: Google To Acquire Motorola Mobility

Breaking news this morning just popped up in my email: Google To Acquire Motorola Mobility. The Google blog posted this information in their press release:

Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. ….. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

I have not been posting as much lately on my Typepad blog because I am in the middle of creating a new WordPress blog that will be able to highlight breaking news (details coming out asap). But reading this juicy piece of techie news made it hard not to post right away… But what does this mean to consumers?

Motorola’s Droid smartphone and Xoom tablet hardware lines use the Google Android operating system. Motorola is known for high quality hardware (but other manufacturers also have high quality smartphone hardware). Google makes the operating system that basically tells the smartphone hardware what to do. Google will run the unit as a separate business, but as a “Google” company will Motorola have more direct access to Android resources? The Google “Nexus” smartphone had this direct access and reviews described the phone as having the best Android experience and automatic updates. Maybe this will mean that a new line of smartphones will be released that have better Android operating system integration?

I do imagine that the other smartphone hardware companies running Android will become concerned – and hope that the Android Operating System eco-system will remain as open to all developers.

Tech4Moms commented on Twitter that it is all about the patent, and this CNET post agreed: Google just bought itself patent protection. TechMeme is abuzzin with posts about the Google aquisition of Motorola. My favorite tech blogger Eliane Fiolet from Ubergizmo posted with a great deal name: “Moogle and the Future of Mobile“.

The fragmentation for Android devices make it harder for developers to code Android apps (i.e. different size handsets etc). Apple streamlined their iPhone hardware so developers have an easier time. Maybe this is a step to try to streamline the Android smartphone hardware as well?

Who knows? But I will be watching to see what new products come out of this acquisition. I wonder what my online community thinks of this news?

MOTOROLA PRESS RELEASE:

Continue reading

 

10 Great iPhone Apps for Moms & Dads

TechMamas.com guest post by Sarah Granger who is my go-to/power user iPhone App mom. 

Other than the obvious apps that come with the iPhone that save us in daily life like SMS, e-mail, Calendar, Maps, Weather, iPhoto, etc., here are ten great iPhone applications to download from the App Store that have good uses for moms (and dads).

1. ICE – In Case of Emergency – important app for emergency contact info including doctors, allergies, medications, etc. for you and your kids.

2. WebMD Mobile – Allows for quick lookup of symptoms and helps to determine when children need to go to the doctor or the emergency room.

3. LocalPicks – Great ideas for restaurants when your kids are about to have a meltdown – you can find out what’s close, fast.

4. Light – Turn your iPhone into a light in the dark when kids are scared or if you need to find something, like car keys.

5. Scribble Lite – A fun program for the preschool and Kinder set, they can paint and draw from your iPhone.

6. Bubbles – For the little ones, this is a great way to pass the time – you or they make bubbles and pop them.

7. Facebook – Stay in touch with mom friends or cyberstalk your kids and their friends; also good for comic relief when you need a break.

8. Pandora – Builds custom radio stations for you based on your preferences: drown out the kids or make them think you’re cool.

9. iChalky – Hours of silly fun, stretching a little faux chalk-like hangman type character (and don’t forget to try inserting your kids’ faces).

10. SitOrSquat – Last, but certainly not least, this helps locate nearby restrooms and identifies whether they are clean, safe, etc.

Sarah Granger, tech mom of one, has written for the Silicon Valley Moms Blog, Bay Area Parent, Playborhood, techPresident and Digital Landing.