Category Archives: Misc.

Stuck on the BBM Wait List? Just Ask a Friend For Help

welcome to bbm

The demand for BBM for iPhone and Android has been insane. Since it’s release on Monday the app has been download over 10 million times and has quickly shot up to the number two spot in the iTunes App Store. Of course all this demand hasn’t been all good news, it’s forced BlackBerry to use a wait list after too many sign ups on a beta version of the Android app delayed the release a few weeks ago. And while the long wait is tough for those looking to get back into BBM, there have been some tips that tried to help you get past the wait. CNET found one where you have to open and then force close the app but we found one that we think is simpler. Just ask a friend who already got into the app to for the email address they used to sign up.

bbm app wait list screen

Here’s where you enter your friend’s email address

When you first open up the BBM app you’re asked to enter in the email address that you used to pre-register on BBM.com or to sign up. Instead of entering your own email address here just enter in the email address of your friend who already got in. The email address needs to be the one they used in the BBM app to sign up and the one that got sent the email telling them they could sign up. That’s it. From there you’ll see the “Congratulations!” screen to let you get started with BBM. Tap “next” on that screen and you can create your BlackBerry ID using your own email address, get your PIN and return to the world of BBM. No more waiting.

And don’t worry, this does nothing to affect your friend’s email or their BBM. This just gets you into the app and from there you can create your own BlackBerry ID with your own email address. We’ve tested this a few times using BBM for iOS on an iPad and iPhone 5S using multiple email addresses and each time it worked perfectly.

bbm app screen after wait list

And you’re in!

Now as for finding those friends who already got in, odds are you’ve probably already seen them post their new PINs on Facebook, so just message them and see if they can help you out.

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Poll: What Phone Do You Want As Your Next Phone?

 

what phone do you want 2011

So there’s this survey (by an investment bank named Piper Jaffray– who’s been known to make some, well, interesting Apple-related comments from time to time) making its way around the internet today saying that 17% of US teens own iPhones and 37% who don’t currently own one want the iPhone to be their next phone and planned to by one within the next 6 months.  The survey, which was of 4,500 teens across the country, is pretty interesting to say the least and got us thinking: what phone do you want as your next phone?

As a teen who currently uses an iPhone pretty much every waking second I’m planning to stick with it and am more inclined to go with an iPhone again when its time for me to upgrade. That said, we decided to look into this survey on our own and in our very unscientific (read: random and completely not planned) poll of our friends and classmates we found that while many are interested in the iPhone, a lot would rather go with a BlackBerry right now in large part because of its awesome keyboard and BBM (though many also were considering ditching their BlackBerrys for an iPhone because of the tons of apps available on iPhone and the much, much better internet browser). Most of our friends over the past couple of months in fact have gone to BlackBerrys as their new phones over the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 when they were up for an upgrade (Android also got a few mentions in our “survey,” but most were already narrowed down to iPhone or BlackBerry. Again though, this was just the group we asked).

So we wanna know readers and fellow teens, if/when you’re looking for a new phone– regardless of what carrier you’re on– what are you gonna get: Android, iPhone, Windows Phone 7, HP webOS, BlackBerry or another non-smartphone (aka “feature phone” or phones that don’t run any of the above OSes)? Take our poll or let us know in the comments.

Via All Things D

Webb School in Tennessee To Make iPads Mandatory, Makes All of Us Hate Our Own Schools

ipad iwork

If you are a student at the Webb School in Tennessee, I envy you. You who starting in August HAS to have an iPad in class, whether you’re in 4th grade or 12th grade. An iPad the school is letting you KEEP, as in take it home at night, put your own apps on, use it in the summer keep. Seriously, why can’t all schools do this?!?!

Now ever since the iPad first was announced last year, I always thought it had great potential for students, and after using one myself in school last year I thought it was the perfect school computer for students. But this is just incredible. For a school to see the potential in a tablet to make it available to all students and teachers? Wow.

Now for those of you wondering about why the Webb School would do this, these are their stated goals for the program:

  • To provide teachers new and enhanced ways to engage students
  • To open the classroom up beyond the physical constraints of the building via a web-enabled device
  • To replace bulky, expensive textbooks, readers, books, and other written material with a mobile digital platform
  • To provide all students with a mobile computing device that meets most of their day-to-day academic needs
  • To provide a set of tools to our students that will encourage them to interact with instruction materials in new and better ways and collaborate with each other and teachers

Basically, they are looking to taking the learning we’ve all been doing and finally utilizing all the tech around us to make it more meaningful. Sure there are concerns on if students will really be using the iPad in class for productive uses like notes, research etc. and not just playing Angry Birds or going on Facebook, but I personally think this will be a great success. I mean what are the top reasons any of us get bored in class? We find the stuff we’re learning to be either irrelevant or being presented from a textbook written what seems like 100 years ago (and in some cases both). This idea looks to fix both of those problems by showing students the real practical uses of what we’re learning and in ways that are what we’d expect in 2011. (And let’s be honest, the kids that are gonna wanna tune out will do so whether they have an iPad, laptop, textbook or pen and paper in front of them).

So please students at the Webb School, make this a model for all our schools to embrace technology and see its benefits so that we can all one day share in your school’s awesomeness.

What do you think about all of this? Do you think this will work or will it be an epic failure? Do you want more tech in the classroom, will you learn better if you had an iPad in class? What do your high schools think of technology, do they allow you to use an iPad or laptop right now in class (mine doesn’t– don’t ask…)?

You can learn more about the Webb School’s program here.


Hulu Out Now for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad; PS3 and Xbox 360 Support Coming Soon

The day has finally come– Hulu is finally here for the iOS devices, meaning all of us with an iPod touch, iPhone and/or iPad can finally watch Hulu on our iDevice! This is HUGE no question about it.

So what is this new Hulu that is finally spreading off the traditional computer? Called Hulu Plus, it is pretty much a mini Hulu in the regard that it won’t offer all that the traditional online Hulu.com offers. Though don’t under-estimate this, it’s still awesome; offering every episode of this season’s shows from FOX, ABC and NBC (along with their respective sub-channels like USA, FX and ABC Family), as well as seasons from some older TV shows no longer on the air (and even older seasons for some shows still currently on the air)  for $10 a month. Oh, and you can watch on WiFi AND 3G.

Now I know what your thinking “$10 for Hulu? Is this some kind of joke?” Sadly, no, it’s what’s happening and it stinks that their charging now for this, but what can you do (there is by the way a very small group of free episodes and clips and the app itself is also free); and considering all the content that it offers, it isn’t really such a terrible deal (particularly for those who watch a ton of TV or don’t want to spend the $30 a month for cable and want to still want to watch their shows anywhere).

Hulu Plus is also coming soon to a whole bunch of other devices, including: PS3 (next month), Xbox 360 (sometime early next year for Xbox Live Gold members), and a whole bunch of Samsung, Sony and Vizio TV’s as well as internet connected Blu-Ray players later this year.

For now though, check out all the info on Hulu Plus at Hulu’s site here, and head to the App Store and download Hulu Plus for yourself today. Oh, and do let us know what you think about all this– are you gonna pay $10 a month for this?– in the comments.

3D Coming to a Television Near You?

Have you seen James Cameron’s Avatar? If you were impressed by the usage of 3D by Cameron to immerse you in the world of Pandora, then you will be amazed by sports and TV in 3D. One of the big themes last week at CES was 3DTV’s in the home and coming this June DirecTV will begin broadcasting a few channels in 3D and one of the big headlines here, is that sports will also be in 3D. Fox Sports and ESPN are already on board to begin showing some games in 3D this summer, though if sports ain’t your thing, don’t worry a number of other broadcasting companies will join them including:

  • TBS
  • NBC
  • MTV
  • and CBS

To go along with 3DTV there will be also be Blu-ray players that can play Blu-ray in 3D! The first Blu-ray player that can play 3D was announced from Sony last and is called the BDP-S770 (this is in addition to Sony updating the PS3 to 3D)

And finally, to go along with 3DTV a bunch of new TVs have been announced that can handle 3D. One in particular is the Sony Barvia LX900 which will come in sizes ranging from 40 – 60 inches, and will be able to broadcast 3D in full 1080P HD.

Now, you’re probably thinking, out of all the 3D movies I have seen, I’ve always had to wear glasses, do I have to wear them in my own house? The answer is for now, yes. There are glasses that will come along with the TVs that will allow you to see the television broadcast in 3D, though there are a lot of companies working on 3D without the annoying glass.

When Gadgets and Social Networks Collide– Meet gdgt

gdgt red logo

We got something here today we think a lot of you will love. It’s a brand new site by Ryan Block and Peter Rojas (the guys who made the big tech blogs Engadget and Gizmodo– they also are our mentors here and have helped get us off the ground, just a little side note) called gdgt (pronounced either g-d-g-t, like saying each letter, or just “gadget”). As we said in the title, it’s a site that mixes both gadget news and social networking. It’s really cool, kinda like a  Facebook/Twitter for gadgets.

It also really let’s you focus on the gadgets you own, and in your profile, you actually can make a list of the gadgets you want, have, or had– and clicking on one of the gadgets in your list takes you to that gadgets page, where theres a whole bunch of information like a basic overview, tips, tricks and hacks for said gadget (do at your own risk!), and even reviews. Speaking of reviews, you also can post your own reviews on the gadgets (though you can’t just write “this iPod is awesome!”, the reviews need to be at least 200 words), and you can also edit information on gadgets on the site if you find them inaccurate, and you can even add another gadget to the site if you find the one your looking for missing (kinda adding a Wikipedia like element to the site).

There are also a lot of discussions on the site, so if your having trouble with something, there may be a good bet you’ll find  an answer to it there– and if you know the answer to someones problem, you can add in a comment to help them out. Those are just a few of the new things at gdgt, you can see a whole video walk through of the site here.

It really is cool and you can check it out for yourselves here. Oh, and friend me!

Are YOU Ready for the Digital TV Transition?

dtv transition

Today is June 12th, which means if you don’t have cable or satellite TV, or a digital converter box, then you probably aren’t getting TV anymore.

Why? Well if you haven’t seen the news recently (or any of the many ads about it both on TV and online), the TV signals will be switching to digital tomorrow from analog, as per a law passed by the government. The reason for the law? Its benefits will very soon be amazing. See, the analog TV previously used till now for the air stations like CBS, NBC, FOX, etc. (stations you can get with an antenna for instance, which are free “over the air”), use something called the 700 MHz spectrum. Basically, the government wanted to clear up this spectrum for a number of reasons, but the most relevant one to you is: Verizon and AT&T will use this for their 4G networks. Not only does this rake in a whole lot of cash –over $1 BILLION! — for the government, but it will allow for plenty of air for Verizon and AT&T to begin their intended rollouts of  their 4G networks later this year and early next year, respectively. Both of their upcoming 4G networks should be INSANELY FAST but we’ll cover 4G networks later in another post.

So what can you do now to adapt to this new transition to digital? For one, you can always use this as an excuse to jump to cable or satellite, and get yourself a boatload of extra channels as I’m sure your well aware of (yeah, we thought you’d want that as your first choice). You can also order a $40 coupon the government is giving out to purchase a converter box to attach to your antenna and TV, which will essentially give you all your current, standard, “over the air” channels in a much better digital, near HD picture. You can read about the transition and order the coupon here, which will arrive in a couple days (I ordered mine about a week ago and got it Wednesday). You can then buy the converter box at a bunch of places, including Best Buy, CVS and Radio Shack among many.

So there you got it. Now go out there and get your converter box, and let us what you think of this new “digital TV revolution”: you getting better picture and sound, exicted for the future 4G networks coming because of this transition?

The Amazon Kindle 2

amazon-kindle-2

The Amazon Kindle 2

Some of you may have heard of Amazon’s digital book (called an e-book, and yes people do read books 🙂 ). Believe it or not- and we know a lot of you probably won’t believe it 😉 , the first Kindle was really popular, and they were constantly sold out on Amazon’s site.

The original Kindle  let you read countless books on one small, thin device and let you download new books, magazines and newspapers straight to the Kindle using Sprint’s 3G network– all without charging you a monthly data price.

Now the Kindle, as we said, was really, really popular, and this past week Amazon announced the next generation version  of the device, cleverly named the Amazon Kindle 2. So what’s new in the Kindle 2 and why should you care? Well, read on to find out!

Read the rest of this entry

What's Your Super Bowl Pick?

super_bowl-xliii

We here at TeenTechBlog aren’t only bout technology. Believe it or not, we actually are into other things like sports (and quite passionately I may add 🙂 as I am writing this I’m getting ready to play in a charity basketball tournament. Go MTA Lions!).

So we wanna ask what’s your pick for the Super Bowl tomorrow- you think the Pittsburgh Steelers D and the awesomeness of Ben Roethlisberger will prevail over the “Cinderella story” of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals?

My personal pick? Steelers hold on and lay down the law on the Cards. Yeah, who doesn’t love the underdog (especially after last year’s AMAZING win by my hometown Giants 🙂 ), but I just gotta believe the Steelers D is too good, and they will be able to contain Fitzgerald and the rest of the Cards (much easier said then done 😉 ). Final score: 35-24 Steelers.

So… what’s your pick: do the Steelers dominate, and end the Cards amazing road to the Super Bowl, or do you think the Cards are gonna be like last year’s G-Men and pull off another amazing Super Bowl upset (and end the second longest drought in sports for a professional team without a championship– first are the Chicago Cubs– sorry Cubs fans 😉 ).Let us know your picks (and your reasons behind them) in the comments.

Pix from ESPN.com

What’s Your Super Bowl Pick?

super_bowl-xliii

We here at TeenTechBlog aren’t only bout technology. Believe it or not, we actually are into other things like sports (and quite passionately I may add 🙂 as I am writing this I’m getting ready to play in a charity basketball tournament. Go MTA Lions!).

So we wanna ask what’s your pick for the Super Bowl tomorrow- you think the Pittsburgh Steelers D and the awesomeness of Ben Roethlisberger will prevail over the “Cinderella story” of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals?

My personal pick? Steelers hold on and lay down the law on the Cards. Yeah, who doesn’t love the underdog (especially after last year’s AMAZING win by my hometown Giants 🙂 ), but I just gotta believe the Steelers D is too good, and they will be able to contain Fitzgerald and the rest of the Cards (much easier said then done 😉 ). Final score: 35-24 Steelers.

So… what’s your pick: do the Steelers dominate, and end the Cards amazing road to the Super Bowl, or do you think the Cards are gonna be like last year’s G-Men and pull off another amazing Super Bowl upset (and end the second longest drought in sports for a professional team without a championship– first are the Chicago Cubs– sorry Cubs fans 😉 ).Let us know your picks (and your reasons behind them) in the comments.

Pix from ESPN.com