Arm-ed with an iPhone

Armed with an IPhone

With the announcements of 2 new iPhones coming out in just days, the Fleck household has been abuzz in cell phone talk this weekend.

We then notice our blood start to boil as our current phones get slower and drain battery more and more. Someone’s got to be doing this on purpose, right? It all sort of feels like a marketing plan to get you to buy a new phone…

America is currently underway with a cell phone plan revolution of sorts. Major carriers are dropping prices dramatically and that means if you’re stuck in a contract, you could be paying double (or more) what you would by shopping around. Take a look at the major carriers and you’ll see that Verizon (our provider) is just about the only company who’s not budging on prices.

So we went to T-Mobile to shop around. In short order, we discovered we’d end up getting more data and no contracts, all for $100 less per month! (And we are on a 20% discount with Verizon, mind you.) I like Verizon, but are they really +$100/mo. great?

I think this trend will continue. I think we’ll see phone prices go down and down. Shop around if you haven’t in a while, you could be saving a ton.

The Decision?

Not that its set in stone, but Kristin and I will probably upgrade, and the next step is to figure out which size phone we want. 4.7″ seems big but still manageable. Is 5.5″ too big?

Apple put a lot of work into creating some great new fitness and health tracking into the new phones, and that is really cool. It would be awesome to have those things work seamlessly in a bundled app.

That’s also what is starting to concern me. The new phones are much bigger and more on par with Android sizes now.

As a runner, I feel like the current iPhone is a somewhat large thing to be working out with, anyway.

If the whole point is to use the phone while working out, am I really going to be strapping a 5.5″ behemoth on my arm like that for every run? Are there case alternatives that now make more sense?

When the super-sized Androids started coming out, I was shocked how big they were, and the people who wore them with an armband running just looked silly to me.

Is Apple going to make wearing phablets on your arm cool? Will we all get used to this?

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Hello, Apps! #3 Sounds like Good News!

Hello, Apps! #3                                                (This post contains affiliate links)

Go find that iTunes password, because it’s time for another round of Hello, Apps!

As always, we have featured apps broken into 3 categories. We focus on the iOS platform, and apps on this feature can range in price.

1. Escapism & Entertainment

Recommended by Ethan

Vevo Videos20140517-185017.jpg

screenshots from Vevo

Intended to be a Hulu for music videos, Vevo launched in 2009 and later partnered with Youtube, which is why you’ll see Vevo when you search on Youtube for music.

As a fan of all types of music during a trend for cord-cutting continues in the home, I am ecstatic that music videos shine once again on Vevo. Vevo has made great strides in offering new ways & features to view videos and stay updated on music trends, old and new.

Vevo TV, an-always on channel of blocks of videos, showcases different categories like new music, specific decades (like the ’80s), and lifetime most viewed. Vevo Lift features a new artist monthly with videos, interviews and special concerts. You can also find news, interviews, and Vevo Certified videos, surpassing 100 Million views.

If you are a music fan but miss the days of music videos, don’t worry, they are now on Vevo in high quality video and sound.

“I want my Vevo TV!”

2. Information & Utility

Recommended by Ethan

  Zite 3 Zite 2 Zite 1

screenshots from Zite

I like to call Zite a DJ for your news.

There are a few other choices available for this new space, but I find Zite to be the most simple and clean. It learns your interests and suggests articles that you would like. I find it an invaluable tool when catching up on the latest information.

I like Zite for its simplicity. It’s previous competitor, Flipboard, recently bought the company and has plans to eventually shut down Zite.

While I love Flipboard, too, I’m glad that I can still get the same Zite experience I got years ago when it was owned my CNN, at least for now. I’ll be sad to see it go, but for now I use it almost daily.

3. Social (People)

Recommended by Ethan & Kristin

Facebook 3Facebook 2Facebook 1

screenshots from Facebook

What can we say about Facebook that hasn’t already been said? Love it or hate it, it has cemented itself into our culture for the tech-savvy and not so tech-savvy, as well as young and old alike.

We recommend it mostly because it’s essential to understand what Facebook morphs into with each iteration. Understand that it’s Facebook’s goal for you to live within their walls as long as possible, too.

Before Facebook went public with an IPO, it struggled to figure out how to even make money before realizing its ad revenue potential, and that is why Facebook time for you means revenue for them.

We recommend you stay smart on Facebook. As with many things in life, Facebook is what you make of it. If you want a good experience, you must give a good experience. That means being careful what you surround yourself with while you are there.

It really is unlike any other tool when it comes to connecting with others, and that’s why we recommend it.

Got any other apps that you love? Leave them in the comments!

Hello, Apps #2

Welcome to the second installment of Hello, Apps!


This post contains affiliate links.

Today’s title is Speed & Beauty, and we’ve chosen a collection of Apps that represent those ideas perfectly.

We’ll still be following the format from Gary Vaynerchuck and we’ll be featuring 3 categories per post. Check the first installment of Hello, Apps! for more information.

As always, the apps range in price, yet we stand behind your satisfaction of every one of them 100%.

1. Escapism & Entertainment

Recommended by Ethan

When I first got an iPad, I never thought that a AAA game experience (like on Xbox or Playstation) could be had on such a small touchscreen device. I thought iOS was relegated to touch-based games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope.

Bastion was one of the first few games to shatter that mindset. Bastion is far and away an unreal experience from the very beginning. SuperGiantGames, the developers behind Bastion, leave no detail untouched in this masterpiece experience. It brings a wonderfully realized and polished world with an engaging story and a spectacular soundtrack.

20140418-205419.jpg20140418-205410.jpgscreenshots from Bastion

2. Information & Utility

Recommended by Ethan & Kristin

We both love tracking our workout activities, and Runkeeper offers us the versatility to track both Ethan’s extremely active running as well as Kristin’s changing needs.

Runkeeper allows you to track running, walking, biking, rowing and other activities, and you can even enter workouts manually. It also has a great social aspect that helps keep us motivated. They even offer coaching and extended analysis for a monthly or yearly fee. Come find Ethan here and Kristin here. Let’s be friends!

20140418-205346.jpg20140418-205354.jpg20140418-205402.jpgscreenshots from Runkeeper

3. Social (People)

Recommended by Kristin

Instagram has turned novice and pro photography into one of the largest online communities. You’ll see everything from beautiful landscapes to pictures of someone’s breakfast cereal, and you can explore other photos using hashtags. It’s a beautiful world out there. Be sure to check out Hello, Flecks!, Ethan, and Kristin on Instagram. Even Chase has one :)

Instagram20140418-205330.jpg20140418-212041.jpgscreenshots from Instagram

Do you enjoy these apps as much as we do? Let us know in the comments!

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Hello, Apps! #1 – First Loves

This post contains affiliate links.

That’s Gary Vaynerchuck, co-founder of VaynerMedia, the social media brand consulting agency. As we watched this, we thought about his words and couldn’t believe how spot-on this was. Also, read his latest book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Ethan loved it, here’s his Goodreads review.

As of this writing, 62% of the US mobile phone market consists of smartphones, up 4.5% since the previous quarter.

Apple ranked as the top OEM, with 40.6 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers.

Kristin and I are Apple users, and this is the brand we will focus on in these features.

 Hello, Apps!

We’ll be following Gary’s system for categorizing apps and featuring 3 per post.

The lists will run the gamut in price, but we guarantee that we’ve used all apps that we list here, and we love them enough to recommend them to you.

1. Escapism & Entertainment

Recommended by Ethan

I really dig 8Tracks, especially when running. It skews to a younger crowd, has really long user-generated playlists (some with mashups & mixes) and even the user photos are fun. It hardly ever steers me wrong with recommendations, and it does not have audio commercials.


 screenshots from 8Tracks


2. Information & Utility

Recommended by Ethan

I have a Profound love for Over. The simple premise of adding text and artwork to photos creates boundless possibilities. Check them out on Instagram for some of the amazing works of art being made by the community. If you haven’t noticed, I love creating artwork for the blog with this smile-inducing app.


 screenshots from Over


3. Social (People)

Recommended by Kristin

What started out as a kind of time suck has turned into an awesome resource for me. I love Pinterest because I can keep track of so many different projects at one time. I can spot and save a rug for a room remodel, plan my lunch for the week, and plan my summer wardrobe, all from my phone.


 screenshots from Pinterest

Have you used any of these apps yet? Let us know in the comments!

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