Bing Rewards – Free Stuff!

So let me tell you about something pretty damn cool – Bing Rewards.

I’ve been using Bing for years because Google doesn’t like to celebrate patriotic or religious holidays, and it -around sucks. Well, I noticed a little medal icon in the top of the homepage every time, and finally I decided to click on it. Apparently, for each search I was making, I was accumulating points…

But what were these points for, exactly? Free stuff, of course! Who knew my decision to use Bing would get me free rewards? They have gift cards for Amazon, Domino’s, Applebee’s, Gamestop, and more, but you can also use your points to donate money to charities like the Boys and Girls Club of America or the Kids in Need Foundation.

There are levels (Member, Silver, and Gold Status) and you can move up and get freebies for fewer points.

I just got my first reward today: a gift certificate to Domino’s!

All you need to do to join is log in with your Facebook account or Microsoft account. Accumulate points through your computer and mobile device by making searches, and get free stuff! It really can’t be much easier than that!

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iOS 7 Features and Tricks!

With the new iOS 7 coming out, there’s been quite a bit of buzz and lots of mixed reviews.  Even I wasn’t a big fan of the new update, but of course, it took a little getting-used-to to, well, get used to it.

Anyway, here are a few tips to getting used to the new update that makes things easier for you and will help save your battery life (the day of the update, my battery was at 73% in about twenty minutes…)!

The camera now has new options that cut out the middleman.
Not only can you have the camera take a picture in a square rather than a rectangle, iOS7 has added a number of photo filters for our hipster-photo needs!  The camera modes come in VIDEO, PHOTO, SQUARE, and PANO (for Panorama).

You can change Siri’s gender!
Finally, you can change Siri’s annoying voice without changing her accent or language! Just go to Settings > General > Siri, and change the gender!

The Command Center!
There is this nifty Command Center for the new iOS that saves a lot of time. All you have to do is swipe up from the bottom of the home screen. Once the menu is on the screen, you get a bunch of different options! The first row enables you to toggle options on and off: in order, it goes Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and Orientation Lock. Below that, you can change the brightness, and then there is a music menu. You can pause, play, or skip songs soooo much easier with this change. Finally, at the bottom of this Command Center, there are thumbnails for the (BRAND NEW, BUILT-IN) Flashlight, Clock/Alarm, Calculator, and Camera. This is probably my favorite new feature! You can also open this in the Lock Screen – just swipe up from the bottom, as well!

See the iOS’s version of “multitasking”
Multiple tablets and smartphones later, Apple has finally figured out that people want technology that multitasks. All you have to do is double-tap the Home button, and up pops a bunch of different thumbnails of your apps with your most recent coming first. It’s a nifty little feature, but I don’t think it compares to the multitasking capabilities of other smartphones.

How to close programs!
At first, when I couldn’t figure out how to close apps, I was really upset because my phone was rapidly dying and I didn’t know how to fix it. Then I realized that all you need to do is double-tap the Home button to show the iOS’s multitasker, and swipe the thumbnails up to close them! Very simple, fun way to close apps! Make sure you do this several times a day so that your poor phone isn’t dying every second.

New and improved app folders!
I don’t really care much for folders, but now I like them a lot more because they don’t have a maximum capacity anymore! Now you can have one folder with as many pages in it as you like! LOVE THIS! There are little dots at the bottom of the folder that allow you to see what page you’re on.

There’s a “New” Dot for Newly Downloaded or Updated Apps
I guess Apple figured it would be a good idea to notify us when we have an app that we haven’t opened since downloading or updating it. Now there is a small blue dot next to the app that allows us to see that.

FINALLY: A Block Feature!
I can’t believe how THRILLED I am about this (I probably would have liked it a lot more a long time ago, but still!). Now, if you want to block a contact or number, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IT CLICK “BLOCK!” Instead of logging onto your service provider, trying to remember your case-sensitive password, etc. etc., you just select the contact or the phone number, click “i” for info, scroll down, and click “Block.” Viola! You’ve just saved time and a lot of hassle!

The Safari Browser is new and improved!
Safari isn’t just a 2D swipe-fest anymore! Now, they look like 3D stacked folders that you can sift through. You can also have as many open as you want instead of only having just eight. There is a little “X” in the corner of each browser, but there is another way you can close them that requires less precision and a little more fun! All you have to do is swipe the browser you want to close to the left, and it’s gone!

Safari Private Searches
Along with the new changes to Safari, there is a “Private Search” option. When prompted, it will ask if you want to close the remaining open pages.

Nifty Search bar!
And I have to say, I like it a lot more! All you need to do it swipe down from the home screen, and the Search Bar will appear! Nifty, eh?

New “Collection” option in photos
There’s a nifty little option you can choose in your photo album that separates photos into sections. It’s nifty if you want to see your pictures in smaller chunks.

TIME STAMPS!
If you’re like me, the fact that the iPhone didn’t do time stamps very well, then you’re probably excited about this update FINALLY implementing a way to see time stamps! All you need to do is swipe a message to the left and you’ll see stamps for every message on screen. Amazing!

Music player in your lock screen!
Whoa. If this isn’t one of the best things Apple’s ever done, I don’t know what is (especially since it’s waaaaay overdue).

Got any more tips you think I should add?  Let me know! (: