Tuesday, June 13, 2017

iPhone VS. Android : A Google Fanboys Unbiased Opinion.

     I have been an undying Android fanboy since I first laid my hands on the ADP1 (AKA HTC Dream). I loved being able to root and modify my device. I could personalize it to  my liking. I never had any desire to move to the iPhone because I wasn't going to give up my physical keyboard. Not to mention, the iPhone was notoriously expensive.

     Since then I have had countless Android devices. I would estimate that I have had about 25 different Android devices, and I have had 2 Apple devices. I had the iPhone 4, and the iPhone 6S Plus (most recently). My experience with the 4 was not a pleasant one. The phone was much smaller than the Android counterparts, and lacked many of the features that I was accustomed to on my Android. I'm going to glaze over my iPhone 4 experience, and jump to the more relevant (at least today) iOS 10 experience.

     So lets get our hands dirty and discuss differences.

Build - There is no denying that the iPhone is probably one of the sexiest handsets available. Especially when we are talking about the earlier builds of Android devices. It wasn't until recently that Android manufacturers got the hint and moved away from plastic bodies and into the realm of aluminum and gorilla glass. Going to more glass, obviously means you are more likely to damage your phone. The older iPhones were notorious for shattering when dropped. The older ones were encased in glass. Carrying your phone naked was a great gamble. Now it is more of a toss up. While the iPhone is still arguably more aesthetically pleasing, Android's build quality and looks are getting better with time. The Nexus 6P and Pixel devices are very nice.

Price - Again, up until only recently, iPhones were notoriously expensive. With the release of Edge display technology and aluminum unibodies, the Android devices are now just as expensive as the iPhones. I mean, you had better be ready to drop close to $1000 for the new Pixel XL. Even I had to roll my eyes at that one, and I have no plans to pick up a Pixel any time soon.

Support and Updates - OK. Again, this category goes to Apple without hesitation. Androids have a terrible reputation of not only releasing OS builds in a timely manner, but we are at the mercy of individual carriers in order to get our new OS unless we bit the bullet and rooted our android devices. Even then, we are at the mercy of developers to port it over to our device. I had the Kyocera Echo when it came out, and I loved this phone. However, there were no plans to update it to the latest OS (even though it was more than capable) and since the phone never picked up any speed, there was no dev community behind it. Suffice it to say, I didn't have this handset for long at all. iPhones take the cake here, because you know not only when it will be released, but exactly what handsets will receive the update. Furthermore, we don't have to depend on our carriers. Apple releases the updates themselves. Not to mention, if you have a problem with your device, you can call Apple. With Android phones it's a crap shoot. Even if you have a Google Brand device, reaching google for hardware support without a nexus care plan is infuriating to put it mildly.

Software/UI - OK, this is where the waters get muddy. There is something to be said about the out of box user experience with Apple devices. The phones are so easy to use and understand (even though 3D touch took some adjustment). I can back up and restore with great ease, thanks to iTunes. However, if you are like me, you want to personalize your phone. If you don't care to do that, you can skip the rest of this section. If you want to jailbreak your iPhone, Apple will do everything but disown you. They claim that it voids your warranty, and lord forbid you need any support while jailbroken. It wont happen. Not to mention they actively try to thwart Jailbreaking with every new OS released. Not Cool Apple. Especially given the money we spent on the iPhone. Google, however, is another story. When you root your device, you open up a new world of possibilities. You can theme, run modded OSes, tweaked apps, and have full control over power settings and multiple other UI tweaks. In addition to that, you can even download custom kernals to dictate how your phone processes and even utilizes the battery. There is a wealth of knowledge and support for these ROMS on the Android platform. XDA-Developers is my one stop shop for modifying my phones.

Apps - OK, I know what you're thinking. I'll go ahead and say it. While Androids Play Store boasts a higher number of apps, their community standards are piss poor. There are so many apps that have NO PLACE in the play store that it can make you sick. If you are downloading from iTunes, you are much more likely to get a useful app, instead of a piece of trash. However, the play store has a more robust review system. Where Google shines is the availability of 3rd party apps. Now, with that being said, you shouldn't go download third party apps all willy nilly, because that's a good way to break your phone. As a general rule, I only download apps that have been approved by XDA. All the apps aren't a completely new build. Some 3rd party apps take a google app and strip it down or tweak it for performance purposes. The best example of this type of app is music and audio tweaking apps. They can really change your experience.

So, whats the verdict then? Well, it's not that easy. Most biased reviewers will tell you why one is better than the other. However, having had the iPhone 6S Plus now for about 6 months, I can honestly say that they really are both great devices in their own way. The fact that they are both smart phones is really where the similarities stop.

If you are on the fence and you are reading this review hoping I will tell you which phone is better, you are going to be disappointed. However, I will help you make that decision on your own

If you like stability, and you are a set it and forget it type of person. You want to make sure you always have the latest builds, and want to put out little to no effort to get it. If you want to get high quality apps that you can trust without having to research, and if you want to have a device that most of your friends have, then an iPhone is your best bet. One thing I didn't mention was Apple's ability to marry your iOS devices together. If you have a Mac, Apple TV, iPad, etc, it's a no brainer. Get an iPhone.

Now if you are like me, you will want an Android. If you want to make the device your own, like to tinker a lot, and enjoy researching, and tweaking, then Android is your device. I am never content with my device. I am always looking for the next best ROM, or trying to tweak my phone for performance or battery life. I enjoy themes and third party apps. If you look at my Android device at any given time, you will be hard pressed to figure out which OS I'm running, or even what apps I am using because they are so heavily themed and modified. With that being said, it' a trade off. I have to manually backup, update, restore, and manage my device. It's something I enjoy doing.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't going to miss my iPhone. It is a great device, and the wealth of accessories like cases, etc are nearly unending. Not to mention, I never had to worry about messing my phone up. I could just let iTunes back up and restore. I have had more than my fair share of scares on Android. There were many late nights spent trying to restore my phone from a "Soft Brick".

My advice is to stop slinging mud across the aisle. Don't try to convert users from one device to the next. Do share the experience, and if you keep an open mind, and try the other device, you might be surprised. They are both excellent devices.

With that being said, I have sold my iPhone and purchased a Nexus 6P. I look forward to rooting and theming my android.

With that being said, The iPhone is:










Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fitbit: Customer Service Review.

So, It's no secret that I am in love with my Charge HR. Sadly he died last night, probably because I never took him off, except to charge him, WHICH YOU SHOULD NEVER DO according to fitbit.

So, I prepared for the inevitability that I was about to have to buy a new one. I had no proof of purchase, and after all, I showered in it WHICH YOU SHOULD NEVER DO. The water isn't really the issue, it's more about allowing your skin to breathe.

In a last ditch effort, I decided to do a live chat with warranty support for fitbit. This is what happened.
Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:01:46 PM): Hi Ronnie, my name is Ariel. How can I help you?

Me (9/14/2016, 10:02:14 PM): Hello! I am having a problem with my fitbit unfortunately.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:02:54 PM): I'm sorry to hear you're having issue with your Charge HR.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:03:01 PM): I'll be happy to help you Ronnie.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:03:21 PM): Can you please provide me with with as many details of the issue you are experiencing as possible?

Me (9/14/2016, 10:04:03 PM): Firstly I noticed the rubber band separating from the watch face....that happened about 2 weeks ago.

Me (9/14/2016, 10:04:11 PM): Now it's just completely dead

Me (9/14/2016, 10:05:05 PM): Here is the thing I worry about. I bought the device at Walmart last fall, and i dont have proof of purchase, so i might just be out of luck

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:05:37 PM): Don't worry Ronnie, I'll do my best to help you.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:05:59 PM): To see what option I can give to you, can you please provide the email address associated with your Fitbit account?

Me (9/14/2016, 10:06:10 PM): (redacted)

Me (9/14/2016, 10:06:30 PM): I made that account on the day i bought my fitbit

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:06:40 PM): Thanks.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:06:58 PM): I'll just need to take a quick look at your account to see what I can find. Please allow me a moment.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:09:18 PM): Thank you for waiting Ronnie.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:09:40 PM): May I just know your country of residence?

Me (9/14/2016, 10:09:45 PM): US

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:10:43 PM): Since I have confirmed that your tracker is still in warranty, I'll be happy to get you back on track and provide you with a complimentary replacement.

Me (9/14/2016, 10:11:01 PM): wow, really? That's amazing

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:11:16 PM): I've checked your account and your tracker was paired February 27, 2016.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:11:20 PM): Yes Ronnie.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:11:32 PM): To start, please provide your full name, shipping address and phone number.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:11:39 PM): Lastly your tracker's color and size.

Me (9/14/2016, 10:12:21 PM): (redacted)

Me (9/14/2016, 10:12:29 PM): (redacted)

Me (9/14/2016, 10:12:48 PM): (redacted)

Me (9/14/2016, 10:13:00 PM): Large, Black Fitbit Charge HR

Me (9/14/2016, 10:13:20 PM): but you can send me blue if you want

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:13:27 PM): Sure!

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:13:35 PM): Let me just check if it's in stock.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:14:58 PM): I've checked our inventory and It's in stock. :)

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:15:05 PM): Please give me a moment to process your replacement.

Me (9/14/2016, 10:15:08 PM): SUCCESS

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:19:34 PM): I'm almost done.

Me (9/14/2016, 10:19:56 PM): It's fine. Take your time

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:21:25 PM): Thank you for patiently waiting.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:21:48 PM): I'm happy to tell you that your Charge HR (Blue) - Large replacement is now being processed and your confirmation number is (redacted).

Me (9/14/2016, 10:21:59 PM): Awesome!

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:22:03 PM): You’ll receive an email from Fitbit.com with a link to your order status. Your order should arrive within 5 to 7 business days from the date of shipment and please take note that business days excludes weekends.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:22:10 PM): When your replacement arrives, visit http://fitbit.link/1HTrH4i for instructions on replacing your defective tracker on your Fitbit account.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:22:18 PM): In the meantime, hang on to the charging cable and any other accessories that came with your original tracker, since replacement packages usually include the tracker only.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:22:26 PM): We suggest to recycle your defective unit through a local electronics recycling program after your replacement arrives.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:24:17 PM): Is there anything else that I can help you with?

Me (9/14/2016, 10:24:26 PM): no maam you have been great

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:24:38 PM): You're welcome and if you need help, please don't hesitate to get back to us.

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:24:44 PM): Have a great night Ronnie!

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:24:46 PM): Take care.

Me (9/14/2016, 10:24:54 PM): You too, Ariel. Good Night!

Ariel (9/14/2016, 10:24:55 PM): To end this chat please go ahead and click "end chat".

I mean...Wow, not only did they fedex it, but they let me choose a new color! That is customer service, and they have earned a repeat customer.

Way to go! Special Thanks to Ariel.



Friday, March 11, 2016

FitBit Charge HR Review: The friend that reminds you how lazy you are.

So I recently sold my moto 360 2nd gen in lieu of a Fitbit Charge HR after putting on about 20 lbs, and getting tired of the ATROCIOUS battery life on my Moto.

I wasn't too anxious to jump on the fitness tracker bandwagon to begin with, but I have to admit, Lesle and a couple of my friends have one, and have mentioned how cool they are, so I figured I'd give it a shot. They look nice enough, and the tout "up to 5 days of battery life" (more on that later). I wanted to see just how healthy (or unhealthy) I was living. Turns out...not so well.

The cool thing about the FitBit Charge HR (well more the fitbit interface) is that it will connect and sync with your MyFitnessPal app/account. So anything you log on either app or website will sync over to the other. I have found that the syncing is impressively accurate. Sometimes I log my water intake into FitBit, and sometimes I will put it in MFP, either way the other app syncs up and I can rest assured that the data will be accurate. The widget is super nice and minimalistic too.



Using My Fitness Pal has made it easier than ever to log your food. They added a barcode scanner, so It takes moments to log my breakfast, especially when I have just a kickstart and a power bar (my typical breakfast).

I love the heart rate monitor as well. It seems to be pretty accurate when measured against other HR Trackers. They say that the Charge is splash proof, but I have read online that a lot of people take showers, and a couple even swim with it. I would not recommend that. As much as I would like to be able to swim or shower with it, I just don't have the balls to do it.

With that being said, the other morning, I accidentally forgot to take it off during a shower. It seemed to fair well, but it's not something I would ever intentionally do.

There is a really great new feature of fit bit where if you long press the button, it will start a stopwatch. It's not just a stopwatch though. It logs it as "exercise" and pumps a little extra juice to the HR monitor to make it more accurate. If you have the app open during an exercise session, it will show you a real time HR along with calories burned, and steps along with bevy of other metrics about your workout.





Quite possibly my favorite feature is the sleep tracker. I never realized how crappy my sleep was until I got this thing. It shows me my total time slept, number of times I was restless/awake, total time of restlessness, and total time slept. It uses some time of weird voodoo to know when I'm asleep. I mean, I assume it's to do with movement, but I feel like when I'm watching a movie, I'm still, but IT KNOWS. Its kinda creepy in a good way.

Here are some of my terrible stats.




Now, About the battery life. 5 days is stretching it. If you turn off all day sync, and turn off notifications, I could see you maybe getting 5 days. However, who wants to get a real time fitness tracker and manually have to sync it. Realistically, plan on getting about 3 days of battery life. I have had the battery die on me in the middle of the night a couple of times and it's frustrating because it doesn't track my sleep when it's dead (obviously). You can see that it happened on the chart above on Monday and Tuesday. This is because I didn't charge it fully, and it died on me two nights in a row.

My biggest gripe about the fitbit is the bluetooth capabilities. While you don't HAVE to pair it with bluetooth for syncing (it can actually use data) It's going to be better to get it paired with your phone. That's very simple to do when you first get the device. However, if you do a factory reset on your phone, you can't repair the fitbit until you reboot the fitbit. This doesn't sound like a big deal, until you realize you need the proprietary charger to be plugged into the device before you can reboot it.

You have to plug it up and hold the button for 10-12 seconds until it essentially "factory resets" and allows you to repair with your phone. They need to (at the very least) have a pin hole reset button on the device. It's ludicrous to expect to have a charger with you wherever you go just in case you need to reboot .

Some users have complained that the band causes a rash, but I haven't experienced any issues at all with that. I would assume as long as you use common sense and keep it clean and dry when possible, the chance of irritation will diminish substantially.

One area of the fitbit that seems to go vastly unnoticed is that it has it's own mini Social network. You can add friends, and make challenges. You can track and compete against friends on the fitbit network and even send messages. There are plenty of threads dedicated to adding friends to your fitbit network. You can view the fitbit subreddit, fitbit.com, or myfitnesspal.com

There are lots of options when it comes to fitness trackers, and I am in no place to recommend any one tracker over another, but I did do my research, and this is the one I landed on. If it were water proof, I feel like this tracker would be the full package.

It is doing what it's suppose to. It's holding me accountable for my daily activities, and I have managed to drop 5 lbs in about 2 weeks, so I would say it's a good investment.

With that being said. The FitBit is:

Thursday, March 10, 2016

ROM Review: Dirty Unicorns v10.0 6.0.1

So, you have your favorite Android device. Maybe you are already running Marshmallow, maybe your device is "too old" to get an official M update.

Well, if you have a device that's rooted, or are interested in rooting, the devs over at Dirty Unicorns have you covered. They host a whole bevy of devices.

Here is a list of currently supported devices.

While you may see them on XDA from time to time, they prefer doing their troubleshooting and general conversations on their G+ community.

I have run DU on devices for years. Back before DU I ran AOKP. They have always made a very stable and solid ROM. However, since their dev team has grown, so has the robustness (is that a word?) of the ROM. Both in stability and features.

DU v10.0 is no exception. This is arguably the best ROM they have released (at least in my opinion).

Great new features have been added like Smart Bar, Fling, and Pulse. See videos below to see them in action!


As many of you know, I have the Nexus 6P. I did not root my phone until just about a month ago, when I knew DU was getting close to an official release. I thought my Nexus was fast BEFORE I flashed DU. Man, was I wrong. This thing blazes now. I am enjoying all day battery life, even with moderate usage. I LOVE pulse. Pulse is a very nice yet subtle touch that just makes the overall experience so much better. The ability to theme is also an added bonus.

Speaking of theming, DU introduced "DU Certified". An app that shows you themes that are guaranteed to work with the ROM. Some of these themes are free, some are a couple of bucks, but it's totally worth every penny to be able customize your DU experience.

You can even mix and match theme attributes with the theme engine to let you find the perfect balance between 2 or more of your favorite themes.

Under Settings you have "Dirty Tweaks" which gives you access to even more settings that would not be otherwise accessible to you on a Google build. Things like rearranging your navigation bar, changing what displays in the status bar, LCD Density, Multi-window, App Circle bar, and system animations, just to name a few. (see any "N" build features in there?)

All of these items congeal to make one of the most solid and readily supported,recognized, and trusted ROMs in the Android community.

So maybe you are one of the unlucky ones to have a device that is not officially supported by DU. No problem. DU is only possible because of Open Source. Therefore it's only fitting that they are also open source. Get in touch with one of your favorite devs, or learn to compile your own build of DU!

The official Tutorial is here. Keep in mind, that thread is for Lollipop. However, keep an eye on the Official DU Twitter here and you'll be on the cutting edge of DU News.

Whatever ROM you are currently running, I can almost guarantee that if you switch to DU, you will not look back.

The level of support and a dedicated community should be enough on it's own to sway you in the right direction. Just familiarize yourself with logcat. Because in the unlikely event that you experience an issue, the devs will ask for (insist) on a logcat before they even look at the issue. This is not because they are being mean. It's because these guys do this for free, in their free time, and they deserve better than to have to spend hours looking for a needle in a haystack when you could take 1 minute to upload a logcat for them.

The community is all business either. They have a great sense of humor and an off topic section built specifically to pick on your favorite dev. (or just to talk about normal, non-DU stuff). They actively share awesome wallpapers and icon packs, and are always adding updates. If you are the early adopter type, you can even see posts for weeklies, and unofficial builds.

Get your butt over to the community and GET DIRTY!

Here is my current set up.




Here are some handy links for you!

DU Google+ Community
DU Official Website
DU Official Twitter

Get the full potential from your device, and give DU a chance!

Lest I forget. It goes with saying that DU is:


Monday, November 23, 2015

Tech Bytes Review: Toast. The wrap, not the food.

So, anyone who knows me or follows me on twitter knows that I hate phone wraps with every fiber of my being.

They look like crap, and barely fit correctly. They collect dust, and start peeling. Sharp edges that scratch your hands and ears.

Well, I heard of this vendor called "Toast" and they made "wraps". I was still holding out hope that one day I could find a wood pattern wrap that looked like real wood and didn't make my phone look like crap. This company is based in the U.S.. They have a strong presence in social media, and a phone number that you can actually call and actually get someone on the phone!

I had heard of Dbrand and was considering trying them after a TERRIBLE review of Slickwraps (who has been all the rage lately).

I had some interaction with Toast on Twitter, and they kept making claims about butterfingers policies (which is some type of "I screwed this up because im a tard" replacement thing) and I thought it was pretty cool. I saw a couple of reviews and noticed that the very troublesome rear top corners of the 6P (above the visor) was a trouble area for almost everyone.

At first glance, I liked the way the Wraps looked. They looked like real wood, although I was not convinced. I was sure there was some fine print in there somewhere.

I mulled it over for a couple days. I will admit. I was hesitant to drop the $50 on a wrap. After all, I have had NO luck getting a wrap before now. And the thought of wasting $50 on something as dumb as a wrap was bothering me.

I decided I owed it to you (my readers), myself, and Toast (as a still fairly new company) to give it a shot. I figured worst case scenario, I hate it, its crap, they will probably sort me out with a return or something.

I bought the Walnut Back with an Ebony inlay for the visor. I opted to spend the extra $10 for the front panel, and another extra $5 for a custom engraving.

I ordered last Thursday and received my wrap this morning. The packaging was very nice, and I was greeted by a packing slip with a big stamp on it.

"TOAST QUALITY CONTROL"


Very nice touch I thought. When I opened the wrap, I was pleasantly surprised by the aroma. It WAS ACTUALLY real wood. I stopped for a moment to look carefully at the template. I still don't know how they get real wood that thin, but I genuinely thought I would get something...else. Not sure what.

Installation was a BREEZE. Took me 5 minutes to install.

BE CAREFUL THOUGH! This stuff is backed with 3M adhesive. Be very careful before you set it down on the phone, because it is STICKY. As long as you use your noise cancelling mic and fingerprint reader as a guide, you will be ok.

Once installed, I could not believe how nice it looked. Every laser cut around the edges serve a purpose. They make it perfectly hug the phone. So my phone has the wood finish, and the curves. Not to mention a fantastic smell. (this may be personal preference) It reminds me of my Dads old Wood Shop.

Here are some pics of the wrap once it is installed.







Beautiful right?

Well, here is the thing.

Yes...They are expensive, but no more so than a god awful ugly Otterbox. I still don't know how its going to hold up with time, moisture, grease, oil from my skin, etc.

Do I personally think it's worth $50? I think if you want wood, and you have the $50 to spend, buy this wrap. DO NOT WASTE A PENNY on a $20 vinyl wrap. Instead, save your money, and get this.

So this is probably not a surprise to you...


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tech Bytes Review: SlickWraps

Slick wraps are quickly gaining popularity. Vinyl wraps are nothing new. I remember purchasing wraps from istyles back in the EVO 4G days. Over the top busy vinyl stickers to add a unique style to my device.

I have heard nothing but good things about Slick Wraps, so, I decided to give it a shot during a sale they were having. $10 ea. At the time, I had both a Nexus 5x and a Nexus 6P. I bought 2 for each device and waited.

The shipping wasn't terrible. I received my wraps within a week of ordering, and the packaging and presentation is quite nice.




I read through the instructions thoroughly, looked easy enough.

I went to peel the back label off carefully, but apparently not carefully enough.

You see, there is a FATAL design flaw on these things, and it rests in the lettering.

If you look at the pictures below you will see that the letters have VERY VERY thin pieces of vinyl holding them together. No matter how carefully I tried, 3 out of 4 of these broke off the center of the "e" forcing me to line it up manually and independently from the rest of the wrap.


Furthermore, I was never able to line up the cut outs with the letters on the back of the phone. The SlickWraps come with Black and White lettering so you can fill them in yourself but it's infuriating to peel them out and put them in place with tweezers. I decided to think outside the box and just put the entire "Nexus" sticker on the back of the phone so that just a plain white sticker shown through the cutouts.

Once I finally got the back installed, I notice another issue on my 6P. The visor is a TOTAL pain to get right, and the corners will not lay down flat. I tried the hair dryers, I tried pushing it down with my thumb, but nothing I did would make it lay down flat. I wasn't able to get pictures of this on my device, but I was able to get some from a fellow redditor.


I gave up on getting that portion to lay right, and moved on to the sides. The cutout for the volume rocker was too small by a very small amount, so I had to use a needle to carefully stretch the wrap to fit over the volume rocker.


All that aside...lets talk about overall quality.

I can forgive those other issues, after all, I am an early adapter, and nobody gets these things right the first time. It takes reports from consumers to help SlickWraps improve their product.

However, Even after getting the wrap installed (for the most part) I noticed that the edges were quit sharp and uncomfortable to hold. Holding the phone up to my ear meant the wrap scraping against my ear until it was sore. The saving grace on my 5X was the clear Ringke Fusion I had on it that helped to keep the corners held in place, and save the back and sides of my hands from having to touch the sharp edges of the device.

I have heard claims that DBrand has a better quality wrap, but at this point, I'm not spending the money to review another vinyl wrap. I'll just stick with the case.

So, How does slick wraps hold up?




NOPE! I would say unless they manage to fix these issues, it's a complete waste of money. So save yourself the time, frustration, and money, and go with a nice case instead.

Tech Bytes App Review: Twilight


Your phone is robbing you of sleep!

Let's be honest. Most of us are guilty of doing the same thing that the lunkhead above is doing (that lunkhead is me by the way). Lying awake, redditing, maybe catching up on twitter real quick before you go to sleep for the night....

Next thing you know, it's 1:30 AM, and you are watching cat's being scared by cucumbers, and looking at cringepics. You were tired 4 hours ago when you decided to "look at twitter real quick", but now you are wide awake.

There is actually a scientific reason for this. Harsh lights (blue and white) actually inhibits the bodies ability to release melatonin and screws with its natural sleep rhythms.

The easiest solution is just not to use any electronics in the bedroom.


HAHAHA Yea right. Not happening, bud.

So, before I tell you a great way to get around that rule, check out this study I found by the National Sleep Foundation. Or, if you don't care, just skip down a little. See you after the break.

Communications technology use before sleep is pervasive.
Americans report very active technology use in the hour before trying to sleep. Almost everyone surveyed, 95%, uses some type of electronics like a television, computer, video game or cell phone at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed. However, baby boomers (46-64 year olds), generation X'ers (30-45 year olds), generation Y'ers (19-29 year olds) and generation Z'ers (13-18 year olds) report very different technology preferences.
About two-thirds of baby boomers (67%) and generation X'ers (63%) and half of generation Z'ers (50%) and generation Y'ers (49%) watch television every night or almost every night within the hour before going to sleep.
"Artificial light exposure between dusk and the time we go to bed at night suppresses release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, enhances alertness and shifts circadian rhythms to a later hour—making it more difficult to fall asleep," says Charles Czeisler, PhD, MD, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital.  "This study reveals that light-emitting screens are in heavy use within the pivotal hour before sleep. Invasion of such alerting technologies into the bedroom may contribute to the high proportion of respondents who reported that they routinely get less sleep than they need."
Computer or laptop use is also common. Roughly six in ten (61%) say they use their laptops or computers at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed. More than half of generation Z'ers (55%) and slightly less of generation Y'ers (47%) say they surf the Internet every night or almost every night within the hour before sleep.
"My research compares how technologies that are ‘passively received' such as TVs and music versus those with ‘interactive' properties like video games, cell phones and the Internet may affect the brain differently," says Michael Gradisar, PhD, Flinders University (Australia). "The hypothesis is that the latter devices are more alerting and disrupt the sleep-onset process. If you feel that these activities are alerting or causing you anxiety, try doing something more ‘passive' to help you wind down before bed."
Generation Z'ers (36%) and generation Y'ers (28%) are about twice as likely as generation X'ers (15%) and baby boomers (12%) to say they play a video game within the hour before bedtime at least a few times a week. More than one in ten (14%) of generation Z'ers say they do so every night or almost every night before going to sleep.
"Over the last 50 years, we've seen how television viewing has grown to be a near constant before bed, and now we are seeing new information technologies such as laptops, cell phones, video games and music devices rapidly gaining the same status," says Lauren Hale, PhD, Stony Brook University Medical Center. "The higher use of these potentially more sleep-disruptive technologies among younger generations may have serious consequences for physical health, cognitive development and other measures of wellbeing."
Cell phone use, specifically texting and talking on the phone, shows a significant age gap. More than half of generation Z'ers (56%) and nearly half of generation Y'ers (42%) say they send, read or receive text messages every night or almost every night in the hour before bed compared to 15% of generation X'ers and 5% of baby boomers.
Cell phones were sometimes a sleep disturbance. About in one in ten of generation Z'ers (9%) say that they are awakened after they go to bed every night or almost every night by a phone call, text message or email. About one in five of generation Y'ers (20%) and generation Z'ers (18%) say this happens at least a few nights a week.
"Unfortunately cell phones and computers, which make our lives more productive and enjoyable, may also be abused to the point that they contribute to getting less sleep at night leaving millions of Americans functioning poorly the next day," says Russell Rosenberg, PhD, Vice Chairman of the National Sleep Foundation."


Oh, Hi there! Welcome back to the blog. Pretty interesting stuff if you like statistics and stuff.

So, instead of cutting out electronics, a great dev team over at "Urbandroid" developed a nifty app called Twilight (click to download) that works by slowly adding a soft red filter over your screen starting at a time you designate. The app effectively filters out the blues over time to reduce your exposure to the type of light that inhibits your secretion of that oh so sweet melatonin.

The app will automatically set itself based on the sunset and sunrise times of the location you live, but you can tweak things like the time it starts and ends, and the intensity of the effect.

I did find that it takes some getting use to, but once you have it, you will notice a difference, instead of staying up late enough to get to the weird side of youtube, You might just find yourself nodding off during that cute gif of the puppies.

So, does Twilight get the beard of approval?


This app is Beard approved! Download it now. Be less grumpy tomorrow.

Get Twilight Here: Twilight