FamilyTech

By Sarah Kimmel | Helping families navigate the awesome and sometimes scary world of technology.

Android Messages Comes to the Web + A New Podcasts App!

It’s no surprise that we here at Family Tech Zone lean heavily towards the Android side of technology (and by lean I mean we stand as far away from …

Apps

Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine Getting Bluetooth Upgrade

Unlike the disaster of New Coke and Coca-Cola Classic, the Freestyle machine by Coca-Cola was a successful innovation by the company. These Freestyle …

9 Ways to Manage Screen Time for Kids this Summer

Summer is just around the corner, and one of the questions I get most frequently is “How can I limit <b>screen time for kids</b> when they are home ALL DAY …

Sprint launches its own unlimited plan for seniors

Baby boomers and their parents can love smartphones just as much as millenials and post-millenials do. T-Mobile recognized that and launched a special plan with unlimited data for subscribers 55-years-old and above last year. Now, Sprint has followed suit: the carrier has announced a very similar …

Soon Your Kids Can Build and Code a LEGO Batmobile

LEGO has really been churning out the announcements the last couple of weeks and releasing some really awesome connected toys. Today the company …

Google Is Teaching Internet Safety for Kids

Last summer Google launched a website dedicated to teaching <b>internet safety for kids</b>. The entire website is called Be Internet Awesome, and it has …

Facebook Introduces Messenger Kids

Allowing kids into the world of social is a tricky thing. Most social platforms only allow accounts for children aged 13 or older. Although this …

My New Favorite Communication App

When I was in high school pagers were just starting to be a thing. Cell phones hadn’t made it to the mass market yet, and we all had to rely on …

Home - Family Tech Zone

Your friend tells you about a great TV show or movie, and lets you know that you MUST watch it. The next step is to go through all of your various …

What To Do When You Fall For a Scam on Facebook

It can happen to the best of us. Scammers are pretty brilliant these days and do a pretty convincing job to make you think they are legit. So, you …

Spotify and Hulu to offer U.S. students $5 bundled monthly subscription

(<i>Reuters</i>) — U.S. college students can buy Spotify Premium music streaming and Hulu TV streaming for a combined, deeply discounted $4.99 per month, in a new student subscription bundle the companies announced on Thursday to lure younger consumers.<p>The entertainment bundle, $13 cheaper than the …

Moleskine’s new Smart Planner syncs handwritten schedules with iCloud and Google Calendar

Personally, I’m a paperless kind of guy, but if you prefer the old-fashioned look & feel of paper schedules, then Moleskine’s new Smart Planner aims to bring you the best of both worlds …<p>As <i>Engadget</i> notes, the planner combines a Livescribe pen with sensors embedded in the paper to read your …

T-Mobile wants to give your phone number superpowers

Starting May 31, T-Mobile users are going to be able to use their phone numbers in an entirely new way.<p>The new feature, known as DIGITS, is rolling out to all customers, the company said Thursday. It lets you connect all the devices you own to a single phone number — meaning you'll be able to …

How Microsoft’s Story Remix does what Clippy couldn't

Microsoft is making some bold promises with Story Remix, its recently announced app for the Windows 10 Fall Creators update. Together with the company's deep learning technology, it can automatically craft your photos and videos into short films. Story Remix resembles Apple Clips and Google's Photo …

Software

Facebook kicks off Mother’s Day weekend with flower reactions, cards, stickers, masks and more

You may have noticed the purple flower reaction has returned to Facebook, allowing you to respond to posts with a “thankful” sentiment instead of a Like. As it turns out, the addition is only one of several features Facebook has planned for this Mother’s Day weekend here in the U.S., and throughout …

Social Media

Finally, someone combines a salt shaker, Bluetooth speaker and mood lighting

Salt and Bluetooth technology are paired in one of the weirder inventions for the "smart" home.<p>Smalt (yes, really) pairs a music player, mood …

Inventions

Amazon drops its free shipping minimum to $25, undercutting Walmart

Amazon is fighting back against Walmart by dropping its free shipping minimum requirement down to $25. The move comes after a number of challenges by Walmart, including the added support for free two-day shipping on orders under $35 with no membership required, announced in January, and the more …

eCommerce

Grounding your kids from social media doesn’t do much — and could hurt them

It all used to be so simple: Break the rules, get grounded and be forbidden from hanging out with your friends. These days, of course, social media makes anywhere a teen hangout, and parents looking to ground their kids might choose to cut off access to social media instead. But that punishment …

Third parties have always been the key to Amazon’s smart home domination plans

For Amazon, hardware has always been a means to an end. From the Kindle e-reader to the Fire tablets to its TV offerings, the company has always treated the space as something of a loss leader – even with its most popular offerings. Amazon has found success in pricing devices much closer to cost …

Smart Homes

This was the hottest tech 20 years ago...in 1997

'Wootube' is the hit YouTube channel that's making math hella fun again

For the past decade or so, there's been a decline in the number of mathematics students in high schools in Australia. But one teacher is giving new …

Mathematics

‘Facebook Rewards’ QR codes dangle discounts for offline purchases

Facebook wants to prove it drives brick-and-mortar foot traffic with its latest feature test. TechCrunch has discovered a previously unreported Facebook feature where users can scan a personalized QR code to score discounts or bonuses when they buy something in-person at certain shops. Some users …

eCommerce

More people use Instagram Stories than Snapchat itself

The common belief is that Snapchat rules all when it comes to evaporating photo essays. But the numbers don't quite back it up. Instagram has announced that over 200 million people are using Stories every day to share quick moments from their lives -- almost 50 million more than Snapchat as a whole …

Social Media

THIS Is The Facebook Feature We've All Been Waiting For

Does your Facebook News Feed leave you at a loss for words? Is a Like simply not enough? Do "wow" and "angry" emoji seem a little basic? It seems …

Social Media

Facebook Debuts Message Reactions and Mentions for its Messenger App

Facebook's Messenger app for iOS devices was today updated with a new Message Reactions feature, which is similar to the Tapback features introduced in Apple's Messages app in iOS 10.<p>Message Reactions are designed to allow Facebook users to react to a message with an emoji symbol to express an …

Facebook adds Mentions and Reactions to chats on Messenger

Facebook is making conversations in Messenger a lot more like… well, Facebook. You can now use reactions during chats, as well as tag specific people using the ‘@’ symbol.<p>The reactions are useful for the same reason they are on Facebook proper: They give you more ways to acknowledge you’ve read a …

Social Media

This pretty e-paper smart calendar is everything I want in a gadget

A designer named Kosho Tsuboi has conceived a beautiful gadget idea. His product, the Magic Calendar, is an e-paper calendar that syncs with a smartphone to display your schedule. The project is associated with Google’s Android Experiments, which appears to be a Japanese program in which creators …

Gear & Gadgets

Ebay takes on Amazon with guaranteed 3-day delivery on 20 million items

In response to the growing threat of Amazon and its annual Prime membership program, eBay this morning announced a new program that will offer online shoppers guaranteed three-day delivery on 20 million eligible products — “millions” of which that will also include free shipping. “Guaranteed …