Apple Pay: Benefits, Security & Setup

Using iPhone to make a purchase.

We’ve been using Apple Pay since the day it launched in 2016, when it initially rolled out in Canada. It has been completely life changing, especially as more and more stores accept Apple Pay as a payment method.

However, in our research, we’ve learned that a lot of Canadians are still googling questions about this form of digital payment, despite the fact that it’s been available for 2.5 years. So, hopefully after you read this post, you’ll feel more confident about integrating Apple Pay into your life! read more

Our Top 11 Most Anticipated Apple Releases of 2019

Apple MacBook pro laptop
Apple’s MacBook Pro.

Hardware

iPhone XI Max/Plus

Last year’s iPhones were a bit of a disappointment. Don’t get us wrong… they were great products, particularly the XS Max, but they brought little excitement and innovation.

Facing strict competition from the likes of Huawei, Samsung, and Google, Apple will really need to step up its game to boost declining iPhone sales. The new top end iPhone model may have a triple lens camera and a smaller notch. Will this be enough?

We will have to wait until September to find out, but hopefully Apple has some iPhone hardware and software advances that truly wow us! read more

Top 5 Accessories for Apple Devices

Anker PowerCore+ Portable Charger
The Anker PowerCore+ 20100 is our favourite portable battery

Whether you’re looking for an accessory to accompany your new Apple product, or a gift for a friend… look no further! Here is our list of top five accessories (and brands) for Apple devices:

1. Anker: Portable Charger

We’ve been using the Anker PowerCore+ 20100 portable charger for about a year now, and we love it. If you’re looking for something tiny and light that fits in a small bag, this is probably not the product for you. But, if you want a powerful, durable portable battery – definitely go with Anker’s PowerCore+ 20100!

On this battery, you can charge up to three devices at once – both USB and USB-C compatible! Depending on how many devices we charged at a time, it’s lasted up to five days without needing to charge the battery.

We’ve taken this charger camping, on group road trips, and on small planes without plugs, and it’s saved our life every time. This portable battery is also great if your bedroom or office doesn’t have many plugs, or if they’re in inconvenient places. You can still charge your iPhone or iPad close to you overnight or while you work with it!

We love Anker’s Powercore+ 20100 portable charger, and we think you will too!

2. Mophie: Wireless Charging Base

Since Apple released the iPhone X in 2017, newer iPhone models have wireless charging capabilities. While wireless charging is still slower than plugging your iPhone to a fast-charging cord, wireless is a lot more convenient!

Our favourite wireless charger for the iPhone is Mophie’s Apple-optimized wireless charging base. The design is sleek and compact, it’s functional, and it’s made with a non-slip finish so you don’t have to worry about your iPhone slipping off. When we bought it last year, it was over-priced, but now you can find the charging base at a more reasonable price.

While we await the AirPower mat, Mophie’s wireless charging base is absolutely a great option!

3. Speck: iPhone Cases

Speck is one of our go-tos for iPhone cases. We normally order them off of Amazon.

Speck’s cases are very protective… they feel almost as indestructible as an Otterbox case. The cases we’ve used fit very securely on the iPhone, and cover the edges so your screen is safer if you drop it facedown.

Plus, Speck iPhone cases come in many sizes and designs. You can get a case that really matches your style and personality!

4. Apple: Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock

The Apple Watch Magnetic Charger is one of the neatest little gadgets we’ve used. Yes, it is made by Apple, and therefore a little on the pricy side. But, it’s handy both as a charger and as an alarm clock!

At night, place your Apple Watch on the charger and it will automatically act as an alarm clock. When you tap the nightstand, the

watch will show you the time, in a special “nightstand mode” read more

Apple Watch: 5 Ways It Improves Your Day

apple watch series 4
The Apple Watch Series 4

Going from the Apple Watch Series Zero to the Series 4 has been a massively positive change. The biggest surprise is how much the Apple Watch Series 4 can improve the day-to-day, with even the smallest features.

A lot of these great features aren’t unique to the Series 4 either! So if you’re thinking of buying the Series 3 or 4, some features we talk about may apply to both.

Keep reading to learn the 5 (plus) ways we think the Apple Watch can make your day easier, healthier and more free!

Cellular Data

This has been an unexpected game changer for us. Possibly the best addition to the Apple Watch is the cellular data plan. Through your current telco, an Apple Watch data plan costs around $10 CAD per month.

With data on your watch, you have the freedom to leave your iPhone when you’re on the go. The best thing has been doing errands with just the Apple Watch, but still receiving calls and iMessages. It helps you feel free yet connected!

It’s also super helpful on the odd day you forget your iPhone at home… you don’t have to worry about missing anything important!

Convenient Transactions with Apple Pay

If you’re set up on Apple Pay, you can actually pay directly from your Apple Watch. This means your daily transit, grocery or lunch purchases are super secure and extremely convenient (as long as Apple Pay is accepted).

Not only that, but you can actually access your Apple Wallet from your Apple Watch! So, you’ll have quick and easy access to rewards cards like Air Miles or PC Optimum during a transaction.

A secret bonus is the shock and awe of the cashier and other bystanders when they realize you’re paying with your watch!

Useful Watch Face Widgets

The Apple Watch Series 4 watch face has a variety of useful widgets (also know as “watch face complications”) so you can quickly view useful information throughout the day just by looking down at your watch.

These widgets include:

-The daily weather highs and lows, so you know if you need to throw on an extra layer before leaving the house

-Calendar appointments so you can get a sense of the day ahead of you

-Your favourite stock if you’re interested in tracking your investments

Giving you quick and easy access to this information can make your busy day-to-day just a little bit smoother!

Notifications at a Glance

You can sync your iPhone notifications (like texts and emails) with your Apple Watch to get a quick glance without removing your phone from your pocket.

This is a convenient feature if you’re waiting for an important message or sports game update during a class, work meeting or other daily obligation. You can discretely check your notifications without being on your phone all the time.

The downside to getting the notifications on your watch is that it’s tough to respond to the messages. You can answer with your voice or by writing the message with your finger, but sometimes neither are very convenient.

You’ll probably want to resort to using your iPhone for longer responses.

Daily Health Benefits

The Apple Watch has lots of features to keep your health top of mind every day.

If you sit a lot during your work or school day, the Apple Watch sends you an alert to stand up every hour. It’s a nice reminder to get your blood flowing and take a stretch.

Plus, this smartwatch tracks your daily exercise, making it easier to set and achieve daily exercise goals. And, you can see if your heart health or average pace is improving.

It can also track your steps! So, if you use Carrot Rewards, you should definitely set it up on your Apple Watch and get rewards for walking!

Bonus Feature: Entertainment!

The Apple Watch can keep you entertained during the duller moments of your day. You can do the following while commuting, waiting in a line or on a long walk home:

-Connect your AirPods and listen to Spotify or a podcast

-Download and play some short but fun games

-Enjoy Pokemon Go on your wrist

Who would have thought you can have so much fun with a watch?!

Long Story Short

The Apple Watch is an incredible little device that has the power to improve your day, keep you connected, save you time, and so much more. And, we love the freedom it provides by allowing us to leave the phones at home from time to time.

How does the Apple Watch improve your day? Comment below!

Wellness App Rewards for Exercise

Carrot Rewards Wellness App on Apple Watch
Carrot Rewards on the Apple Watch

Finally, a free wellness app that rewards you for exercising and focusing on your wellbeing… and it’s our favourite lifestyle app. Ever.

Carrot Rewards App: Our Story

We discovered Carrot Rewards, a free Canadian app, on an internet forum last summer and it seemed too good to be true. Someone posted, “Get Scene Points just for walking around with this new free wellness app!” …legit?

Super legit!

So, we downloaded the app onto our iPhones and Apple Watch. We chose our rewards. We walked. And, we earned points!

You can and should download Carrot Rewards too, if you haven’t already. And tell all your friends.

The DEETS:

Choose your rewards: Scene Points, RBC Rewards, AeroPlan Miles, Petro Points and more

Challenge your friends to Step Up Challenges to earn extra points each week… if you can both hit your step goal, that is

Invite your friends to download the app, and you get tons of bonus points when they join

Occasionally complete health and wellness related quizzes and surveys on the app for extra rewards

The app takes an average of your step count in a week and uses that to personalize your weekly step goal

The Verdict?

Overall, Carrot Rewards is our favourite wellness app right now because, let’s face it… who doesn’t want to get paid to stay healthy?!

The app truly motivates us to get out there and be active, especially with our friends and family who also use Carrot.  And we just feel really good at the end of the day when we’ve accomplished something, especially when it’s good for the body and mind.

As far as the app itself goes, it’s very simple to use and nice to look at.  Plus, you know it’s good because Mobile Syrup awarded Carrot Rewards the Best Canadian-developed App in 2017.

Carrot is available on both iOS and Android. Unfortunately, you can only download it if you live in Ontario, BC or Newfoundland and Labrador… for now. Carrot is working with the government to hopefully make the app accessible across Canada in the near future. O Canada!

What’s your favourite wellness app right now?