Tech Archives - foXnoMad

Category: Tech

How Apple’s Trade In Program Works

Getting a new Apple product can be pricey but if you’ve already got one it can help take the bite out of that purchase. Apple’s Trade In program lets send back all but the oldest iPhones, Macbooks, and other devices for credit toward something new. Although it doesn’t give you the absolute best prices you might get selling on a site like eBay, Trade In has a number of advantages worth considering.

How It Works

Apple’s Trade In program gives you the option to send in an old Apple device (or select phones from other manufacturers) for credit toward a new one. You can get a quote online to see how much your device is worth in a few seconds by entering the serial number and quick condition description.

Assuming you accept the estimate, Apple will send you a box with a prepaid shipping label. Send it back within 14 days and you’ll get Apple store credit.

Buying New

Now assuming you don’t want to be left without an iPhone for example, you’ll have to buy a new Apple product. In this scenario when you’re ordering a new device you add your trade in to the cart. Once your order is complete, Apple then ships your new device and the prepaid box to send back your old iPhone.

Once Apple gets your old iPhone back, inspects it, they’ll then apply the trade in amount back to the credit card used to purchase the new iPhone. It’s essentially applying the Apple store credit back to your credit card.

Straight Store Credit

Otherwise, simply using the trade in program (without a new purchase) will apply Apple store credit to your account. This is the method you’ll have to use if you want to purchase a refurbished device. There’s one major benefit to sending your old iPhone or Macbook early (if you don’t need it immediately or have a backup) – namely, you’ll get a higher value.

Apple products depreciate slowly but they do depreciate. And if your old Apple product is too old for any store credit, Apple has a free recycling program.

Trading Alternatives

You might not be happy with Apple’s estimate, your device is too old, or you simply want to see how much you can get other places. Obviously there’s plenty of sites to sell used electronics if you’re willing to put in the effort. Otherwise, Apple’s Trade In program streamlines the process, is fast, and consistent with pricing.

Is DJI’s Trade Up Program Worth It?

DJI, arguably the most popular producer of consumer drones has a buyback program called Trade Up, where you can send in an old drone for credit toward a new one. It sounds like an alluring option if you’re looking to upgrade your drone but as you can see in the video here, it’s probably not your best choice.

How Trade Up Works

The Trade Up program accepts more than just drones, DJI does take back a variety of smartphones and GoPros for example, but let’s focus on the drone buyback. Visiting this Trade Up program page, you enter the model of drone, serial number, general condition, and any accessories you’ll be giving back as well. The process take a few minutes; afterward you’ll get an estimated price for your old drone. In my case, I was shown $275.60 for a Mavic Pro 1.

Assuming you accept this initial estimate, you have 10 days to send your drone back to DJI for a final inspection. Unlike Apple’s iPhone Trade-In, DJI won’t send you a prepaid box. Although they do pay for shipping, you’ll have to box and pack your drone for DJI with your own materials.

Once DJI Gets Your Used Drone

After a DJI receives your used drone, they send an email to confirm which says it will take 3-5 business. They get back to you after an inspection and in my case, the original estimate was reduced to $41. Considering they were covering shipping at $36, I rejected the offer.

dji mavic drone

In case you accept an offer, they keep your drone and apply the final amount to your DJI account as store credit. Otherwise, as they did when I rejected the final offer, they’ll send your drone back typically after 10 business days.

Alternative Ways To Sell Your Old Drone

Given the pitiful $41 DJI was offering me, I decided to try my luck on eBay. Doing so after a week I sold my drone for $448. That’s nearly double the first estimate DJI gave me and 10 times what they would have actually credited me. Selling directly on a site like eBay will typically give you better rates than manufacturer buyback programs.

To compete, companies usually make their programs quick, convenient, or reliable enough to warrant the lower rates. DJI’s Trade Up program isn’t any of those things enough to make it the best option for selling back your old drone. (Their repair service though is another story.) Sure, you can check to see their estimate online but it’s a good idea to try other sites as well. It’s very likely you’ll get a lot more back (and not just in store credit) if you skip Trade Up altogether.

How Bluetooth Trackers Work To Find Your Lost Luggage, Wallet, And Other Valuables

Personal Bluetooth trackers are small plastic devices smaller than a credit card you can use to find lost keys and other valuables. You may be wondering how these devices work, whether they’re worth using, and some of their limitations.

Here’s how Bluetooth trackers work and how you can use them to find lost items.

The Hardware

There are a couple of manufacturers of Bluetooth trackers, the largest being Tile and Chipolo. These are small devices ranging from a simple coin-sized square to the credit card shaped solar-powered Ekster you place in your purse, backpack, basically anything you don’t want lost. The only setup required is to pair them with your phone, an easy process shown in the video above.

Manufacturers tackle batteries differently; Chipolo uses small replaceable batteries, and Tile has a trade-in program for example. In both cases, batteries last at least up to a year, if not longer. Otherwise the setup of these trackers is simple, typically with a single button to pair the device and a smaller emitter for beeping sounds. Most Bluetooth trackers are designed to with in either short and long ranges.

Short Range Use

Depending on the version of Bluetooth, typically these trackers have a physical signal range of roughly 50 meters (150 feet). In these cases, you can trigger an alert using your phone to sound the beeps on the tracker to help you find your keys, for example. The associated app with most trackers will also let you visually locate the tracker when you’re in Bluetooth range and the process works in reverse too – you can use the tracker to set an alarm on your phone so you can locate it.

What Happens When You’re Out Of Range?

You might be thinking by now, “well, I often lose things that aren’t within 50 meters of me,” what now? In these cases you’ll use the Bluetooth tracker’s app to mark it as lost. Once a tracker is marked as lost, it will then activate its anonymous code so that the tracker app on everyone’s phone will be on the lookout for it.

This happens without the knowledge of the other users. So when someone else in the Bluetooth tracking app network (i.e. another user) walks past your lost keys in a cafe, they won’t know that their phone sent a signal back with its location. Once that happens, you’re notified and hopefully you can get to your lost items.

Network Importance

Outside of the short Bluetooth range, the size of the network is important. Tile has the largest network with 26 million users, Chipolo is the second largest (both have subscription fees). What that means is the chance of another Tile or Chipolo user walking past your lost stuff is higher on those networks. Densely populated areas like cities obviously will have better user coverage but in rural areas your chances diminish quite a bit.

Still, a Bluetooth tracker can help you find your lost keys or be setup to alert you if you get out of a customizable short range to prevent you from forgetting your backpack at a cafe or airport gate.

WiFox Automatically Gives You Airport WiFi Passwords On Your Phone Upon Arrival

wifox

WiFox, the app that contains the airport wifi passwords to over 1,300 airports, has been updated so those passwords now automatically appear on your phone upon arrival. In the biggest update to WiFox since its launch, the app now notifies you of the wifi network name and password when you’re in an airport. And of course, WiFox still works completely offline.

wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
Land And Connect

Imagine all the times you’re on a flight and land for a layover. You’ve probably had the experience of fiddling around trying to find network connections, see which ones might be authentic, figure out what the password might be… only to just make it to your next connection. WiFox Premium will, as soon as you land, give you the best network name and wifi connection password so you’re ready to get online once you’re in the airport. Again, all of this works completely offline, without the need for an Internet connection.

New Upgrades And Rating System

WiFox has also been improved with a new connection rating system. The passwords delivered to your phone are automatically sorted by connection reliability and strength so you’re always connected to the fastest networks.

WiFox Premium users can also see individual network ratings as well as add their own upgraded feedback, in addition to the real-time information verified from other travelers, pilots, and other reliable sources.

This new rating system already improves upon the previous generation. When I developed WiFox I wanted to make sure the passwords were updated in real-time but also were as accurate as possible.

Other WiFox Features

WiFox is now faster than ever and comes with a number of other useful features.

wifox app

  • Copy Passwords Directly – You can choose between several networks in an airport to use lounge and other passwords to paste directly into your phone’s settings.
  • Unlock Time Restrictions – Access points with time limits are also shown but WiFox shows you how to get around time-based restrictions.
  • Updated In Real-Time – WiFox works completely offline but updates password information and connection information once you’re online.

WiFox And WiFox Premium Available Now For iOS (Android Version Coming Soon)

WiFox is now available available on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad) for the special price of free on the App Store! You can upgrade to WiFox Premium within the app, which unlocks all of the features described above and more. Your feedback is important to me so please send any feedback or feature requests you have for future updates. Ratings on the App Store are also important, so if you’re happy with WiFox, I would appreciate your 5-star ratings!

I’ve appreciated your support for WiFox (and an independent developer like me!) since its launch and look forward to hearing from you when the latest version is in your hands. As always, travel smarter. -Anil P.

Download WiFox, Available on the App Store Here

Jabra’s Elite 45h May Be The Smartest Headphones Under $100

Jabra’s Elite 45h aren’t the best on the market – there are much more impressive and expensive headphones – but rather than water down premium features, the 45h have come up with their own. At less than $100, Jabra’s 45h are carving out a niche in the mid-tier headphone space for anyone shopping in this price range.

You can watch the full review in the video above or read on.

On The Surface

The Jabra Elite 45h come with a USB charging cable and carry case, neatly fitting inside since the ear cups can be turned 90 degrees. (Though oddly to only one side; when worn the ear cups face away from your body. Still, and improvement over the Jabra Move.) Those ear cups are comfortable, resting on your ears but softened with memory foam. In my use I was able to wear the 45h for about an hour before needing to readjust, though your use may vary if you’re already accustomed to on-ear headphones.

The ear cups provide “passive noise cancellation” which is essentially very good noise isolation (not to be compared to active-noise cancellation). The speakers in the Elite 45h are 40mm, largest in this class and the battery life is a very impressive 50 hours. A quick charge of 15 minutes will give you 10 hours of use; otherwise a full charge requires 90 minutes.

Jabra’s Clever Features

Out of the box, the Elite 45h have slightly above average sound quality, leaning toward being a bit bass heavy. They’re solid for this price but the real magic happens when you run MySound. Buried in Jabra’s Sound+ app, also very feature rich with a manual equalizer and custom sound presets, MySound is takes customization to a new level. Bringing in Jabra’s experience with microphones and hearing aides, MySound runs a series of hearing tests to turn the 45h’s sound to your ears.

jabra elite 45h

It works by entering your gender, age, and then plays a series of tones to your left and right ear. When you hear a tone, you tap the screen. The entire test takes about 2 minutes and once it’s over, the change in what you hear is dramatic. Music sounds louder (it’s not) and richer. You can make out more nuance from what you’re hearing, it’s like having a different pair of headphones.

On Ear At This Price

The Elite 45h aren’t perfect, for example the microphones often produce some mild feedback during phone calls, but they excel in new ways with features not seen thus far on sub-$100 headphones. New to the headphone space Jabra keeps innovating and the Elite 45h are a big step forward.

The 3 Best VPNs For Travelers In 2020

There are many reasons to use a VPN when traveling, but honestly, everyone should be on a VPN pretty much all the time. A virtual private network (VPN) can hide your Internet habits from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and protect your privacy online for starters. For travelers, VPNs can get you cheaper airfare or access the free Internet in places with censorship but being so closely tied to your browsing habits, you need to choose the right VPN.

Important VPN Caveats

A VPN is essentially a tunnel between you and the Internet as far as anyone trying to observe your Internet connection. Imagine a helicopter flying over you, it can see you’ve entered a subway station but not where you go after that. Likewise, ISPs will be aware your Internet traffic is going through a VPN but not much else.

VPNs encrypt the traffic going through them it however there is a point in the encryption-decryption process that would allow any VPN to see your Internet traffic. You have to trust your VPN not to do that. Ideally, you’re looking for a VPN that logs a little as needed to run their service and is regularly audited by independent security audit to verify any claims.

NEVER Use A Free VPN

Never. Free VPNs make money through advertising and selling your information since they have no intrinsic incentive to provide good privacy. Never use a free VPN. Fortunately, the paid options aren’t expensive especially when you consider the benefits.

1. ProtonVPN

From the same organization based in Switzerland that created the secure email service ProtonMail, ProtonVPN is focused on privacy. They collect only the information needed to provide service and support (which is fantastic by the way) all laid out in a very clear Privacy Policy. ProtonVPN’s servers are speedy and some tiers have a Secure Core feature for enhanced protection.

protonvpn

It’s also effective for getting access to Netflix but may not work in China (who have at the time of this article blocked them). *Cough* Paid plans also don’t block torrenting *cough* ProtonVPN’s mobile and desktop apps are intuitive to use and straightforward as well.

ProtonVPN’s a little more expensive than the competition – they do have a limited free version to try – but as one of the best overall VPNs, I would recommend their Plus service to cover all your devices.

2. NordVPN

Having recently reviewed their NordPass password manager, a few things stand out about NordVPN. They’re based in Panama outside the jurisdiction of these 5-14 Eyes. They’re also regularly audited by third parties, have over 5,000 servers in 59 countries, and NordVPN should work in China as well.

The interface is especially clean, almost minimalist, and it’s one of the fastest VPNs I’ve tried. Connections are solid (very little cutting out) and they have a good privacy record as well for their plans, which are heavily discounted for 2-3 year subscriptions.

3. ExpressVPN

expressvpn

For travel to China especially, ExpressVPN is a solid choice. ExpressVPN have a very good record on privacy, is audited regularly, and have VPN servers in 94 countries. Speed is also a particularly good on ExpressVPN (all VPNs will slow down your total Internet speed somewhat when in use). The only drawbacks I’ve found is their iOS version can be a little difficult to work with when switching connections. ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money back guarantee so you can see if it fits your particular needs.

Mentioning Honorable Mentions

A few things about all of these VPNs listed above. They’re all called ‘no log’ VPNs which means they don’t track (outside of what’s needed to provide service and support) – claims which have been verified by an independent security audit. Without those independent audits from credible security experts any VPN claiming no logs – or anything else – has to be taken with a big grain of salt.

Another good option is VyprVPN, like the others offers steep discounts for longer subscriptions (usually over a year) or monthly plans. You’ve also got the option to try these VPNs usually either with a limited free version or trial period so you can choose the best VPN for your travels.

For those of you already using a VPN, this site will let you check to make sure it’s not leaking any info about you. To get the most effectiveness however, set your VPN to always on and don’t forget to secure your mobile devices as well.

Loading

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

YouTube Twitter Instagram Facebook

blank

Image Map

blank

Image Map

The best of travel in your inbox!