Selfie Boom: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Wondering how the "selfie" became a social epidemic? Get the fact here.

The following post is a guest blog from Amy K. Williams. Amy is a journalist specializing in parenting, social issues and communication. She lives in Southern California, where she spends her time writing, cooking and volunteering. You can follow Amy on Twitter at: @AmyKWilliams1

As parents, we could have never conceived that taking photos of yourself and uploading them online would turn into a hugely popular trend…. But for kids and young adults today, it has, in the form of “selfies.” Selfies first became popular during the days of MySpace, but they really took off when the iPhone 4 was released in 2010 with a front-facing camera. Aside from being slightly obnoxious, is there anything really wrong with this fad?

According to the infographic below, there seem to be some mixed opinions on the subject. While there are those who believe selfies promote a healthy self-image, others think that frequently snapping photos of oneself only breeds narcissism and a preoccupation with self. So which is it?

At the end of the day, it comes down to your child and knowing what they’re like. If you find that selfies are instigating poor personality traits, it might be time to have a little chat and let your child know some of the drawbacks of this trend. Because unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.

Selfie Boom: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Selfie Boom: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Using MamaBear with Apple’s new iOS 7

Apple recently introduced iOS 7, the newest version of the  iphone operating system. The new operating system features a redesigned user interface and several functionality improvements.

MamaBear family members using an Apple iPhone upgraded to iOS 7, especially iphone 4 and 4s users, may have noticed a change with location updates. Although there are many great new features to iOS 7, there are new settings to be aware of  affecting location service apps.

The October 23 app upgrade to MamaBear included better iOS 7 compatibility and we continue to work on other improvements, especially the ability to update location more often using iOS 7.

In the meanwhile, there are some proactive steps you can take to get back on track with location monitoring.  These industry articles expand on the lag iphone 4 and 4s may have on iOS 7: readwrite.com and USA Today.

Please review these settings on your child’s iPhone

1. Be sure “Location Services” is on by reviewing Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

2. Be sure background app refresh is on for MamaBear by going to Settings > General > Background App refresh. We won’t be able to update your child’s location if this is turned off.

3.  Ask your child to keep MamaBear running in the background.  If your child swipes MamaBear up by double clicking the phone’s home button, it will close the app and not allow us to monitor location in iOS 7.

4. If your child is auto-updating apps, be sure they are logged in to MamaBear after they update any new releases from MamaBear.

5. Set up safe places in MamaBear!  Entering programmed places helps the app run in the background, not to mention keeps you updated!

Following these steps will help MamaBear work more efficiently on your child’s phone if they are now using Apple’s new iPhone operating system.

We’ll gladly answer any of your concerns by getting in touch with us at info@localhost. Stay in touch!

 

Google Latitude Alternative for Android and iPhones

Google Latitude alternative Android Iphone

If you have ever shared your location on a mobile device, you may have used Google Latitude. Google Latitude allows users to find friends and family on a map as well as share where they are with friends and family. The user controls who gets to see their location and at what level of detail.

Google recently announced that they are retiring the Latitude service as of Aug. 9. According to Google, “Products being retired include Google Latitude in Google Maps for Android, Latitude for iPhone, the Latitude API, the public badge, the iGoogle Gadget, and the Latitude website at maps.google.com/latitude.”

If you used Google Latitude with your iPhone or Android device, the retirement means you’ll no longer be able to share your location using Latitude. Also, Latitude is no longer a feature on the latest version of Google Maps for mobile on Android and will be removed from iPhone on the App Store. That and your list of Latitude friends will be deleted.

You can read more about the change and what it means here.

Using the MamaBear App as a Google Latitude Alternative

With Google Latitude’s retirement, other location tracking apps will attempt to fill the void. While there are many choices for Latitude alternatives, for families there is no better replacement option than MamaBear. The MamaBear Family Safety App offers the best Google latitude alternative for Androids and iPhones.

Adding MamaBear to your iPhone or Android device provides you a way track your children’s locations, making sure you are aware of where they are and where they’ve been. The app also allows you to schedule alerts for location activity and it gives your kids a one-click opportunity to check-in, or send you an emergency notification. This gives your children a sense of freedom while also easing your own worries and enabling you to keep the whole family safe and secure. In addition, you can selectively share your current location with your children.

For concerned parents wanting to protect their growing children and give them the freedom they need to roam and explore, MamaBear goes a step further than Google Latitude.

MamaBear doesn’t just tell you where your kids are on a map. The app alerts you if they leave school or a scheduled activity early or they visit a restricted place you set. MamaBear monitors your kids’ social media behavior with notifications about new friends or followers, photo uploads, tagged photos or posts and restricted words you deem as signs of bullying or inappropriate on Facebook and Instagram. MamaBear can even let you know if they are in a speeding vehicle.

Without Google Latitude, parents still have options for sharing their location and tracking their children. MamaBear is one GPS tracking system for mobile devices that offers the same features at Latitude, along with so much more.

MamaBear is available for download on Android devices here and Apple devices here.

iPhone vs. Android: MamaBear Weighs in on Smartphone Shopping for Your Kids

iphone vs android kids

It’s a must for the MamaBear team to stay up to date on the latest technology, news and developments in the mobile industry. We strive to deliver the latest technologies available in the major Android and iPhone devices that integrate with our MamaBear family safety promise. Lately we’ve had more than a few parents ask which phones we recommend, and why. Android phones and iPhones are by far the largest portion of the smartphone market. Here’s our comparison to help you determine the best option for your kids.

iPhones for Kids

Pros

There’s no doubt that the iPhone is incredibly popular in design. iPhones integrate well with other Apple products through use of iCloud and offers great device parental controls built in the settings. Kids love Siri and access to many well-regulated apps for hours of entertainment. The ability to save on data costs is also a nice benefit using imessaging when connected to WiFi.

Cons

iPhones are expensive. The designs are so popular that only 2-3 versions of iPhones are on the market and supported by Apple at any given time. Families are also finding that the new power adapter port on the iPhone 5 isn’t compatible with older iPhone technology like docking stations and power cords. Using iPhone with tracking and monitoring apps can also become a bit more difficult as developers have tight guidelines for app features.

Android Phones for Kids

Pros

Unlike iPhones, Android powered smartphones have a wide spectrum of models and prices from several manufacturers. This can give parents leeway to get the phone that fits their family’s needs well. Many Android powered phones tend to have upgradeable memory and are extremely customizable. Another big advantage that comes with Android phones is the insurance that mobile carriers often provide. Android phones are generally easier to insure against loss, theft and accidental damage than with the Apple replacement program. We also experience faster development cycles with greater opportunity to introduce in demand monitoring features like text message monitoring.

Cons

Android phones aren’t without their faults. In general, we’ve seen parents have more success with child safety apps than with built in Android settings. Unlike iPhones, Android phones have hundreds of makes and models. This can make research before buying quite a bit more difficult than picking the popular model in the store. The newest Android operating system aren’t uniform meaning owners of older Android models might have to wait for the newest platform updates.

Iphone Vs Android  for Kids – The Verdict

When it comes to smartphone shopping for the kids, we think the Android platform wins out. Ultimately, the generally lower price points, a wide range of options and ease of replacement makes Android the best option for kids of all ages. In addition, location monitoring, device monitoring also becomes more efficient with Android devices. iPhones are excellent devices and we are definately apple fans, but today we think the Android platform is the best option for our kids. We’re proud to have MamaBear on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Check it out and let us know what you think!