For a gift that doesn't scream "last minute" but only takes minutes, consider turning to your photo library. Easy to make — usually with just a few clicks — and plenty personal, photo gifts may just outdo Santa come Christmas Day. From custom Rubik's Cubes (yes, we're excited too!) to photo-filled iPad cases, we found plenty of ideas for anyone on your list. And since it's only November, once this to-do is checked off, you can carry on with more important things, like getting started on those new gaming consoles.
Put down the scan gun, and head online for everything you've ever wanted in a wedding registry. Perfect for the unconventional couple, these six wedding registries extend beyond national retailers and allow for a more personalized experience. From crowd-funding your honeymoon to getting the gadget of your dreams, these sites help to curate a wish list that is truly you. Chances are you aren't an ordinary couple — that Star Wars cake is proof — so why have an ordinary registry?
Headed back to school? While you've likely registered for classes and tackled your Summer reading list, the next item of concern may be your professor. You don't have to be in the dark about the ins and outs of your instructor, thanks to a little help from your peers.
A number of online resources are available to solve the mystery of your professor's personality, teaching style, and grading curve. Use these sites to your advantage when preparing for coursework and tests this Fall. At the same time, take everything you read with a grain of salt; often, negative reviews are a result of a poor grade that may not have much to do with the professor's competency.
- Koofers — It's free to sign up for Koofers, which boasts not only hundreds of thousands of professor ratings, but practice exams, flash cards, and internship and job listings as well. To help you balance your course load, the site lists how often each professor assigns homework, tests, and projects.
- RateMyProfessors.com — As the largest online site for professor ratings, with over 1.7 million professors already on this site and over 7,500 schools in its database, Rate My Professors is your best bet to get the scholarly dish. The best part about this site is the range of qualities taken into account for a professor's performance: helpfulness, clarity, and, if you're interested, attractiveness. Since there are two sides to every story, the professors are allowed to rebut any ratings.
- In-School Ratings Systems — If all else fails, turn to your own school for ratings and advice. Many universities have created their own online rating system, like UC Berkeley's ULoop or Cornell's CourseRank. Many students are willing offer advice to peers, rather than an anonymous outside source. Don't forget your can stop in and speak to your major advisers, the true professionals, for honest opinions and direction.
It's safe to say that tech took the recently completed New York Fashion Week by storm. Aside from Google Glasses spotted on editors like Nina Garcia, we couldn't help but take our eyes off the bags, fit for tablets, smartphones, and computers alike. Although they aren't necessarily "traditional" cases, we think these clutches and totes are what every fashion-forward techie needs. No basic cases here, just tons of inspiration for you and your new gold iPhone, heading into the Fall.
Phew, we must have caught you at a good time or that rare moment in between levels on Candy Crush Saga. Before you go back to making your way through those oh so addicting puzzles, we found someecards that are a little topical, a bit funny . . . but mostly a cry for help. Take a peek and share your favorites with those who can relate — we definitely can.
While we've always believed geek to be chic, it's proving to be cool beyond the tech and fandom worlds. Between statement tops and the official decree of "geek chic" as a style, nerds are ruling the runway. Take a look at a few of our favorite pieces that showcase our motto to the world — it's about time!
Selfies on the next SAT? Maybe. This Summer Oxford Dictionaries online kept it classy, adding words like "twerk," "FOMO," and "jorts" to their online repertoire, making us "squee!" But, before you blame Miley Cyrus for the direction the English language is headed, take our quiz and test your new vocab knowledge. Spelling bees are about to get interesting.
A day at the beach is good; a day at the beach with your favorite music is great. Seeking to find a way to make the latter a possibility, we found six durable speakers that no outdoor adventure should go without. Each waterproof and extremely durable, it's their style and function that set them apart. With options fit for camping, the pool, or both, you'll be set to finish the Summer on a high note.
With all the back to school talk, we can't help but let our inner prep shine. While you don't need to trade in that hoodie for a polo just yet, there's nothing like argyle and stripes to kick start the Fall. Whether you're looking to protect or accessorize your tech, these classic pieces are sure to make your collar pop!
- Polka Dot Camera Strap ($30): Give your camera a preppy touch by swapping your black strap for this polka dot denim version.
- Anchor Ear Buds ($15): We think it's about time you replace those white earbuds for these adorable anchor ones.
- iPhone Wristlet ($70): Great for girls on the go, this wristlet holds both your phone and credit cards without the bulk.
- Striped laptop tote ($295): Keep your work look classic by carrying all your tech essentials (including your laptop) in this durable tote.
- iPad Mini Sleeve ($83, originally $138): This single striped sleeve will protect your treasured iPad or ereader in style.
- Camera Bag ($195): Accessorize any outfit with your DSLR! We love the structured look and crossbody strap of this navy and leather camera bag.
- Plaid iPhone case ($40): With its flannel plaid pattern, this cell phone case is the epitome of back-to-school cool style.
- Leather portfolio ($190): Simple and sleek, this portfolio is great for iPads and goes with just about anything.
The sky's the limit when it comes to this pretty shot of the Philadelphia skyline captured by Instagram user alstadd and submitted using the #CoolCapture hashtag.
Have you been testing out your photography skills and snapped a shot you want to share? Submit your pics to our Cool Capture group or to Instagram with the #coolcapture hashtag, and your pic might be featured on the POPSUGAR Tech homepage. And don't forget to follow @popsugartech on Instagram!
With the arrival of a new school year, we have just the gifts to celebrate hitting the books again in techie style. Whether you're looking for those heading off to college or just want a little workweek pick-me-up (no shame in that), these gadget options are our almost-Fall jam. A USB keychain will make printing trips to the computer lab a breeze, while the Roku will be the perfect study break complement. Check out the list below; there's even something that could "technically" prevent the freshman 15 . . .
- USB Key Chain ($50): With all the group projects and trips to the computer lab, this cute USB drive will come in handy.
- Cable Clips ($7): Cable clips are a convenient and bright way to keep cords out of the way and organized.
- iPhone Camera Lens ($25): An attachable fish-eye lens is a fun way to capture memories with friends.
- Computer Bag ($118): This bag is a stylish way to protect a laptop while you're going from the library to class. The detachable strap is a huge bonus.
- Wallet Case ($40): This cell phone case does double duty and ensures that student IDs are always be on hand.
- Roku Streaming Stick ($90): Give the gift of endless entertainment with the (tiny) Roku streaming stick. All you need is Internet access to stream movies from services like Netflix and Amazon — no cords or cable service needed!
- Up by Jawbone ($130): Keep the freshman 15 off by staying fit with this bracelet that tracks everything from physical activity to what you eat and drink.
- Wireless Speakers ($100): Bright and colorful, these wireless speakers are perfect for both the dorm room and Spring break.
- Headphones ($100): Sleek headphones will block out a noisy roommate or help to stay in the zone during finals week.
To gear up for back to school, we're rounding up the best subject apps to help you get ahead and stay ahead. Thanks to apps available for every age and education level, crunching numbers doesn't have to be mind-numbing, and memorizing formulas doesn't need to feel like studying. With our favorite math apps in your phone's arsenal, don't be surprised when the mathlete club wants you as their newest member.
- Mathemagics ($2) — With a name like that, how could this app not accelerate your grasp of algebraic concepts? Learn how to solve and graph equations at your own pace and prepare for the SAT, GRE, MCAT, and more in no time.
- StatsMate HD ($2) — Find the statistical value you need, including p-value, probability distribution, regression, and more with this app for iPad.
- Apollonius ($4): Made for the geometry student, this app lets you make geometric constructions, such as those made using a compass and straight edge, and move their parts smoothly across your touch-screen. Great as a teaching tool, it can also be used in design work.
- MathBoard ($5): A favorite among teachers, MathBoard is the perfect teaching tool for students in kindergarten and elementary school. Teachers and parents can create quizzes, controlling the level of difficulty and length of the quiz.
- Math Bingo ($1): Ranked one of the best educational apps, Math Bingo is, you guessed it, a mathematical twist on classic bingo. Use it help with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division basics.
- Wolfram Algebra Course Assistant ($2): If you're enrolled in algebra this Fall, then Wolfram Algebra will be your new study partner. Use it to quickly solve your homework, ace your tests, and learn more complex algebra concepts. The coolest part? It helps you solve specific problems, showing you the step-by-step solution.
- Calculus Pro: Don't shed a tear doing calculus again; make this app your personal tutor with examples, tutorials, and problem-solvers for everything from partial derivatives to theorems.
For more back-to-school prep, check out our picks for the best science apps!
Today, going back to school isn't what it used to be; it's not just about packing enough pens, you also have to remember a charger and hope your homework was synced to the cloud. Here we take a trip down memory lane, seeing how shopping for school has changed to include gadgets. What is certain? Supplies may have been cheaper in yesteryear, but today's tech advances make education so much more interactive.
School is now in session! If you're heading back to the classroom — or just want to brush up on some essential writing skills — then keep those reading and writing skills on point with these IQ-boosting iOS apps.
Whether you're a high schooler preparing for an AP English Language or Literature exam or a college student in a prose seminar, keep up your intellectual fitness this Summer and download our picks for the best English and grammar apps.
- SAT World Slam ($4)— Take on the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, or TOEFL with this vocabulary app that uses humor and rhyming to help you commit tough words to memory. It's also a great app if you just want to expand your vocabulary.
- Literary Analysis Guide ($2) — Break down poetry, prose, and rhetoric with the app's elements of literary analysis "wheels" that visualize different terms and styles. It's an excellent guide for all levels of schooling.
- Grammar Girl's App ($2) — Get instant access to the popular grammar podcast reviewing "quick and dirty tips for better writing" such as "5 Uncommon Figures of Speech to Spice Up Your Writing".
A Shakespearean guide, vocab quizzes, and more after the break.
Back in the good ol' days, an Instagram filter was enough to make your photos standout, but not anymore. This is where PopAGraph comes in. It is a free masking app that adds fun colors and 3D effects to instantly make your photos pop. With image-recognition technology (sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie!), PopAGraph works to isolate the subject of your image by applying filters separate to the background, which creates a dramatic contrast. You can then get fancy with frames, shapes, and text. When all is said and done, upload your gem to Instagram (or other social media channels) and watch the hearts roll in.
This Summer, why not consider a different type of break — a break from the digital! While the idea of unplugging seems nearly impossible, hitting the OFF button could be the best thing that's happened to the season since s'mores. Although ditching the devices for a week may not be an option, a simple night out with friends and without Instagram could be just what the digital doctor ordered. If you've found it hard to go minutes without checking, scrolling, and clicking, try these four ways to get back in the moment and make the most of Summer.
- Unplug on Vacation: Since Summer and vacations often go hand in hand, use your break as an opportunity to unplug. While you may not be checking your work email, take it a step further and try to unplug from it all. This means leaving your phone behind as you enjoy a day at the beach and logging off Facebook and Twitter. Because unplugging is hard to during the work week, days off are the perfect excuse to turn off the tech — even after the plane has landed.
- Hang by the Water: The heat lends itself to lots of activities that aren't the most tech friendly. If you're having a hard time unplugging, try doing more activities like rafting, swimming, and hiking — anything that isn't kind on your tech. Because AppleCare doesn't cover water damage, you have no option but to leave your phone (and waterproof cases) at home! If you still want to capture the moment, keep it "old school" with a disposable camera. Chances are, you'll be so in the moment, that the memories will easily be remembered!
- Host a Tech-Free Party: With several opportunities for picnics and BBQs, now is the perfect time to relax with friends. But here's the catch, make it cell phone free! Rather than uploading pictures to Instagram the entire time, leave the phones behind and simply spend time with each other . . . not your mutual Facebook friends.
- Head to Camp: If things between you and your tech are really getting out of hand, it may be time to head to camp — digital detox camp that is. Camp Grounded is a Summer camp for adults where you can "go to unplug, get away, and be kids again." No cell phones, computers, or clocks; just activities like rock climbing and campfires. Campers go off the grid for the entire weekend and truly take a break from anything and everything digital. Check us in!
While it's easy to get carried away with elaborate design, sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to tech. Seeking accessories that are both sleek and stylish, we found a variety of options that any minimalist would covet. Whether you're looking to protect or store, these pieces are made from quality materials like leather and wood that lend themselves to a modern aesthetic. Take a look below and find a design that will add a streamlined touch to your home, wardrobe, or office.The lowdown on the accessories after the break.
Extra! Extra! We found the best mobile news apps you need to download — now. Whether you're looking for breaking news, summarized snippets, or updates from your favorite podcasts, these apps are here to help. They're all extremely user-friendly and customizable, so you no longer need to fret about being out of the loop (as if you ever were!). Check out our six favorites and never miss a beat again!
When it comes to starting a website, design is crucial and sometimes less is more. Not only is a clean and user-friendly site easy to navigate, it allows your content to standout and be seen. If you're in a the process of starting your own blog, website, or portfolio, we've pulled our favorite, minimalist templates from top platforms like Wordpress and Squarespace. Since customization and coding can get complicated and pricey, these free options are great way to build your brand in minutes without a hiring a professional.