Gear Review: Get a Grip on Your Phone with Popsockets

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Let me start by saying I have a big phone. My iPhone 6 Plus has some of the best battery life of any smartphone on the planet and a fantastic screen. But those wonderful perks come at a cost: my phone is borderline obnoxiously big. If I’m sitting down, I usually have it on the table or desk in front of me, and I’m okay with that trade-off. But there’s one area that was, until recently, pretty annoying: trying to use the 6 Plus with one hand.

Holding it from the bottom ensures your thumb will be at least an area code away from reaching anything on the top of the screen. Hold it from the middle, and a light breeze might cause it to slip out of your hand. Apple’s solution to this was double tapping the home button lightly to have the entire UI move down into thumb range. And while this feature is cute, it’s a band-aid for a design that’s bad for anyone with hands smaller than Andre the Giant.

Enter: PopSocketsPopSockets

PopSockets are a clever little iPhone accessory that solves the thumb reaching problem with a little attachment to help you get a grip with your big phone. The awesome folks at PopSockets were kind enough to provide me with a PopSocket sample, complete with a snazzy Popticals logo. Thanks guys!

The PopSocket attaches to the back your phone or case via a sticky material. Don’t worry it’s not going to gunk up your phone, and is easily repositioned. I’ve moved mine around three of four times since I started using it, and it’s left zero residue on my phone case. And the sticky material is still as secure as when I first got it.

When the PopSocket is flattened, it sits only 1/8th of an inch tall which is nearly unnoticeable in your pocket. It pops out using the a polyurethane accordion with two heights: one that can rest on your fingers, and one tall enough to fit your fingers around. I find myself almost always using the latter.

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I usually go for a “spock” grip with the PopSocket positioned between my middle and ring fingers (as shown in the first image above). This allows me to easily reach every inch of my phone screen with my thumb. Plain and simple, it makes every interaction with my big ol’ phone a little easier. And considering how much screen time I have (and that you probably do too), that’s a big deal. I also sometimes use the PopSocket as a stand to prop up my phone for easy viewing.

PopSocket Stand

On a side note, if you get a PopSocket, you will pop it out and back down for no reason. Constantly. In meetings, while you’re waiting for things to load, while you’re talking to people. It’s addicting. PopSockets come in a wonderful array pre-made of color combinations for $10 a pop (pun fully intended), and the option to customize the base, accordion, and face for a small cost.

Get Poppin: www.popsockets.com

 

Review: Be More Chill at Two River Theater

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I’d like to think I know great content when I see it, both online and off. Somewhere between talent, tact, knowledge and creativity, there’s a certain something that separates good content from great content. It could be a piece of art. It could be a video or a song. It could be a musical. When I saw the outstanding digital marketing (more on that below) and the talk surrounding Two River Theater’s Be More Chill, I knew that it would be great. Spoiler: it is.

(Full disclosure: Two River Theater graciously provided tickets for me to attend. Thanks guys!)

Jeremy meets his Squip. Photo courtesy of Two River Theater

Jeremy meets his Squip. Photo courtesy of Two River Theater

Without giving too much away, the plot to Be More Chill is about a young, painfully normal and unremarkable high schooler named Jereme Heere. Jeremy discovers a new experimental microprocessor called a “Squip” that comes in the shape of a gray oblong pill that, once swallowed, will activate an artificial intelligence inside his head, instructing him on how to be more chill. Not cool. Chill.

The play is hip, energetic, vibrant and young. From the myriad of stylishly dressed characters, to the use of bright colors across backgrounds and lighting, Be More Chill is as much of a delight to see as it is to hear. The man behind the music is Mr. Joe Iconis, and every song is smartly written and incredibly catchy. Even as I write this, I find myself singing the opening theme or “I Love Play Rehearsal”, as if I myself have had a Squip implanted in my brain that only sings songs from the show. Every single member of the cast (only ten performers) is incredibly talented, and all get the singing spotlight at some point. One of the more memorable songs of the show for me was “Michael in the Bathroom” not only because it’s catchy (like all the songs), but because actor George Salazar did a knockout job with the entire scene. Here’s a taste.

The colorful set design was also impressive and utilized well with quick scene changes that never missed a beat, all under a catwalk occupied by the Squip, symbolizing his existence only in the main characters mind. Behind the set sits the live band, performing every song and adding sound to every scene.

Be More Chill set

 

Be More Chill is everything you could want in a fresh, fun performance to kick off the summer. But before I knew how incredible the show was, I was drawn in by the stellar marketing campaign surrounding it.

Marketing

I admittedly don’t see a lot of shows, but this one caught my eye. To be more specific, it wasn’t any of my friends recommending the show, but the marketing that got me interested. And to be even more specific, the digital marketing on social media was what really drew me in. Two River Theater has an outstanding digital marketing team and some very smart folks running their social media. They understand their audience on social, and how to story-tell on every platform. From the Be More Chill sunglasses, to the fantastic content across Instagram and Facebook, I had a very good idea of what Be More Chill would be like before I even stepped into the theater, and I was excited. Be More Chill has all the youthful energy that resonates perfectly with more artsy, 30-and-under users on Instagram, where Two River Theater pumped out lots of great content. And to top it all off, they offer $20 tickets for anyone under the age of 30.

Be More Chill has been extended through June 28th! There’s only one thing left to do…

C-c-c-c’mon, C-c-c-c’mon, Go Go!

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