New Product Announcement: Complete Suction Base now available for purchase in stores

Maxx Mount is pleased to announce that individual replacement suction cup bases are now available for purchase in retail store locations that carry our line of mobile mount products. Currently, all seven Iowa 80 locations now have stock of the new product including; Walcott, IA; Joplin, MO; Oak Grove, MO, Kenly, NC; Effingham, IL; N. Little Rock, AR; and Hebron, OH. Also, the following TA/Petro stores have our new product offering in stock; Rochelle Petro in Rochelle, IL and White’s Travel Center in Raphine, VA. The complete suction base will be available soon at all nationwide TA-Petro travel center locations as well.

The Maxx Mount complete suction base assembly in individual packaging is the exact same OEM suction base that comes with every new Maxx Mount. It is intended to be used as a replacement for the original suction base when needed. Maxx Mount’s industry first and patented adhesive suction cup is the hardest working part of every automobile mount because it sticks securely to surfaces by combining durable adhesion with suction. Others are now imitating our suction cup design and we are flattered, but they cannot compare to the original Maxx Mount adhesive formula in quality and performance.

Maxx Mount recommends replacing suction cups once a year to maintain optimum performance. As with new, individually sold suction cups also have a one-year warranty. The new suction cup base is interchangeable with all Maxx Mount adjustable mounting products including; standard and large smartphone mounts, mini-tablet mounts and standard tablet mounts.

Are Dedicated GPS systems now extinct?


By M. Georgevich

Due to the ubiquitous prevalence of smartphones today, the world of mobile electronics of today looks nothing like it did merely 10 years ago. Dedicated mapping apps like Google maps and Wayze to name a few, function in the same way as a dedicated GPS device and seem to make the need for a stand alone GPS irrelevant. This would lead one to conclude that these devices while once useful are now redundant and no longer necessary. However, in the world of professional drivers, nothing could be further from the truth.

Trucking is said to be the backbone of the American economy, transporting materials and other goods throughout the country. Truckers know how important their GPS is since the information on smartphone map apps can occasionally be wrong or even conflicting with reality.

A global positioning system, or GPS, is a vital tool now typically utilized by professional to not only go somewhere they’ve never been before, but to get information on traffic and find the quickest route to a destination. Leading brands like Garmin, TomTom, Rand McNally, and Magellan have GPS models with just such unique specializations.

Besides assisting travelers through unfamiliar places, a GPS leads not just to a selected destination, but also to rest stops, gas stations, restaurants, and hotels along the way. Because so many feel as if these truck stops are a piece of home away from home, it is important to easily find them, and even read reviews before arrival. Specialized trucking industry GPSs now have the possibility of providing this information

Truck stops aren’t as minimal as they once were. Besides snacks and fuel, most are now equipped with restaurants and showers. The best equipped may even have various important services for those who make travelling their profession. The biggest truck stop in the world, Iowa 80, has everything from a barbershop to a chiropractor to a dental office included in their facilities.

For those who make their living on the road, a GPS is a crucial piece of technology and impossible to leave home without. Because many states have now implemented hands-free laws that prevent drivers from using a mobile device while operating a vehicle, it is important to use a properly mounted device in order to avoid violating federal and state driving laws. Mobile mounts also allow you to see your device at the perfect angle to avoid distraction while driving.

These are the very reasons why Maxx Mount has created 4 different-sized mounts that adjust to fit the majority of GPS, smart phone, and tablet models and are sturdy enough to withstand life on the road.

Rugged durability and the most powerful suction cup in the industry have made Maxx Mounts the preferred choice of professional drivers for smartphone, tablet and GPS mounting. In a world where dependable performance is not negotiable, drivers across the country trust Maxx Mount to get it done. To see if your GPS device is compatible with one of our mounts, please visit our Products page to verify which size mount will fit best with your device.

Bigger and Better: Galaxy Note 7

By M. Moran
The release of the newest addition to Samsung’s large sized smartphone family, the Galaxy Note 7, will be available in the U.S. market as of August 19. The timing could not have been better for Samsung, as ad spots for the phone are going to be running during the 2016 summer olympics in Rio…an event which should have significant viewership. While the new phone seems to be “packed” with new features, we plan here to comment only on the most impressive ones, and for balance mention a few items that could have a downside.

Nice Display Screen
It is the largest of the Note series smartphones produced to date. Many reviewers have spoken well of the new Note and its 5.7 ” screen which makes use of a wrap-around display, something currently unique to both Samsung and LG.
Water Resistance
As anyone who has lost a phone to water damage can tell you, the water resistant nature of the new Note elevates its desirability, something that Samsung’s main competitor Apple hasn’t yet debuted. While water resistant is good, and will definitely solve some problems it may in the process actually create some new ones. The reason is that many people don’t actually have a good grasp of the difference between water resistant and water proof. Those same people may not be as careful to keep their phone dry as the normally would and inadvertently end up exposing their phone to more water than they should. We suggest looking further into the difference between the two definitions for your own reference…in other words it probably not a good idea go swimming with your Note 7 in your pocket.

Iris Scanner
Another innovative and unique feature of the Note 7 is the built-in iris scanner. This allows the phone to be unlocked with a simple widening of the eye, instead of using a fingerprint, passcode, or pattern. Will it be used, will it work well or be subject to misfires, or is it somewhat gimmicky? These are answers that will only become apparent in time.

Massive Memory…But is it Worth it?
Although the superior screen, and the 64 GB base memory with the current ability to expand to 256 GB is remarkable (supposedly able to expand to 2 TB when that is available…which honestly won’t happen until the phone is obsolete), certain downsides could give some pause to reconsider the $849.00 purchase. Here is the short list: the non-removable battery, Samsung overcrowding the software with preloaded OS specific apps including two different browsers, the strong possibility of either losing the stylus or it getting stuck in the port due to dust or small grains of sand. These negative elements could wind up being detractions for many users.

Summary
Overall, The new phone appears to have a super solid build despite the minimal negatives. Samsung lovers will undoubtedly appreciate the new qualities and features the Note 7 has to offer, even if the purchase price is at the very top of the smartphone food chain. Lastly, we should mention that it will fit very nicely into our large smartphone mount.

Welcome to the Era of Surveillance: Your Smartphone Is Watching You Drive

by M. Moran

Have you ever wondered why car insurance premiums are so expensive? Insurance fundamentally works by spreading the cost of repairs and claims for drivers who are in accidents among all drivers who buy insurance from any particular company. Many careful drivers think that it is not fair to have to pay for the costs incurred by others who may be poor drivers. For years I wished that someone would come up with a way to ensure the careless drivers paid the price for their negligence in the form of higher premiums instead of spreading the cost out among those of us who do our best to drive safely.

An unintended consequence arising from the advent of the smartphone is the amplification of the difference between careful and careless drivers. Most careful drivers don’t heed the temptation to take their eyes off the road and focus on the digital universe in their smartphone.

There is no way to know for sure if the widespread adoption of smartphone use precipitated the need for a way to measure the insured individual’s driving habits, we do know that a growing trend has been one where top rated insurance companies are introducing new and different ways for their customers to prove they have good driving skills.

For now, a small group of well-known insurance companies are making it possible to measure the skills of drivers in two different ways. Progressive Auto Insurance first started its usage-based insurance program called Snapshot, in 2008. Since then the Snapshot device has been fitted to over three million vehicles. Their strategy initiated a first step into usage-based personalized auto insurance rates by using a small device that plugs into your car’s OBD-II port. The device records information from your car, including your speed and breaking harshness. This data is automatically sent to your online account, and is available to users for viewing. As other insurance companies fell behind with this huge PR boosting advance, many big name insurance companies Allstate and State Farm followed suit in introducing usage-based programs to remain competitive.

AAA Auto Insurance is in the process of rolling out it’s own pilot program this year (2016), called AAA Drive. Unlike Progressive, the method of monitoring the driver is based on an app downloaded to the customer’s phone. Currently the program is being tested only in the state of Illinois but there are plans to make it available nation-wide at some point once it has been fully tweaked and is ready.

Having features in common with snapshot, AAA’s downloadable app allows their customers to record every trip, automatically scoring them based on smooth driving, speed, mobile distraction, time of day, and fatigue. A feature that distinguishes it from Progressive’s device based method is that it measures a driver’s distraction based on frequency of phone while driving. Drivers with good scores will be able to earn discounts on their premiums.

Driver-tracking apps can provide very in-depth levels of detail, and can give information not only about driving behavior but the context associated with it. For example, they can accurately detect whether any specific person is a the driver or simply a passenger in the car.

We suspect the use of a smartphone app (as opposed to a plug-in device) will become the new norm that will eventually be adopted by all insurance companies since it is easier for customers and costs much less for the insurance company to develop. More evidence of this upcoming trend can be seen with the latest offering from a Boston based startup app developer named Censio. It is our understanding that Censio is currently working on an app based pilot program with Progressive under the assumption that they will be able to help Progressive’s customers reduce distracted driving.

We also have a feeling that the pendulum of premium discounting could swing both ways on customers and indeed it must. While the marketing spin from these companies promises savings for good drivers, it is a sure bet that drivers who are not so cautious will be receiving premium increases. From a business standpoint, how else can premium reductions for good drivers be neutralized?

For all usage-based insurance program customers it is important to rank well on your level of focus while driving, a smartphone mount should be used. This removes the risk of looking down at your phone, potentially leading to an accident or a sharp step on the brakes, which has the effect of significantly lowering your score.

Although we cannot know what kind of driver you are, we can promise to make your driving experience a safer and more productive one if you need to use your smartphone while driving. And the odds are good that one of our smartphone mounts will fit your phone. Maxx Mount boasts the ability to hold over 351 smartphone models between its standard and large smartphone mounts.

To see if your phone is compatible with one of our mounts please visit our product page to verify which size smartphone mount will work with your phone.

Maxx Mount Apple iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and SE product compatibility update

By Maxx Mount

In the latest news from the Apple universe, Maxx Mount announces that both of our smartphone mount models are fully compatible with all of Apple’s newest products: the iPhone SE, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Following these launches, Maxx Mount assures existing customers and potential buyers that both of our smartphone mount models will fit Apple’s newest phones. At last count, our smartphone mounts will hold the a combined total of over 370 devices.

The new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models were presented at the September 2015 Keynote event, impressing the audience with new features. The newest features of note for both 6s models include 3D touch, a new rose gold color edition, improved quality camera, and an overall faster processing system.

The iPhone SE (standing for special edition) was introduced at Apple’s March event, following requests from customers for an updated version of the 4-inch phone. Although it has the same screen size as the iPhone 5 series of phones, it provides users with the latest processor, the camera and video specs of the existing iPhone 6 models, and is available at a lower price than other iPhones with the same processing specifications. The SE has been moving very briskly…it actually has been selling out in many Apple stores. This could be an indicator of the popularity of the smaller screen or maybe the more affordable price point.

To make the most of every innovative feature designed into your Apple smartphone and for the best mobile mounting performance, we recommend our standard smartphone sized mount model for the iPhone SE with or without a case as well the iPhone 6s without a case. Our large smartphone mount will securely hold the iPhone 6s if the outside dimension has been increased by having a case. The large smartphone mount will also hold the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus either with or without a case.

For more detailed fit information on any model smartphone please refer to our product page for each corresponding mount model.

 

Spotlight on The Genius of Apple’s Smartphone Product Line

by M. Moran

Maxx Mount is proud to manufacture mounts that adjust to hold all of Apple’s Smartphone and tablet products. Our goal is to make versatile products that adjust to hold nearly every popular brand and model of smartphone, tablet and GPS.

One of our largest markets are Apple smartphone users, due to the iPhones far-reaching popularity….a testament to Apple’s innate design genius. Apple’s commitment to improving their models on a regular timeline gives the company credibility and provides customers with a set date of when they can expect new products, building anticipation. The systematic method of naming products this way enables Apple customers to easily distinguish between each model. It also provides a logical and common sense method for identifying a model’s respective size, the age of the model, and what kind of features or processing power the model may have.

Another effective strategy used by Apple is the user-friendly model names, which logically increase each successive model by a single digit, and adding an ‘s’ to each extension of the existing product. An example of this deliberate and very effective model naming strategy can be seen in the following model names progressive list: iPhone, iPhone 3, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus,iPhone 6s, and iPhoneSE, etc…and of course more are on the way.

Our Standard Smartphone Auto Mount will hold: iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5s, SE, and 6 and 6s without a case

Our Large Smartphone Auto Mount will hold: iPhone 6 and 6s with a case, 6 plus and 6s plus with or without a case.

To purchase or for more information on which mount will fit your phone, tablet or GPS, visit our site product page

The Fire is Gone: The Untimely Demise of the Amazon Fire Phone

By M. Moran

The Amazon Fire Phone was made available in July of 2014 with much anticipation and marketing fanfare. It boasted many desirable features including a 4.7 inch 3D display, corning Gorilla Glass screen, an Amazon-specific Android operating system, up to 64 GB of storage, 13 MP camera, plus the added bonus of a free year of Amazon prime with purchase.

Following the heavily hyped launch of the new Amazon Fire Phone in June of 2014, the phone did not achieve the projected sales numbers, and experienced a price cut just 6 weeks after it’s initial launch due to lukewarm product reception. The launch did come at an inopportune time…just two months before the iPhone 6 reveal, with millions patiently waiting its long anticipated arrival. Releasing the Fire Phone too close to Apple’s new product introduction could have proved to be a costly mistake, which ultimately could have caused its premature demise.

The founder and CEO of Amazon.com Inc., Jeff Bezos, is known for his entrepreneur spirit so the launch of an entirely new brand into the already crowded smartphone segment was not unexpected. The 52 year old has not only grown the international company to a current worth of $764.00 per share, but has also started many other projects through his personal corporation, rightfully named Bezos Expeditions, for its many-faceted objectives. One of the many is Blue Origin: the development of spaceships with the plan of using them for transportation to the International Space Station and back. Another is the construction of a clock that will tick for 10,000 years. He also is an investor in huge corporations like Twitter, and budding ones like Air BNB and Uber.

Although the pilot program which launched the phone was a flop and the phone was discontinued indefinitely, Amazon was still able to sell the entire supply of manufactured devices….a likely result of their huge marketing channel bandwidth.

Amazon stopped selling the Fire Phone in August of 2015, and many subsequently have argued that aside from bad market timing it could have succeeded if it would have triumphed in either design or price, of which it did neither. The build of the phone was considered to be lackluster. The price was also equivalent to that of the iPhone 5s that was on the market at that time. A pilot program cannot thrive if it assumes the prestige of a novelty and world-reigning brand like Apple. One theory in retrospect is that it should have been offered as a perk for Amazon Prime members, and that way would have gained much more popularity than it did.

For those who are lovers of everything Amazon, there are still options. As a prime member, many phones, like the Motorola Moto Z and the BLU R1 HD are available for up to $200.00 off the retail price. (SIDE NOTE: Everyone by now knows that Motorola sold its cell phone unit to Google who continues the product line under the Motorola name. What many may not know is that despite their impressive worldwide sales numbers the up and coming smartphone manufacturer known as BLU Products is not a widely recognized name in the US market. BLU was founded in 2009 so they have been around for a while now. They design and manufacture affordably priced yet attractive mobile devices. Their products can be found at Best Buy and Walmart.)

Of course, like all good things, this discount comes with a slight hitch: the unlocked and reduced-price phones will feature Amazon-sponsored ads behind the lock screen, meaning that each time its user unlocks their device, a full screen sized ad will appear, advertising Amazon products or brand deals. Another catch is the addition of all the Amazon-related products like Kindle, Amazon shop, Amazon Music, Amazon video, Audible, and more.

The decision to see things Amazon’s way could be a tempting one for those looking to save money, although the negatives of constant advertising may give some pause to contemplate all factors before making a quick purchase.

 

 

Curved phones ahead? Maxx Mount is not worried…

By M. Georgevich

Based on some of the latest tech news making the tech blog rounds in the last few months, it would seem that several well-known phone manufactures have a type of curved phone in development or are actually getting ready to offer a curved phone on the market.  In the past whenever a new iPhone is on the horizon (iPhone 6 anyone?) of being made public, rampant speculation surrounding any design changes abounds. Renderings of artist’s conceptions or even suggestions for the new design can be found all over the web. This time around, it’s not just Apple enjoying the imaginative favor of worldwide technology-obsessed fans. Among these visions for the future of tech design there have recently been multiple curved and even flexible designs.

iPhone concept by Ciccares Design

iPhone concept by Ciccares Design

The possibilities and the questions
If a phone was to be curved, it could be curved in several different dimensions. Any kind of curved phone would likely showcase radiuses in two opposite dimensions: a top end to bottom end curve or a left side to right side curve. As is often the case with the imaginings of graphic artists and designers, idealism can easily trump reality. But in the real world, there are questions that need to be asked: Can a curved phone fit in your pocket? Will it break more easily than a flat phone due to the amplified leverage that exists by simply virtue of the curved design? The answers to these questions could depend largely on which direction the curve occurs and if it curves only in two planes instead of one, i.e. a curved front with a flat back. Pure speculation alone will not be able to offer the evidence.

LG G Flex

LG G Flex

Its no secret that Korea is home to some of the most highly regarded tech companies in the world. The reality is that both Samsung and LG have been working to bring a curved phone to the market. Samsung officially launched their Galaxy Round smartphone in South Korea on October 10, 2013. Also, it is our understanding that LG also has plans to launch its first ever commercially available curved phone, the LG G Flex, on the South Korean market some time in November 2013. As of the writing of this article, these phones are only available in Korea, what now seems to be the first test market for curved smartphones.

Samsung galaxy round

Samsung Galaxy Round

Whether this is an upcoming trend, or just a proverbial flash in the pan is still yet to be seen.  While Apple has long been regarded as the industry pace setter, several of it’s rivals are attempting to lessen it’s relevance in the arena of the smartphone universe.

Why we are not worried…
If at some point in the future the curved phone becomes a mainstay of smartphone offerings we will not be worried. And if Apple comes out with a curved phone, we will be pleasantly surprised. However, we will also be ready. Unlike other mobile mounts currently available on the market, our adjustable grip mounting system can accommodate a considerable combination of length x width variables. Additionally, its advanced design can also accommodate a range of phone thicknesses or depths. This will be a major factor for mounting any curved smartphones looking to be placed into a mount somewhere in the future. Unfortunately the future isn’t quite problem-free yet; the real problems for curved smartphone customers could be waiting for them in the protective case market.

Time for a tune-up: Apple increases iPhone 5s production, while reducing iPhone 5c

By M. Georgevich

Since the initial excitement from the highly anticipated launches of Apple iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c has now receded to a mild buzz, it has now become apparent the degrees to which the adoring public has accepted the two products. It seems that consumers are not as interested in the iPhone 5c as they are the 5s.  On the other hand, there is ample and growing evidence that Apple’s new flagship phone the iPhone 5s, is a resounding success. As a result, Apple has reportedly undertaken some production adjustments.

Comparison of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c

Comparison of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c

According to recent report published by the consumer electronics research firm NPD Group: The diverging fates of Apple’s iPhone 5s and 5c have been widely reported, and our latest channel checks confirm that Apple indeed has cut back 5c production by 35% and increased 5s production by 75%.

The general market expectation that the iPhone 5c would be a more affordable version of the new iPhone offering may have created widespread disappointment. It is widely thought that this well-worn rumor affected how the product was received, contributing to the less than projected sales numbers. Apparently, it was never Apple’s intention to develop a product that would appeal to the “low-cost” smartphone segment. Apple continues to resist the strong market pressures of those clamoring for it to make an economy version of its well-regarded premium smartphone line.

 Could it be that something is missing…

Apple very seldom makes the types of missteps in product launches that have characterized the offerings of Microsoft in the last decade, and they will never lose face by pulling the plug on the iPhone 5c. Maybe nobody noticed, but a certain classic color is conspicuously missing from the 5c color lineup. It is a fact that bright colors do not resonate with everyone. Personally, this writer believes that fine-tuning the color line up and adding the standard tech color of black would be in order. This move would appeal to a more conservative user base (i.e. men), the type of person who likes the phone…but not the colors.

It is possible, although unlikely, that Apple may end up having to cut the 5c’s price to make it more appealing. If this scenario were to happen (to the delight of all Apple fanboys and girls) everyone would be a winner in the end, and who doesn’t like a happy ending?

 

 

Apple Announces their new flagship smartphone: the iPhone 5s

By M. Georgevich

3 color iphone

The 3 colors of the apple iPhone 5s

Apple new product launches rarely live up to the pre launch hype, not because they aren’t excellent products, but because the hype and speculation is so overinflated. Yet in spite of all the pre-release hyperventilating, Apple always manages to keep a few surprises up their sleeve. The official announcement of the new iPhone 5s came yesterday. As expected, it is being billed as the most advanced iPhone yet — because that is what it is.

Notable features:
It sports a blazing fast new A7 chip (made by Apple), which makes the iPhone 5s is the first smartphone in tech history to have 64-bit processing architecture. What this means to users is that they can expect a very snappy performance when using the phone.  App launching will now be noticeably smoother than silk, and for those who use their phones to play graphically intensive games a whole new world of immersive, instantly responsive graphics awaits. Improved data crunching in 64-bit chunks also means that those who use their phone to edit photos on the fly will have new power at their fingertips…literally.  It would be hard to imagine even five years ago that this type of processing power could be found in a phone when it has previously only been in a desktop. It’s equivalent to having the power of desktop processing in your pocket or purse.

One of the most discussed and highly anticipated features of the new iPhone is the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Other have tried to incorporate this technology into their products in the past, but it turned out that it was not ready for prime time. Now, it seems, Apple has figured out how to allow users to securely unlock their phones by using their finger as the password.

Below is a list of additional iPhone 5s notable features:

Increased battery life when compared to the iPhone 5

A new FaceTime HD camera

A new and never before seen Touch ID fingerprint sensor…. if it can live up to the hype it is worth repeating again here

M7 motion co-processing chip

An all new 8 megapixel iSight camera

More LTE bands (up to 13) than any other competitors phone

Ships with the much heralded iOS 7 operational update and graphic redesign already pre-installed.

The iPhone 5s will have an anodized aluminum case like it’s predecessor the iPhone5, and will be available in three new colors: gold, silver, or space gray. The iPhone 5c will be available in the U.S. for a suggested retail price of $199 for the 16GB 5s model, $299 for the 32GB 5s model, and $399 for the 64GB 5s model. As noted in our companion news brief on the iPhone 5c, these are the carrier subsidized prices, and require a contractual commitment from a cell phone service provider. Interested customers can place an order by going into any Apple store retail location or can place a pre-order for their iPhone 5c with Apple on their online web store starting September 20.