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Tweeting On The John [Infographic]

December 18th, 2012 No comments

Have you ever tweeted on the toilet? Well, don’t be ashamed if you have, you aren’t the only one. In fact, 33% of people ages 18-24 tweet while on the loo. Another surpirsing fact, is that both men and women are equally likely to use social networks in the bathroom.

Gone are the days of using a book or magazine to pass the time while you’re doing your “business.” With the rise of smartphone usage, people have found an even better distraction while in the bathroom.

This infographic presented by emergencyplumber.uk.com highlights how people are using social media while in the bathroom and how it’s probably not the most sanitary idea.

Emergency Plumber warns against social media in the Bathroom

A Snapshot of Mobile Search Trends [Infographic]

July 19th, 2012 No comments

Did you know that Facebook is the number one searched website on mobile devices? In fact, consumers use their mobile phone more often for searching the web than their personal desktop computers. The average response time for desktop search is one week and only one hour for mobile devices.

Facebook is the king of mobile searching with 2500 adaptations of the word “Facebook” during these searches. For every 100 searches for Facebook there are only 2.52 searches for the other popular social networking website, Twitter.

On average, people are using their mobile devices near the time they go to bed as opposed to the morning hours. In a 24 hour period of time, mobile usage rises and desktop drops near the PM. Mobile internet usages are gradually rising and desktop searches are steadily decreasing.

A Snapshot of Mobile Search Trends [Infographic]
© 2012 StartApp

Android’s New Flavor: Galaxy Nexus

February 8th, 2012 No comments

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Remember the good old days when you were a kid and something as simple as an ice cream sandwich could give you all the joys you could ever want?  How would you feel if you could have that same satisfaction under the same name, only as a smartphone?  The Android powered Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone is currently the only phone to operate on Android’s newest software, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.  This new software was designed as a convergence of Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Android’s tablet software. It offers a huge upgrade in the user interface and many other functions previously not available on Android.  This new software combines with the smooth looks of the Samsung hardware to make one heck of a phone.

Read more…

Bionic Breakdown

October 25th, 2011 No comments

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The Droid Bionic has had a rough life.  It was first announced at CES in the beginning of 2011, but was then torn apart and completely rebuilt.  Motorola’s decision to start over with the phone caused it to be delayed for months, but it was finally released last month on Verizon Wireless.  With it’s new internals, the Bionic now sports a dual-core 1 GHz processor, 4.3 inch HD display, 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with flash, and 1 GB of of RAM.  Oh, and don’t forget about its connection to Verizon’s 4G LTE network.  So, was it worth the wait and it’s $300 price tag?  We think it might be.

Design

The Bionic is a good looking phone, there’s no doubt about that, but there’s really nothing that makes it stand out above other Verizon phones.  It’s the thinnest LTE phone on the network, but definitely not the thinnest smartphone available.  It’s also thicker around the top of the phone where the camera is located, something I’m usually not a fan of for fear it will flip out of my hand.  But the Bionic has a very smooth and gradual transition from thick to thin, resulting in a better grip and easing my fears of dropping it.  As you may expect on modern phones, the screen is made of super-strong Gorilla Glass, and it has a slight bevel around the edges to give it a more defined look.  Overall the Bionic is a good, solid looking phone, but nothing to drool over.

OS

The Bionic runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, not the most recent Android release (nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich), but it will almost certainly receive the upgrade sometime over the next few months.  Motorola has customized the OS with the hope of making it easier to use, but that’s unfortunately not always the case.  One of the positive enhancements is the ability to group applications in the app drawer.  This makes it much easier to keep things organized and quickly find what you’re looking for.  Another enhancement is the addition of a grid when moving icons and widgets around your home screen.  It’s nothing huge, but it’s the little things like this that add up for an overall improved experience.

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Speed

As mentioned before, this is a Verizon LTE device.  While I don’t want to get into Verizon’s service and a review of their 4G network, I do want to mention that the Bionic does a great job utilizing the LTE.  Combined with the speed of the dual core processor, the Bionic pulls down websites, flash content, YouTube videos, and just about anything else very quickly.  Unlike some other carriers, Verzion’s 4G LTE network now covers about half the country, so receiving these speeds on your Bionic won’t be unheard of.

Battery

The Bionic boasts the largest battery on an LTE device yet, which is great since using 4G can quickly drain a battery.  It’s no miracle battery, but every little bit counts when you’re on the go.  You’ll likely get a days usage out of a single charge with light to moderate use, but if you’re a heavy user or plan on tethering you might want to bring an extra battery.  If you plan on using it a lot and don’t want to carry an extra battery, there’s also an extended battery available, though the tradeoff is obviously a thicker phone.

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Camera

By default the Bionic is set to take 6MP shots, even though it has an 8MP camera.  It does this to make the picture better fit the phone’s display, and it’s easy enough to go into settings and change it to the full 8MP.  Overall the camera is okay.  It’s very much like the Droid X and X2’s cameras in that the pictures are a bit underexposed and they often lack contrast.  There’s also a noticeable lag when focusing.  Click the shutter button and it will focus, and focus, and focus, and eventually take the shot.  Whether or not the actual photo is in focus at that point is a gamble.  The Bionic’s camera will do fine for everyday shots, but this is one area I wish they would have improved when rebuilding the phone.

The Bionic records video at 1080p, but is set at 720p by default.  Again, a quick change in the settings is all that’s needed to get the full recording resolution.  The video is a noticeable better quality than the video found on the Droid X and X2, but it’s still not perfect with some noticeable focus hunting happening when objects get close up.  Even with the noticeable focusing, the video recording will easily suffice for most user’s needs.

Final Thoughts

The Droid Bionic is an exceptionally good phone.  No, it doesn’t have an eye-catching design, or a miracle battery, or a perfect camera, but that phone doesn’t exist yet.  The Bionic is about as close as you’re currently going to get to perfect.  It has powerful insides with blazing fast speeds powered by Verizon’s ever-expanding LTE network.  Being so new, it will almost certainly be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich at some point over the next few months.  As for it’s $300 price tag, that is ultimately up to you.  If you plan on keeping the phone for a 2-year contract (as most probably will) then I would say go for it.  Spend the money now and you will have a phone that will do you well for the next two years.  It has the power and speed to run the newest apps and probably any that will be created in the time you own the phone.

Introducing Verizon’s Pantech Breakout

October 24th, 2011 No comments

The latest in Verizon’s LTE collection, the Pantech Breakout defines a new line in the 4G smartphone world. The phone is sleek, stylish, and runs on Verizon’s 4G network for a fraction of the price. The Pantech Breakout has everything you’d expect from a modern smartphone with a few surprising tweaks that will change the face of 4G phones.

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The dimensions of the phone itself are relatively small compared to other choices on the market – the screen is just 4 inches. While the smaller screen may seem to tug at its value and demand, this is quite untrue. Because of the smaller screen, the phone is considerably lighter making it a less demanding gadget and more appealing to the masses.

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Phone size aside, let’s talk about pricing. How would you like a brand new, full fledged 4G smartphone for $100? With a two year contract from Verizon, the Breakout is yours, as well as the lightning 4G speed of Verizon’s network and the many features that the phone carries. Don’t let the price fool you, the Pantech Breakout lacks nothing when it comes to the features we’ve come to expect and demand from our smartphones.

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The Breakout runs on the 2.3 Android operating system, can act as a mobile hotspot for up to ten devices, and is equipped with dual cameras for casual photo taking and video calls. The Breakout certainly didn’t cut any corners when it comes to features. The start up screen and home panel are luxuriously colorful and eye-catching, with plenty of space for Apps and a bar of necessities that have four places reserved for the Phone, Messaging, Contacts and anything else you may call a necessity at the bottom of the screen. When tapping the Apps icon, a visual list of all the phone’s apps pull up, from YouTube, to weather, to tip calculator to news and media, you can pick and choose which apps make it to your home screen, and swap them out when need be.

All in all, the Pantech Breakout is a cheaper, less demanding, and more carefree than it’s sisters on the market. It’s an everyman’s smartphone, not lacking in any of it’s 4G capabilities, but not too much that it’s overwhelming. The Breakout is a relatively new phone, and the hype up to buy one has yet to pick up.  But with the fabulous features that rival more expensive smartphones, customers everywhere will be begging to have one.

Do the Revolution

June 30th, 2011 No comments

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The LG Revolution is one of Verizon’s latest powerhouses running on their 4G LTE network.  Compared to Verizon’s other two 4G devices, the LG Revolution offers very similar specs.  It’s equipped with a single core Snapdragon 1GHz processor, Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, HDMI, a 5-megapixel back camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 4.3-inch 480 x 800 pixel TFT display.  Like most current Android phones, the Revolution is still running Android 2.2 Froyo, and not 2.3 Gingerbread.  However, the LG Revolution does come with the Netflix app preinstalled.  Only a handful of devices currently support the Netflix Android app, so this can be a huge draw for some people.

The LG Revolution is a very sleek looking phone.  Compared to Verizon’s Thunderbolt and Droid Charge, the Revolution is the best looking (well, in my opinion).  It has a very compact and sturdy form factor, with the volume and HDMI on the right side and mini-USB port on the left.  On top, there’s a standard headphone jack and a power/wake button.  Nothing is on the bottom of the device except a small pinhole for the microphone, and on the back you’ll find a speaker, LED flash, and the 5-megapixel camera.  Along the bottom of the front are the typical menu, home, back, and search buttons, and the speaker and front-facing camera are along the top.  You’ll also find a small notification light on the front of the device.  The notification light is a tiny spec, but the LED light is plenty bright to get your attention.

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The specs of the LG Revolution combine to make a pretty decent phone.  The 5-megapixel back camera takes very detailed pictures, and high quality 720p HD videos.  As is the case with any smartphone camera, the lighting has a huge effect on the quality of the picture.  We found some colors to be washed out when in direct sunlight.  The front-facing camera has decent quality, enough to provide a good experience for video chatting.

The software that comes with the Revolution is a bit disappointing, as it comes with the outdated Android 2.2 Froyo.  With such a “revolutionary” device I would expect it to have the latest and greatest version of Android.  Froyo was a great improvement to the Android OS, but Gingerbread is the latest and should be on any new phone.  LG has added a custom skin on top of Froyo, which tries to make the software easier to navigate and use.  The app tray is now divided into categories, the widget screen more closely resembles the app tray, and the notification drawer has been tweaked to include a few toggle buttons.  Unfortunately, the LG Revolution also comes with a hefty amount of bloatware.  Apps you probably don’t want, but are there and are not un-installable.  As mentioned earlier one of these is the Netflix application, which we are more than happy to have available.  The rest, however, we would do just fine without.

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Using the LG Revolution is a lot like using most other smartphone’s currently available.  While it’s a great phone and there aren’t many negatives, there’s also nothing about it that screams must-have.  4G LTE is nice to have, but it’s power-hungry and lacking widespread availability, making it an unused feature to many.  Verizon is quickly growing their LTE network, but people aren’t going to see it as a killer feature until it’s as large as their 3G network.  The LG Revolution is a great phone if you want a 4G device, but I’m not sure it lives up to it’s name.  If you truly want your next phone to be ahead of its time, you might want to hold out for something else.

 

 

Keep Your Phone Juiced

May 24th, 2011 No comments

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Smartphones.  They’ve transformed our simple mobile phones into robust mini computers with capabilities matching those of 90’s PCs.  These compact powerhouses give us the ability to do anything from browsing the web to directing us to our favorite eatery.  Unfortunately for the user, these tasks require a lot of power and can drain your battery before you know it.  A few weeks ago we wrote a post detailing a new technology that will recharge your mobile phone just by using it.  This will be great when it’s fully developed and ready for real world use, but until then we’ll have to rely on some simple tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your smartphone battery.

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The first thing you should do is look into how frequently your apps check for updates.  The more often they check for updates, the more often your phone has to wake up and use data.  This means your phone is doing more work, more frequently and is in turn using more battery.  If you’ve never changed update frequency before, there’s a high chance your apps are refreshing pretty often.  Most apps install without battery life in mind and are automatically set to update a few times an hour.  Find your way into your app’s settings and change its update frequency to every few hours instead of every fifteen minutes and you’ll see an almost instant increase in your phone’s battery life.

After you’ve changed the settings of each individual app, you can head over to your phone’s settings and change some of those.  Turning your phone’s WiFi and mobile data off can save your phone tons of battery.  The tradeoff, however, is that no apps will be updated as you have no connection to the Internet. One of the beauties of the Android operating system is the ability to use widgets.  These allow you to quickly turn things like WiFi and mobile data off and on as you need it directly from your home screen.  Widgets can also be used for GPS, Bluetooth, screen brightness, and a slew of other things you can disable or modify to prolong your battery’s charge.

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If you simply must have your apps updated frequently and you can’t live with data turned off, there are other options to keep your phone juiced up throughout the day.  Car chargers give you the ability to charge your phone on the go by plugging into your car’s power outlet (or cigarette lighter for those of you with more aged vehicles).  These are incredibly useful if you have a job that requires a lot of travel or driving around the city for meetings.  If a stationary desk is more akin to your job description, a charging pad might be of more use.  These allow you to wirelessly charge your phone by placing it on a surface that’s plugged into the wall.  The benefit of these is that you can still answer and use your phone as normal without worrying about tangled cords holding you down.  Just pick up your phone when you need to use it and set it back on the pad when you’re finished.  Voilà, your phone will continue to charge!

If you happen to have a job that puts you in the middle of nowhere and away from all wired power sources, you do have the option of carrying multiple batteries with you.  Throwing a few in a pocket or bag will ensure your phone stays up and running for as long as you may need it.  But if you’re in the middle of nowhere without any nearby power sources, the chances of you actually having service are also pretty low.  Those of you who rushed to get a Verizon Apple iPhone also can’t replace the battery when it’s dead.  Instead, Verizon offers a Universal Portable Power Pack that holds a charge until you plug it into your phone.

Smartphones are wonderful devices that offer you the ability to do all kinds of work on the go.  Whether you have an iPhone or a 4G powerhouse like the HTC Thunderbolt, your battery life is as precious as the phone itself.  Use these guidelines to take advantage of every ounce of juice your battery can hold.

Inside Scoop on the Samsung Fascinate

February 25th, 2011 No comments

Some individuals have a hard time converting to the new technology of today. They are used to their old razor flip phones and are nervous when it comes to an all touchscreen device. The Samsung Fascinate is a simple device to operate with a lot of cool features. After a week of using the touchscreen you won’t know how you survived on a daily basis without it.

The Samsung Fascinate is a pretty amazing phone when you don’t want to bring a laptop of tablet with you. One thing you might really like is the integrated social hub. The Integrated Social Hub unifies contact information for Twitter, MySpace and Facebook, IM and email accounts. The unified calendar provides a single point of scheduling for Outlook and Gmail calendars, as well as Facebook birthdays. Jump into your endless stream of entertainment. Stay entertained with more than 70,000 apps in the Android Market.

Everything you need is at your fingertips with the Samsung Fascinate!

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Specs:

  • Dimensions (WxLxH) 2.53″ x 0.39″ x 4.92″
  • Weight 4.16oz
  • Battery Standard Lithium Ion – 1500mAh
  • Talk Time – up to 420 minutes
  • Stand By Time – up to 312 minutes

Features:

  • Android – a rich operating system with innovative mobile applications
  • Skype Mobile – unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls & IM with anyone, anywhere in the world
  • 3G Mobile Hotspot – capable with support for up to 5 devices
  • Visual Voice Mail – scroll through your messages, pick the ones you want to listen to, erase or archive
  • Camera 5.0 Megapixel – zoom up to 4x for the perfect shot
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n – for connection of up to 5 devices

Accessories:

  • Windshield Mount $19.99
  • Extended Battery 2200mAh $49.99
  • Standard Battery 1500mAh & Battery Only Charger $39.99
  • Universal Portable Power Pack $39.99
  • Anti-Scratch Protectors (3 pack) with screen wipe $12.99
  • Hard Cover – Clear $9.97
  • Black Soft Touch with kickstand – Black $9.97