Blog Archives

ASK R&D: Facetime for Android?

New Blog Feature ASK R&D… You ask, we answer!  Got a question?  Email RD@ivcel.com

christmas_present

I have a flip phone, but I would go to Android Phone if there is an app that lets me communicate with my grandkids face to face through the phone.  Over Christmas, my son was able to have his in laws watch the grandkids opening their gifts over the phone with his iPhone.  Does the Play Store have anything like that?

Thanks for your help!  

– Mary (Sheridan)

 

Mary, thanks for your question!  Google’s Play Store has a couple different options.

First, an explanation why Apple’s products are not the answer.  They’re native applications are not compatible with devices that are not Apple.  FaceTime is an Apple only product, you have to have an Apple product (Mac, iPad, iPhone, and/or iTouch) to make it work.

Apple locks everything down. You pay for more applications and many of their applications can only be used with their products… Like FaceTime. (Heck, they made everyone buy new connector cables with their last iPhone release. Another $25 for a power/connector cable.  Wo Hoo!)

Android is open source, which means…

We created Android in response to our own experiences launching mobile apps. We wanted to make sure that there would always be an open platform available for carriers, OEMs, and developers to use to make their innovative ideas a reality. We wanted to make sure that there was no central point of failure, where one industry player could restrict or control the innovations of any other. The solution we chose was an open and open-source platform.

The goal of the Android Open Source Project is to create a successful real-world product that improves the mobile experience for end users.

ANDROID Philosophy

On to video conferencing solutions!!

hangouts_blogpost

Google +

Google + is Google’s social network with “facetime-like” additions. You can use on a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone and/or Android tablet/phone. It’s powered by your “Google” account.  I use hangouts frequently… mainly on the laptop.  I found a hangout plug-in called “A Story Before Bed” which allows my mother to read to the grandkids while they follow along with the words and pictures.  Again, this works with the desktop/laptop version… The mobile version of hangouts will just show video (hopefully they will allow plugins in the future releases.)  Additionally, you can add multiple people to your hangout (including people via a phonecall for free!)

http://plus.google.com

hero-desktop-windows

Skype for Android

Skype, now a Microsoft product, is a program you can download on your computer and/or smartphone/tablet. You would need both the iPhone and Android to have Skype installed and a Skype username. This is probably the most popular video communication application.  You can do one on one video conferencing for free, if you want to add more people (on video) you will need to pay for this service (you can conference in several people using ‘voice only.’)  It is a VOIP service, meaning they compete with Vonage, Magic Jack, and other “voice over IP (internet)” services.

http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/

 

Make sure the device you purchase has a “front facing” camera.  This will allow you to video conference easily.

Good luck Mary!

Have a device or technical questions for the Product Development team at Illinois Valley Cellular?

 Email RD@ivcel.com

 

LG Optimus™ Select

The LG Optimus Select™, loaded with Android™ 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), lets you take your favorite features with you anywhere. It’s slim and stylish, with a big, bright 4.3” screen and a great 5 MP camera with additional front-facing camera for video chat. It has advanced features including DLNA® media sharing so you can display your photos and videos on a larger screen, wirelessly. It also includes QuickMemo™, which lets you create and share personalized memos by taking screen captures and adding handwritten drawings or messages.

LEARN MORE AT IVCEL.COM

 

 

Want to Be a Paranormal Investigator? Try These Apps.

Funny… Everyone seems to have a paranormal story… hearing a strange voice… furniture that moves. As for me, I’ve never had anything weird happen… I just like watching the paranormal shows on TV… and crack up at how overly dramatic the Ghost Adventurer’s on Travel Channel get…  So, yeah… I guess I’m just a ghost hunter/investigator fan.  I’m a former radio DJ, which is where the leader of a local ghost hunting group heard me chatting about haunted sites… and introduced me to Extreme Vision Paranormal.

Been traveling to local sites and national sites hunting the unexplained with EVP for the past two years…

Interested?

Join me, and EVP, at Hunter’s Ridge in Princeton this Saturday (10/27) at 6pm (it’s a Princeton Chamber Fundraiser.) We’ll be presenting data from Black Moon Manor, Waverly Hills Sanitorium, and local investigations from Seneca and Princeton (including Hunter’s Ridge Golf Course.)  Also, there will be tarot card readers and the authors of “Ghosts of the Illinois River.”)  Get more details here.

GHOSTBOX AUDIO FROM LAST YEAR’s PPP AT THE PRINCETON ELKS

OK — JC from RnD’s  Favorite Halloween ANDROID apps:

1. Ghost Radar Classic

Ghost Radar® analyzes nearby energies. Interpretations of the readings are displayed using numeric, textual, and graphical readouts. Results may vary, we offer no guarantees, use for entertainment.

 


2.Haunted Booth Free: 3D Ghost

3D Ghostifier!  Curious to see how you or your friends would look as a ghost?  HauntedBooth, brought to you by the creators of ZombieBooth is a fun way to transform your face into a terrifying 3D animated ghost!

 

3. Haunted Sights Free – Ghosts

Paranormal guide to real haunted and mysterious sites.
Real haunted,paranormal and mysterious sites for ghost hunters. Whether you are a ghost hunting professional, avid fan, novice or just curious, you will not be disappointed. Haunted Sights is the most complete paranormal guide to diverse ghostly and mysterious sites, including hotels, bars, restaurants, cemeteries, historical places, parks and many more. Our app displays everything from GPS routings and locations to haunted ratings, websites and evidence links. No GPS on your phone? No problem. Search with city or zip for the same results.

 

4. GhostCam: Spirit Photography

Make your own ghost photograph in one touch! Customize your ghost and scare your friend or even yourself. Create your ghost library and make your ghost photo unique! Haunt em, scare em, make em scream!

 

Free Smartphone Class Peru Marketplace

Join the R&department at IVC’s Wireless Solutions Center Peru Marketplace from 10a to 6pm on Friday, October 12th for 1 on 1 training on your smartphone device (Android and BlackBerry.)

You do not need to be an IV Cellular customer to attend!

Call Kathy at 815-224-0081 to reserve your time. Space is limited to 2 guests per hour, so reserve your spot today!

Let our wireless experts give you advice, insight or hands-on technical support on everything wireless. Stop in and our experts will show you how your mobile device can enhance your life for Business, Entertainment On the Go Connectivity:

Business
– High powered business communication made easy with IVC’s variety of smartphones and 3G Internet Business Solutions
-Mobile email, internet and voice applications for small or large business

Entertainment
– Explore the latest in downloads including games, music and more
– Learn to send pics, videos and short messages
– Unleash the power of Apps. Thousands of Applications are out there for work and play and we’ll teach you how to use them

Connectivity
– Mobile social networking important to you? Check and update your Facebook, MySpace,Twitter or other sites from your phone
– We’ll show you how to Browse the Internet and check emails from your phone

Evernote for Android and BlackBerry

Probably the best app I have used to date. Not only can you put this on your device but on your computers as well!

Evernote for Android

Evernote for BlackBerry

Evernote turns your device into an extension of your brain.

★ New York Times ‘Top 10 Must-Have App’, Winner: TechCrunch Crunchies, Mashable Awards and the Webbys. ★

Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go.

Key Features:
– Sync all of your notes across the computers and devices you use
– Create and edit text notes, to-dos and task lists
– Save, sync and share files
– Search for text inside images
– Organize notes by notebooks and tags
– Email notes and save tweets to your Evernote account
– Connect Evernote to other apps and products you use
– Share notes with friends and colleagues via Facebook and Twitter
★ Premium feature: take notebooks offline to access them anytime
★ Premium feature: allow others to edit your notebooks
★ Premium feature: add a PIN lock to your Evernote app

Here are some ways to use Evernote for your personal and professional life:
– Research smarter: snap photos of whiteboards and books
– Take meeting and class notes, draft agendas and research notes
– Plan a trip: keep track of travel plans, plane tickets and passports
– Organize and save recipes; search by ingredients later
– Create a grocery list or task list and check things off as you go
– View web pages saved in Evernote on your desktop
– Capture ideas and inspiration on the go
– Access files and notes you create on your phone from your desktop
– Keep track of products and prices for comparison shopping purposes
– Keep finances in order: save receipts, bills and contracts
– Reduce paper clutter by taking snapshots of restaurant menus, business cards and labels
– Use Evernote as part of your GTD system to help you stay organized
– To get the most out of your Evernote experience, download it on all of the computers and phones that you use.

Evernote is available for:
Desktop: Mac, Windows and Web
Mobile: Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm WebOS, Windows Mobile
Tablet: Android, iPad
Web: Evernote for Web; Web Clippers for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer

More information about permissions at:
http://bit.ly/mAjLuc

Learn more: http://www.evernote.com/about/getting_started/

Supported Accessories:
Sony-Ericsson LiveKey – com.sonyericsson.extras.livekey
Sony-Ericsson LiveDock – com.sonyericsson.extras.ATTACHED

 

Temple Run for Android

I don’t like to get apps because everyone else says they’re awesome. But Temple Run is an exception. I downloaded it and started playing it over the weekend. It is so addicting. Jumping over breaks in the bridge, running along rock faces, and sliding under fire. Sounds fun doesn’t it? Below is the full description. Note that this app is not compatible with all Android devices.

Get Temple Run on Google Play

Run for your life!

The addictive mega-hit Temple Run is now out for Android! All your friends are playing it – can you beat their high scores?!

You’ve stolen the cursed idol from the temple, and now you have to run for your life to escape the Evil Demon Monkeys nipping at your heels. Test your reflexes as you race down ancient temple walls and along sheer cliffs. Swipe to turn, jump and slide to avoid obstacles, collect coins and buy power ups, unlock new characters, and see how far you can run!

“In every treasure hunting adventure movie there’s one scene in which the plucky hero finally gets his hands on the treasure but then has to navigate a maze of booby traps in order to get out alive. Temple Run is this scene and nothing else. And it’s amazing.” – SlideToPlay.com

Android Cut the Rope Free on Google Play

Cut the Rope is now Free on Google Play

Cut the Rope, catch a star, and feed Om Nom candy in this award-winning game!

A mysterious package has arrived, and the little monster inside has only one request… CANDY! Cut the ropes, release candy into Om Nom’s mouth, collect shiny gold stars, and unlock new levels.

Join millions of others who have enjoyed the outstanding physics, tricky levels, and colorful visuals of ZeptoLab’s critically acclaimed Cut the Rope.

Key Features
– Innovative gameplay mechanics
– Realistic physics
– Cute character
– Outstanding graphics

Caution of putting a Launcher on your Android Phone

A while back I did a blog about putting a Launcher on the Android phone. It is a great and fun thing however there is a caution to doing so. When the launcher is put on the phone it over layers the stock launcher making it harder to take off. The only way to get a launcher off the phone is to do a Factory Data Reset. The worst part about doing a Factory Data Reset is re installing apps. See my other blog post on Astro File Manager on backing up apps and re installing them faster. If a launcher is going to be put on the Android Phone use  caution.

What is Ice Cream Sandwich??

Sticking with the “dessert” naming structure… Google’s latest Android software, 4.0, is called Ice Cream Sandwich.
(We got a sneak peak at ICS last year.)

Currently, RnD has an ICS phone in lab… We would love to show you pictures and videos, but, the manufacturers would string us up by our toenails….

What we can do… is let you know some of our favorite features of the 4.0 ICS phones.

SMOOTH INTERFACE… and EASE OF USE

The phone we are testing now does have a manufacturers “layer” or UI on top of it… And, in some cases, these layers slow down performance on their device.  Not in this case, 4.0 is very smooth… and it makes more sense than previous versions.  The buttons on the bottom have been trimmed to 3.  Back, Home, and Recent Apps.

The Recent Apps list makes multitasking simple.

Wait, where’s the menu key?

In some cases, holding down the “recent apps”  button in an application will launch the menu.  Otherwise, it’s located in the top right hand corner.

Settings?  

You’ll find that now in the notifications bar on the top.

LIFE TIMER… OR DATA AND TEXT MESSAGE COUNTER

With Illinois Valley Cellular, you won’t need to worry about data limitations or caps.  But, if you want to see how much data you’re usings, texts your’re sending and recieving… Check this out.

Data usage controls let you monitor total usage by network type and application and then set limits if needed.

Mobile Device Security

Over the past few months it has come to my attention that people want protection for their mobile devices. I have looked into this issue and I have 2 apps to recommend. Of course there are tons out there for mobile security. The two that I use on my devices are Lookout and Avast.

Lookout offers a free version and a paid version. I personally use the free version. Here are some of the features in the free version.

FREE FEATURES
Security:
* Antivirus: Block malware, spyware, and trojans
* Scan each app you download to make sure it is safe
* Schedule daily or weekly scans. Get automatic, over-the-air, protection against the latest threats

Find My Phone:
* Locate your lost or stolen phone on a Google map even if GPS is turned off!
* Activate a loud alarm, even if your phone or tablet is on silent
* Log in to myLookout.com to locate your phone from any web browser, anywhere!

Backup & Restore:
* Securely backup your contacts to myLookout.com
* Restore them to an existing mobile device

Avast is the other Antivirus program I have started using. I use Avast on my computer as antivirus. This works just as well as Lookout

Some of the free Avast features are.

Antivirus

Performs on-demand scans of all installed apps and memory card content, as well as on-access scans of apps upon first execution. Options for scheduling scans, virus definition updates, uninstalling apps, deleting files, or reporting a false-positive to our virus lab.

Privacy Report

Scans and displays (grid) access rights and intents of installed apps, identifying potential privacy risks, so you know how much info you are really providing to each app.

SMS/Call Filtering

Filter calls and/or messages from contact list using set parameters based on day(s) of the week, start time, and end time. Blocked calls redirect to voicemail, while blocked messages are stored via filter log. Also possible to block outgoing calls.

App Manager

Similar to Windows Task Manager, it shows a list of running apps and their size (MB), CPU load, used memory, and number of threads and services – with an option to stop or uninstall.

Web Shield

Part of the avast! WebRep cloud, the avast! Web Shield for Android scans each URL that loads and warns you if the browser loads a malware-infected URL.

Firewall

Add a firewall to stop hackers. Disable an app’s internet access when on WiFi and 3G and roaming mobile networks. (Works only on rooted phones.)

avast! Anti-Theft

App Disguiser

After downloading avast! Anti-Theft, user can choose a custom name that disguises the app (e.g. call it “Pinocchio game”) so that it is even harder for thieves to find and remove.

Stealth Mode

Once anti-theft is enabled, the app icon is hidden in the app tray, leaving no audio or other trace on the target phone – the app is ‘invisible’, making it difficult for thieves to detect or remove.

Self-Protection

Extremely difficult for thieves to remove (especially on rooted phones), Anti-Theft protects itself from uninstall by disguising its components with various self-preservation techniques. On rooted phones it is able to survive hard-resets and can even disable the phone’s USB port.

Battery Save

Anti-Theft only launches itself and runs when it needs to perform tasks. This preserves battery life and makes it very difficult for thieves to shut it down.

SIM-Card-Change Notification

If stolen and a different (unauthorized) SIM card inserted, the phone can lock, activate siren, and send you notification (to remote device) of the phone’s new number and geo-location.

Trusted SIM Cards List

Establish a ‘white list’ of approved SIM cards that can be used in the phone without triggering a theft alert. You can also easily clear the trusted SIM cards list, to leave the one present in the phone as the only trusted one.

Remote Settings Change

A setup wizard guides the user through the installation process on rooted phones. No command-line knowledge is necessary to install Anti-Theft rooted. Also supports upgrading.

Remote Features

SMS commands provide you the following REMOTE options for your ‘lost’ (or stolen) phone:
Siren, Lock, custom Display properties, Locate, Memory Wipe, covert Calling, Forwarding, “Lost” Notification, SMS Sending, History, Restart, and more.

Download Lookout

Download Avast