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

 

Stocking Stuffers from IVC Wireless Solution Centers

Last minute shopper?

Take advantage of these great stocking stuffers available at the IVC Wireless Solution Center near you!

Need Bluetooth headphones for when they start their New Years Resolution workouts?

backbeat903plus1

Try the Plantronics Backbeat 903’s!  Only $59.95

Throw in an armband to hold the phone during the workouts for $14.95

Can’t go wrong with a 5 pack of Universal screen protectors (WriteRight) only $14.95

After the recent storm and power outages, did you find yourself in your car charging your phone?  Don’t do that again!

Get a Powerbank for $44.95

Does your gift recipient drive for a living?

Can’t go wrong with a Motorola H730 Bluetooth headset for $59.95

Also — 3 in 1 combo usb chargers for $34.95

 

 

 

 

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

 

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.

May Tech Talk: Control Your Texts [AUDIO]

Coming soon!  TextGUARDIAN — Text message controls and personalization.

Listen to Jon on WALLS 102 discussing it’s features.

Get the WALLS 102 mobile app.
April Tech Talk: iReward Chart