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Archive for the ‘smartphones’ tag

September 13th, 2011 at 5:00 am

5 Terrific Android Smartphone Apps

I use my phone for so many things and I love that it’s so powerful and versatile. I always feel like I’ve got a lifeline to information and I can tackle anything when I’ve got my fully charged Android with me.  Here are five apps that I use regularly that take my phone to the next level of power and convenience.

CardStar – consolidate all of your shopping reward card information into this handy free app. With it, I never have to fumble around for the actual card or miss out on rewards opportunities because I’ve given the card to my husband or child to use. Just bring up the bar code when you’re at the checkout and let the cashier scan it. Also available for iphone and Blackberry.

CamScanner - with this app, I can take a photo of a document and have CamScanner turn it into a pdf that can be uploaded to the cloud or emailed as an attachment. This is a great way to digitize business receipts and save them as files for reconciling expense reports. There’s a free version as well as a licensed versions for $4.99.  Also available for iphone.

Swype – I am terrible at touch typing on my phone. I watch others and it looks so easy, but I just never got the hang of it. My solution is the free Swype app which allows me to just move my finger over the keys I want, hesitating every so slightly on each and Swype puts the words together for me. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do, it’s fast and really convenient to enter text.  For Android and Nokia devices only.

Google Docs – I just love that I an access any of my cloud documents on my phone. This app allows me to quickly view docs that I own or that have been shared with me wherever I am. Yes it’s a little bit harder to create or work on docs on your phone, but for viewing purposes, this is a real convenience. There’s no native iphone or Blackberry app, but you can access Google Docs at from any phone browser.

250+ Solitaires – I’m not ALL business. I do like to play solitaire. Forty Thieves to be specific. I can get lost for hours playing this game and I just love having it at hand anytime I have time to spare. My husband will attest to this as any car trip is a great opportunity for me to get lost in my games. Beats staring out the window.  It’s free and also available for iphone.

There are so many apps available and there are many other good ones.  Evernote is way at the top of the list, but since I already wrote about that app, I thought I’d share these.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.


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April 26th, 2011 at 3:00 am

There’s a Smartphone App for That

Have you noticed the news items about technologies that are going by the wayside? One in particular reported that the Flip video camera will wind up in the technology graveyard. What? Upon further inspection, it seems that Cisco (did you know that Cisco owned the Flip?) was discontinuing the short-lived phenom that was the Flip. This is due to the fact that most phones can now do the job that this camera used to do and the market for them has diminished. We own 2 Flip cameras. They pretty much sit idle in a drawer. Who needs to carry around another device if your cell or smartphone can do the job? They seemed like a good idea at the time though.

Our phones are becoming so multi-functional that they’re threatening the existence of point-and-shoot cameras too. I read that headline the other day.

I have to say, it really is remarkable how many things we are doing with our phones that used to require an extra device.

Video camera? √
Still camera? √
Calculator? √
Alarm clock? √
Land line phone? √
Rolodex? √
Calendar? √
Ereader? √
GPS? √
Music player? √
Thermometer? √

I even have a flashlight app on my phone. It works really well as I find my way to bed in the dark so I don’t wake my husband.

This isn’t even an exhaustive list. There are thousands of “apps for that” that give you tools you used to fill a house, a purse, or diaper bag with. And that’s a very cool thing, because we all know, someone (mom) had to carry it all. There’s also all of the tasks that we can now do via our phone. We email, post to Facebook or Twitter, text message, share photos, create a shopping list, shop, arrange playdates, search the web, and yes, even make phone calls.

But can it replace my pc? Well I can use my phone for a lot of what I use my pc for except serious document creation. I’m a pretty lousy touch screen typist, so I prefer to sit at a real keyboard to write my blog posts and anything longer than a few words in an email reply, but in a pinch I could do this on my phone. I have to admit, I didn’t really buy into it when all the tech futurists predicted this smartphone-for-everything revolution some years back. But it’s here and you can’t deny it.

I mean, when was the last time you whipped out a deck of cards to play solitaire?

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.




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