It’s the holiday season, and everyone’s minds are swirling with what to get everybody on their list. This smartphone accessory will make an excellent stocking stuffer for anyone’s on gift list this season.
Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
As technology progresses, our devices are becoming more connected. The Belkin WeMo Insight Switch epitomizes this shift toward connectivity. The switch looks and functions like an ordinary wall outlet, but it is anything but ordinary. Using the WeMo app, you can control the outlet remotely using a smartphone. This means you can turn your lights on in your home before you enter—no more fumbling around in the dark looking for a light switch. It can also be used for things like air conditioners and space heaters so you can warm/cool a room before you enter without having to leave it running the entire time.
In the modern and very busy world we live in, our phones can often be the center of our lives. Not because we are obsessed with the phones themselves, but because we depend on them to keep us on schedule with what’s most important to us. Gone are the days of carrying around planners and calendars. These have all been replaced by smartphones, tablets, and the various applications that serve to keep our world in order. Fantastical 2 is a shining example of a product that fits such a need.
Flexibits is the mastermind behind the Fantastical line of apps. I purchased the original Fantastical about 8 months ago and was completely obsessed with putting everything important on my calendar. It helped immensely when trying to manage my time and making sure things got done. For me, using calendars has always been a bit of a task. A chore I never wanted to do, because it was just too much of a hassle to set up. All that changed when I started using Fantastical. Thanks to the natural language parser, you can create an event by simply typing it out naturally. For example, you could type: “Meeting with John Marshall on Wednesday at 5″, and Fantastical would set up an event for exactly that. All of the details can be changed and managed on a more micro-level, but I personally never needed those things. Fantastical made things simple, and that’s what pulled me in. Not having to click on a date, type out the event name, and edit every last detail, is well worth the small price tag of the app itself.
Now, within the last week or so, Flexibits has released the sequel to this amazing calendar app: Fantastical 2. With this release came a visual overhaul to match the updated design in iOS 7. Not only that, Fantastical 2 can now sync in with your reminders. A lot of people have found it hard to buy something they already paid for originally, just for a an updated version. Do yourself a favor and support the developers that work for months on end to update their apps for the latest look and feel. They put a lot of effort in and give us an amazingly polished product! Anyways, the app offers all of the things I would ever ask for in a calendar application and more. As always, it may not be perfect for everyone. Do let us know in the comments if you have a favorite of your own!
This weekend only, Cellular Sales is running a promotion for Motorola’s Moto X smartphone. From Thursday, Nov. 14 through Monday, Nov. 18, you can purchase this Android smartphone for a mere $50!
The Moto X is Motorola’s premier smartphone. It offers several great features, including:
- Motorola Assist—the phone knows when you’re driving, so it reads who is calling or texting you aloud, letting you keep your eyes on the road.
- Motorola Connect—if you’re using Chrome on your home computer, texts and voicemails will pop up on your desktop, allowing you to respond to them on your computer.
- 65 GB of free storage on Google Drive
- the ability to open the camera function with just a flick of the wrist
- a 1080p HD, 10 megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1080p HD, 2 megapixel front-facing camera
- It was designed and assembled in the USA.
Another cool feature of the Moto X is its notification display. The home screen is always on when you’re looking at it, but sensors in the phone also know when the phone is in your pocket or purse, at which time the screen turns itself off. If you want more information on that push notification, tap it and it will open up a larger window. For instance, if you get a text, you can tap the icon and it will display the text message on the home screen.
If all these features sound like they fit what you want in your next smartphone purchase, head on down to your nearest Cellular Sales location. Remember, for this weekend only (Nov. 14-18), we’re offering a $100 mail-in rebate on the Moto X, so there’s no time like the present to get your hands on this amazing smartphone.
We just opened a new store in West Seneca, NY, a suburb of Buffalo in Erie County. While we don’t have any stores in Buffalo proper, those who live in Erie County now have four Cellular Sales locations to choose from: West Seneca, Blasdell, East Amherst and Williamsville. People who live in Buffalo won’t have to travel far to get to the West Seneca store, though, as it’s located less than 10 miles from Buffalo at 701 Orchard Park Road.
Like our other stores, customers can go to the West Seneca to get one-on-one service from our sales reps, who can inform you of the best mobile, internet and home solutions options available.
With more than 35 locations across 22 counties, we have a growing footprint in the Empire State. It seems like our customer service-based approach is working in New York as customers realize that if you want someone to sit with you one-on-one to guide you through all the different options available, then you better head to Cellular Sales.
The new store, which opened on Oct. 19, is located on the corner of Ridge Road and Orchard Park Road across from the Wendy’s near West Seneca West Senior High School. It is expected to create 10 jobs.
If you’d like to visit the new Cellular Sales location in West Seneca, NY, head over to 701 Orchard Park Road. So stop in today, and we’ll get you outfitted with the wireless device perfect for you!
Phablets are a legitimate thing of wonder — part smartphone, part tablet. That being said, Samsung is no stranger to the category. They introduced the world to the most usable phablet of our time with the original Galaxy Note. As consumers became more open-minded about such a large device, Samsung released the Galaxy Note 2, to much applause might I add. The Note 2 was a fantastic smartphone, and a powerhouse of media and technology. This year, Samsung realeased the Galaxy Note 3, which takes what was so great about the first two, and makes them even better.
With this year’s model, Samsung brought a bigger and better display. It measures up at 5.7 inches, which is just a bit larger than the Galaxy Note 2. However, thanks to the thinner bezel and flatter sides, the phone actually feels much more manageable that its predecessor. The back of the phone being a faux leather material certainly adds to the premium feel of the device. The screen itself is a 1080p HD display, and powering it under the hood is a Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 CPU and 3GB of RAM. With all that power, Samsung knew it would need some serious juice to power it through the day. A 3,200 mAh battery should do just the trick. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean comes preinstalled on the Note 3. So even though 4.4 was just announced last week, you should stay up to date for a good while.
With all these specs and facts, it’s easy to get lost in numbers that look really great on paper. But we at Cellular Sales know that it’s more about the experience. So how does the Note 3 do when used in the real world as a phone and a workstation that plays an integral role in your day-to-day life? That’s what we want to go over in this review. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
I’ve been actively using the Galaxy Note 3 for over a week now. Coming from an iPhone 5 was a bit of a size shock, since the iPhone’s screen is tiny in comparison. That being said, the screen on the Note 3 is absolutely gorgeous. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it for most of the day. I was constantly pulling it out of my pocket to look things up on this beauty. Things I use on a daily basis for media include YouTube, Netflix, Instagram and Twitter. All of these apps looks absolutely fantastic on the Note’s screen.
The most important component of the Galaxy Note 3 is the S-Pen that slides out from bottom. It’s a stylus that has been optimized to do things on this phone particularly well. There are several applications on the device that are optimized for use with the S-Pen, one of which is called S-Note. Within this app, you can input notes (who’d have known?). But on top of the regular text notes, you can write with the S-Pen. The exact mode that caught my attention makes the S-Pen the only method of input that will be recognized. So if you wanna get really intense and draw something cool, you can place your palm on the screen and it won’t be recognized by the phone as input. Having had an iPad for so long, I always wished this was possible. You may not need this feature because you don’t draw, but it’s really cool that Samsung went ahead and thought about those people when they were designing the application.
Now, other than S-Note, you can use the S-Pen for a variety of things. When you remove the pen from the phone, you are greeted with a little dial of actions called Air Command. You can choose one of these quick-features, or go ahead and navigate where you want instead. Air Command is easily the main selling point for the Note 3. Any time you want to capture something, send it to someone, or keep it for yourself, Air Command is by far the easiest way to do it and much more. Within the menu, you have Action Memo, Scrapbooker, Screen Write, S-Finder and Pen Window.
Let me break some of these actions down so you’ll know what they do. With Action Memo, you will see a small popup window in which you can take some notes. This is useful for jotting down phone numbers, addresses, or other quickly received information. Scrapbooker allows you to take a picture of anything on the screen and save it to a scrapbook. You can put together anything you save with photos and other items later on. This is particularly great for those who collect things and like to savor memories. Screen Write is just as simple as it sounds, it takes a screenshot and allows you to immediately write on that picture. S-Finder can be used to search the entirety of your phone and the internet for anything at all. Last but certainly not least, Pen Window is where the Galaxy Note 3 gets its multitasking abilities. Using this option allows you to pull up an app inside a small window that overlays the Note’s display. You can have multiple windows up at once, but only a few apps actual support this feature for now. It’s easier to see than it is to explain, so please check out the picture below for a better look.
Another important feature when considering a smartphone purchase is the camera. Nearly every person who owns a smartphone takes multiple pictures on it each and every day. Because of how high quality these cameras are becoming, people are no longer having to lug around an extra point-and-shoot. The Galaxy Note 3 is no exception. The 13-megapixel shooter inside delivers excellent photos with very little effort on the part of the user. Take it from someone who isn’t great at snapping photos.
Samsung has really stepped up their game with the Galaxy Note 3. Adding new features and improving on old ones has been the winning formula for the manufacturer’s Galaxy line of phones. This year’s Galaxy Note 3 comes with some insane horsepower under the hood, a battery to help it last all day, and productivity features to keep you on schedule both at work and home. While it certainly isn’t for everyone out there, the Galaxy Note 3 holds the title of Best Phablet right now. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see them losing that title any time soon. Let us know in the comments if this review helped you! Also, if you have any questions on the Galaxy Note 3, drop those below as well and we will get back to you.
To a lot of people, podcasting has replaced the radio. Some might even say it has done to radio what on-demand and streaming services did to TV. There is a wealth of different podcasts covering every imaginable topic. So what are some of the best podcast apps?
ESPN is sometimes referred to in the sports community as “the mothership” due to its far-reaching sports media empire. The ESPN Radio app lets you listen to hundreds of different programs on demand produced with the backing of the mothership. The topics cover a broad range of subjects, and some are even devoted entirely to non-sports material (such as the Grantland Pop Culture channel). Also, if you have a favorite ESPN TV show that you can never seem to catch, you can stream the audio through the ESPN Radio app.
Public Radio & Podcast (Android)
National Public Radio sometimes gets the reputation for being a hard news source, which it definitely is, but there is also a veritable treasure trove of non-news-related content produced on Public Radio. Some Public Radio podcasts, such as This American Life, are some of the most-listened-to podcasts in North America. Since the content base is far and wide, public radio has a podcast for all sorts of tastes from those who love good storytelling (This American Life) to interesting science facts (Radiolab) to the way economics influences even the most mundane, day-to-day activities (Freakonomics Radio).
TED Talks have taken the world by storm over the past few years. For those who don’t know, TED Talks are just lectures given by thought leaders on a variety of topics. They cover just about every imaginable subject, from science to music to politics to self-motivation (such as how to stop procrastinating). One neat feature of the TED app is the option to input the amount of time you have, and then receive a TED Talk recommendation based on that amount of time. If you only have 20 minutes, the app will show a selection of podcasts that are around 20 minutes in length. These insightful and entertaining talks are great to listen to or watch during a train ride or when sitting in a waiting room.
Podcast Addict (Android)
Whereas ESPN Radio and Public Radio & Podcast only let you listen to podcasts produced by ESPN and public radio, respectively, Podcast Addict is an aggregator that lets you listen to podcasts from all sorts of different publishers and have them all right at your fingertips. You can subscribe to podcasts from a variety of sources and see them on your podcast dashboard so that you never miss out on your favorites.
While the majority of podcast apps are going to be found exclusively for iOS and/or Android, there is still a good option for those who use Windows phones. Podcatcher is a great app for Windows podcast listeners. It works in a similar fashion to Podcast Addict in that it lets you search and subscribe to podcasts from several different publishers. It also gives you the option of streaming those podcasts or downloading them for later use or when you’re away from WiFi.
Never will a day go by with a lack of third-party Twitter apps. After all, without developer support and constantly evolving apps, who knows where Twitter would be today. That being said, we as Twitter users, have come to expect a certain level of quality and features in these apps. Thankfully, Twitterrific excels in these two areas.
The app itself has been around for years. Several months back, the release of Twitterrific (version 5) marked a renewed emphasis on content rather than menus and bars. With gesture driven interactions, there was much less need for menus and buttons, leaving more room for the content itself. Some of you may recall, this is exactly where Apple was headed when they designed iOS 7. So, in multiple ways, Twitterrific beat Apple to the punch.
Back to the app itself. Twitterrific shows off most, if not all, of the features most people are looking for. Push notifications work perfectly for mentions, DMs, retweets, favorites and even new followers. The gestures I spoke of before are super easy to get used to. Swiping on a tweet from left to right will trigger a reply. Similarly, swiping from right to left will bring up replies to that tweet, in a conversation-like thread. Also included in Twitterrific is the ability to keep up with your Twitter Lists. I actually use Twitter for my tech news, so it’s perfect for me, being just a tap or two away. The app even has an automated theme, switching from light colors to dark as the evening progresses.
Last but not least, the app includes a “Today” section, eerily similar to the one found in iOS 7′s new notification shade. This section will keep track of people who have interacted with your tweets that day. Since the release of iOS 7 last month, Twitterrific has been updated to support the new keyboard, along with a design that even more closely matches Apple’s latest software. Just a week or so ago, they released yet another update to allow extensive profile editing from within the app. So, to say the least, these developers are hard at work to make this the best experience around.
Priced at $2.99, Twitterrific is not only the best quality Twitter client available for iOS, it’s also the best value. Either way, give it a look through and let us know what you think. If you know of an app that may be better, give them a shout out in the the comments below!