Best Accessories for Roadtrippin’

Posted on 03. Jul, 2013 by in Accessories, Cellular Sales, Equipment, Phones & Devices

Power Rocks Magic Sticks

These colorful cylinders look like they could be any sort of accessory, but they actually provide an emergency power source, because we know that having a dead phone during a road trip is an emergency. Power Rocks Magic Sticks can avert this kind of disaster by offering a backup power source for a smartphone or tablet. If you’re reading a book on your tablet on the beach, and you run out of power, you can pull one of these out of your beach bag and get back to your story in a matter of seconds.

Navigation mount

Smartphones are starting to push traditional GPS devices out of the market since many offer some sort of map services, like Google Maps or Apple Maps, along with the ability to give turn-by-turn directions. The only problem is that you need an attentive navigator (not always a guarantee if children are in tow) or you’ll do the dangerous lap glance as you take your eyes off the road and shift them to the smartphone sitting in your lap. A navigation mount can keep your eyes facing forward and your phone GPS device (or you know, smartphone) firmly in place.

QMadix USB dual mobile charging hub

A car charger is an essential roadtrippin’ accessory. Not all car chargers are created equally, though. This QMadix USB dual mobile charging hub, allows you to plug in two USB devices. This way you can charge more than one device at the same time and quell some fights over who gets to use the car charger. As Knoxville Cellular Sales sales representative Ryan Hickman says, this product lets you “share the juice.” We couldn’t have said it better.

OtterBox phone case

OtterBox has a reputation for producing strong and high-quality cell phone cases that can weather more than the usual wear and tear. If you’re road trippin’, this can be a necessity when you’re spending time on the beach, in the woods or on pavement. If you’re really hardcore, OtterBox even makes cases that are every kind of “proof” (waterproof, dustproof, etc.) you can imagine.

Belkin RockStar headphone splitter

Toll roads, bad weather and running out of gas are all hazards of road trippin’. However, the parents of young children know that an unentertained child can be one of the greatest challenges you’ll face on the road. The Belkin RockStar headphone splitter allows you to plug five sets of headphones into your smartphone or tablet. This can be an invaluable accessory if you have two or more kids watching a movie on the same tablet. With the RockStar splitter, they can watch the movie, and you don’t have to be a member of the audience.

Tips for cleaning your smartphone’s screen

Posted on 05. Mar, 2013 by in Android, Cellular Sales, Equipment, Phones & Devices

Smartphones and tablets have altered the way we think of phones and computers over the past few years. They have enabled us to have a mobile computer and internet connection with us at all times while taking up a fraction of the space.

One aspect of these amazing devices that is a pretty common denominator is the touchscreen. Touchscreens save space on the device, since a tangible keyboard isn’t necessary, and they also increase the range of functions a smartphone or tablet can perform.

As great of a technological advance as touchscreens are, they are still pretty delicate. And with all the touching they endure, day in and day out, they are bound to get dirty. So the question is: How does one properly clean a smartphone’s screen?

Many smartphones and tablets are packaged with a microfiber cloth for cleaning the screen. If you, like a lot of people, have lost this cloth, don’t worry. Microfiber cloths are fairly easy to come by and are a staple of eyeglasses-cleaning kits.

Be sure to turn your smartphone or tablet off when cleaning the screen. Wipe the screen in one direction with the microfiber cloth, as opposed to just using circular or back-and-forth motions.

If your screen is particularly dirty, add a small amount of water to one of the edges of the cloth. Add just enough water to make one of the corners of the cloth damp. If there is a troublesome patch of dirt or oil on your phone, you can employ some circular motions. Afterwards, use the dry portion of the cloth to wipe off the screen using the aforementioned technique.

Now that we’ve gone over the dos, here are some don’ts for cleaning your smartphone or tablet’s screen:

DO NOT use any chemicals.

DO NOT use paper towels, cotton rags or other abrasive cloths.

DO NOT apply water directly to the screen. You don’t want to risk having that water mistakenly finding its way into your phone or tablet’s interior.

Smartphone Powered Motorola Lapdock 500 Pro

Posted on 27. Apr, 2012 by in Android, Equipment, Wireless Equipment

Motorola has introduced a dock for your Motorola smartphone. Ideal for on the go, you can use the lapdock to work online, create and edit documents, access your apps, and participate in video conferencing–all powered via your Motorola Smartphone.

This lapdock comes with a 14″ display, full-size keyboard, built-in webcam, 2 USB 2.0 ports, an SD card reader, headphone jack, Ethernet, and a Kensington lock slot.

A large trackpad supports two-finger scrolling for easy navigation (on the web, your documents and navigating your phone screens). Plus it comes with VGA output, so you can connect it to an office projector or monitor to share presentations, videos or a website with a broader group. It weighs around 2 pounds and offers a seven hour battery life, so it’s perfect taking on the road, in the coffee shop or just using around the office.

Connects to 4G LTE Network via Smartphone.
The Smartphone plugs into the back of the lapdock (there is even a phone cradle for portability), and then you can utilize the Smartphone’s 4G LTE connection or WIFI for online access from anywhere you go.

Compatible with Motorola Smartphones.
The Droid RAZR, Droid RAZR MAXX, Droid Bionic and Droid 4 are all compatible with this new lapdock. Plus, the lapdock charges your phone while docked.

Supports Smartphone and Lapdock Multi-tasking.
Even as you are surfing the web, working on documents or accessing various apps, they can still text or take a call on the Smartphone. The lapdock comes with a full Firefox® browser and Adobe®Flash®.

The Future of ChromeOS?
Jason Hiner (TechRepublic/CNET) thinks this could be the strategic future of the Google Chrome, giving the Android community a device that Apple will not have any time soon. While it is initially aimed at business consumers, this could offer appeal to people wanting to replace an old PC but not wanting to spend the money on a new.

Droid Bionic Review – CNET

Posted on 08. Sep, 2011 by in Equipment

Droid Bionic in handWe’ve been waiting for the Motorola Droid Bionic for so long that it’s been hyped to near-mythical proportions. We first heard tell of the superphone at CES 2011, where Motorola came out with a cavalcade of powerful Android devices that included the Motorola Atrix 4G, the Motorola Xoom, and, of course, the Motorola Droid Bionic. With its dual-core processor, Verizon LTE speeds, HD video recording, HDMI port, and luscious 4.3-inch qHD display, the Droid Bionic was a pioneering handset in many ways.

Continue reading at CNET here.

Streaming Songs onto Your Smartphone

Posted on 13. Aug, 2011 by in Equipment

Amazon Cloud PlayerI like to access my music all the time but there’s one problem. At over 178GB of music, I don’t have enough room on my smartphone. So I want a quick and easy solution to listening. I’m on Google’s Music Beta, waiting for iTunes iCloud, and played with the initial Spotify accounts that were available this week. Google is still forming, iCloud is still coming, and Spotify is cool, but to stream you gotta pay monthly.

While I wait for these various cloud servers to pan out, I’ve found two immediate solutions to my need for tunes: Amazon Cloud Player and Subsonic Music Server. Both services will stream to Android phones. iPhone and Windows Phone 7 offers several Subsonic apps but nothing for Amazon Cloud Player.

Here’s my quick take on both services:

Amazon Cloud Player – Amazon announced unlimited cloud space for free this week. Buy one Mp3 album from Amazon and you can upload your entire music collection to the cloud. The process is easy, but a bit slow when you’re trying to upload over 178GB of music. Visit the mp3 store at Amazon to learn more about their cloud player and to download an uploader for your music as well as an Android app (or Palm or Blackberry app). The cloud player has organizer songs by artist, album, genre, song as well as playlists. You can access your tunes from any computer, some smartphones and hopefully soon the Roku.

Subsonic is a music serve your install on your computer. Unlike some music and/or video servers, Subsonic is not hard to install and instantly indexes your music. I loaded and within 30 minutes was streaming music to my Roku as well as my phone. Subsonic does require a small online donation if you plan to keep using it over time, but otherwise, there is no charge. Then you can access the music on your computer from other computers, devices like the Roku, and your smartphone. Android, iPhone and WIndows 7 have Subsonic applications that you can easily install. There is a minor technical aspect of inserting your computer’s IP address, but the Subsonic directions will walk your through it. For now, Subsonic is the easiest and fastest way to start streaming your music to your phone.

- Doug Floyd

Google’s new Android Market

Posted on 03. Aug, 2011 by in Equipment

Check out this walk-through of Google’s new Android Market

Common Sense Strategies for Smartphone Security

Posted on 07. Jul, 2011 by in Equipment

Just about everyone can use a smartphone to make their lives easier, and while there have been some scary reports in the media about smartphones being hacked and personal data being compromised, it really isn’t that difficult to keep your phone and your data secure.

Smartphone SecurityAs Smartphone use continues to rise, so does the need for using common sense strategies for safeguarding information. In the RSA 2011 Cybercrime Trends Report, the RSA (The Security Division of EMC) reported that the growing tendency to use smartphones as computing devices subjects them to similar security challenges as computers.  RSA identifies several smartphone usage trends:

  • Explosive growth of mobile devices as computing tools
  • Number of downloaded applications (25 billion in 2011)
  • Use in smartphones in every day functions such as emails, web surfing, accessing online accounts, storage of personal data
  • Introducing personal computing devices into the enterprise

Since your smartphone is used as a personal computing device, it is important to protect your investment. Here are five simple common sense steps that could safe you loss and worry:

Read On: Common Sense Strategies for Smartphone Security

Google Maps now goes transit mode for all our big city people!

Posted on 06. Jul, 2011 by in Equipment

Check out this article from Engadget.

Google Maps Transit Navigation beta for Android hands-on (Engadget)

Google Transit Navigation“Earlier this afternoon, Google pushed Maps v5.7 to the Android Market.  The app’s Transit Navigation (beta) feature brings GPS stop-by-stop nav to public transit systems in over 400 cities around the world, helping you find the subway or bus stop, then letting you know exactly when to get off as you ride. There are obvious benefits to using this in a foreign city, where alert-enabled (English!) directions could potentially save you hours of frustration. We left our office to brave the daylight in NYC, walking a block to the nearest subway station en-route to Times Square. The app worked well up until we reached the bottom of the first staircase, where it lost cell reception and its GPS fix. Jump past the break to see how it fared above ground, and check out our hands-on video for a Google Maps-led adventure through New York City’s public transit system.”

Read On at Engadget

Review on Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Posted on 28. Jun, 2011 by in Equipment

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play review by Engadget.

Read On: Review on Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Apple Toys with Accessory Manufacturers’ Emotions

Posted on 29. Apr, 2011 by in Equipment

With Apple and Steve Jobs’ obsession with their devices, it makes you wonder if the manipulation of the locations of buttons and thickness is all part of some maniacal plan.  With the release of the new white iPhone many have noticed a change in thickness.  While the difference can be seen with the plain eye, Apple still list the white iPhone 4’s thickness as 9.3mm.  The change in thickness is much to the chagrin of case manufacturers and retailers, who may be looking at yet a new line up of cases they will need to produce and inventory.  Phil Schiller, Apple’s Sr. VP of Marketing, states that the thickness is there to compensate for the lack of UV protection that a white casing is able to provide among other things.  Last round of iPhone 4 design adjustments where due to the need to compensate for the CDMA antenna needed for Verizon’s network.  The resulting changed moved the mute button down a few millimeters.  Read more about the white iPhone 4′s thickness here.

Thunderbolt outselling iPhone?

Posted on 01. Apr, 2011 by in 4G LTE, Equipment

Calls to 150 different Verizon Wireless stores covering 22 major US cities has revealed that the HTC Thunderbolt may be outselling the iPhone.  Walter Piecyk of BGIT Research conducted the study.  It revealed that 61% of stores said that they were selling at the same rate, 11% divulged that the iPhone was selling better, and 28% said that the Thunderbolt was beating out the iPhone.  Could it be that the Thunderbolt and its 4G LTE technology is giving it a leg up?  Brian Snyder, Regional Director of Cellular Sales’ South Georgia market, commented, “Both of these devices are very exciting and ground breaking in that the iPhone is an iconic device and the Thunderbolt is 4G.” Read the whole store here.

iPad 2 is Announced

Posted on 08. Mar, 2011 by in Equipment, Events, Wireless Equipment

Apple iPad 2 is officially announced. The update includes a 1GHz dual-core A5 chip as well as two cameras. One camera will be in the rear of the device as well as, the highly anticipated, front facing camera. The updates will allow the iPad to run up to nine times faster than the original iPad. All these changes and Apple is still able to keep the battery life at 10 hours. Pricing is left unchanged at $499 for a 16GB WiFi-only iPad 2 and all the way up to $829 for a WiFi/3G capable device with 64GB of storage. Apple is going outside of its usual boundaries and including an HDMI port that will be capable of 1080p. However, you’ll need to purchase a $39 dongle entitled Apple Digital AV Adapter. The iPad 2’s resolution is unchanged from the iPad at 1024 x 768.   For a closer look check out this hands on by Engadget.

“Geek” Scavenger Hunt in Seattle: Verizon Urban Challenge

Posted on 29. Oct, 2010 by in Equipment, Wireless Industry

Seattle Verizon Urban ChallengeHTC and Verizon are teaming up for a one-of-a-kind scavenger hunt revolving around the use of HTC handsets.

Read more about the contest here.

LTE Not Fast Enough To Make Your Head Spin?

Posted on 27. Oct, 2010 by in Equipment

Verizon’s 4G LTE network is going to revolutionize the wireless industry.

Now, in case you’re not impressed by the blistering pace of 7-12 Mbps, here’s a story that might pique your interest…

VIDEO: 2.4GB Movie Downloaded In Just 4 Sec Over Verizon’s 10Gbps Connection

Will HP Become A Player In The Smartphone Game?

Posted on 06. Oct, 2010 by in Equipment, Wireless Industry

Look, WebOS has buttons.Leveraging their purchase of Palm earlier this year, HP is on its way to getting in the smartphone game.  Fans of Palm’s WebOS will be happy hear of the recent announcement that HP will be launching multiple handsets in early 2011, according to a press release out today.

Reuters: HP to launch new webOS phones in early 2011