Technology has become a staple of our lives with innovation moving at a breakneck pace. Just think, 20 years ago almost nobody had the internet. Ten years ago, the word “smartphone” wasn’t in many people’s vocabulary. Five years ago, tablets were unheard of.
One of the latest innovations to hit the market is the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA).
What is DLNA?
We all have digital devices, whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, TV, game system, digital camera, computer or any other number of consumer electronics. However, outside of physically connecting these devices, they don’t “speak” to each other. DLNA allows all your electronics to communicate with each other.
What can DLNA do for me?
Let’s say you took a picture with your smartphone, and you want to print it out. You probably are going to email it to yourself, download it from the email and then print it, right? With DLNA, you can print that photo by sending it directly to the printer.
Here’s another scenario. You have some people over and want to show them a funny YouTube video. Instead of trying to get everyone to crowd around your tablet screen, DLNA gives you the ability to watch that video on your TV screen wirelessly.
It’s all about integration, cross-compatibility and providing a way for all your devices to work with each other.
How can I get DLNA?
You probably already have several of the individual pieces needed to form a DLNA network. There is a slew of DLNA-compatible products already on the market. The only other thing you need is a WiFi connection. You can technically use DLNA through wired connections, but it kind of defeats the purpose. Once you have DLNA devices and an internet connection, you’ve got yourself a DLNA network.
If you’re interested in learning more about DLNA or DLNA-compatible products, talk to your local Cellular Sales Verizon Wireless rep.
Samsung has unveiled its much-anticipated new smartphone release—the Galaxy S4.
The handset, which is slated for a late-April release, has numerous new features Samsung put on display during an introductory press conference. Here’s a breakdown of some of the new features for one of the premier brands on the market.
We’ll focus less on the features one would expect from a new smartphone model (i.e. 4G capability) and stick to those which aren’t available on just any phone in the store.
- Camera – One of the most talked-about topics after Samsung’s press conference was the S4’s camera. The rear camera has an incredible 13 megapixels. By comparison, the iPhone 5’s lauded camera is 8 megapixels. Beyond the high quality of photos it can take, the S4 also allows users to take photos simultaneously with the rear and front cameras. This gives you the option of taking two pictures at the same time and super-imposing one over the other.
- Smart Pause – The front camera (the one on the same side as the phone’s screen) incorporates eye-tracking technology to figure out, for example, when you’re looking at your phone and when you aren’t. Say you’re watching a video, and you look away. Smart Pause will pause the video when you glance away and restart it when you look back at your phone.
- Smart Scroll – In the same spirit as Smart Pause, the new S4 will also have Smart Scroll. This gives the user the option of scrolling (such as when on the web) by tilting the handset.
- Group Play – This is a type of sharing feature that can have some neat uses. For instance, you can share your music with your friends who have Galaxies and turn each device into a different speaker, allowing you to create surround sound using smartphones. This is a feature that could be expanded even further once app makers incorporate it.
- Air Gesture – This feature allows you to execute commands on your phone by using gestures. You can set your gestures so that, say, waving your hand in front of the screen will exit an app or making a check mark with your finger will lock the screen.
There are many more new features on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Feel free to stop by a Cellular Sales location and ask a wireless expert to learn more.
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Temple Run (Android | iOS)
One of the most popular smartphone games of all time, Temple Run utilizes all of the technology of your smartphone. As you run away from the Evil Demon Monkeys, you swipe the screen and tilt your phone to maneuver through the course. An easy and intuitive game to learn, Temple Run is truly enjoyable for everyone. It’s free on both Android and in the Apple App Store, so it’s a great app for new users to learn the gaming capabilities of their phone.
Facebook (Android | iOS)
In many ways, the mobile version of Facebook is sleeker and more efficient to use than the traditional version. There are also great features that just aren’t available on the computer, including taking pictures on your phone through the Facebook app and “Checking In” to your current location. Facebook also does a great job of updating the app regularly, which keeps minor problems from becoming major issues.
BBC News (Android | iOS)
Possibly the best news app available for smartphones, BBC News provides the award-winning content of the international news company, conveniently in your pocket. With this app, you get the latest national and regional news, from business to politics to science, arts and everything in-between. The layout of the app is simple and easy to use, and you’re also given the option to personalize the page, allowing you to see only the content which interests you. A great feature that sets it apart from other news apps is its access to BBC World Service Radio. This app truly can serve as your main source of news.
Pandora (Android | iOS)
The best free internet radio website is also available on your smartphone. Pandora is a personalized radio app that lets you listen to your favorite artists, genres and songs, while also finding music that you may like based on your preferences. When you first open the app, you’ll be prompted to create a “Station” by entering the name of your favorite artist or genre, and then Pandora will play songs based on what you enter. This app gives you access to music no matter where you are, but because of its significant data use, we recommend that you use Wi-Fi where you can.
Urbanspoon (Android | iOS)
One of the more popular apps of all-time, Urbanspoon, is the most convenient restaurant finder available for your smartphone. This app makes deciding where to eat a simple process. Enter preferences such as price range and food type, shake your phone and Urbanspoon will give you a random suggestion on where to eat. The app also gives you directions to and reviews of all of the restaurants it suggests, helping to make your planning process that much easier.
Runkeeper (Android| iOS)
One of the most popular fitness apps available, Runkeeper allows you to track your runs, walks, hikes and more from your smartphone using a built-in GPS and timer, among other great features. The app shows you your pace, heart rate, calories burned, and it keeps track of your stats from previous runs, helping you track your progress in multiple ways. One standout feature is that the app notifies you whenever you have completed a personal-best time for a particular distance, helping to keep you motivated.
Calorie Counter by MyFitnessPal (Android | iOS)
Keeping track of your calorie intake is an incredibly important part of maintaining a healthy diet, and there’s no better smart phone app for it than Calorie Counter by MyFitnessPal. The app features over 1.7 million different foods, all but guaranteeing that you can find your meal, and its calorie totals, on the list. It’s incredibly easy to input your meals, as the layout is user-friendly and allows you to save your favorite foods for quick access. You can also access your account via a computer, letting you backup all of your information.
Fooducate (Android | iOS)
Deciphering nutrition labels can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Fooducate is an app that lets you scan the barcode of an item at the grocery store and then gives you the most important nutritional information of the item, both good and bad. It has over 200,000 products in its database, and updates regularly. This app allows you to see past labeling tricks, such as distorted serving sizes, to see what nutritional value the products actually has. Just use your smart phone’s camera to scan the barcode and the app does the rest for you. Combined with Calorie Counter, it can be easy to keep control of your diet.
First Aid by American Red Cross (Android | iOS)
Have you found yourself in an emergency situation without the knowledge of how to deal with it? First Aid by American Red Cross provides you with all of the knowledge that you need to handle yourself in any emergency. Featuring the expert advice from the Red Cross, the app gives you access to step-by-step instructions for first aid, videos and animations of first aid techniques and even safety tips for severe weather. The app is very easy to navigate, and the information is presented in an simple-to-understand manner. There are even interactive quizzes to aid in your learning, keeping the user engaged in the content.
Tools evolve throughout the years. Here at Cellular Sales, we’d like to help you find the latest and greatest smartphone tools. In this installment, it’s apps for young professionals. Feel free to chime in with your own suggestions!
My Budget Book (Android | iOS)
No matter what your starting salary was, budgeting is an issue for every young professional. My Budget Book is an app that helps you keep track of all of your expenditures and earnings. The ability to set a monthly budget becomes simple with this app’s incredibly organized interface. You can categorize your earnings and expenses however you wish, making it easier to track what money goes where. If you would rather have a visual representation of your balance, My Budget Book allows you to create tables and graphs of your statistics. Your balance carries over from month to month, so there’s no need to re-input all of your information. Once you have your data organized to your liking, you can save it to an SD card and export it in HTML or CSV format.
Jump Desktop (Android | iOS)
As the business world becomes more competitive and faster paced, young professionals need to find every advantage they can. Jump Desktop is an app that allows users to remotely access their laptop or computer, allowing you to work on the go, regardless of the project. Want to access your work computer from home? With just one touch of your smartphone or tablet, Jump Desktop allows you to do just that. By gaining access to your desktop or laptop at all hours of the day and from any location, you can gain an advantage over your coworkers.
FlightTrack (Android | iOS)
The first time that many people have to rely on air travel with regularity is in the professional world. While flight times and gate changes can get confusing, FlightTrack allows you to keep up with real-time information about your flight. This app provides gates, delays and cancellations for over 16,000 airports world-wide. It syncs your phone’s calendar to its schedule, making it easy for you to pick the best flight time. This app takes any hassle out of scheduling or rescheduling your flight plans.
TimeClock ST (Android | iOS)
While it can be difficult keeping track of your billable hours while you’re on the go, TimeClock makes it easy to do right from your smartphone. This simple app allows you to track billable hours for all of your clients and generates invoices and spreadsheets. Not only can it track time for as many clients as you need, but you can also record individual rates for each one, saving you from having to do the math yourself. You can track time with a built-in clock or manually input time records. There’s no need to worry about making mistakes, as you can edit all of your time records. While your data is automatically saved on the app, you can also download the records as a PDF to print for a hard-copy version.
Cam Card (Android | iOS)
Networking is vital to any young career, but organizing the hundreds of business cards that you may collect can be nearly impossible. Cam Card takes care of that problem for you. With this app, all you have to do is take pictures of the business cards that you receive. The app then saves the card into a virtual rolodex and adds the information on the card into your address book. All of the information on the app can be saved into the Cloud, protecting you from any data-loss risk. Instead of keeping a pile of business cards lying around or manually saving the information from each one, let Cam Card organize all of them for you.
What are some other great apps for young professionals that you can’t live without?
The research firm says that of all the people who purchased smartphones in the second quarter, 54.6 percent opted for an Android-based model, while 36.3 percent decided to pick up an iPhone, instead. But Apple is doing a lot better than a certain Canadian company.
Read more: FoxNews.com
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is developing a smartphone that would vie with Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and handheld devices that run Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android operating system, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. (2038), the Chinese mobile- phone maker, is working with Amazon on the device, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. Amazon is seeking to complement the smartphone strategy by acquiring patents that cover wireless technology and would help it defend against allegations of infringement, other people with knowledge of the matter said.
Cellular Sales recently gave a $15,000 donation to SOAR Youth Ministries to help support Knoxville children in need. SOAR Youth Ministries focuses upon helping at-risk youth in the Lonsdale area through after school training, a summer academy and a mentoring program. For the past three years, Cellular Sales has been helping SOAR serve the community through financial donations.
“The volunteers at SOAR have a passion for underprivileged youth and want to make a difference in their lives,” said Clayton Wood, executive director of SOAR Youth Ministries. “With the help of Cellular Sales, we get closer to that goal every year.” (Knoxville News Sentinel, June 3, 2012)
The donated funds will go to support the summer academy. During summer months, SOAR provides an all-day place for youth to participate in an intensive reading program, go on educational field trips and learn more about the Bible.The theme for the Summer Academy 2012 is “I Spy.” Throughout the summer the children at SOAR will go on a scavenger hunt researching bugs, America in the 1930′s, tracking the meteor storm, serving the city and more! Programs like this help the children develop a passion for reading while inspiring a sense of pride in the whole community.
Cellular Sales will also sponsor the annual SOAR Golf Tournament on July 2 at Gettysvue Golf Course. As the nations largest Verizon Wireless retailer, Cellular Sales has been privileged to open over 500 stores throughout the nation. In addition to bringing job opportunities to local communities, Cellular Sales is proud to invest in the future of these communities through programs like SOAR.
For the second year in a row, Cellular Sales has donated a $2500 grant to the the CNY Football Academy, a free football camp for kids in the Syracuse area. Organized by three NFL players, this annual camp provides an opportunity for children of all ages and economic backgrounds to learn about working hard, setting goals and achieving milestones.
Each year Mike Hart (a former running back for the Indianapolis Colts), Jo-Lonn Dunbar (a linebacker for the St. Louis Rams), and Tyvon Branch (a safety for the Oakland Raiders) return to home to Syracuse to offer this camp as a gift to the community. “It’s great to come back home every year and give back to the community that’s always supported me,” said Mike Hart, current running backs coach at Eastern Michigan University. “We’re lucky that we get to do something we love, while having fun with local kids and making this a community event.”
“It astounds us every year to see how this camp touches so many lives of those in our area,” said Tim Blackburn, regional director at Cellular. “We couldn’t be happier to be a part of this special program.”
The CNY Football Academy camp will be held on Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Sunnycrest Park.
When Apple announced last week that the new iOS would include a new mapping app with updated graphics, crystal clear details, improved navigation, and spoken turn-by-turn directions, they were announcing a map app war with Google. Their newest map program involves dropping Google Maps and utilizing the services of the navigation company Tom-Tom. Over the next several months, Apple will continue to extend relationships with developers on their map program, then in the fall the real battle begins. Both giants, Apple and Google have something to lose in this match-up.
If Apple cannot deliver a solid mapping navigation system that rivals and exceeds Google Maps, they may drive customer over to Android. If Apple wins, Google will lose massive information about “users’ locations, destinations and driving and shopping habits.” Either way, this should prove to be an interesting battle of the map apps.
The Amazon Cloud Player is now available for iPhone, iPod and iPad products. This is surprisingly great news for iOS owners. The iOS ecosystem has suddenly opened, and owners are no longer restricted to iTunes Match for a cloud-based music storage system. Maybe I missed the rumors, but I didn’t see this coming. While I use iTunes Match, Google Play Music and the Amazon Cloud Player, I assumed iTunes would stay in its ecosystem while Google Play and Amazon Cloud roamed free in the Android world. Now Amazon Cloud Player is free to roam in the iOS world as well.
With Amazon Cloud Player you can,
· Stream your music from the cloud.
· Download locally and enjoy your music offline – no wifi or mobile network needed.
· Create and edit playlists.
· Play music in the background, or controlled via lockscreen.
· Use Bluetooth to stream your music in your house or car.
If anything, this gives the iOS user more choice in streaming and downloading music. If you haven’t used Amazon Cloud Player, you can easily test it by purchasing an MP3 from Amazon and choosing to open it in the Cloud Player. Amazon gives users unlimited space for music. Using the Amazon uploader, you can easily transfer music from your computer to the Amazon Cloud even if you didn’t purchase it at Amazon.
One complaint I’ve had about iTunes Match is the lack of support for audiobooks. I know this is eventually coming, but since the last iTunes upgrade, it has been much more cumbersome to transfer books to my iPhone. The Amazon Cloud Player supports audiobooks, so I can easily listen via Amazon now.
The Amazon Cloud Player supports bluetooth and airplay, so you can easily play our music via your selected entertainment system. If you choose to use the Amazon Cloud Player, remember that streaming music via the cloud does impact your data streaming limits, so you may want to limit streaming to Wi-Fi use only and download for other situations.
At Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) conference yesterday, Scott Forstall, in charge of iOS, took the stage to give the audience a vision of the coming updates. He started by highlighting some impressive stats on the iOS platform:
- 365 million iOS devices have been sold.
- More than 80 percent of customers are running the latest version, iOS 5.
- Apple send seven billion push notifications through iOS every day (equaling 1.5 trillion push notifications altogether).
- 140 million iMessage users sending 1 billion messages each day (with a total of 150 billion messages sent).
- Twitter integration with iOS has spawned 10 billion tweets.
- Game Center has 130 million users and records five billion scores a week.
Forstall proceeded to introduce the updates coming to iOS this fall. Here are some of the key updates:
Maps – With a total redesign, Map elements are now vector based, offering graphics and text with incredible details. Zoom all the way in and details are crystal clear. Pan and the image remains smooth. Navigation is simpler with visual and spoken turn-by-turn directions. Enjoy real-time updates. Tilt, rotate, and soar over cityscapes incredible high-resolution quality.
Siri -In the updated iOS 6, Siri can understand more languages, making it accessible in more countries and on the iPad as well. Now Siri gives sports score and stats, movie reviews and showtimes, and can locate the best restaurants and make reservations. Siri is also integrated with Facebook and Twitter.
Passbook – Keep your tickets, coupons, loyalty cards and boarding passes in one place, your iPhone or iPod. Whether going to a movie, a concert, a flight or shopping, you can simply use your iPhone or iPod. Passbook tracks coupon expiration dates, makes sure you get to your flight on time, and can even help your find your concert seats.
Facebook -Speaking of Facebook, iOS 6 offers greater Facebook integration. You can update your Facebook page from various apps such the maps (post your location), Game Center (show off scores), import Facebook events to Calendar, and reach your friends via total Contact integration.
Photo Streams -Sharing your photos via photos stream is easier than ever. Send to friends on iCloud, another iOS device or a Mac running Mountain Lion, Apple TV, or even the web.
FaceTime – Now you can use FaceTime on Cellular Networks as well as Wi-Fi. Plus, you can use iPad on FaceTime with your phone number.
Phone – Can’t talk on the phone? When you decline the call you can send an instant reply via text message or set a callback reminder. Turn on Do Not Disturb, allowing only the most important calls to pass through.
Mail – Now it’s easier to read, write, set high priority contacts, and add attachments to your emails.
Additionally, iOS 6 will introduce a range of other features like vastly improved accessibility features including guided access, better web browsing, an improved Find My Friends interface, a redesigned shopping experience, a passcode lock feature for lost phones, and built-in support for Chinese speaking users.
September appears to be the target date for launching the next generation iPhone 5. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, KGI Securities Analyst, Apple will likely launch its sixth-generation iPhone. Kuo also suggests that the new iPhone will feature a 4.08-inch display utilizing in-cell touchscreen technology. The in-cell touchscreen design is expected to reduce width by about 15%.
Facebook just simplified the process for users to make in app mobile payments. For example, users wanting to purchase more Farmville credits “can now charge items directly to their mobile phones via carriers in two steps to more than 30 countries.” Instead of relying on credit card payments, purchase can now be made via phone carriers. (See IT World)