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.
The serial business flyer knows that where you sit on the plane can be the difference between a pleasant flight and a horrible one. SeatGuru is a smartphone app that lets you book flights, and even select your seat on the plane. It also provides information that will help you make decisions by showing where on the plane the power ports are, how much the seat reclines, as well as user reviews.
In online travel-booking, there is a never-ending onslaught of confirmation and reservation numbers: for flights, hotels, car rentals, etc. TripIt, available for smartphones and tablets, organizes these numbers for you in one convenient app. All you have to do is forward your confirmation emails to a TripIt email address. TripIt then puts them in the app, allowing you to have them all in one place.
Simply Declare (iOS)
Recording expenses is a necessary part of business travel, and for those who are on a company expense budget, an app like Simply Declare can be invaluable. This iPhone app lets you put in your daily or overall budget. As you input expenditures, Simply Declare keeps track of how well you are doing at staying on budget. In addition to helping users keep track of expenses, one can also take photos of receipts and email them (to yourself or someone else), and for international travelers, there is a currency converter.
If you’re on a business trip in a big city, chances are you’re probably going to need to get a cab at some point. Taxi Magic will bring a cab to you, and you won’t have to dial a single number. Instead of having to flag one down or search for local companies, the app will use the GPS on your phone to send a cab directly to you. It even allows a customer to pay for the cab using the smartphone app. Taxi Magic works with cab companies in 43 U.S. cities, as well as London and Vancouver.
One thing smartphone users dread the most—losing their phone. Since people traveling for business are often using their phones for work, this can be more than just a slight inconvenience that can be fixed with a trip to the mobile store. Lookout allows you to track your phone, sound an alarm/page it if it’s lost or erase the memory remotely. This way you can either find your lost device or make sure any sensitive information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
At the end of the day, shopping is a price game, and RedLaser can be your trump card at winning that game. This app allows you to scan barcodes with your smartphone’s camera and see how those prices compare to other stores. After a scan, you can see what the price of that particular item is at several nearby retailers, as well as online retailing giant, eBay, which publishes the app.
GeoQpons is made for the coupon-conscious consumer. It delivers coupons from thousands of retailers, restaurants and other businesses directly to your smartphone. These coupons aren’t just for big-box stores, either. Local businesses can use GeoQpons to send their own discounts to their customers. In addition to providing the coupons, GeoQpons will also send you notifications when your coupons are about to expire so you can make sure you get the deal before it’s gone.
Ibotta is a smartphone app which acts as sort of a reverse coupon. The app sends you offers on products, and after viewing a small promotion for that product (such as a video or product fact), you get rewards for that item. When you purchase those items at one of several national retailers, simply snap a picture of your receipt and Ibotta gives you money back using PayPal. Another cool feature is that instead of taking the cash, you can choose to donate the money to any school in America.
For those who crave a social approach to shopping, there’s Wrapp. This smartphone and tablet app allows you to give gift cards to your Facebook friends. Some of the gift cards available are free, too, meaning you can send a friend a $5 gift and pay nothing for it. Since it connects through Facebook, Wrapp can show you when your friends’ birthdays are coming up, allowing you to send them a nice little gift without having to remember when their birthday is.
Amazon is the largest online retailer and a go-to source for online shoppers. This app does a great job of translating the Amazon website to a mobile platform, making it easy to use on a smartphone or tablet. You can do everything on the app you can do on the website—update your wish list, buy things and look at the daily deals. Additionally, the app comes with a barcode scanning feature that allows you to compare prices at brick-and-mortar stores with those on Amazon.
Here are a few smartphone apps to help you keep those New Year’s resolutions.
(from Brian Molina, news.verizonwireless.com)
The Fit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker calculates distance and calories burned during everyday activities or exercise while monitoring progress made. Keep track of calories with the Calorie Counter: My Fitness Pal app, which also features nutritional information, more than 350 exercises and the ability to set goals.
Quitting smoking can be extremely difficult, but with the Time to Quit Smoke app, achievements are displayed to help users stay strong. The app informs users of how long it has been since their last cigarette, how much money they have saved and how many cigarettes they have not smoked.
The Windows Phone 8X by HTC and Nokia Lumia 822, the latest Windows Phone 8 devices, are able to assist users in staying organized while on the go. Live tiles on the home screen allow users to select which apps, bookmarks and contacts they want to be able to access quickly. Built-in Microsoft Office and SkyDrive integration let users be productive and access documents right on the device.
Another popular resolution is to find a better work-life balance in the New Year. A great way to step away from the office and spend time with your family and friends is to take a weekend road trip. To ensure a relaxing car ride, parents can pack a tablet to play movies, TV shows and other video content for the kids with viewdini. If a family is taking a trip abroad and needs to stay connected to life back at home, they can purchase a global data plan to use data while traveling outside the United States.
This New Year, achieve your resolutions with the help of the latest technology and have a successful 2013.
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Hotel Tonight (Android | iOS)
This app allows you to book last-minute hotel rooms as late as 2 o’clock in the morning and at a big discount to boot (up to 70 percent off, according to the app makers). Hotel Tonight is great for people who travel a lot for business. If your flight is cancelled, you are no longer stranded at the airport with no hotel options. This app currently has hotel listings in almost 50 U.S. states, as well as nine international cities, and growing.
Yelp (Android | iOS)
Yelp is an app that has user reviews for all kinds of local businesses, such as restaurants, shops and salons. If you’re visiting an unfamiliar city, Yelp can help you decide where to eat by showing you restaurants close to you to go along with other people’s ratings of those establishments. With reviews for everything from florists to jewelers to dentists, Yelp has reviews for just about every type of business. If you decide you want a haircut while on vacation, Yelp can help you figure out which local salons and barber shops are the best bets to get a good cut.
HearPlanet (Android | iOS)
HearPlanet is like having a tour guide in your pocket. This app offers guided audio tours that can provide facts and history of nearby landmarks. If you want to learn about the Golden Gate Bridge while you walk across it, just open the HearPlanet app and throw your headphones in to get an audio-guided tour. This app can also send you push notifications to alert you when you are near a spot of interest. For those who like to take a more laid-back approach to travel, this can allow them to wander the city and have the app inform them of nearby points of interest. For those keeping an eye on how much data they use, this app allows you to download any audio tours you might want while connected to WiFi and listen to them later.
Gas Buddy (Android | iOS)
This app is for the road trippers out there. Gas Buddy allows you to see gas prices at stations around you so that you can find the cheapest places to fill up. You can also search for gas prices in other cities, so you can find inexpensive gas in cities that are on the way to your destination.
Packing List (Android)
It’s something we’ve all experienced at one time or another—forgetting to pack something. Whether it’s socks, a razor or a hair dryer, we’ve all been stranded out of town without a crucial item and been faced with the choice to tough it out and go without or break down and buy something we already own. Packing List allows you to create checklists so that you’ll always have everything you need. This app doesn’t just cover the typical clothing and toiletry items, either. There are options for documents (you wouldn’t want to drive to a port for a cruise without your passport), medicine and other necessities.
Google Sky Maps (Android)
To provide lessons in astronomy, the Sky Map app uses GPS and the Android accelerometer to project an augmented reality of the night sky. In addition to showing constellations, stars, and planets above, Google’s search capabilities will help find a particular celestial body and a universe of information about it.
Vibrometer (Android | iOS)
Vibrometer aids student seismologists by using the phone’s sensors to measure a real earthquake, a simulated temblor for research or any other vibration. An especially interesting feature of this app is the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (MMI), which is a key measurement in earthquake research.
Barometer HD (Android)
Smartphones and tablets with a barometric sensor can run the Barometer HD app to make meteorology fun. Users see real-time barometric pressure in various scientific units to help predict the weather. The app also indicates the altitude Standard Temperature and Pressure.
NOVA Elements (iOS)
For chemistry-lovers, the NOVA Elements app includes a full two-hour video of NOVA’s Hunting the Elements. The app also features an interactive periodic table of elements to learn fun facts about every element from hydrogen to ununoctium.
Frog Dissection (Android | iOS)
When it comes to biology, Frog Dissection is a great alternative to cutting up an actual frog on a lab table. The realistic app mimics the actual procedure using step-by-step instructions, 3D imagery and virtual dissection tools.
Expedition White Shark (iOS)
For something a little more intimidating than frogs, the Expedition White Shark app from the Marine Conservation Science Institute includes numerous features, including the ability for users to track satellite-tagged great whites in real-time as they swim the seas. There is also a “meet our sharks” section that provides photos and data on all of the tagged sharks.
Grill-It! (Android | iOS)
Grilling ability has long been a measure of manliness, and while not everyone can be an expert, Grill-It! gives you access to enough recipes and tips to make you feel like one. The app gives you specific instructions along with professional photos of the completed dishes so you can see how yours match up. You can browse the recipes by meat types, key words or ingredients. Don’t know what temperature to cook a certain meat? Grill-It! provides you with a list of the correct internal temperatures for cooking every kind of meat. A new recipe is added every week, so you’ll never run out of new meals to try.
ESPN Scorecenter (Android | iOS)
No man wants to be caught not knowing the score of a game or the latest sports news. Stay informed 24/7 with ESPN Scorecenter, an app that provides scores, news and standings from hundreds of different sports leagues around the world. The feature myTeams allows you to select your favorite teams and creates an individual page for each one. You can even subscribe for alerts to be sent to your phone for the start of your teams’ games, scoring plays, end of period/quarter/half notifications and final score updates. No matter how hectic your schedule is, ESPN Scorecenter lets you stay up to date on everything sports.
Fitness Buddy (Android | iOS)
Personal trainers are expensive, but that’s no longer an excuse for not getting a great workout. Fitness Buddy features over 1,700 exercises and 1,000 HD videos to provide you with the best personal training app available for your phone. It provides detailed exercise instructions, as well as full workout plans, so you can get your body to its prime condition. The app also tracks your progression, so you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout.
SkyDroid – Golf GPS (Android | iOS)
Say goodbye to expensive GPS devices for tracking your position on the golf course. This $0.99 app provides you with a satellite view of the course you’re playing on, as well as distances to greens and any hazards. There are currently over 22,000 courses mapped on the app, but you can map any course you want to online.
Mixologist Drink Recipes (Android | iOS)
If you don’t want to have to deal with the crowds at your local bar, Mixologist Drink Recipes will provide you with your own personal bartender. With almost 8,000 drink recipes and 1,300 ingredients, this app gives you access to the steps to make any drink you could want. If you only have a limited selection of alcohol, you can tell the app what you have in stock, and it will give you recipes featuring only those ingredients. Or, if one of the drinks that you don’t have the right alcohol for catches your eye, the app will find the nearest liquor store to your current location.
Out of Milk (Android)
While women often get stuck with the unceremonious task of grocery shopping, there are ways to make the process simpler. Out of Milk is an app for your phone or tablet that allows you to create a shopping list, pantry list and a to-do list all in one app. Make a grocery list, and then scan items as you pick them up to cross them off. Have trouble remembering what to put on your list? The app allows you to scan and save what’s in your pantry, and it saves your purchase history, as well. You can even group items by category, helping you to get all items on one trip through the store.
Daily Yoga (Android)
Looking for a productive stress-reliever but don’t have time for the gym? Daily Yoga provides full yoga classes designed by certified yoga instructors, available on your phone or tablet. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner, a yoga veteran or somewhere in between, as Daily Yoga provides different levels of difficulty for the user. The app even provides you with HD videos and step-by-step instructions for all poses. Daily Yoga divides the sessions into four categories (Abs, Back, Butt, Chest), for which you’ll have to download the appropriate plug-in.
My Pregnancy Today (Android | iOS)
If you’re currently expecting, or even considering it in the future, My Pregnancy Today is the perfect app to help make your experience as easy as possible. Once you enter your baby’s due date, the app will provide you with daily instructions, including nutrition tips and a checklist of activities. A particularly interesting feature of the app is a series of images that show fetal development. This lets you get an idea of what your child looks like at different stages of your pregnancy. Also, if you’d like to get in touch with other mothers-to-be that have similar due dates, My Pregnancy Today offers birth clubs for you to join.
Womanlog Pro Calendar (Android | iOS)
Keeping track of your menstrual and fertility cycles is a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. Womanlog Pro Calendar is a convenient and user-friendly calendar app that lets you track your menstrual cycle, ovulation forecast and fertility forecast in one place. All functions of the calendar are accessible from one screen, making it simple for you to view all of your schedules at once.
Beauty Product Reviews (Android | iOS)
Want to know the difference between two anti-aging creams before you buy one? Is one make-up remover really better than another? Beauty Product Reviews will tell you everything you need to know. Featuring 45,000 products and over 280,000 customer reviews, this app will help lessen the chance of buyer’s remorse from your purchase. Products are organized into easily navigable categories and subcategories based on intended use, as well as their brand. There are also pictures of all of the products, so you can be sure that you’re researching the correct item. And since the reviews are posted by real customers, you can trust the information on the app to be up to date and honest.
Evernote (Android, iOS)
Evernote is a free cloud storage app that lets you integrate your notes across several different devices, allowing users to access and edit files on any Internet-connected device, from smartphones to desktop computers. Students can use this app for notes, to-do lists and to record voice reminders. Evernote also has other useful features. For instance, there is a feature that can be used to search for text within an image. Instead of trying to write down an entire whiteboard’s worth of material, a user can just snap a photo and search for the pertinent text later.
StudyBlue Flashcards (Android, iOS)
This app gives you the ability to create flashcards, using text and images, on your mobile device. StudyBlue Flashcards also allows you to quiz yourself, providing statistics for study-session performance. That way, students can identify their weaknesses and focus on the topics giving them the most difficulty. The flashcards can also be used offline, making it possible to study without the need for Internet access.
Mint.com Personal Finance (Android, iOS)
Mint.com is a budgeting app that gives you a holistic view of your personal finances. It allows you to integrate your bank accounts and credit cards to provide a better view of where your money is coming from and where it is going. The app can create a budget for you, and will even send alerts when bills are due, allowing students to stay on top of their finances.
Alarm Clock Xtreme (Android)
Having trouble waking up for those 8 a.m. classes? Alarm Clock Xtreme can assist with that. Those guilty of habitual snoozing can customize their alarms so that they have to correctly answer math equations to get those few extra minutes of sleep. Users can also set the amount of times they are allowed to hit the snooze button or make it so the duration between alarms is shorter each time they snooze. There are also features for morning people. For those who prefer a gentler wake-up call, an alarm can be set to gradually increase in volume, instead of a loud, boisterous siren.
Real Simple No Time to Cook? (Android, iOS)
The stereotypical college diet consists largely of fast food, pizza and ramen. For the adventurous types who want to cook food that requires a little more preparation than adding a packet of pasta to boiling water, there’s Real Simple Recipes’ No Time to Cook? This app provides simple, fast recipes for the novice chef. It starts by asking users what the foundation of their dish will be (i.e. chicken, vegetarian, pasta) and then gives them an option for desired preparation time: 20, 30 or 40 minutes. Aside from providing simple, fast recipes, the app also has how-to videos, a kitchen timer and it can send grocery lists via text or email to ensure you leave the grocery store with the necessary ingredients.
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.
People use smartphones for social media more than any other activity, including talking and playing games. Facebook and Twitter are the two biggest players in social media right now, but Google+ is making a run at Facebook. In fact, Google+ users, though they are dramatically fewer than Facebook’s, tend to be more happy with their platform than Facebook users.
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.