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Category Archives: Droid Apps

Waze for a Free GPS

The iPhone has been a great device for users of Apple products. It offers a fantastic battery life and easy to use interface. While it does come with an included map program there hasn’t always been a free GPS service to navigate you while you drive…until now. Waze is a free app you can download from the Apple App Store that will help you find the quickest route to where ever you need to be.

“When you download Waze, you not only get a free navigation, but also become a part of the local driving community n your area, joining forces with other drivers nearby to outsmart traffic, save time, and improve everyone’s daily commute”- Waze.com

This is a driver generated service. As you and other users locate elements in your route that could slow down a commute, the program automatically warns you of what is ahead and will reroute you to save time in your travels. If you find any issues with street names, roads or other discrepancies, you are able to correct them.

Know where speed cameras, road hazards, accidents, traffic jams or other driving delays are before you are affected by them. You can even report sightings to others on the same path with a touch of a button.

This program is not restricted to only the iPhone or apple products but can be used by Android users as well. For more information check out the Waze Guided Tour video or stop into any Express Verizon location.

-Sarah and your friends at Express Verizon

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Droid Does Valentines Day

We all know that Valentines Day can be a bit difficult, having to plan a special day and put together all of the details. Your Droid Smartphone can help.  I’m not just talking about changing your ringtone and setting up a sweet wallpaper. All of your plans for the day are covered here; might even help you save a little money at it.

Here’s your checklist:

  • Valentine Card
  • Chocolates
  • Gift
  • Dinner

Considering that you have probably waited until the last minute to get all of these parts accomplished, I’ll show you how easy it can be when you have a little help from your apps. Lets start with the romantic card. E-Cards is an app that lets you create a virtual card to sent to that special someone. Share your card with them via email, Twitter, or Facebook.  You can even use pictures from your owns phone gallery to completely personalize the message.

Chocolates are fairly simple. Use the Walgreens or CVS apps to check for coupons and nearby locations to quickly stop in for sweets. We can still help you if you want to take it one step further. Find Chocolate! is your personal guide to all fine chocolate shops. It uses your location to find all the nearby gourmet chocolate shops and provides a map showing how to get to them.  Check other users ratings of the shops and get the best candies for your love.

If you’re really looking to impress this Valentines Day you may be thinking of something a little more sparkly to give her. First place to check would be the Jewelry Finder app. This will show you the best deals for online jewelry shopping. Searches hundreds of classified websites and online marketplaces. Sort by price, location, or type. Even drop gift hints by forwarding listings via Facebook or email.

Doing pretty well, only one more thing to set up, dinner. This may be the easiest part if you have Open Table on your smartphone. Search for restaurants in your area based on price, reviews or cuisine. Results are mapped and show real-time table availability. Even look over the menu to be sure you will both enjoy a meal there. If it all looks good, place your reservations directly through the app for free! A confirmation email will be sent to you shortly after. Find the right place, the right meal, and the right reservations all in one place.

So there you are, stop worrying about how you can manage a perfect day for your special someone. All the answers are neatly packaged in your Android Market.

Happy Valentines Day – Sarah and your friends at Express Verizon

 

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Are You On Voxer?

Over the last few months, we have seen an app called Voxer grow in download popularity. In short, it is a walkie-talkie application for both Android and Apple smartphones. But, it really does pack a lot more than just that.

As soon as you set up the app on your phone, you will see that the layout is clean and easy to use. It automatically pulls in your Facebook friends and contacts that are using Voxer so that you can start chatting with them at the push of a button. You will also be notified as soon as another one of your connected friends joins the Voxer network. Also suggest the app to any of your other contacts.

You can chat with one other person or a group but, the most useful part is the versatility of how you can talk. Send a text message, a photo, or a voice note. The messages you send can include your current location on google maps. This could come in very useful if you are trying to meet with someone else; you no longer have to write out where you are and how to get there. For privacy, this is also a function you can disable.

Texting had become a huge part of the current communication, Voxer doesn’t take away from that but, reintegrates walkie-talkie use that you aren’t constantly stuck typing in messages to your phone. Talk to the people on your Facebook easily while also sending photos and location information.

Voxer is free to use and free of advertisements. Making it even more easy and enjoyable to use. For more information on Voxer and how to use it, stop into any of our stores in Ellington, Enfield, Vernon, or Stafford.

– Sarah and your friends at Express Verizon

 

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Conserve Your Battery

During the ongoing power outage many are struggling to maintain a safe level of power in their cell phone battery. It is important to have the ability to send and receive phone calls during the state of emergency. Here are some ways to improve the longevity of your power for your basic or smartphone.

Obviously, the most effective way to save battery is to turn the phone off. Unless you have to use your device as an alarm clock, make sure you turn your phone off at night. Most likely you won’t be using your phone during this time so shut it off to conserve. A battery will still drain a very small amount with the phone off. In real emergency instances remove the battery from the phone completely to hold the most power in the battery.

If you are in an area that receives poor signal either shut off the phone or put it in airplane mode to prevent constant searching for a better link to the towers. There are tools that can boost signal in certain locations if they are places that you often need to have use of your phone.

Although vibrate can be a helpful feature to use when you don’t want your phone making a lot of noise, it uses a larger amount of power than when you have it set to ring. Turn off the vibrate as a ring or notification alert and also turn off the vibrate feedback that occurs on touchscreen phones when you select an item on the screen.

The larger the screen is on your phone, the more power is dispersed to it to keep it lit up. If possible, turn off the backlight or turn down the amount of time that the keyboard or screen stays lit up after being used. Use a darker, if not black, image as your background wallpaper. It uses much less power than lighting up the screen brightly. Reduce the brightness of the screen on smartphones and don’t use live wallpapers. These are constantly running programs and although they aren’t performing large tasks it is still constantly running and using unnecessary battery percentages.

Avoid the use of unnecessary features. The flash on your phone’s camera uses more power than any other feature. Turn off all other features and try not to use your phone for anything other than calls or text messages. Don’t use it for gaming or music applications. If you do stream any video or music make sure that you fully close out the program when you are finished. Turn off WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth functions unless you need to use them and then turn them after you are completed with them. Most phones also have an option to turn off the internet connection. This will prevent automatic updates and stop your phone from constantly searching for a strong internet connection as well as a voice signal.

Keep your calls short. It does use more battery to be running a phone call and maintain the connection for you to converse. When possible, use a short text message instead or limit your talk time.

Many phone have a ‘battery save’ mode. They often don’t equip themselves or only turn on when you are already very low on battery power. Check the phones Settings menu for the option to turn on the feature manually. This will help turn off background programs. Avoid third-party task managers. The task killers built into the phones basic software will work better with your phone and use less power than running another program to do the work.

The Express Verizon team understands how important it is to be able to stay in contact during power outages. All four of our stores are open to help you stay in contact. Come in to charge your phone or use our WiFi. Check out what products we have to help with maintaining battery life and keep you and your phone up and running.

– Sarah and your friends at Express Verizon

 

 

 

 

 

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Snow Storm Essentials

Like it or not, winter has decided to make an early arrival. Fortunately, Express Verizon is here to help you stay prepared for the impending weather. Here is a countdown of the  five must-haves to help you stay ahead of the storms that are sure to arrive this season.

5.  Your survival kit can get a little bit lighter. Simply download a flashlight app and use your phone to see during any power outages. Instead of struggling to find batteries or candles you can access management of the LED light that is your camera flash. One of the most popular apps for this purpose is called Tiny Flashlight + LED. The super-bright LED bulb can come in handy in any dark situation where you need to see your way or find a lost item.

4. We know that having your cell phone on you is incredibly important during severe weather. When all other lines are down, Verizon Wireless works hard to keep you connected at all times. But, there isn’t much a mobile phone can do for you if it does not have a charged battery. We carry an Energizer portable charge pack that you can use to keep your phone working no matter where you are. The pack allows you to store a charge in it. Now you can plug in your phone and ensure that you always have a power source for your phone.

3. Weather Bug is a great app that can help you stay on top of upcoming weather conditions. Know what to expect with access to the largest network of professional weather stations. It even includes doplar radar, severe weather alerts, forecasts and much more, all presented to you on your phone. Never again will you be surprised by a change in temperature or condition. Know what to expect and when it will arrive in your area.

2. Snow storms can cause an issue but, as many will tell you, they can bring good times with them as well. For those who ski, they want to know what it will be like before they get to the mountains. For that, you could use Ski Trailmaps . Use it to check the weather at your favorite ski locations and even view cameras of the area to check it out before you arrive.  Maps can come in handy while on the mountain to track your location or manage where you would like to go.

1. The ultimate must-have for a coming snow storm: a car charger. These are common and most people already have them in their vehicles. If you don’t, I strongly suggest picking one up. If the power is out at home you can still keep in contact and keep your phone charged during the power outage. I’m sure that you will get use out of it during the rest of the year as well regardless of the weather situation. They are great to have and could  be a great help when you’re in a pinch for power on your mobile device.

Stop into any of our four Express Verizon locations for more information on how to get any of these items or more tips on what your phone could do for you during stormy conditions.

– Sarah and your friends at Express Verizon

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2011 in Community, Droid Apps

 

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Androidify Yourself

As we have mentioned before, the Express Verizon team loves to find apps on our Droid phones to help us with productivity and staying connected, but on occasion we also love to find programs that are simply for fun.

The app we are playing with this week is Androidify. This program allows you to create your own versions of the little green Android icon that we have grown to know so well. With the app, you can change skin color (because most of us are not naturally green), hair style and choose your outfit. When you have finished your Droid creation you can even share your character on Facebook or through email. See what you and your friends can come up with and what you would look like as a Droid. Shown here is my own Droid to represent myself and, yes, it has already been posted on my Facebook.  

Make creations that are funny or crazy or use your characters as fun self images on your networking accounts. We all know that the Android OS is super powerful. Why not include yourself as a Droid to show your support of these great devices.

Stop into one of our locations to learn more about fun or functional apps.

-Sarah and your friends at Express Verizon

 

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What are QR Codes?

Over the past year barcodes like the one shown above have become much more popular.  Although may have seen them on television, magazines, postcards, and the internet, I feel like there has not been a proper introduction between these helpful codes and the general public. So,  public, these are QR Codes. They are a more advanced form of barcode that can be scanned in using your smartphone’s camera to retain the information in them.

Shown above is an image of my Express Verizon business card. We have implemented the use of QR Codes to help others easily gather our contact information into their mobile devices instead of having to manually enter all of the details. That small barcode contains my name, company name, store address, store phone number, my email address, and even the company website address.

QR codes are often used in many marketing campaigns to help people find an easy way to get more information regarding their products or events. Some new advancements are to include a company’s logo into the barcode image, making it easier for the user to understand what kind of information they will receive from the code.

Not all smartphones come equipped with a program to decode these images but, it is simple to download an app from the market that can turn your device into a scanning machine. Some of the more popular apps are Barcode Scanner or ScanLife Barcode Reader. I personally use QR Droid on my HTC Incredible 2 which has worked very well for me. It even has an option for me to generate my own codes containing the information of my choice.

I am sure that now that you have a better understanding of these interesting codes you will start noticing them in all kinds of different media. Try scanning some yourself to see what kind of information you can uncover.

If you have any questions or would like some assistance on how to scan QR Codes stop into one of our locations and we would be happy to help.

-Sarah and your friends at Express Verizon

 

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