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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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Total Control With Usage Controls

For any parent who has given their child a cell phone line on their Verizon Wireless plan, they probably know what it is like to worry whether they will exceed the monthly plan allowance. If you have been in that position or are putting off getting said youth a phone due to this quam, I’d like to introduce you to Verizon Usage Controls.

Adding this system is as simple as adding any other feature to one or more of your phone lines. It costs $4.99 for every line you wish to monitor and allows you to restrict and view voice minutes, messaging and data usage, and even content downloads such as ringtones. The controlled line will receive a free text message when they are nearing their usage limit while the account owner will receive a message when the allowance has been met.Usage controls can be monitored and adjusted via your online MyVerizon account.

Usage controls also enables you to block up to twenty phone numbers as opposed the standard five numbers lines are alloted to block for free. To be even more secure, you have the ability to create Trusted Number lists. The phone would then only be able to contact the people who you designate as safe contacts, and also prevent the likelihood of going above the allotted usage amounts.

Experience total control when you can’t always be there. Create up to ten time period restrictions. Calls are stopped during restricted times, such as when the person is in school. At this point, they would only be able to dial the Trusted Numbers you have established or place calls to 911. Messaging (text, picture and even messaging with online social websites) will also be blocked unless it is being sent or received from a Trusted Number.

Express Verizon welcomes you to contact us for more information regarding Usage Controls and how they may be beneficial to use with the lines on your account.

– 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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Autocorrect….A Love/Hate Relationship

More and more people are using their cell phones to connect all aspects of their lives. We rely on our devices to keep us in contact with family, friends and work relationships. There is a sincere trust we instill in the equipment to get our messages across. The trouble is, how accurately our messages flowing?

With all of the variable ways to communicate: voice calls, text messaging, emails, instant messaging, etc. that you can do from your phone, we are now using more text formats to talk. But, how accurately are we speaking? Devices are created based on the idea that they are available to make our daily lives easier. They try to perform actions for us to make us do as little work as possible when using them. Autocorrect is your phones way of predicting what you are trying to write so that you don’t have to type as much and so that the words you use are spelled correctly.

Here lies the issue, we have become so accustomed to abbreviations and shortened phrases that our phones can’t understand the short hand that we now use. When we try to put in certain phrases that aren’t recognized your phone chooses what it thinks you are saying and inputs its best guess into your message. If you don’t catch the change before it is sent, you may have a very confused recipient. On the other hand, many times we rely on this program to improve our messages. A smart device will know how to correctly dictate our speech so that we don’t send out incorrect text and look less intelligent.

Personally, I have had many occasions where I have sent texts with autocorrected words that were far from corrected.  It is recognized as a humor in our society, as demonstrated in websites that are dedicated to demonstrating the hilarious messages that have been sent to others. Regardless of the issue of falsely adjusted messages, I believe that I rely on autocorrect to shorten my typing time and catch spelling errors more than I find a burden from its errors.

To help lessen the chances of incorrect autocorrect, check if your phone can let you edit or add to the user dictionary. That way, it will recognize your phrases instead of always trying to change them from what you are trying to say.

Let us know what you think of autocorrect and any help or harm it may have caused you.

– Sarah and your friends at Express Verizon

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in How To..., Uncategorized

 

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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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