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How do you take and sync notes on your device? Jun 15th 2013, 17:00
Despite my absolute love for technology, buoyed by the fact that I generally have to have all the new shiny things as soon as they’re launched, I’m a bit old-fashioned when it comes to certain aspects of my life. Which, incidentally, do have a bit of a connection to my tech-obsessed life. But then again, there’s probably no way to really get around that anymore.

When I leave the house every day, I grab only a few thins every single time. My wallet, my phone, sunglasses, my laptop, and a watch. These things are always with me, no matter if I’m just leaving the house for a few minutes or for a few hours. They are the “essentials.”

I left something out, though. The old-fashioned parts. I have four different small Moleskine lined notebooks laying on the table in front of me right now. One green, one black, another blue, and the last one another shade of green. Each one of them have plenty of scribbled content, and I’d venture to say that they’re all about halfway filled by now.

When I leave the house every day, one of these notebooks falls into that aforementioned essentials category, along with one of my pens. (I used to have an expensive pen, but it was lost in a recent move, so I’m sticking with BIC from here on out.) The notebook goes in my back pocket, and I go about my day.

At any point I can get the notion to take a note, so instead of turning to my phone as so many of you do, I pull out that notebook, scribble away, and then return it, along with the pen, back into a pocket. I’ll usually do this more than a few times in a day, and it’s something that I’ve grown into over the years. Some might call it a bad habit, and if that’s the case, it is certainly a very hard one to break.

Through my years with all of the major and minor mobile operating systems out there, I think I’ve thought about utilizing note taking applications before, but it’s something I’ve just never followed through with. I’ve heard good things about the big-name apps, of course. Some folks swear by Evernote, while others tell me that I’m missing out by not using Microsoft’s OneNote.

The closest, and the only app that I still have downloaded on my phone, is Simplenote. But, I just never actually used it on my phone. I’d use it from time to time on the computer itself, but that’s it. Never on the mobile.

But, I want to change that. While my system works, I want to be able to just sync from my phone, which is an HTC One, to a MacBook Air. So, this is me reaching out to you, in hopes that you can tell me which app you use, why you use it, and why you think I should incorporate it into my day.

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I wish that phones stayed relevant for longer periods of time Jun 14th 2013, 16:45
So I’m hanging out with one of my good friends the other night, who happens to carry the same phone as I do, and she asks me how I’m liking iOS 7. I tell her the same things I told you fine readers – the functions are nice, but the look of it could definitely be improved. Also, by running on “outdated” hardware my phone will probably have even more trouble than the iPhone 5S and experience more lag between transitions and hiccups (especially while testing beta). She tells me that the reason she’s asking is because her phone has been acting slowly and she’s not sure if she wants to stay with her iPhone 4S, but no matter what she does the lag doesn’t let up.

So I go into customer service mode.

“Have you reset the device?”

“Yes.”

“Have you done a hard reset on the device?”

“Yes.”

“Did you restore everything to the device?”

“Yes.”

“Do another hard reset. Don’t restore.”

“But then I’ll lose everything.”

“Exactly.”

But despite doing the reset and not restoring everything, her phone was still experiencing the same lag – more than I expected to see. I too experienced lag with my iPhone 4S before switching to iOS 7, but I attributed that to the mass amounts of photos I had taken and the amount of storage Spotify was taking up. So I started to suspect maybe there was something going on with the internals of the device. We take it to the Apple Store at her request, and lo and behold we find out that the device is “perfectly fine”. After the technician also experienced the lag for herself, she suggested that we try another hard reset.

How many hard resets does it take to get rid of lag?

The answer: One, if that’s truly the answer to the problem. That is not the answer to this problem.

I have had my suspicions after switching to iOS 7 beta that once the full software is released it would be the software version that really makes the iPhone 4S show its age. This software is going to be designed to run flawlessly on whatever internal specs the next generation iPhone happens to be touting, so the iPhone 4S will be the device that’s lucky to even have a chance at running iOS 7 at all, especially judging by how it’s been reacting a little slower to the latest updates of the iOS 6 software. It’s slightly disappointing because this phone is still not even two years old yet.

And unfortunately, this is the norm for us. Our phones routinely stop supporting updates after a certain amount of time. The technology is outdated, or the phone isn’t popular enough to support the new software. It’s expected with all technology, but I wish that phones were a special exception to the rule sometimes.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I made the switch from Android to iOS. I assumed that by Apple only releasing one device every year, with minimal changes to each OS, that each phone would stay relevant for years to come. That was one of the drawing points for me to switch. But after having to use an iPhone 3GS for a few weeks at one point (after owning a 4S) I realized that iPhone is just as subject to being outdated as any other phones – the 3GS ran a lot slower than I expected it to. I brushed it off as it being primitive technology. The iPhone 4S would last for much longer than this plastic hunk of wasted time. Right? Wrong.

And now I see the errors of my ways! The all supreme iPhone 4S will end up being just another phone with one foot out the door. No phone is exempt from this vicious cycle. The sad part is it will probably be like this forever.

‘Upgrade day’ used to be a fun and exciting time where you have to tactfully choose your phone because you’re probably going to be stuck with it for another two years. Now it’s the dreadful moment where you realize you’re dropping yet another $200 on a phone that’s going to be just as frustrating to deal with sooner rather than later down the line as your current phone is now.

I mean, at least you get to play with a shiny, fast new toy for a few months. I just wish that the phones would stay relevant throughout the entire duration of having them. Or at least carriers should have the decency to let us upgrade within one year instead of two (thanks, T-Mobile!) or almost two (I’m looking at you, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon!)

I realize this is probably just a far off dream, but if somebody could make a smartphone that works as great as it did (barring battery life) on day one until the day the battery dies…

Of course that would completely ruin any and all business tactics that generate incomes on smartphone purchases, but a person can always dream… can’t they?

Images via Bright Side of News, Uffenorde

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Samsung Galaxy S III 4G LTE available from Virgin Mobile for $399.99 Jun 14th 2013, 16:20
Samsung Galaxy S III Marble WhiteIt looks like Boost Mobile isn’t the only MVNO in town that’s adding the Samsung Galaxy S III to its shelves this week. Virgin Mobile is now selling the Galaxy S III on its website for $399.99, just like fellow Sprint MVNO Boost.

Virgin’s Galaxy S III is the white 16GB model and it comes packing support for Sprint’s 4G LTE network, which is currently available in 88 markets. The remainder of the Virgin Galaxy S III’s spec list is just like the Sprint variant’s, meaning that buyers can expect a 4.8-inch 1280×720 Super AMOLED display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.9-megapixel front camera, microSD card slot and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean running beneath Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay.

This Galaxy S III is compatible with Virgin Mobile’s Beyond Talk Unlimited Data and Messaging plans, which include unlimited data (2.5GB of high-speed data per month) and messaging along with varying sizes of minute buckets. Customers can get 300 minutes for $35 per month, 1200 minutes for $45 or unlimited minutes for $55.

The Samsung Galaxy S III may be the one of the priciest handsets in Virgin Mobile’s lineup, but it’s also the most high-end and only the second with 4G LTE connectivity. That makes it a good option for Virgin customers that want the most bleeding edge smartphone that they can get on their operator. If that sounds like you, then you can mosey on over to Virgin’s online shop using the link below and click the big “Add to Cart” button to get a Galaxy S III sent your way.

Via Virgin Mobile

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HTC One vs. Apple iPhone 5 Dogfight Part 2 Jun 14th 2013, 14:25
It’s dogfight time between the HTC One and Apple iPhone 5. The HTC One is the flagship Android smartphone to beat, with a 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, 4.7-inch HD display, 4-ultrapixel camera with 1080p HD recording, 2 GB of RAM, 2,300 mAh battery, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5. The Apple iPhone 5 sports a 1.2 GHz dual-core Apple A6 CPU, 4-inch Retina Display, 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD recording, 1,440 mAh battery, and iOS 6 (though iOS 7, pictured in the video, is coming soon).

They both have a lot to offer depending on what you need in a smartphone. Which one will win the gold medal? Part 2 of 2.

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HTC One vs. Apple iPhone 5 Dogfight Part 1 Jun 14th 2013, 14:15
Dogfight battle time – this go around, between the HTC One and Apple iPhone 5. The HTC One is the flagship Android smartphone to beat, with a 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU, 4.7-inch HD display, 4-ultrapixel camera with 1080p HD recording, 2 GB of RAM, 2,300 mAh battery, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5. The Apple iPhone 5 sports a 1.2 GHz dual-core Apple A6 CPU, 4-inch Retina Display, 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD recording, 1,440 mAh battery, and iOS 6 (though iOS 7, pictured in the video, is coming soon.

They both have a lot to offer. Which one will win? Part 1 of 2.

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HTC One mini User Agent Profile adds support to 720p display rumors Jun 14th 2013, 11:15
HTC One mini User Agent ProfileThere’s been a steady stream of HTC One mini leaks and rumors in recent weeks, and today it looks like we’ve got one more to add to the pile. A user agent profile (UAProf) for the One mini has been discovered on an HTC website that refers to the device by the name “HTC One mini.” There’s not a ton of information to be gleaned from the UAProf, but it does list the One mini’s screen resolution as being 1280×720, backing up previous claims that the shrunken One would pack a 720p display.

As its name suggests, the HTC One mini is slated to be a smaller version of HTC’s One flagship. Leaked images have shown that the One mini looks fairly similar to the full-sized One, while other reports have pegged the One mini as packing a 4.3-inch display (down from the One’s 4.7-incher), 1.4GHz dual-core processor and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. With those specs, a 720p display and One styling, the HTC One mini looks like it could put up a fight against Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 mini in the great Battle of the Shrunken Android Flagships. If the HTC One mini’s rumored spec list holds true, would you rather have it or the Galaxy S 4 mini?

Via GSMArena, HTC

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In what ways has your smartphone improved your life? Jun 14th 2013, 09:20
I’ve written many articles talking about the downsides of smartphones: they’re time consuming, fragile, disruptive, and sometimes even addictive. But for every negative that comes with having a smartphone there’s always a positive that keeps us coming back for more. Today, I came up with a comprehensive list of some features that smartphones can provide for us to enhance our lives just a little bit more.

Timeliness

Although I’ve always had an alarm clock next to my bed at some point in my life, none have quite offered the extensiveness to ensure that I actually wake up as much as smartphones have. Typically my actual digital alarm clock would only allow me to set one alarm at a time, which is great if you’re a person who actually wakes up when the alarm goes off. I, on the other hand, have a tendency to either A.) Hit the snooze button or B.) Merely dream about hitting the snooze button, but in reality just turned the alarm clock off entirely. With smartphones I can easily set more than one alarm ahead of time and have no issues waking up in the morning after the third or fourth time the alarm sounds.

Organization

Gone are the days where I need to tote around with me a planner, a notebook, and stacks upon stacks of unrelated sticky notes from 7 months ago. Smartphones and tablets today serve as all of these things, and more, with the added bonus of making actual noises when I need to be reminded of something. This helps not only to remove a lot of physical clutter from my life, but also to help me remember to do things when an annoying alarm is relentlessly caterwauling for attention.

Endless Source of Information

I’m not sure whether it’s my age or my newfound passion for both useful and completely useless knowledge with the discovery of Google, but regardless of reason my smartphone certainly makes it easier for me to look anything and everything up within seconds of wondering. “Who is that supporting role actress with the familiar face in this romantic comedy? I swear I’ve seen her on The Office.” “Does Russia have zebras?” “Can a five ounce bird carry a one pound coconut?” These are all easily answered questions once I send in the queries through my smartphone. Smartphones also make excellent news sources. I don’t know about any of you guys, but I much prefer to read my news stories rather than watch visual playback unless they include important footage.

All-in-One Media Devices

Often times our smartphones can serve as an all-in-one media device. No more needing to carry around mp3 players, radios, digital cameras, or that portable DVD player that mysteriously skips through the favorite part of that movie your toddler loves so much. You can simply use your smartphone for all of these things, which also helps de-clutter your life in many ways (which helps with organization!) Of course there may still be times when carrying these extra devices can also benefit you (saving battery life, taking better pictures, etc.) so the need for them may not be completely obsolete, but for quick, general access to these files smartphones are the perfect solution.

Connectivity

Last but not least is connectivity! From phone calls, to text messages, to social networking platforms smartphones have become a central location for all things connectivity-related. We’re even able to hold video conferences with these things! What started out as just a way to make phone calls on-the-go turned into, essentially, a full-fledged computer with the added convenience of being primarily handheld – which is awesome.

Owning a smartphone can at times be trivial, and sometimes you question why you still have one turned on when it seems like all it does is stress you out; but sometimes even the things that stress you out the most can provide some fantastic conveniences in our lives.

Readers, what are some of the ways that your smartphone has been able to improve your life? Does it keep you more organized, punctual, and in the know? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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T-Mobile says MetroPCS customer migration ahead of schedule as MetroPCS begins sales of HSPA+ devices Jun 14th 2013, 08:15
MetroPCS LG Optimus L9, Samsung Galaxy ExhibitJust days after MetroPCS began allowing consumer in select markets to bring their own unlocked GSM handset onto its service, the carrier has now started selling two new HSPA+-compatible smartphones that can connect to T-Mobile’s network. T-Mobile today announced that MetroPCS is now offering the LG Optimus L9 and Samsung Galaxy Exhibit in Boston, Las Vegas and Hartford, three markets in which its Bring Your Own Phone program is also live. MetroPCS will also begin selling a refreshed version of the Samsung Galaxy S III on June 17 that will feature 4G LTE and HSPA+ support.

T-Mobile says that the launch of MetroPCS’s Bring Your Own Phone program and its sales of HSPA+ handsets have put the process of migrating MetroPCS customers to T-Mobile’s network ahead of schedule. As MetroPCS customers continue to switch from Metro’s network to T-Mobile’s, that freed up spectrum will be used to supplement the T-Mobile LTE network. T-Mobile expects the full migration of MetroPCS subscribers to T-Mobile’s network by the time that 2015 wraps up.

During the time that T-Mobile and MetroPCS were campaigning for approval of their proposed merger, the two companies named off several benefits that would come from the completed deal, including a wider handset selection for Metro users and better coverage for T-Mo folk. It’s good to see that T-Mobile is already working to integrate MetroPCS’s customers and network with its own, bringing the benefits that it detailed last year to customers less than two months after T-Mo and Metro became one. There’s no word yet on when MetroPCS will launch its Bring Your Own Phone program or its HSPA+ phones in additional markets, but here’s to hoping that T-Mobile can keep up its rapid pace and roll them out to more cities soon.

Via PhoneScoop, T-Mobile

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PhoneDog PhoneFacts, Episode 4: Win, Win, Win Jun 14th 2013, 06:55
PhoneDog PhoneFacts Episode Four, Win Win WinThe time has come for another episode of PhoneDog PhoneFacts! This week we’re teaming up with Tiny Galaxy to bring you episode four, titled “Win, Win, Win.”

In the latest installment of PhoneDog PhoneFacts, Aaron shares several tips on what to do if you lose that precious little hunk of plastic or aluminum that lives in your pocket and keeps you connected. Rather than tearing apart your home or shelling out for a replacement, you can use one of Aaron’s tips to try and get yourself a new phone. Best of all, none of the tips will cost you a cent. Episode four of PhoneDog PhoneFacts is embedded below, so scroll on down and get educated!

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