Nov 13

Photoshop AppAdobe has recently released a free Photoshop App for mobile phones running Google’s Android software such as the new Motorola Droid. This is one of the coolest apps that I’ve seen released in a while, especially as the amount of megapixels in cell phone cameras continue to rise (the Droid comes with a legit 5 megapixel camera).

Photoshop for Android devices makes it incredibly easy to perform edits to photos on your smartphone and then upload them when you’re finished. When you open up a photo in your photo gallery, you are given the option to edit the photo. With a click, the photo opens in Photoshop, and you’re ready to start editing. At the top of the edit mode screen, there are three icons: crop, image correction and color effects, and soft focus. Under the crop icon, you can choose to crop, straighten, rotate, or flip the photo. If you click on the image correction and color effects icon, you have the ability to change the exposure, saturation, tint, or to make the photo black and white. The degree of these changes all depends on how far you slide your finger on the exposure, saturation, etc. scale. The soft focus button allows you to adjust the amount of “soft focus” that you wish to apply to the photo.Photoshop2

One of the nicest features of Photoshop for Android is that it has both an “undo” and a “redo” button, so you can make edits without fear of not being able to undo them.

Once you’ve finished editing your photos, you can upload them from your Android mobile phone directly to the Photoshop.com account, which comes free with 2GB (roughly 1,500 pictures) of storage for all Android devices. The photoshop.com account makes it easy to share photos online and is a good way to back up the photos on your mobile phone. You can even add captions before uploading. Android also has the ability to upload a large amount of photos even if the Photoshop app is not running, meaning you can be doing other things on your phone while photos are uploading to your Photoshop.com account. You can find a video demonstration of the Photoshop app for Android devices here.

Nov 11

happyholidayI came across a couple of interesting articles today involving cell phones and the holidays. The first is about a survey conducted by a British website, which shows that 58 percent of the 1,014 people polled said they would be sending holiday text messages instead of traditional cards this year from their mobile and refurbished cell phones. I was actually surprised that the percentage wasn’t a little higher as the idea of a traditional holiday card just makes no sense to me. Why pay five bucks for a piece of cardboard that someone will throw out within hours of you giving it them? Plus, in reality, texting instead of sending a card is the “Green” thing to do. Think of all the trees that will be saved this year if more people just text their season’s greetings. Sorry Hallmark, but it looks like your racket is almost up.

Merry freaking Christmas kid

Merry freaking Christmas kid

The second article that caught my eye, is about a website called TextSanta.net, which seems like one of those brilliant ideas that makes you go, “Damn it. Why didn’t I think of that?” At TextSanta.net, you can pay $5.49 to have Santa Clause text your children either on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. There are three stock messages to choose from, or you can create your own customized message, which is a great option as it allows adults to send “naughty” greetings as well. If your child doesn’t have a cell phone, you can have the text sent to your phone. Keeping in the holiday spirit, TextSanta.net will donate $1 for every text sent to the March of Dimes in support of its mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Nov 06

DroidSince its recent release, the device that many are hailing as the newest “iPhone killer,” the Motorola Droid, has been getting some great reviews. If you haven’t already been moved to research the device from Motorola’s suspenseful ad-campaign for the Droid, the Droid is the newest smart phone from Motorola (on Verizion), and it is powered by Google’s Android 2.0 software. Apple’s iPhone has surely set the standard of what smart phones should do but if anyone can de-throne them, we’d put our money on Google.

The first thing that many hands on reviews of the device have reported is that it instantly feels very quick. Browsing menus and switching between applications is really fast, and it’s clear that the Android 2.0 platform is a big step up from its predecessors. In combination with its snappy processor, the Droid’s gigantic 3.7-inch display, containing over 400,000 pixels, makes web browsing easier than it has ever been. The impressive screen also displays impressive pictures from the Droids 5 mega-pixel camera, which has flash, zoom, and auto-focus. The Droid also records video of incredible quality as is shown in the review at engadget.Droid 2

Because the Droid runs Google’s Android software, it comes with Google Maps and Google’s navigation, built in and for free. The voice guided navigation looks really impressive and should definitely save you from having to buy a stand-alone navigation system. Motorola is offering a suction-cup window cradle for the Droid, which contains magnets allowing the Droid to automatically convert to Navigation Mode.

Another cool accessory for the Droid is the alarm clock cradle. When you insert the Droid into the cradle, the units combine to form a really nice looking alarm clock. If you’re like me, you use your phone as your alarm clock anyway, so this just makes it easier and more stylish.

Photo from engadget.com

Photo from engadget.com

The Droid also includes a 550MHz Texas Instruments OMAP3430 processor, separate PowerVR GPU, 256MB of RAM, CDMA Rev A., Wi-Fi, GPS, a digital magnetometer, accelerometer, proximity sensors, a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash, notification LED, four touch-sensitive navigation buttons, a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard, 3.5mm headset jack, and a microUSB port.

Nov 03

unlocked-phoneThe term “unlocked” refers to GSM phones that have been universalized, or unlocked, so that they may be used on a variety of cellular phone companies that use GSM, as opposed to simply one. In areas like the United States where cellular carriers offer free or deeply discounted phones with cell plans, the phones are commonly locked so that they will not work with other carriers. Once unlocked, however, the phone should work with any GSM carrier once a SIM card has been inserted into phone.

Nov 03

gsm.jpegGSM stands for Global Systems for Mobile Communication. GSM is the European standard, which has recently spread throughout the world. It is now the most popular system for mobile communication in the world. GSM technology also pioneered the SMS, or text message, which has changed the world of telecommunication as we know it.

For the average consumer, the key feature of GMS technology is its use of the SIM card. A detailed explanation of the SIM card is available in its own link on www.thebluedot.net; however, here is a brief explanation of the advantages of GSM Phones and SIM technology: The SIM card allows you to store your personal information and contact information on a removable card or “chip,” which can then be swapped from GSM phone to GSM phone. This meaning that you can transfer your account, your personal information, and all of your phone numbers to a different phone by simply removing your SIM card from one phone and placing it in another.

GSM uses a variation of Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephone technologies (TDMA, GSM, and CDMA). GSM digitizes and compresses data, then sends it down a channel with two other streams of user data, each in its own time slot. GSM networks operate in four different frequency ranges. Most GSM networks operate in the 900 MHz or 1800 MHz bands. Some countries in the Americas (including Canada and the United States) use the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands because the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency bands were already allocated.

GSM is the wireless telephone standard in Europe. GSM has over one billion users worldwide and is available in 190 countries. Since many GSM network operators have roaming agreements with foreign operators, users can often continue to use their mobile phones when they travel to other countries.  Many of today’s GSM cell phones are “tri-band” or “world phones,” which means they can operate on three or more types of GSM frequency (i.e. American and European), allowing consumers to take advantage of this ability to use their own phone throughout many of the countries in the world.

Nov 03

SIMA SIM card, or Subscriber Identity Module, is a portable memory chip for GSM cell phones. SIM cards are used to store personal information, phone numbers and addresses, as well as information like text messages. SIM card technology allows GSM customers to quickly transfer their entire account, address book and all, to a different GSM phone by simply switching the card. An example of what a SIM card looks like can be found below. SIM cards will vary in color and logo but are uniform in shape.



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