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YO! – Chat & Share over WiFi

Posted by wicked December - 7 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off
YO! - Chat & Share over WiFi

YO! Chat & Share over WiFi makes it easy to instant message and share media with other users nearby. It can even be used without an internet connection as you can set up a personal HotSpot from device to device. Let’s delve more in this review! Price: Free Tested on: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Content… View Article

YO! – Chat & Share over WiFi is a post from: AndroidTapp

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Smartphones make communication easier, not necessarily better

Posted by wicked November - 16 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

smartphone disinterest


Technology has changed the way we think, act and communicate with each other, and that’s not entirely a good thing.

There’s no doubt that the widespread of mobile technology has made communicating with each other much, much easier. Back in the 1950’s, getting a hold of someone meant calling them on their house phone, work phone or visiting them at their home. There were no pagers or mobile phones, and certainly no texting, email or instant messaging of any kind. If these three methods of communication were a no-go for any reason, you’d need to resort to sending a letter… in the mail. Today I wouldn’t wish this fate on my worst enemies, but years ago, it was actually a (somewhat) useful form of communication.

Then our main communication methods began to drastically change around the mid-to-late 90’s. With flip phones from Motorola, candybar phones from Nokia, and very early PDAs from BlackBerry, T-Mobile, Palm and others, it was easier than ever to reach anyone we needed to at any given moment.

IMG_1938Don’t miss: Throwback Thursday: a very special hands-on35

We’ve progressed quite a bit since then. Now we have the ability to reach out to one another through text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Skype, Hangouts and the list goes on. But now that it’s easier than ever to talk to each other as much as we want, are we really getting better at communication?

Before we dive in, we should acknowledge something that’s become all too familiar for most of us. You’re sitting in a room with friends, everyone on their smartphones. You’d like to bring up a conversation topic, but risk getting ignored by your peers because they’re too engulfed in other forms of communication with other people. To get a good idea as to what I’m talking about, be sure to check out comedian and actress Charlene deGuzman’s video entitled “I Forgot My Phone.”

This may be an over-dramatization of what really goes on in our lives, but it’s still difficult to not see what’s happening here. There are too many social networks, too many different forms of communication. To keep up with all of them can be exhausting, and that’s what many of us have fallen victim to over these past few years.

There have been numerous studies that show smartphones are affecting the way we communicate with each other face-to-face. One of which was performed by Shalini Misra, a psychology professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, where she found that in conversations where someone pulled out a smartphone while talking, participants generally rated the conversation as less fulfilling than in conversations where no one pulled out a phone. Misra’s research team writes:

Mobile phones hold symbolic meaning in advanced technological societies. In their presence, people have the constant urge to seek out information, check for communication and direct their thoughts to other people and worlds.

The test consisted of 200 coffee shop attendees which were divided up into pairs. Every pair was assigned either a casual or serious topic to talk about for roughly 10 minutes. Misra’s team didn’t record the content of the conversation, but whether or not a participant would pull out a phone or set one on the table. The researchers reported that someone pulled out a smartphone in 29 out of the 100 groups.

After each conversation, each group filled out a survey describing how close their relationship was, how close they felt to the other person and how well they thought the other person understood them throughout the conversation. In conversations where someone pulled out a phone, participants reported they felt less fulfilled and felt less empathy for the other person, no matter the age, gender, ethnicity or mood of the participants involved. It didn’t matter which conversation topics were discussed, either; all participants said they felt less connected in conversations where someone pulled out a phone.

The researchers also reported that the presence of a phone more negatively affected conversations held between good friends, more so than in conversations held between two strangers.

Cultural norms

Family watching TV 1960's The Guardian

As a society, we’ve all ushered in mobile technology with open arms. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s a big reason why people think it’s acceptable to spend more time on their phones more often than not. Take, for example, the radio. Back in the 1920’s, radio became a widely accepted form of entertainment for the entire family and ultimately began replacing other forms of social activity.

Then in the 50’s and 60’s, the television came to be. Although not widely adopted until the 60’s (for the most part), the TV eventually became the pinnacle of in-home entertainment. It was completely normal (and still is, for that matter) to sit around the television when eating dinner with the family, when guests are visiting, or when you just need to relax.

Families could still ‘spend time together’ while watching TV in the kitchen

The TV eventually moved into the kitchen, where families could sit around and spend time watching shows with one another while still “spending time together.” Eventually this became bad manners, so many U.S. families moved the TV back into the living room where it belonged. One could argue that smartphones are similar to TVs in this sense – now that smartphones are affecting the way we act around one another, should it become socially unacceptable to have our phones out around each other?

couple-date-phoneSee also: Are smartphones affecting your relationship? Researchers believe they could be11

Not enough real conversation

It’s not a surprise that we’ve fallen deeply in love with these digital communication tools, though some would argue that we’ve completely lost sight of the people behind these tools. Geoffrey Tumlin, author of the wonderfully informative book called “Stop Talking, Start Communicating”, explains that while our mobile communication devices are great, they might not help us out as much as we think they do.

Aside from offering up some helpful communication habits and ways to improve our conversations as a whole, the book also lays out some interesting viewpoints on how our devices are affecting our standard of communication. For starters, he says that just because the technology we use nowadays makes it easier to send a message to someone, that doesn’t mean communicating with them is any easier.

…actually getting the message across is a whole other story

It’s incredible to think about having the ability, at any given moment, to ping someone across the world, no matter what time of day. But actually getting the message across is a whole other story. “We’ve been lulled into believing that communication is becoming easier because technological advances make it easier to send and receive messages,” Tumlin says. “But because our interactions involve quirky, emotional, and sometimes unpredictable people, we can’t eliminate imperfections from communication.” He goes on to say that communication is fundamentally imperfect, and no matter how advanced our devices become, they’ll never be able to eliminate misunderstandings, confusion and errors that occur when people talk.

How many times have you sent a message to a friend and they’ve taken what you have to say the wrong way? This probably happens much more over texting than it does in real life because there’s much more to communication than just getting the message across. Facial expressions, voice inflection, etc, are just a few of the many ways that help us get our point across when talking to someone face-to-face. Sure, there’s FaceTime and Google Hangouts that can be used for quick video chats, but people tend to text each other far more than they video call each other.

Some communication is just plain hard. Like, when we have to communicate bad news, tackle a sensitive topic, or have a conversation to address a difficult problem.

So yes, it’s easier to send and receive messages today, but it’s important to remember that communication is as hard, and may be even harder, than it ever was.

It’s becoming easier than ever to get distracted

Although our mobile devices greatly simplify the sending and receiving of messages, communication doesn’t just occur when you hit the “Send” button. Tumlin explains, “We want to plow through our inboxes, respond to new text or voice messages as soon as they come in, and get face-to-face conversations over quickly so we can move on to the next thing. The communication tasks that pile up every day make it awfully tempting to fire off quick messages or speak abruptly and think that our work is done.” He adds that if we were to include an extra step – considering whether or not the message is understood – will be able to make us much better at communicating.

Smarter phones don’t guarantee smarter communicators.

As technology advances, it’s becoming easier than ever to get distracted. Speaking from personal experience, I’m incredibly distracted by my smartphone way more than I ever was with my old LG flip phone. “Smarter phones don’t guarantee smarter communicators. Better communication happens only when our communication skills improve,” he says.

With the ability to communicate with someone whenever we want, the most important ideas we need to get across to one another tend to get lost in translation – especially when communicating to a wider audience. For instance, saying something to a friend is different than saying something to your entire group of friends. Due to the ease of simply typing out an email and instantly sending it to whomever we’d like, we tend to forget that communicating to multiple people might require some extra thought. “More people means more perspectives to consider,” Tumlin says. “When we fail to account for these additional viewpoints, we run the risk of talking, texting, or typing right past each other, or worse, upsetting someone with a thoughtless message or a hasty reply.” He adds that while it’s not entirely practical (or possible) to think through every possible perspective your friends may have before posting something to Facebook or Twitter, we should still take an extra step to consider what a few people might think.

If you’d like to hear what else Tumlin has to say, I’d definitely recommend picking up your own copy of “Stop Talking, Start Communicating”. You can purchase it from Amazon for just under $16.

Communication has changed, but is it all bad?

best alternatives to FaceTime on Android

Today’s tools help us not only stay in touch with those that would have otherwise been near impossible to reach, such as those halfway around the world, but they make it easier to plan activities, reach out in emergencies, and so much more. It’s obvious that there are tons of benefits to today’s communication tools, and so I am by no means saying that technology is a bad thing, or that we need to stop communicating with one another through our smartphones in any way.

What I am saying, though, is that perhaps instead of relying solely on texting each other, maybe we should be a little more careful about what we’re saying and who we’re talking to. When in a face-to-face conversation, maybe it’s better to turn that phone off, or at least resist the temptation to reach for it immediately.

What are your thoughts? Are smartphones ruining the quality of communication, or are they just enhancing the way we speak to one another? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


MailDroid – Robust Email Application

Posted by wicked May - 19 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off
MailDroid - Robust Email Application

MailDroid is an ad-supported Webdav/POP3/IMAP Idle Push email client application from the ground up and and not based on the stock email application. MailDroid supports multiple email accounts for your email management (as many as you like). MailDroid has all the features you could want from a mobile email application and it continues to be… View Article

MailDroid – Robust Email Application is a post from: AndroidTapp

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Rounds Video Chat & Group Call

Posted by wicked May - 4 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off
Rounds Video Chat - Menu

Install Rounds Video Chat & Group Call makes it fun & easy to connect with friends and family. Video call one or a group of friends at once- same with group text messaging. Rounds makes video chatting humorous with the addition of doodling, games and more. Let’s delve more in this review! Price: Free Tested on: Samsung Galaxy… View Article

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Sync.ME – Caller ID & Block

Posted by wicked April - 28 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off
SyncME Caller ID and Block - Birthday Settings

Sync.ME – Caller ID & Block allows you to connect your contacts on social media as an additional identification layer to the norm. Filter out telemarketers and spammers with the power of crowd sourced caller ID. Price: Free Tested on: Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S5 Content Rating: Everyone Android App Review: Pros & Cons:… View Article

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Speed Dial – organize your favorite contacts

Posted by wicked February - 20 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off
Speed Dial - Call History

Speed Dial is an elegant app to group favorite contacts, filter and quickly dial them. There are plenty of options to tweak to your liking. Will this app be an upgrade to speed dialing solutions already available with your Android phone? Let’s get into the review! Price: Free Tested on: Samsung Galaxy S4 Content Rating: Everyone… View Article

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Translator – super simple to use voice language translation app

Posted by wicked February - 18 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off
Translator - List of Languages

Translator is easy and very straightforward to use when translating one language to another. You can type or speak your translations plus hear them played back aloud. There are more than 40 languages supported. Let’s dive into the review! Price: Free Tested on: Samsung Galaxy S4 Content Rating: Everyone Android App Review: Pros & Cons:… View Article

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SayOut – instant voice messenger

Posted by wicked January - 27 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off
SayOut - instant voice messenger

SayOut is an instant voice messenger with instant playback. It is simple: you record and send the message – your buddy’s phone says this message out loud, instantly. The SayOut messenger saves you time and makes short communication with your family, friends and co-workers much more convenient than ever. With SayOut, you talk instead of… View Article

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Mail Wise – Unified Email for Exchange, Hotmail & more

Posted by wicked January - 5 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off
Mail Wise - Before and After

Install Mail Wise is an awesome email app that clears up clutter from inboxes. There’s smart technology to show you threads in chronological order plus only shows you contents of an email for easier reading- less all of the thread formatting and signatures that become distracting in longer conversations. There’s plenty more nifty features here too. Will… View Article

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Call FX – add sound effects to your calls

Posted by wicked January - 1 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off
Call FX - add sound effects to your calls

With Call FX add background noise to your call like, police sirens, barking dogs, storm, rain, crying baby and many more. Pretend that you are somewhere else and record the reaction of your friends. CallFX is a pay as you go service, you need to pay for credits before using it. Unlike other similar applications… View Article

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