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Odd And Interesting

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  • Alarmingly Android: Pure Mobile is rounding up the best in Halloween smartphone apps

     


    This week, we started a frightening little feature on the Pure Mobile blog with a list of our favorite Halloween-themed smartphone apps.


    In our first instalment, we rounded up some eerie apps for iPhone, but today, we'll be moving along to the best Halloween apps for Android.


    From games and photo editors to real ghost detectors, your smartphone will have all the spooky it can handle come October 31, with these seasonal picks


    1. Angry Birds Seasons for Android



    Who doesn't love Angry Birds? Wll, the pigs are back for Halloween with Angry Birds Seasons, which includes special "Ham'O'Ween" levels.


    It's the same physics-based fun that has made us all addicted to smartphone gaming. But this time, it's got haunted backgrounds, pumpkins to smash, and a generally cutesy Halloween look.


    Angry Birds seasons is also available for iPhone and iPad.



     2. SpecTrek augmented reality app for Android


    If you've ever wanted to go ghost hunting, SpecTrek lets you chase spectres using your smartphone's GPS. The augmented reality game shows you "ghosts" on a map of your area and gives you a time limit to find and capture them.


    It may be kind of silly, but hey, it's probably the most fun you'll ever have using a smartphone GPS.



    3. Entity Sensor Pro app for Android



    If virtual ghosts don't cut it for you, the Entity Sensor Pro app for Android claims to let you detect "real" ghosts using a supposed EMF sensor in your smartphone to check for "paranormal" readings.



    It's essentially like playing Ghost Busters with a mobile device. Whether or not you actually believe in ghosts, the app has a pretty high rating among users.


    And even if you think it's useless as a ghost detector, you can always use it with friends as a gullibility detector.


    4. Ouija Board app for Android



    Like so many classics, the Ouija Board has been revamped for modern mobile devices.


    Use your smartphone to try making contact with the spirit world, or simply relive the fun of middle school with this Android app. In any case, it gives new meaning to "the ghost in the machine."


    5. Ghost Camera Pro app for Android



    Halloween pictures looking like dullsville? Think a specter would spice things up?


    You can add a little eerie appeal to party pics with the Ghost Camera Pro smartphone app for Android.


    The app lets you choose from a bunch of different types of ghosts and spirits (not just the cute kind pictured above) and insert them into pictures on your device. You can also edit the size, color and opacity of your ghosts.


    We consider this more of a humor app, especially if some of some of your subjects have been going at the punch bowl hard.




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  • Have you ever lost your car in the parking lot? Do you live in fear of forgetting to lock it? Does starting it from inside the house on a cold winter’s morning sound like a magnificent start to the day? The SmartStart app can do all of this with a push of a button on your mobile phone.


    SmartStart is an app that connects your car to the cloud. It’s a component of a system offered by Directed – one of the biggest car alarm and remote starter manufacturers in North America.


    To use most of the SmartStart system’s features you’ll need the hardware installed in your vehicle (called Viper SmartStart) and a subscription to a Directed service plan. But, the company offers a free SmartStart app that you can use to operate many of the system's features without the equipment. Some like SmartPark (car locator) and Parking Meter (tells you when it’s time to refill the parking meter) don't require the hardware.


    The main purpose of SmartStart is to remotely lock, unlock and start your car. It will send you texts whenever there is activity to report – like if multiple people use the car you’ll get notified when anyone starts it. If you have the hardware that can operate GPS, you’ll even be able to tell where the car is going. You can also control multiple vehicles and assign more than one user to control a vehicle.


    Right now, the only app version that is fully integrated with the Viper SmartStart system is an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 running on iOS 6. With the Siri function you can just say “SmartStart” and the app will open. You can preset a defined command, so when Siri launches the app, the car will automatically start and the doors can be set to lock or unlock. The app also brings in controls for SMS and email notifications.


    SmartStart app versions are available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.



    This post was posted in Odd And Interesting and was tagged with Directed, SmartStart app, Viper SmartStart

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  • The upcoming 2012 Presidential Election is likely to be more closely followed on mobile devices than any other in U.S. history. Voters will be keeping up with the election on their smartphones with polls and political news, as well as on social media.


    But how, exactly, will smartphones figure into this election and, ultimately, who will smartphone owners be voting for?


    Mashable reported on a new study from ad network Mojiva, which surveyed smartphone owners 18 and up to get answers to some of those questions.


    According to Mojiva, people who use smartphones are more likely to vote for Obama on November 6. 47% of those polled said they identify themselves as Democrats, while only 28% identified themselves as Republicans.



    Either way, 82% of respondents said they are planning to vote – a very high rate compared to the actual voter turnout for the past two elections which were below 60%.


    In the lead-up to voting day, more Democrats than Republicans will be reading political news on their smartphones (63% vs. 59%), but more Republicans than Democrats will be researching the candidates (53% vs. 50%).



    Come election day, over half of respondents said that they would be using an iPhone or an Android-powered smartphone to check results throughout the day.


    But many of the respondents said they would use their phone to do even more if they could. When asked if they would use their smartphone to vote if they had the option to, 59% said they would, while a whopping 85% said they would at least consider doing so.



    What about you? Do you plan on using your smartphone to follow the elections? If so, how? Let us know in the comments section.




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  • Pure Mobile's got you covered for Halloween with this list of creepy apps for iPhone and iPad

     


    We at Pure Mobile love Halloween almost as much as we love mobile devices. And when the two come together, it's a high-tech house of horrors that we just can't resist.


    If you're anything like us, you'll want to celebrate the scariest (and probably most fun) holiday of the year in all sorts of ways, and thanks to some creepy smartphone apps, you can take your Halloween spirit with you everywhere you go.


    As Halloween quickly approaches, we at Pure Mobile are delighting in finding all the best iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps for our frightening feature "Macabre goes Mobile."


    Today's all about eerie iPhone apps, but Android and BlackBerry users can expect their own list of apps for those platforms in later instalments.


    1: Free Halloween Sounds Pro for iPhone


    Use sound to scare anywhere a smartphone can go, with Halloween Sounds Pro

     


    Once upon a time, when you wanted creepy Halloween sound effects to scare trick-or-treaters, you had to play them through a stereo. And the speakers aimed at the door were kind of a dead giveaway.


    But with the free Halloween Sounds Pro app for iPhone, you get to control a bunch of spooky Halloween sounds from your smartphone. Sneak up on that unsuspecting teenager who looks just a little too old to be asking for candy, or set the delay to scare the hell out of someone after you've left the room.


    2: iMut8r app for iPhone and iPad



    There are already a couple of apps that let you manipulate photos of yourself and of friends to make horrible monsters on your smartphone. SpookyPic and ZombieBooth are just a couple.


    But iMut8r for iPhone and iPad lets you mutate into a vampire, werewolf, zombie, witch, ghoul, whatever. Mix and match elements for your most hideous Facebook profile pic yet!


    Use your smartphone to turn a picture of anyone into an undead abomination with iMut8r

     


    3: Pumpkin Ninja app for iPhone


    Pumpkin Ninja revives a centuries-old Japanese tradition of slicing jack o'lanterns via smartphone

     


    Addicted to smartphone gaming? The Pumpkin Ninja game app for iPhone lets you swipe at falling pumpkins à la fruit Ninja.


    Not really scary but definitely in the Halloween spirit.


    4. iDrakula app for iPhone



    What's more Halloween than telling scary stories?


    The iDrakula app for iPhone does just that, retelling Bram Stoker's classic Dracula novel with a modern slant through text messages, voicemails, emails and browsers in language geared for the Twitter age.


    iDrakula retells Bram Stoker's classic by sending texts, emails and other messages from the characters to your smartphone

     


    You may get a "text" from a character telling you another chunk of the plot, so the juicy story not only unfolds on your smartphone, but has interactive elements and develops at surprise moments not of your own choosing.


    5. Dark Haunts app for iPhone or Android


    Dark Haunts gives you directions on your phone to the nearest ghost-infested locations

     


    Always itched to go ghost hunting?


    The Dark Haunts app for iPhone claims to help you "find the closest 'real' haunted site near you."


    Dark Haunts' database has over 3,200 haunted locations and is regularly adding new ones. They give you a bit of backstory, and direct you to the ghost-infested locations. You can also choose the type of haunt you want: a restaurant if you're hungry, a hotel if you want a creepy getaway.


    Just don't go crying to the developers if you actually happen to run into a spectre.




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  • Blendtec is back with another "Will it Blend?" video, this time pitting the iPhone 5 against the Samsung Galaxy S III

     


    Are you ready for a  ridiculous and nonsensical test which has no merit and which proves absolutely nothing?


    Then, the iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S III blender test is for you!


    While most of us are just trying to get our hands on one of the newest and best smartphones, Blendtec, a maker home and professional blenders is busy pulverizing them.


    It's pretty much what it sounds like. With a few of these "Will it Blend?" YouTube videos under his belt already, Blendtec's Tom Dickinson asks the question again, pitting the "the latest," i.e. Apple's iPhone 5, vs. what Samsung "claims to be the greatest," the Galaxy S III.


    The iPhone 5 may have a retina display, and the Galaxy S III may have a bigger screen, but which will withstand the blending?

     


    Tom describes both smartphones, highlighting their most attractive features, and then unceremoniously chucks each into its own Blendtec Total blender.


    While the iPhone 5 starts shattering pretty early on, the Galaxy S III holds in there for an impressive amount of time, but eventually meets its end in much the same way as the completely obliterated iPhone, in a pile of black powder.


    In the end, as the blender lids are removed and toxic-looking black smoke wafts up, we're left having to agree with Tom, who concludes: "I think the real winner is the Blendtec Total blender."



    The whole stunt kind of runs opposite to what we do at Pure Mobile. But even though we've got a mission to help people protect their devices, we can't help but get some sort of sick pleasure out of watching this total and utter destruction.


    Though we'd have to agree with Blendtec's disclaimer: don't try this at home!




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  • Does your smartphone’s battery run out of charge way more frequently than manufacturers claim? The big touch screens, fast processors and complex apps that are packed onto our mobile devices suck up a lot of power. Most of us know that it’s too much to ask that a battery lasts a week on one charge, but there’s no excuse for not being able to make it through a day.


    The idea of carrying an extra battery or charger around, positioning a charger, dock or car charger at each stopping point, or keeping track of every available outlet isn’t very appealing to most. But when you have a phone that is your lifeline to calls, texts, apps, internet and Wifi, you do what you have to do.


    Imagine even having 20% charge left at the end of each crazy, busy day. If you haven’t included battery life as a high priority for choosing your next phone, tablet or notebook, maybe it’s time you did.


    PC Magazine recently did some testing of their own, and published their study of the 10 top phones. It's a short list of Android phones that delivered at least eight hours of talk time. The magazine’s in-house experts know that talk time doesn’t account for all the other ways we use our phones throughout the day, but it's still a good indication of how long you can expect your battery to last.


    For most smartphones running on a 3G network, the average talk time is a little over six hours. Even if you’re out of the house for 12 hours, that should be more than enough juice to get you through the day without a charge. If your device's battery doesn't give you that kind of energy, maybe it's time for a new one.




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  • Ashton Kutcher snaps a self-portrait on his new iPhone 5

     


    Not so long ago, when celebrities made an appearance on the red carpet, the talk was of the gorgeous date they had on their arm. But of late, the talk's more likely to be about the new gadget they've got in their hand.


    These days, smartphones are celebrities in their own right. And even in paparazzi shots of famous actors and musicians, they often steal the spotlight. So, which devices have the biggest claim to fame, and what A-listers are using them these days?


    Pure Mobile took a dive into the glitz, the glamor, and the hardware and found out which smartphones stole the lead roles and which have been given bit parts.


    Jessica Alba at the nail salon on her iPhone 4S

     


    BlackBerry and iPhone – in all its incarnations – seem to be the top celeb cellphone choices.


    Apple not only claims a VIP user-base including Jessica Alba, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Justin Bieber and many more, it's also among the leaders in smartphone market share period. And it just stands to reason that, if millions of ordinary people are dying for the iPhone 5, celebrities might want one too.


    Sure enough, Ashton Kutcher already using one. And Brad Pitt brought his out at Cannes to snap pictures of the event. We can only wonder when pal George Clooney will upgrade from his iPhone 4 so as not to be outdone.


    George Clooney at the airport with his iPhone 4 (he's probably upgraded since)

     


    Brad Pitt snapping pictures at Cannes on his iPhone 5

     


    But while Apple's iPhone is a smash hit outside of Hollywood, BlackBerry maker RIM has been steadily slowing its user growth. Still, that doesn't seem to have affected its popularity amongst actors, celebutantes and other popular figures.


    Not content with using just an iPhone, Kim Kardashian uses a BlackBerry as well, and sometimes uses both at once. Geez, we didn't know she was even able to formulate two thoughts at the same time!


    Equal opportunity texter Kim Kardashian simultaneously uses an iPhone and a Blackberry

     


    Eva Longoria does a walk and talk on her BlackBerry

     


    Eva Longoria also loves her BlackBerry, as do Snoop Dogg (err, Lion), Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake – all three like to Tweet from a BlackBerrys. So, even though BlackBerry has lost some of its regular audience to Apple and Samsung, it's still one of the top two in Tinseltown.


    Victoria's Secret models promote the Samsung Galaxy Note in Toronto

     


    It's pretty much the opposite case with Samsung. Though the smartphone maker is perhaps Apple's biggest rival these days, the few results we got when searching for celebrities with Samsung devices – like the Galaxy Note or Galaxy S III – were actually from events held or promoted by Samsung.


    Sure Ashley Simpson has been spotted with one, but when's the last time anyone even cared she existed? And the Victoria's Secret models shown with the Galaxy Note (above) were actually hired to promote the device.


    Guess whose famous hands are holding this BlackBerry

     


    But who can claim the most famous user? Sure, the word "famous" is subjective, but most would agree that a figure who's known by nearly everyone in nearly every country, has influence on the world stage, and who is important enough to interrupt any T.V. show on any channel whenever he feels like addressing the press would be top choice.


    Yep, we're talking about the President. BlackBerry has scored possibly the most illustrious user a smartphone maker could ever hope for with Barack Obama.


    But it isn't just that President Obama uses a BlackBerry, he absolutely loves it! He's been described as a BlackBerry addict, and actually fought for the right to keep his "CrackBerry" once in office.


    Yes, president Obama has been described as a BlackBerry addict

     


    "They’re going to pry it out of my hands," the New York Times cited him as saying around the time that aides were trying to take it away. He's since been allowed to keep his beloved smartphone, though it had to go through White House encryption standards.


    Also, there's little chance that the President could ever be wooed by Apple. The Washington Times reported that, when handed an iPhone by an aide on the campaign trail last month, he looked "befuddled."


    Obama seemed unused to the device, saying "Oh, I got to dial it in. Hold on, hold on. I can do this. See, I still have a BlackBerry."




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  • Word has it that AT&T will take preorders for their Windows Phone 8 devices starting on October 21st. Microsoft’s official launch date for its new OS is October 29th, so AT&T and any of the other carriers won’t be letting them loose before then. According to The Verge, the Microsoft announcement will probably identify a market entry date for its devices in early November.


    AT&T will offer the HTC 8X, the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820, as well as Samsung’s Ativ Smart PC and Asus’ Vivo Tab RT tablets, all equipped with Windows Phone 8. The Lumia 820 will be available from other carriers, such as T-Mobile, but the Lumia 920 will be exclusive to AT&T.


    AT&T plans to carry additional HTC smartphones that run on Windows Phone 8. The HTC One X+ and One VX would be available "in the coming months."


    Recent market share data shows that devices powered with Microsoft’s Windows Phone occupy just 3.5% of the smartphone market. Microsoft updated its mobile OS in June, adding support for multi-core processors, higher screen resolutions and near-field communication (NFC). Window Phone shares the same source code as Microsoft’s Windows 8 desktop OS. We’ll see where Microsoft takes that connection in the future.




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  • Next month, all you'll need is your smartphone equipped with the Square Wallet app to buy your latte at Starbucks. In November, Starbucks’ customers will be able to use the Square mobile payment system in about 7,000 U.S. stores.


    Starbucks and Square formed a big partnership last August. Starbucks invested $25 million in Square. The deal allows Square to process credit and debit card transactions and implement the Pay with Square system at Starbucks stores.


    To use Pay with Square you link a credit card to the app. When you’re paying at the counter, leave your wallet in your pocket. Through the app the store can sense your phone's location and charges your account for the amount of your purchase. The cashier verifies your identity through a picture ID and name that pops up on their screen.


    Apple users aren't being left out. The latest update to the Starbucks iOS app lets Starbucks card owners add their accounts to Apple’s Passbook directly through the app. Then you can pay for food and beverages, check your card balances, reload the card with more cash, and add rewards to score free drinks, all through your iPhone.


    Unveiled in iOS 6, Passbook lets users store electronic copies of tickets, coupons, boarding passes, and loyalty cards.


    Starbucks first launched a Square-powered mobile payment app in 2011. Since then, Starbucks has processed more than 70 million mobile transactions.




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  • Now even the process of charging your phone can be entertaining. A new app from the Toyota car company called “Plug-in Championship” makes a game of plugging in your phone. This is the first app of its kind.


    The goal of the game is to plug in your phone’s charger when the power meter on the screen is at its highest. The better your timing, the better your score. You score every time you plug in the connector to your phone. Once the phone is plugged and you’ve gotten your score, the app gives you a fast-paced video to add to the fun.


    The Plug-in Championship game isn’t complex or challenging. It's just another way to pass some time and compare scores with your buddies.


    Toyota developed “Plug-in Championship” as part of its promotional campaign for the Prius PHV hybrid car. The app is available for iOS and Android.


    PLUG-IN Championship http://plugin.toyota-digital.com/


    iTunes App Store http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plug-in-championship/id551957032?mt=8&uo=4


    Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.toyota_digital.plugin




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