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Why You Should Buy Apps

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Where smartphone app stores are concerned, there are two kinds of people: those who spend money on smartphone apps, and those who don’t. Until recently, I was firmly in the latter category. I mean, with all of the apps that you can download for free on virtually any app store, why would you spend actual money on an app? Ridiculous, I said.

But, is it? I have purchased apps in the past, most recently spending $0.99 to upgrade to the Pro version of Authentic Weather. And, despite my stance of spending money on apps being a waste of time, buying that app felt good. As I tried to convince my friends that the app was worth a measly $0.99 it made me reconsider why you should purchase apps, and being a typical woman I abruptly changed my mind.

I think everyone should pay for apps, and here’s why:

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Android vs iOS Debate

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If there is one absolute, it is that people just love to argue. If there is more than one option for something, then there is inevitably an argument over which is better. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the world of smartphones, where rabid Android and Apple fans have been raging verbal war for years. It’s nearly impossible to read smartphone-related news without coming across at least one comment about the superiority of one system or another.

In fact, this debate recently reached the pinnacle of ridiculous when two drunken roommates got into a fight over which phone operating system is better: Android of iOS. Reports confirm that each felt so strongly about this issue that they stabbed each other with broken beer bottles. Both men were treated for non life-threatening injuries at the hospital and face charges. That’s taking phones a little too seriously, perhaps.

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Stop Candy Crush Before it’s Too Late!

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Friends, today I am here to tell you about a blight lingering our devices; hiding in the form of cheerful, bright, sweet candied goodness. This scourge of an app has invaded more than 100 thousand smartphones nationwide since its launch a couple of years ago. While the game has dropped in popularity somewhat, more and more devices are still being infected every single day.

It might look like a sweet, fun and innocent pleasure at first but make no mistake: this app is filled with corruption and will leave nothing but devastation in its sugary wake. The app we’re referring to is, of course, none other than the app Candy Crush, and we must stop it before it’s too late!

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To Case or Not To Case… That is the Question

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I have, right this very moment, a naked phone in my pocket. That’s right. My smartphone, the key to my digital communication on the go, has been running amok without a scrap of protection for almost two months. I’ve dropped it, I’ve dinged it, my cat has batted it around the floor and I’ve smeared fingerprints all over my device. And you know what? I couldn’t be happier.

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Are Smartphones Killing Conversation?

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In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone and forever changed the way that people communicate. Since then, the phone has grown smaller, smarter and more versatile. From the huge box on the wall to a small rectangle that fits into your pocket, phones are more prevalent and accessible and useful than ever. But, despite the fact that more than 90% of Americans have cell phones, communication seems to be lagging more than ever.

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How do you use your smartphone?

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With the rise of texting, social media and smartphones in general, doomsayers have been claiming for years that the phone call is dead. Gizmodo put in a passionate plea a few months ago to stop making calls to people, and Nielson reported that the average length of a phone call has declined since 2007, when the first iPhone was introduced.

But, despite all of the convenience of social media and simplicity of texting, is the phone call really dead? Does anyone actually make calls on their smartphones anymore? 

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Smartphone April Fool’s Day Pranks

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April Fool’s Day is one of those unofficial holidays that is both hilarious and awful at the same time. I have always loved  playing pranks on others, but some of the ones I have seen are just plain mean. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take part in this awesome tradition!

Here are some of my favorite phone-related pranks you can play on friends and family tomorrow!

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This Smartphone Telephoto Lens is Gigantic

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It seems like every year smartphones are getting lighter, thinner and more convenient. But, if you find that the camera on your phone is just a little too convenient, or if you feel a void in your soul from to the inability to take clear photos of people standing 100 meters away from you, then cheer up! With the Super Spy Ultra High Power Zoom 80x Telescope with Tripod Stand, your life will be complete.

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Studies Show Smartphones Are Bad

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Smartphones are the root of all evil. At least, that’s what a slew of studies that have been published during the last few months seem to be saying. According to these researchers, heavy smartphone usage can make you a dumb, uncreative insomniac who is lazy, probably pretty unsocial and unhealthy. Oh, and there isn’t much hope for you because you’re probably addicted too.

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20 Things Your Smartphone Has Replaced

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Unless you’re using a Windows Phone, there really is an app for just about everything. I don’t think most people ever really stopped to think about how insanely convenient smartphones have become, and the sheer amount of devices and everyday tools that the smartphone has usurped is pretty staggering.

So, here’s a list of some of the things that smartphones have either completely or mostly replaced. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we don’t all own at least some of these, but let’s be honest–most of the time, you just pull out your smartphone instead.

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Meet Runcible, the Round Smartphone

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The circle is my nephew’s favorite shape. He’s just over a year old, and anything circular and light enough for him to carry around (and throw) is obviously his property. You can entertain him for hours with nothing but a circle drawn on a piece of paper. He’ll touch it and giggle; he’ll carry it around and stare at it or show it to anyone he sees. Circles are just that kid’s thing. Me? I’ve never really felt all that strongly about circles.

That was before I discovered the circular Runcible smartphone on CNet yesterday. Now, I am thinking my nephew might be on to something.

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How Much Do Smartphones Cost?

smartphone money

I need a new phone. As a tech writer, you would think that I’ve got one of those super shiny new devices that can do just about anything, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be wrong. I have, in my pocket, an Alcatel OneTouch. Yep, this cheap little $150 phone is what I use to get by, and it mostly works. Sometimes. Sometimes the screen just goes black for no apparent reason, and the phone itself is often painfully slow. And internet browsing? Forget about it. It’s definitely time for an upgrade, but the more I look at the pricey phones, the more my wallet cringes at me.

That made me wonder. Do most people actually know what their smartphones cost? How much do smartphones actually cost? How much do most people pay for their smartphone?

Participate in my poll below to see!

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5 Stages of Losing Your Smartphone

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While smartphones are wonderful and exciting devices that can do a little bti of everything they are, unfortunately, also rather fragile. All it takes is a bit of liquid, a moment of clumsiness or absentmindedness and the phone is broken, lost or damaged.

I think  everyone has probably lost or broken a smartphone at least once, and you’ve probably gone through all of the stages of losing a smartphone in one way or another. But, to help cope with the loss of your beloved device, here is an outline of what to expect when your phone takes a tumble:

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What Does Your Favorite App Say About You?

There is an app for just about everything. Don’t believe me? Do a search for a random term (like cucumber) and I guarantee you’ll find SOMETHING that has to do with that in app form either for Android or iPhone. There are literally thousands (probably millions) of apps available that will do or tell you how to do just about anything. Some are free, some are not, but all of them are just waiting for you to download.

But, despite all of the potential choices, Nielson reported last year that your average user actually only used around 26 apps per month in 2014. When I read that, I had an interesting thought: If I had to choose ONE app that I could never uninstall, what would it be? And what does that say about me?

For me, it’d probably be my Facebook Messenger app. I don’t check my Facebook that much, but I have a lot of friends who use Facebook as a primary means of communication, and the app is just super convenient. But what about you? What app is your must-have app, and what does that say about you?

Check out our list below and click the link to jump to your section, or read through and then decide!

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Do Smartphones Dampen Creativity?

texting

Technology–and smartphones in particular–provide almost constant stimulation for bored minds. From social media to games, news, videos or music and back; there is always something to see, read or do at your fingertips. With the power of the internet in your pocket, there’s no reason to ever be bored.

But what if being bored is actually a good thing?

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Technology and Valentine’s Day

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Well, in case you somehow missed it, today is Valentine’s day! Next to Christmas and Halloween, it’s probably one of the more commercial holidays of the year, when everyone (men especially) is expected to shell out tons of money and spend lots of time being gushy and romantic. And, while I’m certainly not against that (I am a woman, after all) I wanted to pass along a cool Valentines Day Tech survey done by Verizon earlier this year.

Verizon surveyed 7,000 customers and visitors and asked them about how they will use technology on Valentine’s day and unsurprisingly, a ridiculous amount of people will choose digital valentines over paper cards this year. More surprisingly, a whopping 80% said they intended to gift technology to a loved one. Who wants chocolate when you could have an iPhone?

Anyway, here’s an infographic that Verizon put out to report all of their findings:

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12 Ways To Destroy a Smartphone

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I have caused my fair share of phone deaths over the years. I dropped one on the pavement because I was busy juggling too many things. Another drowned in an entire large sweet tea from McDonalds. Yet another just gave up on life for no apparent reason. So, I decided to put together a list with 12 ways to ensure your smartphone is destroyed.

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Scientific Study Reveals Smartphone Bacteria

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A scientific study performed in the University of Surrey for years has finally come to the attention of the general public.  This study has confirmed an apparently terrifying and little-known fact: smartphones have bacteria. Lots of it. In fact, they don’t just have bacteria–they are crawling with it. And it’s not just some phones–it’s all phones. It’s YOUR phone. Bacteria is on your phone right now.

Just try not to panic, because we have photographic evidence. Germophobes should probably look away.

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Samsung Creates Smartphone for Tony Stark

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So, I admit it: I love the Avengers movie franchise, and judging by the box office sales, I’m not alone. There’s just something so fun and dynamic about it; I can’t help but love the stories and the tech is way cool. So when I heard that Samsung actually made a real phone that for the new Avengers movie, I just had to do a quick post. I mean, superheroes and cool gadgets: what more could you ask for?

From what reports indicate, Samsung has pretty much taken over Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the upcoming movie “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, and will feature not only Samsung smartwatches but a super cool custom see-through smartphone made for the billionare Tony Stark. The device was designed exclusively for Ironman and unlike most see-through screen tech (which is often created using a glass prop and CGI technology, as seen above in this Ironman 2 screenshot) this phone is actually billed as a ‘working model.’ 

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Hear the Music of Crushed Smartphones

Oil, vtol, 2015

Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if you slowly crushed your smartphone with a 10-ton hydraulic press? Of course you have. And apparently, you’re not the only one.

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Top Ten Weirdest Phone Cases

These days, it is extremely uncommon to see a phone without a case. Between the rising prices of phones and our increased attachment to them it’s only natural that you’d want to not only protect your beloved device, but also use it to express yourself. There are a lot of really cool cases, like the ones shown above, for just about any phone you could imagine, although iPhones seem to get the neatest ones.

Or you could get one of these cases:

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The Problem With Smartphone Notifications

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It doesn’t matter where you go. If there are people, then I can virtually guarantee that you will, within a few minutes of arriving, hear someone’s phone (maybe even your own) buzzing with an all-important notification from a beloved app demanding attention RIGHT NOW. It’s almost like an epidemic and there is little choice for escape.

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Why I Hate the “Smart” in “Smart Devices”

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When I was a kid, ‘smart’ used to mean something. If you were smart it meant that you learned things faster, you were probably a little weird and you got good grades. Everyone knew what ‘smart’ meant. But the problem with calling devices ‘smart’ is that it doesn’t actually mean anything. Or, arguably, it means too much.

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More Uses For Your Old Device

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Prepaid devices are often pretty cheap and don’t always transfer from one carrier to the next, so chances are you probably have more than one laying around. But instead of leaving your extra phones in a drawer gathering dust, why not use them for something?

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Classy Low-Tech Speaker

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So, I have to admit, this is pretty much the coolest thing I have seen all day. I really, really, really want one to set on my desk. What is it, you ask? Well, it’s basically a gramophone for your smartphone. You know, that clunky music player from the turn of the century? Except it’s tiny, more durable, made of wood and fit specifically for this cell phone. Classy, right? 

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5 Most Annoying Smartphone Habits

 

As the New Year rolls around, everyone is beginning to think about their resolutions for 2015. Well, here at Prepaid Reviews, we decided to put together a list of the top 5 most annoying smartphone habits that everyone has and everyone should, in our humble opinions, resolve to stop doing this year:

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Boeing, Blackberry Work on Self-Destructing Phone

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I can hear the “Mission Impossible” music playing in my head as I write this. In a conference call last Friday, BlackBerry’s CEO officially announced that they are working with Boeing on what is being called the “Boeing Black Phone.” As the ominous name suggests, this super high-tech phone is the phone that all super spies have been wanting (or maybe using) for years, and has features that James Bond would envy including the ability to self-destruct if tampered with. 

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Quebec Mayor Racks up $20,000 Phone Bill

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We can’t all be cellular network experts, and I won’t claim to be anything near to an expert when it comes to the technical aspects of wireless phones. But I would think most people (and especially someone in a leadership position) probably have a basic understand of roaming and how it works. But, apparently, that’s not the case as far as the Mayor of Quebec is concerned.

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Apple VS Google: Rivalry Explained

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In the smartphone world there are really only two major players: Google (creator of Android) and Apple. And no matter what site you read or where you go in the tech world, the rivalry between the two is bitter and the loyalties strong. The age-old debate between Apple and Google (or more specifically, Android) has always been pretty heated and full of fanboys trying to shout over each other that their product is the best and has the best features and out trumps ALL competition, etc, etc. While I most certainly have my own opinion on the debate, such arguments tend to be rather pointless and baseless and it’s impossible to declare a real winner. But the reason why probably isn’t what you think.

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Turn Your Skin Into a Touchscreen

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So, I don’t normally talk about crowdsourcing projects on here, mainly because in the tech industry they are scams a majority of the time (and this might not be an exception). Generally, the ones that aren’t scams never perform as advertised and are frequently beset by setbacks in production, etc. But, all of that aside, this is so cool I just had to share with everyone. There is, of course, a huge catch, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

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Humor: Phone Mount Defies Gravity

Like all blogs and websites nowadays, we have a pretty good spam filter here at Prepaid Reviews. I go through pretty regularly and empty out the folder, occasionally stopping to laugh at the ridiculous spambot comments. My current favorite is: “The very heart of your writing whilst sounding agreeable in the beginning, did not really work properly with me personally after some time.” Great critique, spambot. Anyway, I came across a comment about a product today and I had to share.

Introducing the Smart Phone Sleeper (no, that’s not a typo), a device that in my opinion pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with our culture’s outlook on smartphones. The comment (which I unfortunately, already deleted) described it along the lines of a device that “magically floats your smartphone without bolts, screws, clips or adhesive.” Man, how could I resist that? So I did the unthinkable and clicked the Amazon link that was included, and I haven’t stopped laughing since.

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Use Your Phone To Try Virtual Reality

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If you’re a sci-fi nerd like me, then ideas like virtual reality, holographic projectors and robots are pretty freaking sweet. But, while it will be some time before you have your very own JARVIS, virtual reality is not all that far away. In fact, if you have a smartphone, cardboard and some time on your hands, then you’re already halfway to making your own virtual reality goggles!

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What Does Your Smartphone Say About You?

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I came across a humorous and mostly completely bogus article today talking about how smartphones are a reflection of their users. Surprisingly, people have conducted studies on this sort of stereotyping and discovered that there are certain groups of people who tend to flock to certain phones. Of course, some of the findings are not the most positive.

Here’s what some of the research (both bogus and slightly more legit) indicates your phone might say about you:

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Smartphone Etiquette

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Smartphones are such an integral part of everyday life, they can almost seem like an extension of yourself and your social life. But as technology becomes more and more saturated in everyday life, people become less and less aware of how rude technology can make them. Smartphone etiquette isn’t something that most people think about, but maybe it’s time we started.

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Study Shows Voice Search Gaining Popularity

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Most smartphones (even some low grade smartphones) come with voice search nowadays. It’s almost an expected technology and is present constantly. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of it, as I tend to talk pretty fast and half of the time Google Now gets confused and just gives up, throwing me the closest thing it could find in hopes I’ll just leave it be. So, while it’s definitely not a staple in my life, a new study by Northstar Research (funded by Google) suggests that I’m only barely in the majority when it comes to this cool technology.

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Luxury Phone Costs As Much As My Car

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I get it. Phones are as much a status symbol as what car you drive, purse you carry, or clothes you wear. Maybe even moreso. Samer Chidiac once said that “Technology makes people equal, it gives them a fair advantage.” But, looking at Vertu’s new line of ‘luxury smartphones’ I can’t help but beg to differ.

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Is Texting Bad For Your Health?

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The stereotypical senior citizen shakes his cane at the rascals and youngsters, claiming that technology is terrible, and that it’s bad for your health and the economy and the government and the environment and…well, back when THEY were kids things were better! Also, get off my lawn! Young whippersnappers!

Well, as it turns out, those fictional grumpy old people might just be on to something about the technology, at least.

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Cure Smartphone Addiction with the NoPhone

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Do you feel anxious without your phone? Do you get an empty feeling whenever your hands aren’t clutching that familiar piece of cool plastic? Do you feel insecure in social situations without holding a phone? Then never fear, the NoPhone is here! Well, almost.

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Smartphone Zombie Walking Lane

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When Max Brooks envisioned the zombie apocalypse, this probably isn’t what he had in mind, but no matter where you go, you can see them–smartphone zombies. Shuffling along across the sidewalk or intersection, the smartphone zombies are barely aware of the world around them and completely engrossed in their digital life. Surfing from one page to the next, scrolling through Facebook posts and twitter feeds, their faces are blank and lit by the small smartphone screens as they amble their way to and from…wherever.

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Will the Price War Move to Prepaid?

If you’ve been following phone carrier news at all, you probably are aware of the pricing battle going on in the postpaid market between Sprint and their obnoxious pink rival, T-Mobile. It seems like almost every week, someone is changing some price or adding value to a plan with more data, more lines, more minutes, more everything, all for the same low price! And, while entertaining to watch, it hasn’t really changed much in the prepaid industry. For now.

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6 Mobile Apps to Organize Your Life in 2013

I like to think of the following organizational apps as my own personal life coaches, financial planners, social planners, and all around handy lifesavers!

Not only do these seven apps provide vital organizational tools that rival even the best paid executive assistant—they do so for us average folks who can’t justify (or afford) an assistant of our own. However, what they do provide is valuable time and money saving tools to help keep track of appointments, contacts, notes and ideas, finances, and even shopping.

Kick off 2013 right with 7 mobile apps to help organize your life…

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Don’t hate the playa, hate the game

Everyone gets the first-date jitters. You sit there apprehensively, wondering not only what the other person is thinking, but what they’re like. Do they live with their mother? Do they have a steady job? Is he or she going to screw you over by the end of the night, or even at some point in the future? We’re human, so naturally we wonder all these things. New service PlayerBlock is the oracle for this. With it you can send a text and get the dirt on your date. It has to be the stupidest service we have ever heard of.

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Randomness: Cell phone roundup from Consumerist

We will show no restraint in expressing our love of Consumerist a Gawker Media blog that lashes out at companies that exploit consumers. We love them even more when they cover the telecommunications industry (we also show no restraint in expressing our detestation of the telecom industry). Over the past couple of days, they’ve had some great telecom content, and we’d like to share it with you.

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Feel our cell phone pain, India

The mobile phone phenomenon is going strong globally. Every day we see news articles coming from India, China, Indonesia, Bulgaria, and a host of other countries that are adopting and adapting to life with cellular phones. Though we don’t read all of the articles, it’s nice to see that technology is spreading. We hope that it helps advance the economic states of the countries. Anyway, sometimes we get a good laugh out of the articles. Like today, when one Indian news outlet reported that sometimes when you think you hear your cell phone ring, it’s not really ringing. Welcome to our world, India.

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A cell phone that carries 900,000 volts

File under: Things we wish we had when we were in high school. We can only imagine our friends’ reactions if this had existed back in the day. It looks like a plain, innocent cell phone — a Nokia or Motorola, perhaps. But then WHAM, you jab it into someone’s chest and fill them with 900,000 volts of electricity. It also has a 12 LED flashlight, so you can positively ID your victim before sending him trembling to the ground. Like the folks at Gizmodo, we see this being used for more harm than good — that flashlight comes in pretty handy when you’re sifting through someone’s pockets, trying to find their wallet.

[Gizmodo]

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Your pet does not need a cell phone

Seriously, what the hell? Do we really need a cell phone for dogs? Well, PetsMobility thinks so, as they have introduced PetCell, “a revolutionary waterproof GPS cell phone for your pet.” We really wish this was a joke, but apparently it’s not.

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Use your GSM phone to create a motion detector

People, given the proper resources and time, really can build anything. Take this new motion sensor, for example. Using just an old GSM phone, it can detect motion and then send an SMS message to selected numbers, alerting them of possible trouble. Your prepaid GSM phone is perfect for this…except that it has to be active, meaning you’re still paying for the service — though it would probably be much cheaper than an alarm service if you chose the right GSM service provider.

[Slash Gear

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Huotari, Laakso take home mobile phone throwing awards

Yeah, we didn’t know this existed either, nor did we actually believe it at first. It appears that there’s an event called the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship. Yes, the name implies the contest. Strangely enough, it was the 8th annual event, making us wonder how the hell we hadn’t heard of it earlier. It took place over the weekend, with tommi Huotari winning the men’s division with a throw of 89.62 meters. Eija Laakso took the women’s for the second year in a row, recording a toss of 44.49 meters. We’re totally going next year — and practicing.

[Earthtimes.org]

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Use your cell to fire the “laser”

Planning a heist, but don’t know how to get around those pesky security cameras? A solution can be found within your mobile phone. That is, if you hook up a kickass laser to it. All you have to do is mount the laser, hook it up to your phone, and send yourself a text message. Then you activate the “laser,” and boom — no more surveillance. Also useful for stopping those pesky neighbors who spy on you — and probably less illegal that way, too.

* Prepaid Reviews does not condone you planning a heist or committing any kind of crime. We’re just playing around. Figured we’d clear that up before you go rob a bank.

[IntoMobile]

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Headlines that make us laugh

Cellphone STD rates hiked

This is from The Times of India. Apparently they aren’t familiar with American acronyms.

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