How Could You?


36975990If you’re one of those who has a ton of pictures on your phone and is afraid to transfer/delete them, this post is for you.

As we speak (or as I type – your preference), I am backing up the 150+ pictures that currently reside on my phone. The 100-150 mark is my usual limit; more than that is just way too many.

With our phones becoming more of a capture-all-of-life’s-moments device and less of a phone, chances are that you have a lot of pictures stored on yours as well. Go ahead and look. There’s probably more than the 150 I’m transferring right now. But it gets worse.

I’ve seen screencaps posted on various Facebook pages that show the image being Number 1,987 of 2,242. If I get paranoid over a mere 150 images, you can imagine how jittery I get when I see something like that.

An aside: if you know how to screencap and upload to Facebook, why not just upload the original image?

But I digress. Man. Seriously. Why do you have so many on your phone? It’s time to TRANSFER THOSE THINGS! And right now you might be asking yourself why I care so much about the images on your phone.

It’s easy: they are your memories. You thought these moments were important enough to capture and save. I’ve seen Facebook posts from friends who have either lost their phones or had them crash or die, thereby wiping out all of their memories they thought were important enough to save. It’s not a fun thing to deal with, think about, or even have me preach about but the reality is that eventually, it will happen. Not might, but will.

This is why I follow Leo Laporte’s advice of the importance of backing up your stuff – images and otherwise – once a week to at least two devices: one local and one off-site. This ensures that your stuff is saved no matter what happens. And it’s a family thing: I also backup everything on their phones, too.

Owning a smartphone is more than just holding a little status symbol in your hand. It does require a little work, especially when it comes to backing up your stuff. And that work means learning a skill which I guess some might be too lazy to do or just don’t feel like learning, and that’s not good because the skill isn’t hard to learn.

If you are particularly fearful of technology, backing up images is practically a no-brainer with either iOS or Android, both of which offer a system of automatically backing up your pictures as you take them. Google gives you a decent amount of 15GB combined Gmail/Drive storage and 100GB a year can be had for a mere $2/mo. iCloud offers 5GB for free and offers larger capacities for a new lower price.

For the more daring, there’s cloud services like Dropbox and Microsoft’s OneDrive. Both of these require the installation of an app which like Drive and iOS, offer automatic uploading that can be set to WiFi-only to save on excessive data usage. Dropbox starts users off with a mere 2GB of storage but can be increased with referral bonuses or purchasing additional storage. (I’m currently at 59GB through referrals and a 48GB bonus earned with the registration of my Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablet). OneDrive gives you 15GB, the same as Drive but can also be increased with referrals. I’m one of OneDrive’s early adopters and was using it as SkyDrive, so my storage is set at 28GB.

Once uploaded to the ubiquitous cloud, your images are accessible via your device’s app provided you are connected to your network or WiFi. What that means is that it’s safe to delete them from your device and you will have two copies: on your computer at home and on the cloud storage service of your choice. You will have them. They are safe.

wdfMyCloudAnd if you really want to geek out, you can buy a WD My Cloud device which is your own personal cloud storage system.

It’s stored in your home and through the use of an app on your phone, allows you to send your pictures directly to it no matter where you are. Personally, this is going to be my next choice as they offer a huge amount of storage for the price: they start at $150 for 2TB. That’s a lot of selfies.

And guess what? You can still delete them from your phone after uploading.

Oh hey, look! All of my images are now uploaded and viewable on my phone plus can be downloaded to it if necessary!

Success!

I have them all organized in a Phone Pix folder then in subfolders by Year, Month, and Date Uploaded or Event. Not hard, and I know exactly where to look for things. Most services also allow folder sharing where specific users can add or delete files as needed. This is handy when, you know, you go out for Karaoke Night and your friends shoot incriminating videos of you.

With technology being such a big part of our lives, I can’t think of a reason why anyone should have so many pictures stored on their phone. It just takes a little patience to learn and time to transfer, both of which I’m sure most of us have. You could have uploaded/transferred a bunch just by reading this post like I did.

Don’t fear it any longer and risk losing all your images. Isn’t it worth the time to learn something so simple and have everything saved, or simply do nothing and lose it all?

Now I can’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to do but this doesn’t seem like a tough decision, does it?

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Wordless Wednesday: Monte


Taken with my LG Optimus Elite and edited with PicSay Pro.

More Handy Android Apps


As you’ve probably already read in a few of my posts, my LG Optimus V has a tendency to have its memory eaten up in to time flat. As a result, I was often left to go into the Applications menu and clear out caches, uninstall updates, etc.

I did all of that until App2SD Pro was offered for free on Amazon’s Appstore, and the app’s widget did do the trick for a little while. The widget would refresh and display the amount of memory the cache was taking up and if you wanted to clear it, you would press the widget – but not before it asked you if you wanted to do that.

Well, of course I want to. It’s killing my space! So annoying message aside, all widgets only work when the app is installed on the phone’s internal memory which sort of defeats the purpose of having it.

So in an effort to avoid having an app kill my phone’s internal memory just for the sake of having a widget, I scoured the Android Market and came across two handy ones that have since become my replacements for App2SD’s cache widget.

cacheSLW Cache Cleaner Widget (free): While it’s pretty obvious what this app does, what isn’t is how small it is. Like all SLW widgets – SLW is an acronym for Simple and LightWeight – it is extremely compact to save you space and still gets the job done. This one in particular is a whopping 17k. What I like about Cache Cleaner is that it efficiently monitors your cache and whenever you feel the need to dump it, one press of the widget will do it and you’re back in business. No frills, no bells or whistles. That’s exactly how it should be.

storageSLW Storage Widget (free): I use this one in conjunction with Cache Cleaner so that I have a constant tab on how much memory remains on both my internal memory and SD card. This takes the guesswork out it as well as waiting for that dreaded “low memory” message, a definite sign of how this phone can drive you nuts at the most inopportune times. And again, we see the benefit of good things coming in small packages: this one weighs in at 20k. Think your phone can handle that?

Best of all, these as well as all of this developer’s apps are free.

Give them a shot and see what you think.

Black Friday Deal: Virgin Mobile’s HTC Wildfire for $99.99 at Radio Shack


Hey, I hope you all are relaxing after your Thanksgiving meals. I know I am and we ate at 12pm. Gives you an idea of how much I enjoyed myself.

Onto the meat of the post. I just realized that Radio Shack will be offering Virgin Mobile’s HTC Wildfire S for $99.99, which is 50% off its regular price of $199.99.

htc

Now I know I may have mentioned in a previous post that I wasn’t in a really big hurry to consider this phone but honestly, at 50% off of its MSRP, I may be outside Radio Shack tomorrow morning to pick one up. I already ordered one online for Ann who occasionally has issues with her Optimus V freezing up. I’ve tried cleaning stuff out of it and it still does it now and then. This will be her Christmas gift from me.

Myself, I’m just thinking of it as an affordable upgrade which is what makes prepaid programs much more enticing. For a single Benjamin, I can upgrade my phone in less than a year’s time as opposed to being on a contract when I would have to wait until it was up (usually 2 years) before I can consider doing the same thing. Not only that, I’d be paying taxes on the full price of the phone even if I got it under contract for $50. And that ain’t cool* (READ UPDATE BELOW). By that logic, the purchase seems more than justified.

If you want to avoid the crowds (not that there would be any at Radio Shack but I could be wrong), you can order it online now or be like me if you can’t wait for the phone to arrive on your porch and hit your local bricks-and-mortar location at 5:30am.

It’s a good thing my local store is only a few miles away because I’m so crawling back into bed when I get home. And if you do get this one or the Optimus V at Target, don’t forget to use Ann’s Kickbacks code when activating: UJWQD9VW. Heck, or mine: dJWQc09H.

Enjoy the shopping season! With the exception of this, I’m done 🙂

*UPDATE 11/25/11: I bought one online Thursday and paid taxes (8.75% in CA) on the sale price (around $108). This morning, I went to my local store and ended up paying taxes on the full price (around $117). What gives?

  • $99.99 @ 8.75% CA tax = $8.74 (online price of $108.74)
  • $199.99 @ 8.75% CA tax = $17.49 (in-store price of $117.49)

Tweeted @RadioShack. Waiting for reply and will post reply/resolution.

Virgin Mobile Gives Us More Choices


It seems like it was yesterday when I wrote a post about the survey I had taken in which Virgin Mobile was asking me what I thought of the potential names of their upcoming phones.

Almost one month to the day of that post, today Virgin Mobile announced two brand-spanking-new models: the LG Optimus Slider and HTC Wildfire S. Strangely, neither of these phones bear the names for which I was surveyed but with the addition of these two models, Virgin Mobile now has a total of five Android phones for consumers to choose from.

LGOptimus

Virgin Mobile’s LG Optimus Slider (MSRP $199.99)

With its slide-out QWERTY keyboard, the LG Optimus Slider looks pretty much like a replacement for the LG Rumor Touch only it’s running Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

WildfireS

Virgin Mobile’s HTC Wildfire S (MSRP $199.99)

Speaking of clones, it looks like the HTC Wildfire S could be a clone of the LG Optimus in terms of screen size (3.2”), processor (600 MHz), etc. It’s a little thinner and lighter than the Optimus but comes with a 5MP camera and a flash, something previous VM Android models (except the TRIUMPH) lacked. Like the Slider, the Wildfire S also boasts Android’s 3.2 Gingerbread platform.

But with the few pluses comes a huge minus: talk time. According to the specs, this model has an astounding 3.8 hours of talk time. By comparison:

  • Motorola TRIUMPH: 4 hours
  • Optimus V: 6 hours
  • Samsung Intercept: 6.4 hours

Granted, with texting often being the preferred choice of communication these days, talk time may not seem to relevant but hey, I’d expect a little more than that.

All in all, Virgin Mobile seems to be sending in the clones with these two models and I don’t see myself rushing to sell stuff on eBay to buy either of them. The only good thing here is that the prices will definitely drop on all other Android models to make way for these, which is great news if you’ve been eyeballing that Optimus V.