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Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?

Acme 23 Dec 11 - 11:42 AM
deepdoc1 23 Dec 11 - 12:18 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Dec 11 - 03:47 PM
Tootler 24 Dec 11 - 02:27 AM
Acme 24 Dec 11 - 02:36 AM
Tootler 24 Dec 11 - 06:37 AM
Acme 24 Dec 11 - 02:02 PM
deepdoc1 24 Dec 11 - 04:20 PM
Tootler 24 Dec 11 - 04:22 PM
Arthur_itus 24 Dec 11 - 05:06 PM
Acme 24 Dec 11 - 11:58 PM
EBarnacle 25 Dec 11 - 12:01 AM
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Subject: Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?
From: Acme
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 11:42 AM

There are other phone threads here at Mudcat, but none I found that address specifically Smart Phones.

I'm sure I'm behind the curve in finally adding a smart phone to my household. My son and I both have them as of this week, and we'll convert other plan phones as they get closer to the end of their existing contracts. Once I get over the sticker shock of the new plan, the new data surcharges, and the process of retraining both my brain and my fingers to type on a screen, I need to look into both useful (and hopefully free or very cheap) applications (apps) and the need - or not - for an antivirus application to run in the phone.

One of the first things I am working on is how to keep the battery charged. I've reduced the screen brightness and found a free app to let it sleep when not in use. I don't need this checking back with the mother ship all night long, etc. I've downloaded a typing keypad program - I can see that predictive text programs can help but can also cause chaos. I set mine so that I choose the word, it doesn't.

What else are some of you smart phone users adding to your phones? This is a Samsung Nexus S, the Google phone from Sprint, and it comes refreshingly unadorned with pre-packaged apps. After reviewing several, I decided I could live with this because it was an Internet special (i.e., "free.") Do you use any software apps with your cameras? Do you communicate with various websites via phone? How do you browse the Internet, check your email, etc.? What settings or approaches have you found work best for you?

Do you use an antivirus program?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?
From: deepdoc1
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 12:18 PM

I use Lookout on my Droid - it's free and seems to be in favor of the tech crowd right now. I've never had any issues with it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 03:47 PM

The supposed "authorities" that keep sending me email news claim that phishing (click here or ... will destroy you.) gambits are the biggest current threats, closely followed by the aps you install.

Nearly all the "official ap sites" have been reported as offering (hopefully unintentionally) aps that contain malicious bugs, although it's hard to know much about how popular or widely distributed the bad ones have been.

One recent report boldly stated that the AV makers/distributors are "exaggerating" the current malware threats for which AV protections can help, but the same article predicts that very good AV protection may be something you will want "within the next year or sooner" if the growth in malware continues at expected rates.

With the tendency of most of us who postpone anything in the setup to keep postponing forever, if you're starting up with something that will need AV soon, you might be advised to get it while you're still "thinking setup."

AV can't, of course, offer much protection against the phishing type of attack. That's pretty much up to the operator.

As a non-participant, I can't make any useful comments about what kinds of aps might be helpful or how to use one of the ,,, things to get useful results out of them.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?
From: Tootler
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 02:27 AM

With smart phones you need to think in terms of recharging daily. I plug mine in when I go to bed.

I have recently changed from Blackberry to Android and I find my Android phone (HTC) definitely gives me better battery life most days it has about 40 - 50% charge left but I don't make heavy use of the internet, mostly just checking email and looking at news sites. I don't stream music or video - screen too small. I do use the camera fairly regularly but don't have any apps with it.

Tips I was given include reduce screen brightness, turn off automatic sync. I have a Widget* on my desktop which I just tap to sync and I usually do it once or twice a day. Get the "Juice Defender" app, that definitely helps as it turns things off when you are not using them. The main one for me is wifi as I use it for online access at home - faster and, afaik, is not included in my data usage.

I have a few apps, mainly news but also I missed the notebook I had in Blackberry (and in Palm before it) I have tried one or two. I found Evernote to be pretty good and it stores your data online so you can access and edit on your PC as well if you download the PC "app". (There is also a Mac version and the PC app will install in Linux under Wine). I also have an instrument tuner (Da tune).

One hint with apps is to check carefully what access to your phone's system they want and if their requirements seem unwarranted by the nature of the app, then don't download it. I have rejected a few because they seem to want to access parts of the core system without good reason.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?
From: Acme
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 02:36 AM

My phone would like to do the WiFi bit, but I didn't see a query as to the house password or logging on with the button on the router - I turned it off until I found a good reason to use it, though in some places I suppose it would be useful if there isn't a phone tower nearby.

I've only added a couple of apps so far, and I'll review those before I add any more. Thanks!

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?
From: Tootler
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 06:37 AM

On mine you go to settings/wireless and networks then there is an item "WiFi Setting" select that and it shows available networks. You select your home wifi and enter your password.

While your phone is a different make, surely there will be similar menus available. Whether wifi is any better than the phone network depends on your internet speed. Certainly if you have to use dialup, there will be no advantage but if you have a decent broadband connection, then wifi is definitely better when it is available.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?
From: Acme
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 02:02 PM

Do you leave WiFi on all of the time? It seems it might waste battery juice in searching for WiFi whereever one goes.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?
From: deepdoc1
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 04:20 PM

I usually leave it on at home, then forget to turn it off when out and about. As you suggest, it's better to turn it off when not used, and it will draw down the battery when it's not needed. If you can swing it, it's not a bad idea to have at least a home charger and a car charger. My battery usually lasts about a day, so I'm in the habit of plugging it in at home and in the car.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?
From: Tootler
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 04:22 PM

I tend to leave it on. Juice Defender will turn it off automatically if there is no signal locally.

When I went to visit my sister-in-law and my daughter in the South of England recently, I did turn it off then as I was unlikely to be using wifi during that visit.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 05:06 PM

We have 4 smart phones in our family. We have a spare battery for all 4 and we have chargers that will charge the spare battery.
So when the battery in the phone is low, we take it out and put the charged spare battery in and then charge the other up.

A good place to get them from in the Uk is http://www.evertop.co.uk/c/198265/1/mobile-phone-accessories.html I normally find what I want and then phone them.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?
From: Acme
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 11:58 PM

Spare batteries are available at places like Radio Shack in the US, and I'd have to compare their prices with what Sprint offers and gray market sources like eBay. I usually haven't needed them, but then, I haven't had a smart phone before. Two phones back (in my Sprint history) they standardized their charger plugs. The same charger that worked with the last phone and the phone before that works with this one, so I have extras now. I also have a charger for the vehicle. I found an app called Battery Defender (here in the US) that does what you describe.

I've been busy with the holidays, little time to play with the phone, but this "super amoled" screen is lovely to look at, and given a few days, I'll sort out some of the features in the phone.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Smart phones, anti-virus & aps?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 12:01 AM

Batteries Plus is also good.


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