UNCW MIT – Mobile App

The mobile app for my Master’s program is now available for Android here. The app was put together by two of our students via HTML. I then compiled the app via Adobe Phonegap. This is some of the cool stuff we are doing in our program!

Cyanogenmod hits 10 million users!

Quite an accomplishment. For those that do not know what CM is, it is a ROM for android devices. What does that mean? It means that the company, cyanogenmod, took the open source operating system Android, modified it, and put it on their website for anyone with an Android phone to download and install. I have used it but I prefer AOKP.

http://www.cyanogenmod.org/

Get texts, calls, and messages from your phone on your internet browser

So this is awesome. I can now get text messages, calls, and voice mail messages through my computer. I can also send them. So when my phone is in another room I can send and receive texts without having my phone near me. I love it.

Well there are a few options. The best one and one that I am using is called motorola connect and its available here:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/motorola-connect/kigmoblgooahdmdibodmcnffgnejlndh?hl=en

The only problem is that its only available via motorola phones. I assume it will be available to many more in the future.

Designing and Developing Mobile Based Instruction: A designer’s perspective

Here is my latest publication:

http://ojs.lboro.ac.uk/ojs/index.php/DATE/article/view/1877

Designing and Developing Mobile Based Instruction: A designer’s perspective

Mobile devices are increasingly being used in classrooms
and corporations as a means to deliver instructional
content. Currently, there is limited research on how to best
design and develop mobile based instruction. As a result,
the purpose of this research study was to examine
students’ perceptions of designing and developing mobile based
instruction by a) interviewing instructional design
graduate students in a computer based instruction course
who were given the opportunity to construct mobile-based
instruction and b) surveying instructional design graduate
students to uncover their perceptions of mobile instruction
design, usability, and delivery. Results of the survey and
qualitative data analysis indicated that usability was a key
issue on the mobile device. Users enjoyed quick access,
good organization, user control, single column layouts, and
large links/buttons. These findings contribute to the
literature base on the design and development of mobile
based instruction.

Instructional design app

One of my project this semester was to have my students create a mobile app. They all did a fabulous job. These were my graduate students so I expected nothing less. Anyway, here is one of them which is available on the google play store. Its an instructional design information app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.MIT._03

How to: Sell Verizon Contract and Keep your Number

Good info for those with unlimited data plans:

“OK 1st off let me make the disclaimer that I take no responsibility if this fails to work for you. Under Verizon you are 100% allowed to transfer your service to another individual, referred to as an Assumption of Liability (AOL), you can find it on the Verizon website.

With that said, I will now tell you how I was able to transfer my phone number I’ve had for 15+ years to a new provider and sell my existing unlimited data contract and make some money instead of pay hundreds in ETFs.

First thing you need to do is sign up for service with whatever new provider you want (I am assuming you are reading this b/c you want to leave Verizon and already have a new provider in mind). When you sign up for new service with another carrier it is VERY important you DO NOT port your existing Verizon number over. Porting the number over at this point will cancel your Verizon contract and you will be stuck paying the ETF.

OK so now that you have your new service with some new phone numbers, you will need to port your existing Verizon number over. To do this, call your new carrier and tell them you want to port your Verizon number over to the new service. You will need the number you are porting and the Verizon account number along with your account PIN (not your myverizon.com password, but your PIN can be found in your myverizon profile). Once your new service rep has told you the number has been ported, log into myverizon and request a new number on your Verizon phone. I’d say this step should be done about 15-30 minutes after you port your Verizon number.

While the number is being ported and your new Verizon number is being issued you will have some overlap with the devices and the numbers. For instance, if someone calls you on your new number it may ring on the new service, but you may not be able to make outgoing calls with the new service. They say the port takes about 24-48 hours for the number to fully port over to the new service, but mine was done in less than 24 hours. I was basically carrying around two phones with me until the port was completed.

OK so now that you have your number ported over to your new line of service you can sell your unlimited data Verizon account (non-unlimited data accounts are pretty worthless and I doubt you’d be able to find someone to buy it). I used eBay to do this, but there are other services like cellswapper.com. If you use eBay, search for Verizon unlimited data contract to get an idea of what your listing should consist of.

My Verizon contract consisted of an unlimited data line and a 2gig data line. I made it very clear in the listing that the winning bidder would be required to take both lines of service. I didn’t get as much money, but still better than paying an ETF.

OK so now you listed your contract online and you have a winning bidder. Hopefully, the bidder has paid immediately. So what you need to do is call Verizon and tell them you want to do an AOL and give them the phone number and the name of the winning bidder. I recommend calling the bidder and and going over the details of the steps and when they want to initiate the transfer. Once Verizon has the persons info, they will need to contact Verizon and assume ownership of the contract. If they have Verizon service already its easy, but if its new customer they will have to go through a credit check to make sure they can carry the service. Assuming they are approved for service, once they call Verizon the lines will be transferred. You will receive an email saying the transfer was in progress, but you can also confirm it went though by trying to log in to your online Verizon account (it should lock within a couple hours after the transfer. The transfer of service takes about a day or so to fully complete. Any balance on the account will be billed to or if its a credit it will get refunded to you.

There you go. You keep your original numbers, get out of your Verizon contract, and make some money.

I think I covered everything, but I recommend you read up on the AOL on Verizon’s website. If you have any questions, feel free to post them. I wrote this pretty quick so if something doesn’t make sense or you need more clarification let me know.”

Source: http://rootzwiki.com/topic/42073-how-to-sell-verizon-contract-and-keep-your-number/

Firefox OS

for those of us that love to flash roms on our android phones there is a new one that has the potential to be awesome – its Firefox OS. At this point, you cannot download it but when it becomes available I will be trying it out. I think if mozilla wants to have a chance they need to make phones with firefox os that are unlocked, inexpensive without contracts, and will work on all major carriers.

 

What 64 bit means to iPhone 5s

Great article discussing the advantages of Apple’s new 64 bit OS:

How does 64-bit help Apple?

Here’s how going 64-bit makes sense for the iPhone 5S, and for Apple’s mobile devices going forward.

Memory: Mobile devices aren’t facing the 4GB barrier yet. (Game consoles weren’t either: the Playstation 4 and Xbox One will be the first to ship with more than 4GB of memory.) The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 currently has the most RAM in a mobile device, packing in 3GB pretty much just so Samsung can show off. In comparison, the iPhone 5 – along with the new iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S – sport only 1GB of RAM. The iPhone 4 and 4s have 512MB. One reason for that is that RAM has to be on all the time, consuming precious battery power. Right now, Apple does not need a 64-bit chip to handle memory.

However, the iPhone and iPad may reach or surpass the 4GB threshold in the next two or three years. If so, developers will have been building 64-bit iOS software for years by the time iPads, iPhones, and any other iDevices have require a 64-bit architecture. That’s a good way to ensure a seamless transition for customers.

Speed: The iPhone 5S does get performance benefits from going 64-bit. Early results from iPhone 5S review units tested with Primate Labs’ Geekbench tool (nods to private sources, AnandTech and Daring Fireball) for measuring processor performance show:

  • The iPhone 5S 64-bit mode outperformed 32-bit mode by up to 25 percent. That means most apps will get a free performance boost just for recompiling to 64-bit.
  • The iPhone 5S processor is about twice as fast as the iPhone 5 in everything but memory access (that’s 1.4x faster).
  • The iPhone 5S about 25 percent faster than the iPhone 5 for everyday Web browsing (some Javascript tests are twice as fast as 5).

“Converting to 64-bit offers a performance improvement on the order of 10 to 20 percent,” said Kevin Krewell, senior editor of Microprocessor Report. ”The part that isn’t separable is that we have a new chip in the A7, and the A7 is much faster than the A6. Just the architecture of the chip has much better performance, in and above the change to 64-bit.”

iPhone 5S CPU Performance

The 64-bit A7 isn’t just a marketing stunt. It delivers real performance benefits for apps right now. Apple builds further on those benefits by converting all of iOS 7 to 64-bit for the iPhone 5S – and for any future 64-bit devices (cough iPad 5 cough) that come along. That means iOS 7 – along with core apps like Safari, Mail, Photos, Maps, and Siri – all wring the most benefits from 64-bit performance, and some of those components improve performance for third-party apps as well.

Fancy Features: The 64-bit architecture used in the A7 makes Apple’s new Touch ID fingerprint scanning technology possible, thanks to its encrypted on-chip security. Sure, a few smartphones have offered fingerprint readers (like the Motorola Atrix 4G) but no one has pushed the technology to the level Apple’s trying to achieve. Touch ID not only has a sophisticated biometric sensor, but Apple is integrating (optional) biometric security deep into its processor. That’s unprecedented. It also means Touch ID will never be available for 32-bit iOS devices – it’s a high-profile, front-and-center feature that’s 64-bit only. Assuming Touch ID survives countless attacks (from both security experts and hackers) and everyday users embrace it (early reviews are promising), expect the tech behind it, called Secure Enclave, to become central to the iOS experience. Coming next: Passbook and mobile payments.”

For more of the article read here: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/iphone-5s-64-bit-a7-processor/

How to keep unlimited data with Verizon…

For those like myself who still have unlimited data and refuse to let it go, here are your options:

Option 1: Buy at Full Retail

If you’d like to keep unlimited data going forward on Verizon, all you need to do is continue to buy phones at full retail. This means paying $500-$650 for top tier 4G LTE Android phones, so that you don’t have to sign a contract. You see, as you sign contracts, that’s when Verizon has the power to take away your current unlimited data plan and force you into something you aren’t going to be satisfied with. If you buy at full retail, all you need to do is then slap your current SIM card into the new phone and continue to enjoy your current monthly plan. Since there is no upfront discount or contract signing, you get an expensive new phone on the same data plan you already had.

This is probably the least attractive option upfront for most consumers to choose, since it’s the most expensive, but we still feel that it’s your best overall. If you can force yourself to save up for phones and pay for them at full retail once your contract has run out, not only are you then keeping unlimited data, but you are also turning your account status to “month-to-month,” which means Verizon no longer has control over you. With a month-to-month account, you can walk away at any time without having to pay an ETF (early termination fee).

The best place to order phones at full retail from Verizon is through the Iconic Portal.
Option 2: Steal Another Line’s Upgrade

If you have more than one line on your Verizon account, the easiest way to keep unlimited data is to steal or transfer upgrades between lines and then use the newly purchased phones on your line with the unlimited data. Let me try to explain further, as there are details you don’t want to miss.

If you have multiple lines on an account, Verizon will let you take upgrades and transfer them between lines as long as the transfer is going from phone to phone. For example, my situation looks like this – 3 line account, two have unlimited data, with a third setup as a feature phone that runs me $9.99 per month. Since I keep my phones on a month-to-month status for the most part, I almost always have an upgrade available on one of my two unlimited data lines. So should I want to upgrade one of those two unlimited lines and keep unlimited data, all I need to do is transfer my upgrade over to that feature phone line and use the upgrade for a new smartphone.

There are a couple of ways to do this. The first would be to walk into a store, tell a sales rep that you have an upgrade to use, but don’t want to lose unlimited data. So you are going to transfer your upgrade to a different line, use the upgrade there, and then actually use the phone on an unlimited data line. They should be able to walk you through the process with no problem, just make sure when paperwork and signatures are flying around, that your unlimited data line isn’t being touched. They may have to add, remove, or tweak a data package on the line that you are technically using the upgrade for, but again, just make sure no changes are happening to your unlimited line. If you are like me, and use a feature phone line for upgrades to keep unlimited data, you can always remove a data package and return that line to a feature phone line of $9.99 per month once the entire process is all sorted out and your new phone is running on your unlimited line.

The second method involves ordering a phone online from Verizon’s store. To begin, you need to transfer an upgrade to a line that you don’t care that much about (a feature phone or tiered data line). You can transfer upgrades in the dashboard through My Verizon. Once you have the upgrade transferred to a non-unlimited data line (could be a feature phone line), you walk through the ordering process with that line, buy a phone, and likely deal with some sort of smartphone data package add-on (likely 2GB for $30).

Once the phone arrives, some recommend that you activate it on that feature phone/other line temporarily using the instructions that arrive with the phone. Be aware that this will also temporarily activate the previously mentioned smartphone data package. After activating, you will then need to call customer service to get the feature phone placed back in the system on that line as a $9.99 feature phone. This will kill off the 2GB $30 smartphone plan you just had on there and return your account to its previous state. Once that has been completed, grab the SIM card from your current phone with unlimited data and place it in the new smartphone that you would like to use on your unlimited line.

This may seem like a lot of work, and I’m not 100% sure those extra steps are needed, but it is a proven method. Should you receive your new phone and activate it immediately on your unlimited data line without addressing the feature phone/other line, there is a chance that Verizon will take that as you using an unlimited line as an upgrade, which could in turn wipe out your unlimited data. I personally don’t think that’s possible, since you are only making changes to your feature phone line and not your unlimited line, but it’s better to play it safe.

*Note – You may be able to remove the smartphone plan on your feature phone line through your account at Verizon’s website. Also, customer service can look back through your history to find the feature phone you’d like to use over and over again, so there is no need to keep that feature phone handy.

Keep in mind that even if you transfer your upgrade to another line and then use the upgrade, you are extending your contract on the line which the upgrade originated (could be your unlimited line), not the line you transferred the upgrade to.

This is probably going to be the most commonly used, assuming you have an account with more than one line attached because it is the least expensive.
Option 3: Find an Awesome VZW Store Manager

This may sound silly, but there really are ways for managers to override systems and return your account to unlimited data after purchasing a new phone at a discounted price. I haven’t personally gone this route, but a number of readers over the last year have emailed in with their success stories from select Verizon stores and dealing with employees who help get authorization on unlimited plans. I don’t have any stores to recommend going to to keep those unlimited plans, but I’m sure readers can help you out in the comments.
Option 4: Sign-up for New Service, Cancel, and Pay the ETF

This last option for you should technically work, but it definitely sounds like a lot of work and won’t save you all that much in the end. Should you choose to go this route, this is how it could go down.

If you sign-up a new line on your account or even completely new account altogether, you could in theory buy a phone at a subsidized price for say $199, then cancel the line or account, pay an ETF (early termination fee) of $350, and come out slightly lower than a full retail priced phone. Most top tier phones run you $600 to $650 off-contract, but at $199 for the subsidized price plus $350 for an ETF, you are looking at somewhere around $550. And that’s assuming that Verizon doesn’t charge you up front for the first month’s data and minute package, an activation fee, and any other new account costs.

I know unlimited data is important, but that all sounds like one massive headache. To keep it simple and clean, save up another $100 and buy the phone outright.

Source: http://www.droid-life.com/2013/09/17/keep-unlimited-data-verizon-upgrade/