Smartphone Apps of the Month—January

Hi there! I’m Susan Thomas! As the new author of the Apps of the Month blog, I’m excited to offer all the right tips and tricks, so you’ll get the most out of your new phone. To start this year off right, I’ve found some great new apps for you to try. And, they’re both fun to use!

I don’t know about you, but once the New Year rolls around, I’m super busy. First, with making all of my resolutions…90% of which I’ll never keep. Then, there’s the rest of life to manage as it feels non-stop. Fortunately, I found some free apps to help me get through a good bit of it. Here are a few that help me watch my weight and strive toward a healthy, active lifestyle.

Fooducate—for iPhone & Android

FooducateI was already looking for a more dynamic nutrition app to help me eat better. One that would reduce guilt, not lay it on. Fooducate is the clear winner for me because it helps track the quality of the calories I eat, not just the quantity.

Fooducate will show you how to modify your diet with the food your body appreciates, grading each ingredient from A to D. Processed foods score lower and barely processed foods score higher. Fooducate then lets you track your progress while providing answers and motivation from the community. In turn, you can share your tips and success to motivate others.

This popular app is helping thousands get back into their groove. I like how it suggests healthy foods based on what I currently eat. But here’s Fooducate’s most delicious feature: since it analyzes product nutrition panels and ingredient lists, you can just scan product barcodes with your phone’s camera, and the app reveals any controversial food ingredients (like food colorings or preservatives, added sugars, trans fats, MSG and more).

I also like that Fooducate gives daily tips, provides updates on the latest food research and is completely ad-free. It’s time to kick-start my weight loss plan with Fooducate. Sometimes the kick of a fun new app is all you need to get moving and motivated after the holidays.

Balanced—for iPhone

BalancedFor iPhone users, Balanced has become the go-to app for setting goals to lead a more balanced lifestyle. It removes the guesswork, providing reminders of activities and allows you to track your progress. It could soon become my best new virtual friend!

We all know those little things you need to get done can really pile up fast. With Balanced you can stay motivated, focused and take them all on. People say using Balanced is like having a little person in their phone who acknowledges what you’re doing and motivates you to do more. Just what I need!

Don’t worry though, Balanced still lets you hold the keys. I choose how often I complete the tasks, for example twice weekly to pay and file my bills, or maybe twice a year to clean out my cluttered garage. Balanced is flexible and works on my clock. You could say it’s the planner for people who don’t like planners, but still love making life improvements. Or even just following through on movie or dinner plans with friends.

Just swipe ‘Done’ and you’re rewarded with fun animations that come alive as each task is completed, large or small. I feel instant relief as I break old habits and feel less weight on my shoulders! What could be better than that?

It’s time for me to put both of these apps to work, and start this year off right. Thanks to them, 2016 is looking better and better.

Happy New Year!

59 Thoughts on "Smartphone Apps of the Month—January"

  1. Carmen Kryman says

    I keep having trouble getting texts to people. It shows that it is in a waiting area and then fails. I haven’t been able to send a text in 5 hours. Consumer Cellular has a 15 minute waiting period.

    reply to Carmen

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      That sounds very frustrating, Carmen. This may be due to a poor signal in your area or a temporary tower issue near you. Please try turning your phone off, then back on again. This allows your phone to connect to the tower nearest you that has the best available signal. Also, please make sure your data is turned on if you wish to send a photo or video message. If that fails to resolve the issue, we’re happy to troubleshoot it further at 888-345-5509. Thank you for letting us know, and for taking time to post today. We hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  2. J Burns says

    I am halfway through my billing cycle. My current usage is 49% talk, 1% text, but 99% data. What effects my data usage?
    I would like to reduce that rather than having to go to the more expensive plan, considering my text and my talk are well within limits?

    reply to J

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We have some great tips for reducing the amount of data you use, J. First, always connect to a Wi-Fi network when you can as this will allow your phone to use that instead of data from your plan. This is especially important if you’re using your phone to stream videos or music, which require large amounts of data. You can also check your data settings to ensure that you’re only downloading app updates when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. We’re happy to help you with this if you call us at 888-345-5509. Thank you for taking the time to post, and for reaching out to us today!

      reply to Ashley

  3. m little says

    Will a wireless home phone base require using 19 digit dialing for incoming local calls?

    reply to m

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking! When using our wireless home phone base, you will need to dial ten digits, just as you would with a cellphone. We appreciate you taking the time to comment!

      reply to Ashley

  4. Dennis N says

    Hi i just joined consumer cellular, Can you tell me if the sim card i am getting works with samsung note 4.

    reply to Dennis

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Welcome to Consumer Cellular, Dennis! I took a look at your account, and you should be receiving your new SIM card soon. Our SIM cards work best with unlocked GSM phones. If your Note 4 is unlocked and a GSM model, the SIM card will most likely work without issue. We may need to manually adjust some settings or send some updates to your phone, so give us a call once you’ve installed it if you run into any issues. We’re always happy to help at 888-345-5509. Thank you for commenting, and we look forward to serving you for years to come!

      reply to Ashley

  5. Larry says

    I have a major problem with my data plan. The bulk of our usage is charged at 6:00 AM and 12:00 PM when we are asleep. Even if I turn off the data to the phone it still shows up on the usage meter.

    reply to Larry

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      This is a common source of confusion, Larry. Data is reported by the cellphone towers in batches, so the times on your statement don’t necessarily correlate to the time you are actually using data on your phones. If you’re using data from your plan unknowingly, there are a few things to try. First, make sure you always keep Wi-Fi on. That way you can connect to your home Wi-Fi network and your phone won’t use data from your plan. Second, make sure that you’ve disabled background data from your phone, and that you’re only installing app updates when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. We can help you find those settings in your phone at 888-345-5509 if you like. Last but not least, if you want to remove data from one of the phones in your line, we can help you do that or you can do so from the My Account portal on our website. That way, your phone won’t be able to use data at all unless you want it to. Thank you for commenting today, and please give us a call if you need any help. We appreciate your time, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  6. Jim Ainslie says

    I have called in twice as a new customer and have had half hour wait times both times. The reps were very friendly and knowledgeable. In the end tho they couldn’t help me unless I could call in by another phone. This has been very frustrating and makes me wonder why I’m paying such a high price for such poor service. I was told u were old people friendly so went with you. Now I feel like that saying “Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining”.

    reply to Jim

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re sorry for the frustration, Jim. Our customer service team is always ready to help with any questions you may have. In general, it’s best to call from another phone if you’re experiencing technical issues with your phone such as difficulty downloading apps or using Wi-Fi. That way, we can have you perform tasks on the phone and restart it, which can’t be done when you’re using it. I took a look at your account, and I’m glad to see that both times you called in, we were able to help you resolve the issues. We apologize for the long wait time, and please know we have been hiring and training more representatives so that we can help our customers in a more timely manner. Thank you for taking the time to comment, and we look forward to serving you for years to come!

      reply to Ashley

  7. mary ann niles says

    I have a phone in which the glass is shattered. I’m interested in purchasing a new phone and I don’t know where to go. Could you help me?

    reply to mary

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We can absolutely help you, Mary Ann! If you’re interested in a new phone, we offer three easy ways for you to find the best fit for your needs. First, you can view our entire lineup and even compare models here on our site. Our phones are also available at your local Target or Sears store if you want to get one right away. Finally, we’re happy to recommend a good option for you over the phone at 888-345-5509. Whichever option works best for you, we’re here to help you find a new cellphone that you’ll enjoy. Thank you for posting today, and be sure to let us know which phone you picked!

      reply to Ashley

    • Jim Bertucci says

      Mary, not to take away from the great options Consumer has, but if you really want your old phone, glass is not that expensive. I just had my iphone 6 in and it was $102.

      reply to Jim

  8. Jim Bertucci says

    Hi Ashley, just went to the Blog tonight and I must say, you are great. Really trying to take care of C.C. people. Just had to sat that.

    reply to Jim

  9. Paul says

    I am looking for a recording App that will allow recording both sides of conversation. My Motorola G Ext only wants to record caller side. Is there an APP or setting in other APPs that will fix this?

    reply to Paul

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Paul! You might try searching the Google Play store for recording apps. There are multiple options out there, so hopefully you can find a good fit. We don’t know of any way you can do that on your phone itself, so an app will probably work best for your needs. Let us know if you find a good option!

      reply to Ashley

  10. Bob says

    Is there a visual voicemail app for a android phone (Samsung S4)?

    reply to Bob

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      There are quite a few options out there, Bob. It really depends on what you’re looking for and what type of app would best meet your needs. We recommend searching “visual voicemail app” in the Google Play store and looking for the options with the best reviews. You might even test a couple to see which you like best. If you find an option that works really well for you, please feel free to share here on our blog. We’d love to hear about it! Thank you for posting today, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

      • Arthur says

        I found one that requires the name of the network but Consumer Cellular isn’t one of them. Is there another name that I should look for?

        reply to Arthur

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          Thanks for posting, Arthur. That app may not be compatible with our voicemail service. If we can answer any other questions you may have, please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. We hope you have a great day!

          reply to Ashley

          • Scott Harford says

            If I buy a phone from CC will it come with visual voicemail, or will I need to download one from Google Play?

            Regarding the previous post, why can’t you just name a couple that ARE compatible with you voicemail service? Will the AT&T VVM app work with CC?

          • Thanks for posting, Scott! We don’t have a visual voicemail app for Androids, though there are some options available for download from the Google Play store. If you find one that works well with your phone, be sure to post here on the blog. Apple iPhones do come with visual voicemail included. We appreciate you reaching out today!

          • Cheryl says

            Name one visual voicemail that works with Consumer Cellular Note 8. Your company seems deceptive about this. Is there any visual voicemail service compatible with CC? If not, why?

          • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

            Hi Cheryl, since visual voicemail for Android phones is not something that we have support for we are not able to provide a list of apps that may work. Instead, we recommend searching the Google Play Store for visual voicemail apps to find one that will work on your phone. We appreciate your feedback!

          • LesA says

            Hi. We just bought a Samsung J7 and service through CC. We are NOT finding a visual VM App cimpatible!

  11. Pam says

    I can get on my phone and get facebook and other sites at work where I have wi-fi but at home or in the car I can’t get any internet?

    reply to Pam

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re happy to troubleshoot that for you, Pam. Since you’re using one of our SIM cards, the issue may be that we need to update some settings on your phone. That way you’ll be able to access your cellular data and surf the web on the go. Please give us a call at 888-345-5509 from another phone line. You may need to enter some information on your phone manually and restart, so it’s best to call from a different phone. Thank you for reaching out to us, and we look forward to resolving this with you!

      reply to Ashley

  12. Cheryl Melton says

    Im looking to upgrade to a smartphone soon. If I go to Target can I purchase a phone and charge it to make monthly payments for the phone?

    reply to Cheryl

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Cheryl! You can purchase one of our devices at Target with whichever payment form works best for you. You can even sign up for our convenient EasyPay plan there in the store if you think an iPhone would be a good fit. With many affordable options available, we’re sure you’ll find the best smartphone for your needs. If we can answer any questions for you, feel free to call us at 888-345-5509. Thank you for taking the time to comment today!

      reply to Ashley

  13. Steve says

    Reply to Scott Hartford
    A note about AT&T visual voicemail I just switched from AT&T and it does not work with my Samsung S7 active

    reply to Steve

  14. Geoffrey Bailey says

    I just bought an unlocked Galaxy S7 and thought I’d get visual voicemail, but just learned that it isn’t supported by Consumer Cellular on Android phones. It took me two calls to figure that out. I have to say that really sucks. This should be a simple enough thing to do if they want people who use Android to use their service. I guess that’s a blemish on Consumer Cellular’s great customer service.

    reply to Geoffrey

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Geoffrey. In order to use visual voicemail with an Android phone on our service, a third-party app would be needed as we don’t inherently support the feature at this time. We don’t have a specific list of apps that may work, so we recommend searching in the Google Play Store for any visual voicemail apps. I apologize for any inconvenience.

      reply to Nicole

  15. Walter says

    it sounds to me like the only way to access your voice mail is to call your voice mail number and listen to your voice mails. Thats okay, but as yet, no one has said that voice mails can be stored on your smart phone. is this the case?

    reply to Walter

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for posting, Walter. In order to check your voicemails, you’ll just need to call the number to listen. The messages are not stored on your smartphone. We hope you have a lovely day!

      reply to Ashley

  16. Nick Afman says

    I just spent 2 days trying to find an app for visual voicemail for Consumer Cellular phones that aren’t iphones. After a ton of work and finding lots of apps that don’t work with Consumer Cellular the one that I found does work is Voxist in the google play store its free and works pretty good!

    reply to Nick

  17. Laura says

    Thank you, Nick. I was about to cancel my Consumer Cellular service. In today’s modern technology with 64 gigs of data on my phone, if there is no way Consumer Cellular can figure out how to get a red dot on the home screen so my mother can see she has a message, it really is a totally pointless service.

    reply to Laura

  18. Kirk Zimmerman says

    WHY don’t you have a visual voicemail app – or at least support conditional call forwarding? Just tried Voxist and it does not work either 🙁

    reply to Kirk

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Kirk, thank you for taking the time to post. We do support conditional call forwarding, but we aren’t able to guarantee compatibility with all third-party applications. You’re welcome to call us at 888-548-6490 or chat with us here to make sure call forwarding is enabled properly, and then reach out to Voxist’s support to see why the app isn’t working.

      reply to Nicole

  19. Mike D says

    I was able to use Voxist’s Visual Voicemail on CC network with T-mobile. I had to temporarily use 3G/2G when activating. Hope this helps.

    reply to Mike

    • DAVID says

      Mike – THanks for the tip, but my phone only let me re-set to 3G, which doesn’t work. I’ve now tried a half-dozen apps. Very frustrated. I don’t have to have visual voicemail; I just need to be able to look at my phone and see whether I’ve gotten a voicemail.

      reply to DAVID

  20. DAVID says

    Is there ANY android app that provides voicemail messages on Consumer Cellular’s network? I’ve now tried about a half-dozen to NO avail and am getting very frustrated. Surely, CC has sufficient experience to tell me what woks and what doesn’t. I don’t need visual voicemail; but I have to be able to see if I have a VM by looking at my phone and need to be able to listen to VM. I CAN’T be calling my phone every 30 minutes to see if anyone has left a message. THIS IS A DEAL BREAKER.

    reply to DAVID

    • Hi David, thanks for your question. We don’t have a list of third-party apps that will be compatible with our phones, unfortunately. When a voicemail comes in, there should be a small icon that shows up at the top of the screen when a voicemail comes in. Otherwise, I would advise continuing to look around to see if there is one that fits your needs. If you do find one that works, let us know so that we can share it!

      reply to Jacob

  21. Frank says

    I just installed Voxist on my (relatively new) Samsung S20 and it seems to work. Activation was straightforward, automatic, and appears to have been flawless, at least with respect to the Voxist test call. If I have any further information (either positive or negative), I’ll post back here.

    reply to Frank

    • Amanda says

      We tried several visual voicemail apps for the Note10 android phone and only one worked – Voxist. It is free if you only want 4 transcriptions per month! that is ridiculous. It costs $4.99 for 30 transcriptions per month and $9.99 per month for 100 transcriptions. I am disappointed that it can’t just come with the Note10 phone.

      reply to Amanda

      • Hi Amanda, thank you for taking the time to reach out to us regarding this. I’m sorry to hear about the trouble the visual voicemail on the Android phone, at this time, our system is set up for it to only work with our iPhones. We do appreciate your feedback on this though, and I’ve forwarded it on to the appropriate department to be reviewed for moving forward.

        reply to Jacob

        • Sam says

          Jacob and Anyone else having this issue,

          After calling CC and requesting that Visual Voicemail (VVM), Conditional Call Forwarding, etc. be activated on my line, I was able to install Voxist on my Moto G7 Power phone. It seems to work well with a couple test calls I received. Voxist currently says you get (10) free transcriptions, and I hope that doesn’t also mean you only get (10) free VMs. If so, I’m in trouble and will have to try another VVM app.

          But really CC, a VVM service should be standard on your Android phones too (not just iPhones). Had I not been able to get a VVM app to work, I would have had to drop CC service, as it’s vital for my work. Even Visible, the phone carrier that provides unlimited phone, text, and data for $25/mo on a party plan, provides VVM standard on its phones. The reason I left Visible is another story …

          reply to Sam

          • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

            Thank you for that information, Sam. For clarification, it is up to the manufacturers to have Visual Voicemail built-in as a feature on the phones so that a third-party application isn’t needed. At this time, iPhones are the only phones that we offer that come with the feature built-in by the manufacturer.

  22. Sam says

    Thank you for your reply, Nicole. So, if I found an Android phone that had a built-in Visual Voicemail feature and brought it to CC, VVM would be automatic, and I wouldn’t need a third party app? That kind of makes sense. But it still seems strange that when I purchased my Moto from Visible and had their service, VVM was on the phone, and when I switched to CC it was gone. That seems carrier related. Any thoughts?

    reply to Sam

    • Hi Sam, thanks for your post. It can be a combination of both. If the phone doesn’t have the visual voicemail feature built-in, enabling it on our end won’t do anything. Phones with it built in, we can turn the feature on and have it potentially work with our network when you bring a phone from a different network.

      reply to Jacob

  23. JOLLY ROGERS says

    Nicole, instead of giving robotic replies to questions on visual voicemail why don’t you just say “Voxist will work with Android phones, please try it out and let us all know how it works for you”? I don’t understand why you are so afraid of saying that? Try and be more helpful Nicole instead of reading your script. Think outside the box please, go above and beyond, don’t be a drone.

    reply to JOLLY

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for the feedback, Jolly. However, we can’t give that kind of guarantee for third-party apps. Whether or not a visual voicemail app will work will depend on the app and the network, not the device. This goes for Voxist, as well as other visual voicemail apps. We encourage customers to check the Play Store for visual voicemail apps and if they find one that works, they can share that information here for others to see.

      reply to Nicole

  24. A Customer says

    You may have noticed by now that your customers want VVM. Perhaps you should listen.

    reply to A

  25. Paul says

    Does the “voicemail feature” that you refer to include an Android app? If not, then you haven’t been paying attention to the discussion in this thread. Count me among those that are kind of shocked you don’t offer this.

    reply to Paul

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