Smartphone Apps of the Month–May 2015

Now that May’s arrived in full bloom, it’s time for some serious reorganization at home. I always like to be prepared for whatever’s next. Take, for instance, my garden! Every spring, it requires some careful planning, not just planting.

Here are two great apps that help me single-task and multitask as never before. They’re geared to simplifying life for just about anyone, even me!

Google Keep: Available on Android

Keep iconFirst of all, I absolutely love Google Keep. It’s a highly rated, user-friendly organizer app that features sticky note boards for shopping lists, reminders, to-do lists and more.

I like how you can link lists to locations (i.e.: your grocery list when you arrive at the store), then share them with others. Memo boards can be color coded, and the search function makes locating lists quick and easy.

Can I keep tabs on everything life serves up? Not always, but Google Keep certainly helps. I can quickly capture what’s on my mind and schedule reminders — at the right place or time, too!  Rushing to my car, I often just dictate a voice memo and watch it auto-transcribed to my cellphone. Sometimes, it’s a big idea I need to share with friends and family…. or just a really bad joke I heard.

There’s another feature people like myself will really value. Google Keep lets you snap a photo of a poster, receipt or document and easily store it and find it later. That would’ve helped during tax time this year, but that’s another story.

Google Keep reduces the stress of party planning, too, because of how easily you can share your ‘Keep’ notes with others and collaborate with them in real-time. Unlike those sticky notes tacked on your fridge door or vehicle dash, this wonder app’s always within reach whether you’re on your laptop, desktop, notepad or cellphone.

And guess what? All your data entered syncs across all of your devices, too, so your thoughts are always with you. I can count on Google Keep to nudge me with the right note at the precise time. Tonight, for instance, I won’t forget to fill up my tank or mail my niece’s birthday card again.

Key Ring: Available on Android & iPhone

Key ring appAnother great app is top-rated Key Ring. It allows you to save your loyalty cards, program numbers, gift cards, etc. all in a single location. I don’t need to dig inside my purse anymore looking for one of those cards because Key Ring stores all of them right on my cellphone.

With Key Ring, I can also view promotions, weekly ads and even create shopping lists. It notifies me about sales, store coupons and whatever else tickles my fancy. Coupons are available to more than 15,000 retailers across the U.S. Weekly ads from over 160 major retailers also include the best thing ever — the Black Friday sales! I can shop to my heart’s content!

After I’m done creating my shopping lists, I can easily share them with my family to simplify life for them, too. I often use Key Ring’s search feature to quickly find coupons, stores and specific items on sale. It’s awesome getting location-based alerts if Key Ring finds savings near me. So as I hop around town, I’m less likely to miss out on the best deals.

Planning, saving and organizing all of your in-store shopping trips are Key Ring’s mission. This is your app if you dread missing out on the extra discounts if your loyalty card isn’t handy. Or, if you just like redeeming coupons right from your cellphone. Give it a whirl.

52 Thoughts on "Smartphone Apps of the Month–May 2015"

  1. John Dougherty says

    I really like your website – it’s easy to navigate with clear language – very user friendly! Thanks John

    reply to John

  2. janice seaver says

    Great idea but the smart phone i had to buy for the consumer cellular program doesnt have enough memory to have more than 5 apps on my phone.

    FB, Starbucks, Yatzee with Friends, the packaged calander and clock apps, and the weather app for Santa BArbara weather.

    To Get Uber of Lyft to work I have to delete another app, load the transportarion APP I want to use. Then order my cab, reverae the deletions and install the deleted app.

    So I find it kinda ironic that you have suggestions for nore apps.

    reply to janice

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for the feedback, Janice. We understand that our customers use a variety of devices, and that some may not be able to support all of the apps we recommend. We do try to recommend a broad selection of apps to suit the needs of our diverse customer base. Thank you for commenting, and we hope you have a wonderful day!

      reply to Ashley

      • Jody says

        What are the symptoms of too many apps on Moto G first generation?

        reply to Jody

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          Great question, Jody. In general, a phone with too many apps or too little storage space will run slowly, meaning it will take longer to open apps or close them, or to move from one screen to another. You can see how much storage you have available on your phone by going to Settings, then scrolling down to Storage. From there, you will be able to see how much storage is remaining on your phone, and what is using most of the data. It’s simple to fix, just uninstall any apps you don’t use, or remove some photos by saving them to your computer. Check out our How-To video here on app management. Taking these steps will help your Moto G run faster. Thank you again for asking, and we hope you have a great day!

          reply to Ashley

    • Ken Nicholson says

      You didn’t have to buy their phone
      I have an unlocked HSM phone by OnePlus with 65 gigs of storage. You can use any unlocked phone.

      reply to Ken

  3. Alex says

    As someone who is researching which plan & smartphone to buy through consumer Cellular I was just wondering what smartphone Janice has that will only support five apps?

    reply to Alex

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Alex. The number of apps a phone can support can be affected by many factors, such as the amount of storage on the phone, how many pictures or songs are saved and whether or not the customer is using additional storage such as a microSD card. Our current lineup of smartphones are made to support multiple apps and functions, and many have the option to add additional storage, such as the popular Moto G EXT here. You can use our phone comparison tool here to see which smartphone would fit your lifestyle best, or we can work with you to find the best option. You can also view our phone lineup at your local Target or Sears store if that is more convenient. We’re available at 888-345-5509 if you have any questions about our plans or phones, and we appreciate you taking the time to comment today.

      reply to Ashley

  4. Melanie Lahman says

    I don’t know if you’ve covered this one before, but I just started using CareZone to organize my medical information. It is awesome!! With all the medical issues I have to manage for my husband, it’s made my life much easier.

    reply to Melanie

  5. Henry says

    I see that you are planning on adding support for more phones and “devices”. I sincerely hope one of those devices will be the iPad. I bought one with cellular capabilities that I would really like to use, but I won’t turn it on until I can get a Consumer Cellular data plan.

    reply to Henry

  6. SharonLove Dunlap says

    We are with T-mobile (no contract and owe no money). We want to change to Consumer Cellular, we now have two Apple 4S phones that were with AT&T. Do you support Apple 4S?

    reply to SharonLove

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for commenting, Sharon. We do support Apple devices, and as long as the phones are unlocked, it sounds as if they will be a great fit with our service. Please keep in mind that AT&T would be the carrier to unlock the phones if required. All you need to do to get started is get one of our SIM cards. You can find them at your local Target or Sears store, or you can get on our website here. We’ll even give you a $10 credit once you activate so the SIM card is absolutely free! Thank you again for commenting, and feel free to call us at 888-345-5509 if you have any questions.

      reply to Ashley

  7. Ruth Ann Fulton says

    we are considering getting a consumer cellular phone. Do we have to be an AARP member?

    reply to Ruth

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      That’s great to hear, Ruth. You do not need to be an AARP member to use our service. AARP members do get exclusive benefits such as a monthly discount on service and usage charges, but being a member is not a requirement. Thank you for asking!

      reply to Ashley

  8. Jack says

    Any plans for wi-fi voice calling?
    Thanks

    reply to Jack

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for the comment, Jack! At this time, we don’t offer Wi-Fii calling, but if that should change, we will be sure to let our customers know. I’ve forwarded your feedback too our management team, so we appreciate hearing about features you would find useful. Thank you for taking the time today to post!

      reply to Ashley

  9. chuck ferrell says

    I dont use the phone like most people, i might use ittwicw a day.Do these have blue tooth (for my auto). what would be the monthly charges?

    reply to chuck

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for the comment, Chuck. It sounds like our 250 minute plan would be a good fit for you, which is $15 per month plus any applicable taxes in your area. All of the feature phones and smartphones we offer do support Bluetooth, so you would be able to use one of them in your car. If you would like to get started, you can visit a Target or Sears in your area, call us at 888-345-5509, or visit ConsumerCellular.com, whichever works best for you. We appreciate you taking the time to post today!

      reply to Ashley

  10. Momof3 says

    Do apps use cellular data? How does an app work with a data plan?

    reply to Momof3

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking! Many apps use cellular data when you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi. How much data is required varies from app to app, but most will need to access data or Wi-Fi to install updates. You can control the data used by your apps by adjusting the settings on your smartphone. For an iPhone, you can open the Settings app, then select Cellular. From there, you can choose whether or not you would like to use data. For Android smartphones, open the Settings app, then select the Data/Cellular option. You will be able to turn data on or off. There will also be an option to restrict data usage by individual apps on most versions of Android. In general, it’s best to use Wi-Fi when you can. Thank you again for the post!

      reply to Ashley

  11. George Willard says

    Have a question about APPS available for DORO Phone Easy 618

    reply to George

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, George. The Doro 318 is a feature phone and comes standard with features such as an alarm clock, calendar, games and more. However, it is not equipped to download the apps commonly used by smartphones. For a full list of the 618’s features, check out the phone detail page here. Thank you for posting, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  12. Robert says

    These blog comments seem to be the closest thing CC has to a user forum, so here goes a new topic. I want to stop Google from taking over my Android phone and dumping me into PlayStore to buy some stupid game every other time I unlock my phone. It’s dangerous if I’m using Navigation and my phone jumps into PlayStore when I’m trying to tell if my exit is coming up at 65 mph.

    reply to Robert

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Robert. That certainly sounds like a frustrating issue, and we appreciate you bringing it to our attention. Due to the position of the Play Store app on the home screen, it can easily be touched accidentally when unlocking your phone. We recommend moving it to a different part of the screen by touching and holding the app, then dragging it to a different location. I see that you were able to start troubleshooting this issue with Serina, our customer service representative, so please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us today!

      reply to Ashley

      • Tom Turgeon says

        I have a Huawei Ascend Mate 2 with a Consumer Cellular data plan. I have a 2nd home in Evart Mi. where there is no internet other than 4g cellular. I cannot enable the hotspot function on the Mate 2 so that I can connect a laptop to 4g. Does CC disable the hotspot functions?

        reply to Tom

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          Thank you for asking, Tom. The hotspot feature needs to be activated in order to be used. Our expert support team will be contacting you today to walk you through activating this function. We do caution our customers that using your phone as a hotspot can result in very high data usage, so please use Wi-Fi whenever you can. Thank you for reaching out to us, and thank you for reaching out to us!

          reply to Ashley

    • Jody says

      I got rid of Google Play and I can still download apps.

      reply to Jody

  13. Chauncey Jackson says

    Very pleased with our C.C. mobile phone plan and service.
    Would be ‘more than ecstatic’ if C.C. would provide high-speed internet service in the San Antonio area.
    Right now, we’re stuck in the monopolistic vacuum of AT&T, TWC, Verizon.
    Look forward to hearing any good news on this front.
    Thanks!

    reply to Chauncey

  14. John Roberts says

    My wife and I really love the service we have with Consumer Cellular. I was just wondering if Consumer Cellular will ever have an unlimited data plan?

    reply to John

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re so glad you are enjoying our service, John. At this time, we do not have an unlimited data plan as most of our customers prefer the flexibility of paying for only the data they need, and the ability to change it constantly. We recently introduced a 4GB data plan for just $40 per month for users who may need more data than before. If our plans should change in the future, we would be sure to let you know via our website, blog, newsletter and social channels. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us!

      reply to Ashley

  15. Gregory Sampson says

    I love My Huawei Ascend Mate 2 , I have been getting a lot of what kind of phone is that ? Is that A Galaxy Phone? That phone is huge! I have had some side by side test with the S5 , The Huawei held its own, very happy , can’t wait for the upgrade to Lollipop and EMUI 3.0

    reply to Gregory

  16. Norma Larson says

    HI I am deaf have blackberry sprint phone under Sprint…..Wonder do u have deaf plans? and does it have wifi, Facetime and Glide? apps? good signal? thanks Norma

    reply to Norma

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Norma. We offer plans to all users, but we don’t have specific plans that work with a TTY. Our affordable text and data plans can support apps, Wi-Fi and both iPhone and Android smartphones. We also offer nationwide coverage, including 4G LTE. You can bring your own device to our service, but in general, phones from Sprint are not a good fit as they use a different type of network. For best results, we recommend using a phone previously used with AT&T or T-Mobile, or an unlocked GSM phone. All you need to do to get started is one of our SIM cards, which you can find at your local Target or Sears store. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us, and we hope to see you as a Consumer Cellular customer soon!

      reply to Ashley

  17. Margaret says

    Regarding Robert’s comment: I, too, was looking for a real blog- more of an uncensored user forum. Oh, well…

    The phones come pre-loaded with CC and model-specific software. Some of it can be safely disabled (saves some RAM), but not un-installed. This REALLY cuts down, or limits, the amount of room actually available for downloading apps I would like to use. The CC site’s storage specs are deceptive, because of leaving out this information.

    My best advise to anyone- research phones from the manufacturer’s website, as well as any of the other reviews easily found by ‘Googling’ the phone model.
    Choose a new phone with as much information as possible, comparing other sources and reviews along with CC’s phone descriptions, specs, and reviews.

    The manufacturer’s specs are the most accurate, and ALL reviews can be subjective- based on each person’s individual experience.

    Beware of the phone models that do not have replaceable batteries! When the internal battery reaches its recharge cycle limits, you have to THROW THE PHONE AWAY and buy a new one, not a new battery!

    Become an informed consumer and be happier with the choice of phone model- less surprises and disappointments. 🙂

    reply to Margaret

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Margaret. We do encourage our customers to use this blog as a forum, and we appreciate you doing so! Manufacturers do place specific software programs on their phones, and unfortunately, we don’t have control over what they add. The device specs posted on our website come directly from the manufacturers, so that our customers have access to the most up-to-date and accurate information. We agree that an informed customer is a happy customer, so we word to make sure all information about the device is available online, and at our retail locations. We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for posting!

      reply to Ashley

  18. Dee says

    Big props to Consumer Cellular. I was a sophisticated Internet user who resisted smartphones. Switched to Consumer Cellular for the value, and got the happy surprise of seeing how much the Moto G EXT can do for me, and how easy CC’s customer service and Pat videos have made the transition! You guys *get* your customer base, and really know how to supportively engage at levels from basic to advanced. I’m one of your growing group of younger satisfied customers. Kudos!

    reply to Dee

  19. Raymond says

    I have an ascend mate 2 and I love it. I hear that it will be upgraded to lollipop and emui 3.0 do you know when. Also do you plan to offer the Huawei p8 or ascend mate 7 .

    reply to Raymond

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re glad to hear you are enjoying your Ascend Mate 2, Raymond! At this time, we don’t know when any updates will be available, as they come from the manufacturer. We aren’t carrying the P8 or Mate 7 at this time, but we do update our lineup often throughout the year. Our SIM card is designed to work well with an unlocked, GSM version of most smartphones, so you could most likely use an unlocked version of either of those devices with our service. You can learn more about our SIM card here on our website, or you could purchase our SIM card from your local Target or Sears store. We appreciate you taking the time to comment today, and we’re pleased that the Mate 2 has been a good fit for you!

      reply to Ashley

  20. noel says

    I was thinking of getting consumer Cellular and wanted a Huawei p8, p8 lite. Called Consumer Cellular and they said they did not promise it would work, internet,etc. its the same company, Huawei, so I do not see why it would not, what do you think?

    reply to noel

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Noel. Every phone is different, but in general, an unlocked, GSM phone will work well with our service. In most cases, we don’t have any issues, but we can’t guarantee it will work until the SIM is in place. Then we can work with you to adjust settings and troubleshoot if needed. We’re happy to talk with you about the process, just give us a call at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting today!

      reply to Ashley

      • noel says

        Thank you so much Ashley

        reply to noel

      • Vern says

        After almost a year now, can you confirm that the Huawei P8 Lite works well on your network? Thank you very much for your assistance.

        reply to Vern

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          Thank you for asking, Vern. In general, unlocked GSM smartphones work quite well with our SIM card, but the only way to know for sure is to try it, then adjust any settings as needed. You can find our SIM cards here on our site, or at your local Target or Sears store. We’ll give you a $10 credit, so the card is free of charge. We can also help you get started at 888-345-5509, if that is more convenient. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us, and we look forward to assisting you!

          reply to Ashley

  21. Glrn Simpson says

    Someone wrote that the whole phone would have to be replaced if the battery failed on the Moto G EXT. i Was not told this by Motorola or CC when I bought it. Is this true? If so, how long does the battery usually last? Will I get an email response to this question or will I have to search for the answer on this blog? Thanks, Glen

    reply to Glrn

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Good question, Glen. The Moto G EXT does not have a removable battery, but if you phone is under warranty, we will replace the entire device if the battery if found to be defective. We would first ask to troubleshoot the issue, as this isn’t a very common occurrence. I was able to take a look at your account, and I see you can still order SquareTrade protection for your phone. This may give you peace of mind as it not only protects your battery, but your phone as well in case of drops and spills. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about your phone or battery, just give us a call at 888-345-5509. Thank you for taking the time to post today, we appreciate it!

      reply to Ashley

  22. Al says

    I have a Moto phone which is a cheapie smart phone. Today Motorola updated it and now I don’t know how to use it. Very confusing. It took me a long time to learn how to use it when I first bought it. So this is really frustrating. I am also having trouble getting CC phone support. What do I do now?

    reply to Al

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for reaching out to us, Al. It sounds like your phone updating to the latest Android software version, which is commonly known as Lollipop. While things may look different, your phone should work in the same way it did before. We’re happy to help you over the phone if you like, just give us a call at 888-345-5509. We’re sorry to hear that you had trouble getting through, so we recommend selecting the callback option when available. That way we can call you back at a convenient time, and we’ll be happy to walk you through the new system on your phone. Thank you for taking the time to post, and we look forward to helping you!

      reply to Ashley

  23. Rod Lamkey says

    I just changed to Consumer Cellular from AT&T and ordered a new iPhone. But the contacts and phone numbers from the old phone did not transfer to the new one.

    What to do?
    Thanks.

    reply to Rod

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for posting, Rod! If you’ve made the switch from an old iPhone to a new iPhone, your contacts should transfer if you use the same Apple ID. If you’ve made the switch from another type of device to an iPhone, we can help you transfer contacts via a SIM card. Please feel free to give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we will assist you. We appreciate you reaching out to us, and we look forward to speaking with you soon!

      reply to Ashley

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