Smartphone Apps of the Month- October

Some apps are essential. I call them my life-support. These two I’m reviewing are no exception. They’re perfect for minimizing distractions and helping me get better every day. I doubt I’ll ever stop using them, and I bet you’ll be mentioning them to your friends without delay.

Call Control Call Blocker- for Android

call controlI still remember how happy I was to begin using my first answering machine. When the phone rang, I could hear if it was an unwanted call, or answer or ignore it. With cellphones, it’s even easier to monitor calls and avoid distractions like pesky telemarketers. Especially with the Call Control Call Blocker for Android app!

Easy to use and powerful, Call Control is both a call blocker and text message filter with a personal and community blacklist to stop unwanted calls. It allows you to block calls from private and unknown callers, create a personal blacklist, set a ‘do not disturb’ mode, create text message filters, use the block call log and more.

But my favorite feature will always be the ‘community blacklist.’ Basically, it contains thousands of phone numbers that are well-known sources of spam and telemarketing calls. Activate the community blacklist on your account, and you’ve instantly blocked phone numbers that the community members have all considered invasive or annoying.

Call Control Call Blocker for Android has been used by more than 10,000 users. Maybe it’s popular for another valuable feature —all blocked calls are quietly managed, so you’ll never be alerted when a block caller dials you up.

Call Blocking for iPhone Users

iPhone users have an easy way to block unwanted calls, no app needed! Simply add phone numbers, FaceTime calls or messages from a certain person to your blocked list. If someone isn’t a saved contact, you can also filter out his or her iMessages.

To block someone on your iPhone, tap the “I” symbol next to the contact or phone number. You can do the same thing for a text message by opening the conversation and tapping ‘Details’. Scroll to the bottom of the Info screen and select the ‘Block this Caller’ option. Then tap ‘Block Contact’. That’s it!

Lumosity- for Android and iPhone

LumosityWith all that life hands me, it can’t hurt to be proactive by sharpening my mind. Lumosity is a great app that’s challenging brains everywhere. You’ll be having a great time all while actually adapting the way your brain thinks.

Used by over 70 million people worldwide, Lumosity sharpens the noggin in numerous ways. Amongst other things, it trains your brain with memory skills and improves your attention. You may be as impressed as me in how Lumosity works as well as the science behind it. A Personalized Training Program challenges your brain to adapt to your unique performances — helping you stay challenged in a wide variety of cognitive exercises disguised as fun games.

Scientists with more than 80 years of combined research experience have designed these games so they are useful as well as enjoyable. They worked with experienced designers to transform the tasks into challenges that target core cognitive skills. Interestingly, Lumosity games are incorporated into research studies conducted by top scientists worldwide.

I wonder what they’ll learn from my Lumosity game playing? Hmmm….do I really want to know?

35 Thoughts on "Smartphone Apps of the Month- October"

  1. Steve says

    I wish you would allow for automatic bank draft payment. You are the only vendor I use that doesn’t allow it. If the card has to be replaced (lost or expired), it is a nuisance.

    reply to Steve

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Steve. We do offer other options, including e-checks or bill pay arrangements with your bank in some cases. That way you won’t need to worry about a card. If we can answer any billing questions for you, please give us a call at 888-345-5509. Thank you again for commenting, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

      • Fay says

        I agree with Steve. I just recently switched to Consumer Cellular, was almost a deal killer ,but I went ahead and charged to a card but I really, really do not like it that way, and do not want to have to think about it each month. All other monthly bills come directly from checking account, my previous cell bill did . I would really like to have my Consumer Cellular draft directly from checking.

        reply to Fay

  2. Anton Hoffard says

    I have only had an account for 2 months and my doro 626 has went dead on me. I paid 50$ for it at sears. What can I do about it as I can’t take it to the store.

    reply to Anton

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re sorry to hear that, Anton. Please give us a call at 888-345-5509, and we’ll be happy to troubleshoot for you. Once we’ve completed the troubleshooting, we’ll help you determine the next steps, so no need to go back to the store. Thank you for posting, and we look forward to assisting you!

      reply to Ashley

      • david says

        MY Data usage has always been low, about 9/25 I did something to my phone and data usage has gone crazy UP. I have called 5 times to find out how to stop the GOOGLE apps from sucking my data money with no luck, Today at 1205pm I talked to Deb who said to check the NO background box under settings data, Will watch the data usage on Thursday to see if the data is still going up by 14mb every time at 1201am,

        reply to david

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          Thank you for posting, David. You may see those spikes when your Google apps are completing updates, and they will use a lot of data if you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi. You did the exact thing I would recommend, and keeping the background data turned off should really make a difference. If we can assist you with anything else at this time, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience today!

          reply to Ashley

  3. Bill Taylor says

    I have had a simple Consumer Cellular flip phone for a year or two, and it has worked great. Great connection wherever I travelled. Just bought an android and every time I left the Willamette valley, I lost service. Come to find out you use T-Mobile and Att&t for the towers. My first phones used ATT&T, and for some reason my new phones had T-Mobile. Why is this not known and why do you show only the Att&t coverage map as being your coverage. I feel deceived.

    reply to Bill

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We apologize for any confusion, Bill, and it was never our intention to deceive you. We do also offer T-Mobile service in areas where there is good coverage. If this option isn’t working well for you, please give us a call at 888-345-5509 or email us at [email protected]. We can work with you to get a better signal. Thank you for posting, and we look forward to working with you!

      reply to Ashley

  4. Peg B says

    Just want to say that we love Consumer Cellular’s phone plans. Having this much flexibility is great.

    We recently purchased 2-Nokia 928, Verizon unlocked phones with Windows 8.1. They work perfectly with Consumer Cellular except for one thing. We are unable to send and receive photos on our phones. We’ve researched this on the net, and have not been able to find a remedy. We are also unable to receive group texts. We called support, but they didn’t seem to have any answer about this.

    When we called CC, just before we purchased the phones, the representative we spoke with, in support, said to make sure that when we got our new phones to have support get the phones set for photos during the initial setup call. We thought that’s what they did, but apparently not.

    We hope there is a solution for this because we really want to stay with C C, and also are very happy with our new phones too.

    reply to Peg

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We appreciate you reaching out to us, Peg. In most cases, using our SIM card is a pretty straightforward process. Occasionally, we do have to do a bit of troubleshooting to get certain features up and running, which it sounds like describes your situation. We’re happy to work with you to get this figured out. Just give us a call at 888-345-5509, and if possible, call us from another phone. That way we can help you adjust settings to try and resolve this. Thank you for bringing it to our attention, and we look forward to assisting you!

      reply to Ashley

  5. Catherine says

    I just got a new amazon phone and stopped using my phone I got from you guys Motorola G EXT is this phone now unlocked (I would like to sell it I have taken out the sim card) also I would like to know how to turn off voice mail, how do I do that.

    reply to Catherine

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re happy to help you with your phone, Catherine. Just give us a call at 888-345-5509 or send us an email to [email protected], and we’ll get you the unlock code. Be sure to perform a factory reset before selling the phone to protect your information. You can do that by going to Settings, then to Backup and Reset. Follow the instructions for a factory reset, but be sure all of your photos and contacts are saved before you do. As for your voicemail, it will follow your phone number, so you won’t need to remove it from your old phone. Thank you for posting today!

      reply to Ashley

  6. Tommy Thompson says

    My iPhone 5s has a block caller option. Is this option supported by Consumer Cellular and if so is there a charge for using this option?

    reply to Tommy

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Tommy. That feature is supported, and is free of charge. It will simply block calls coming to that phone, saving you the hassle. We appreciate you taking the time to ask!

      reply to Ashley

  7. Susan says

    I seldom use my new Moto G 2nd generation phone for anything except texting and phone calls. What could be causing the phone to use excess data? I received a message that my data usage was 90% and an hour later I was at 102% and never touched my phone during that hour. Thanks.

    reply to Susan

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Great question, Susan. If you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi, your phone may be using data to update apps. This can consume a lot of data in a short amount of time. We recommend keeping Wi-Fi turned on, and taking the steps to disable background data. You can do this with your phone by opening Settings, then going to Data Usage. You can turn data off altogether, or you can select the menu at the top right corner and choose the Restrict Background Data option. If you run into any problems, we’re happy to walk you through it at 888-345-5509. Thank you for taking the time to post today!

      reply to Ashley

  8. Linda says

    I have been very satisfied with Consumer Cellular and its customer service until today. I have been getting usage alerts regarding data usage. Although the settings are correct on my Motorola G ext phone and on the web, the My Consumer app on my phone shows that I have exceeded usage. I thought that I would delete the app from the phone but it does not look like I can do that either. After waiting for 1/2 hour for a representative, she was not helpful. Any idea of why this is happening and what can be done? I almost added more data to my plan unnecessarily

    reply to Linda

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We apologize for any confusion, Linda. One of our customer service leads will be reaching out to you to get this resolved. If there is anything else we can assist you with, please feel free to call at 888-345-5509. Thank you for your patience, and we look forward to resolving this for you!

      reply to Ashley

      • Linda says

        Consumer Cellular has redeemed itself in service. Thank you for reaching out by phone and I have answers to the questions asked. I uninstalled updates and then went out with my phone. My app still fluctuated its data usage and sent me an alert on my home screen that my usage was up again, to almost twice that of actual. I did not get an actual text alert. My husbands phone does not seem to have the same problem. I am wondering if not being in a Wifi area causes some problem with the phone’s registering data use. I recently changed from a T Mobile SIM card to an AT&T SIM card. No resolution yet, but I feel like you are interested in helping. THANKS!

        reply to Linda

  9. Dee says

    Suggestion for a future App of the Month: a CPR app. With that, add a metronome app. I just heard a news report that an app for properly performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation saves lives, but it’s even more effective when the one doing CPR times the compressions to the fast, consistent metronome beat.

    reply to Dee

    • Julie says

      That is a brilliant idea! I never thought of looking for a CPR app, but I can’t think of a more potentially valuable app to have.

      reply to Julie

      • Betty says

        Having been a CPR instructor for several years, let me tell you how we “keep the beat”. Play the song “Staying Alive” in your head. It is just about perfect time. (Any song with a strong beat in similar time would work, but this one seems appropriate.)

        reply to Betty

  10. Carol Cross says

    I have never had a phone like this and I LOVE IT

    reply to Carol

  11. robert symer says

    Have a huwaei ascend mate 2 mt2-l03. version 4.3 jelly-bean. Is there any hope of huawei updating this phone? I have build 147 which appears to be a unique build. Anyways, love the phone; but, sure would be nice if huawei would upgrade this phone to 5.1 or whatever. Thanks for your review.

    reply to robert

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Robert. We’re glad to hear that you love your Mate 2! As for the update, all software updates come from the phone manufacturers, not from us. When an update is made available, you’ll see a notification prompting you to download it. At this time, we don’t know when Huawei will update the phone, but if an update does become available, we’ll be sure to let you know. We can answer any questions you have about your phone at 888-345-5509 if you like. Thank you for taking the time to post today, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

      • David Richey says

        My wife has the same phone as Robert. The phone works, but when I try to install some newer apps, I get the message that my wife’s phone is not compatible. This phone was purchased from Consumer Cellular and so I think that CC would make some allowances for trade-ins of phones without the possibilities of updates.

        reply to David

  12. Jim says

    I just got off the phone with a rep at CC. She helped me through a little problem with my phone and got it straightened out very quickly! At the same time I ordered a new smart phone for my wife for Christmas. She even gave me tips on how to keep it a secret until Dec 25th! We love Consumer Cellular!! Every phone call I have ever made to them has been a pleasant experience! Thanks CC!

    reply to Jim

  13. Andy C. says

    Regarding the Call Control Call Blocker- for Android program… if you install this app on a smartphone, will it continually use data minutes in your data plan when not in a wi-fi area to screen incoming calls or only activate when a call actually occurs? I wish to minimize data usage when not on wi-fi, as I would only like to have a 150 mb data plan per month. Currently contemplating a switch from flip phone to smartphone due to recent notice 2G will no longer be supported by Consumer Cellular, but think smartphone features (Call Control Call Blocker- for Android, weather app, Facebook, maybe a game or two would be good, but only if I can do it mostly without utilizing data plan minutes by using my home wi-fi instead… that is how wi-fi feature works, right?).

    reply to Andy

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Great questions, Andy. While we can’t speak to exactly how much data the app will use, it won’t use any data if you’re using Wi-Fi. When you’re connected to Wi-Fi, your phone won’t need to use any data from your plan. Once you install the app, you can always see how much data it is using by going to your Settings app. We’re happy to walk you through it over the phone if you like. You might also check out our How-To videos so you can review our various smartphone options to see which would be the best fit for you. If we can help you with anything else, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting, and we’ll be here to help you with a smartphone whenever you’re ready!

      reply to Ashley

  14. robert scamporino says

    Why won’t your Doro have a blocking? Do I have to leave to resolve this?

    reply to robert

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for your question, Robert. Your Doro PhoneEasy 626 does not have any call blocking features built into the phone and there isn’t any way for us to implement that onto the device after it’s already been manufactured. However, the new Doro 7050 that we offer does come with a call blocking feature available. This phone can be found here and is currently available for $40 plus tax until 2/2/19.

      reply to Nicole

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