Monday, August 11, 2014

Downloading and Installing Android applications onto Blackberry 10 Devices using Amazon AppStore

There are a few ways to install Android applications onto a Blackberry 10 device. I detailed one of those methods previously *HERE* and thought that I would mention another way which some people may find slightly easier to install Android applications onto their Blackberry 10 device and that is to use the Amazon App Store.

The Amazon App Store contains most of the applications that you can find in the Google App Store and getting the Amazon Appstore onto a Blackberry device is a relatively simple process.

The first thing that it involves is to change the settings to allow for the installation of applications from sources other than Blackberry World. To do this, you will need to go into Settings -> App Manager -> Installing Apps and then turn on the option to "Allow Apps from Other Sources to be Installed."

After doing this, you can then download the Amazon Appstore from Amazon's official site *HERE*. After downloading it, you will then need to select the AmazonApps-release.apk file from your Downloads and then click on the "Open" button

The program will then install onto your Blackberry 10 device.

After it finishes installing, you will need to configure the Amazon Appstore to your Amazon account (or create an Amazon account). For me, I already had an Amazon account since I purchased books in the past from Amazon so I used those credentials to sign into the Amazon Appstore. After doing this, I received a message about needing to configure my address on my Amazon account so I logged into my Amazon account on my computer and I had to manually configure my address to accept Amazon Appstore (I believe that this setting is in the section "Manage Addressbook").

After doing this, I was able to download my first free application. As a test, I did a search for the popular Netflix app and I managed to find it and download it onto my Blackberry Q10. Even though I already had Netflix on my Blackberry Q10, I didn't get any error messages when trying to download and install Netflix from the Amazon Appstore.

After installing it, I received an automated e-mail indicating that I purchased Netflix from the Amazon Appstore and when checking my Orders on my Amazon account on the Amazon website, it shows that I purchased Netflix

As I mentioned in my previous blog entry on how to manually install APK files onto a Blackberry 10 device (for that blog entry you can refer *HERE*), there is another method of installing APK files using a program called "Snap." Installing Snap onto a Blackberry 10 device is a bit more complicated which is why I decided to write this blog entry about using Amazon Appstore to get the desired Android APK app file onto a Blackberry 10 device. The program "Snap" gets it's application listings/downloads from the Google Play Store. I will try to detail how to get "Snap" onto a Blackberry 10 device but since I did it a few months ago, any instructions that I may post on a blog entry might not be 100% accurate (but should point you in the correct direction).

Getting an APK file from a reliable source like from Amazon Appstore is better then searching on Google to try to find the APK file and then manually installing it onto your Blackberry 10 device (or your Android device) since you don't know whether these APK files were modified and aren't the same as the files available from either the Amazon Appstore or the Google Play Store.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Nexxtech 43-165 Business Caller ID Speakerphone Review

I was looking for an inexpensive landline corded phone which had speakerphone capability as well as a headset jack and didn't require it to be plugged into an AC source in order to use it with my ZTE WF720 Wireless Home Device.

I wasn't really interested in the call display that the phone offers but since it included it, I don't really mind having it. The phone get's the power for the screen display with three AA batteries.

The manual for this phone can be found *HERE*. I won't cover all the features of the phone but will mention some of the things that I don't like about this phone and some of the features that I do like about this phone.

I purchased this phone mainly for the speakerphone capability and one of the things that I don't really like about this phone is that in order to use the speakerphone, there must be batteries in the device. For example, if the phone rings and I want to answer it using the speakerphone, pushing the speakerphone button will probably not work if there are no batteries powering the screen display. I mentioned "will probably not work" as opposed to it definitely not working because if the phone was used a few seconds prior, the speakerphone button will work regardless of whether or not there are batteries powering the screen display. Without batteries in the unit, in order to use the speakerphone capabilities of the phone, it is a 2-step process. You first have to pick up the handset and then push the speakerphone button and then put the handset back onto phone unit itself. For the purpose of why I wanted a corded phone with speakerphone capability (and without needing to be plugged into an AC outlet), I find this 2-step process annoying and I didn't want to put batteries in the unit just so that I would have the ability to push the speakerphone button in order to activate it without having to lift the handset first.

Another annoyance to me is that this phone uses three AA batteries. Since I use mainly rechargeable AA batteries in my devices, I find any electronic device that uses an odd number of AA batteries to be annoying since most battery chargers will either charge two batteries or four batteries at a time. Not only does it use three AA batteries but when using rechargeable NiMH batteries, the screen display is very dim and the batteries don't last a long time powering the screen display before needing a recharge. In my opinion, the manufacturer could have easily made the device use four AA batteries so that the screen display isn't as dim and the batteries last longer between recharges/replacement.

The final thing that I don't really like about the phone is that to control the ring tone and ring volume (as well as the tone/pulse control), you must remove the battery cover underneath the phone base unit. In my opinion, it would have been better to place the controls for ring tone and ring volume on the side of the phone. Since the tone/pulse control is generally only used once, having it underneath the battery compartment is not that bad unless you are still using a pulse line and after making your phone call, you need to switch it to tone in order to enter a code such as a calling card number, an extension, or a PIN using the phone pad.

What I like about this phone is that it has a standard phone headset jack so that I can continue to use my hands and speak on the phone without having to use the speakerphone. The only negative thing about the phone headset jack functionality is that just like the speakerphone function/button, it will only work if the device is powered with three AA batteries or if the handset is off the hook prior to you pushing the headset jack button.

I don't have any problems with the sound quality of the phone and people have not complained about the sound quality of my voice when I use this phone. I have tried the speakerphone a few times and it appears ot have built-in noise cancellation in it so when there is faint noise (like wind), the microphone will turn off. It will then turn back on automatically when it detects someone's voice or when the background noise is loud enough.

All the other phone features are good and as long as the shortcomings that I've mentioned in my blog does not bother the person interested in buying it, as long as the price is under $25 (taxes/shipping included), this is a good phone to have in case of a power failure when cordless phones won't work.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.