Category Archives: Mobile

Amazon App Store for Android

Visit the Amazon Android App Store for a new free Android app for your business – or just for fun! – every day.

According to the latest stats, IOs and Android apps were downloaded over 1,000,000,000 times in a single day after Christmas. You read that right – over one billion apps for iPhones, iPads, and Androids were downloaded in a single day.

While that’s not a normal day (Christmas causes a bump), it gives you some idea of the size – and potential profits – of the app marketplace. Apple has the iPhone market locked down – but the Android market, like the Android platform, is open. And Amazon is fighting Google for a share of the profits. In this case, competition among the giants benefits the consumer.

You might be surprised to learn that it matters which store you download your apps – even your free apps – from. Not all apps are available in all marketplaces. Updates will have to be downloaded from the same store that housed the app you downloaded. Payments (if any) are collected by the store which pays a royalty to the developer.

Amazon has to convince potential customers to go through the trouble of downloading, installing, and activating Amazon’s Appstore before they can get your business (the Google Marketplace is loaded on all Android phones straight out of the box.) To convince you to spend a minute or two of your time getting set up, Amazon gives away a different paid app every day for free.

The majority of these free-for-a-day paid apps are games (the majority of everything is games) – but there have been some excellent productivity apps included in the deals, especially when the Kindle Fire was introduced.

Amazon also offers many popular commercial apps at a discount. If you need to sync your Droid with your employer’s Exchange server, for instance, you can find Touchdown for Exchange for only $10.00 instead of its normal $20.00 price tag.

So far, I’ve downloaded Pocket Informant, Enhanced Email, Tasks and To Do Pro, List Maker, and several others. Your favorites will probably be different than mine – but you are sure to find something if you check in every day.

To get started, visit the Amazon Appstore on Amazon’s web site and look for the “Get Started” box on the right hand side. Follow the directions (check here for step-by-step instructions) and you are on your way. Then, just open the Amazon Appstore each day to see the latest deal.

Android Droid Apps That Will Make Retail Easier

Applications For Google Android Droid Smart Phone : Garage Sale Finder, Bar Code Scanners, Amazon Price Look Up and More

droid

I recently upgraded my cell phone to a Motorola Droid. To be honest, I didn’t know much about it before I made the plunge. I made the buying decision on the slide out keyboard. Having been forced into the age of texting, I wanted a cell phone that made typing in messages easier. And the Droid hasn’t let me down for that.

While you can certainly make and receive calls and text messages on this little brick (it has to be one of the heaviest phones I had in years) I’ve found that the Droid is so much more than that.

I LOVE this phone! There, I’ve said it — you’ll be lucky to ever pry it out of my hands.

One thing that makes the Droid so compelling is the applications. Belonging to Google means there’s money behind the software. This means we users benefit. One benefit is that Google is offering to let developers create applications using open source software and making it simple for the apps to make it to market. Whereas, with the Apple iPhone all applications must go through iTunes an application approval and costs the developer money to put it into the the iTunes store.

With Google lowering the barrier of entry for the Droid applications I’m sure we’re going to see lots of creative applications available. Indeed many of them are all ready available by simply clicking on the ‘market’ icon on the droid landing screen.

One of the great things about the Droid is the capability to get online without an Internet connection. Using cell technology these applications give the seller who visits garage sales, estate sales, even walking past the bargain bin at a local shop a tool to look up current market prices. Here’s a list of a few really useful applications I’ve found for eBay, Amazon, Bonanzle, online and book sellers. Load these free tools onto your Droid and you’ll find your time and money more efficiently spent.

EBay Applications:

eBay Offers an eBay application called ‘eBay’ — it will show your items sold, selling, watching, unsold, messages and the daily deals. I’ve found this application a little too striped down. However I do use it to check to see if I’ve made any sales on eBay when I’m away from my computer for an extended period.

Cost: FREE

Pocket Auctions by Bonfire

I really like this application! I can do price checks; look at active and completed listings. This allows me to quickly look up recently sold items if I’m on site and need to make a purchase decision. I can hardly wait to take this to my next live action.

Pocket Auctions has more, including alerts for end of actions and functions buyers would find most helpful.

eBay buyers and sellers both will find this a great app.

Cost: FREE

For Research:

Google Shopper (Labs)

You can look up products using:

    • A voice search – just speak into the Droid
    • An image search — use the Droids camera function to take a picture of the item
    • A word search — type in the name or bar code of the item Then tap on the money bag next to the item photo to see who and where it is being sold and for how much.

Cost: FREE

Garage Sale Rover

This application uses Craigslist and the Droids GPS to locate where you are physically — then displays all the current Garage sales on a Google map. You can easily navigate from one garage sale to the next.

Click on the pin (which shows location) and the application will show you the Craigslist ad, so you can read what’s for sale before you arrive.

This is a must have for all Garage Salers!

Cost: FREE

Bar Code Scanners

There are a number of Bar Code Scanners which can make researching a new product easy. As long as you can read the bar code you can get a quick price estimate before purchasing.

Shop Savvy

Scan the bar code and Shop Savvy shows web prices and where the item is being sold locally along with how much.

I’ve used this app in a number of stores and found that many bar codes can’t be matched, so the library of codes is limited.

However, the fun thing about this application is the Social Sharing! You can Tweet or Facebook the item. That might be great if you just found a hard to find item you know your buyers want. Once you know you are going to resell the item you can Tweet it out to your customers.

Cost: FREE

Barcode Scanner

To get this application to function properly you’ll have to also install Google shopper. That’s OK, you’ll want it!

With this scanner you read the code and then you’ll have a choice of doing a ‘web search’ or a ‘Google shopper’ search.

One nice little feature is hidden in the setup menu. It’s the front light. This will use the Droids (flash) light to illuminate the bar code if it is too dark to read. Although once in awhile you’ll run into a glare problem where the barcode cannot be read due to the light reflections on a glossy surface, more often you’ll be in a dark area where there isn’t enough light to read the code. Having this light is a blessing.

Cost: FREE

Media Scanner Free

Perfect for used books and media sellers! Scan the barcode and see results from the Amazon marketplace and Buy.com

Cost: FREE

Amazon Trade in

Scan in the barcode and this will give you the Amazon Trade in value on games, books, CD, DVDs and the like. You can save the list or email it.

Cost: FREE

Mobile Tag

I downloaded this barcode reader because many of the others readers didn’t recognized QR codes. This one reads them with ease.

Scan in the barcode or the QR code and this reader will return web and local results.

The application allows you to set price point alerts that will be emailed to you. This might be a great way to watch for inventory locally as stores start to put items in your niche on clearance that you know will have a longer shelf life in your eBay store.

Cost: FREE

Pocket Profit From Media Scooter this application is in Beta. If you sell on Amazon as a third party vendor — grab and use this!

Using the bar code scanner you can quickly find important information you need to know about that potential item you are considering purchasing.

All on one screen it will show:

  • Sales rank
  • # of used items
  • # of new items
  • # of collectible items

It will show you the current selling price, including the lowest used and new prices. You can set price alerts so the software will automatically let you know if the item is something you should buy or not.

For instance; say you want to make an estimated 15% profit after the Amazon commission. You could set the app up to alert you when the item meets that magic 30% markup (15% plus Amazons 15% commission). I don’t know about you — but I love it when someone else does the math!

Cost: FREE (may become a subscription service?)

That’s just a sample of applications specifically for online retailers.

Tip Of The Week Using Droid Applications To Product Source

I keep wondering where this summer has slipped off to. September is just about here.

Which means — the last eBay On Location Event. It’s in San Jose September 1 & 2nd — that’s next week! And, speaking of time flying… this will be eBay’s 15 year birthday party!

If you’re coming, please don’t miss the Top Rated Seller Panel. Lynn Dralle, Jordan Ensley, Elizabeth Bennett and I are on stage with Jim ‘Griff’ Griffth taking your questions about how to stay ahead of the eBay changes.

After the panel — please come by and introduce yourself and pickup a copy of the eBay Marketing Bible — I’ll be selling & signing copies right after the presentation.

Now, onto my tip of the week….

Have you looked at your cell phone as a tool that can help you source product? If not, you may want to take a closer look at some of the applications available.

This weekend I had a chance to run out to the local Goodwill and check out the books. I haven’t done that in ages. I had a great time. I found a couple of books for $3.00 that sold within hours for $20.00 each.

One thing that motivated me was the chance to test out my Droid smart phone to see if I could find resalable books quickly. There are several apps available for smart phones — too many to try all in one day. So, I narrowed it down to just one. The free app called Pocket Profit by MediaScouter. It’s an application that will tell you the selling price and sales rank on Amazon.com based on the barcode of the item. You use your smart phone to scan in the barcode.

Here’s my general impression of the Pocket Profit app. First, I’m not surprised, but a little disappointed, that the free version is limited to only 50 free scans — as soon as I got the hang of how it the app functioned — I’d used up most of my free scans. I would have rather it be a scaled down version that allowed me to get a taste of the application and choose to upgrade later. Subscriptions start at $40.00 a month.

I suggest that before you head out to use Pocket Profit that you set your minimum reselling prices. That’s the really great thing about the application — you can set different minimums for the different Amazon sales ranks. If a book is a fast seller you might be willing to take a little less for it knowing it will sit on the shelf for a shorter period — or require a higher selling price for those slow selling books.

Pocket Profit does more than books, it will do hardgoods, CD’s, DVD’s, etc… if it has a bar code you’ll be able to capture selling information.

The one thing that I found annoying about Pocket Profit was the sound effects — it’s designed to work with an ear piece. I turned my phone to mute and looked all over for settings, but couldn’t find out how to turn that darn sound off. I didn’t have my Bluetooth headset with me and it was very hard to be discreet with my Droid making buy and reject sounds at the top of its little lungs — LOL. I’m sure the sounds are great though, if you have your headset on.

If you spend any time at garage sales or second hand stores many of the new iPhone and Droid apps are going to save you time and money.

Once I got the hang of it, Pocket Profit did help me find a few sellable books before I was out of free scans. If I did book picking regularly I’d consider subscribing it. It not only saves time (once you get used to it) it will save you from guessing which books to purchase.

If you have an older cell phone I recommend you consider upgrading your phone when your contract expires. IPhone or Droid — it’s hard to say (I’m a Droid person, but there are just as many iPhone lovers) — but choose one of these smart phones. Their mobile nature makes them a great tool for your business.

Web Sellers Circle Update – More On Mobile

As you all may know I just returned from the last eBay On Location event of the season. It was bittersweet. On one hand, it is a relief to know the days away from my business are over. I can focus more on the Web Sellers’ Circle and our upcoming information product creation series. Plus, I can start listing items online in preparation for the holiday season…. But, I’m really going to miss everyone — it was wonderful to meet so many eBay sellers.
I was surprised how many questions and comments I heard on the Top Rated Sellers Panel and during the event about Smart Phones. Mobile technology use is exploding! Buyers are spending an amazing amount of money purchasing using their mobile hardware. Sellers are not really clear how to take advantage of the market, but eBay is investing and inventing heavily — so, they have our backs. The thing I think is amazing, was the rapid rise of this. At the first event in Atlanta in May I noticed smart phones but they were still a bit of a novelty. By the time we hit San Jose eBay was giving away iPads and iPhones to promote mobile!

I had a chance to use my built in GPS to navigate to a few businesses while I was in California. I can see how important having a listing in Google Places is going to be if you are a bricks and mortar merchant. But, what about online sellers? Will that be the case? We’re discussing this on the Web Sellers’ Circle and would love to hear your thoughts.

While at the event I had a couple of people ask me about specific apps that they could use for their business. For eBay’rs I think the one that most excited them was Garage Sale Rover for the Android. It pulls information from Craigslist and matches them to your GPS coordinates and displays current Garage sales near you. A wonderful tool for your daily runs and for traveling.

Before I left for San Jose I had a chance to talk to talk to Chris Madison from MediaScouter about Android application: Pocket Profit for Amazon book sellers. She set me straight on a few things I told you in my tips newsletter last issue. AND, she promised to do a Podcast with everyone so we can talk about how to maximize it’s usefulness. Until we get to talk to her on the podcast I want to let you know more about Pocket Profit.

Pocket Profit is available for Android/Droid 1.6 version or above and will soon be available for the Windows mobile / Treo devices. (No iPhone app yet)

You can test it out for free – you have up to 75 free scans before you have to subscribe to the service, which you can do right from the app using a credit card. And, the good thing about it is that they have a very affordable service. It is only $4.99 a month or $13.99 for three months or $54.99 a year.  (there are two different types of subscriptions and I’ll let Chris explain the differences when we get her on the air). I think this is a bargain – I was able to find books quickly that would resell for a profit and pay for the app!

Chris told me about some real gems inside the app. I look forward to trying them out next book buying trip. You can scan books using a bar code reader or, if the book isn’t bar coded, you can use a title search to find the items onAmazon.com. There’s a watch list that you can use to add books to look for while you’re out scouting. If one of the watch list books is scanned it will alert you. This is a great feature if you are mass scanning without really looking at the titles.

Oh, one thing I noticed while I was out book picking is how easy it is to bump and scuff your smart phone. I was so smitten lately by these new toys, urr.. Smart Phones…. I decided I just HAD TO sell cases for them. I started carrying soft and a few hard cases – and will bring in a full selection soon. 

Square – A New Way To Accept Credit Cards

square

If you buy and sell antiques, art, or collectibles, you’ve probably wanted an easy way to accept credit cards when you were away from your store, without lugging a terminal and laptop around.

Or maybe you just wanted an alternative to PayPal’s virtual terminal – something that was just for credit cards and unconnected to PayPal.

This new gadget from Square may be the answer. It is a small swipe terminal that connects to your iPhone or Droid through the earphone jack. And it is free.

Square reminds me a lot of PayPal’s humble beginnings as a PalmPilot app. And it looks like it could have the same explosive, disruptive growth.

For those who don’t recall the misty, hazy days of the early PDAs – PayPal was introduced as a way to pay people and share money through the PalmPilot’s infrared port. I could beam you $20.00 as my share of a restaurant tab, for instance, and you could pay the bill.

Back in those days, PayPal even paid you $10.00 to sign up. Just open an account and like magic, it had $10.00 in it.

Of course, eventually eBay saw the wisdom of buying PayPal (took them long enough!), and it became the PayPal we know today.

Similarly, Square is starting as a person-to-person app as much as a small business app. (Think Craigslist payments…) The discount rate is a bit steeper than a real merchant account. Fraud may be a problem, as it was in the early PayPal days. And there will no doubt be hardware glitches along the way.

But it is built from the ground up for mobile users. It takes nice advantage of many smart phone features, like GPS, the camera, and email to protect buyers and sellers.

In fact, there are so many cool features, I can’t wait to start trying this out. If you have an iPhone or Droid – can you see a use for Square in your business?

Using Smartphones to Build Your Business

HE SMART PHONE REVOLUTION – A TOOL YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO SKIP

PART 1: HARDWARE WARS – YOUR PHONE CHOICES

Once it was easy – if you wanted a smartphone, you got a Treo.

Then Palm fumbled the ball and Microsoft ran with it. Nokia tried to push Microsoft off the field. But when the dust cleared, Round 2 went to the Blackberry.

Blackberries made it possible to be ‘on’ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With RIM’s revolutionary ‘push’ technology, email was delivered – instantly – directly to the phone. The user didn’t have to open a mail app or instruct the phone to begin downloading headers. It could be synchronized, over the air or via cradle, with pretty much any enterprise mail system. It did exactly what its users wanted it to do, and it did it without any fuss.

Blackberry owners spent so much time toying with their phones, they became known as ‘Crackberries.’ But make no mistake – the Blackberry was a serious business phone.

Even as the cellular market place exploded, the hefty price tag for smartphones and their data plans limited the market for smartphones to upscale business users and technophiles. Smartphones had no sex appeal.

All that changed on January 9, 2007, when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone at MacWorld. Thanks to Apple’s relentless advertising campaign, crowds lined the streets outside of Apple stores, waiting to plunk down nearly $600.00 for a phone they’d never seen or touched before. Since then, the expensive data plan, the AT&T monopoly, reports of iPhones being “bricked” after unlocking (or jailbreaking), the dropped calls –nothing affected the popularity of the iPhone.

Propeller heads in suits might be texting away on their Blackberries – but the cool, the young, the hip were … well, they were playing games and listening to music on the iPhone. The Top 10 Most Popular Apps in 2008 ranged from Koi Pond (a screen saver) to iBeer.

Google saw the opportunity everyone else had missed and produced its own smartphone: the Android. Unlike Apple, Google did not try to control the hardware nor did they sign an exclusive deal with one cellular carrier. Instead, Google did for smartphones what Microsoft had done for the desktop PC: they provided an operating system that any vendor could license. And then Google went one step farther than either Microsoft or Apple and released the Android OS as open source software. The core code is generally available to anyone who wants to make an app. This has led to an explosion of software applications in the Google Marketplace.

Google also trained its guns on two targets at once – the hip, young user (iPhone) and the serious business user (Blackberry). While the Android syncs with GMail (of course!) right out of the box, it also syncs with Microsoft Exchange servers, making it a breeze to keep your Outlook calendar, contacts, and email on your phone. Because there are so many hardware manufacturers, and because each cell carrier is free (within limits) to modify the phone for its network, there is no need, with an Android, for a user to switch carriers to get a new phone at a deeply discounted price.

And Google apps are not dominated by games and jokes. Productivity apps were built right in, thanks to the Android’s tight integration with all things Google. A free GPS app provides turn by turn voice navigation via Google Maps. Compatibility with Word and Excel is provided through Google Docs and a free version of QuickOffice. Some of the most useful desktop and Palm PDA software, like mind-mapping, calendaring, and project tracking apps, are beginning to appear on the Android.

iPhone found itself playing catch up as the newcomer zoomed towards market domination. Microsoft and Palm all but disappeared from the smartphone marketplace, and Blackberry’s previously unassailable #1 status was gobbled up, quarter by quarter, by the Android’s relentless advance.

Nothing seems quite so simple anymore.

How To Add Photos, Ebooks, and Files To Your Android Phone

androidIf you work on multiple computers – desktop and notebook, home and work, tablet in family room, etc – you’ve probably gotten used to moving files around on a USB thumb drive. They are small, inexpensive, and easy to use. What you may not know is that you can also use your Android smart phone in the same way.

This is handy not just for transferring files, but for adding ebooks that you already have stored on your PC, even if you didn’t buy them from an online retailer.

Of course, with all things computer, there is always more than one way to accomplish a task. This one isn’t right for all situations. But it is a valuable trick to know.

You can add any ebook, photo or file to your Android smartphone in 6 easy steps.

  1. Connect your Android to your computer, using the USB cable that was supplied with the phone.
  2. Pull down the Notifications bar on your phone.
  3. Tap USB Connections
  4. Select USB Mass Storage
  5. Locate the new Android drive on your computer
  6. Still on your computer, copy the file you want to transfer and then just paste it into the Android drive.

It really is that simple. But, if you’ve never browsed your Android’s SD card, you might like to see a more detailed explanation. If so – keep reading.

COPYING FILES FROM YOUR PC TO YOUR ANDROID SMARTPHONE – STEP BY STEP

Adding ebooks or photos or any types of supported files to your Android is quite simple. No weird voodoo or advanced tech knowledge is required. As you saw in the 6 step explanation above, all you need to do is attach your phone to your PC with the USB cable supplied with the phone, then copy your file to the correct directory on the Android’s SD card.

Piece of cake.

Begin by plugging one end of the USB cable into your Android and the other end (the large, USB plug) into a USB port on your computer. A USB cable almost certainly came with your phone, even if you are not aware of it. On many smartphones, the wall charge has the USB cable attached via a slot on the wall wart. Try – gently! – to pull the cord loose from the plug. There’s your USB cable.

Once you plug one end of your USB cable into the PC and the other into the Android, you may receive a message from the computer that new hardware has been detected and installed. You don’t have to do anything – Windows will take care of it.

When the connection is ready, a small USB icon will appear on the notification bar at the top of your phone.

If your phone is locked, unlock it. Then tap and hold on the notification bar and pull it down so you can read the messages. The exact message can vary depending on model and version of the Android operating system. You will see a message under “Ongoing” at the top of your Notification screen that reads “USB Connected.”

Tap on it.

You will now see several different types of possible USB connections between your phone and computer. Most phones have “USB Charge Only” as the default connection type, but that is not what we want. Select “USB Mass Storage” and tap OK.

Some newer phones may automate this process. On these phones, you will see a pop up screen with the message, “You have connected your phone to your computer via USB. Select ‘Mount’ if you want to copy files between your computer and your phone’s SD card.” If given that choice, tap on the “Mount” button.

Your PC may inform you that a new USB Mass Storage device is connected. That’s good!

Your Android is now connected to your PC just like any thumb drive. When you Open “My Computer” on the PC, you’ll see a new drive in the list – that’s the Android. It will probably be labeled something like “Removable Disk G.”

Now it is time to add the file.

If you are just moving or storing files, you’ll want to create a new folder to keep things neat.  Creating a folder on a mounted SD card inside your phone is no different than creating a folder directly on your hard drive. Just click on the computer’s “Create New Folder” icon, name the folder, and you are ready. Now copy and paste any file you wish to transfer into your new folder.

If necessary, set your phone back to “Charge only” when you are done.

Unplug your phone from your PC.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR EBOOKS

The process for ebooks is basically the same, but you will have to place the ebook into the particular folder required by your eBook reader. This will vary from reader to reader. Most popular eBook readers available for Android have a desktop companion that can be used to automatically copy the file and place it correctly on your phone.

Some Kindle ebooks, however, need to be moved by hand. The following instructions are necessary only for Kindle ebooks that you are not purchasing from Amazon. If you get your Kindle ebook from Amazon, you can download it directly to your phone. However, there are many very useful ebooks in Kindle or Mobi format (including the Home Run Guide, Vol 1) that are not available directly from Amazon. Here’s how to read them on the run.

First, if you haven’t done so already, download the Kindle for Android from the Android app store. (It’s free).

Next, download at least one Kindle eBook from Amazon to be sure everything is working correctly. Open the book, scroll through a few pages, click on the Table of Contents links, etc. There are plenty of free Kindle eBooks to choose from. Be sure to find the ebook using your Android’s Kindle Reader – not your regular Kindle.

Now it is time to add your non-Amazon ebook. Connect your phone to the computer using the instructions above.

Find the Kindle ebook on your PC and copy it.

The file will have the extension “.awz” or “.prc”. You may have to rename the file to work with the Android app. For instance, there should be no spaces in the file name. And the file should include “_EBOK” at the end, right before the extension. All files on my phone use the .prc extension. (If you don’t see your Kindle book on your phone after copying it over, try changing the extension from “.awz” to “.prc”. You don’t need to translate the file into a different format – just change the extension.)

Double click on the icon that represents the Android (Removable Disk G, or whatever) to open it. You can now see all the directories and files on the SD card in your phone.

Look for the directory called “kindle.” Double click to open it.

Now paste your ebook into that directory.

Close the directory.

If necessary, set your phone back to “Charge only” when you are done.

Unplug your phone from your PC.

Smartphone Quick Tip – Send Texts Via Email

smsYou can send an SMS text message to any mobile phone from your computer, not just from your cell phone. And the service is not only convenient – it’s free.

There are some situations that call for text messaging. It is briefer than email, more discreet than talkig on the phone, and occaisionally necessary to validate a mobile service.

If you have your cell phone handy, sending and receiving brief messages is usually not a problem. However, there may be a time when you need to send or receive a text and, for whatever reason, your phone is not available or you don’t want to tap out the message with a virtual keyboard.

No problem.

You can text from any email program on your computer.

Most cell phone carriers offer free Email to SMS Gateways. All you need to know is the cell phone number and the carrier gateway suffix of the person you wish to text. This information will go in your email application’s “To” field in the form of “10-digit-number@carriersuffix.com”

For instance, if you want to send a message to an iPhone user on Verizon whose phone number is 206-555-1234, you would send an email to 2065551234@vtext.com

NOTE: This service is not limited only to smartphone or phones that can receive email. It is available on any cell phone that can be used for texting.

HERE’S A LIST OF THE MAJOR US CARRIERS’ SMS GATEWAYS:

AT&T
[10-digit phone number]@txt.att.net
Example: 2125551212@txt.att.net

For multimedia messages, use [10-digit-number]@mms.att.net
Example: 2125551212@mms.att.net

Boost Mobile
[10-digit phone number]@myboostmobile.com
Example: 2125551212@myboostmobile.com

Nextel (now part of Sprint Nextel)
[10-digit telephone number]@messaging.nextel.com
Example: 7035551234@messaging.nextel.com

Sprint (now Sprint Nextel)
[10-digit phone number]@messaging.sprintpcs.com
Example: 2125551234@messaging.sprintpcs.com

T-Mobile
[10-digit phone number]@tmomail.net
Example: 4251234567@tmomail.net

Verizon
[10-digit phone number]@vtext.com
Example: 5552223333@vtext.com

Virgin Mobile USA
[10-digit phone number]@vmobl.com
Example: 5551234567@vmobl.com

HINT: If you need the address of a carrier that isn’t on the list, you can find the SMS gateway by sending or receiving a text msg from the phone to your email address. When you get the email it will include the SMS address it came from.

Adding New Documents to Your Android Phone With DropBox

ADD ANY PDF DOCUMENT TO YOUR ANDROID PHONE OR TABLET
IT’S AS EASY AS 1-2-3

This article was originally written to explain how to quickly add The Home Run Guide Vol 2 to an Android phone. But this technique can be used for any file – whether it is a PDF, a photograph, a text file, or a spreadsheet. If you’d also like to learn how to add files to an iPad, please see this article: The Easy Way To Add Files To Your iPad.

You can add the Home Run Guide Vol 2 to your Android smartphone in a number of different ways including emailing the PDF to yourself and then opening the attachment on your phone or by syncing your phone with your desktop computer via USB cable.

But the simplest, fastest, and most convenient way to add the Home Run Guide Vol. 2 is also the simplest way to add any document to your phone — with Dropbox.

SIGN UP FOR A FREE DROPBOX ACCOUNT

If you don’t already have a Dropbox account, sign up for one now.

It is absolutely free, with no hidden gotchas. Any document you keep in your Dropbox will be available to you on any computer, smartphone, or tablet that you use — whether you have a Windows PC or a Mac, an Android or an iPhone, an iPad or a Droid tablet — or any combination of these devices.

And did I mention it’s free?

Once you have a Dropbox account, download Dropbox to your computer and add a copy of the Home Run Guide Vol 2 to your Dropbox. Just copy and paste the PDF into the My Dropbox folder.

Now open Google Play (the app store) on your Android phone or tablet, and search for Dropbox.

Click on the Install button and the app will be added to your Droid. Read and accept the permissions to finish the installation.

When you open the Dropbox app on your phone, you’ll be prompted to either open an account or to sign into an existing account. Tap the “I’m already a Dropbox user” button and enter your password.

BOOM!

You can now see every document you’ve stored in the Dropbox cloud. Best of all, the docs don’t take up every KB of available space on your Droid. They are only permanently saved to your phone when you actually open and save them. Otherwise, documents and pictures are just instantly available whenever you want them.

GET A DEDICATED PDF READER FOR BEST RESULTS

Before you can read the Home Run Guide Vol 2 on your Droid, you’ll need a PDF reader. You probably already have one installed. Even the Kindle app can now open PDFs. But to get the most out of the Home Run Guide Vol 2, including bookmarks and instant search, get a dedicated PDF app. They are free, too.

If you search Google Play for “PDF Reader,” you’ll find a good selection. The Adobe Reader app is as good a place to start as any, so if you need a PDF reader, download and install the free Adobe Reader for Android.

If you have a number of different apps that can read PDFs, Dropbox will ask which app you want to use. Pick whichever you prefer.

Chances are you already had Dropbox and a PDF app on your phone and you’ve been chomping at the bit to get started. Whether you are an old hand at installing and using apps or if this is all a new adventure, the next steps are the same for everyone:

1. Open Dropbox and sign in
2. Tap on The Home Run Guide Vol 2
3. Start reading in your favorite PDF reader

When you use Dropbox, adding any document to your Droid really is as easy as 1-2-3.

If you’d also like to learn how to quickly search and find specific parts of a mobile PDF document, please see Get the Most Out Of Adobe Reader for Androids

Get The Most Out of Acrobat Reader for Androids

TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MOBILE HOME RUN GUIDE & OTHER PDFs
ADOBE READER ON THE ANDROID

These tips were originally written to help users of The Home Run Guide Vol 2 quickly navigate through the e-book while they were out garage saling.

However, the same tips and tricks can be used to quickly scan and search any PDF document that is properly formatted. Even if you never open a copy of The Home Run Guide, there may be something here that will help you.

If you need help getting a PDF onto your Android phone, check out this document:

Adding New Documents To Your Android Phone With DropBox

The Adobe Reader for Android shares many features with the desktop version, including the ability to enlarge a page for better viewing, a simple method to move quickly through the document via a tappable index, and a text search tool. This is what makes it a valuable addition to your mobile toolkit.

If you don’t have the Adobe Reader on your Droid, you can download it for free from the Google Play app center on your Android Phone. Just tap Google Play then search for Adobe Reader.

USE LANDSCAPE MODE

While it may seem more natural to read with your Droid in the portrait orientation (longest edge on the side, short edges on top and bottom), I’d suggest you use the landscape mode for The Home Run Guide Vol 2 while you are on the hunt. The pages will be shorter, but the print will be larger, and you stand a better chance of finding the information you need at a glance.

 

In portrait mode, even though the screen resolution is razor sharp, the type is small enough to require squinting. When I am at a garage or estate sale, I am not trying to read about the history of an item — I am trying to determine a fair price and what I can expect as a return on my investment, all in five seconds or less — because someone else is going to come along and snap that item up if I stand there reading!

The same page in landscape is much easier to quickly scan.

PINCH OR ZOOM OUT TO MAGNIFY

Don’t forget you can pinch out (or in) on your screen to quickly enlarge (or reduce) writing or pictures for a better view.

Above is a page from The Home Run Guide at normal magnification. And below is the same page, zoomed in (by pinching out — put your thumb and index finger together on the screen and then open them or spread them apart, just as though you are stretching something to make it bigger.)

You’ll notice that the picture begins to pixelate a bit as you super enlarge it. We had to make some compromises for the mobile version — and one of them was size vs. resolution. To reduce the file size of such a photo-laden book, we had to reduce the resolution of the pictures. They look sharp at normal magnification. And they can certainly be enlarged. But you’ll begin to notice JPEG artifacts at 4 or 5 times normal magnification. Even so, zooming in to examine a portion of the book in detail remains a valuable tool.

USE THE SEARCH TOOL TO FIND A PARTICULAR WORD OR PHRASE

Imagine that you are standing in a room full of vintage games at an estate sale, and you recall that The Home Run Guide had an article about board games. But you can’t remember what section or chapter it was in. You don’t want to waste time searching through the index or scrubbing through the pages. You just want to jump immediately to board games. Piece of cake!

Tap the screen to bring up the tool bar at the top of the screen and then tap the magnifying glass to bring up the Search box. Type in “board games” and tap the magnifying glass on your virtual keyboard to begin the search.

1. Type in your search term

2. The Reader scans your book

3. The first result opens automatically

USE THE INDEX & BOOKMARKS TO MOVE AROUND YOUR DOCUMENT

Just like the desktop Reader, the Android Acrobat Reader uses tappable links called bookmarks, or a tappable Index, to facilitate navigation within long documents. When you need information, you don’t want to scroll through almost 400 pages to find it. You want it now!

Tap on the screen to bring up the tool bars. In the bottom right hand corner, look for an icon that looks like a ribbon-style bookmark. Tap on it.

1. The first tap brings up all bookmarks

 2. Tap on the arrow on the left to go to a section & its articles

3. Tap on the arrow next to the article to see all subsections

You can drill down in the bookmarks, starting with the name of a chapter then moving to an article in the chapter and then further still to subheadings within that article. Tap on the arrows to the left of a bookmark to drill down. Tap on the name of a bookmark to open directly to that page.

Just look for the bookmark icon at on the bottom tool bar to begin

USE THE SCRUB BAR TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES

Sometimes, you know roughly where a certain article is. You think to yourself, “The part I want is about ½ way through… but I forget what the title was.”

Can’t use word search; the bookmarks are no help. Where can you turn?

The scrub bar!

The scrub bar can be found by tapping on your screen to bring up the tool bars. Along the bottom of the screen, near the left hand corner, you’ll see an icon that looks sort of like a volume control slider. That’s the scrub bar. Tap and hold, and drag your finger to the right.

As you move along the time line, a small picture of each page will appear above the scrub bar as you whiz passed. Very cool … and very useful.

NAVIGATE AROUND THE WEB USING HYPERLINKS

Most articles in The Home Run Guide are complete in themselves. But even they will occasionally refer you to the wealth of information available on the web.

Tappable links are easy to spot. Just look for the highlighting (on my phone it is blue) that completely surrounds the link. Tap on it.

For safety’s sake, the Reader will warn you that you are about to open a web page and you will need to confirm that you wish to do so by tapping the “Open” button.

It is always a good practice to be sure you really want to follow a link before you tap “Open.”

Finally — let’s end with the most convenient view mode in the Reader for The Home Run Guide Vol 2.

If you’ve read a lot of PDFs on your phone, you are probably familiar with “Text Reflow.” That setting automatically resizes PDF text to fit the screen. It’s a real boon for PDFs that are completely (or nearly all) text. However, The Home Run Guide includes many, many photographs. This is an area where we had to choose between maximum usefulness and maximum readability.

We chose maximum usefulness — we included every photograph from the full edition in the mobile edition.

We suggest that, for The Home Run Guide Vol 2, you select “Continuous” and use the pinch and zoom to change text size where necessary. y.

If you want to change your settings, tap on the screen to bring up the tool bar. Then tap on the View icon towards the top center of the tool bar. (It looks like a layout page.) Select the View Mode that works best for you.