A cutting edge device on U.S. Cellular’s high-quality network that keeps you connected nationwide can serve as a planner, survival guide, trail map and wildlife guidebook, as well as a tool to call for help in a sticky situation.
Most smartphones come equipped with useful tools for the outdoors, such as a compass and flashlight function. Rugged phone cases can protect your device against the elements, and long-life lithium battery can give you hours of power. You can even pick up a military spec 4G LTE Duraforce Smartphone that’s built to last in extreme elements.
U.S. Cellular recommends the following tips and free or low-cost apps:
▪ Safety first: Put the entire Army survival guide on your phone and access it anytime, online or offline, with the Army Survival Guide. This Android and iPhone compatible app offers information about survival planning and kits, shelters, water and food procurement, firecraft and much more.
▪ Find your way: Recent U.S. Cellular research found that 22 percent of smartphone owners use GPS to get directions. Take advantage of your device’s GPS functionality with Gaia GPS, a free app offering the full functionality of a handheld, backcountry GPS unit. Record tracks and waypoints, take geo-tagged photos and more. Plus, you can search for nearby waypoints and read reports about places.
▪ Be your own guide: Use the AllTrails app to browse through guides for 50,000 trails across North America. The app provides photos, reviews and tracks for outdoor activities – from hiking and mountain biking to fly-fishing and snowshoeing. Track your activities with your phone’s GPS and easily share your adventures with friends.
▪ Spot wildlife: Identify birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, native trees and wildflowers with National Parks Field Guide, an interactive field guide to the wildlife and plants of 100 U.S. National Parks. The guide is also full of useful information about each park such as major sites within it, directions, hours and fees, links, and phone numbers to make reservations or get more information.
▪ Boat safely: If your adventure involves boating, check out the official United States Coast Guard app. This free app provides state boating information, a safety equipment checklist, navigation rules, float plans and more. It also offers tools to check weather reports, report pollution and call for help.
▪ Other tips: While a mobile device is not meant to replace good planning and adequate safety precautions, it may serve as a valuable lifeline. If you are lost or in trouble, in an ideal situation, you can call or send a text message for help. If you don’t have a signal, search and rescue might be able to find you based on your device’s location. Outdoor safety experts recommend bringing your mobile phone and leaving your phone number and service provider with family or friends. Even if you keep your device off, experts recommend powering it up occasionally to drop some digital breadcrumbs that may help search and rescue teams locate you if needed.
Smartphones are an essential part of summer with features and apps that help owners communicate and stay entertained in a variety of ways. U.S. Cellular provides a high-quality network and national coverage that keeps you connected in big and small cities and rural communities, whether you are at a rock or country concert or a fair or festival.
A recent U.S. Cellular survey indicated that 45 percent of smartphone owners use their phone to listen to music. One app that you can try out is Bandsintown which can even find nearby concerts based on your music library.
A few apps and tips to help make your summer festival or fair more enjoyable:
Photos can be a big part of your summer fair and festival experience making out of town loved ones feel like they are a part of the action.
▪ The free aillis, Magisto Video Editor & Maker, Retrica and SmugMug apps on Google Play and iTunes can help you take amazing photos and offer places to upload, archive and easily share your favorite moments.
▪ Before you hit the road, make sure your wireless device has proper battery life. You can extend your smartphone’s battery life by turning off Bluetooth, location services and lowering your screens brightness.
▪ As you prepare to communicate with family members and friends at an event with thousands of people, text messages could be your best option. Texting takes up less network bandwidth than calls, so cell phone customers can often text successfully if they can’t place or receive calls.