Don’t Be Afraid of Touchscreen Cell Phones!

In the market for a new phone? You’re definitely in good company. A lot of people right now are taking their kids back to school and realizing that it’s a great time to pick up a new phone. Yet the sheer amount of phones to choose from can be daunting. If you’re someone that hasn’t had a new phone in a few years, you might even be surprised at how far technology has come in the mobile sphere. Now is the perfect time to check out touchscreen phones, even.

Touchscreen phones? Is that a misprint? No, we’re dead serious about touchscreen phones. They’re actually pretty cool — responsive enough to react to a firm touch or a soft touch. You definitely need to exercise some care when it comes to a touchscreen phone, but they’re a lot more rugged than when they first came out. Also, there are screen protectors that can keep those nasty oils and dusts from clogging up your screen. You will just need to clean the screen with a soft cloth every once in a while.

So, what type of touchscreen phones are out there? We’re definitely glad that you asked!

How can we start any touchscreen conversation without covering the iPhone? It’s now the iPhone 4, which means that the technology has definitely come a long way. When we got our first generation iPhone, it really wasn’t anything to write home about. However, the 4th generation iPhone brings an even brighter Retina display, along with superior app support and FaceTime, a very fun app that allows you to keep in touch with your friends — and actually see them! It’s like Skype on steroids, and then some.

In the past, people avoided the iPhone because they would have had to contract with AT&T and only AT&T, but that is fast changing. Verizon is now getting the green light to sell iPhones as well, which means that you will have two different carriers to choose from. Considering that AT&T is in the middle of trying to purchase T-Mobile, you will actually get an even wider selection.

Let’s move on to the HTC Sensation 4G, a very cool touchscreen that brings a lot to the table. It’s on T-Mobile, if that helps you make up your mind. Whoever said that T-Mobile doesn’t have rocking phones hasn’t checked out the Sensation. HTC has a proven track record of making awesome phones and being very cutting edge, so there’s definitely a lot to love with the Sensation. There’s a huge 3.4-in. screen to go with the experience, along with a fast dual-core processor — could you want anything more than that? Wireless connectivity? Definitely on the list — T-Mobile allows you to use the Sensation to even make calls over Wi-Fi, which can save you a lot of money in the long run. You can use the Wi-Fi instead of your regular minutes, thus creating an essentially unlimited phone without having to pay an unlimited price. It’s worth looking into, for sure.

The last phone that we just had to include was the Samsung Galaxy S II. It’s considered one of the most expensive unlocked phones around, but it’s definitely worth the money — if you’ve got the money, that is. A lot of people are looking for budget phones, but it’s nice to know that Samsung has put out something for us to save our money for. A dual-core processor, 8MP camera, and massive 4.3-inch screen take center stage. However, at $799, there are other alternatives that might be friendlier to your wallet.

The main point that we’re trying to make here is that you shouldn’t be afraid to choose a touchscreen phone. Most of these phones have virtual keyboards that are pretty easy to get used to. Once you’ve used to the touchscreen phone for a while, you’ll definitely see just how easy it is. You’ll get used to it in virtually no time at all — why not check it out for yourself?

Can You See Yourself Buying the BlackBerry Playbook?

We just got done writing about whether or not Blackberry’s brand can be saved in a shifting mobile tech world, and there was a lot of talk about the BlackBerry Playbook. We didn’t go in depth on the subject, and we definitely want to correct that. We can’t just assume that you know everything about the Playbook when a lot of people still are in other cell phone arenas right now. It’s a great time to be Apple or Google in the cell phone world, but what about the lonely Playbook?

First and foremost, there’s a lot to like when it comes to the Playbook. For those of you out of the loop, we’re talking tablets here. It’s a nice tablet, similar to the iPad but going beyond the iPad at the same time.

Let’s start with the hardware on the device, shall we? The Playbook is a stylish black, with sharp edges and a little chrome on the back. It’s a solid device with no real rubberized “give”, which can be a plus or a minus depending on how you feel about the perfect form factor of a tablet.

The device weights about .9 pounds, which means that you aren’t going to have to worry about its weight taking up too much space in your bag. It’s .4 inches thick, which is a bit thicker than the iPad 2. Still, we don’t think these measurements alone are enough to say that the Playbook is a bad thing.

The Playbook sports dual cameras, which isn’t really newsworthy as much as it used to be. There are plenty of cell phones that now have dual camera setups, such as the HTC Incredible, or even the Galaxy S lineup.

You do get some neat input ports on the Playbook, such as micro-HDMI, micro-USB, and another hole for a charging dock. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack up top if you really want to use headphones, but the Playbook also has some speakers on the sides of the tablet.

Digging into the internals of the device we find a wicked dual-core 1 GHz processor. What’s even better is that the operating system is QNX, and it’s been tweaked to really take advantage of such an awesome proc. Most of the time the mobile hardware fails at really using the processor to full potential. This is an area where it’s clear Research in Motion has thought ahead to try to please finicky advanced techies.

You have your choice when it comes to space on the tablet — you can get 16, 32, or even 64GB of storage space. If you go for the 16GB version, you can expect to pay $499, with the maxed-out version being at $699. Definitely a weighty purchase, but you’d still have money to consider if you went towards the iPad 2.

The Playbook’s hardware allows it to decode and display 1080p video over HDMI without losing application quality — another positive.

So, what are the negatives of the Playbook? Well, for starters the device doesn’t give you simple USB mass storage support. You have to mount it as a drive over USB, but that doesn’t let you really take advantage of all of those gigabytes.  You have to install a driver and the Playbook suddenly becomes a network drive. Now, if you have a Mac or a Windows-flavored PC, then you’re in business. However, if you’re over on the UNIX side, expect some troubles getting your device to tether — it’s just not happening. Simple USB mass storage mode means easy drag and drop file manipulations and even device mounting under Ubuntu Linux, but without that you’re in for some tough times.

The biggest point of failure when it comes to the Playbook has to be in the implementation of BlackBerry Bridge. This is what allows you to get the usual productivity suite that BlackBerry has become famous for. You have to have a BlackBerry phone running at least BB OS5 in order to use this feature, and that phone too has to also be running Bridge. The connectivity magic happens over Bluetooth, which is a plus. However, as we mentioned in our previous article, this is a tough pill to swallow for people that are new to the platform. Research in Motion would have done a lot better not crippling the Playbook and actually letting people decide whether or not they wanted to get a BlackBerry phone. In its current implementation, it almost feels like RIM is forcing people into the platform while they’re kicking and screaming, which isn’t a good look for them at all. Not when there are other options. Yes, we’ve been more than aware that Apple pulls these tricks all the time, but this is a great time for Apple — Research in Motion cannot say the same for themselves.

The Playbook does have Flash support, and that definitely is a win. However, the device at this current time lacks 3G support, which is a deal breaker for a lot of techies as well.

There are plenty of great points to the Playbook, but for every good point there seems to be two or three negatives to go with it. At $699 for the maxed-out version, this might be a device that techies have to say no to — at least until Research in Motion comes out with some more compromises, updates, and patches to address issues that early adopters have already been screaming about at the top of their lungs.

If you want a tablet, you might have to look elsewhere. Of course, if you’re already into Cloud Blackberry, then it really doesn’t matter whether or not you need the BB phone in order to really bring the Playbook to life.

Our thoughts? Let the early adopters and Those With Discretionary Income For Days ™ play with the Playbook some more. RIM is sure to release a second generation version where a lot of the bugs have been fixed — get that, not the first round. Unless you just happen to take your tech like your steak — a little bloody and quite a bit tender.

Prepaid Phone Service

Prepaid Phone Service – The New Trend of 2012

Fees, fees, fees. If there’s one thing that most cell phone customers are fed up with, it’s definitely fees. They’re tired of being nickled and dimed over just about every type of fees that you can think about. You just need to make sure that you think about the things that matter, the things that are going to make a difference. You just need to make it as convenient as possible to own your cell phone without having to pay a bunch of fees. Who really wants to do that, anyway?

Nobody wants to pay fees that they don’t have to.

So why not focus on getting the best deal that you can on the cell phone that you want, without having to deal with a contract? If you can go with a no contract plan, you’ll be able to move around to your heart’s content without having to pay any early termination fees.

In the US, there are a lot of different prepaid plans to choose form. However, no matter which one that you’re thinking of, you need to make sure that you’re doing your homework.

First and foremost, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re doing your research all of the time. You don’t want to find yourself without the keys to figuring out if this service is really going to be something that you want. Your best bet in research is going to be looking online at reviews. You want to make sure that you’re only looking at reviews from people that have experience with the service in question. You don’t want to go to people that seem to only be pushing a sales agenda, because there’s really no guarantee that they’ve actually used the service that you want to use.

In addition, you always want to make sure that you can use the phone that you really want to use. For example, you wouldn’t go with a pre-paid service that doesn’t let you use an Android phone if that’s what you really want. Thankfully, there are plenty of Android loving carriers that will be glad to have you without making you sign a contract.

You also want to make sure that you’re comparing not just price, but also the signal service. If you read a lot of reviews that talk about bad signal, you really need to make sure that you get a chance to test the service. Get a basic phone that doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles if that’s what you have to do. But it’s better to know that the service doesn’t work for you before you get into any sort of auto-debit program. This will only make your life harder than what it should be, and who really wants to put themselves through that type of thing?

Nobody wants to put themselves in the position where they have to deal with bad cell phone signal.

It’s also important to think about your upgrade options. It goes without saying that you’re eventually going to want to get a different phone. Being able to just pop out your SIM card and put it into a new phone is always cool, but not every carrier allows for this.

Many of the top carriers do have their own prepaid departments, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve already got a bill from them. If you go to the prepaid side of things, you will be able to sign up right away. You might have to pay a small activation fee, but this is actually an industry standard — it’s pretty hard to escape that.

You can decide to buy phone cards that give you minutes, or you can subscribe to a monthly plan that includes the things that you want. It’s just a matter of figuring out exactly what you want and what you don’t want. If you really think about what you want, then you’ll know exactly what type of service to get. Some people really like the ability to buy a block of minutes, because they really don’t use a whole bunch of them.

However, if you know that you’re definitely a talker, a prepaid service that has an unlimited plan is definitely what you want to focus on. There’s nothing worse than finding that you don’t have enough minutes, yet there are not a lot of minutes to buy. It’s completely up to you to figure out what you want, so make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to think.

Now is the right time to figure out not only what you want, but where to go to get it. The Internet is definitely the best place to get what you’re looking for — don’t delay, the right prepaid cell phone is out there waiting for you!

MoneySupermarket Launch iPad Car Insurance App

If you use the MoneySupermarket car insurance comparison service online then you could save an average of £374.93, which is almost enough to buy the new iPad.

Those who already own an Apple tablet will be pleased to hear that a bespoke version of MoneySupermarket’s app has now launched for the iPad.

After being released for the iPhone last year, the app has been updated to work wonderfully well on the larger display of a tablet while still retaining the core features that made it great in the first place.

You will, unsurprisingly, be required to create an account with MoneySupermarket if you have yet to do so before you use the app, but this can be easily carried out on your iPad.

Your account information will store details on your car and your own personal data, all of which is used to get accurate quotes from more than 100 different insurers when you start comparing prices.

The data will be kept on hand for future reference and if you are interrupted while seeking a quote, the app will automatically remember your position in the process and let you resume from there.

The quotes are not simply just the prices – they are rich in detail and are able to link you directly with the insurance company of your choice. You have the option to retrieve them from your home computer or recall them on your iPad at a later date if you have yet to decide.

The type of insurance, whether it’s comprehensive or third party only, will be displayed alongside each quote. As with comparing online on your computer, it will be possible to determine which types of service you search for so you can find those that match your budget and requirements.

When the time comes to renew your insurance you can do it in as few as three taps on your screen, according to MoneySupermarket.

This means that there will be no need to spend hours browsing through various sites and getting in touch with individual insurers because the app will do all the legwork for you, allowing you to get on with other things.

iPad owners will enjoy the simplicity of the interface, which is in keeping with other iOS applications and will make it easy to enter details and compare insurance quotes for your vehicle.

If you have a 3G iPad, you will be able to search for quotes wherever there is coverage, while Wi-Fi only models will need to be hooked up to a compatible hotspot.

The app is the first free comparison tool of its kind in the iPad’s App Store. It will be able to help you save money without requiring any kind of payment upfront.

If you are sick of rising insurance costs and do not have the time to compare prices on your PC or laptop, this iPad solution could be a great alternative

Audience Response Technology: The Benefits

Most audience response systems will come with a range of software so they can be used for different types of events. These could include AGMs, meetings and conferences, auctions, legal meetings and fundraising events.

They will allow you to easily interact with your audience and actively encourage attendees to participate and interact to a much greater degree. It will also make them feel included in decision making. It means, as well, that the presenter can control the gathering in a professional manner, usually with the use of a portable microphone to engage the audience.

Voting systems for large audiences can be used so that attendees’ peers are unaware of their vote. It is an efficient method, saving time and sometimes, a great deal of admin work.

This is not necessarily the case in a meeting where conference microphones are used. These allow an audience member to talk to the presenter and their peers without anybody speaking at the same time. Decision making and votes cannot be made in secret unless paper is involved which could take up a lot of time afterwards for the presenter or the person completing the admin work.

Neither paper nor a voting system can be used during videoconferencing. However, an email or online message could be sent from one person to another keeping the content private. It could be that participants of the video conference feel secure voting aloud as they are not together with other audience members but it may be soon that they do have to come face-to-face with them soon.

Video conferencing benefits employees who are concerned with the safety of travelling and the amount of time it can consume. Reducing the amount of travelling means a lot of money can be saved too. The overall ‘quality of life’ of an employee is improved by saving them this time and money they normally would have spent.

Mobile Commerce Solutions Allow You to Make The Most Of the Wireless Revolution

Are you thinking about trying out new forms of marketing? You definitely should — in fact, it’s said that if you don’t make sure that your marketing plan evolves, you’ll end up getting left behind. Many businesses found this out when the Internet really went mainstream and they were still relying on television and phone calls as their main methods of advertising. However, it’s time to go beyond these methods and embrace a whole new revolution.

What revolution could we possibly be talking about? Well, it’s simple — you will want to make sure that you invest in the wireless revolution. Mobile phones are really the wave of the future, with plenty of people deciding that they would rather do everything from their phones than be stuck at home with a heavy laptop or desktop. Being mobile and able to move around freely is really the name of the game.

For a while, mobile phones really didn’t have that many features or options. But that’s changing big time — the rise of smartphone technology means that today’s cell phones can really do a lot more than you think. This means that they are prime targets for smart marketing that really allows a deeper connection.

Just being another billboard in the wireless superhighway really isn’t going to do you any favors. Mobile commerce solutions today are all about you getting able to reach out to your target marketplace. Surveys and even contests are great ways to really get a feel for what your market wants. You can use this new information in your research to create even better products and services that your audience will just love.

Bu tit all goes back to having the right platform to really get your mobile message out there. If you don’t have the right foundation and platform, you’ll end up causing a lot of trouble in the long run — not to mention wasting a lot of money.

You might assume that such platforms would be costly, but this isn’t the case at all. Indeed, these mobile commerce solutions really do let you get to your market on a different level but they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Once you really dig into all of your options, you just might be surprised at everything you really can accomplish now! Check it out for yourself today, you won’t be disappointed!

Taking Advantage of All of Your Wireless Options as a New Customer

A lot of people don’t want you to realize this, but you really do have a lot of options when it comes time to get your cell phone cravings satisfied. There’s nothing like having a nice new shiny phone — even if you do have to ultimately sign on to that pesky two year agreement to really get the best deals possible.

If you’re just signing on to a cell phone service as a new customer, you actually do have a lot of options.

First, you need to look online. In the past people used to take the deals offered by those little wireless stops in the mall, but they really don’t always give you the best deal. If you must go to the store and you work with a sales rep, it’s important that you take down their number and get their name. If they’ve made you any type of promise, this is the information you’ll need to claim it. An even better thing to do would be to get it in writing and have it signed by your sales rep in question. Otherwise you might have to fight with reps on the phone to get what you were promise din the first place, and that’s just not pleasant.

Another point that you have to think about is looking around the right time of year. For example, if you get close to Christmas time, you will want to make sure that you think about the type of deals that are available for the season. This is where the Internet comes in handy because you won’t have to drive all over town.

The best deals are definitely going to be on smartphones because they are more popular than regular phones. Carriers know that if they offer you a good deal on the cell phone of your dreams that they will get your loyalty and that means recurring income for them — what a win-win situation, right?

It can be tempting to just bring your old phone into a new network but you would be better off using your new customer status to catch better deals. When it comes to acquiring new customers, the wireless industry definitely has their work cut out for them.

If you’re ready to jump right in, you know what to do — go online and check out plenty of cell phone comparison and shopping sites first!