Thursday, December 17, 2015

My Best Gift Finds Under $25


Phone storage can always be a problem, especially if your techie friends have a camera that shoots 4K video and they like to take along their entire music collection. If you or someone you know is that person, check out the 64GB Sandisk OTG Flash Drive. The 64GB version is a measly $19.74 with free Amazon Prime shipping. It features a MicroUSB connection on one side and a full size USB connection on the other. Not only is it great for additional storage, but it also works wonders for transferring files back and forth between a PC and your mobile device.

Amazon: 64GB Sandisk OTG Flash Drive


At $19.99, the Jackery Bar External Battery is quite a deal for a 6,000 mAh portable battery solution. It features enough juice to power up your iPhone 6 three times or your larger devices twice. The Jackery is assembled with only top grade Panasonic rechargeable cells, so there is no need to worry about reliability. It also features an 18 month warranty. The Jackery Bar External Battery is $19.99 and ships free with Amazon Prime to arrive in time for getting it under the tree.

Amazon: Jackery Bar External Battery


If you know someone that has been swapping out their old 16GB MicroSD card from phone to phone for the last few years, it might be time to get them something a bit newer for their stocking. Sure, 16GB was big a few years back, but now with the SanDisk 64GB class 10 MIcroSD cards running under $25, it’s a great time to grab one. This item also ships free with Amazon Prime and is just $22.99 for the 64GB model. With a bit less budget restriction, you can jump up to a 128GB for $49 or a 200GB for $99.99. That said, the 64GB should be more than enough upgrade for those looking upward from 16GB or even 32GB.

Amazon: SanDisk Ultra 64GB MicroSD Card


For something a bit more stocking friendly, the Peres Mini 2-in1 OTG adapter and MicroSD reader is a home run. This little guy is under $5 and is shipped free as an Amazon Prime Add-On Item. If you are on a fixed storage phone, or just like to take a ton of media with you, use those old MicroSD cards that you have upgraded from to store some music or movies on and use this to play them back on your device. It’s very similar to the SanDisk OTG drive above, but this one uses the storage cards you already own, and is less than a Lincoln to drop in a stocking. As an added bonus to families, it is available in 4 different highlight colors.

Amazon: Peres Mini 2-in1 OTG adapter and MicroSD reader


Rounding out our top five under $25 gift ideas for the techie that has it all is the JDB 5-Port High Speed USB Charging Hub. The JDB Hub uses IC Technology to detect the optimum charging speed of your device and automatically changes the power given to that port to match the device. The first port offers 5V/2.4A charging to match the USB 2.0 Quick Charging standards used in devices like the iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S6. The other 4 ports offer standard USB charging for any 1-2A device.  The compact size makes it great for nightstands or desktops. The 5 foot removable power cord also makes it easy to take along where ever it is needed. The JDB Hub also ships free with Amazon Prime and will still arrive in time for Christmas if you order soon. If you are an anti-clutter King or Queen, the JDB Hub will really help get rid of quite a few power plugs and wires around those busy areas.

Amazon: JDB 5-Port High Speed USB Charging Hub

Google Sneakily Deals Another Blow To Microsoft Users


I’ve been using Microsoft’s amazing blogging platform, Live Writer, for longer than I can remember. It was always my go to publisher for my Wordpress and Blogger blogs. In fact, almost every post I have made for this blog has been through Live Writer. Unfortunately, Microsoft discontinued the product after the 2012 version, though it continued to work for me well after that point. Last week however, I was struck with the error in the image above. I figured Blogger was down and I would save it and try again later… Boy was I wrong…

As it turns out, Google, the owner of the Blogger services, performed yet another API change to shut down third party “back door” access. This is the type of access which Live Writer and other 3rd party writing Apps used to send the posts to the service. While Google has done this before in the past, it’s all too apparent that this volley was once again aimed squarely at the Live Writer program as it appears to be the only program that I use that was affected by the change.

Call it a security update or a maintenance thing, but I will call it out for what it is, Google is blocking Microsoft’s access to their services one more time. It happened with YouTube and it is happening again with Blogger. It’s only a matter of time before Google really does something terrible and blocks Gmail or something crazy like that from Windows and then we will really see an uproar.

Until then, the open source project version of Live Writer was not affected by this patches that Google put in place this week, which strangely enough is virtually the same coding, but not with Microsoft’s branding. The Open Live Writer program is available at and is free of charge.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Microsoft Courts iPhone Users With Special Bing Rewards Bonus


Well, Microsoft may be committed to making Windows 10 Mobile work for users, but that isn’t stopping them from wooing other users. In the latest move, Microsoft continues the trend of welcoming iPhone users into their program with a special 10 credit per day bonus for searching using the iPhone Bing Rewards App. This is far from a bad idea, but the fact that Android is left out in the cold, as well as new Windows Phone/Windows Mobile users, might leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths.

The bonus credit links can be found in the Bing Rewards daily credit list on your Bing search pages. This might finally provide a good excuse to pick up that old iPhone 4 or 4s on GroupOn or something like that. The extra 10 credits will make that Hulu subscription much easier to get.

Source: Bing Rewards

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Microsoft To Downgrade OneDrive Plans In 2016


Apparently Microsoft isn’t a big fan of abuse. In fact, they will go as far as changing an entire product offering because of the few users that abuse it to the point of it being something more than abuse. Case in point, yesterday, Microsoft announced that they will be changing their OneDrive storage amounts beginning in 2016 due to the fact that some users have uploaded nearly 75TB (yes that would be TERRABYTES) of data. That works out to 75,000,000 MB or roughly, 25 million songs worth of data. This is the reasoning that Microsoft is using to change up their OneDrive storage options going into next year.

First off, the unlimited plans that are currently included with an Office365 subscription will be dropped to 1TB of data. This should still be plenty of data for anyone that is actually using the service as it was intended. The TB of storage should be enough to back up mobile device photos, store online documents and even keep those backup settings that are used to restore a Windows PC or Windows Mobile device. Next, the free plans will drop from 15GB of storage back to 5GB as they were in the beginning of the program. This is probably the most painful drop of the bunch, but if you aren’t generating revenue for the Redmond giant, you probably don’t get much of a vote. When you compare the 5GB limit to the 2GB limit that DropBox offers, it’s not such a bad deal. DropBox does offer a few ways to quickly earn that additional 3GB of storage, but face it, unless you buy into some promotion, DropBox will run you $10 per TB. Google Drive has much the same going for it. The 15GB starting point is higher, but that might not be enough to put up with the clunky backup experience that Drive offers.

That said, many users will probably skip out on Microsoft’s cloud solution service from here on out simply due to the fact that space they “earned” is being taken away from them. Whether it was the 15GB photo upload bonus or the 10GB additional storage they’ve enjoyed for the last few years to compete with Google’s starting level, losing precious online backup space isn’t something that many will enjoy. It isn’t all bad news though, if you received a promotional balance, like the 100GB loyalty bonus or the 100GB package from Bing Rewards, your storage is safe until the expiration date. For those that don’t have the extra space saved up, Microsoft has said that the notifications will go out in January. You will then continue to have access to your file space for 90 days. The space will then become a read-only drive for the next 180 days. The final 90 days will be your last warning before they are deleted. So even with the 12 month period that Microsoft is giving users to either upgrade or transition, it’s important to develop a transition plan. Also, if you are an affected user, you can sign up for a free one year trial of Office 365 as a “We’re sorry,” offering from Microsoft. This offer will include the 1TB of storage, but is only valid for 1 year. After that the regular subscription price of $9.99 a month will apply. There will also be a 50GB plan available for a $1.99 a month fee as well.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Watch Hotel Transylvania For A Dime Tonight


Deals abound this Halloween season with a great flick (on of my personal fav’s) being available to rent for just $.10! That’s correct, you can snag the classic animated flick, Hotel Transylvania for just a dime today. The offer includes both the standard def and high def versions of the movie – though you only get one or the other to stream on your Windows/Xbox device.

So go a little, blah blah blah, tonight and hit the link below to snag this deal!


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Microsoft Just Sold A Bajillion New Lumias…


The feature that everyone wanted, ever since Windows Phone 7 was unveiled is now upon us. Continuum, or to put it better, SHEER AWESOMENESS, is here. On the new Lumia 950 and 950XL, you can now use the Microsoft Display Dock to link your phone to the big screen and some additional USB devices to give you the full PC experience from your phone. Notice I said from the 950 and 950XL, right? Well, let’s just say that this feature will probably be missing from quite a few past Lumia’s and third party devices if things look like the are going to continue down the same path.

You see, the new Lumia’s feature something that none of the others have had so far – a USB C connection. Unfortunately, the 950/950XL are the only Windows Mobile devices that feature this style of port, which should render the Display Dock useless to everyone else on the planet. This leaves the current Windows Phanatics stuck in the mud when it comes to wanting to use their device as a PC on the big screen, not that anyone with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage would want to, but hey it would be nice to fire up a 1520 on the big screen, wouldn’t it?


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The New Lumia 950 Series: The Phone That Replaces Your PC–Finally!


It finally happened. The Microsoft dream of having one device across all three screens is almost a reality for the average consumer. The new Lumia 950 and 950XL are the first devices to market that feature Microsoft’s new Continuum mode, which allows a user to connect to a screen adapter and run their device just like their Windows 10 PC, sans the EXE files of course. The great news is that that really won’t matter much going forward as many software makers are exiting the traditional EXE setups and moving towards Universal Apps for Windows. So far, the adoption rate for Win10 on PC’s is moving along better than expected, so look for more major software creators to jump on board in the near future.

Now, moving on to the important part of this, the new devices. On the surface, the 950 and 950XL look like a couple of brothers walking to school together. The little guy (Lumia 950) is rocking a 5.2” QHD screen, while it’s big brother is running a 5.7” version of the display. From there, things get a bit simpler to compare. Both devices feature Windows 10 Mobile, a 20MP camera and 32GB of internal storage. The processors are very similar, but the 950 features the Snapdragon 808 and the 950XL is running the Snapdragon 810.  The 950XL also features a slightly larger battery capacity to power that larger screen a bit further into the day than the standard 3000mAh battery that the 950 is equipped with. Both devices feature a wide angle 5MP front shooter that records 1080p video and that 20MP PureView camera with Fast Focus technology.

The Lumia 950 has been confirmed by AT&T, but a date was not revealed at the event. You can probably wager that Microsoft will be pushing to get the 950 and 950XL into stores before the holiday buying season hits, so look for a November release. This would also put the devices in stores slightly ahead of the official Windows 10 Mobile release in December.

Overall, the new Lumia devices could be exactly what Microsoft was needing to launch to establish a user base, and with less than 3% of the market right now, the new devices can do nothing but help the growth of Windows 10 across all platforms.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Best Values In Wireless For September 2015


Total Wireless tops our Verizon MVNO’s this month. Their very simple Their simplistic plan, yes we said PLAN, is just $35 a month for unlimited talk, text and 2.5GB of data. While we would love to see that precious LTE speed on that data, if you are in need of Big Red’s network and want to save some serious cash, the $35 offering from Total Wireless is the way to go. Also, additional savings can be found for multiple line users and those that only want talk and text.


While the T-Mobile race is so even it’s scary right now, our first pick for the best value on their network has become GIV Mobile. GIV is an interesting twist on prepaid offerings as their selling point isn’t just a $30 unlimited plan with 1GB of LTE data, but it is more about making a difference with your cellular bill. GIV Mobile actually donates 8% of your bill to the charity that you choose from their list. Pretty sweet deal on a pretty sweet set of plans. Additionally, GIV Mobile also has the option to jump up to 10GB of data on their standard plans, which is something most MVNO’s won’t even touch, much less than give it to you for $60


Our AT&T MVNO continues to be Cricket Wireless, even though their LTE data is restricted. The 8GB speeds are more than adequate for more users needs and the cost for the lower end data plans is fantastic. At $35 a month for unlimited talk, text and 2.5GB of LTE data, it’s crazy to think that people aren’t leaving AT&T in droves for this plan. Did we mention the fact that you can snag some great handsets from these guys too?


We saved the most confusing for last. Our Sprint MVNO race is really just a mess of options that almost make for as different of carriers as possible. We almost need to start breaking or Sprint MVNO’s into two categories for users to consider, traditional cellular and the hybrid options. Maybe more appropriate would be the normal user and the light user. Either way, we do have 2 great options for those that have that yellow section of the Sprint coverage map all lit up in their area. First, for the light user (talks for about 100 minutes a month, some texting and lots of Wi-Fi) we have picked the FreedomPop basic plan. This freebie offering includes 200 minutes of talk, 500 text messages and 500MB of data. With some help from friends, you can easily expand that data to 1GB for free. While the ordering process is a bit of a nightmare and the phones can take quite some time to show up, the monthly payment all by makes up for the hassle. If you add in the $3.99 premium voice service to the free plan, you also have the added bonus of using the Sprint cellular network instead of having to route all your calls over VoIP services.


For the more demanding user, Boost Mobile continues to lead the way with their Cut Your Bill In Half promotion. If you are a Cricket, MetroPCS or T-Mobile user, Boost Mobile will give you a total break on your bill and welcome you with open arms. Keep in mind that you will want to check out the Sprint network coverage in your area before making this dive though, many areas are still spotty with LTE service and even more are short on the faster Spark network. Still, for a deal on the Sprint network, it doesn’t get much better than this. If you aren’t on one of the lucky carriers listed above, Boost Mobile still has amazing offers from as low as $30 a month for an unlimited plan with a few gigs of LTE data per month.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Getting More Cellular Coverage From Your Home Wi-Fi

Screenshot (2)

There’s a tiny secret in the world of Xfinity that many users have no clue about. In fact, many users are providing it to others and have no idea that they are responsible for a pretty amazing service by doing so. The little piece of amazingness is called XfinityWiFi and it’s probably one of the best kept secrets to Xfinity users, ever…

Sure, Comcast and Xfinity take a beating in the press for their terrible customer service antics, but when they are the only game in town, you have to try and find the positives where you can. Their Xfinity Wi-Fi service is one such great benefit, and it couldn’t be much more simple in concept. With millions of customers all over the US, Comcast/Xfinity as the ability to blanket much of the country in Wi-Fi signal without much work. By sending customers those Xfintity wireless routers, they also are sending out mini-hotspots for users everywhere to mooch off of. Now before you panic, your box isn’t letting other people into your network, ok?

The way the Xfinity service works is that your wireless network is secured to you buy a password, which you should keep an eye on and change often if you aren’t doing so already. Once you’ve plugged in that router though, everyone begins to benefit from a ‘side door’ connection on that router. The boxes transmit a secondary signal called XfinityWiFi that registered users can log in to and borrow some internet from when then are on the road or even at a buddy’s house. From the looks of the Xfinity WiFi App, coverage is pretty solid in most areas as well.  There’s not much more to it than that, but here’s where it gets fantastic. Once you sign in from your device, your credentials are good on all the Xfinity hotspots. That means no remembering to log in each time and offloading a ton of what used to be cellular data directly to the Xfinity network.

It’s not all roses for the Xfinity service though. If you are just in range of the box, but not close enough for a good signal, you will find areas where your data basically locks up until you get closer to it. It also works the same when you leave on box to move to another. You will have times where it is frustrating, but the overall savings of your data plan will easily outweigh the minor issues you might encounter.

Screenshot (3)

The Xfinity Wi-Fi service is free to those with Xfinity Home Internet services. For non-Xfinity customers, you can purchase passes ranging from an hour to a full month. Pricing is from $2.95 an hour to $55.95 a month. Additional details are available from the link below.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Verizon To End Device Subsidies Starting August 13th


Saving money on the best network in the US is great, but when something touted as a money saving plan ends up costing users more, it’s a tough pill to swallow. In the most competitive market that wireless has ever seen, simplicity makes it nice for some, but a lower bill is becoming more and more the measure of value to many users. Beginning with T-Mobile, all four major US carriers now have a payment or lease program for getting on to their network. This move prompted many to take advantage of the BYOD programs and save anywhere from $10-$30 a month on their bills. Verizon’s EDGE program was one such deal, and beginning August 13th, it might be the only option for some that want to ride Big Red’s network going forward.

Next week, Verizon will be launching their new lineup of plans, beginning the era of subsidy-less devices on their network for the first time ever. The new plans will be just $20 for unlimited talk and text with any device. You can then add your choice of data plans in a 1GB ($30 a month), 3GB ($45 a month), 6GB ($60 a month) or 12GB ($80 a month). This would mean a monthly cost for a family of four on the 6GB plan would reach $170 after taxes and fees. On top of that, you will now either pay full retail for handsets at the time of signing up, or pay anywhere from $10-$35 a month to buy one over a period of time from Verizon. This brings the monthly bill for that same family of iPhone users to over $300 a month for four basic lines with 6GB of shared data.

While carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile continue to offer users deals that can’t be beat, Verizon is trying to woo customers with new simplistic plans that just won’t save anyone much money. Even Verizon’s own prepaid plans are a better deal than the new  post-paid offerings. While it’s nice to see Verizon dropping the contracts, the move is not going to work in everyone’s favor. For those that are running an unlimited plan, or even those that managed to hit the 30GB for $120 deal that Verizon offered last year, the new plans will not be a money saver.

For those that still need the Verizon network, we recommend checking out Red Pocket Mobile and their CDMAV plans. For as little as $20 a month, you can get started on the Verizon nationwide network. Of course, with the volley of plans coming from other MVNO’s out there, it’s still hard to pass up on deals like Republic Wireless and FreedomPop. If you need a more traditional cell plan, check out the offerings from PTel Mobile and GIV Mobile. Both of these T-Mobile MVNO’s offer unlimited talk, text and data from $25 a month.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

T-Mobile Increases Family Plan Data To 10GB For A Price…

New T-Mobile Family Plan

In the latest Uncarrier move, T-Mobile is once again sticking it to the man with a pretty amazing deal. The new ‘plan for families that love data, but don’t love to share’ goes active tomorrow, 7/15/15. The family offering includes the first 2 lines of unlimited talk, text and 10GB of LTE data for just $100. Additional lines will run you $20 a pop, but here’s where it gets unbeatable…

If you sign on before Labor Day, you will get that 4th line completely free, and there’s no promotional period. This offer will be valid as long as your T-Mobile account is valid and you are current on your payments. Of course, T-Mo has every right in the universe to change up plans and not grandfather people in at a later date, but it doesn’t seem likely that this will happen.

The new family plan will continue to offer all the other great Uncarrier benefits like Data Stash, Mobile Without Borders and Music Freedom. It’s about as good as a cell plan can get, without having any of the negatives. Even the post tax prices for the new offering comes in at a miniature $135 a month for 4 lines. Nothing touches this deal across the major carriers or their MVNO’s.

If you are interested in joining up with T-Mobile and this great family offering, check out today.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Is Windows Phone Dead Or Is It Just A Sleeping Dragon?

Really? Commercial - Windows Phone 7 from Diego Contreras on Vimeo.

Once upon a time, there was a kingdom where to rival kings fought for control of the lives of the people that lived there. These kings had slain every other king and taken their kingdoms one by one. The first kingdom was glorious. It had a king that ruled a land of perfect subjects that did everything he asked. The second was a slightly less organized king, who let his subjects run around and do anything they pleased, as long as everything was taken care of at the end of the day. Neither king was right for everyone, but the two groups of subjects were both becoming frustrated with their kings. Then it happened, one morning there was a new king that emerged.

It was a soul that promised to save the subjects of the other two kingdoms from themselves. It was not the same as the starch rule following king. Nor was it the same of the unruly king that had fragmented its kingdom so badly that the subjects hardly knew who they were any longer. It was the perfect blend of everything that was good and right in both kingdoms, but he had no followers. Soon, small groups began to join this new king and his vision. Then more and more people followed. Finally, in an effort to get as many followers as he could, he offered to trade lands with them and even give them money if his land was not as nice as the land they had. This land, was the kingdom of Windows Phone.

When Windows Phone 7 broke on to the scene, Apple wasn’t as polished, but still had the best ‘locked down’ OS for the beginning user. Android was so spread out over 1.5-3.2 that people didn’t know what version they had or what Apps actually ran on their devices. It was the prime opportunity to strike. The first wave of commercials hit and Windows Phone was rolling. Gone was the dwindling share of Windows Mobile users and off they went to become the next big OS. Until…

The first update of Windows Phone came out and it pumped some needed features into the devices. Things like MMS and a few other key features that didn’t make the 7.0 cut were finally on board. It was picking up steam and doing so quickly. Great devices were coming from manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, LG and finally, Nokia. With the release of the Titan, Radar, Lumia 800 and Samsung Focus S, Windows Phone was finally going places. To crank it up a notch, Microsoft began one of the most devastating campaigns in the history of their company, the Smoked by Windows Phone trade-in program.

Smoked By Windows Phone from Lee Hilse on Vimeo.

The Smoked by Windows Phone campaign offered users the chance to take their current Android or iOS phone to a Microsoft Store to perform a series of challenges. If you won, Microsoft handed you a nice $1000 gift card. If you lost, you could trade your old hardware for a brand new Windows Phone of your choice. It was the most amazing piece of marketing in history and swung Windows Phone in to the crowd ahead of BlackBerry in number of users for the first time. Windows Phone was starting to win.

After that, little by little the numbers got better. Apps began to appear in the store. Users were talking about Windows Phone as more than the old Windows Mobile. It was a viable system. Until the tech blogs got involved, that is. Android was maturing and condensing. Less versions on handsets meant less variants for the developers to support. Apple continued to pound features and polish into iOS and their user base grew as well. Windows Phone was slipping again. Then on one fateful day, Joe Belifore, destroyed any chance Microsoft had of getting back in the game with one statement. Windows Phone 8 was coming, and it’s not compatible with anything we’ve sold you…

That sentiment right there destroyed Windows in the mind of every consumer. It was done. By virtually resetting the system to run on the non-CE kernel, then botching the Windows 8 release all together, Microsoft had to about face and run from the mobile industry. An $8 billion mistake in purchasing Nokia… A multi-billion dollar botch of Windows 8… Investing billions more into features that just never quite worked out… It just destroyed them, for now.

Moving to the future, Satya Nadella, the man who will be charged with bringing Microsoft back, has a vision. It’s a simple vision, much like what Windows Phone was to start with. Sell the services, then build hardware to take advantage of it. Just like everything Microsoft has done in the hardware arena, the first run of Windows Phones has been a bust. Yes, just like the Zune, the Xbox, heck, even the Surface – DUD. But that’s not where the story of this king or kingdom ends.

This story continues to the next generation of Windows Phones and the next version of Windows itself. Will Windows 10 finally bring the three screen concept to life? Will Windows 10 be so close to your PC that you can finally say it’s the same? Will making such great Apps for the other guys make it easier for them to switch to Windows once they are ready to upgrade their phones? These are all great questions, and they will be answered. There is one thing for certain, people are buying phones, and they want phones that work the way they want them to. If Windows 10 gives them that phone, those numbers should go up. If not, then you can still get OneDrive for your iPhone, Galaxy S6  or HTC One.


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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Straight Talk’s $495 Yearly Plan Is Nearly Perfect


What if we told you that there is a way to get your cellular service with a premium smartphone for under $1500 for two years? Ok, it’s more like $1700 if you want a really premium phone, but even so, that’s practically half the price of the majors and there isn’t much of a catch to it. In fact, Straight Talk is offering a full year of cellular service for just $495. The plan includes unlimited talk, text and 3GB of data. Of course, if you bring your own device, they will toss in an extra 2GB for you absolutely free.


Straight Talk has been in the game for quite some time and offers plans that are compatible with every carrier in the US. From AT&T to Verizon, Straight Talk can probably activate your device on their family of networks. From iPhone’s to Droids to Windows and even the latest BlackBerry devices, Straight Talk’s $45 a month plan is a great deal for those that like to use some data. Even better, if you happen to blow through that 5GB of LTE data that is thrown in with your monthly fee, you aren’t cut off, you are just slowed to 2G speeds until your renewal date.

Looking at the numbers, the $495 yearly plan comes in at about a 10% savings over paying monthly. For some, it may not be worth it, but for others, it will help make up for that Starbucks price increase. If you are more of an anti-commitment user, the $45 a month bill should still be substantially less than you are paying now. If you’re ready to see what Straight Talk has to offer, hit the link below.

Source: Straight Talk

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

PTel Mobile Discounts Plans, Adds More Data


There is always something good that pops up on a random morning, and today is no different. Ptel Mobile, an MVNO running on the T-Mobile network, has done some plan shuffling to make a few better deals for you and your friends that are looking to save a few bucks a month. Beginning today, you can snag their new $30 plan which includes unlimited talk, text and date, with 1GB at LTE speeds. It also includes a $5 a month credit for international calling. The new $40 plan will allow you to double up that LTE cap to 2GB for just $10 more. For an additional $10, you can take it up to 3GB. Finally, bringing your monthly bill up to $60 will net you 10GB of LTE data.

Ptel Mobile is definitely stepping up their game and their plans to keep pace with the newest offerings from everyone else. Keep in mind that Ptel Mobile does run on the T-Mobile network, so coverage is very strong in cities and larger towns, but can be lacking in rural areas. Overall, their $30 plan puts them in a prime spot for you to consider a jump if you are out of contract or you just want to try the service.

You can combine these new plans with a few amazing deals that Ptel Mobile is running right now. The best for Windows Phone users is the second month free deal for porting your current number over to Ptel Mobile. If you want a free Android device, there is also that option as well.  If you are looking to start saving some cash on your bill, check out the link below.

Source: Ptel Mobile

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Net 10 Wireless Adds More Data To BOYD Program


Net 10 Wireless has a new deal running for anyone that want to bring their own device to the lower cost MVNO. In the past, users have had access to three different plans on Net 10’s unlimited service. The first was a $35 a month unlimited plan with 500MB of LTE data. The second increased the data to 1.5GB for $5 more. Finally, you could double up on the data one more time to 3GB for $50. All of these plans featured a 10% markdown if you were signed up for auto-refill as well.

In a move to catch up a bit, and possibly take the lead on value again, Net 10 has moved to a new 5GB plan for users that are going to be bringing their own device. With auto-pay, this makes the 5GB plan a pretty low $45 a month per line. Add into this their special Upgrade Plans, and you are looking at some pretty amazing phone deals without much upfront cash. For example, the 5GB limit on the Upgrade Plan will set users back $80 a month, but after 6 months, you are eligible for a $300 upgrade credit. That’s a $120 bonus after a very short term expense.

The additional 2GB upgrade that Net 10 is offering for bringing your own phone is a great deal and a great way to win users over that have been on the fence. If you think it’s about time you ditched the big boys and started saving monthly, hit the link below for more details.

Source: Net 10 Wireless

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Another Month, More Windows Phone Flagship Rumors

There comes a time when it just starts to get old. You know, hearing the same rumors over and over again as each month starts. As June comes to a close, we once again hear the crazy rumors and confirmations of that coveted Lumia 940 and that gorgeous 940XL. Unfortunately, the big issue is that we still don't even have an OS to put on these guesses yet.

Sure, something coming, but to start throwing around specs and terms, it just seems a bit premature. The only thing that tossing out monstrous specs and beautiful renderings will do is miniaturise the impact of the mid-range devices that Microsoft is already pushing out. It makes people forget the Lumia 735 just hit Verizon's shelves and the 640 and 640XL are rolling out as well.

It's sad that the tech blogs publish these rumors and belittle the current efforts so much. I, for one, would be happy to carry the Lumia 640XL as a daily driver. It has more than enough power to run Windows 8 and looks pretty amazing in hand. That said, I haven't seen any of them around yet, so Microsoft folks, if you want to send one my way, I'd be happy to show it off for you.

For now, let's kill the rumors and the what ifs. Let's concentrate on the here and now. Let's grow our platform and encourage developers to get excited about Universal Apps. This fall, we will launch into the beginning or the end for Microsoft's hardware division. As they change to a services company, their mobile devices could just disappear and they could leverage their power on Android and iOS Apps instead. Let's hope Win 10 hits it big and the hardware comes, but until then, don't forget the amazing Lumia's that are right in front of you.

Sent from my HTC One M8 for Windows
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Friday, June 19, 2015

Boost Mobile Drops Lumia 635 To $49.99


If you were in the market for a lower cost monthly cell plan and a new Lumia, Boost Mobile has you covered with their new $49.99 Lumia 635 deal! The Lumia 635 features a Quad-core processor powering a 4.5” ClearBlack display. A 5MP rear facing camera and support for a 128GB MicroSD card will allow you to capture those instant memories when you need to. Of course, the Windows 8.1 powered handset also features Cortana, mobile hotspot and LTE capabilities as well.

The Lumia 635 deal also comes with a few monthly plan options that start as low as $35 a month for 1GB of LTE data, which can be doubled up when you sign up for auto Re-Boost. To sweeten that offer a bit more, they will also drop the bill down to $30 with that auto renewal program as well.

So, to make the long story short, your new Lumia 635 and unlimited plan will set you back less than $80 out the door and only $30 a month. Boost Mobile runs on the Sprint LTE network which is available in most major markets. Check the coverage map for details.

Source: Boost Mobile

What Windows 10 Needs For Me To Stop Carrying An Android Device…

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I’ve gone on and on about the failings of Windows Phone 8.1 over the past year. I’ve poked a bit of fun at the omissions of the OS and the Apps that are missing, but there is something that I never say – even when I am carrying a device like the HTC One M9… I miss Windows Phone.

As amazing as Android is, and don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like it, or it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t have something that clicks with me. I love the additional Apps for services like Klout, Wordpress and a few others, but I can work around most of those via mobile sites or programs like Windows Live Writer on my Dell Venue Pro. Even with all those extra Apps, a monstrously great device and a ‘perfect’ setup, Android isn’t right for me.

You see, I use my phone primarily as a communications device. That may shock some, but in order of importance, I need a camera, an emailing machine, a texting machine and a PDF reader. That encompasses about 85% of my daily usage. While my M9 does a good job with this, it isn’t as good as my Lumia devices, or even the M8 for Windows. The Windows Phone OS just does a better job of ‘working’ for what I need.

The problem is this, I can’t do everything I want with my Windows Phone either. While it’s a smaller portion of my day, that 5-10% of features is pretty much a deal breaker. For one, something as simple as printing an email can’t be done. Access to Google services, like Drive, which my company uses daily, is practically non-existent. Another common issue that I have is that I feel that Microsoft is putting more effort into my Android Apps than my Windows Apps right now. I know that sounds crazy, but have you seen Bing Torque? It’s freaking amazing!

Now, if Microsoft would just get down to brass tacks here and make my phone work like my Venue 8 Pro, but add the dialer and messaging apps, I think I would be the happiest guy on the planet. I can wirelessly print documents. I can edit photos with the killer OneDrive App. I can read PDF’s in the multiple readers that are available and most of all, there’s no file system problems when trying to upload from a “real” browser. This get’s over that nasty ‘youtube’ issue that seems to plague many users.

So, if you are listening Mr. Microsoft, let’s get this started already, ok? There’s no real reason why Windows and Windows for Mobile should be much different any longer. These 4”-6” devices all have plenty of power to run this OS, I mean my Dell isn’t much more powerful than my Lumia 1520, so… Yeah… Anyways, lets get bringing these awesome services to the forefront and make a phone that uses them well. Bring the mobiles to Windows 10 and not a cut version of Windows 10 to mobiles. Believe me, we will pay $500-1000 for a 5” full Windows 10 device that runs EXE’s and universal Apps. We will, we promise… Now just get this done, ok?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Why Windows Phone Needs More Lumia 810’s


Probably the most important feature used on a smartphone today is the camera. Sure, gaming is great, but sharing those photos over social media channels is really where the action is at. When rise of Windows Phone, however small it was, it happened when Microsoft was pushing their Lumia 1020, 920, 810 and 925. Three of these devices featured the PureView camera and an amazing photographic experience. The lone “non-PureView” device in the bunch was the iPhone looking Lumia 810.

The 810 by all means was a mid-range handset sold by T-Mobile USA with a price tag that made it seem premium. The $600 price point was tops in the game for T-Mobile, competing with the iPhone and Samsung with all their guns blazing. Still that little engine that could stared them down with it’s 4.3” display and non-LTE radios and hacked away at their market share.

The baby 1.2GHz Dual Core processor had that little guy running fast enough to keep up with anything you could throw at it and the 8GB of internal storage was amplified by an onboard Micro SD slot. But that wasn’t the best part of the Lumia 810, not by a long shot. The 810 featured a camera as close to those PureView monsters as it could, without actually being one. Zeiss lenses, dedicated camera button and the full suite of Nokia software made the 810 a dominant Windows Phone device.

Then just 6 short months later, the device disappeared from stores and fell to $400, then $300, then went EOL on T-Mobile’s website. The 810 was gone and so was the support for it. Since then, the 8xx series hasn’t seen much action. Sure there’s the current release 830, but It’s much more of a stop gap than a serious phone. It was a slightly lesser version of the 930 that filled a space between the 635 and the 930 (that just for the record is still not available in the US).

For Windows Phone (or Windows for Mobile or whatever you want to call it right now) to succeed, Microsoft has to figure out their market. The 5xx series is so saturated that it confuses people. The 630/635/640 debacle has us all frustrated too. Then you throw in the 640XL for good measure and things get even worse. What really needs to happen is a nice defined entry level Lumia 6xx series and that lower cost phablet that is the same device with a bigger body. Then you go to the 8xx series, which is currently filled by the 830, and scale back the specs to lower the price a touch. Finally, you move on to the dreaded conversation of the 9xx series devices.

With a proper 9xx series follow up to the 920/925, the flagship could be re-established. While it may not be the best phone out there, just throwing a $700 device at the market with a stellar camera, simple OS and all thing things that make a Lumia different will at least get people talking again. Come in with a lower spec, but still very strong camera offering in the Lumia 840 at the $300 price point would solidify that with users as well. This would be the type of device that carriers could give away with contracts. Moving downward, the $100 Lumia 640 would fill the gap in the no-contract/replacement phone market just fine.

Right now, there’s just no option to purchase a great Windows Phone for a decent amount of money. Sure there’s the HTC One M8 which I love, but missing out on all of the ‘Lumia Exclusive’ software is a deal killer for many. The 1520 is gorgeous, but it’s too large for way too many people out there, so that’s a niche market as well. For now, your choices in normal sized Lumia’s are limited to the 530, 630 or 830. It’s time to set that bar back to normal and bring back the mid-rage to the mix. Give me that Lumia 810 again. That mid-range is what you need to set apart the higher end and the entry level handsets. Until you get that back in place, confusion will reign.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Would You Let Your Carrier Put Ads On Your Phone For Reduced Cost Service?


Advertising. We all hate to see it everywhere, but it’s always just a blink away. Websites, pop-ups, billboards, everywhere we look there’s an advertisement for something. Of course, one of the worst offenders to this plague is mobile advertising. Games and websites are loaded with them. Some ads even push them to your devices when you aren’t looking. One such recent App that did this made an interesting thought appear – would you let your carrier put ads on your device for reduced cost or even free service?

It’s been reported that the average person unlocks their cellphone 110 times a day. 110 times! This would mean that at $.002 an ad, a cell company could generate $6.60 a month in just simple display ads. If this was applied to a plan like PTel Mobile’s $25 unlimited plan, that would bring the cost down below $19 a month.Of course, if you unlocked your phone more often, you would generate more income. Unlocking 150 times a day brings that up to $9 a month. A simple increase of $.001 (a tenth of a penny) brings the total up to $13.50 a month – or over half that plan .

While advertising may be obtrusive, annoying and just a bit painful sometimes, getting paid to see them really might make them a bit more fun. Using your browsing history, a small amount of data and targeted marketing, this could be a way for the cell companies (or maybe a new MVNO?) to offer unbelievable deals on their products. A simple banner ad displaying on the bottom of your lock screen or even just at the top of the screen when you use certain features of your device (maybe the music player?) could generate enough cash to give you a major discount on that expensive service plan.

What are your thoughts, would you let your phone company push ads to you in order to save $5, $10 or even $20 a month on your bill? Imaging that family of 5 getting a $100 a month discount?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

HTC Confirms Windows 10 For The One M8–Or Almost Does


If there is one thing that has been great about the way that Microsoft has handlled Windows Phone in the past, it would have to be the transparency at how updates would or wouldn’t be handled in the future. For better or worse, upgrade or non-upgrade information has come quickly through the channels (thanks Joe Belifore) and has been pretty accurate. While it was confirmed a while back that almost all the Lumia line of devices would be getting the Windows 10 for Mobiles update, third party devices like the Samsung ATIV, HTC One and various others have remained very quiet about their upgrade plans.

It looks like HTC is the first to break their silence about their upgrade plans for their One M8 for Windows, and the emphasis on that should be ‘looks’. The HTC US twitter account posted a vague answer to the question online revealing that their flagship Windows device will be getting software updates for 2 years after it’s launch.

Since the device launched in August of last year, this would mean that HTC will continue developing updates for the M8 as far out as July of 2016. While many would see this as great news, those in the know (Hello 8X users!) are reading more into this than the rest. HTC has a bumpy history of getting those promised updates through carriers and on to devices. In fact, Microsoft themselves promised 2 years of updates to multiple devices only to have them come up well short of that mark. The most notable failure in this chain was the Nokia Lumia 810 on T-Mobile. After 6 months, T-Mobile canned the struggling device and support for it stopped shortly there after.

Even so, with HTC’s comment, one would have to assume that the device maker will be pushing the update to carriers as quickly as possible. It’s doubtful that there will be a timetable like the Android updates feature, but it should be considered good news for M8 users no matter how you look at it. It will also be interesting to see if Microsoft continues their plans to push a non-reversible Windows 10 for Mobiles update path for Android devices as well. If the support is this good, there’s no doubt that Microsoft could start winning over Android devices one user at a time.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Does Microsoft Need A Flagship Device?


We have now hit the 8th month since the last major Windows Phone flagship hit in the US and nearly a year since the last of them hit world wide markets. The last flagship to hit the market, the HTC One M8 for Windows. The last world wide release was the Lumia Icon/930. Since then, it’s been nothing but 400, 500 and 600 devices, along with a smattering of 800 series phones. Nothing that rivaled the powerhouses that were the Lumia 1520 or 1020, or even the 920 for that matter. It’s been all quite from Redmond and their newly acquired smartphone line.

Even at World Mobile Congress, Microsoft only threw out the Lumia 640 and 640XL. Both devices are fully capable and come at a very sweet price point. This move prompted the tech industry to ask, “When do we get our flagship?” More blogs and writers took it a step further and stated to demand to know. A simple answer of, “This fall, after Windows 10 comes out,” was all they got. As funny as I find this, my bigger question is, “Why does Microsoft need to release a flagship device?”

In reality, the M8 is way too powerful for Windows. It runs it like a dream, but there just isn’t much there to run. There’s no SnapChat, Klout, very few mobile banking solutions and the worst part – the shrinking body of Apps that continues to get smaller and smaller as developers give up their time to other platforms that are gaining in user base. Frankly, I don’t blame them one bit, but at the same time, this is where Microsoft should be putting their resources. We saw what they could do with YouTube, and it was gorgeous.


Imagine if Microsoft publishes Windows 10, that runs smooth as silk on a Lumia 635 (sub $50 price range without contract) and could save you $100’s every month in phone rentals and data charges. Honestly, it’s a perfect scenario for most users, but a nightmare for carriers. It would create a flood of users bolting for MVNO’s that would offer $35 plans with smaller data caps and no taxes and fees. It would be a nightmare for the networks that support them. Of course, it also just shows how heavily inflated the carriers are with their stores, sales people and ‘support’ staff.


While I would love to see a new flagship device, I would rather see more devices come to market in the lower to middle ranges that would sway people to trying Windows to start with. BLU Products already has a good selection of lower range and mid range Windows devices. The $150 price point of the BLU Win HD makes it a very solid choice for new buyers. Unfortunately, the great news ends there. Since Microsoft has their ‘Lumia Exclusive’ stamp on so many Apps, the third party devices now seem like stepchildren to the Windows lineup. This is what needs to change most of all.

In fact, I pulled my M8 out of the drawer and did a quick count… 212… 212 Apps that I have had on various Windows Phone’s in the past are not compatible with my M8. 40-50 of these Apps were ‘Lumia Exclusives’ and another 40 of them are just no longer compatible. The bleeding needs to stop or the 3rd party makers will walk. Open up your Apps and get Windows growing Microsoft. You aren’t Apple and you don’t have a monopoly on any OS at this point. Get with it.

I’ll just bring this to a close right now. Microsoft does NOT need a flagship device. Microsoft needs to get the Apps that people want and to stop losing those that people use. Bringing in the power developers like Rudy Hyun and the game makers is a great start, but opening up the catalogs for everyone would be subject of the greatest importance to every user on the planet. They could come out with an all metal Lumia with a 50MP camera, 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, but it will still fall flat because Instagram sucks, Tumblr has a data leak of epic proportions and I can’t find how to share a video on anything but Facebook now. Oh, and by the way, without Play To access, I can’t even stream music to my home theater… Thanks for the new phone though Microsoft, the camera is awesome and the photos take up all my OneDrive space now!

For now, leave me out of the flagship debate and put my vote towards getting some Apps finished up. You seem to have quite a few really good programmers there, think you can have a few of them start coding some vicious stuff for sharing videos, controlling home audio and maybe even – wait for it – blog from it? Oh yea, I went there… Maybe this fall though… Maybe this fall?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Do You Kindle? April Is Your Month To Start!


There is something special about turning a paper page in a book. Of course, between the laptop, a few files and a lunch, cramming yet anything else in your work bag is sometimes impossible. This is where the Amazon Kindle App comes in handy. The Kindle App works with your existing phone or tablet and allows you access to your entire Kindle library anywhere you go. The best part, it works with the phone you carry in your pocket already, so you have nothing else to buy, or carry with you.

When you team your Kindle App with a service like BookBub, you get an entirely new reading experience that you will never have to pay for. BookBub highlights discounted and free titles from sources like Google Play and Amazon so you can expand your library completely free. They may be older titles or new, breakout writers that don’t have a big name yet, but being able to read for free is a serious money saver deal for most people. The Kindle App doesn’t restrict where you can access your free content either. The App is available on every major platform in the world including: Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS.

There’s nothing magical about the Kindle App. It is a very straight forward reader that uses WhisperSync technology to keep your readers at the same point. If you start on your tablet at home and read some on your phone while riding the train to work, your tablet will pick right back up where you left off when you arrived at your destination earlier in the day. If you aren’t ‘Kindling’ already, you owe it to yourself to check out the Kindle App for your mobile device. It is a free App that is available to download from the link below.


Source: Kindle App

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why Do I Need A Computer To Keep Blogging?


Dear Microsoft,

Here is another one of my silly letter style posts to you. I know, you probably never read them, but hopefully some users will start retweeting this posts and start getting some momentum behind this stuff and we can get some of them done. If not, at least I feel a bit better having put these thoughts down to reflect on later – and to say I told you so.

Today’s session is all about blogging and your lack of options for doing so. Right now, I am writing this from one of the most powerful blogging tools ever to hit the planet, your very own Windows Live Writer. I’m using a version from 2012 on my Acer Netbook running Windows 8.1. I have Linux loaded on to another partition because the processor is barely strong enough to run Windows well, but it does work great for blogging. I also run this program on my desktop and my tablet. It is simply amazing. Wordpress, Blogger, virtually anything I throw at it, it takes it down and publishes my posts. I love this program.

Which is why this pains me so much to say… I blog from my Android phone on the go. Yes, with my Windows Phone, I am limited to posting by email, which sucks. With my HTC M7, I can post using the great Wordpress App, the Blogger App and a few dozen other – not so great options. It’s a little annoying. So, there it is – I’m carrying an Android device to blog for my Windows Phone blog because you don’t give me a choice.

It’s obvious that you know amazing software from the fact that you created Live Writer. Seriously, good software is hard to come by for Windows Phone. Using a Windows Phone next to an Android device is a bit sad when it comes to the user experience. Everything Windows Phone does, it does better, but the gap is so large in functionality that it’s just not an easy move to make for anyone. Even me, that has been back to Windows Phone since day one, has issues with the lack of support that Windows Phone is getting and has gotten.

It’s time. Windows 10 is right around the corner. The test builds are coming out and things are looking good. It’s time to push those Apps to the store and get people excited about them. Publish a version of Office that makes us proud. Bring us a blogging program (or enable Word to do it!) that makes me want to leave my Android at home. Open up the archives and return to what made you great – software. Go back to being the best at what you do and create things that make your better.

I know you’re already on this path, but the path is going far to slowly for everyone involved. It’s time to make the change. It’s time to get us the software we need to have on our Windows Phones. I know we’re just 3% of your world wide smartphone market, but we are a powerful 3% and we can help you make Windows #1 all over again. It wasn’t that long ago that Windows ruled the mobile world with Symbian. It can again, but only if you help us do it. Make us the Apps we need and we will make it happen. Start with the Live series as an extension of Office and see how well bloggers respond. We will win them back by just making our OS the best mobile blogging solution on the planet. Then everyone can read all about the best OS on the planet.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Art Of Oneography: Manual Mode–Getting More From Your M8


Ok, I have to admit to double dipping this post, but it seemed like a good one to do it with. I was asked by a Twitter follower what “Oneography” was. My answer was pretty simple, “It is the creation of art using your HTC One device.” Just like Lumiaography as well, Oneography is the use of a mobile device to create some amazing images. My Oneography blog features shots from both the M7 and the M8 for Windows, but the information in the post is just as relevant to those of you with Lumia’s as well. It’s all about what those manual controls do, and how to have a bit more fun with image taking. So, here you go.


As most of you know, the HTC One M7, M8 and M8 for Windows have a unique camera. These devices use an “Ultrapixel” instead of a Megapixel. By increasing the size of the light receptor, it allows for more information to be captured, which should translate to better images. Of course, sometimes and always don’t work in photography, and Oneography is no different. Depending on your situation, an auto-exposed image may work fine for you, but when you need that extra bit of creativity in your images, step out on the ledge and see what your One can do.


The first slider on the left in manual mode controls the white balance. Pushing this setting up, will bring more reds into the lighting and pushing it down will cool the color tones and bring more blue into the image. This is one simple way to add some amazing colors to sunrise and sunset shooting. It can also be used to balance against harsh lighting that creates unreal looks. By cooling or warming the color tone, you can really bring the image back to a natural point when the auto settings fail to do so.


The next useful control is on the far right of the sliders. The focus slider allows you to set the depth of focus and turn off the autofocus settings. This will allow you to shoot faster images at a set focal point, rather than waiting for the autofocus to catch up with you. This brings action shots to the realm of possibilities. Try shooting a basketball game or your kid’s soccer match in a set focal length. It will turn out amazing once you get it down.


The next three sliders are all basic exposure controls. You have the EV compensation control, which will over-ride the sensor setting and allow you to make an image darker or brighter than it was originally. The exposure compensation control lets you control that extra bit of light you need to make or break an image. Remember, negative numbers make the image darker and positive numbers make the image brighter.

The other light controller in this setting is the ISO. The higher the ISO number is, the more light the sensor captures across the board. This can be very useful when shooting in the dark. Be careful with this setting though as the higher the ISO goes, the more digital noise will be found in the image. Digital noise is that ‘grainy, discolored pixel look’ that many darker images suffer from. This is caused by the auto setting of the ISO going too high to try and capture the image. Keeping the ISO lower in some darker images can also yield some excellent photos.


The 5th and final control on the HTC One M8 camera is the shutter speed. From the fastest to the slowest, you can capture many events with just altering the shutter speed. The top of the slider is the fastest setting, while the lower section will hold the shutter open longer. Fast shutter speeds are used for action shots, mainly to ‘freeze’ time. Longer exposures can be used for things like nightscapes, fireworks or special effects. This is the setting where it is fun to grab a mobile tripod solution and have some fun.

Remember, when you are getting ready to go on your adventure, don’t think too much about how many images you take or how many ‘bad’ ones there are. If you walk away from a #HTCOneLife weekend with 10 great shots, it was obviously an amazing weekend! If you walk away with one great shot, you still had just as much fun trying to get the other 9, so don’t sweat it and try again next week.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below or find me on Twitter and drop me a note.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

App Review: Keep Track Of Your Power With Battery Pro+

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If there is one area that the modern smartphone is lacking, it’s battery power. Sure, they are getting better, but since 2010, Windows Phone has been leading the way with the juice sipping settings that just make any battery last longer than the competition. In fact, looking at the HTC One M8, the Android battery only lasts about 70% as long as its Windows Phone counterpart.
With all that power saving, I’ve never felt the need to track my battery drain, but upon installing a few new Apps, I noticed that my battery level was dropping a bit quicker. So, out came Battery Pro+ and a few days of monitoring. Simply starting the trace function showed me almost immediately what Apps were killing my batter. If you don’t have any major power consumption issues, Battery Pro+ is just a great way to see how much power you are using on a daily basis.
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Battery Pro+ shows you how much time your device spends off charger to how much power per day you are using, You can take your power usage monitoring to the next level by starting the trace function, which will track how much juice your individual Apps are burning as well. This is where installing it earlier, rather than after a problem comes in handy though. If you have a baseline for your device, you can see a spike after you install a few other Apps, you’ll know to run the trace and to watch for those Apps.
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Overall, the $.99 price tag is more than fair for such a great diagnostic program. I won’t say that there aren’t free options out there, but for a buck, but Battery Pro+ just works better. I’ve tried quite a few, and for the free vs. paid solutions out there, Battery Pro+ gets my vote. There is a trial available if you aren’t sure you need on yet, but like I said, you don’t know you will need something like this until a problem comes up, and by then it may not help as much as it would today.
Battery Pro+ is $.99 in the Windows Phone Store and has a 3MB download size. This makes it a great tool for those that often try new Apps and suffer from power issues. It also features shortcuts to popular settings right in the App so you can adjust them to save more battery when need. Battery Pro+ is the perfect addition to your Windows Phone library. You can grab it at the link below.
Download Link: Battery Pro+

Friday, March 6, 2015

Windows Phone 8.1.2 Not Coming Afterall?


It looks like that cute little Windows Phone 8.1.2 update that was featured on the Lumia 640 and 640XL at Mobile World Congress this week will not be coming to older devices in the future. With the push to get a Windows 10 Tech Preview rolled out to higher end devices, Microsoft appears to be skipping the minor update and rolling straight on to the newer OS.

It’s doubtful that most in the Windows Phone community would even care about this incremental update, but it’s worth noting that it isn’t coming to existing devices. Maybe that’s one more reason to consider that gorgeous new Lumia 640XL before the fall Windows 10 devices hit the shelves.

Do You Change Your Phone Or Your Accessories?

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It’s a crossroads… An impasse… An impossible dilemma… It is something that every Windows Phone user faces on a daily basis… I love my phone, but nothing works with it.

Yes, I said it. There is so much that I love about my precious HTC One M8 for Windows, yet there is so much I can’t do with it. As for me, I run a small photography business, do some blogging, take a ton of images, and provide tech support for my day job on an on-call basis. It’s quite a bit for one device to handle. Fortunately, I have had my Windows Phone for the heavy lifting and an HTC One M7 running Android for everything else. This week, that M7 went back for a camera repair – and it has really hurt.

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With functionality like USB OTG, I can upload photos from my DSLR to Flickr from the road. With Square, I can accept credit card payments and deposits from clients on the spot. With proper DLNA, I can share images right to my TV without fancy hookups or a special dongle. Heck, I can even stream to my Sony Network Speaker without anything special, which makes passing the work time much easier. The final straw has been my desire to drop some weight and get in better shape. The $200 MS Band has been out of stock for months, and is really the only major option for Windows Phone. FitBit has a pretty good setup now, but it was a bit late to the party for me.

As I continued down the list, I found my poor Windows Phone just wasn’t measuring up, and it had nothing to do with it being a Windows Phone. It had to do with connectivity, with Apps and with accessories. Sure, there are ways around it, like spending $100’s on new stuff, but that’s not really a great idea when simply buying a $300 device to replace my M8 would fix my problems. It just doesn’t make much sense to continue to invest in a platform that doesn’t meet my needs.

Does anyone else suffer from gadget envy when their iPhone or Android touting buddies come around, or is it just me? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to fall out of love with Windows, but it’s becoming harder and harder to love it when everything else just keeps getting better and better. It is even harder to love it when there is so much missing from it that I need to keep things running.