Review: Can you really save money by cutting the cord?

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Politicians may be claiming that job opportunities are growing and the economy is getting better, but people aren’t really seeing that. The only work out there consists of temp jobs and minimum wage jobs where you get laid off for no good reason. Because of all these stresses, people are looking for any way they can to save a buck on their expenses. One way they are doing this is by eliminating their non-necessities first. These are things that people can live without, like cable television. Before the age of the internet, cable television was the main source of entertainment in every household. Now it is really unnecessary because the internet can give you access to movies, television and websites where you can be interactive. What is the point of keeping cable television if you can just get cable internet with more benefits for a cheaper price?

The only thing that stops people from switching is the fact that there is no single streaming service that offers all of the channels that cable television offers. For example, you can get HBO online if you sign up for HBO Go. But, what about ESPN, Cinemax, TMC and all the other channels people enjoy? You would have to sign up separately for each streaming service to get these channels, which would cost a fortune. Cable television gives you them all in one monthly package. However, Sony just came out with a new service called PlayStation Vue, which is a cloud based television service that you can stream through your PlayStation 4. They are the closest internet based service to offer consumers a cable television package. PlayStation Vue gives subscribers access to over 50 cable and broadcast channels at a cost of $50 per month. You have the option to add sports channels for $10 or $20 more. Some might say that is a good deal, but you also have to consider the costs of your internet connection as well. You will need a connection with at least 5 megabits per second, which will likely cost you $40 to $50 per month. Therefore, you will be paying $100 for internet and over 50 television channels, excluding HBO in this package.

Overall, the package you choose depends on which channels you love to watch and how often you watch them. If you occasionally watch television once or twice a week, then you mine as well get a single streaming service like HBO Go. But if you are a true couch potato that loves multiple channels then you might want to just stick with your regular cable television and endure the additional costs.

 

I used this accessory and didn’t have to charge my iPhone for three days

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The one thing that annoys Smartphone users the most is recharging their battery every so often. Nothing is worse than seeing the red light indicator come on, which signals that your battery is almost out of power. If you are at work or away from your charger, then this could mean trouble if you depend on your Smartphone for critical communication. The reason why the power goes out so fast is because people use their Smartphone for everything. Before, cell phones used to just be for making phone calls and sending out the occasional text message. Now people use them for emailing, internet surfing, watching movies, listening to music and pretty much every activity they used to do on the computer. What they don’t realize is these kinds of activities require a lot more power to sustain.

A company called “Mophie” has developed an accessory that may very well assist Smartphone users with their battery charging dilemma. The announced earlier this year that they were coming out with a new version of their previous accessory “Juice Pack,” which is a case for the iPhone 6 Plus. However, this is not just an ordinary case where you store your iPhone. This case actually has a built-in battery with a charger on the bottom. When you put your iPhone in the case, it slides on top of the charger on the bottom. The charger uses the juice from the other battery to transfer new power into your iPhone’s battery. People who have tried out Mophie’s Juice Pack claim that it nearly doubled the amount of battery life in their iPhone’s battery.

The Juice Pack retails for about $100, which isn’t bad for someone who needs to charge their phone constantly while they are away from home. However, it does also add the burden of having to bring your case with you wherever you go. You can leave the case on the phone while you use it, but it makes the phone a lot bulkier and so it may not fit in your back pocket. Testers have also reported that it is difficult for them to fit their L-shaped headphone jacks into the port of their iPhone when it is encased in the Juice Pack. To get around this, you could take an adapter for the case with you but that will only add to the amount of accessories you have to carry. Overall, the Juice Pack is still a worthy investment if you can make room for it during your travels.

 

HTC says it has a plan to make you choose its new phone over the iPhone

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HTC has really caught consumer internet in the Smartphone marketplace. It used to be that Apple was what people were always talking about, but now consumers realize that HTC creates awesome Smartphones as well. The HTC One series were the first Smartphones to create a trend in plastic flimsy style phones instead of the bulkier metal phones. But even though consumers really like these phones, Apple still seemed to dominate the marketplace in the beginning. This made HTC struggle to sell nearly as many phones as Apple and Samsung. The main reason for this competitive struggle had to do with marketing problems. Samsung became the leader in Android phone technology because of their aggressive press releases and advertisement campaigns. This left HTC virtually in the dust.

Today, times have changed and Samsung is no longer getting as many sales as it used to get. Regardless of this, HTC is still in the same boat and they still have a tough time competing with others. This mainly has to do with the oversaturated Smartphone market. There are so many new manufacturers of Smartphones who have figured out ways to make them cheaper. Even though the quality of these phones might not be as good, their affordability still gives them a huge advantage over the more expensive Smartphones produced by Apple and Samsung. The only way for manufacturers to compete with cheaper Smartphone makers is to either lower their prices even more or come out with a new feature in the Smartphone that will make people disregard the higher price. The new HTC One M9 may very well contain this feature.

Jason Mackenzie, HTC’s president of the Americas, hinted briefly about an upcoming public announcement that will set the M9 apart from the other Android and Apple phones. This announcement should occur later on in the spring of this year. Consumers don’t really know what to speculate about the announcement right now. There are already plenty of companies that are making their Smartphones thinner and lighter weight, but even those can have problems because they break easily. If the HTC One M9 really wants to stay ahead of the competition, they need to have a new piece of hardware that no other Smartphone has. Either that or they need to develop an app that helps the majority of consumers. It will be very interesting to hear what Mr. Mackenzie has to say when more information is revealed about the M9 later this spring.

 

 

Selfies printed on your Apple Watch (AAPL)

apple watch logoThe smartwatch craze has already taken consumers by storm. Although the popularity of smart wearable technology was slow in the beginning, it is starting to gain considerable interest with the soon to be released Apple Watch. The product line for the Apple Watch consists of three versions, the regular stainless steel watch, the colorful sport watch or the 18-karat gold watch. For awhile people thought these looks were all there was to the Apple Watch, but now a third party company is selling a service that will print your selfie photos onto custom made straps for the Apple Watch. All you have to do is sign into your account at Casetify.com and start uploading your pictures. Then you drag the pictures around on a virtual layout of the straps to position the images the way you want them. They also give you filters and other special effects to spice up the images even more. When you are finally satisfied with what you see, you can purchase the real straps with those pictures printed on them for $50.

The idea behind this service is to help consumers personalize their smartphones by having images of them on the straps. These selfies can be holiday pictures or just everyday pictures that you took around the house. Casetify is not exactly a new company that only caters to people who own the Apple Watch. In fact Casetify has been around a lot longer than the Apple Watch. That is why they also provide services for printing custom images onto the shell of your smartphones. It doesn’t even matter whether you have Apple or Android smartphones. You can get your selfie pictures printed on the outside of iPhones, iPads, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy and Blackberry Z10. This is a neat way to personalize your Smartphone and also a way to deter anyone from wanting to steal your phone and then resell it. After all if it has your face printed everyone, then no one will want to take it.

Critics still wonder if the Apple Watch is ready for such a unique service. Consumers are still adjusting to the smartwatch itself so they may not be ready to buy any additional features that they don’t need. But as the market for smartwatches grows every day, this could put Casetify ahead of the game for when people are finally ready to purchase more optional features like selfie straps.