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4 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Smartphone Purchase

4 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Smartphone Purchase
Are you in the market for a new smartphone — and are you working on a budget? Then you will need to find ways to save a few bucks on your next smartphone purchase.

If you’ve signed up with a phone carrier, you have a few options to consider. This following list has four general ways you can save money when buying a new smartphone when you’re on a contract. Just keep in mind that you will need to do some research to find the phone that’s right for you.

Do You Want Certain Features? A Mid-Range Phone May Suit Your Needs

Think about how you will use your phone. Will you use all the features offered in the most popular models? How much data do you use each month?

When purchasing a phone, you might be drawn to one of the most popular (that is, high-end) models, but you are on a budget. Look around and compare prices and specs. Chances are there are some newer models at mid-range prices. If you primarily use your smartphone for tasks like sending texts, using email, social media, and limited streaming, phones at mid-range prices allow you to do all that and more.

Would You Like to Pay Even Less for the Same Features? Get an Older Model

Have you thought about getting an older smartphone? If you have not, just know you have a few options here.

For starters, look into buying a pre-owned phone — but be careful. Only get a certified pre-owned phone. This way, you will make sure you are purchasing a quality product that’s still in fine working order.

You can also look into buying a phone that’s been refurbished. Just like a pre-owned phone, however, you should make sure it’s certified.

Alternatively, you could choose a top-of-the-line model that was released the previous year. If it hasn’t been used, it’s just as effective as a newer model.

Want to Save Even More Money? Find Deals No Matter the Season

Have you signed up for alerts with a particular phone carrier? If so, you will receive email messages all year long so you can be aware of the best deals, especially during the holidays.

Alternatively, you can receive text messages with offers. You will likely see alerts for a new smartphone or phones that have been out a few months and now have marked down prices. If your phone carrier needs to get rid of a few older models, you’re in for a treat.

Also make sure to look for BOGO deals, especially if you need more than one phone. While you might have to pay full price for the first phone, the second one’s free.

Do You Need an Upgrade? You Could Trade in Your Smartphone

Is your old phone in good cosmetic and working condition? If so, you might want to trade in your phone.

For example, customers have a chance to trade in their phones at T-Mobile when they’re looking to upgrade or open up a new line of service. The process has a few caveats, but customers can earn credits that can be used toward the purchase of a new smartphone.

T-Mobile’s website provides an online calculator for you to find an estimate for your trade-in. While it’s just an estimate, it’s worth a try to get an idea of how much your old phone is worth. Then you can figure out how much more you will need to spend on a new phone.

As you can see, when you’re in the market for a new phone but on a contract, the process doesn’t have to hurt your wallet. There are always ways to save money — you just need to be creative and do your research.

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Apps

Google is about to Launch a Gmail Web Redesign

Google is about to Launch a Gmail Web Redesign

Gmail New Revamp Underway!

In a few short weeks we will get to see Google’s new Gmail. The team behind Google is all set to release a new design for the mail interface. A mail has already been sent to Google’s G suite customers telling them about a new and fresh design for Gmail. Besides the fresh new design, G  mail users will also get new features to go along with it. This new update is long overdue but at least it’s here.Apart from the design upgrade, Gmail users will now benefit from some added features such as getting Google Calendar in the G mail interface, a confidential mode, the ability to snooze emails, the ability to view emails while offline and smart replies that was already present on smartphones but now will be available on the desktop as well.

Google Calendar in Gmail:

Users can now access Google Calendar from G mail itself. You can now set appointments right next to emails.

This new design will make Google calendar more accessible to users while reading emails. A screenshot taken from the Verge shows a Gmail design where Google Calendar is placed as a sidebar at the left hand side of the screen. In the design the sidebar can be customized to show a Calendar or to keep or tasks to be done.

Snooze Emails in Gmail:

The snooze feature which was already present in the Gmail app for phones will now rollout to the desktop versions as well. This feature in G mail will allow you to pass on or receive emails hours or days later.

This feature will allow you to clear out unwanted emails before you receive more.

Smart replies in Gmail:

While this feature may already be present in smartphones, Google plans on bringing out this feature to the desktop version as well. These algorithmically designed replies will now be available on the desktop version of G mail as well.

Storing Emails for Offline access on Gmail:

Google is now planning on getting emails to be stored in your browser for offline reading. Google will use standard web technologies to do this as they are slowly phasing out Chrome apps.

Confidential Mode now on Gmail:

G mail will have a confidential mode that will prohibit users from forwarding, copying, downloading or printing certain emails, received from certain people.

There will also be a passcode enabled email viewing, whereby a password or OTP will be sent to open certain messages. Another feature of this confidential mode is that there will be expiry dates on certain emails too.

This all will help businesses in taking care of how their emails are treated by the recipients.  But this would not stop people from taking screen shots of the message before it is deleted unless there is software in place to prevent screenshots from being taken.

The biggest change in Gmail:

There will be a sidebar to the right hand side of the inbox that will now contain features like the Google Calendar.

You will also be able to change the way you view Gmail, there is a compact version, a comfortable option and a Default version.

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Gadgets

AlertEgo: Computer System Transcribes Words Users Speak Silently

AlertEgo: Computer System Transcribes Words Users Speak Silently

AlertEgo: The New Computer Transcriber

We have all heard of a transcriber and may be even have used it in our work. Researchers have now come up with a computer interface that you wear across your jaw and your ear that translates commands to a computer without the need for actually voicing out the words, while in a transcriber you have to clearly enunciate each word while it is being recorded and written down. Here in the AlertEgo project, the computer uses neural networking to make out words that are not really spoken.

AlertEgo is a revolutionary like device that would have a host of applications. Just think noisy places where you would like to communicate something to someone or issue commands to a computer but really can’t. The entire AlertEgo project comprises of a wearable device and a computer system to analyze the subtle movements of the jaw to come up with the words the user is trying to communicate.

What is AlertEgo?

AlertEgo is a project that consists of a wearable device as well as a computer interface that as a whole forms a wordless transcriber. Without actually mouthing the words or without any speech, the wearable device will pass on the subtle movements in the jaw to a computer interface that then uses neural technology to understand the slight/ barely seen movements into actual words.

Electrodes present in the wearable device communicate neuromuscular movements in the face and jaw every time you “speak in your head” which is known as internal verbalization. These neuromuscular movements are not really seen by the human eye but can be picked up by the electrodes present in the wearable device.

These signals are then passed on to a machine learning system that then correlates these signals to a list of words to complete the transcription.

The wearable device in the AlertEgo project also contains bone-conduction headphones that transmits vibrations from the bones of the face to the inner ear and since the wearable device does not contain anything in its design that obstructs the ear canal, the device is able to send signals to the user without interrupting them.

Therefore AlertEgo is a complete computational system that allows the user to not only communicate things to a computer but to also receive information from the system itself.

Uses of the AlertEgo project:

AlertEgo is a system that will find a place anywhere, it just takes a little creative thought. In places where you are in a discussion and you need to verify facts but don’t want to pull out your phone so as not to distract the speaker or you are not allowed to, in such cases AlertEgo comes to the rescue.

Think of those high noise environments where you need to communicate something to someone but are not really able to, like the ground work of an airport, again its AlertEgo to the rescue. Another possible use for this device is during special ops where silence is a must, Alert Ego can then be used by special ops personnel where hand signals and actual speech cannot be used.

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Apps

4 Tech Tools and Plugins to Push More Payments Through Your Online Store

4 Tech Tools and Plugins to Push More Payments Through Your Online Store

Would it be a bit of a stretch to say that online stores today are only as good as their on-site tech?

Perhaps not.

After all, it’s incredibly simple to set up an online store via platforms such as Shopify; meanwhile, the wealth of plugins and platforms out there to give your store some much-needed flair are staggering.

In fact, as long are you’re following compliance rules in regard to online payments, you can go ahead and start supercharging your site to result in more sales.

Which plugins and functionalities are going to help you score those sales, though? If you’re looking to increase conversions and squeeze more value out of each and every one of your visitors, look into the four pieces of tech to help you out.

Upselling and Cross-Selling Plugins

As a quick side note, not everything is about winning new sales but rather making the most of those who’ve already made the decision to buy.

Upselling with an extra offer during checkout is a proven tactic that just about any major ecommerce site employs. Similarly, cross-selling and recommended relevant products has become an expectation from today’s buyers. Plugins like Product Upsell via Shopify can help you do this without revamping your site.

Heatmapping Software

Platforms like Hotjar and VWO are key for understanding which aspects of your site are driving clicks and what might be pushing people away.

While metrics like bounce rate may clue you in via Google Analytics, a dedicated conversion optimization tool can be a total game-changer. When you look at the elements of higher-converting CTA buttons, it’s clear that even the most subtle of changes can make a major difference for sales. Something as simple as a font, button size or color scheme could actually be working against you.

On-Site Video

Integrating video on-site is a prime way to keep visitors on the page, but they’re also incredibly helpful for sealing the deal. Videos improve conversion rates as increase the likelihood of a purchase by up to 84% and are effective at explaining what your product does. If nothing else, producing video can build authenticity and show that you’re a legitimate brand versus a faceless storefront.

The best part about video is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can integrate your on-site videos to your homepage or products pages, meanwhile hosting them on YouTube or Vimeo. Meanwhile, you can hire someone on Fiverr to produce a quick and clean slideshow or narration if you need a more “professional” vibe.

Exit Pops

Pop-ups might traditionally be thought of as spammy, but exit pops like those from OptinMonster are surprisingly good at keeping potential customers from bouncing. A popular tactic in the world of ecommerce is to tack on an exit pop with a discount code to entice visitors to stick around. Such pops serve as a sort of “reward” for traffic that stays in your funnel and is likewise a trust-builder to boot.

Setting up a successful storefront means doing everything you can do encourage that ever-so-important purchase. By effectively integrating these pieces of tech, you can turn your site into a conversion machine!

 

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Apps

4 Tips to Write A Killer App Description

4 Tips to Write A Killer App Description

If someone sees your app on the store but isn’t yet sure if they want to buy or download it, do you want to know what they’ll turn to next?

That’s right, the description of your app. And if your description fails to compel the user to download, you’ve most likely lost them forever.

This is why writing a killer app description is one of the most overlooked parts of mobile app marketing.

Your description also needs to do much more than simply explain what your app is about. Here are four tips to write a killer app description:

Tip #1 – SEO Is Your Best Friend

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It basically means making your app more visible on search engines so more traffic is generated to it.

One of the simplest SEO techniques of all time is simply to include popular keywords in your content. This way, when people search for those keywords in the App Store or Google Play, your app stands a much greater chance of showing up and being seen by those who should be interested in it.

Tip #2 – The Shorter The Paragraphs, The Better

Here’s a golden rule to follow for writing app descriptions: two sentences per paragraph, maximum.

When people click your description and see big walls of text, it only serves as a deterrent and the odds of them immediately clicking away are rather high.

Instead, break your paragraphs so they’re each one to two sentences long each. This makes it easier for people to skim through your description to get the main takeaways.

Tip #3 – People Love Bullet Points

Another technique that makes it easy for people to skim through your description is bullet points.

There are two specific sections of your description where having bullet points will be a distinct advantage: the features of your app and the advantages/benefits it has to the user.

Don’t make your bullet points excessively long; around four or five per section should be sufficient.

Tip #4 – Don’t Forget The Visuals

People may love bullet points, but they love pictures (and videos) even more. Including screenshots and/or video tutorials of your app in your description greatly enhances your description’s professionalism.

It further allows visitors to actually see what your app is like without actually downloading it. This way, they’ll have a clear visual representation of what they’re getting and this will help compel them to click that download button.

Writing A Killer App Description

Even if you’re not a writer, you don’t need to feel intimidated at the thought of writing a description for your app. It’s one of the most important components of marketing your app to make it more visible on the store, which translates to more downloads (and money).

But even if you don’t feel you’re up to the task, remember you can always ask a friend who is a writer to do it for you.

 

 

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