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All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘mobile technology’

UNDERSTANDING VERIZON’S NEW WIRELESS PLAN

On June 28th, Verizon Wireless will introduce a new wireless data plan. The rationale for the change (which will be followed by other providers) is for them to cash in on the ever increasing demand for data services on mobile devices such as smartphones (iPhones, Androids, and Blackberries) and smaller laptops.  While the news services are offering varying opinions and explanations, here are some basic things you should know about the new plan:

– The new plan only applies to smartphones and computer tablets, not iPads,

– The plan is not mandatory, current Verizon customers are not obligated to revise their existing plans.

–  Based on how you use your smartphone, you can actually save money by switching to the new plan. People who are heavy data users (e-mails, Internet browsing, streaming videos, etc.) should consider the new plan.

Below is a summary of the Plan:

– There is no tiered pricing for telephone calls. Presently, 450 minutes costs $39.95 per month and the price escalates for additional minutes.  Under this new plan, the only choice will be unlimited minutes and free text messaging for $40 per phone.  This is a substantial savings for anyone on a plan for more minutes or an unlimited plan.

– The new data plan starts at 2GBs for $60 and goes as high as 10GBs for $100 per month, based on your usage. If you have a family plan with several phones, the data plan is shared with each of the lines.  It is possible to have up to 10 mobile devices share the same plan. The present cost for 2GBs of data is $30 PER PHONE and rises for more data.  According to the leading providers, most people use less than 2GBs per month unless they stream a lot of videos and music from the Internet.

– If you change to the new plan, and are presently on an unlimited data plan, you will lose it.

As I have indicated in the past, there is never a standard answer when it comes to one’s technology needs.  If you are currently a Verizon customer, I suggest you call them for an evaluation of your present plan and discuss whether or not a change will save you money.

If you need a further explanation of Verizon’s new plan, or have any other technology questions, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my NEW white paper, “TIPS ON BECOMING A TRUE MOBILE WARRIOR”

THE NEW IMPROVED MAGICJACK

MagicJack, the popular (VOIP) internet based phone system has recently introduced a new program that allows you to make and receive phone calls without your computer being turned on.

For those of you who are not familiar with MagicJack, the system lets you make free telephone calls to anywhere in the United States, regardless of  your location, whether you are in the US or abroad.

How does it work?  When you sign up, you select a phone  number with your local area code (in New York, either 917,646, or 347).  What this means is when you plug your MagicJack into your computer, you are calling through the Internet making it possible to make what appears to be a local call within the US,  MagicJack is a tiny device that is plugged into one of the USB slots in your computer.  The device costs $39.99 with an annual fee of $19.99.  Not only that, but when you purchase a MagicJack, you get the first year for free – no monthly charges. You can purchase one at places like Best Buy or online at magicjack.com.

With its new enhanced program called MagicJack Plus ( at a slightly higher rate), you no longer need a computer. No more having to keep your computer on at all times. You can use any phone, stationary or portable and simply plug it into your new phone jack in the MagicJack PLUS which can be plugged into the wall now.  The MagicJack Plus device is than plugged into your router.  If you want to reduce your telephone costs, you can now “port” over your existing home phone number to MagicJack Plus and take your home phone number wherever you go.

If you have any questions regarding MagicJack or any other technology issues, give me a call at 917 921-4518 or e-mail me at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my NEW white paper, “TIPS ON BECOMING A TRUE MOBILE WARRIOR”

IS “SIRI” ON MY IPAD?

Can’t find Siri on your new iPad? Well, it’s not there!  While Apple included this speech-recognition personal assistant on its new iPhone 4S, it is not one of the many new features on the latest iPad.

I like speech recognition, as do many of my clients who are not thrilled with the touch screen on either their iPhones or iPads. Siri is limited only to the iPhone 4S and not on the iPhone 4, iPod touch, or other smartphones. In search for a speech recognition app for my new iPad, I discovered and downloaded Dragon Go, a mobile application that hears what you say, and delivers the results you want within seconds!

There are several distinct differences between the two services. Siri speaks back to you while Dragon Go reports its findings on the screen. Dragon Go interacts with other apps and websites, such as Open Table for restaurant reservations, Fandango, YouTube, and Twitter.

While there are many competitive apps out there, such as Vlingo, Dragon Go is a worthy alternative to Siri for those of you who don’t want to upgrade to the iPhone 4S and would like speech recognition for their iPad.

If you’d like to discuss any features of your iPad or have questions about any other technology issues, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my NEW white paper, “TIPS ON BECOMING A TRUE MOBILE WARRIOR”

STILL NOT INTERESTED IN SOCIAL MEDIA?

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.” – Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business.

If you don’t believe the impact that social media has had on our lives, both personally and professionally, click on the link below and listen to this remarkable video. The statistics are several months old, however the message is loud and clear.

http://bit.ly/JFMlbZ

The most interesting statistic I found was the one indicating that 93% of marketers use social media for business – do you?

If you want to discuss what social media can do for you, whether on a personal or professional level, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.

 

7 Rules for using your iPad overseas

You’ve just purchased a brand new iPad.  Congratulations!! If you bought the model with the 4G data service from either Verizon or AT&T, here are some things you need to know about using your iPad when traveling out of the United States.

1.  The data service should be turned off before you leave. That means you must switch to Airplane mode.  When overseas, you are roaming which means the cost of using the a US based data plan is very high.

2.  If you want to access the Internet while traveling, use a wireless (wi-fi) connection which is usually FREE. Most hotels offer wi-fi, and while most places offer it for free, you might run into a situation where there might be either a daily or hourly rate.

3.  Most Internet cafes abroad offer Internet access by the hour.

4.  If you are unable to locate a place with wi-fi and need to use a data service, you can purchase a micro sim card to insert into your iPad.  These local data providers offer plans that are significantly cheaper than activating an International program from either Verizon or AT&T here in the United States.

5.  Most public wi-fi “hotspots,” whether hotels, airports, Internet cafes, etc. are not secured, meaning that anyone in the network can see what you are doing on your computer.  In other words, do not use a public unsecured “hot spot” to access bank accounts, use credit cards or any other private information. If you are staying at someone’s house who has wifi, ask whether their network is secured and for a password to access their network.  If no password is required, it is not a secured network.

6.  If you want to stream a video from Netflix, or use an online service such as Skype, make sure you are doing so from a w-fi connection.  Using your data service, whether from the U.S. or a local provider overseas, will use up your allowable data plan quickly.  For example, watch 2 Netflix movies with the 4G service will use up to 90% of your monthly allowance.

7.  Lock your iPad with a password.  If you are doing a great deal of traveling, it is not difficult to leave it somewhere or have it stolen.

If you have any questions about the iPad or any other technology issues, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.

Don’t like the iPhone and iPad Touch Screens? Try a Stylus

The stylus is back!! Remember the Palm Pilot, the first hand held device totally reliant on a thin stylus that slipped into a sleeve on the side of the unit?  Well, a newer, slightly thicker version has emerged.  With the popularly of the iPhone and the various tablets on the market, the new stylus has helped many of us who have had difficulty with the touch screens.  In addition, the new stylus, with a felt tip, permits people who would like to use one of the apps like noteability for handwriting and drawing directly onto the tablet.

For those of us with chubby fingers or difficulty with on screen keyboards relief is finally here.  I also find that writing notes on my iPad a plus.  As for the iPhone, using the stylus for typing has substantially reduced the amount of time it takes me to write an e-mail.

As indicated in past blogs, not all gadgets are meant for everyone.  While many people are comfortable with on screen keyboards, the stylus is a useful tool.

If you have any questions about the stylus, iPhones, iPads, etc., do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.

IS THE “NEW” iPAD FOR YOU?

The big news in the tech world this past week has been the launch of the “New” iPad. This third generation iPad has received a great deal of press both before and after the launch.

The first question you must ask yourself is whether or not a tablet is for you. The iPad is still the number one ranked and best selling tablet. If you already own one, then you must evaluate the merits of upgrading to the “latest and greatest.”  For those of you who have never owned one, the major issue is to determine whether a tablet will address your technology needs, whether for personal or professional purposes.

As indicated in previous posts, the tablet has proven to be an ideal substitute to the much heavier laptop computer for the road warrior. Tablets are excellent for communication (email, messaging, skype, etc) and getting information (news, weather, restaurants, movies, games, etc).  For those of you that do a lot of writing, there are many keyboards on the market that make typing much easier than the touch pad. However, despite publicity to the contrary, it does not replace a computer since there are many functions that require a computer.

During the past few months, I have introduced the iPad to several clients who have never used a computer.  Tablets have proven to be the ideal solution to techno-phobics who had previously been reluctant to embrace technology.   The larger screen and easy access to “apps” has changed their world.

If you have been considering your first tablet purchase, take some time to sit down and write down your technology needs. There are many options to choose from, the iPad, Nook, Kindle, etc.

As for those of you considering an upgrade, the new iPad offers a faster processor, high resolution screen, 4G wireless service, and a far better camera than the earlier models.

However, like many new products, there are several issues that have surfaced that must be considered before you decide to upgrade.

The iPad offers two ways of accessing the Internet. The popular choice is the faster wireless 4G network, at this time provided by both Verizon and AT&T. The monthly charge for this service is based on the amount of data used. The other, and free method, is any wi-fi network, such as set up in your home, hotels, some airports and coffee shops (Starbucks). Try steaming movies through the 4G wireless network and you will find that your data costs will skyrocket. An article in today’s Wall Street Journal, http://on.wsj.com/GBIDcO, offers a full explanation of what to expect if you use the 4G wireless network and the costs associated with it.

Other reports indicate the new iPad might have a overheating issue, which Apple is looking into.

If you need help determining whether the new iPad is for you as a new purchase or whether you should consider the upgrade, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.

ARE YOU CONFUSED BY AT&T’S PLAN TO REDUCE YOUR DATA SPEED?

On the front page of Friday’s Wall Street Journal, http://on.wsj.com/wlmlws, AT&T announced their latest attempt to control their costs for providing broadband services.  They are planning to reduce the speed of your data service on your mobile device once you have surpassed your monthly purchased data limit.

With the growing popularity of mobile devices (smartphones such as the iPhone and the Android) as well as the iPad, the appetite for broadband services has surged.  Last year, over 50% of all cell phone purchases were smartphones, whether new users or upgrades.

Most consumers don’t understand their data plans.   Cell providers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) offer “tiered data plans” based on data usage.  What this means is that it is important to know your data usage and determine which plan is right for you.  This information is available by simply contacting your provider. Streaming video from sites like Netflix will use up a lot of your data allotment.

The problem with this program is that, as their customer, you are being penalized for their inability to keep up with the demand for broadband services.  Why not make sure their customers understand their data plans and make sure that they are subscribing to a program based on their usage?  This is done for your calling plans without the risk of diminishing service once you have surpassed your purchased minutes.

Let’s hope that their competitors don’t follow this strategy.  I called my provider, found out my average monthly usage and purchased a plan that was right for me.  I suggest you do the same.

If you need help understanding your data plan, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.

 

 

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU NEED TO COMPETE IN THE DIGITAL AGE?

This century will clearly be remembered as The Age of Technology.  Wireless technology permits us to communicate with friends, family and business associates instantaneously, regardless of location.  Information is no more than a key stroke away, whether from your computer or mobile device. Skills acquired in the past century alone put you on the wrong side of the Great Digital Divide.  Today’s younger generation, having grown up in the digital world, is well positioned to push baby boomers and seniors aside as they enter the job market.

How are your basic computer skills?  Whether you use technology for strictly personal use or for professional purposes, you will need the right tools to take advantage of the many changes that have occurred in the worlds of communication and information gathering.

The following are some basic questions you should be asking yourself.

– Whether you use your home based computer for personal or professional purposes, are you comfortable with the software applications you are using?

– Are you able to write, format and properly file documents?

– How about sending and receiving  attachments?

– Do you know what updates are important?

– Do you have an active anti-virus program?

– Do you have a backup program?

– Is your wireless network secure?

– Do you have the right cell phone provider for your location?

– Have you upgraded to a smartphone? (iPhone, Android, or blackberry)

– Are you using any cloud based services?

We are living in a mobile world.  Within the next 2-3 years, over 50% of Internet access will be done through a mobile device.  Are you ready?

If you or someone you know needs help crossing the “Great Digital Divide,” or any other technology issues, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.

WHY YOU NEED TO EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal http://on.wsj.com/Aqb8dW envisions “The Coming Tech-led Boom.”  If the past century produced the Industrial Revolution, this century clearly will be the age of Technology.

Why?  Information is no more than a click away and virtually free.  Wireless technology permits us to communicate with someone anywhere in the world instantaneously.  Technology has already impacted manufacturing through the introduction of automated systems.

The job market has changed radically.  Companies are looking to hire innovators who are able to utilize their knowledge of technology to develop new products and services which will increase productivity.  Without basic computer skills, people in career transition, either because of corporate downsizing, looking to start their own business, or re-entering the job market, will find it extremely difficult to be competitive.  Skills acquired in the past century alone puts you on the wrong side of the Great Digital Divide.  Today’s younger generation, having grown up in the digital world, is well positioned to push baby boomers and seniors aside as they enter the job market.

Does your technology support your efforts, either on a personal or professional level?  How good are your basic computer skills?  Do you know how to determine what you need to be an effective Road Warrior?

If you or someone you know needs help crossing the “Great Digital Divide,” or any other technology issues, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.

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