Cheaper Plans And Perks Are Going To Be Hot

Lately a lot of people are talking about switching to lower rate plans including the prepaid and postpaid plans. I started doing a little research and found that AT&T (who is my current carrier) recently started offering some interesting price options. I’ve been looking into them and feel like it’s time to share, there’s only 1 problem… I can’t find the pricing online. I saw it once on my computer and 2 or 3 times in the AT&T app but can’t find it any longer. I don’t think it’s something they’re taking away, I am assuming they’re kind of soft launching these or testing them out before making the plans more accessible.

AT&T as usual is moving in the right direction but not very fast and not with a lot of power behind it.

I think the lower cost data plans usually with X amount of 4G then dropping down to 2G or 3G speeds is going to become a very popular pricing option in the next year or 2. MOST people don’t need UNLIMITED 4G and many don’t even need 10GB. I believe most families can get away with 5-6GB/month, not including teenagers. Teens skew that.

Either way, low cost data is going to be the future. Side note, I think adding perks like 2 free GoGo airplane wifi passes/month or a discount on pro sports tickets it’s a great way to differentiate yourself from the competitors. Just making a suggestion to all the carriers out there.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active Review

I was very excited when AT&T asked me to join them at Hurricane Harbor to “test” the recently launched (yup, I’m very late to publish this) Samsung Galaxy S7 Active.
We were a small group at the water park but we made a big splash. Thank you AT&T for the fun day and the oppourtunity to review this phone.


The water park was fun but fast forward 2 months (see how late this really is…) and I took a family vacation with my wife and 2 kids. We went to Hawaii and spent a week being tourists. Every day we were swimming, snorkeling or just being lazy in the water. I am an iPhone guy, it has it’s benefits for me personally but I was using the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active a lot during this vacation. I took it into the ocean to play in the surf, the pool taking underwater selfies with my kids and videos of them on the hotels water slide and I even took it snorkeling, where I new it wasn’t very deep so if I dropped it I could retrieve it. That’s my one compliant about the phone, it needs to have the ability to attach a wrist strap or something like that.


Now to talk about the other details… It’s not small, it’s not thin and it’s not graceful but darn it this thing was amazing. I loved knowing I had a rugged phone in my pocket, not my dainty iPhone. The Active felt good in the hand, the battery lasted the day while I was using it for maps, keeping on top of my email and taking a LOT of pictures/videos.
For me having 1 device that was my phone and camera is great but it’s what most people expect in this day and age and Samsung didn’t disappoint. I’m not a camera aficionado but I think the Active takes better pictures then my iPhone 6S in that the colors pop more. I don’t know if that’s the phone enhancing the pictures for me but I don’t care, I was taking pictures underwater.
That’s it, it’s a Samsung Android phone, big whoop but it is if you have kids or live an active lifestyle. I’ve reviewed LifeProof cases before and they are great but there’s nothing like having a phone built to be tough. If you are a weekend warrior or have kids who seem to spill liquids or drop your phone then this phone is for you.
The holidays are coming and I can promise you that I would be stoked to get one of these as a gift. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is exclusive to AT&T so go get it there.

Lifeproof Fre for the iPhone 6/6S

Lifeproof Fre 6S BlueI’ve given Lifeproof a lot of love over the years because I’ve always liked their products and this review will be no different. So if you just want to know if I like it or not then YES go buy your Fre case.

I’ve had the Lifeproof Fre for a month or 2 now and have really come to enjoy it. I usually do not put such a bulky case on my phones but as summer is coming I wanted to write about a waterproof case. AT&T was nice enough to furnish me with this and boy has it useful. I’m a semi outdoorsy kind of guy so since I got the case and put it on my phone I’ve taken it sailing (got it wet), kayaking (dropped it in sand and water) and to the beach (it was in my trunks and got wet and my hands were sandy using it). As you can see I like water related activities so I’m really looking forward to the summer.

This Fre case has come a long way since it’s predecessor for the iPhone 6 was released. That case was great except for 1 thing, it’s charging port was to small to fit anything besides Apple chargers. The new iPhone 6S case has solved that for the most part. All but 1 of my charging cables now fit through the port.

The Fre case feels great in the hand and isn’t slippery at all. I have no problem hearing people through the case and they can hear me back whether it’s on speaker phone or regular talking mode. I like the look of the case though that never changes from year to year.

My only wish is that they would include a spot to attach a leash, lanyard, string or whatever else you may call it.

All in all, go buy one for the summer, it’s $80 of insurance that your $700 phone won’t get ruined.

Five Most Popular Casino Games in the Apple Store

Sponsored Post… We gotta keep the lights on:

Finding the ideal app on the App Store can be a real chore (and no, the rime was not intended). Indeed there are literally hundreds of casino apps, all with similar sounding names, all offering the best premium Vegas experience on your iPhone or iPad. Some are free, some are paid, but all show the promise of an excellent time playing your favorite slots, table games, video poker and more.

We have scoured the far reaches of the App Store to bring you the top 5 picks that deserve your attention. A part of them are those who have hundreds of thousands of downloads, yet some are just great on their own and don’t rely on fancy numbers. You can also check out our list for best mobile casinos that you can visit on your mobile device. Now then, let’s check out our picks:

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Solitaire

All right, we are cheating a bit with this one but come on – it is a cards game and one of the most popular one of all time. Solitaire on iTunes isn’t your average card game app however – it is packed full of awesome features which take full advantage of the device you are using to play it on. It has Daily Challenges included for the adventurous types, theme packs for the collectors, a multiplayer version, winning deals, leader boards where you can brag and compete with others, support for portrait and landscape play, Vegas Scoring, full blown statistics and more. It is truly the ultimate card gaming app.

DoubleDown Casino & Slots

With over 80 widely different authentic Vegas themed games, DoubleDown casino & Slots is an app that will have you tapping away endlessly. There’s a huge variety of 5 and 3 reel slots with many bonus features, excellent graphics and incentives are being added regularly. You get 1 million of free chips which you can double if you claim the daily bonus. You can play against real players or the CPU and you can use your Facebook profile to log in and share chips with your friends. There’s even a tournament setup for competitive types, all mobile friendly.

Slotomania Casino

This is the biggest casino app on the App Store, period. There are over 100 different slots and games such as American Glory, Zeus, Lucky Derby and many more which you can play instantly. It is a great collection of casino titles which look great and run even better on any iOS powered device. The app itself is a great starting platform since it also includes a free coin bonus (goes up every 3 hours, new mini games, special promotions for competitive players as well as ton of in-game bonuses that are either specific for a given game or cater to all of them.

 

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Slots Free Casino House of Fun

Yet another great casino app with which you can access a ton of great casino picks like slots, table games and more. You will find some of the fan favorites like Egypt, Diamonds, Big Cats or Mystic Bear. There’s even the inclusion of progressive slots as well as the constant addition of new games being added on a monthly basis. If you are one of them competitive players, you can check out the constant stream of promotions, gifts and other rewards.

Slots – Huuuge Casino

With a rather peculiar name, this app is quite interesting to boot when you consider the unique games you will find filling its game rooster. There are a ton of slots, of course, which feature both the classic and video variety, though what we fell in love with were the classic representations for modern audiences of Blackjack, Roulette, Video Poker and Baccarat. They are keeping the line up fresh by adding new games regularly, and have organized bonuses and other fun additions for players who stick around and play.

LG G5 Automatically Shows You Incoming Messages On The Lock Screen

LG G5The LG G5 I’m playing with today from AT&T  is a monumental android phone for me. I’m serious. I’m an iPhone user for many reasons including the fact that the iPhone screen lights up and shows you part of the new email, sms or any other alert on the home screen without ever having to unlock the phone or pick it up in your hand.

For years one of my many complaints about Android in general was the fact that I couldn’t read even the subject of an email or the first few words of an SMS when it would arrive and the phone was locked. Problem solved with LG’s newest flagship phone the G5. Besides having a removable battery and a microSD card slot which puts it above the newest Samsung the G5 is my newest favorite Android.

Now what is this new Advanced Messaging on the G5? Something about read receipts.

GigaPower Coming To Southern California

AT&T GigaPowerRehan Asad from AT&T’s broadband strategy and entertainment group who’s in charge of GigaPower solutions gave me a briefing earlier this week. Instead of giving you a bunch of minimally important info you probably don’t care about I’ll give you a link to their site to see if your residence, office or anywhere else has GigaPower.

The real meat and potatoes of the interview with Rehan was that GigaPower is FAST. I used to get excited to hear that Big Red who’s now Frontier something or other can give me 50Mbps but AT&T can double that. 100Mbps or 1Gigabit is what Rehan claims and I’m planning to test it out. Until then I’m going to trust GigaPower can actually provide that.

In terms anyone can understand… It’s going to be super fast. Your kids and their friends can come over and stream Netflix and Hulu while someone FaceTime’s with their boyfriend and Grandpa has the game on the TV/tablet. Oh and don’t forget someone is also on the good old telephone. This can all happen at once and there shouldn’t be any freezing or pixelation.

No this isn’t life changing for most of you but it is something that Rehan says is future proofed for more than just a few years. That means in another 10 years AT&T won’t have to dig up your street and you’ll be able to do all the streaming you are doing now plus have your entire home connected with everything in HD and you still shouldn’t have a problem.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Is Still Solid But We’re Waiting To See the S7

Samsung Galaxy S7 WaterproofWith the Samsung Galaxy S7 just being released there have been a ton of commercials online and on TV which have convinced me to do more than play with the S6. I used the AT&T Galaxy S6 all weekend and have been really enjoying the experience.

Samsung missed a few things with the S6 that have been covered to no end, lack of replaceable battery and memory. That being said everything else about the phone is right on. I’ve really enjoyed the feel of the phone but more than that I am in LOVE with the camera. This thing is quick and with the pro settings available to the user it is taking things to the next level. Some people believe it over corrects the color but many others appreciate not having to do any post production work on the shots.

As a whole, the S6 is still a solid camera and phone but everybody including myself is super excited to see what the S7 brings to the masses. With the Summer coming being water repellent is a BIG deal. Will it beat the iPhone 6S camera and it’s predecessor the Galaxy S6? We’ll have to wait and see.

AT&T New Web Video Options


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DirecTV launched some new plans that are geared toward the younger millennial crowds. Gone are the days of having to sit in front of your TV to watch your favorite shows. We’ve known this was happening for a while but with AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV they can now start offering up television as well.

Roger Cheng (@RogerWCheng) from CNET explained it “There’s DirecTV Now, a package of on-demand and live programming that customers will be able to access on any Internet-connected device, from a smartphone to a Roku streaming box, without the need for a traditional pay-TV subscription. DirecTV Mobile, meanwhile, is a feature for DirecTV subscribers that lets them access their content on any phone, regardless of the carrier. Lastly, there’s DirecTV Preview, a free mobile-TV service similar to Verizon’s Go90 mobile app, which offers a mix of short and long videos.”.

I know streaming shows has become an issue of late. With so many of those cord cutters not having paid TV service when you want to watch live events like awards shows you can’t. Most service providers make you log in even to watch the free channels and with out that log in no award shows and upset wife. So hopefully this will solve all our problems.

Pick The Carrier That Works Where You Need It The Most

how-to-switch-carriersI continually get asked about switching carriers from friends and family.  Sometimes I suggest they switch sometimes I don’t. These days people want the nicest iPhone or Android but still have the mentality the carriers evoked from us years ago, trying to get the phone for free or really discounted. Carriers are desperately offering hundreds of dollars in bill credits and a few might even still be offering cash for you to jump ship and break your legally binding contract with your current carrier. Forget the legally binding bit, who in their right mind doesn’t want the newest, shiniest and most technologically advanced phone available? If you’re reading this I know you do. And the second tier carriers are boasting how they’ll deeply discount your bill and give you unlimited everything, so come on jump ship… Still here? Good, this is what you need to consider first.

  1. Where do you spend a bulk of your time?
  2. Where else do you spend most of the rest of your time?
  3. Can you live with sub par reception when you’re at the above mentioned locations?
  4. Does your carrier support WiFi calling and is WiFi available at the above mentioned locations?

So what are your answers? Home, work, a certain special friends house? Maybe in some peoples case it’s in the car or on a plane.

Let’s just go with home and work for the moment and fill in the blanks for yourself if my examples don’t align with yours. So which carrier yours or the one you’re considering jumping to have the best service at home and at work? In my case it’s AT&T and only AT&T.

Now lets remember a few things, the newest iPhones and probably Androids from AT&T and T-Mobile both support WiFi calling. Sprint may also support it and I think Verizon will soon (remembering soon is relative). So is there WiFi at home and at your office? If yes then do you need great service? Or do you just need great WiFi coverage at your home and office? I don’t write about wireless routers because I’m not interested in them so I’m going to just assume everyone is like me with a strong WiFi signal in their house and office.

Let’s get to the conclusion of this post before I hit 500 words. If you want to switch go ahead but make sure you can make calls, send messages and use the internet on your phone where you need to the most, whether it be over your carriers 4G (cellular data connection) or WiFi. A brand new fancy phone is only as good as it’s connection to the outside world so make sure it works well where you need it to.

What Is The Right Age Or Circumstance To Give A Kid A Phone?

Young businessman talk on cell phone in a tie

What is the appropriate age to give a kid a phone? Or what circumstances make it ok to give a kid a phone? These are common questions I talk to parents and executives about on a regular basis. How young is too young is the magic question.

I know kids these days are getting iPod Touches or old hand-me-down iPhones at a young age but they are not hooked up to a cellular carrier. That is not what we are talking about today. How old should a kid be to get a hand-me-down iPhone connected to a cell phone carrier with their own phone number?

There is no exact age like Facebook that says kids need to be at least 13 years old to get an account. Parents don’t get any guidelines for this kind of thing. In many cases kids get phones because maybe they have a dance class or soccer practice that the parents don’t always attend so they could potentially be left alone and being 2015, should be able to call for a ride. In other cases kids get left home alone or go out with a friend or grandparent and the parents want to be able to reach the child. More and more people are giving up their land lines so there is not that static phone line always available at home or at a friends home they may be visiting.

What have you done with your kids or seen others do in these situations? With the gift giving season upon us this is going to be a topic of conversation with many parents.

Me personally… We let our kids play with our old iPhones but we’re considering putting an AT&T sim into one of them so our 8 year old will be reachable. We had an issue yesterday where we couldn’t reach my mother in law (who had the kids) because her phone was on silent. We weren’t worried but wanted to coordinate dinner plans. So we may just be “those” parents giving a 3rd grader a working cell phone.