Purchasing smartphone plans for the budget-minded client

Purchasing smartphone plans for the budget-minded client

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My frugal sister will get her first smartphone when her flip cellphone runs out of minutes.

That will take some time. She would not make many calls on it. Within the meantime, her pals preserve saying: “What?” The sound high quality is dreadful.

I instructed the Pixel 4a for $349 with Google Fi cell service for $20 a month for limitless speak and textual content, not counting no matter knowledge you utilize. However a buddy’s deal could also be higher. She went with Shopper Mobile’s iPhone SE for $250. Shopper Mobile is understood for its pleasant tech assist, particularly for senior residents. The month-to-month price is decrease than Google’s Fi service in the event you use greater than 500 megabytes of knowledge per thirty days.

At Shopper Mobile, limitless voice and limitless texts with 500 megabytes of knowledge is $25 a month. In the event you go over the information restrict — by browsing the online if you’re away from a Wi-Fi connection — they solely cost an additional $5, even in the event you use three gigabytes price. Three gigabytes of knowledge with limitless speak and textual content on Google Fi would price $50. That is $20 greater than the Shopper Mobile deal.

After I go to my sister subsequent week in California, I will hand her my Pixel 3a cellphone so she will be able to evaluate it to her husband’s iPhone. She’s leaning towards the iPhone. It is a good suggestion to get the identical sort of cellphone as the one you love or buddy, to allow them to present you the ropes. I will at all times remorse getting my 90-something aunt an iPad when all her pals had computer systems. She by no means did discover ways to work it.

For budget-minded people who not often use a cellphone out of vary of Wi-Fi, it is onerous to beat TracFone’s $30 Android smartphones, such because the LG Insurgent four with a $125-a-year service plan. It provides 1,500 name minutes, 1,500 texts and 1.5 gigabytes of knowledge. In the event you unfold it out evenly, that is about two hours of speaking a month, 125 texts a month and 125 megabytes of knowledge a month. To flee the voice and textual content limits, use a free app like Sign or WhatsApp if you’re in vary of Wi-Fi. However in my expertise, TracFone would not supply good tech assist.


A reader wrote to say he tried clicking on the hyperlink in what I believed was a pretend AOL message. Nothing unhealthy occurred. He was proper, I used to be incorrect.

My earlier suspicions got here from Googling it. I additionally examined the hyperlink itself. The textual content in a hyperlink is commonly simply ornament; it doesn’t suggest that is the place you are going. After I hovered over the hyperlink and seemed on the backside of my pc display the place the true handle was displayed, it seemed phony. I ought to have tried clicking on it anyway. I’ve the free extension Malwarebytes Browser Guard, so I’d have gotten a warning if it had been pretend.

AOL would love all customers to both obtain their new iOS or Android app, or to click on one of many hyperlinks of their message to get third-party apps, equivalent to Gmail, in sync with their new sign-in procedures. Those that go to AOL’s web site as a substitute of utilizing an app do not have to fret about this.


One of many earliest video games I ever performed on a pc was pinball. It is nonetheless enjoyable. So I eagerly turned to Stern Pinball’s new Star Trek sport. It is $5 from Steampowered.com.

Stern is the largest producer of arcade-quality pinball machines on the planet, going again to the early 1930s. It additionally makes pc video games. The brand new Star Trek pinball I performed was enjoyable, with chatter about alien civilizations. I do not assume it beats the previous Microsoft Pinball for Home windows 98, which a buddy of mine performs in Home windows 10, but it surely’s good.

The obtain at Steampowered.com mentioned it could take 55 minutes — exceptional! However attempting it once more later, it was zip fast, for causes recognized solely to the gremlins who hang-out these items. In addition to the Star Trek sport, I performed Stern’s free pinball sport, Final Motion Hero, named after the Arnold Schwarzenegger film. It is a good factor I purchased the $20 Logitech sport pad to play it with. A mouse simply would not lower it.


Google’s free app Arts and Tradition has a brand new characteristic: It helps you to step right into a well-known portray, by tapping “Artwork Filters.” You want a cellphone that has augmented actuality to make it work. I used my Pixel 3a. Vermeer’s “Woman with a Pearl Earring” put a headdress on my head. Frida Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait with Monkey,” put a monkey on my shoulder. I snapped an image of myself and saved it. However the app’s hyperlinks to the world’s finest artwork museums are higher than these augmented actuality filters. No augmented actuality required. No app required both. Simply go to ArtsAndCulture.Google.com in your pc or cellphone.


I’ve simply learn the umpteenth tech columnist saying I ought to go to SpeedTest.com to learn how quick my web connection is. I doubt they’ve really gone to the location because the final Ice Age. It is not working anymore. Now it takes you to the Chrome Net Retailer to put in Protected Search, which warns that it will possibly learn all of your knowledge on the web sites you go to, heh heh. Does that embrace the financial institution password I simply typed in?

As a substitute of Pace Take a look at, simply Google “What’s My Web Pace?” In addition to supplying you with exact numbers, it is going to inform you in case your pace is sweet, unhealthy or detached.

Pleasure Schwabach might be reached by electronic mail at [email protected]

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