Tech Tuesday: Saving You Money & Keeping It Local

This post originally appeared on the SkillStorm blog: www.skillstorm.com/blog

The App That Tells You Which iPhone Carrier Is Best For You

Image courtesy of SwayMarkets

You choose your mobile carrier for a variety of reasons. Maybe the choice was based on the latest phone, the discount you received, or a friend’s referral. Regardless of the reason, when it comes to network signal strength, how do you know whether your carrier is really providing the best coverage?

A new app that your carrier probably doesn’t want you to know about could provide the answer. It’s called CarrierCompare. Developed by SwayMarkets, the app allows you to see which carrier provides you the best coverage for the location you’re currently in. Until recently, At&T, Verizon and Sprint were able to keep the information out of the consumers view.

To use the app, touch the screen to start and give it about 15 minutes to analyze your network and then compare the results to the other carriers. The results will show which network provided you with the best support in that given area. Since signals can vary, it’s important to conduct a few samples in the same area over a period of time.

There are limitations to CarrierCompare. At the present moment the app only performs one function –touch and compare. Future versions will offer an expansion of the information and analysis it can provide.

Too many people choose their carrier for reasons other than providing the best network coverage. As a result, networks are lulled into a false security that customer loyalty will be based on the products they sell and not the quality of coverage they offer. An app like CarrierCompare could really put customers in the driver seat. Would you download this app?

Would the information impact your decision to change carriers? Tell us what you think.

Sources: SwayMarkets.com, money.cnn.com

Putting An End To Bill Shock

 Image courtesy of FCC

Image courtesy of FCC

Can you imagine having a $201,000 cell phone bill? That’s what happened to Florida customer Celina Aarons. Normally the family bill is about $175. However, when Celina’s two deaf-mute brothers traveled to Canada for a two week vacation, they didn’t change the family plan. As a result of not changing their plan for International travel, they experience ‘bill shock’.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines ‘bill shock’ as the “unexpected increase in the monthly mobile bill”. According to a 2010 FCC survey, 30 million Americans, roughly one in six users, have experienced bill shock. New legislation, supported by President Barack Obama may put an end to bill shock.

Providers will soon be required to alert consumers that they are about to hit their cap. Beginning October 17, 2012, will notify users through a free and automatic system, i.e., voice or text message. By April 17, 2013 all four methods, overseas, text, voice, and date will be implemented.

Forcing providers to be responsible to notify cell phone users that they have reached their cap according to their plan seems like it is taking the responsibility off of the individual. This begs the question, who is responsible for monitoring your personal coverage? It seems as though personal responsibility is only good when individuals demand their rights, but when those rights get them in trouble, the government is asked to step in.

What’s your thought? Share your opinion in the space below.Sources: Mashable.com, FCC, msnbc.msn.comBe

 

Green: App to Help You Keep it

Earth Day was this past Sunday and the theme was “Mobilize the Earth”. It seems only fitting that we include a ‘green’ mobile app in this week’s tech blog. Use the Locavore app to find out what’s in season the next time you’re shopping in the produce section of your local grocery store.

For those into thinking globally and eating locally, Locavorewill use your phones GPS to tell you where the nearest farmer’s market is in your area. This little feature will provide you with directions, hours, contact information and reviews of specific farmer’s markets.

One feature flaw seems to be with the Android app is the recipes section – it was non-functional on our test device. Hopefully that will be corrected in the very near future.

If you’ve been a fan of farmer’s markets you know that they vary in quality. An app like this could really improve the quality and quantity of offerings at a farmer’s market and eliminate those that don’t rise to meet customer satisfaction.

You can download the app from iTunes, IOS and Android.

Sources: Huffingtonpost

Tune in every week for more blogs like this. Our blog topics include hiring trends (especially in IT), corporate culture and tech news, reviews and opinions.

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