Should you buy the new Amazon Fire phone?
Q. I'm in the market for a new phone. Should I give Amazon's new Fire Phone a go?
A. Amazon's Fire Phone is an interesting first try from Amazon. If you're looking for a new phone and your primary concern is customer service over price, this might be a good pick.
Amazon's MayDay instant-help system is great for not-so-tech-savvy users. It also helps if you're already a heavy Amazon user, since the phone is built entirely around Amazon services.
I wouldn't buy it right away. There are usually some kinks to work out with a new phone, so you want to wait until they're fixed. For now, it only works on AT&T, too.
Of course, there's a big variety of new phones coming out, including the iPhone 6, that you might want to look at as well. Click here to check out my top five upcoming smartphones that might be worth waiting for.
Spend less on your phone bill
Q. My cellular bill is way too expensive. What can I do to trim it?
A. You can cut your bill by downgrading your data plan, but only if you decide that you practice good data-lowering habits. Use a third-party data monitoring app like My Data Manager to find out how much data you really use each month. Then, you might want to look into Onavo Extend. It compresses your cellular data so can get up to five times more use out of your current plan.
You'll also want to connect to Wi-Fi as often as possible, which isn't that hard to do. Click here to find free Wi-Fi wherever you are. In fact, by using apps like Apple's iMessage, TextFree, WhatsApp or TextPlus, along with calling apps like Skype and Viber, you could drop your cellular plan entirely and just use Wi-Fi.
Take a screenshot on your phone
Q. There's a hilarious text a friend sent me. How can I take a screenshot of it to share online?
A. That depends on what kind of phone you have. On iPhones and iPads, press and hold the home button along with the Sleep/Wake button. It saves to your Camera Roll or Saved Photos section. For Android 4.0 and later, hold the Power and Volume Down buttons. It saves the screenshot to a special section of your gallery. If you have an Android version older than 4.0, you need a tool like AirDroid. For Windows Phone 8, press the Start and Power buttons simultaneously. You'll find a special Screenshots album in your Pictures hub.
Safely manage stock market accounts on the go
Q. I travel a lot on cruise ships, and around Europe and South America. What's the safest way to manage my stock market account online while traveling?
A. The safest way to do it is use the financial institution's app (like Fidelity) and use it over a cellular connection. Cellular is harder for hackers to crack and the apps will alert you to any suspicious activity.
Of course, international cellular is expensive and cruise ships usually just have Wi-Fi. If you're using a Wi-Fi network, you'll want to try a VPN, (Virtual Private Network) like avast! SecureLine VPN or Hotspot Shield. These apps encrypt your connection and route your Internet traffic through secure and anonymous servers, meaning your privacy is protected from snoops and thieves.
Find the cheapest airfare for your summer vacation
Q. I'm ready to get my summer vacation plans underway. How can I get the best deal on a flight?
A. Try looking for flights at sites like Google Flight Search, Airfare Watchdog, Kayak and Hipmunk. The day of the week you purchase your tickets and the day you fly also come into play. Purchase your tickets on a Tuesday, Saturday or Sunday for the best price, but avoid flying on Fridays and Sundays. The first flight of the day, red-eye flights or any flight that coincides with lunchtime or dinner are the best times to fly if you want to pay less.
You want to keep an eye on your ticket price even after you bought them. Many airlines will refund you the difference if the price drops a certain amount after you buy. Use Yapta to help you here. It keeps an eye on your tickets and alerts you when the price drops. Yapta claims annual savings of $334 per user, which means you can put that money toward a better hotel, a few nice dinners or just put it back in your bank account for life after your trip.
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