Category: Smart Phones

Can your smartphone really handle all your finances?

Can your smartphone really handle all your finances?

Would you be prepared to manage all your finances through your smartphone?

This is the hope of many financial technology – fintech – start-ups aiming to transform our money management habits. They think we now trust our mobile technology enough to carry out banking, money transfers, investments and loan applications without ever stepping into a bank branch or writing a cheque.

But are they right? One start-up is going a step further, bringing many financial services together onto one app so that you have complete visibility of all your cash transactions in one place.

The app, called Bud, has been developed by 26-year-old Ed Maslaveckas. He says: “Many people simply don’t have the time or expertise to track down the apps that can help them manage their money.

“So we’ve created an independent, universal banking app for my generation and anyone else who wants to make their money work harder for them.”

Can your smartphone really handle all your finances?

The idea is that customers will be able to aggregate all their bank and credit card accounts into one place and switch money between them quickly and easily, as well as make payments to other people at the click of a button.

“The Bud app fits into a wider trend in the market as banks battle it out to make their online services as effortless as possible,” says John Rakowski, director of technology strategy at AppDynamics.
“As consumers become increasingly used to intuitive tools such as Siri and Google Now… the idea of using multiple apps to do their banking is becoming outdated.”

But Bud has its work cut out to raise awareness, given that its own research suggests nine out of 10 young people have never even heard of fintech.

Anna Laycock, lead strategist at the London-based Finance Innovation Lab, warns that while the market is exploding with innovative ideas, those that succeed will be the ones that people can easily understand and engage with.

“Companies need to be able to articulate how their products help people,” she says. “Anything that empowers people with information they can understand and that can help their money management is a positive development.”

‘In your face’

The advent of smartphones and apps has given the global financial services industry – and tech-based start-ups in particular – the opportunity to change the tone and style traditionally associated with finance, believes Mr Maslaveckas.

“For years financial services were loud and in your face. Companies were always trying to sell something to you that often wasn’t to your benefit,” he says. “We’re looking at things the other way round and offering people services that will benefit them.”

In June, Bank of England governor Mark Carney, said: “Fintech will change the nature of money, shake the foundations of central banking and deliver nothing less than a democratic revolution for all who use financial services.”

Smartphone-only banks, like Atom Bank and Mondo, are aimed at younger people comfortable running most of their lives on their phones. At the moment Mondo only offers prepaid debit cards that can be topped up at cash machines and online, but it hopes to get a full banking licence later this year. This will enable it to offer standing order, direct debit and faster payments features.

Money management apps such as Loot and Moven aim to help consumers set a budget and keep track of their spending. “You don’t need to be a professional finance manager to be really good with money,” reckons Mr Maslaveckas. “You can get control of your finances simply by making the most of the fintech innovations that are already available to you on your phone.”

High stakes

High claims, but is it a reality? There has certainly been an upturn in the number of new app-based fintech firms attracting serious investment across the world in the last few months.

Payments providers, peer-to-peer lenders, “robo advisers”, trading platforms, and foreign exchange companies have all been catching investors’ attention. For instance, global Bitcoin-based payment app Circle raised $60m (£45m) at the end of June in a cash-raising exercise led by Beijing-based venture capital company IDG Capital.

The company has launched a Chinese venture and plans major European expansion. And the aforementioned banking app Mondo raised £8m, some £1m of which was crowdfunded in just 96 seconds earlier this year. Globally, consultancy Accenture says fintech investment has risen from about $3.2bn in 2012 to $22.2bn in 2015, with the volume of deals nearly doubling over that period.

Innovation

Behind all this investment activity is the belief that technology is simplifying and democratising finance, putting control back into the hands of consumers.

Investment incubators, accelerators and innovation hubs are cropping up everywhere to encourage this flourishing sector.
For instance, Spanish banking giant Santander has set up a venture capital fund to back fintech start-ups working in areas that may improve its banking service.

“Any investments we make need to have potential commercial applications for Santander as a bank, and ultimately benefit our customers as the end users,” explains Mariano Belinky, managing partner at Santander InnoVentures.

Two fintech projects already up and running as a result of the investment are Ripple and Kabbage. The former allows banks to transfer international payments securely without the need for a middleman, while Kabbage provides quick online loans of up to £40,000 to small businesses.

But such convenience and flexibility doesn’t necessarily come cheap. A £40,000 Kabbage loan repayable over 10 months – the maximum period allowable – will cost you an additional £11,000. Hi-tech doesn’t always mean low-cost.

Fight back

Banks are having to respond to the fintech challenge with innovations of their own, whether that is voice biometrics or mobile codes for authentication purposes.

Some are experimenting with personalised video to improve customer service, while others are expanding the way they communicate, using social media platforms such as WeChat, Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp.

Others are even moving beyond banking. For example, Poland’s award-winning Idea Bank focuses on providing services to entrepreneurs, including a cloud-based space where people can work, meet and collaborate.

All this innovation should mean that, as Mr Carney said: “With time, fintech could mean a more open, more transparent, and more democratic global financial system.”

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How to create a wifi connection to an iPad

How to create a wifi connection to an iPad

Learn to create a wifi connection for your iPad.

Connecting your iPad to the Internet is as easy as joining an available Wi-Fi network and entering your credentials if required. As one of the top tablets on the market today, the Apple iPad is a powerful tool that can be used for web browsing, video streaming, social networking, online gaming and so much more.

Getting Online With an Apple iPad

These instructions are generally applicable to all current models of the Apple iPad mini, iPad Air and iPad Pro, as well as other iOS devices like the iPhone and iPod touch.

  1. Turn on your iPad.

  2. Enter your lock screen code if required.

  3. Swipe through your home screens until you see Settings.

  4. Tap on Settings.

  5. Select Wi-Fi from the resulting list.

  6. Enable Wi-Fi by tapping on the radio button to the right. It should move the circle to the right and show as green.

How to create a wifi connection to an iPad

  1. Wait while the iPad searches for Wi-Fi networks in the area.

  2. Tap on the name of the network you want to use.

  3. If the network has a lock symbol next to its name, it is secured with a password. If there is no lock symbol, there is no password and this step can be skipped.

— After tapping on the network name, you will be prompted to enter this password.
— Tap on Join.
— Skip the next step.

  1. If it is a public Wi-Fi network, like at a coffee shop or at a hotel, you may need to proceed to a splash page to complete your connection. This is sometimes called a captive Wi-Fi network.

— Tap on the “i” icon next to the captive Wi-Fi network name.
— Tap on Join Network.
— On the resulting page, enter your credentials, sign into your account, or tap to accept the terms and conditions. Each captive network can be a little different in how it is presented.

  1. Once you are connected to the network, a blue checkmark symbol will appear next to the network name and the Wi-Fi symbol will appear at the top-left of the screen.
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How to save web pages on iPhone and Android

How to save web pages on iPhone and Android

Android and iOS are the most popular mobile operating systems in the world. Android is popular because of its flexibility. You can install and download things from wherever you want, whereas iOS is popular for its security settings and features it offers. Both of the operating systems have their advantages, but there are some similar things in both of them, too.

For example, people use their smartphone devices to watch videos, browse the Internet, chat with friends and much more. One thing which is common in between the two is the Web browsing. There are so many browsers available for them, and the majority of people often browse the Net from their mobile device. So if you came across something useful one day, and wanted to save it for further reading, then here in this post we are going to tell you about some of the working ways to save Web pages on iPhone and Android devices easily.

Using Pocket App

The pocket is one of the best services currently available to quickly save, discover, and recommend the best, most interesting stories on the Internet. The pocket is available for Android and as an extension for Chrome, which means you can also sync its data across your phone, tablet and computer. To save web pages on Android using Pocket, just install this app on your mobile and browse through the Web for your requirement.

If you found something interesting, then save it in your Pocket account and later, you can open the Pocket app to read it. The most surprising thing about Pocket app is that it offers unlimited storage to all of its users, so you can save web pages on Android without worrying about the storage. There is a Text-to-Speech feature in this app too by which you can listen to the text written on a particular page.

If you are using Google Chrome browser on Android device, then you can also use it to save web pages on your device. You don’t have to install any third party app to do it either. All you have to do is to open the webpage you want to save in Google Chrome, and then just click on the menu icon on the upper right corner side of the screen.

When you click on that button, a menu will pop up on your screen with some options in it. Just click on print button. Next, you will be taken to a new page where you can see several options. There will be a bubble with PDF written on it. Just click on it to save your web page as PDF. Next you have to choose a location where you want to save that web page. It can be your internal storage, external memory card or Google Drive.

Save Web Pages By Adding Them To Reading List

If you are using an iOS device like iPhone for browsing, and if you want to save web pages on it, then the simplest way to do that is by adding them to your reading list. Bookmarking pages can cause some problems as your data will be synced with your account, and if you lose access to the Internet, then you can’t open those bookmarks.

Instead, as I said earlier, iOS’s Reading List feature is so much helpful that you can take a snapshot of any web page and save it to your handset’s local storage for offline reading, or you can even sync your data with iCloud Storage. To save web pages in iPhone, just open the Safari browser and then open the web page you want to save. Now tap the action button (the square button with the arrow) at the bottom of the screen, then tap add to reading list.

bove mentioned methods to save web pages on Android work perfectly as we have tested them on our handsets too. Saving web pages on a mobile phone can be very helpful in many ways. For example, there are some services available to them which allow you to sync your mobile data with laptop or computer, so you can transfer them to your computer to read it on a bigger screen.

For web pages on iPhone, you can follow methods mentioned above as they are working (we have not yet tested them). If you know about any other method by which a person can easily save web pages on iPhone and Android, then do let us know about it via the comments section below.

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How to get more storage on your iPhone

How to get more storage on your iPhone

You have probably been frustrated with your iPhone when you try to download that new app everyone is talking about, only to be told, “there is not enough available storage.” What’s even worse is when you are trying to take a photo or video and can’t because that message comes up.

If you have a 16 GB iPhone, you know this struggle all too well. However, you don’t need to start deciding which apps or photos must go from your phone in order to free up some much-needed space. There is an iPhone hack that will be able to give more storage without you deleting anything from the device.

The hack was first reported by Reddit user eavesdroppingyou, who knows the storage pains all too well. In order to trick the iPhone into thinking it has more storage, the user must act like they are renting a movie. The key is to make sure the movie has a bigger file size than what’s available so you don’t accidentally pay to start streaming it.

Here’s how to get more storage without deleting photos, videos or apps:

Check Your Settings

You will first need to know how much available storage is on the iPhone. Do this by going to Settings > General > About. Scroll down to “Available” to see how many GBs you have left.

Fake Renting A Movie

Now, it’s time to play our iPhone by tricking it into thinking you want to download a movie. Don’t worry, you aren’t really purchasing the title. Go to the iTunes Store and find a movie with a bigger file size than you have left on your device. A good tip is to search for titles with extended editions, like Lord of the Rings, or movies like Cleopatra or Apocalypse Now Redux.

When you try to rent the movie, you will get the message that reads there is not enough storage to be able to download this title, along with the option to tap on “OK” or “Settings.”

Get Back To Settings

Tap on “Settings” in the message, where you will be taken back to where you first started. However, now, you will see that the amount of storage has actually increased. Repeat this a few times to maximize the amount of free storage.

Here’s how the hack works: This might sound like some strange iPhone magic, but there is actually a reasonable explanation to how this hack works. eavesdroppingyou’s best guess is that the device deletes “useless data from different apps” in order to make more room for the movie.

Some users may even see that the iTunes Store features an icon that says “cleaning” after trying this hack. This further suggests that the iPhone is cleaning the cache from the installed apps. At least now, you won’t have to worry about cleaning out our iPhone in order to get more storage.

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How to lower your monthly cellphone costs

How to lower your monthly cellphone costs

Here are some ways to trim your cellphone costs and save hundreds per year.

You’ve heard the iPhone users of their referral mammoth monthly fee – but it’s not just those with the most stylish smartphones paying a fee.

“The average consumer spends over $ 300 per year,” said Schwark Satyavolu, which helps consumers save on costs. Knocking that many of your tab is not difficult, experts say: You can do this by changing your plan, your operator or how to use your phone.

Change your plan

Setting your current plan is the easiest way to save. You even have to extend or terminate your contract.

Service demotion

“Eight of 10 people do not use what they pay for,” said Satyavolu BillShrink’s. Ask your carrier for a summary of the use that goes back 12 months to see if you could get a better plan.

Go to the Data

Although many people voice plans of the family and less to enjoy the family messaging and data plans – which can save you a lot. AT & T, for example, offers unlimited text for a family of $ 30 per month, against $ 20 per person.

Ask for discounts membership

If you work for a large company, government agency, or university, you probably qualify for a discount – up to about 25% – on your personal phone. Get details of HR.

Cancel Coverage

Unless you have a teenager prone to disasters, the insurance covers your phone for loss or damage is usually a waste. You pay $ 4 to $ 6 per month, and ranges from free to $ 50 $ 125. You can get a new phone for less, should you need it.

Say you’re leaving

“Carriers do not want to lose customers, so if you tell them that you have found a better plan, you may get a break,” said Sascha Segan, an analyst at PCMag.com cell phone.

Change your door

You may be able to do better by switching to another carrier, but wait until your contract is in place to avoid a cancellation fee.

Out of competition

The four major carriers – AT, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile – have about 220 shots combined.

Looking beyond the “Big Four”

Regional carriers such as U.S. Cellular, MetroPCS, and Cricket Wireless offers savings of $ 20 per month plus the four major plans. You will not get a signal at the national level, if you travel to a place where there is no coverage, you will have to pay roaming charges. “But you can save a lot of money if you’re a homebody,” says Segan.

Prepay Piper

It is easy to see why prepaid phone plans are rapidly gaining in popularity: They offer calls, texts and web access from $ 40 per month – no contract or cancellation fees. If you use less than 300 minutes per month, they can be an economical choice. LetsTalk.com helps you compare plans. In addition, AARP members can get a phone without a contract for 250 minutes, and a consumer service cell, from $ 19 per month.

Change your behavior

How will you use your phone may have much to do with how much you will pay. These behavioral changes can easily save a lot of money.

Track Your Minutes

For those who do not have unlimited calling plans, the cost to go on the monthly allocation of minutes on average $ 36 per line. If you tend to approach the danger zone, check your weekly use – online or by code from your service provider – and limit your calls accordingly. Also, the habit of using your phone or work phone during business hours, when minutes moving in general will be charged to your monthly maximum.

Get the 411 for Free

I do not know the number you need to achieve? Composition 411 will cost at least $ 1.49 a pop. Use Google’s free option instead: Just call 800-GOOG-411.

Dialing internationally on Wi-Fi

If you often make international calls and have a phone capable app-chip, download the Skype application. Because it operates over Wi-Fi, Skype lets you call landlines abroad at discounted rates. (Some Verizon phones, the Skype application is running on the mobile cellular vs. Wi-Fi, but not yet billed to your normal minutes.) Also, you can call other Skype users. Anyway, you say goodbye to a large portion of your bill.

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New evidence emerges on the iPhone 7 Plus

New evidence emerges on the iPhone 7 Plus

One of the most persistent rumors about Apple’s next-generation iPhones has been that at least one of the new devices will get dual rear-facing cameras. The advantage of this dual-camera setup is that it would feature both a standard wide-angle lens camera and a secondary telephoto lens that would be capable to capturing zoomed-in pictures and videos.

Intriguingly, most reports on this feature have said it will be exclusive to the iPhone 7 Plus, which means that you’ll have to pay more upfront to get it. MacRumors points to a new research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that comes the closest we’ve seen to confirming this rumor is true.

“New iPhone shipments to be capped by similar form factor as iPhone 6s & 6s Plus,” he writes. “Top hardware upgrade is dual-camera (5.5-inch model only), though many competing models with dual-camera will launch soon, joining others already on the market; first impressions could underwhelm.”

Ming-Chi Kuo has been remarkably accurate in the past when describing details about new iPhone features, so if he’s writing this in his note there’s a good bet that Apple is at least strongly considering making the dual camera exclusive to the iPhone 7 Plus.

It’s also interesting to see that he thinks the first impressions of the device could “underwhelm,” which suggests that we shouldn’t expect a major leap forward like the one we saw going from the iPhone 5s to the iPhone 6. That said, there’s still a lot of time left before Apple unveils the device and a lot could change between now and September.

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How to use Apple’s iOS Night Shift mode

How to use Apple’s iOS Night Shift mode

The latest version of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, iOS 9.3, has landed. And with it comes a whole host of improvements including updates to Health, Apple Music, Notes, and News.

But the most noteworthy improvement to iOS 9.3 is a new feature called Night Shift. No, this isn’t some mode you use only when the kids go to bed. Instead, the feature is designed to help improve your sleep by reducing the amount of blue light emitted by your device’s display.

According to Scientific American, blue light produces a specific wavelength that slows the release of melatonin — which helps regulate our sleep cycles — in our brains. That means that when you’re using your smartphone in bed at night, you’re directly affecting the quality of your night’s sleep.

How to use Apple’s iOS Night Shift mode

To address this, Apple’s Night Shift filters out the display’s blue light, creating a warm-looking image. Want to try out Night Shift for yourself? Here’s how.

After downloading iOS 9.3, open the Settings app, select Display & Brightness, and tap Night Shift.

If you want to set the feature to turn on automatically, select Scheduled and set the times you’d like to enable and disable Night Shift.

If you’d rather manually control Night Shift, choose Manually Enable Until Tomorrow.

You can also control how much blue light is filtered out of the display by moving the color temperature slider to More Warm. Add more blue light by sliding it to Less Warm.

IOS 9.3 also adds a Night Shift shortcut to the iOS Control Center accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

It’s worth noting that Apple says Night Shift “may” help you get a better night’s sleep. What’s more, Fortune reports that DisplayMate Technologies president Raymond Soneira, one of the display industry’s most respected experts, claims that Night Shift offers more of a placebo effect than anything else.

So give the feature a try — just don’t expect it to completely fix your poor night’s sleep.

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10 things we can’t live without

10 things we can't live without

The harrowing recession began in 2007 overturned the American priorities, with frugality now considered a virtue for the first time in decades. Despite recent uptick in spending, retail sales remain lower than they were three years ago. Sales of homes, cars and appliances have plunged. Shoppers have cut the toilet paper and cigarettes, once thought recession proof. Although sales are down porn. Thrift, it seems, has no borders.

However, the Americans clung to a few expensive necessities surprising, reflecting changes in American society that go far beyond pennies. Food, clothing and housing have long been staples most obvious. But the data he has finally roll into the wind as the recession shows that we also need a little entertainment and a tasty beverage or two. The company is more important than ever – even if it is not the man. And you can not even find a job these days if you do not have Internet access. As we redefine what is really important, here are 10 new key U.S.

1. Laptops (Portable computers)

IPAD could be the latest must-have gadget, but the computer power transcends trendiness. Brianna Karp, for example, has discovered a lot of homeless people in line, saving many through their own laptop, as she. Shipments of phones have skyrocketed over the last three years, with sales in 2010 may be twice what they were in 2007, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. Part of the jump comes from netbooks but cheap laptops of all sizes are more pervasive than we socialize, communicate, shop, get our new and increasingly live our lives online. sales office, meanwhile, have been on a steady decline, stability, mobility assets.

2. High-speed internet

Many people have reduced cable television, telephone service, and even gas and electricity use. But once you have access to high speed Internet, you do not go back. In a poll by the Pew Research Center last year, high speed Internet was one of three things that people said was a necessity in 2009 than in 2006. Appliances such as microwaves, dryer and dishwasher, however, are considered less important in 2009 than they had. And the data of the Telecommunications Industry Association shows that the rapid increase in the number of broadband Internet subscribers hardly slowed in 2008 or 2009. In 2013, more than 90 percent of all Internet connections in the United States will be high speed.

Global sales of mobile phones fell for the first time in 2009. But sales of smart phones – which can handle email, browse the Internet and do a variety of other things – increased 7 percent, according to TIA. And sales could jump 25 percent this year, as people who have been putting off upgrades mobile finally NAB iPhone or Blackberry of their dreams. As laptops, smart phones have become a lifeline for multitasking harassed we pretend that we are not.

4. Education

As Kevin and Deanna Daum were spiral into bankruptcy in 2009, they decided they could live without their two cars, their two homes, and most of the subtleties. But they insisted on keeping tuition of their son, then an elderly person in a private secondary school. Many Americans seem to feel the same.

Although the data does not readily show how much families spend on education, many families say they have given up other things to protect their children’s education, whether in school or a private school, tutoring, enrichment programs or activities related to school. private school enrollment has decreased by less than one percent of 2008-2010, and university enrollments have increased over the past two years. This is partly because jobs are scarce, but also because Americans value education at all. “It’s an investment that pays very well,” said Sandy Baum, an economist at the College Board. “People are willing to borrow for it and they know it is shortsighted to abandon.”

5. Television

Amercian spend less on entertainment – but watching more television. A recent study by Deloitte has found that typical American watches worth nearly 18 hours of shows on TV at home every week, two hours longer than last year. One reason could be that people are more unemployed kill time at home. But television can also be seen as a cheap alternative to sports events, concerts and buying DVDs. And hard core viewers can not be all that short, since sales of HDTVs have increased steadily throughout the recession.

6. Movies

Ticket sales dipped in 2008 but rebounded in 2009, reaching a peak in five years. One major reason was Avatar and other films in 3-D, which accounted for 11 per cent of the fund to take in 2009, up 2 percent the previous year. Any increase in box office is a victory for the cinema, which until last year had been losing viewers for home theater systems and a growing range of films on cable and the Internet. 

7. Music downloads

The need for mobility applies to music, too. CD sales fell 21 percent in 2009, but downloading entire albums and singles grew almost as much. The Pew study comparing luxury and needs helps explain why, more people considered an iPod a necessity in 2009 than in 2006 despite the recession.

8. Pets

Fido is sitting at the table these days. Maybe even the head of the table. While Americans have cut back spending on themselves, spending on pet food, supplies, grooming, veterinary care and clothing (clothing?) Has been the continuing rise of around 5 percent year. Industry representatives attribute this to the “humanization” of pets, which has led many pet owners to close the “quality of life gap” between their animals and themselves. The iWoof can not be far behind.

9. Booze

Smoking does not make us less than fully virtuous. The Americans fell alcohol upscale, but we are drinking enough to compensate for cheap stuff, which is the usual trend during recessions. Beer and wine have increased slightly during the same in recent years. With a bar and restaurant sales down, which suggests more people are drinking at home – while they watch television, no doubt.

10. Coffee

The Americans have followed the advice of pennies, and then returned to the stud of $ 5 per day. But they make up most infused their own coffee. About 56 percent of American adults drink coffee, a proportion that has not changed in recent years. But a recent survey by the National Coffee Association found that 86 percent of coffee drinkers have their own home, up from 82 percent a year earlier. And those who drink coffee at another place (think Starbucks) fell from 31 percent in 2009 to 26 percent in 2010. Of course, if people are drinking more alcohol at home, then it is logical that they themselves be more doses of coffee, too. If the economy improves, perhaps we need less of each.

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Black Friday becomes Black Week this year

Black Friday becomes Black Week this year

Retailers have turned the one-day bonanza into a week’s worth of hot sales.

…There may be just one Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving — but retailers are offering deals pretty much every day this week. “It’s become Black Friday Week,” says Deborah Mitchell, executive director for the Center of Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Like Super Bowl Sunday, the main event is later in the week, but everyone is gearing up and excited now.” Not all the best discounts, however, are saved for the big day, and shoppers who stick to Black Friday may find they’ve missed out, she says. “Smart shoppers will be looking every day.”

The wider spread of sales throughout the week, both before and after Black Friday, has another advantage for shoppers. While stores typically suspend their price matching policies on Black Friday, most will meet a competitor’s advertised deal on other days this week. They may also offer a credit on an item recently purchased for the difference between the purchased price and new sale price, says Edgar Dworsky.

But there’s a catch, say retail experts. Many of the deals are blink-and-you’ll-miss-them opportunities which are available for a few hours, or until a limited supply runs out. Here’s what to look for each day now through Cyber Monday:

Tuesday

Many stores have already kicked off their Black Friday countdowns, offering one-day deals that come close to — or in some cases beat — their Friday prices, Mitchell says. Best Buy, for example, had a 55″ LG LED HDTV Monday for $898, a 31% discount and $100 cheaper than a planned Samsung door-buster for Black Friday of comparable quality. Amazon.com launched its Black Friday deals site Nov. 1, and has new offers each day this week. A number of stores, including Lowe’s and Home Depot, are promising that Black Friday prices are already in effect, Dworsky says.

Wednesday

Big pre-Black Friday sales, including those from Newegg.com and Target wrap up on Wednesday. Shoppers also may benefit from waiting until midnight, when many Thanksgiving online-only deals could go into effect, Dworsky says. Since most retailers have specified turkey-day deals, but haven’t offered details on availability, it may only be worth it if you’re already up late making the pies. “Last I checked, Nov. 24 still had 24 hours in it, so you could wait up for nothing,” he says.

Thursday

Shoppers stuffing the turkey at 6 a.m. may find their time waiting for the bird to roast well spent shopping. Kmart will be open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., and Best Buy plans to release a number of online-only sales that day. Gap Inc. plans to open 1,000 stores — including 800 Old Navy stores and a number of Gap and Banana Republic outlet stores — for limited hours on Thanksgiving. “We know from the receptiveness of Thanksgiving hours over the past two years that many consumers want the ability to jump-start their holiday shopping,” says Louise Callagy, a spokeswoman for Gap. She says Old Navy will offer 3D glasses for shoppers to spy hidden games, messages and extra discounts around the store.

On the later side, Toys R Us will open its doors for Black Friday at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, followed an hour later by Walmart. But leaving in time to get in line may require cutting Thanksgiving celebrations short. Mitchell suggests double-checking the ads to see which in-store-only deals (if any) are worth ditching the family.

Black Friday

More deals are rolling in at midnight this year, with retailers including Kohl’s, Target, Best Buy and Macy’s pushing forward the usual 5 a.m. store openings. Online shoppers will find plenty of deals at that time, too, with online-only deals and some of the same door-busters that are available in stores, says Andrew Eisner, the director of content for Retrevo.com. Despite waning interest from consumers, Black Friday is still one of the best days of the year to get bargains, he says. Anticipated deals include a $200 42″ Sharp LCD HDTV at Best Buy, and a $350 HP laptop at Office Depot. But shoppers must also contend with very limited quantities of those deeply discounted items, as well as some misleading sales on older items that aren’t the latest technology, Eisner says. Many of the sale Blu-ray players, for example, require shoppers to buy an extra WiFi adaptor, while laptops tend to have older, slower processors.

Shoppers have added incentive to keep their mobile phone on hand this year. Stores including Bon Ton, Macy’s and JC Penney have said they plan to have more mobile coupons available. Toys R Us announced last week that it will offer shoppers who check in on Foursquare special “swarm” deals including $50 off the $170 Imaginarium City train table and 40% off the Incredible Edibles toy line.

Saturday

Big-box stores will continue some of the same sales they offered on Friday, with a different round of door-busters. Given limited inventory this year, shoppers shouldn’t count on these items being in stock, says Dworsky. You may find deals on items that are less likely to sell out. Sears, for example, has a door-buster of 30% off Kenmore Elite appliances until 1 p.m. on Saturday as well as $200 off a broad range of Craftsman tool sets.

It may be worth browsing mom-and-pop shops, too. Many are participating in American Express’s “Small Business Saturday.” The card company is offering a $25 credit to shoppers who register their card and spend $25 at a small business that day. Plus, many stores are offering their own deals, including 20% off at McNally Jackson Books in New York and up to 25% off designer denim at AB Fits in San Francisco.

Sunday

Savvy shoppers should check out eBay in the early morning hours, says Tim Dubroy, a spokesman for eBay market data firm Terapeak. “We noticed a couple of years ago that sales are higher on the Sunday after Thanksgiving than on the Monday after,” he says. eBay sellers scanning Cyber Monday ads often price their items competitively. Last year, for example, a Dell Zino HD desktop sold for an average $340 on eBay on Sunday — $9 less than the Dell.com Cyber Monday price that several gadget blogs touted. Sellers also matched a $399 Amazon.com deal for a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 digital camera. For the best deals, bid or buy before 2 p.m. Eastern, when prices rise as more shoppers head online, Dubroy suggests.

Monday

“There’s been so little talk of Cyber Monday this year that you have to wonder if it even exists,” Dworsky says. The National Retail Federation reports that 45% of retailers plan to offer a coupon or percentage-off sale, about 38% will have a limited-time promotion and 30% will offer free shipping on some orders. (In comparison, last year 49% had special offers, 41% offered one-day sales and 22% had free shipping on all purchases.) Still, it’s worth browsing the sales, if not necessarily waiting for them, he says. AT&T plans to offer several smartphones — including the HTC Inspire and the LG Thrill — for a penny when consumers sign a two-year contract, similar to a deal Amazon.com has scheduled for Black Friday weekend. Clothing chain Express offers 30% off all online purchases plus free shipping, which is 10% less than its Thanksgiving and Black Friday morning in-store offers.

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Iconic Motorola RAZR phone is back

Iconic Motorola RAZR phone is back

The original phone’s sleek design helped make it a smash hit when it debuted in 2003.

Mobile phones have come a long way in the last decade, moving from a mix of modest clamshell and candy-bar designs to widescreen smartphone powerhouses. And while huge lists of advanced features are all the rage these days, many still look back on the phones of yore with fond eyes. One of the most popular handsets of yesteryear was the Motorola RAZR, and now, 5 years since the company ceased production of the iconic flip phone, they are reviving the name. The new Android-powered device is called the Droid RAZR, and while it’s nearly unrecognizable compared to its older brother, it just may be what smartphone fans are looking for.

The svelte new smartphone sports a dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera capable of 1080p video recording, and 4G LTE support. The RAZR’s massive 4.3″ Super AMOLED touchscreen looks dazzling, and is encased in Gorilla Glass for added protection. The device is splash resistant, with Motorola promising that even the phone’s internals are meant to survive a bit of water.

One of the biggest selling points of the original RAZR was its thin form factor. The Droid RAZR continues that trend, measuring a laughably-narrow 7.1mm — making it the world’s thinnest smartphone. By comparison, the recently-released Droid Bionic measures 10.9mm, and the iPhone 4S checks in at 9.3mm. The back of the new phone is made of woven Kevlar, in case it ever gets caught in a Hollywood-style shootout. It will run Android version 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box.

The original Motorola RAZR debuted in 2003 and in just three short years it racked up over 50 million units sold, largely due to its super-thin profile and flashy appearance. But as smartphones began to grow in popularity, the modest features of the RAZR sent it straight to the bargain bin. But with that kind of name recognition, the new RAZR — which boasts a much more powerful OS and huge list of features — may be able to capture some of the old phone’s magic, which is something many Android devices seem to be lacking as of late.

The Droid RAZR will be release in November as a Verizon exclusive and will cost $299 with a new 2-year contract. A suite of accessories will also be poised for a launch-day release, including keyboard and laptop docks that will expand the phone’s capabilities to a larger screen. If you want to experience the rebirth of the RAZR line, you can pre-order the device starting on October 27.

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