Look carefully at that cellphone in your hand. In the coming months there’s every chance that rates may go up and you’ll be thinking twice before whipping out your phone and reaching out to friends and family.
So, maybe this is the right time to check out the best ways of slicing down your bill. The first step is — though this may sound like stating the obvious — to find the right plan. But those plans are fiendishly complex so perhaps you could use some help.
YourBillBuddy.com fetches your bill from your operator and gives you a complete analysis of your bill — how much STD you use, roaming vs in-circle etc — and even recommends plans that best suit your usage (and how much you’ll save in the process!) Also check out Komparify.com.
Data diet: Do you constantly have to control your data usage so that it doesn’t tip over the monthly limit? Instead, check out Onavo’s free iPhone and Android app, called Onavo Extend, which claims to make your data usage upto five times more efficient. It runs in the background on your phone, routing your data through Onavo’s servers and stripping out all the extras and compressing it as you go along. Also, check out the Opera mini browser.
Smart apps: Got a smartphone and text a lot? Free texting apps — which include Nimbuzz, WhatsApp, ChatOn, iMessage, among many others — let you text and IM for free using your phone’s data plan rather than via SMS.
My vote goes to WhatsApp just for the sheer number of platforms on which it’s available. With each of these, you may have to get your friends or family to sign on, but convincing them of the app’s merits is likely to be worth your while. And if you’re around a wireless network most of the day, dump your voice calls and use a voice-over-IP app, such as Viber, Fring or Skype, to make calls (more so, if you make a lot of international calls). Viber, for instance, works well even on 2G data networks. Voice quality may not be perfect at all times, then again, when was the last time your cell phone network offered perfect voice quality?
It’s superhero season, and close on the heels of the recent Spiderman and Dark Knight movies come official games from Gameloft that let you take the cinema hall action home to your own iOS or Android device. With The Amazing Spider-Man, Gameloft has given fans a huge, open-world version of Manhattan as it exists in the movie, which lets you not only have regular missions, but deal with the odd crime that keeps popping up on every other street. Don’t attend to the crimes fast enough and much like real life Spidey, you get blamed for not doing enough to help the police! But while the web slinging and the fight controls are good, the rest of graphics are just about average, which let the game down.
Not so the case with The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR), fortunately. Gotham is as dark and gritty as the movie, and the game sequences loosely follow the movie plot. Goes without saying — don’t play the game if you’re yet to watch the movie! With the sometimes errant camera angles that follow Batman and the virtual controls, one often got the impression this was a game better suited to a console than the mobile device Gameloft has designed it for. That said, TDKR is certainly a mobile game that does justice to the epic source material, and is immensely playable for any Batman fan. Far better than most video game tie-ins I’ve played.
• Price: US $ 6.99 for each
• URL: http://bit.ly/jmqxcT