Tag Archive: Amazon


Free StuffThe economy is improving, but you still need to watch the entertainment budget.  Here are a few free resources for you and the family to stay entertained and on budget.  And who doesn’t like to get free stuff?

Amazon.  Yes, this is a huge shopping site and they have great deals.  But two of their best deals are free.  The Amazon App store for Android offers a free premium app every day.  Just visit the site every day from your Android device or your computer and add the app to your device.  You can install it as needed and it doesn’t expire.  Some apps are games, some scaled back versions of paid apps and some are full versions.  Too good to pass up.

Got a new tablet and need books?  Ereader News Today.  If you “Like” their Facebook page, you can get updates to remind you to visit the site each day. Ereader lists books that are offered on Amazon for free each day.  Many are limited time freebies so you should download as soon as possible.  Check the price before downloading to make sure the price has not returned to normal or that the free price is not limited to Prime members.  If you don’t have a Kindle, the Kindle reader is free to download to your laptop or Android device.  And if you have 2 or 3 bucks to spend, Amazon offers a bargain book of the day usually discounted 75 to 90%.  A good way to try out new authors or genres.  If you are an iPhone or iPad user, the iTunes store also offers free eBooks on a frequent basis.

Designers, try out Psd Tuts a great site for sharpening your skills and creating dramatic Graphics and Websites.  And of course, the tutorials and resources on this site are free!

Whenever possible, leave a small donation on free sites to help keep the resources flowing.  I commit this year to donating $10 per month to free, Small Business sites.

So, happy after Christmas specials and get productive in 2012!

GiftsTo those who have planned ahead and have disposable income to utilize over the 2011 holiday season, Techsnoop has some suggestions for you.  Of the items deemed to be hot this year, we have a few comments to add.

Kindle Fire; no matter how you slice it, Amazon has a hit on their hands.  This tablet has just enough punch to be a quality entertainment gift option for those on a non-iPad budget.  While the storage is low, most of the content for this device is designed to be stored in the Amazon Cloud.  This makes it accessible, but not hogging up your hard drive space.

Nook Tablet; A better choice if you have some legacy eBooks and music to transfer.  The Nook Tablet has 16GB of storage and and SD card slot.  Plus, it comes ready to stream from Hulu and Netflix.  This is another worthy entry in the affordable tablet competition.

Smartphones; All major carriers now have a version of the Samsung Galaxy S II.  This is a great phone with dual-core processor, 8GB ram, 8MP camera and great reviews.  If someone on your list needs a new Android phone, this is a great option.

Inkling; A graphic designer’s new best friend, the Inkling by Wacom allows you to sketch or draw on paper and create vector or Photoshop layers and import to your computer.  Without being tied to your laptop or tablet.  So when you’re out and about and inspiration hits, get sketching.  A great choice for your favorite graphic designer (hint, hint).

Gaming systems; The latest innovations in games is interactivity.  Kinect for XBox and Playstation Move for Playstation 3 are great gift ideas for the gamer in your life.  Don’t forget the gift card for Gamefly.

Last but definitely not least, iPad2.  If you have the money, this is the most wanted gift of the year (or any year).  Versatile, light and durable, the iPad is a great entertainment device and productivity hog.

So get out and find the best Black Friday deals you can with your list in hand.

Nook & FireTablets have become the new must-have accessory.  So the question becomes not if, but which tablet to choose from?

With the entry of two new contenders, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook, there are some solid lower priced alternatives.  First, what will you use your tablet for?  If you need it for heavy-duty business on the road, look for a higher end model.  These are not for heavy office app usage.

But, if you are streaming, reading, e-mailing and viewing pics, one of these could be right for you.  Priced at $199 for the Fire and $249 for the Nook, both are in the price range of a high-end smartphone.  Battery life and storage capacity are better with the Nook, so if you plan to store a lot of media on your device, the extra $50 is worth it.

For me, I hate being handcuffed to a specific service provider so the Fire won’t work as you have to get all of your content from the Amazon Cloud.  But if you are already an Amazon Prime customer, this is a fantastic deal as there are all sorts of freebies that will come with your Fire.

With the current technologies, screen resolution and readability are very close on most devices, so you can narrow your decision based on storage and use needs.  Oh, and connectivity?  Both are Wi-Fi only.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

FreeOver at Tech-A-Break I’ve been blogging about the economy and starting your own business.  Here on Techsnoop’s Helper I would like to offer up free tools for those in the Design industry.  As a freelance designer myself, I understand how important it is to maximize time and finances so here are a few tools to help with both.

First up; free smartphone apps.  GetJar offers apps that are normally paid for free for most platforms other than Apple.  Also, Amazon App store offers one app free every day.  Both sites offer productivity apps in addition to games.

Next; get paid for roaming the city and clicking on ads – with MobiboTrello is a great app for collaborating with peers and customers.  3D Issue converts your PDFs into page-flip magazines.  While it’s not free, they do offer a free 30 day trial to test out.

And no roundup of freebies would be complete without mentioning Smashing Magazine, Net Magazine and Mashable.

Thanks for reading, I hope these all help you as much as they do me!

phonesSmartphones are almost taking over the mobile marketplace. The versatility more than makes up for the battery life trade off, and newer phones are gaining in this area too.

In addition, the warehouse of apps available for these devices makes them even more useful as all around tools. There are apps for shopping lists, making your phone into a scanner, games, music and even a remote control.

If cost is a concern, check out this article from CNN Money comparing costs of some popular models.  The real cost of a smartphone is in the use – how much do you use the majority of the features. If you only talk and text, these phones are not for you.  But as someone who is a power user, I can state that you get very comfortable having all that convenience at your fingertips.  I can update my blogs, take and edit photos and send tweets from my phone, read digital magazines and books and still have enough battery life for lengthy conversations and some text messaging.  Oh, and I can never be lost with my built in GPS.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Droid Bionic and wished for an update to Gingerbread on the EVO.  A couple of days ago my wish was answered and an update was downloaded to my phone.  This type of service extends the useful life of a smartphone and makes it a better investment than models which cannot be updated.

So, make your wish list of features and get to the nearest mobile provider or go on the web to Amazon or Wirefly to compare prices.
And if a large screen is as important to you as it is to me, check out the HTC EVO. Or, slightly smaller screen but with a keyboard, the HTC EVO Shift.

I’m interested in the experiences of people with other types of smartphones such as the Droid, iPhone (any model) and Samsung models.  Please feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts.

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