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Back To School 2012: Why You Should Wait To Buy That New Phone

back to school phones

Thought all those changes coming to computers were big? Well, they’re nothing compared to what’s about to happen with phones. All the big players– Android, Windows Phone and of course, the iPhone– are due for major upgrades within the next month (we’re talking iPhone 5 big). And while there are some great deals available for today’s phones, we really think you should wait a little bit longer before signing that new 2 year contract. As we’ve said, these are huge changes.

So, what can we expect? Read on.

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Back To School 2012: Why You Should Hold Off On Buying That New Computer

teens back to school computer

With school right around the corner and back to school shopping in full swing, it’s very tempting to go out and buy that new computer, phone or tablet. Stores such as Staples, Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy are all strongly advertising their back to school and Labor Day deals (in addition to the usual deals from Microsoft and Apple).

But while the deals may be great, we think you really might want to hold off on dropping a lot of money on those new gadgets. You see, the technology industry is right now in state of major updates. Pretty much every group of device– from Windows and Mac computers, to iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone, to the iPad and Kindle tablets– are due for major upgrades over the coming months. And when we say major upgrades we mean major upgrades. Read the rest of this entry

Back To School Deal Of The Day: Get A New MacBook Air For $849 From Best Buy

Still looking for a new MacBook Air or Pro for school this year? Well then you may wanna check out Best Buy. As part of their back-to-school promotion, Best Buy is giving any current or incoming college student with a .edu email address $100 off any new MacBook. Now while that sounds a lot like what Apple is doing, it’s even better. Best Buy is doing this on top of the price you would pay for the MacBook had you bought directly from Apple with a student discount.

In other words, look at it like this. The latest, cheapest version of the 11 inch MacBook Air (with 64 GB of storage) normally costs $999, or $949 with the student discount when you buy directly from Apple. Best Buy starts the pricing for this Air at $949, and when you then add their student discount you’re down to $849. The more powerful, base model of the 13 inch MacBook Air (with 128 GB of storage) is normally priced at $1,199, or $1,149 with the student discount from Apple. Best Buy starts the pricing for this same Air at $1,139, so with this $100 student discount this Air is now only $1,039… you get the point. It’s a great deal.

To get the deal all you have to do is go to Best Buy’s Student Deals site, enter that .edu email and print the coupon. That’s it.

Now as great as this is there are a few downsides. The first is you’ll need that .edu email address, so if you’re in high school that might be hard to get (though you could ask a friend or sibling to let you use theirs). You also can’t customize the MacBooks like you could if you ordered directly from Apple’s site, and Apple also gives you an $100 iTunes Gift Card as part of their back to school deal, something Best Buy doesn’t seem to match.

Oh, and you can only use the coupon once and you have to use it in a Best Buy store and have your student ID with you. Sorry no online ordering.

But hey, $849 for the latest MacBook Air is definitely one of the best back to school deals we’ve seen this year.

More info: Best Buy Student Deals

T-Mobile Will Have The iPhone On It’s 4G Network This Year– Whether Apple Wants Them To Or Not

tmobile iphone 4 mock

It’s been no secret that T-Mobile really wants the iPhone, and equally no secret that T-Mobile users want one too (with over a million iPhone’s already being used on T-Mobile’s 2G network today). Ever since the first iPhone launched in 2007 all iPhone’s could be used on T-Mobile’s network, but the problem was they only could use T-Mobile’s 2G network and not it’s fast 4G one. This had to do with fact that the iPhone didn’t have the right radio band inside needed to use T-Mobile’s faster networks (known as the 1700 MHz band)– but that will all change soon. If Apple won’t bring the iPhone to T-Mobile then T-Mobile will go to the iPhone.

Later this year, T-Mobile will begin to upgrade some it’s 2G network (on what’s known as the 1900 MHz band) into part of it’s 4G network. Unlike the 1700 MHz band, this 1900 MHz band is supported by the iPhone (since AT&T uses it for some of their own 4G HSPA+ network). Basically what this means is that any unlocked iPhone— from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 4S (and presumably the new iPhone 5 or whatever it’s called later this year)– will now be able to finally get T-Mobile 4G!

There is still no word as to whether T-Mobile will finally get to officially sell the iPhone (and thereby have an iPhone that also works on their current 1700 MHz 4G network), but T-Mobile says that this upgrade should be finished by the end of the year (think somewhere between October-December). So T-Mobile iPhone users you can finally relax– one way or another you’ll finally be able to get a 4G iPhone.

More info: AllThingsD

Is Facebook Finally Bringing Video Chat To The iPhone?

facebook skype video chat

Facebook Video Chat– coming soon to the iPhone? 

With Facebook Video Chat having been available for Windows and Mac for almost a year now, it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before they brought the feature over to their mobile apps. And according to the site 9to5Mac, that time is finally almost here.

facebook messenger video chat

The folks over at 9to5Mac have gotten a sneak peak at a beta for an upcoming update to Facebook’s Messenger app for iPhone. In addition to the usual bug-fixes and performance improvements expected in a normal update they found this: the ability to make Skype Video Chats right from your iPhone/iPod Touch just like you already can from your computer. Making a video call is pretty simple too– if the person who you’re talking to is at their computer or on iPhone/iTouch you’ll see a blue arrow next to their name. Tap that arrow and you’re calling them.

9to5Mac also says that Facebook has a similar update planned for the Android version of the Messenger app (as well as a version of the Messenger app for the iPad), but that will probably come after the iPhone gets its update this summer.

Top 5 New And Upcoming Verizon Phones: Fall 2011

 verizon logo

So Verizon users– you’ve got an upgrade coming up sometime over the next couple of weeks/months and while you like some of the phones already out there, you really wanna know what Verizon’s got planned during those next few weeks or months so you don’t go out and buy something only to really regret it a week later. We’re here to help.

While not all of these are confirmed to be coming to Verizon (some are just our best guesses based on rumors we’ve been hearing), here are 5 phones that have recently launched or are said to be on their way to Verizon over the next few weeks/months that anyone with an upgrade should be really excited for (and trust us– they’re really good).

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iPhone 4 and 4S Now Live On Sprint’s Site

sprint iphone live

Sprint users, you’re wait for the iPhone finally begins its end. Sprint today has finally added both the new iPhone 4S and the 8 GB iPhone 4 to its website, with both being available for pre-order right now and available next Friday, October 14th. Like AT&T and Verizon, Sprint’s iPhones will cost $99 for the 8 GB iPhone 4 and either $199, $299 or $399 for the iPhone 4S (depending on if you get the 16, 32 or 64 GB version). Unlike the AT&T and Verizon iPhones though, Sprint will still be offering unlimited data for $40 a month (once you include their $10 “premium data fee,” though if you have a family unlimited plan you may be able to add unlimited data for just $20 a month.  AT&T’s data plans on the other hand are either $15 a month for 200 MB, $25 a month for 2 GB, or $45 a month for 4 GB. Verizon’s data plans start at $30 a month for 2 GB and go up to $100 a month for 12 GB).

For those who don’t know, the iPhone 4S is Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone. While it looks exactly like the iPhone 4 and has many of the same features (including the same 3.5 inch Retina Display, Facetime camera and being 3G only), under the hood it’s a whole new animal with a much faster dual-core processor (which means faster app openings and even better gaming), 8 megapixel back camera and support for Siri, Apple’s incredible new virtual assistant. For everything new in the iPhone 4S, see our full breakdown here.

So, Sprint users– you ready to finally get the iPhone?

More info: Sprint

 

Remembering Steve, In His Own Words

Here’s the story of Steve Jobs in his own words from his 2005 Stanford commencement speech. It’s one of the greatest, most inspiring speeches you will ever hear and a most fitting way to remember the legend that is Steve Jobs.

Thank You, Steve

steve jobs

If you haven’t heard the news, the world today lost one of its greatest innovators, Steve Jobs. Steve was not only the founder of Apple and the creator of the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad and Mac, but he also created Pixar (yes, the same Pixar that made Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Monsters Inc. etc). Whether or not you have an Apple iDevice or have seen any of those movies, his visions, dreams, ideas and inventions changed our world forever and for the better.

If it wasn’t for Steve and his vision– and how he caused and inspired everyone else in the tech world to raise their game– our computers today may still have been the same big, ugly, impossible to use boxes that they were 25 years ago when the first computers came out. Our phones may have still been slow, ugly and pathetic. We may still have had to use CDs and DVDs for our music and videos (remember those?), and things like the internet would have never existed the way we know and use them today. He truly changed the world and all of our lives.

Rest in peace Steve, and thank you for all you have done to make our world a better place.

More info: Apple

 

Is This BBM On Android?

bbm android rumor 1

We all know that Apple is bringing their own version of BBM to the iPhone next week with iOS 5 and iMessage, but from the looks of this, RIM (the makers of BlackBerry) is about to make a big move of their own: bringing an official BBM app to Android. That’s right: real, official BBM— on Android.

bbm android rumor 2

If you remember, we heard a rumor about this earlier this year (along with rumors of an official BBM app for iPhone) but these are the first pics we’ve seen of what BBM would look like on something other than a BlackBerry. And while these pics may very well be fake and Photoshopped (there have been a lot of fakes floating around online over the last couple of days), they look pretty real to us and make sense with everything else we’ve previously heard about RIM working on bringing BBM to Android (and the fact that it’s on a phone that actually looks like a RIM Android test phone– with its sticker Android buttons and BB_Dev folder on the homescreen– makes us further believe that this really could be legit).

Obviously details like exact features (rumors are this may be a “BBM-lite” with the full BBM experience being available only on real BlackBerrys) or when we can expect the app to be officially announced are still not known, though TechnoBuffalo— the site that leaked the pics– says it could be announced as soon as October 18th-20th at BlackBerry’s DevCon conference.

We’ll of course let you know more as we hear it, but assuming this is true– and BBM officially comes to Android– would you ditch your BlackBerry and go with a new ‘Droid instead (or better yet– would this make you want to get an Android over the iPhone for your next phone?)? Let us know in the comments.

More info: TechnoBuffalo

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