Android http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11587/all en-US 7 Tools and Gadgets Your Smartphone Can Replace http://www.wisebread.com/7-tools-and-gadgets-your-smartphone-can-replace <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-tools-and-gadgets-your-smartphone-can-replace" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-519709446.jpg" alt="Woman using smartphone to replace tools and gadgets" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cameras, phones, GPS devices &mdash; we all know about those. But did you know that your smartphone can replace a wide range of esoteric tools and devices? From the scientific calculator to the credit card reader to the remote control, here is a list of tools and gadgets you can replace with your smartphone.</p> <h2>1. Math Software</h2> <p>Yes, your smartphone already comes with a calculator and a scientific calculator. However, those calculators will give you little help when facing the challenges of a quadratic equation, system of linear equations, or inequality with absolute value. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-useful-genius-math-tricks-that-are-actually-easy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Useful, Genius Math Tricks That Are Actually Easy</a>)</p> <p>This is where <a href="http://photomath.net" target="_blank">Photomath</a> comes in, allowing you to snap a pic of virtually any type of math problem. The app then solves that problem for you, and showing you step-by-step instructions. Think of this app as one of those bulky Texas Instruments calculators on steroids! And the best part is that downloading the app is free.</p> <h2>2. Check Deposit Machine</h2> <p>It's Saturday, you just got that $600 check that you've been waiting for, and there's no way you can get to the bank before closing time. You also have no clue how close the next ATM that accepts check deposits is. Instead, you could endorse your check, add a note &quot;for mobile deposit only,&quot; snap a pic of it, and receive up to $200 the next business day.</p> <p>As early as 2009, many banks around the country have issued a smartphone app that allows account holders to do mobile check deposits. Most financial institutions make the <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/10/pros-and-cons-of-mobile-check-deposit/index.htm" target="_blank">first $200</a> of a mobile check deposit available for withdrawal the next business day, and the rest of the funds available on the second or third day for withdrawal. Contact your financial institution for more details and applicable rules.</p> <h2>3. Thermal Imaging Camera</h2> <p>Drafty windows are one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-sneaky-home-money-pits-that-sap-your-savings?ref=internal" target="_blank">sneaky home money pits</a> that sap your savings. Hiring a contractor to check this out for you can cost you hundreds before even starting to fix the problem. The <a href="http://amzn.to/2kVxsKK" target="_blank">Flir One Thermal Imager</a> is a device that turns your smartphone into a thermal imaging camera, allowing you to find drafty windows and other poorly insulated spots.</p> <p>While you'll have to invest about $250 in a Flir One Thermal Imager, you can quickly make back that money by lowering your energy bill by <a href="https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_methodology" target="_blank">up to 10%</a> per year and taking advantage of rebates and special offers from Energy Star products used in your insulation projects.</p> <h2>4. Credit Card Reader</h2> <p>Since about <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/finance/consumer-index/financial-security-charts-0514.aspx" target="_blank">40% of Americans</a> carry less under $20 in cash on them and 9% of them carry no cash at all, you shouldn't be surprised that it is even harder nowadays to get your friends and relatives to pay you back that $15 they owe you.</p> <p>But you do know that your debtors have a debit or credit card laying around! So, leverage a credit card reader from <a href="https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/credit-card-reader" target="_blank">PayPal</a> or <a href="https://squareup.com/reader" target="_blank">Square</a> and start accepting card payments on your smartphone. While the two companies mail you the first credit card reader for free, PayPal and Square charge 2.7% and 2.75% per U.S. debit or credit card swipe, respectively. Paying up to $0.41 for having your $15 today instead of in two months isn't a bad deal at all.</p> <p>Got no Internet connection? No problem, Square's app allows you to collect payment as long as you reconnect to the web within <a href="http://squareup.com/help/us/en/article/5095-process-payments-with-offline-mode" target="_blank">72 hours</a> from the time of the card swipe.</p> <p>And if you want to forgo the phone attachment, you can also choose from several apps that allow users to transfer money to each other directly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mobile-payment-tools-you-should-start-using-today?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Mobile Payment Tools You Should Start Using Today</a>)</p> <h2>5. Car Diagnostic Tool</h2> <p>As cars are becoming smarter, they all provide much more information than you think. With the <a href="http://amzn.to/2kOSE2k" target="_blank">Automatic Pro</a>, you can connect to just about any car's standard diagnostics (OBD-II) port and unlock the data in your car's onboard computer. Most cars manufactured since 1996 have this port and are compatible with the Automatic Pro (here's the <a href="https://www.automatic.com/cars/" target="_blank">full list</a>).</p> <p>By investing about $130, you'll become a &quot;car whisperer&quot; and pay zero fees for unlimited monitoring. As a bonus, the Automatic Pro connects to many apps, such as Expensify and Freshbooks for invoicing mileage driven.</p> <h2>6. Level</h2> <p>How many times have you needed a level to hang a frame, mount a TV, or adjust the height of a table? A bubble level can cost you anywhere from $5 to $50 at your local or big box hardware store. Not to mention that you have to drive there, stand in line, and drive back, delaying your start time by up to a couple of hours to start that home project.</p> <p>Instead, you could download a free level smartphone app, such as <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.androgames.level&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">Bubble Level</a> for Android devices or <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/app/id293621500" target="_blank">iHandy Carpenter</a> for Apple devices, and get to work right away.</p> <h2>7. Universal Remote</h2> <p>At my home, we used to have a separate remote for the DVD player, the TV, the cable box, and the air conditioner. That was until we discovered that a smartphone can connect to many electronics and home appliances through its built-in infrared (IR) blaster.</p> <p>While there are many universal remote controller apps out there, <a href="http://peel.com" target="_blank">Peel</a> gets top marks because it connects your smartphone to TVs, set-top boxes, DVD players, entertainment portals such as Roku and Apple TV, audio systems, and home appliances such as air conditioners and heaters. You can download Peel for free, but you may need to purchase the <a href="http://amzn.to/2kVySoq" target="_blank">Pronto 360-degree IR blaster</a>, depending on the connectivity options of devices that you want to control.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tools-and-gadgets-your-smartphone-can-replace">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-extra-income-with-your-smartphone-camera">Earn Extra Income With Your Smartphone Camera</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/34-smart-ways-to-cut-your-electric-bill">34 Smart Ways to Cut Your Electric Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-must-immediately-do-after-losing-your-smartphone">8 Things You Must Immediately Do After Losing Your Smartphone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-8-key-areas-of-your-life-with-these-17-smart-apps">Organize 8 Key Areas of Your Life With These 17 Smart Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant">9 Ways Siri Can Be Your Personal Finance Assistant</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Technology Android apps you need iPhone modern technology smartphone smartphone apps tech gadgets tools Thu, 16 Feb 2017 10:30:27 +0000 Damian Davila 1892849 at http://www.wisebread.com Earn Extra Income With Your Smartphone Camera http://www.wisebread.com/earn-extra-income-with-your-smartphone-camera <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/earn-extra-income-with-your-smartphone-camera" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-491752390.jpg" alt="use your smartphone to make extra money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You no longer need to carry around a digital camera to capture in-the-moment photos. Today's smartphones feature fantastic cameras with surprising quality and clarity. For example, the latest iPhone 7 boasts a groundbreaking new camera, including the ability to take RAW photos and capture images in low light.</p> <p>The new camera quality in smartphones means they can be a tool to create a small photography side business. If you love taking photos and have a great eye, you can turn your artistic vision into cash, right from your phone.</p> <p>These three sites will pay cash for your smartphone photos. Here's how to get started.</p> <h2>EyeEm</h2> <p><a href="https://www.eyeem.com/" target="_blank">EyeEm</a> is one of the largest smartphone-picture platforms, with over 18 million creators. Available to both iPhone and Android users, you can sell photos for anywhere from $20 to $250, depending on the license.</p> <p>EyeEm also allows you to upload photos from your computer, so you can edit photos from your smartphone before posting them for sale.</p> <h2>Foap</h2> <p><a href="https://www.foap.com/" target="_blank">Foap</a> is a free app for iPhones that allows you to sell your photos. Once you sign up for an account, you upload your photos. To use any of your photos, a customer must purchase a photo license for $10; Foap keeps $5, and you get $5 as the artist.</p> <p>The great thing about Foap is that you are not limited in how many times you sell a photo. If that one adorable picture of your dog appeals to customers, you can sell it 100 times or more.</p> <h2>Fotolia Instant</h2> <p>With the <a href="https://blog.fotolia.com/us/category/instant/" target="_blank">Fotolia Instant app</a>, you can upload images from your Android or iPhone directly to Fotolia Instant Collection, which is a subset of the site dedicated solely to smartphone images for brands looking for stock images.</p> <p>Fotolia Instant allows you to include a model release, add keyword information, and manage every aspect of the sales process. You get a 33% commission for every photo you sell. Once you reach $50 in sales, you can request your payout via PayPal or Skrill.</p> <h2>Tips for Selling Your Photos</h2> <p>While you can turn your smartphone into a money-earner, the stock photo market can be crowded with other sellers. To increase your chances of customers buying your pictures, try to think from their point of view and what they need. Most shoppers are small business owners and bloggers looking for stock photos.</p> <p>They likely will need your photos for various purposes, so:</p> <ul> <li>Make sure your photos are large enough that they can be resized without getting blurry or grainy. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take advantage of your location. If your city has well-known landmarks or shopping districts, those areas can translate to very popular photos. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can also get inspiration by checking out blogs and looking at the stock photos they use for ideas for what shots sell.</li> </ul> <h2>Turning Your Phone Into Cash</h2> <p>Instead of just snapping selfies and paying for an expensive data plan, turn your smartphone camera into a cash-earning machine. If you love taking photos and have a unique point of view, you can turn your camera into a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-side-benefits-of-your-side-hustle" target="_blank">decent side hustle</a>. Post photos on various sites to maximize your chances of earning extra money, and keep adding fresh content to keep customers coming back.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-extra-income-with-your-smartphone-camera">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tools-and-gadgets-your-smartphone-can-replace">7 Tools and Gadgets Your Smartphone Can Replace</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/prizes-and-freebies-from-coupsmart-for-the-iphone">Prizes and Freebies from CoupSmart for the iPhone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-buying-the-best-travel-cameras">A Simple Guide to Buying The Best Travel Cameras</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-must-immediately-do-after-losing-your-smartphone">8 Things You Must Immediately Do After Losing Your Smartphone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-instragrammers-are-getting-rich-by-traveling-the-world">These 6 Instragrammers Are Getting Rich by Traveling the World</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Technology Android camera cash instagram iPhone photography photos side gig smartphone Tue, 17 Jan 2017 10:30:31 +0000 Kat Tretina 1873579 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Easy Ways to Pay With Your Smartphone http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-pay-with-your-smartphone <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-easy-ways-to-pay-with-your-smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/paying_with_smartphone_537499455.jpg" alt="Learning easy ways to pay with a smartphone" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Mobile wallets carry the promise of simplifying your life, by enabling you to, for example, quickly pay for groceries without digging out a credit card from your wallet. Or, they can help you swiftly locate the right loyalty card without fumbling through a stack of cards in the checkout line, or immediately reimburse a coworker who picked up your lunch.</p> <p>But how do mobile wallets work?</p> <h2>Payment Apps</h2> <p>A payment app stores your credit card info so you can use your phone instead of a physical card to pay at a checkout counter. Simply bring up your app, then place your phone toward the contactless payment system scanner.</p> <p>In addition, you may be able to use the app for online purchases &mdash; without entering card or shipping information &mdash; if specific payment methods are available at checkout.</p> <h3>1. Apple Pay</h3> <p><a href="http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/">Apple Pay</a> is available on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and more recent versions of the iPhone. There are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/where-to-use/">millions of stores</a> that accept Apple Pay, including national chains such as Staples, Trader Joe's, and Walgreens.</p> <p>In addition, you may be able to use Apple Pay to complete online purchases made within the Safari browser and certain apps. Online stores that accept this method of payment display the Apple Pay logo at checkout. Apple Pay is available in the United States and several other countries.</p> <p>For security purposes, transactions require authentication with a pass code or Touch ID. Card numbers aren't stored on your device or Apple servers and they're not shared with merchants.</p> <p>Anonymous transaction information is collected but not tied to an individual and doesn't include what you buy.</p> <h3>2. Android Pay</h3> <p>Available for Android devices,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.android.com/pay/">Android Pay</a> is accepted at millions of U.S. stores and restaurants including the likes of Babies &quot;R&quot; Us, Jamba Juice, and Fuddruckers. At certain merchants, loyalty points and special offers are applied automatically, saving you from pulling out rewards cards.</p> <p>The app may help you make online purchases when you use Chrome as your browser or initiate certain in-app transactions. When available at checkout, Android Pay conveys your payment and shipping data, allowing you to skip the process of entering this information manually.</p> <p>For security purposes, you'll need to unlock your phone to pay via Android Pay. The app uses a virtual account number to complete transactions, and doesn't send your actual card number with payment. If your phone is lost or stolen, you can use the&nbsp;<a href="https://support.google.com/androidpay/answer/6289376?hl=en&amp;ref_topic=6289350">Android Device Manager</a> to lock your device, change the password, and erase personal information.</p> <h3>3. PayPal</h3> <p>Additional payment apps include&nbsp;<a href="https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/pay-in-stores">the PayPal</a> mobile app, which is accepted at a limited number of stores (in my area, AutoZone, Dollar General, and Macy's). Some restaurants accept payment via PayPal. Find them within the app, where you can also view menus and place orders through its link to yelp Eat 24. It's available on iOS, Windows, and Android devices.</p> <p>Certain retailers also have their own payment apps. For example, load money into your Starbucks app and use it to pay for your purchases. You can even order online and pick up without standing in line.</p> <h2>Money Transfer Apps</h2> <p>Money transfer apps allow you to send money to friends or family members, or collect money from them. Some may also allow you to pay businesses.</p> <h3>4. Google Wallet</h3> <p>Available on Android and iOS devices,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/wallet/">Google Wallet</a> allows you to send, request, and receive payments from individuals, as long as they live in the United States and have an email address or phone number. Transfers are made using your debit card registered with the app. There are no fees for this service.</p> <p>Money received can be moved to your bank account, where you'll get access within minutes of its receipt.</p> <p>Access to the app is restricted through the use of a Payments PIN. In addition, you can remove access to your account at myaccount.google.com if you lose your phone or it's stolen.</p> <p>Your financial data is stored on secured servers and encrypted with industry-standard SSL technology. Activity is monitored for fraud and Google covers 100% of verified unauthorized transactions.</p> <p>Google may collect information about your location and your use of its products. Learn more by reviewing its&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/">privacy policy</a>.</p> <h3>5. Venmo</h3> <p><a href="https://venmo.com/" target="_blank">Venmo</a>, the free money-transfer app from PayPal, allows users to quickly and securely send or request money from one another at the touch of a button. The app, which is available for both Android and iOS, requires you to sign up for an account through your email or Facebook. Once set up, you simply link and verify your bank account, credit, or debit card, and you're off and running. Money in your Venmo account can be transfered to your bank in as little as one day. Just be aware that a 3% processing fee applies to credit and some debit cards.</p> <p>Venmo also adds a social element to money transfers, letting users include little notes and emojis to their friends and families. It's a fun way to keep track of what a transfer was for.&nbsp;</p> <h3>6. Square Cash</h3> <p><a href="https://cash.me/" target="_blank">Square Cash</a>&nbsp;operates in a similar method, and is also available for Android and iOS devices. At sign up, Square Cash asks for either an email or phone number, and gives users the option to decide between a free personal account (for friends and family), or a business account, which charges a 2.75% processing fee for payments received. Once you're setup to send or receive payments, you'll create a unique $Cashtag &mdash; the username you'll share with friends or family. Like Venmo, Square Cash also allows you to link a credit card, but applies 3% processing fees for money sent. However, they waive this fee for payments made to a Square Cash business account.</p> <h2>Loyalty Card Storage Apps</h2> <p>By storing digital renderings of your loyalty cards, these apps may lighten a formerly bulky wallet. In addition, you may be able to travel through the checkout line faster by providing prompt access to your loyalty card information &mdash; instead of rifling through a pile of cards to locate the right one.</p> <h3>7. Stocard</h3> <p>Available as an Android or iPhone app,&nbsp;<a href="http://stocardapp.com/">Stocard</a> allows you to store and access digital versions of loyalty cards.</p> <p>The app is free of charge and ad-free, except for the offers associated with various loyalty program brands. For example, you can view weekly sales promotions at Staples by tapping the &quot;Offers&quot; tab in the app's interface.</p> <p>Scanning technology and methods at stores can affect the usefulness of the Stocard app. You may be able to scan cards yourself. But you might have to hand your phone to a cashier for scanning or enter account numbers manually.</p> <p>Loyalty cards with a payment or proof of identity function can't be uploaded. The company says <a href="http://stocardapp.com/privacy">aggregated usage statistics</a> may be collected and reported but information about individual purchases is not, except for legal obligations.</p> <h3>8. Passes in Apple Wallet</h3> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204003">Passes section</a> of Apple Wallet allows you to keep digital versions of boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, and rewards cards. Only passes can be scanned.</p> <p>Only certain rewards cards are eligible for inclusion in Wallet. For example, you can add a Staples rewards card via its app but not an Ikea loyalty card. Adding a digital loyalty card requires you to add the app associated with the brand first and then place the item inside the Passes section.</p> <h3>9. Key Ring/CardStar</h3> <p>Other loyalty card apps include&nbsp;<a href="https://keyringapp.com/">Key Ring</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cardstar.com/">CardStar</a>, which store cards digitally and alert you to special offers. Both are available in iPhone and Android versions.</p> <p>Some mobile wallet apps serve more than one purpose. For example, Apple Wallet contains both payment and loyalty card apps. PayPal has a feature that allows you to pay at brick-and-mortar stores but also has peer-to-peer money transfer capabilities.</p> <p>You might consider installing apps for which you'll have an ongoing use. For example, I love the Apple Pay app because it gets me through checkout lines fast; my young adult son likes Dwolla because he and his friends can easily split bills from group outings. Both unburden us from carrying and searching for cards, cash, and coins in our regular wallets.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-pay-with-your-smartphone">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cell-phone-app-thats-saving-me-a-smal-fortune">The Cell Phone App That&#039;s Saving Me A Small Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout">6 Apps That Pay You to Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-parking-apps-for-your-city">The 11 Best Parking Apps for Your City</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fitness-gadgets-actually-worth-the-money">5 Fitness Gadgets Actually Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology Android apple pay apps dwolla google wallet loyalty cards mobile wallets money transfers paypal Tue, 13 Dec 2016 11:00:10 +0000 Julie Rains 1849995 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Free (or Almost!) Tools and Resources for Creating a New 2015 Budget http://www.wisebread.com/10-free-or-almost-tools-and-resources-for-creating-a-new-2015-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-free-or-almost-tools-and-resources-for-creating-a-new-2015-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000064844883_Large.jpg" alt="woman working computer" title="woman working computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So your spending went a little haywire during the holidays. Now is the time to get back on track with a new budget for 2015.</p> <p>These days, it's easy to track spending and set up budgets, often without the need to log in to any complicated software program.</p> <p>For those looking to do a better job of tracking spending and keeping their financial goals within reach, these tools should help you as you head into the new year.</p> <h2>1. Mint</h2> <p><a href="https://www.mint.com/">Mint</a> offers an array of tools to help with budgeting. It's possible to link all of your financial accounts, including your investments, and view them on a single platform. You can also track and categorize all transactions, and export your financial data to your TurboTax account at tax time. Best of all, you can set up an unlimited number of budgets and even establish goals to track. Mint is available online and on apps for smartphones and tablets.</p> <h2>2. Personal Capital</h2> <p>If you like Mint, you'll also like <a href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.216060&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1&amp;foc2=582907">Personal Capital</a>. Its budgeting tools are not quite as robust, but I find it's a little snappier than Mint. Personal Capital also offers financial advice and management for a fee.</p> <h2>3. Buxfer</h2> <p><a href="https://www.buxfer.com/">Buxfer</a> allows you to sync all of your accounts just like Mint and Personal Capital, but has an added feature that allows you to send money to friends and family online. It also helps you dole out shared expenses, like portions of rent or groceries, so it's perfect for young people with roommates.</p> <h2>4. BudgetPulse</h2> <p>This web-based application is a good option for those who prefer to not link all of their accounts. <a href="https://www.budgetpulse.com/">BudgetPulse</a> requires a little bit more work, because you have to enter all of your financial information manually, but it has a nice interface and some easy-to-adjust budgeting tools.</p> <h2>5. Level Money</h2> <p><a href="https://levelmoney.com/">Level Money</a> allows you to enter your income, expenses, and &quot;spendable cash&quot; and then offers a real-time picture of what you're buying and how much cash you have left. It's best feature is its simplicity.</p> <h2>6. GnuCash</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.gnucash.org/">GnuCash</a> personal and small business accounting program has many devotees because it's free and works on almost any computer platform, including Linux. Because it's based on the double-entry accounting system, it's very robust (and sometimes confusing for those unfamiliar with double entry). Still, with it you can track bank accounts, stocks, and other financial information, and get helpful charts. It's also possible to import from software programs such as Quicken.</p> <h2>7. Spendee</h2> <p>The first step to budgeting is learning where your money is going. And that's <a href="http://www.spendeeapp.com/">Spendee</a>'s strength. It's easy to enter transactions with just a few taps on the app (iPhone and Android), and the interface is about as clean as you can get. The budgeting tools aren't as robust as other apps, but you may find it's just perfect enough for tracking spending.</p> <h2>8. HomeBudget</h2> <p>A well-reviewed app for iOs, Android, and desktop platforms, <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/homebudget-with-sync/id306257910?mt=8">HomeBudget</a> is great for couples who want to manage budgets together. The app has a slick interface and offers a syncing capability that allows more than one user to track spending and income. The downside to this app is that it costs $4.99, but many find it worth it.</p> <h2>9. Paper Envelopes</h2> <p>Yes, just a handful of plain white envelopes will help you stay on the right financial path. Fill each envelope with a specific amount of cash for certain items. Once the envelope is empty, you can't spend any more on that item. It's a simple, but effective, way to reduce your dependency on credit cards and rein in your spending.</p> <h2>10. Microsoft Excel</h2> <p>This may seem a little outdated &mdash; and it's only free if you already have MS Office installed &mdash; but it can be effective. Microsoft's spreadsheet program offers a <a href="http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/simple-monthly-budget-TC103428920.aspx">simple monthly budget template</a> that allows you to compare monthly income and expenses. Sometimes simple is best.</p> <p>If truly free is your thing, you might try a <a href="https://drive.google.com/previewtemplate?id=0AqSw5UvrxNaFdFRHNFlkbzEtR2xXNWJCS0JNRTZNdEE&amp;mode=public">similar template on Sheets</a>, Google's free alternative to Excel.</p> <p><em>How do you track your budget?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-free-or-almost-tools-and-resources-for-creating-a-new-2015-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents">The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-valuable-thing-debt-takes-from-you-isnt-money-its-this">The Most Valuable Thing Debt Takes From You Isn&#039;t Money — It&#039;s This</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more">Can a Robot Called Digit Really Help You Save More?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Android apps budgeting iPhone saving Mon, 05 Jan 2015 14:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 1275173 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Cool Uses for a Tablet Computer http://www.wisebread.com/11-cool-uses-for-a-tablet-computer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-cool-uses-for-a-tablet-computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/restaurant_ipad.jpg" alt="Woman using iPad at restaurant" title="Woman using iPad at restaurant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tablets have taken the world by storm, and it seems like everybody wants one. And why wouldn&rsquo;t they? They&rsquo;re sleek, they're cool, and you can take them anywhere. It&rsquo;s a great way to carry around your music, pictures, and videos.</p> <p>But other than that, how else are you going to use a tablet? Are you really going to drop $200&ndash;$500 for just another screen to stare at between commercial breaks? If you&rsquo;re dead set on buying a tablet (or just trying to convince yourself it&rsquo;ll be worth it), here are 15 cool ways to use it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-advice-for-the-gadget-addicted">Frugal Advice for the Gadget Addicted</a>)</p> <h2>1. Second Monitor</h2> <p>Instead of spending an another $130 to get a second monitor, hook up your tablet. Adding another display is a great way to become more productive at home or at work &mdash; plus <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5870378/use-your-ipad-or-android-tablet-as-a-second-monitor-for-your-computer">using a tablet as a monitor</a> is easy.</p> <h2>2. Remote Control</h2> <p>It depends on the way you&rsquo;re set up at home, but it's likely you can find an app that will let you control your TV and your sound system from your tablet. It&rsquo;s already going to be on your lap, so why not take advantage?</p> <h2>3. Play Old School Games</h2> <p>From old-school Nintendo games to Playstation and Nintendo 64 titles, emulators exist for just about any system you can think of. You&rsquo;re supposed to own the games you download, so make sure you look into that first. Contra here we come!</p> <h2>4. TV in the Car for Kids</h2> <p>Kids get restless in the car, even if it&rsquo;s just a 30 minute ride. Instead of buying a portable DVD player, just fasten the tablet to the back of a headrest and boom &mdash; they get some entertainment, and you get some peace and quiet.</p> <h2>5. Cash Register</h2> <p>If you own a portable business or are just trying to sell the junk in your garage, taking credit cards will make it easier to sell out. You can take credit-card payments from your phone too if you want, but why not go for the big screen? Happy selling!</p> <h2>6. Order at Restaurants</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s only a matter of time before restaurants use tablets to take your order. That means they don&rsquo;t have to run around as much, and your food comes out faster. If you run a food establishment, take note!</p> <h2>7. Make Music</h2> <p><a href="http://www.apple.com/ilife/garageband/" target="_blank">GarageBand</a> is one way to make music on your tablet, but it isn&rsquo;t the only one &mdash; <a href="https://market.android.com/details?id=de.despudelskern.application.audiotoolsketch&amp;hl=en">Audiotool Sketch</a> for Android is also out there.</p> <h2>8. Recipe Stand</h2> <p>My wife and I bought one of those cheap plastic cookbook stands, and we never use it. Why? Most of our recipes come from AllRecipes or an email someone sent us. So why not use the tablet as a recipe stand? It&rsquo;s portable, and we can take right into the kitchen. You can get a <a href="http://technabob.com/blog/2012/01/06/steelie-mobile-device-holder/">fancy stand</a> or just slip it into a Ziploc bag.</p> <h2>9. Picture Frame</h2> <p>Load it up with pictures, set it down in the living room, and let it work its magic &mdash; just make sure you aren&rsquo;t sharing any &ldquo;personal&rdquo; pics.</p> <h2>10. Place to Keep All Your Manuals</h2> <p>Manuals suck. I have them for everything I&rsquo;ve ever bought, and it&rsquo;s a hassle. Most are available online, but bringing them up on the computer and then going back and forth to the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-warm-this-winter-without-turning-up-the-heat">thermostat</a> or whatever it is I&rsquo;m fixing is a hassle. Instead, put them in a folder on a tablet and boom &mdash; you&rsquo;re done.</p> <h2>11. Textbook</h2> <p>Apple just changed the game with <a href="http://www.apple.com/education/ibooks-textbooks/" target="_blank">iBooks Textbooks</a>, and I&rsquo;m thinking this is just the start. Forget about lugging around all those heavy books that don&rsquo;t play videos or music &mdash; textbooks on your tablet are the future.</p> <p>Tablets aren't cheap, but if you want a deal you can always find one. Keep an eye on the <a href="http://news.cnet.com/cheapskate/">Cheapskate blog</a> and sites like <a href="http://www.techbargains.com/">Techbargains</a> for <a href="http://wisebread.com/bestdeals">good deals</a>.</p> <p><em>Do you have any other interesting ways to use a tablet?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cool-uses-for-a-tablet-computer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-easily-use-an-ipad-as-a-laptop">How to Easily Use an iPad as a Laptop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-cable-to-control-your-android-phone-while-you-drive">Build a Cable to Control Your Android Phone While You Drive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tools-and-gadgets-your-smartphone-can-replace">7 Tools and Gadgets Your Smartphone Can Replace</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-pay-with-your-smartphone">9 Easy Ways to Pay With Your Smartphone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-never-pay-for-another-book">How to Never Pay for Another Book</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology Android ipad tablet Wed, 25 Jan 2012 10:48:13 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 876397 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Never Pay for Another Book http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-never-pay-for-another-book <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-never-pay-for-another-book" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/books_1.jpg" alt="Books" title="Never Pay for Books Again" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have a computer, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, or Android device, you can download more books than you will ever be able to read for free. Here's how:</p> <p>Book publishers are finally beginning to move with the times and offer larger and larger selections of current and classic books in digital formats. Retailers like Amazon, Barnes &amp; Noble, and iTunes list those offerings and make many of them free for a limited time.</p> <h3>Amazon's Free Book List</h3> <p>You can find recently-written digital versions of books for free in the business, finance, self help, romance, science fiction, fantasy, classic, and children's categories. These books are usually only free for a day or two before Amazon rotates them out and features something else. You can keep an eye on the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&amp;location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fbestsellers%2Fdigital-text%2F154606011%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ref_%3Dpd_ts_zgc_kinc_154606011_more&amp;tag=dealswb-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957">top 100 free list</a> (on the right side of the linked page) to see what's current, or you can subscribe to our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bestdeals/today">daily deals list</a> and get the current offerings delivered to your email each day.</p> <p>To read the books for free, you will need to download Amazon's free Kindle Whispernet software for your chosen device. You can find the software next to the &quot;Add to cart&quot; button for any book you want to download.</p> <h3>Free Books from Barnes &amp; Noble</h3> <p>Barnes &amp; Noble released the &quot;Nook&quot; to compete with Amazon's Kindle. And, just like Amazon, they offer their software for free, so you don't need the device to take advantage of the free books. Scroll down on their&nbsp;<a href="http://gan.doubleclick.net/gan_click?lid=41000000031734273&amp;pubid=21000000000291524">Nook page</a> a bit, and find the link on the right to download the free Nook app for the iPhone, iPad, Android, or PC. Then check out their huge selection of <a href="http://gan.doubleclick.net/gan_click?lid=41000000028439241&amp;pubid=21000000000291524">free books</a>.</p> <h3>Free Books from iTunes</h3> <p>The iTunes App Store has thousands of classic and current books available for free. Just browse through the <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;subid=0&amp;offerid=146261.1&amp;type=10&amp;tmpid=3909&amp;RD_PARM1=http%3A%2F%2Fitunes.apple.com%2Fus%2Fgenre%2Fmobile-software-applications%2Fid6018%3Fmt%3D8">books section</a> and download anything you like to your iPhone or iPad. Do double check the price before you download though; every now and then they sneak in a paid book app.</p> <p>That's it! Easy-peasy, and you have access to enough free books to spend several years doing nothing but reading. Enjoy!</p> <p><em>Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brooke-kaelin">Brooke Kaelin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-never-pay-for-another-book">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cool-uses-for-a-tablet-computer">11 Cool Uses for a Tablet Computer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-read-comic-books-for-free-or-almost-free">6 Ways to Read Comic Books for Free (or Almost Free)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easiest-ways-to-score-free-ebooks">5 Easiest Ways to Score Free eBooks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-this-your-most-productive-summer-yet">10 Ways to Make This Your Most Productive Summer Yet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Android free books ipad kindle Thu, 11 Nov 2010 12:00:09 +0000 Brooke Kaelin 296264 at http://www.wisebread.com Build a Cable to Control Your Android Phone While You Drive http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-cable-to-control-your-android-phone-while-you-drive <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/build-a-cable-to-control-your-android-phone-while-you-drive" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/diy android cable.jpg" alt="diy android cable" title="diy android cable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="221" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recently needed to replace my 5-year-old cell phone and my 3-year-old MP3 player simultaneously. So I bit the bullet and bought an Android-based smart phone, the famed Nexus One (N1). This was, hands down, the best electronics purchase I've made in the last few years&hellip;except for one annoying thing: The music app starts and stops randomly when a standard stereo plug is plugged into the 3.5mm headphone jack.</p> <p>I did a bit of research and decided that I could solve the problem fairly easily.</p> <p>First, I built a simple cable that disables (opens) the N1's music control circuit, which solves the original problem nicely (see the schematic below). An alternative to building this simple cable is to wrap tape around the relevant section of the 3.5mm plug sleeve; this will also open the circuit but may leave unwanted tape residue in the jack.</p> <p><img height="198" width="500" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/simple%20cable.jpg" /></p> <p>Later, I realized I could go one step beyond and a make a cable that would connect my N1 to my car stereo <strong><em>and</em></strong> have Play/Pause and Skip Forward/Back functions just like the headphones that came with the smart phone. I would no longer have to turn the N1 on and look at the screen while driving in order to access these basic music player functions!</p> <p><img height="303" width="500" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/one%20step%20beyond%20cable.jpg" /></p> <p>To build this device, you need to know a bit about the difference between a standard stereo plug and the N1's plug (see the photo below). The standard stereo plug has three conductors, what are typically called the Tip, the Ring, and the Sleeve. These plugs can sometimes be referred to as TRS plugs. The N1, and other Android based phones, come with headphones that have a four-conductor plug with one Tip, <strong><em>two</em></strong> Rings, and one Sleeve. These connections can sometimes be referred to as TRRS connections. It follows then that the corresponding jack (what you plug the plug into) on the N1 has the same number of contacts. It is this extra ring, and the control circuit connected to it, that causes the problem.</p> <p><img height="232" width="500" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/plugs.jpg" /></p> <p>On a standard stereo plug the sleeve is typically wired as circuit ground. But, on the TRRS plug/jack, the second ring is ground and the sleeve section is used as a control contact for Play/Pause and Skip Forward/Back functions. Unfortunately, when a standard three-conductor stereo plug is plugged into the N1's four-conductor jack, the second ring and sleeve contacts of the jack become shorted by the sleeve of the standard plug. This shorted condition makes the phone think the Play/Pause button has been pressed (see Function Chart below). Further, if the plug is not an extremely snug fight in the jack, any sort of movement of the plug can cause the music player app on the phone to act squirrelly. This problem was so bad for me that whenever my car went over a bump of even smallish size, my music would stutter.</p> <p>During normal operation, the control circuit is open; i.e., there is no connection between the second ring and the sleeve to complete the circuit. The control circuit remains dormant. When the Play/Pause or a Skip Forward/Back button on the N1 headphones is pressed, the circuit is closed, the phone reads the voltage of the completed circuit, and takes action accordingly.</p> <p><img height="151" width="500" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/function%20chart.jpg" /></p> <p>The &quot;Ideal Resistance&quot; is what I measured across the second ring and the sleeve of the N1 headphones while pressing the function buttons. The &quot;Resistance Range&quot; is the range for which the functions would trigger when I tested my understanding of the N1 using a resistance substitution box connected to a push button and a TRRS plug (see photo below). The &quot;Approx. DC Voltage&quot; is the voltage I measured across the contacts when the button is pressed with the Ideal Resistances in-circuit. Your ranges and numbers may vary, depending on a few factors, so be prepared to experiment with different resistors.</p> <p><img height="317" width="347" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/resistance%20substitution%20box.jpg" /></p> <p>I purchased most of the parts either online or at a local electronics store, but the Play/Pause button and the Skip Forward/Back limit switch were in my salvaged parts box. I'm therefore guessing their prices and origins.</p> <p>You probably won't be able to find the same exact parts I used, so be resourceful. For instance, the reason I had to test the ranges in the first place is that I couldn't find a 600Ω surface-mount resistor at the local parts shop. So, I substituted a 470Ω, which they did have on-hand.</p> <p>I think I cannibalized the Play/Pause button from an old digital irrigation controller I found at work. I'm fairly certain the limit switch came out of a trashed CD drive I had laying around. I really liked including the limit switch in the design because it had some contextual functionality; flip it to the right and you skip forward, flip it to the left and you skip back, similar to swiping across the screen of the N1 for the same functions. You can see photos of the assembly in various stages of completion below. All the parts I used are shown on the parts list at the end of the article.</p> <p><img height="500" width="410" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/parts.jpg" /></p> <p>I felt it was important to make the assembly as compact as possible and easily accessible while driving. It ended up larger than I would have liked, but if it were any smaller it would have been hell to build and solder. And it wouldn't have been very durable.</p> <p>The best way to make the unit accessible (meaning I don't have to hunt around the cabin for buttons while driving) was by ensuring it was in a consistent place in my car. I thought about attaching the button assembly to my phone cradle, which is a recently retasked music player cradle, but finally decided it would be easiest for me if I made the buttons part of the plug that fits into the AUX jack of my car stereo. This would allow me to mount it securely to the dash in a place where I could easily reach it without taking my eyes off the road.</p> <p>You may have noticed that the stereo plug assembly is installed upside-down. This is because I wanted to make sure the plug was securely mounted without using glue. Glue is great, but I didn't want the repetitive use of the controls to degrade the integrity of the assembly. So, the plug is held very securely to the circuit board by being wedged between a zip tie and the heavy ground solder of the cable. I also wanted ensure the force of pressing the play/pause button was transmitted to the jack in much the same way that it would be when a plug was inserted. I didn't want to introduce any forces to the jack that the original engineers hadn't thought of when designing the stereo. It looks funny, but I think this design will keep the jack from developing cracked solder joints or otherwise becoming damaged over time.</p> <p>This unit was a lot of fun to figure out, design, and build. It has made my listening and driving experience easier and safer! I hope it does yours.</p> <p><img height="408" width="500" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/parts%20list.jpg" /></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fbuild-a-cable-to-control-your-android-phone-while-you-drive&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FBuild%2520a%2520Cable%2520to%2520Control%2520Your%2520Android%2520Phone%2520While%2520You%2520Drive.jpg&amp;description=Build%20a%20Cable%20to%20Control%20Your%20Android%20Phone%20While%20You%20Drive"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Build%20a%20Cable%20to%20Control%20Your%20Android%20Phone%20While%20You%20Drive.jpg" alt="Build a Cable to Control Your Android Phone While You Drive" width="250" height="374" /></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Rich Kappmeier. Rich is an avid electronics tinkerer, progressive rock musician, occasional writer, and obsessive gamer.&nbsp;He lives in Central California with his wife, Cecilia, and cat, Velcro. Read more by Rich:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.seattlerobotics.org/encoder/200112/richk.htm">Smarter Infrared Proximity Detection</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.warpig.com/paintball/technical/electronics/shotmeter/ShotMeter Article v3.pdf">The Shot Meter</a> (pdf)</li> <li><a href="http://store.servomagazine.com/product.php?productid=16557&amp;cat=363&amp;page=1">Motion Control...Cheap!</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rich-kappmeier">Rich Kappmeier</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-cable-to-control-your-android-phone-while-you-drive">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tools-and-gadgets-your-smartphone-can-replace">7 Tools and Gadgets Your Smartphone Can Replace</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-refill-an-ink-cartridge-with-a-small-piece-of-tape">How to refill an ink cartridge with a small piece of tape</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cool-uses-for-a-tablet-computer">11 Cool Uses for a Tablet Computer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-guide-to-online-brokers-for-investing-newbies-and-beyond">A Guide to Online Brokers for Investing Newbies (and Beyond)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-pay-with-your-smartphone">9 Easy Ways to Pay With Your Smartphone</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Technology Android driving smart phone Mon, 23 Aug 2010 13:00:08 +0000 Rich Kappmeier 214865 at http://www.wisebread.com The Cell Phone App That's Saving Me A Small Fortune http://www.wisebread.com/the-cell-phone-app-thats-saving-me-a-smal-fortune <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-cell-phone-app-thats-saving-me-a-smal-fortune" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/godzilla-android.gif" alt="Big In Japan" title="Big In Japan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="255" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently, I upgraded to my&nbsp; very first smartphone. And, being the frugal shopper that I am, I quickly searched for the best apps I could find that would help me save money. I was lucky enough to come across <a href="http://www.biggu.com/">Shop Savvy</a> the same day I bought the phone, and so far, it has saved me hundreds of dollars.</p> <p>I wasn't entirely convinced that the app could do all that it said it could. I was quite happy to be proven wrong. Basically, Shop Savvy is a small app that utilizes the camera in your cell phone, turning it into a barcode scanner. You hold the phone in front of a bar code, and a few seconds later the phone has scanned the item, searched the web and produced a whole list of prices for the item in question. Here's a demo.</p> <p><object width="425" height="300"> <param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/xJ_AhdtP0ks&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;" name="movie" /> <param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /> <param value="always" name="allowscriptaccess" /><embed width="425" height="300" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/xJ_AhdtP0ks&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;"></embed></object></p> <p>&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ_AhdtP0ks&amp;feature=player_embedded">direct link</a>)</p> <p>I put this to use on Black Friday, when deals where everywhere...but so was the hype. I'm something of a skeptic when it comes to Black Friday anyway. I know there are genuine deals, but there are also some stores out there looking to monopolize on the hysteria and off-load some old stock for less than competitive prices.</p> <p>My first stop was Best Buy. My wife and I saw an amazing deal on a 42&quot; Sony LCD TV. It had been marked down by several hunred dollars. I took out the phone, used Shop Savvy, and a few seconds later I was presented with a list of prices, organized from low to high. The price in Best Buy was the best. But, by just $10. When I figured into the equation the fact that I'd have to pay tax on the Best Buy purchase, but not on the online version, I was better off buying online. I also found a rebate and a coupon, making it an even bigger steal. Shop Savvy stopped my spending a total of $90 more for a TV that was supposedly an amazing, unbeatable value.</p> <p>We did the rounds on printers, blu-ray players, appliances and smaller items like DVDs and CDs. When Shop Savvy couldn't come close, we knew the Black Friday deal was indeed a steal. When Shop Savvy was beating it be tens, or even hundreds, of dollars, we walked away.</p> <p>After Black Friday, the app has still been a terrific tool in my shopping arsenal. Best Buy once again tempted me with an incredible deal &mdash; a 42&quot;Panasonic Plasma, complete with an XBOX 360, Avater game, controller and a few other extras...all for $699.99, over $400 off retail. Wow! We didn't really want the XBOX 360, but at this price, we could buy the whole package, resell the XBOX and make a killing.</p> <p>But, I wanted to do some checking. Shop Savvy came to the rescue and I discovered the the plasma TV in question was available for $499.99 online. The XBOX 360, $199.99. And the game and accessories, around $100 all in. That's a saving of $100 for the whole package with Best Buy, which is a good deal...but it wasn't worth it for us. We thought we were saving over $400, according to the Best Buy original price. Saving just $100 meant that we could rethink the steal, and reconsider if we really did want plasma or LCD.</p> <p>Shop Savvy doesn't always work. Sometimes it cannot find a bar code in the system. Sometimes, it takes a while to scan, or you have to manually type in the model number. But it's quick, it's free and it's one of the best price comparison tools I've ever used. Having a tool like this in your pocket gives you the confidence to know when a deal is actually the real deal, or just some over-inflated pricing to try and grab your money while your head spins in a deal frenzy. If you have a smart phone, be it an iPhone, Behold 2, Droid or anything else, I strongly suggest downloading Shop Savvy today. It could be the best free app you ever install.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cell-phone-app-thats-saving-me-a-smal-fortune">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout">6 Apps That Pay You to Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tools-and-gadgets-your-smartphone-can-replace">7 Tools and Gadgets Your Smartphone Can Replace</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-free-or-almost-tools-and-resources-for-creating-a-new-2015-budget">10 Free (or Almost!) Tools and Resources for Creating a New 2015 Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology Android apps Behold II iPhone Shop Savvy Mon, 14 Dec 2009 14:00:02 +0000 Paul Michael 4024 at http://www.wisebread.com