In lieu of one post with a full article, here is a rollup with several recent, relevant pieces of news from the prepaid phone world, in easy to digest bite-sized chunks.
Quote:Free Shipping Day, Order Today For Delivery by Christmas
Today is Free Shipping Day which is significant because it's the last day you can order from most online merchants and expect your items to arrive before Christmas using standard or economy shipping.
In honor of Free Shipping Day many stores including Target, Dollar General (use code FREESLEIGH) and hhgreg have made shipping free on all purchases, no matter how small, today. The website freeshippingday.com, which tracks Free Shipping Day participants, lists over 900 online merchants who are offering free shipping on all orders today.
None of the major online sellers of prepaid phones seem to be participating in Free Shipping Day this year, but almost all of them do offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount, usually $35 or $50.
Quote:Simple Mobile Ups Data to 10GB on $60, $70 Plans
TracFone's Simple Mobile has doubled the amount of high-speed data included with its two top plans from 5GB to 10GB.
The $60 Unlimited Plan now includes unlimited talk. text Including international and data with the first 10GB at high speed and the rest throttled to an unspecified speed.
The $70 Unlimited International Plan includes the features of the $60 Unlimited Plan plus unlimited international calls to up to 10 unique numbers in 51 countries (covered countries).
Simple Mobile uses the T-Mobile native network with no roaming. High-speed data includes LTE.
Quote:Page Plus $55 and $69.95 Plans Get Unlimited Data
TracFone's Page Plus Cellular announced that effective today Dec. 17, its The 55 and $69.95 Unlimited Talk/Text/Data plans now include unlimited throttled data after the plan's 3 GB or 5 GB of high speed data is used up.
There's no word on what the throttled speed will be, but if it's anything like TracFone owned Straight Talk's unlimited throttled speed it will be very slow, 64Kbps at best.
The 55 plan includes unlimited domestic voice and messaging, 3 GB of high speed data and 200 international calling minutes for $55 per month.
The $69.95 Unlimited Talk/Text/Data includes unlimited domestic voice and messaging, 5 GB of high speed data and 400 international calling minutes.
PagePlus operates on the Verizon network. Page Plus high-speed data includes LTE throttled to a maximum download speed of approximately 5Mbps.
Page Plus has a number of other less expensive plans, most of which include LTE data. However, only the $55 and $69.95 plans come with unlimited data.
TracFone's Straight Talk appears to have started allowing Verizon LTE phones to be activated. A HowardForums user tried entering the IMEI serial number of a Verizon Galaxy S5 on Straight Talk's Register your CDMA Bring Your Own Phone page and was greeted by a screen that let him request a SIM. Straight Talk customer service representatives have also confirmed that Verizon LTE phones can now be activated using Straight Talk CDMA BYOP program.
There's no extra charge for the LTE SIMs which are included in the $6.99 price of the Network Access Code needed to process the activation. The Straight Talk site does warn that it will take 7 to 10 business days for SIMs to arrive during the holiday season.
The usual Verizon MVNO restrictions apply: no bad-ESN phones (financed or reported lost or stolen), no Verizon Prepaid phones, no non-Verizon phones, no phones currently active on Verizon or a Verizon MVNO.
I also expect that CDMA BYOP LTE speeds will be throttled to 5 Mbps down, 2 Mbps up, just as they are with Straight Talk's own Verizon LTE based phone, the ZTE Rapido.
If you can live with the throttled speeds, StraightTalk gives you the most data for the money of any Verizon based prepaid option. $45/month for 3GB of high speed data along with unlimited talk and text and unlimited data throttled to 64Kbps after the 3GB is used. In comparison, Verizon Prepaid's $45 unlimited talk and text plan only includes 500 MB (1 GB with auto pay or a SIM from Walmart) for $45. PagePlus charges $55 for essentially the same plan as Straight Talk's although PagePlus' data is hard-capped at 3GB and doesn't include the nearly usless unlimited throttled data that Straight Talk does.
We still have a few more weeks before Year 2014 draws to a close but Google has already named the Best Android Apps for the past 12 months. Among the more than one million apps available for download from the Google Play Store, the Internet giant highlighted more than 70 apps from different categories: Productivity, Education, Entertainment, Travel, Social, Personalization, Shopping, Sports & Fitness, Photography, Music & Audio, and News.
We're not sure what was Google's criteria for saying these are the best Android apps but perhaps these are the most popular--the ones with most downloads. Or maybe these are the apps that brought Google a lot of money this year? We don't know.
Here are the best Android apps this 2014 under each category: Education
• Amazing World Atlas
• Child Mode & Time Education
• Craftsy Classes
• Kids Coloring Fun
• Monki Chinese Class
• TED Entertainment • 5by
• Comedy Central
• Disney Movies Anywhere
• Netflix Music & Audio
• djay 2
• edjing – DJ Music
• Equalizer + MP3 player volume
• Musixmatch Music Player Lyrics
• TuneIn Radio
• Ultimate Guitar News
• New York Times
• The Economist
• Watchup: Your Daily Newscast
• Yahoo News Digest Personalization
• Link Bubble Browser
• Locket Lock Screen Photography
• Camera Zoom
• Carousel – Dropbox Photos
• EyeEm: CAmera & Photo Filter
• Video Collage Maker Productivity
• IFTTT (If This, Then That)
• Money Tracker by BillGuard
• Offtime – Life Unplugged
• SlideShare Presentations
• Sunrise Calendar
• SwiftKey Keyboard
• Todoist: To-Do List, Task List
• Wunderlist: To-Do List & Tasks Sports & Fitness
• 7 Minute Workout
• Golfshot: Golf GPS
• Google Fit
• Onefootball – Pure Soccer!
• Univision Deportes Shopping
• Groupon Social
• LINK – with people nearby
• Samba: Videos + Reactions
• Skype Qik: Group Video Chat
• Tango Messenger
• Viadeo Travel
• Uber Tools
• Clean Master
I only know and use a few apps like Uber, Skype, Pandora, Groupon, Google Fit, and Hulu. There's one app that I think should be included in the list being my current favorite: Monument Valley. I'm surprised Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are not included but maybe Google deliberately excluded those top social network apps to give others that chance to be tagged as the best.
SOURCE: Google Play Store