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BW Businessworld

Manage Your Mobile Bill

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Look at your cellphone. Use it much, do you? There's a firm likelihood you're not going to be seeing too much of that cellphone, if the telecom regulator — and the ensuing call rate rise — has its way. You can, however, take some very real steps to slash your bills and make the money you pay for your cellphone bill go further. Here is my 5-step plan to slash your cellphone bill!

Find the Right Plan: Your bill plan may be most at fault, making you pay way too much for what you consume. You could take matters into your own hand by taking a close look at your bill, and compare it with the plans on offer. Or you could take the easy way out and use, which fetches your bill from your operator and gives you a complete analysis of your bill — how much STD you use, roaming vs in-circle etc - and even recommends plans that best suit your usage (and how much you'll save in the process!) Also check out Also take a long hard look at the value added services you've subscribed to - that lethal combo of international roaming, call forwarding and voice mail all adds up.
Data Diet: Do you constantly have to control your data usage so that it doesn't tip over the monthly limit? Instead, check out Onavo's free iPhone and Android app, called Onavo Extend, which claims to make your data usage upto five times more efficient. It runs in the background on your phone, routing your data through Onavo's servers and stripping out all the extras and compressing it as you go along. Also check out the Opera mini browser. And while this may be obvious, turn off cellular data when you're in a Wi-Fi zone (say your home or office) - the battery savings are worth it!

Smart Apps:
Got a smartphone and text a lot? Free texting apps — which include Nimbuzz, WhatsApp, ChatOn, iMessage, among many others - let you text and IM for free using your phone's data plan rather than via SMS. My vote goes to WhatsApp just for the sheer number of platforms on which it's available. With each of these, you may have to get your friends or family to sign on, but convincing them of the app's merits is likely to be worth your while.
Use the Internet for calls: And if you're around a wireless network most of the day, dump your voice calls and use a voice-over-IP app, such as Viber, Fring or Skype, to make calls (more so, if you make a lot of international calls). Viber, for instance, works well even on 2G data networks. Voice quality may not be perfect at all times, then again, when was the last time your cell phone network offered perfect voice quality?
Slash the Extras: Ringtones? Competition SMSes? Caller tunes? While it's really a personal choice whether you indulge in these or not, remember that each of these are usually premium services and attract higher charges than your usual SMS or phone call.
Superheroes On Your Screen 

It's superhero season, and close on the heels of the recent Spiderman and Dark Knight movies come official games from Gameloft that let you take the cinema hall action home to your own iOS or Android device. With The Amazing Spider-Man, Gameloft has given fans a huge, open-world version of Manhattan as it exists in the movie, which lets you not only have regular missions, but deal with the odd crime that keeps popping up on every other street. Don't attend to the crimes fast enough and much like real life Spidey, you get blamed for not doing enough to help the police! But while the web slinging and the fight controls are good, the rest of graphics are just about average, which let the game down.

Not so the case with The Dark Knight Rises, fortunately. Gotham is as dark and gritty as the movie, and the game sequences loosely follow the movie plot. Goes without saying — don't play the game if you're yet to watch the movie!

Gameplay in the TDKR game comes in two forms. In the first, you get an open world setting much like the Spiderman game, a large-scale version of Gotham complete with the iconic Gotham landmarks such as Wayne Tower and Gotham Stadium. The second is the person-to-person combat, where Batman takes on a variety of enemies in what is a rather simplistic fighting system, but one that works very well on the console.

Without giving away too much of the plot, I can say this much - the game delivers on many fronts - great graphics, neat menu design and a superb soundtrack to boot!

However, with the sometimes-errant camera angles that follow Batman and the virtual controls, one often got the impressive this was a game better suited to a console than the mobile device Gameloft has designed it for. The combat does get repetitive after a while as well.

That said, TDKR is certainly a mobile game that does justice to the epic source material, and is immensely playable for any Batman fan. Far better than most video game tie-ins I've played.


Price: US $ 6.99 for each


technocool at kanwar dot net