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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Smartphones Save Time and Money

It is amazing the technology we have at our fingertips these days. I think I learn something new everyday about my smartphone. I know smartphones have been out for awhile, but I just got my phone 6 months ago. It is my favorite phone yet. I don’t know what I would do without it. I didn’t have it for a day recently and felt lost without it.
This week I learned about the QR Code or Quick Response Code. If you don’t know what I am talking about, it is a matrix barcode that is a square pattern with black modules on a white background. It is being used a lot for advertising. It is in magazines and even on the side of vehicles. You can scan the barcode with your phone using your QR app and you can get all sorts of information about a product. I used it for the first time this week when I scanned the barcode to get a recipe from a magazine. When you scan the QR code it will take you to a link. On the link there is information about the product you are scanning.  It is amazing!

As a mom and always on the go, I like having the latest technology readily available. Cellphones aren’t just for calling people anymore. I can text, check emails, take photos and videos, check the news and weather, watch tv, see the person I am calling in real time and so much more. With the applications you can get on your phone, you can do just about anything. My phone plays music, has GPS navigation and even a flashlight. My kids love the phone because they can play all sorts of games on it.  I downloaded an app for my youngest daughter who just started reading and it taught her to sound out letters and read words. These apps are good when we are in the car traveling, at the doctor’s office or when we go to a restaurant. It helps keep my kids occupied and I don’t have to bring tons of books or toys with anymore. I have my little phone that does it all.

I am just amazed at how much information is out there. If I want to find the nearest store or gas station, I just check my phone and it gives me the name of the place, address and a map with how to get there. You can’t beat that. I am a mom that likes to save money and my phone even helps me do that. I can scan the barcode of the item in the store and find out what store has that item at the cheapest price. If you like coupons you can get coupons on the phone too. A lot of stores will let you show them the coupon and they can scan the barcode from your phone and give you the discount. I recently forgot my paper coupon, but had the email on my phone that showed the coupon and was able to show them my phone and they gave me the money off the product. This saved me from having to go home and get the coupon and run back up to the store.  You will find that most stores have their own apps now and offer discounts when you download their apps.
In the past it has been a website you go to, now an application. I found an application for all my rewards cards that I have from stores. It is called a key ring app. You download the application and scan each card in. Now I don’t have to carry all the cards around on my keychain. The other cool thing is with the application there are sometime coupons that will be displayed for the stores. There are so many apps out there, some are free and some you have to pay for. So far, I haven’t paid for any apps. I only use the free ones. The funny thing about all of this is that my kids, who are only 6 and 7 years old, know how to use the phone better than I do. They teach me. I can’t wait to find out what will be next as far as cellphone technology.

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