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Tech News

Philo is the latest streaming TV service to increase its monthly price

Philo, one of the cheaper and more basic live streaming television services, has announced a price increase. This will be the first time since Philo launched years ago that it has raised its rate, though current subscribers will continue to pay the current $20/month price tag. New customers, however, will have to pay an extra five bucks a month starting in early June.

The news comes from Deadline, which says that Philo will increase its new customer rate to $25/month starting on June 8. As well, current subscribers have the opportunity to pay a bit more and get cloud DVR storage that retains content for a full year rather than just one month — that perk comes with paying the extra five dollars a month, however.

The company describes an increase in programming costs as the reason for its subscription price hike, though Philo is still ultimately cheaper than the majority of its competitors. The service offers a sizeable, but still fairly modest, channel lineup that includes big networks: Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, HGTV, Food Network, A&E, Discovery, TLC, and similar.

Subscribers who want more than the 63 channels that come with the service have the option of adding on extras at various price points, such as Epix for an extra $6/month and Starz for $9/month. While the service isn’t likely to satisfy those who want maximum add-on options and channels, it is perfectly suitable for many people who want to augment their on-demand subscriptions with a live television option.

The move comes amid a general price increase across the OTT television market, with competitors like YouTube TV, Hulu, and similar having increased their rates over past months. Though streaming live television has become a popular alternative to traditional pay-TV, some have criticized the market as becoming as expensive as cable and satellite alternatives — and that may be what ultimately gives Philo with its $25/month plan an edge in the future.

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Tech News

The Google Pixel 4 isn’t getting monthly Android updates on time and that’s a problem

What gives, Google? It’s November 8, and the Android November Security Update has been out for more than four days now. It includes the usual patches as well as camera and Smooth Display improvements that should fix some of the issues I had when I reviewed the phone last month. That’s the good news.

The bad news is my Pixel 4 XL hasn’t gotten it yet. I’ve restarted and pounded the check for updates button, but nada. What’s more frustrating is my Pixel 3 does have it.

And I’m not alone. A growing thread on the Pixel Phone Help forums was finally addressed by a Gold Product Expert, who are described as “Trusted members who are knowledgeable and active contributors.” On Thursday night, they issued a terse response to the hundred-plus comments: “The update is rolling out and you should see it in the next few weeks.”

That’s hardly reassuring. With so many issues plaguing the Pixel 4, early adopters are likely champing at the bit waiting for updates to arrive. But apparently the newest phone isn’t a priority for Google at the moment. Android has enough issues with fragmentation and updates, and the Pixel is supposed to be the example of how to do it right. 

I don’t get it. Now that the original Pixel has reached end-of-life status, Google has precisely six phones to update each time a new Android version comes out. Six, that’s it. Apple, on the other hand, delivers its iOS updates to twice as many models and hundreds of millions of phones all at once without fail.

So, what’s the issue here? One of the main reasons to buy a Pixel phone is the promise of timely updates for several years, not a slow rollout that arrives when Google feels like sending it. Nor do we expect a cavalier response when Pixel owners rightfully start complaining. If it was hard to recommend a Pixel 4 before, it’s nearly impossible to do so if updates aren’t going to arrive on time.

My guess is the update will arrive early next week and we’ll forget all about it. But with a flurry of bad reviews and numerous problems in need of fixing, you’d think Google would be rushing to deliver Pixel 4 updates, especially with an upcoming Black Friday price cut. Apparently that’s not the case.

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Tech News

Learn to market to Pinterest’s 400 plus million monthly active users with the help of these courses

TLDR: The 2021 Pinterest Marketing and Growth Bundle is the top to bottom primer on using the unique social media platform to drive brand awareness and increase sales.

Facebook is where all the people are. Twitter is where the world fires off hot takes. Instagram is where everyone posts their selfies. YouTube is video, video, video. So in a crowded social media landscape with all these titans vying for your time and attention as a brand manager, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Pinterest didn’t immediately bubble to the top of your to-do list. 

That, however, would be a mistake. Pinterest isn’t just a social media hangout. While it serves to connect friends and influencers, it’s also a type of visual search engine that doubles as an aspiration center of inspiration for their 400 million monthly active users. Connecting with this audience is a deeper connection than with most other platforms.

Meanwhile, Pinterest users overwhelmingly shop using Pinterest. And they also use Pinterest to find new brands that interest them. The 2021 Pinterest Marketing and Growth Bundle ($19.99, over 90 percent off from TNW Deals) can help you engage with this highly-activated audience.

Across more than 10 hours of training, these five courses pack in the full 411 on everything Pinterest, from the early getting-to-know-you steps up through advanced techniques for finding an audience, generating content that motivates those followers, and the hardcore business analytics that can turn Pinterest into a profitable sales stream for those who use it right.

The groundwork is laid in Grow an Engaged and Valuable Audience On Pinterest. This Pinterest primer explains what the layman needs to know about getting started with the platform, including how to grow an engaged audience, how to launch campaigns that generate long term results, and the basics of tracking your results and fully optimizing your Pinterest strategy.

Pinterest Marketing: How To Ethically Siphon Free Traffic shows users how to use Pinterest Piggybank, a simple method for redirecting Pinterest traffic to your brand or product. And the Complete Guide to Pinterest and Pinterest Growth 2021 advances your learning to new levels, taking users through specific steps for growing your profile from 0 to 1 million monthly viewers in only a few short months.

Finally, Complete Guide to Tailwind: Master Pinterest with Tailwind can help you use the powerful Tailwind tool for managing and streamlining your Pinterest profile in less time. And The Pinterest Marketing and Ads Blueprint course centers around creating solid campaigns and driving engagement to notch the results you want.

This gameplan for Pinterest success would usually set you back $199 for each of these five courses, but as part of this complete bundle, they’re all available now at about $4 each, just $19.99.

Prices are subject to change.

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Tech News

Apple Card Monthly Payments make it that much easier to buy an iPhone you can’t afford

Apple really wants you to buy a new iPhone 11 for Christmas. Aside from the usual trade-in discounts that knock up to $400 off the price, Apple is now offering interest-free payments with Daily Cash rewards for eligible Apple Card users.

It’s somewhat like an iPhone Upgrade Program for Apple Card. Like the previous program, which will still be offered for users who don’t want to apply for an Apple Card, monthly installments will spread the price of your iPhone purchase over 24 months. You can also opt to add AppleCare+ at the time of purchase. So if the thousand-dollar-plus price of a new iPhone 11 Pro Max is too much to bear, you can whittle it down to just $25 a month.

It’s unclear how upgrading will work once the iPhone 12 arrives, however. Under the Upgrade Program, users can opt for a new model once 12 payments have been made, but Apple doesn’t specifically spell out those terms here. Also, AppleCare+ isn’t a requirement like it is with the Upgrade Program, so there could be more scrutiny when handsets are exchanged. At any rate, you’ll at least be able to trade in your old model when the new one arrives.

However, there are some excellent benefits to the program. For one, the Apple Card interface makes it easy to see remaining payments but more importantly, you’ll get 3 percent back immediately on the full price of the iPhone. And if you buy before December 31, you’ll get 6 percent back. That’s as much as $87 back depending on which model you buy. Mind you, that’s not a huge savings, but it’s better than you’ll get with any other card and one of the rare iPhone deals you can get without signing up for a carrier plan.

While the monthly installments are currently limited to the iPhone, it seems likely that Apple will roll it out to other devices as well, such as the mega-expensive Mac Pro that’s launching this month.

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Game

Halo Infinite Sandbox info leads monthly Inside Infinite series

Fans of the Halo franchise were most likely disappointed when Halo Infinite, the title’s next major installment, missed its launch alongside the Xbox Series X|S. They may have been even more disappointed to learn that the game won’t be launching until Fall of this year. To help sate gamers’ hunger and also build up the hype, 343 Industries is starting a new series of lengthy blog posts covering various aspects of the game every month, starting with details that gamers can expect from Halo Infinite’s Sandbox.

If you were expecting big reveals or announcements, 343 would advise you to look away. There will be none of these, the developer says, not even deep-dives into specific features or gameplay trailers. Instead, the Inside Infinite series will offer high-level updates coming from those making the game. In other words, expect it to be more like a dev diary in Q&A form, with some teasers of what’s to come in between.

The first installment of the series tries to glean insights from the Sandbox Team and it’s already quite a ton. In particular, the developers talk about how the mode will play out, especially when it comes to the weapons. Beyond just the new looks thanks to Halo Infinite’s engine, players might have a tougher choice to make between weapons because of how those affect other players and environments differently.

Also of note is the discussion around PC controls, something that hasn’t exactly gone well for Halo players on that side of the fence. The developers promise to make PC controls feel like first-class citizens instead of a quick port from game controllers. Even better, Halo Infinite will even let players customize their controls, regardless of the platform they’re on.

The Halo “Inside Infinite” posts will also include select quotes from members of other teams working on the game as well as other insights that 343 Industries hopes will help keep the flames alive until the game’s launch. Every post will land on the last Thursday of each month until that day and the next installments will focus on Zeta Halo and Audio.

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