With Halloween just days away, and the holidays quickly approaching, technology expert and Today show contributor, Mario Armstrong joined me for an interview this week. Mario shared his top money saving tip for HP users, and dished on the must have tablet, smartphone, health, fitness and safety apps, gaming system and more!
Candace Rose: With the holidays fast approaching, what’s the number one money saving tip?
Mario Armstrong: “The number one money saving tip that is a nuisance to worry about, but can save you a lot of money over the course of a year, and that is printer ink. A lot of families are struggling because they’ve got to go to the store, it’s just a nuisance and a waste of time. Not only that, ink can be expensive. HP has come out with a revolutionary way for you to get ink that can also save you money – it’s called HP Instant Ink. Basically it’s a replacement service that the printer has to be instant ink enabled and many HP printers are and many new ones are going to be. It will detect when your ink is running low, and then it will send that order to HP who will then send the ink to your home, to your mailbox before it runs out, make sure that you’ll always have ink before you run out. It’s really great – you can start monthly plans as low as $2.99, which will be $36 for the year. You can save a lot of money on your printer ink that way.”
Candace Rose: I hear that Microsoft has something new!
Mario Armstrong: “Yes, they’ve got two great things and this is hot off the press, it was just announced, they have Xbox One Assassin Creed Bundle, and that means you get a bunch of stuff all packaged together for one price. The Xbox One console is the newest and hottest Xbox gaming system. It also comes with the very popular game Assassin’s Creed, a joystick, the chat headset comes with it, free one month Xbox Live membership comes with it – we’re talking $399 plus it’s beyond a gaming console, it’s also a great entertainment unit as well for getting access to all types of content, programming, shows, movies and music.
The other thing they have is an awesome $99 smartphone. I love that you can actually get a decent smartphone for $99. This is the Nokia Lumia 635, it has tons of apps, great games, with Windows Mobile on there as well, and Cortana’s Personal Assistant is on that phone.”
Candace Rose: Is there anything new for tablets?
Mario Armstrong: “Tablets have gone crazy. There’s too much confusion with tablets right now. There are too many choices, too many price points and so my job is to try and find technology that can save you money, but can also give you great technology that you can use for you and your family. My pick this year (drumroll please) Amazon Fire HD. I’m going with that and the reason being, it’s a full-blown tablet that gives you everything you would expect from a tablet and more! We’re talking five different colors this year, so a color for everybody’s taste. It’s starting at $99, it’s amazing because you have a six inch or a seven inch screen size, we’re talking HD display. It looks crisp and beautiful, very fast processor, tons of exclusive features and parental controls like Amazon FreeTime (which I love) and then thousands upon thousands of apps. We’re talking over 300,000 apps and great ones in a family app bundle like Motivated Moms and Yo Gabba Gabba. It’s a great device, you can share content throughout the family with these devices as well, and set up different profiles too, so awesome pick for the holiday season that won’t break the bank.”
Candace Rose: There are a lot of health apps on the market, which ones do you like?
Mario Armstrong: “Health is really on top of mind for a lot of folks right now, so I like two cool ones right now that I picked that are really useful.
Number one is called amwell. Now, amwell is an app that’s free, and it’s for anyone that needs to find medical care anytime, 24/7. You can see a doctor in minutes through the app. If you’re going to be traveling this holiday season, this is a great for you to have with you on the go. You can even get prescriptions and you can see if your insurance will even be excepted as well for that matter.
And then there’s MyFitnessPal. Now MyFitnessPal is a fitness app that also helps you maintain a healthy diet, so it tracks what you eat, how much exercise you do. But not only that, 65 million people use this app. It’s incredibly popular and it’s motivational because there’s a big social community, you can share your results to get that inspiration and motivation from others. It’s just a great way to stay on top to get fit and has a database of four million foods in there. People that are known to share about their ups and downs or their health challenges are known to have more success than those that don’t share, so that’s a great app.”
Candace Rose: Is there anything new, especially for Halloween?
Mario Armstrong: “Halloween is coming, I love Halloween. I get dressed up every single year and my son thinks I’m crazy. This year we’re actually the house on the block that’s doing the haunted house, which is going to be a lot of fun. There’s an app that’s called Nextdoor. I use this in my neighborhood and it’s used in neighborhoods across the country. It’s basically an app and a website that is a private online social network for just your neighbors, so only you and your neighbors can get onto this social network and they have ways to validate and verify that. This year they have a Halloween treat map, and it’s an interactive tool on the Nextdoor site for your neighborhood. You pull up your neighborhood and you can see the homes that are participating in trick or treat, or the homes (in my case) that will actually be a haunted house. No more wandering around trying to find out where you need to go. It’s just a great way for a community to communicate, as well as to keep our eyes on our kids and keep them safe by having a private social network for our neighborhood.”
Candace Rose: Well, thank you for the great tips, Mario! Where can we go for more information?
Mario Armstrong: “Yes, I covered a lot – head to our website to read up and see everything I was talking about. Our website is ThunkNews.com/TechPicks.”