Posts Tagged "apps"

How Have I Lived So Long Without A Roku 3?

2014-08-30 17.56.56-3 roku_unboxing

By the time I’d only had my Roku 3 for a couple of days, it had already changed the way I watch TV. And for that, it was love at first sight!

About a month later, here are my full thoughts on the device.

We have Time Warner Cable in our household. I’m not a fan of them, but they do a couple of things really well; 1) their mobile app and 2) unlimited data. I took particular notice upon learning Roku included the TWC App in their channel store. Chromecast didn’t. Apple TV didn’t. And, to my knowledge, Amazon’s Fire TV also did not.

A little background: I have basic cable in my room. And Time Warner takes a couple additional channels away from “basic” every year. Usually if I want to see everything our subscription has to offer, I have to relocate to a TV with digital cable, or whip out my iPad. I’m a lazy individual, so that hasn’t been an ideal situation.

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Is Viggle Worth Your Time? Suz Says: “Skip It!”

viggle

So, a few months ago, I said I’d give Viggle a go. It seemed simple enough. Open the app, and use its mic to check into programs that were airing on my TV. And for certain shows, there are Viggle Live quiz opportunities to earn bonus points. Sounds easy, right? Well, it is, but it’s not a very rewarding use of my time.

I wrote that initial post back in mid-October. And since then, I’ve managed to accumulate 35,000 points. Sounds like a lot, right? On SwagBucks, 35k is $350! On Shopkick, it’s $140! So we’re talking big money!

On Viggle, I think 35k points translates to about $14. My math is a little rusty and I originally wrote this post at about 2AM. A few days ago I checked the Gift Card section and saw that there were $5 Fandango Gift Cards for 15k. Yup. That was it for me. So I redeemed some of my points to get one. I tried to do another one immediately afterwards, but the app told me I’d already gotten one. (I forgot that one can only redeem one gift card brand per day) So then I was stuck with 20k points. The only available reward that I could afford was a 1-day Redbox Movie Rental. Yippee?

Now, I wasn’t a die hard Viggler during these past 5 months, but I did check in almost every day. To have only really earned enough for two $5 gift cards really isn’t a good use of my time. Especially when I can spend just an hour or two per day on SwagBucks and acquire a $5 gift card, to my retailer of choice, every 5 days! You read that correctly. I earn enough on SwagBucks to, on average, cash in for a $5 gift card every week. Every. Week!

So 5 months? No thanks!

And let’s talk about how most gift cards aren’t even in stock at any given time on Viggle. They don’t have Best Buy, Amazon, Target, Sephora, Starbucks, or any of those retailer cards readily available. Every so often, a desirable $25 gift card will appear in the app (and for something like 60k points), but if you aren’t quick — as in taking action within the first few minutes — it’ll go out of stock and you’re SOL. Like, I said, not very rewarding to me. I don’t know many people who have the patience to, after they earn a bunch of points, continually open and refresh an app in hopes that a Gift Card reward will appear.

I just now redeemed another 15k of my points for a second $5 Fandango code. That leaves me with about 5k in points. I’m not trying for more rewards on this app. 5k is negligible. So, I’m just going to delete it.

I hear that back before Viggle got really big, it used to be easier to get rewards; more on par with how SwagBucks and Shopkick are for me now. The OGs all over the Internet and social media are constantly posting about it. It’s a shame, too. It’s a great idea that would probably be a lot more popular if it weren’t so hard to earn rewards.

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Not Impressed with Barnes & Noble’s Pre-Order Process

McKayla Maroney is not impressed with Nook

I got an assist from Olympic gymnast, McKayla Maroney for this post. As I’ve stated before, I’m not the biggest fan of how pre-orders go down in today’s marketplace. That was reinforced Monday night, as I had to wait over 9 hours for my pre-ordered book to finally download onto my Nook Color.

When books from Cassie Clare or Veronica Roth are released (at midnight), I immediately download them and start reading. My tradition is that I don’t even go to sleep those nights. I just keep reading until I finish and then I crash. Yes, I am a binge reader.

So a wrench was thrown into my plans when midnight came and went, Tuesday, and I didn’t have Allegiant on my Nook Color. I refreshed. I logged out. I turned my device off and back on. I did everything I could think of, but the book would not download.

After an hour, I was desperate. I was able to start reading it on my desktop computer, which is so unnatural. I want to be wrapped up in blankets, in my bed, so I can get lost in the story. But noooooooo!

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Trying Out Viggle App

viggle

As I’ve shared quite frequently, I am absolutely in love with the Shopkick app. Getting points that I can redeem for gift cards just for doing what I was already going to do, shopping, is a no-brainer for me.

So, along comes Viggle where I can get points just for watching the TV programs I was already watching. Get out of town!

How the app (which is available for iOS and Android) works is that you check-in using your phone’s microphone, while watching TV. It’ll use the audio signal from your TV to identify what you’re watching and award you points — typically 1 point per minute — after the show goes off. You don’t have to leave your app open, either. Just check in and go back to whatever you were doing. When you accumulate enough points, you can cash them in for gift cards to popular retailers such as Starbucks, Sephora, iTunes, GAP, Chili’s, Foot Locker, Old Navy, Lowe’s, Papa John’s, CVS, and more! With the holiday’s coming up, might not be a bad way to get some extra funds to shop for gifts.

There are opportunities for bonus points through promos (DirecTV subscribers get a ton), viewing ads, and live trivia through the app. I’m told that if I casually use the app, I should earn a gift card after about a month or so. That’s pretty good. And, like I said, I’d be earning that freebie just for doing what I already was. When I’m on my computer in the evenings, my TV is always on, even if I’m not watching it directly. Still counts! I’m gonna play with this app for a while and see what’s up. It definitely speaks to my lazy side as I don’t have to leave my house to use it like with Shopkick.

It seems that, in the past year, the company has altered their strategy a little. Apparently after a huge launch, where gift cards were easy to earn, it’s now much more difficult. I can see where that’d be frustrating for early adopters, but it can’t be as bad as CheckPoints, can it?

I’ll check back in, with another post, after I’ve earned a reward. Does anyone else use Viggle?

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Why I Haven’t Pulled The Trigger On GymPact

gympact

GymPact is a wonderfully thought out mobile app that pays you for following through with your scheduled workouts. On the flipside, it will also charge you an amount you pre-determine, for any missed workouts. Talk about accountability, right?!

Say you commit, via the app, to doing 3 workouts a week. You can get credit for that by going to a gym (and checking in via GPS), syncing your account to RunKeeper, or even doing at home workouts (provided you wear an arm band). You must workout for at least 30 minutes in order for your activity to count. If you fail to work out, it’ll cost you a minimum of $5. If you meet your weekly goal, you’ll probably net $2/week. It varies from week to week, based on how many people miss their workouts and what they wager as a penalty. Make sense?

I’ve recommended the app/service to several people already, but have yet to sign up myself. Money is always a great motivator, and that’s the app’s premise, but when technology like this is involved — as well as my hard earned dollars — I’m not so quick to jump in.

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