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8 months ago

How to add multiple destinations in Google Maps

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Easily add multiple stops to your Google Maps route.

One of the best additions to Google Maps is the ability to add multiple stops to your route. If you're running an errand or picking up groceries on your way back home, the feature gives you a quick look at the overall time for the trip and any delays along the way. You can add up to nine stops, and there's also the option to rearrange the stops to figure out the most efficient route.

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8 months ago

How to turn off the LG G6's 'squircle' icon frames

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How to turn off the LG G6's squircle icon frames

There's a fix for that rounded square issue.

When it comes to squircle-shaped icons, there are two distinct groups: those who don't care at all and those who feel like they're nails on a chalkboard. If you land in the latter group, you'll be scrambling to turn off the LG G6's "rounded square" icon frames, which are turned on by default in order to normalize the size and shape of all icons on the phone.

It only takes a few taps to turn everything back to normal, though, and here's a quick step-by-step process to get it done.

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8 months ago

Cutting the cord: How Modern Dad ditched cable TV

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How my family took the plunge and unplugged cable TV for good.

It's sort of a rite of passage for folks of a certain age — especially those of us who grew up in a time before cable TV. Our kids? They don't know the differences between networks and cable news. It all looks the same — who cares how it comes in, right? But for me, the time came when the $150 a month I was paying for cable TV just wasn't worth it.

It was time to unplug.

I'm hardly the first to cut the cord. And while it hasn't necessarily been painless, it's definitely been a bit easier than I expected. And the best part is that there's no single way to do it.

What works for me may work for you, or maybe it won't. But at the very least I think it'll get you moving in the right direction. Here's a breakdown of everything I'm using.

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Phil's living room

The hardware

Android TV

Le Eco sent me a Super4 X65 TV to check out. It's not the most high-end display out there, and there a number of nagging little software bugs. But it's pretty darn good for the price and looks great in my living room. (I'd wait for those bugs to be worked out before buying, though.)

Android TV built into the TV is glorious.

But the big difference for me is that it's got Android TV built in. I've been using Android TV since its inception, of course. (Hell, since before it was Android TV, really.) And while it's great in a box, it's even better when it's built in. You don't have to worry about switching inputs on a remote — you just scroll down through the UI to pick what you want. That's made things a good bit easier on the wife and kids.

A downside, though, is that if you want to use a separate Android TV box, you'll essentially be running Android TV on top of Android TV, which was a little crazy when I plugged in an NVIDIA Shield TV. (But that's also something most folks are unlikely to do.)

Why'd I even attempt that little bit of inception? The Shield TV is the only Android TV instance that has access to Amazon videos. (Damn exclusives strike again.) That's another thing to consider. If you just have to have Amazon Video, you'll need a separate piece of hardware to get it.

See at Amazon

Phil's bedroom

In the bedroom: Apple TV

In the bedroom I've got an aging dumb TV that I'm using with a latest-gen Apple TV. It's definitely got more of an app-launcher feel than an embedded OS. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, just different. And there are a ton of apps, and all the content you'd expect to find from Apple.

There's not a whole lot of fault to be found in Apple TV.

The screen savers are beautiful. Ridiculously so. I'm seriously considering upgrading the TV back there just so they look better. I could spend all day watching the aerials. For as good as the Chromecast backdrops are, these are even better. (And not clunked up by the optional on-screen chrome that Google goes for.) And Airplay is as easy as Chromecast when it comes to shooting things over from an iPhone, iPad or Mac. Maybe even easier. (And it's seamless when it comes to using one of those devices to input text.)

Apple TV has the added bonus of a proper ethernet port for better connectivity — again, that's a concern when it comes to streaming. (But even then you're still at the mercy of the stream itself.)

See at Apple

The only real down side to Apple TV is that the remote is awful. I'm not even talking about the weird touchpad — just the lack of ergonomics and ridiculous button scheme. Which leads me to ...

Logitech Harmony remotes

Investing in a couple good universal remotes has made a world of difference. This is especially true if you've got multiple boxes connected to a single TV. (I can't stand having to deal with more than one remote.)

Logitech HarmonyIn the living room I've been using a Logitech Harmony Pro system. The gist is that the remote doesn't actually control the TV — it fires commands to a little Wifi-connected hub, and that shoots commands to the TV. The advantage here is that the remote doesn't actually have to have line-of-sight access to what it's controlling. (And there's a little IR extender you can use on the Harmony hub, so you can tuck these things in fun, out-of-the-way locations.

It's a little overkill. The remotes can control a lot of things. Sonos. Nest. Philips Hue lights. Plus everything in your entertainment system. The Elite has a touchscreen to help out, but I haven't ever really wanted to change the thermostat on this thing. It's easier to just yell at Alexa or Google Home to do that.

In the bedroom I've got a Harmony Companion. It's basically the same thing, with a scaled down remote. No touchscreen, but damned if this isn't the most beautifully designed device I own. The curves on the back of the remote are to die for. (I desperately want this thing to be made into a phone.) It's also a lot less expensive, but it still lets me control the Hue lights in the bedroom. This is probably the remote I'd recommend for most folks.

Harmony Companion
Harmony Elite

Yeah, but what about ...

I know, I know. There are a million different ways to cut the cord. And I've tried a lot of hardware in the past few months. Some other serious contenders include:

  • OTA HD antenna: Not every service covers everything yet. I'm using a couple indoor over-the-air antennas for networks. These things are directional, though, so check first to see what'll work best for you.
  • Roku 4 Ultra: This is the best solution for most people, I think. It has access to more services than either Google or Apple alone. (And it includes Amazon video.) It's also a relatively inexpensive $99.
  • NVIDIA Shield TV: This is the only standalone Android TV box you should consider. It's way powerful, and needs to be because it's also a pretty good gaming console. Plus it's got access to Amazon video.
  • Xbox One S: It's a gaming console first, and a streaming box second. But also having a Blu-Ray player built-in makes it pretty compelling. Problem is it doesn't have access to two of the streaming services I use.
  • Streaming sticks: They're small. They're cheap. And I don't use them. They're just not very powerful, and streaming is prone to lag and freezes even on good hardware. Spend a little extra and get good hardware.

The streaming services

This is where you have to do a little homework if you want to save some money. First I looked at what we were spending on cable TV every month. Then I started comparing streaming plans. If we broke $150, then none of this would be worth it.

The really nice part here is that there aren't any contracts, and generally speaking there are free trials. So you can try things out, and come and go as you please.

Also, yes: You get live TV. And a good bit more.

We started out with Sling. It's not bad at all, and certainly worth a look. But ultimately we've ended up on PlayStation Vue. We're on the most expensive plan at $65 a month, which is what we had to do to get all the channels we wanted. (Some things — like bundles — may never change, I guess.) We probably have about as many channels as we did with cable (I never actually counted), including some we didn't have before.

The bottom line

So let's do some math.

Our previous cable TV bills were $152 a month, including taxes and fees and box rentals and lord knows what else.

We're now paying $65 a month for PSVue. I haven't even been counting the $10 a month for Netflix, and $7.99 for Hulu, for which we already were paying. (And if you break Amazon Prime costs down monthly, that's another $8.35 a month.)

You need to do a little homework (and math) if you want to save money. But I'm now saving hundreds of dollars a year.

So that all totals out to $91 a month for more channels and content than any of us at home can (or should) watch. For the math-impaired, we're saving about $732 a year, and not watching any less.

Is it as easy as cable TV? Nope. Menus are a little slower and not as simple. Picture quality isn't always 100 percent as good — but generally it's good enough.

And this one's going to be a thing going forward — my ISP gives us 1 terabyte of data before it starts charging us extra. That'll be something we have to watch as we consume more 4K content. (And is maybe a reason to deal with Blu-Ray disks.)

Again, your mileage will vary. There's no one way to do this. You need to do your homework to see if the available services will actually save your any money in the first place, and then whether it'll save enough to make the switch worth it.

For my family, though? We haven't looked back.

Modern Dad

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Check out the gear I'm using!

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8 months ago

How to personalize your Android phone with themes, launchers, and more!

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Every Android user has a theme on their phone. They just don't know it yet.

Updated March 2017: Links were added to newer content and images were refreshed.

Even if you don't know what icon packs or launchers are, if your phone has a home screen on it, it's got a theme. Android users don't have to live in their app drawers; they can choose how their phone looks and functions. They can use widgets to interact with apps without opening them. They can use custom icons to theme or obscure the apps on their phone from prying eyes. They can even use gestures and contextual data to help their phone adapt to where they are and what they're doing.

So, what are Android themes and how can you get started with one?

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8 months ago

How to manually set your IPD in PlayStation VR

How to manually set your IPD in PlayStation VR

How do I change my interpupillary distance in PSVR?

Unlike the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, PlayStation VR doesn't have a slider or a dial on it that lets you physically set the interpupillary distance (IPD) in your headset. Instead, PSVR has software that takes a picture of your face and lets you move crosshairs onto your eyes. The rest is all handled automatically. Unfortunately, this process isn't quite exact, and it might take you quite a few tries to actually get it right.

Why worry about IPD? If it isn't right, your image can be blurry, resulting in eye strain and headaches. To get the perfect IPD and a perfect image, Reddit user Vlaid created a chart that shows how to manually (yet not physically) change the interpupillary distance in PlayStation VR. It works great and is much more precise than relying on the software.

Read more at VR Heads!

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8 months ago

How to remove an app drawer folder on the LG G6

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How to remove an app drawer folder on the LG G6

Sometimes the simplest tasks require quite a bit of digging.

If you haven't yet turned back on the app drawer on your LG G6, the process of doing so is quite easy. But once you get it up and running, you may notice the annoying "feature" of the app drawer that lets you have folders inside of it alongside all of the other apps — in order to simplify things, you'll want to kill those folders. Unfortunately, it isn't immediately apparent how to do so.

We have you covered with this quick set of step-by-step instructions for getting rid of pre-installed folders in your LG G6's app drawer.

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8 months ago

How to download and share movies, music, and books on Google Play

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Google Play is more than just an app store.

We know that Google Play is where you're downloading most, if not all, of your apps, but there's much more that they offer. There are millions of books and movies for you to escape into, and music for every taste and time. While it may still seem odd to some of us to buy movies on your phone, or to buy an album that doesn't come in a sleeve, there's plenty here to love and enjoy, and we're here to help you make the most of the entertainment side of Google Play.

Updated March 2017: This post was updated with formatting fixes and minor updates.

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8 months ago

How to bring back the app drawer on the LG G6

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The app drawer is hidden by default on the LG G6. Here's how to get it back.

It's 2017 and we're still removing application drawers from the Android user interface. If you're equally as unsettled by this common practice, then at least be comforted by the fact that on the LG G6, you can bring back the app drawer if you please. Here's how.

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8 months ago

Google Assistant in Allo: Everything you need to know

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Update March 2017: The Google Assistant is coming to all Android phones running Marshmallow and above, making it available on hundreds of millions of new devices.

OK Google, let's see what you can do.

Google's AI-powered Assistant is the standout feature of the Pixel and Pixel XL — and it is now available on hundreds of millions of Android devices. The Assistant is an evolution of Google Now, and is also available as a chatbot on Google's messaging app Allo, Google Home, Android Wear 2.0 watches, and Android TV.

Interactions with the Google Assistant are conversational in nature, and the service does a great job of remembering your line of questioning. For instance, you can ask the Assistant about the first Doctor Who episode, and it'll give you the details in the form of a card containing air date and additional information. Later, if you ask a question along the lines of when the next season will air, it will remember the earlier thread and surface results about the upcoming season.

The goal is to make the Assistant personable and readily available to answer your queries. The service is still in its infancy, but the advantage with Assistant is that it can readily draw on a huge pool of data from Google's knowledge graph. As more and more users start using the service, it will use its AI smarts to deliver better recommendations.

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8 months ago

Here's everything Google Assistant can do on your phone

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OK Google, let's see what you can do.

Google Assistant is starting to roll out to all Android phones running Marshmallow and Nougat. There's a lot of pretty cool things it can do to make life that much easier.

From helping to book reservations and find transportation for your night out to setting your morning alarm without having to stare at a bright screen in a dark room, here's just some of the ways to use Google Assistant throughout your day. And it all starts by saying "OK Google".

Update March 2017: Google Assistant has started rolling out to all Android phones running on Marshmallow and Nougat.

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8 months ago

How to make the dock the most powerful part of your launcher

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The dock is arguably the most important piece of the home screen.

It's where you put your most-used apps, it's our quick-launch guide to our device. What we keep on our dock says a lot about who we are and how we use our phones, and what most docks today tell us is... they are woefully under-utilized. Docks aren't exactly the sexiest thing to talk about, and I seldom mention them in my themes beyond an icon pack because you don't tell someone else what to put on their dock. I'll tell you what widgets to use and what app shortcuts to place where, but the dock is yours; the dock is sacred.

The apps on your dock are there for a reason, but that's not to say they're the only things that have to be there, Docks may look boring, but trust me, they can be functional, fashionable, and downright sneaky.

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8 months ago

How to set up payments with Google Home

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Now that payments are built into Assistant, your Google Home can not only keep your shopping list but order from it, too.

As of this writing, payments only work for Google Express. Google Express is an online market built from more than 40 nationwide retailers. You'll find companies like Target, Toys R Us, Costco, Walgreens and more. Shopping through Google Express is just like shopping most anywhere else. You can also pay a membership fee for extras like free shipping and no Costco access fees for people without a Costco membership.

Before you can do any of this from your Google Home, you need to set up payments. these payments are separate from anything you might have in Google Wallet or Google Pay but they're easy to set up through the Google Home app.

  1. Open the Google Home app and get into the menu by tapping the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner.
  2. Make sure the Google account you want to be tied to your payment methods is the one shown. If not, tap the triangle beside the account name to change it.
  3. Tap More settings and go to the bottom where you'll find Google account settings.
  4. Tap the Payments entry then tap Get started.
  5. After you agree to the terms and conditions (be sure to read them because this is your money we're dealing with here) you'll set up a default payment method. If you have already set up payments for another Google service, like Google Play or YouTube, you'll see that card listed. If you want to use the same card you can tap Next to continue.

  6. If you don't have a payment method listed or want to use a new one, tap Add credit or debit card to add the card details. You'll need to give the correct name and billing address like you would for any other online payment method, and when that's done tap the Save label. This is now your default payment method and you can tap Next to continue.
  7. Next, you'll need to provide a delivery address. Just like the card information in the payment method section, if you already have an address on file you'll see it here and be able to choose it. If that's the case, tap Next to continue.
  8. If you don't have an address on file for a Google service or want to enter a different one, tap Add new address and enter all the details. Tap Save to store it and Next to continue.
  9. Now you need to let Assistant know which Google Home(s) is allowed to take voice orders and pay for products. If you have more than one Google Home you'll see each listed with a toggle switch that you can turn payments on or off with. If you only have one, you'll see a switch to turn payments on or off.

Now you're all set up to take payments and order things with your voice. Try asking Google Home "OK Google, how do I shop?" to get an idea of how to let Home know you want it to buy something for you. Visit this Google help page for more details on managing your shopping list and making orders through Google Home, or to chat with someone who can help.

Google Hardware

Google Wifi:

Google Amazon

Google Home:

Google Best Buy

Chromecast Ultra:

Google Best Buy

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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8 months ago

How to enroll in the Android 7.1.2 Beta Program

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How do I sign up for the Android Beta Program?

If you're eager to try Android 7.1.2 and have an eligible Nexus or Android One device, the Android Beta Program is for you.

Like many big software projects, Android is made better by open beta testing. As part of Google's new maintenance release schedule, we'll see scheduled periodic updates outside of any bug or security patches and major version changes. The latest beta is for Nougat 7.1.2 and begins in January 2017. But if you're willing and able to run beta software on your phone, you can sign enroll in the Android Beta Program and get the first taste today!

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8 months ago

How to make your Android look like a BlackBerry

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Ain't no theme like a BlackBerry theme!

I've shown you how to make your phone feel like a Nexus, a Windows Phone, even an iPhone. Next up was BlackBerry, but in all honesty, some things just can't be replaced and replicated. Don't get me wrong, there are a few tweaks that bring back a little of that old BlackBerry magic — and I'm gonna share them with you — but there's no magic icon pack or launcher that just pulls it together into a real complete BlackBerry theme.

That's a testament to BlackBerry's unique design — and its (sometimes painful) simplicity.

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8 months ago

What is an alternative mobile carrier?

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Alternative mobile carriers are often cheaper and just as reliable as the networks they rely on.

Alternative carriers abound around the world, and are becoming an increasingly reliable source of low-cost connectivity in the U.S. Also known as an MVNO, or Mobile Virtual Network Operator, these alternative operators are often no-frills, and cost less than the incumbent networks on which they operate.

What is an alternative mobile operator?

The idea behind an MVNO is simple: instead of spending the billions of dollars building an entirely new nationwide network, companies enter into deals with the incumbent providers in a particular country — in the U.S., that's T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint — to resell access to their networks. These often come in the form of contracts, where the smaller companies will buy space on the network — voice, messaging and, of course, data — at a heavily discounted, bulk rate, and sell it to you, the customer, for a profit.

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This benefits everyone in the equation: the incumbent gets a bunch of money upfront to invest back into its business, or give to shareholders in the form of dividends; the alternate provider gets to sell access to the network at a lower cost to the incumbent while still making a profit; and you, the user, gets to purchase access to a high-quality, fast and reliable network at prices lower than those incumbents.

Such a market only works when there is robust competition in the wireless market, which increasingly exists in the U.S. and is extremely common across Europe, where the market was built with alternative providers in mind.

So what's the big deal?

Alternative providers don't often have the financial resources to build their own networks, which is why they purchase wholesale acces to the companies that do, like the ones mentioned above. But because these smaller companies don't have the overhead of maintaining a network — the virtual in the term MVNO — they have more flexibility to provide service at lower costs.

Because these smaller companies don't have the overhead of maintaining a network, they have more flexibility to provide service at lower costs.

For people looking just to connect to a network without all the frills and fringe benefits that come with a contract, these are great options.

The other thing is that MVNOs are usually aimed at single account holders — most eschew the share or family plan model of the larger incumbents — or specific demographics that may not be hit directly by the Big Four. In other words, alternative carriers are exactly that: meant to capture the customers remaining in the margins, or those looking to pay bottom dollar to avoid the often-superflous frills — T-Mobile Tuesdays come to mind — that are, many times, built into the cost of the plans of the incumbents.

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Some alternative carriers, such as Cricket Wireless and Boost Mobile, are owned by the Big Four themselves — AT&T and Sprint, respectively — which allows the major incumbents to get ahead of any customers who want to leave by offering them a simplified, often discounted alternative that keeps them in the network.

More than one network

But many alternative carriers don't just use one network. We've talked many times about Project Fi, which works with Google's Nexus and Pixel phones to make service incredibly easy and convenient. Well, Project Fi does't just connect to one network; it connects to four — T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular in the U.S., and Three in the UK — deciding between the top one dynamically depending on the coverage.

Instead of spending the billions of dollars building an entirely new nationwide network, companies enter into deals with the incumbent providers in a particular country.

That's another advantage of these virtual operators: they can negotiate great deals with a number of carriers, and thanks to the beauty of the SIM card, give customers the best option wherever they are.

Fewer phones

Finally, one thing to keep in mind about alternative networks is that the companies often don't offer the latest and greatest smartphones. In fact, they often don't sell phones at all. That's because they don't want the hassle, and the overhead, of having to stock expensive devices they may not use. That's where unlocked phones come in.

If you're savvy enough to buy a phone that you know will connect to the network of a particular carrier, you can save big money over the same two-year period a phone is usually paid off when on a big carrier.

Your turn

Are you subscribed to an alternative carrier? If so, which one, and why? We're really curious, so let us know in the comments!

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