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I think the future of banking is going more and more to apps and it is important for the banks to get a user friendly app that will do as many routine tasks as possible. If there are going to be less local branches available the apps and online banking will become more necessary.
I use the app as opposed to the website on my phone because I think it is more secure in that you are not re-directed to any erroneous pages. Talking of security for Lloyds I think it is fairly secure with a digital number, a password and then three characters from a memorable name. I think it could be improved with a random digital number generator either online or by a FOB.
The app has some very useful feature, for example finding your local ATM using your google maps location. This is great if you are out and about and need some money and have absolutely no idea where you are. Evidently non Lloyds customers can also use this feature to find an ATM.
I have also rung the contact numbers on the app but this is typical phone banking and can take some getting through to an operator. A few times an answer machine gave me an automated answer an then cut me off with a 'thank you and good-bye' without the chance to go back to the main menu.
If you get locked out of internet banking the only way back in is through the website. There is no functionality to reset your passwords in the app which is a bit of a bind.
The main banking pages are very easy to use and most processes can be carried out with two or three button presses. I use it mainly to check my balance and move money between accounts. Its easy to set up a standing order or make a one-off payment if you know the bank code and sort code. One thing I do find lack is the ability to pay a friend by email address
Overall I think it a good banking app which is secure and straight forward to use. If they are going to keep up with online banking it will need email payments and the ability to scan cheques in to be cashed
A friend recommended Tunein Radio to me to listen to books and plays being read. I use it in my quest to learn Spanish.
Tunein Radio is based in California and was founded in 2002. It offers over 70,000 live global stations and has a few million podcasts. Tunein suites most phones as a mobile app and streams the radio frequencies for AM, FM, HD, LP, digitals and internet stations.
My view on Tunein Radio
The app is very easy to install and does not even ask for registration details or an email address. I find the front screen very easy to use and I usually start the app and go straight to the languages section and find Spanish. There are further selections for talk radio, sport or pop. Since I'm looking to listen to Spanish I pick talk and generally channel hop around until I find one that is speaking slow enough for me to understand.
Another useful feature is the replay button which I use frequently to go back to listen again to bits I have missed.
If I find a channel that I enjoy it can be added to your favourites so that station is easily found from the front screen in the future.
Radio Tunein has a truly international feel and I enjoy listening to music from Spain, South America and other foreign countries
The only disadvantage is that sometimes the radio station won't stream or stops suddenly. It would also be nice to have alarm and sleep functionality.
Tunein Radio is a free app for smartphones and it is one of the must have basics
I am going to upgrade my phone after just over a year. The phone I am going to replace is the Samsung Galaxy Ace. I like the Samsung phones better than the Iphone and think they are great value for money. I know they are not as robust and the touch screen, especially the keypad is not as good as the Iphone but I find them much easier to use.
It is really easy to re-arrange the home screen by pressing and dragging the icons around. I am not always very techno-savvy but I find the Galaxy Ace very easy to add and remove applications. I have put an app on to monitor the directories which is better than the pre-installed on because it draws attention to any over large files and helps utilize memory space. I soon used up the 2GB SD card and the 200MB of Ram and I do need to keep an eye on memory usage. The upload to the internet can be challenging especially for text files and I need to install another app for that. The phone just looked in the gallery, music and video directories and I could not find how to make it look in the download directory.
The internet can be slow and at times crashed but I am not sure whether this is the three network or the phone.
Another disadvantage is the screen resolution which can be a bit fuzzy and difficult to see in daylight.
But as I say it is good value for money, lightweight and a good size to carry around. It is very easy to use and I will be looking at other Samsung phones
I am learning Spanish and use Dictionary.com to check words and phrases for translation. I use the mobile version of the website rather than the full site or app. I find it easy to type in the phrase and get the translation but sometimes the translation is a bit random so don't just take it for granted it is correct. Once or twice it had not been able to do it. The page refreshes after the translate button has been pressed which can take around 30 seconds and this is when the adverts appear which mean you have to scroll about a bit to find the results which can be a bit annoying. It would be nice to have an audio bit for the translation as some of the other translation apps have.
I also receive an email a day with the word of the day in Spanish which is a good way to expand your vocabulary. In the email there are three or four phrases explaining how to use the word in everyday life which is very useful.
All in all I use this website daily as an aid to improving my Spanish
I am coming to the end of an eighteen month contract with three, whom I have been with for around eight years.
There are some nice things about three, I like the app to check out my usage and monitor my costs. The call centre is quite easy to get hold of by called 333 from the mobile. The call centre is in India but they have usually been good and resolved my problems which have mostly been handset related or to do with coverage. Talking of coverage I would say this is the main disadvantage to three. Sometimes it can take two or three goes for the call to connect, especially to another three phone. However I don't feel like complaining much because all three to three calls are free.
Three is one of the cheapest network providers for internet usage and I tether my phone for computer internet usage. I cannot find any other provider that will give unlimited internet data usage for £12.90 a month. Having said the price is good you have to be prepared for slow and painful progress at times, especially in the evening. I have been comparing three to giff gaff recently and whilst there prices look comparable I have read some review that giff gaff will complain about tethering.
As I said I am on a contract but this time around I will be looking at pay-as-you-go or a monthly plan with no phone involved. I think you can buy the phone at a better deal than a contract provides and the sim only deal of £12.90 which offers 200 minutes, 5000 texts and unlimited internet, free three to three calls is an unbeatable price
My skin is sensitive to many products and I easily to have a reaction to things in the environment including sun, chemicals, dust etc. I find Oilatum bath lotion either junior or adult is a soothing and moisturizes my skin leaving my it feeling quite elastic. The Oilatum range have a light liquid paraffin base and have been around for about thirty years. I have been using it for over ten and it definitely stops any dry/eczema skin problems for me.
The instructions recommend putting 1-3 capfuls in the bath and then soaking for ten minutes. I only use one as the bath can get rather slippy with more. I fill the bath with around six inches of warm, not hot water, add the oilatum and then just relax. The bath becomes quite milky and there is a pleasant clean smell that is not clinical.
There is no need to use any other soaps or moisturizers as oilatum bath emollient does both. After bathing dab yourself dry rather than rub to leave the oil film on your skin. This will lock in any water and so moisturize your skin. Because it locks in moisture oilatum really helps to prolong a tan.
I usually stick to using Paypal when buying online because I believe it is the most secure. I have installed the Paypal app and it works very well when buying online. In fact the whole process is fairly automatic and all you need to do is press buttons at the appropriate time. Transferring and receiving money by email is user friendly and easy using the menu at the top but the actual transfer is a bit on the slow side. I transferred some money to a friend and it took the best part of a week when I expected three working days.
Sometimes the app is not intuitive however. I have been wanting to withdraw money to my bank account using the app and resorted to doing it online. I even read some reviews that said it was not possible to withdraw to your own bank account. Then I found how to do it quite by accident when pressing the balance down arrow button. Here you can add and withdraw funds to your specified bank account. The bank account has to be set up online and not in the app which is a bit limiting but maybe more secure.
I am quite excited about the local feature which searches for nearby shop, restaurants etc that will take Paypal payments from you and go towards a wallet and card free environment. In my area there are not many venues signed up for this but I'm sure this will become really popular. New ideas are quite often intimidating but I can't see the difference between carrying you credit card and using your phone. There is a chip and pin number and a photo id for security when paying.
Another area where I find it not user friendly is that I have read you can cash a cheque by taking a picture of it but I cannot find this feature.
Overall though I love the app
The Other Boleyn Girl was my first venture into an historical novel and it was a lot more enjoyable then I envisaged. I imagined the books crammed with dates and facts but it was totally opposite. I found the characters were very engrossing and it was a real page turner as I raced along to know how the intrigue and relationships were going to end.
Most people know about Henry VIII and he is portrayed as a spoilt man who is desperate to have a son to succeed him. Mary Boleyn starts her life as a pawn of the ambitious Boleyn family and she becomes Henry VIII's mistress to promote the Boleyn's at court life. Her life is manipulated from pillar to post until her ruthless sister Anne takes her place in the King's obsession.
In the end Mary is the only one of the family to find true happiness and peace of mind.
The style of writing is very easy to read but I think if you are looking for an histiorically accurate book then this is not the book for you. The book uses alot of poetical license to build a story which I found fun and relaxing to read. As I said this is my first historical novel but it caught my imagination and I researched into some factual texts and looked at the pictures of the people on the internet. It has made me want to know more about the Tudor period in both fiction and factual.
I was "forced" into ready Fifty Shades as a bet but after reading the first chapter I was totally addicted. I found the grammer and the style of writing very Enid Blyton but I still wanted to know what was going to happen on the next page. I did think there were over the top sex scenes in it which were repetitive but this was part of Christian Grey's disturbed childhood. I was drawn on in the book to see what the cause and effect of each action would be.
I interpreted it as a battle of her innocence against his jadedness to which is the winner.
I read all three books within a week as a holiday read I must say I thoroughly enjoyed them but I did not treat them as a book to be educated by. I think they are a light weight read and a book to unwind with.
I would recommend to other people just as a holiday read or a book to relax with. It is not a literary work or a book to disect and get a meaning out of. There are alot of pornographic sex scenes and if you are not prepared to accept that then this is not the book for you