The Harbinger Miami Lakes Educational Center Miami Lakes, FL
Issue Date: Monday, April 01, 2013 Issue: April/May Last Update: Friday, May 03, 2013

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In the age of the smart phone, it doesn’t take long to figure out that there are applications that offer free texting and free music streaming.

And if there’s anything that people love, it’s entertainment and free stuff; if it’s both, it’s even better.

So if one can text and listen to music for free, why should they pay to do so? Why not just download a free WiFi locator app and use a free texting app, such as textPlus, to communicate with friends and family?

In recent years, music streaming programs such as Spotify and Pandora have attracted millions of users in search of a way to stream music freely and legally.

“Many people listen to a variety of music and if they would buy all the music they will listen to, they’ll spend hundreds of dollars on music,” said Adan Gonzalez, a sophomore in Web Design. “Instead Spotify allows you to listen to music free of charge.”

Because of such programs, the music industry is undergoing a change, one of which provides musicians with less profit than if the services were paid for (Spotify, Pandora, and others like them only pay fractions of a cent to record companies every time a song is played, of which some goes to the actual performers and songwriters).

Online, there are numerous articles that offer cell phone users advice on how to save money on their cell phone plan, urging them to download apps that work with their data plan or with WiFi connection. Or instead of downloading these apps, users are also recommended to use Skype or iMessenger to diminish cost.

These texting apps also provide users with free or reduced phone calls.

In other countries, phone companies have kept the cost of text messaging high, increasing the use of chat applications to avoid those fees.

With the increasing use of such applications, mobile networks worry over the prospects of damaged revenue.

But despite the increase, Pamela Clark-Dickson, an analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media in Britain, said since text messaging will still be necessary to communicate with those without the apps “at this point, SMS has still got quite a lot going for it”



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