Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The Best And Cheapest Way To Use Mobile Phone Abroad

No doubt, the best and and the cheapest way to use your mobile phone abroad is to buy a local sim card  at your destination. This does not only save you money from roaming calls, incoming and out going, but to save you a lot of money from internet data calls! To understand more of this, let's find out where you are being charged the most  when you go abroad.

How to rake a high mobile phone bill!

  • Voice calls, SMS messaging.

These are the basic ways to communicate using a mobile phone's network service. When you are abroad, your network will pass your mobile phone number to a foreign network, and the interconnection charge will begin when you make a call and send a text. And also most of the time you are also charged by  receiving a call and a text. Calling your voice mail service will also incur roaming charges.

  • Data calls.

Internet usage charges the most expensive tariff. So you need to watch out or better is to turn this off. This includes surfing, using the navigator, instant messaging like snapchats, facebook and messenger, VOIP's like skype, and multimedia messaging(mms).

Beware of what you are sharing and uploading as the internet usage charges you by the amount of data you use and not the time you are online! This is the most common mistake among internet users. They question their sky high bill when they are just online for a few minutes or so, but in fact they are watching streaming video brought about by a very fast 4G connection!

How to avoid skyhigh mobilephone bill.

  • Prepare your phone.


Not all phones are sim unlocked. Specially iPhones, they are tied up to the mobile operators even when bought on a pay monthly contract. They should come as unlocked specially when bought with contract but most operators in the UK do not do this. To unlock it, a user must contact the technical department of the mobile network to unlock the unit. You will need to wait a day and a confirmation text will tell you that your iPhone is ready to be unlocked. On a computer, log in to itunes and connect your phone. A message saying an update to your iPhone is available. Update it and the unlocking will begin.

Other phones.

In my experience, all other phones that I bought with contract are sim unlocked. I can put any sim card without any problem. So you do not need to do anything. But to make sure, put a different network sim to your phone and when it accepts it, this is unlocked.

  • Take off your sim and buy a local sim card

Knowing that your phone is unlocked, it is time to buy a local simcard. Once you've touch down, airports usually have a kiosk in selling these items. You also need to consider the form factor of the simcard as I find it difficult to find a nano sim for my wife. The regular and micro sims are not really a problem to acquire as dual form simcards are widely available.

You also need to decide the activities you need the sim card for. In my case, I use it mostly for internet and just for a few calls so I decided to go for the most data calls, which is surprisingly just the same price but the SMS and voice calls were less.

  • Beware of the roaming signal..

Not because you have a  local sim means you do not need to worry a thing anymore. Specially when you're travelling to some parts of Europe, where the boundaries of countries are just a stones throw away, beware and keep watch of the roaming sign on your phone which is indicated by the letter R(1) above the signal icon.

  • Use Wi-Fi when available.

Another way of saving mobile phone charges is to use wi-fi as much as possible. Airports have designated free to access wi-fi. You can use this to download your location and the map around your hotel and information needed for your trip. Commercial establishments like Macdonalds and starbucks are also a good shelter for the weary and the hungry mobile phone for a data fix.

Hotels are already providing wi-fi as an standard service so take advantage of this when uploading or downloading large files and using high data activities like VOIP and video streaming.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Missing Gmail Folder

 Gmail's been my primary email provider, because it's layout is very easy to use. Each function is very logical and situated in easy to find place. The most frequent feature I usually use is it's "file" organization where you can create a folder to keep specific emails . This is a good way of organizing mails so that they are easier to find when you need it. It is also a good way to declutter  your inbox, as the mail you move to a folder disappears in the list. Lately, this "disappearance" of my email and the folder I assigned to it has made me scratch my head  quite a while.

What happened to the folder?

Still busy with the trip preparation, I bumped into a problem with my gmail folder. The travel insurance email I just moved to a folder is missing together with the folder (1). Fortunately, it is showing up from the search(2) keyword meaning it is still there, just buried somewhere.

The problem when I do not see it in the list is, I would not be able to access it immediately. So I need to dig into the bottom of it. The obvious reason is the folder setting could be messed up. The setting  is accessible by clicking the cog wheel button(3), then settings(4).

Clicking "labels" (6)  has shown the list of folders that I was looking for, It has a selection to either show or hide(7) them.

The "show"(8) selection brought back the folder and all it's contents in the list(9).1

Last Words.

I do not remember what happened and caused the folder disappeared, it could be that I could set it up myself not to show the "labels". Having the hide button could cause headaches because it is easy to forget that it has this function specially when you do not access the settings often, but it is also a good camouflage to sensitive emails when you wanted to hide them from view. No one would suspect that you have it!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Free Navigation On Your Mobile

I do not use the navigation system on my phone because of two reasons, it uses gps and internet data. GPS drains the battery and internet data drains both the wallet, specially when you are with limited data tariff and the battery. And when you use data on your mobile abroad, it could triple the holes in your pocket.

Our family holiday is very near and we could not wait, but because of short preparations and very unfamiliar country booked for the break, did not allow us to buy at least a map for the trip. So up I go and ask google "which navigation app is the cheapest of them all". And it answered Navmii!

NAVMII is a cross flatform navigaiton system which is free. It can be installed
 on android, apple, blackberry and windows

Why "navi" with it?

It provides free off line map. 

When it means free, it is free. Not like other free navs that just give you the main application for free, and you need to purchase an "in app" data(maps) to get it working. Having it will let you forget worrying of buying maps as you can download them easily. It also saves you the trouble of carrying the bulky map book around. It's built in search function can give you results in seconds that you can print it out before you set off.

Saves you data charges.

Going off line means your off from the internet. Travelers usually get fleeced with the data tariff when they arrive home. As the price for roaming data can be tripled or quadrupled depending on  country of destination, so it is better to turn the data roaming service to off and just use it when it is extremely necessary. As the map portion of this application can be used without the internet, you can still plan your route without the trouble of going above your bill.

Navigation mode.

Just like the rest of the navigator applications, it also does navigation mode. It could look like very basic to other users, but for me, the more basic, the easier to use, the better.

Native built in navigator on mobile phones uses GPS to guide you around but also uses data to download the map that the GPS uses to overlay your location. This is because the map is not built in and it is accessed and stored in the cloud.

This is the beauty of the Navmii. As the map is already downloaded and installed in your phone, it just uses GPS and it doesn't need data tariff to overlay map location! This saves you money and it is also faster because the data of the map is stored locally.

Spoilt for maps.

There are plenty of countries included as an add on map. Downloading any of them is free. There is also a premium content that includes a voice navigation guide from celebrities like snoppdog, homer simpson or  wallace  and gromit. As this is an add driven application, you can also remove the advert for a little fee.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

How To Get Premium Applications For Free

The heart and mind of every smartphone is the application. That what makes it smart, otherwise it is just a concoction of plastic and metals put together by soldering wires in a PCB. Although the make and the on board native apps count, there are still many things missing on it, depending on a user's specification and how he use this amazing device.

Premium applications are not that expensive to be honest, but because there are many of them out there that can perform the same tasks as the others, it is hard to select  which one is the best for the task. So you may end up spending more in buying and trying each application. And buying a digital property like this may not entitle you for a refund in case you find out it is not what you need. .

So the best way to try a premium application and avoid wasting money in case you decide not to keep this is  to get it for free. You might have come across sites that are promising free applications but could be dodgy specially on sources that are not popular. They could still give you the free application but most often can winth a bundled useless software with it. 

At the end you get the free application and the harmful one. So  here are ways to get it legally and safely.

1. From Amazon(Android)

  • First thing is to download the amazon from http://appamazon.com/mobileapps  from your android mobile.
  • Get to the discounted applications by clicking the link below as the 'special discount' link(1) is not normally showing at the drop down menu.

  • The free application link is accessible using the navigation at the left(2). 

2. Use Free App of the Day(Android)

As the name suggests there is a premium app everyday free of charge. 
  • Download app of the day from play store.
  • Visit everyday for the free app of the day.

3. Apps Gone Free(iOS)

Apple users can go to this link for free premium apps. The free apps do not remain gratis but it is time limited. Usually, developers from time to time,  make their paid apps free temporarily to generate a boost in downloads.

Last Words.

Although you can not choose the specific title you want, you can use the search function of each to show you the best alternative to the one you are looking for. Using these sites can save you a lot of money specially when you tend to experiment on premium applications.

As the free apps are not free forever, download and try whilst you still can!

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Find An Android Phone Without Any Apps!

It was a busy week for me the last three weeks, both from work, my kids extra curricular and their school. Additional function as a "taxi driver" and "event organizer" has somehow had an effect in my memory in terms of concentration. This made me forget many things specially where I kept my wallet, keys and phone!

I could function without a wallet but without my phone could be difficult because my activities are organised within it and also includes important data which I have compiled for years. I could not imagine starting all over again! This is hard to imagine but this happened in one of the school rush. After sending my daugther to  school, I was caught in a traffic jam going to work. I was allowed to come in late, because the oncall was busy during the night but it seemed that the traffic was pushing my time further. I know that I would not make it on time and tried to dial my worlk's number. To my dismay, I do not have my phone. This is the first time I forgot to bring my phone and do not know why it was not in my backpack pocket.

During my free time, I tried to log on to find my mobile, to see at least the last place it was. The problem is I could not remember my samsung account password. I have been relying the data I have stored in my phone and the auto log in to the site. And even when I was home, I could not manage to log in because of my password.

Android Device Manager

My search with google took me to Android Device Manager. This can track, wipe and lock an android device using GPS and internet connection. The miinimal requirement is a google account. If you have already set up a google account on your phone, then there is no need to download the application. Using it is staright forward and very easy.

1. Go to https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager and log in to the gmail. If you have multiple gmail account you need to use the one your set up(1) your device with.

2. Once log in, you can see the devices that are connected to your gmail account and choose from the dropdown list.

3. After choosing your device, the application will try to locate(3)  your device using GPS. If your device is online,you can ring it(4) straight away, lock and erase. 

Your device will ring for 5 minutes even if your phone is set to "mute" and the device's location access is turned off. It just needed to be online! Turn off the ringing by pressing the power button. The event is also recorded(5) on screen.

4. In the event that your phone is not online(6),  you can still request to ring the device(7) and once online, it will ring!


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