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How to Keep Your Stuff When Switching From One Android Smartphone to Another

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, you’ve had your Android smartphone for quite some time now and feel the need to switch to a newer Android powered device. Problem is, you’re too comfortable with the setup on your current device and don’t want to start from scratch all over again. It’s okay! You can seamlessly transfer over everything from your current Android device to your new one.

Remember when you were forced to create a Gmail account before accessing your current Android device? Although it didn’t make sense at the time, it will now. Your Gmail account automatically backs up all applications, music, etc. downloaded from the Google Play Store, contacts, email, calendars, Chrome browser data, Google Talk chat logs, some systems settings and third-party app data. The most important things are backed up automatically so that you don’t have to worry about losing your email, contacts, apps, or even Wi-Fi passwords that were previously saved. Before you start, you may want to connect to Wi-Fi to conserve your data usage. Then, once you get your new Android device booted up, just login to your Gmail account and everything should start transferring over on its own.

While all the above mentioned information is automatically backed up via Gmail, it’s important to understand what information is not backed up. Google will not back up your SMS messages, Google authenticator data, game progress, logins or app settings. If you must have this information transferred over, you may want to consider an application geared towards backing up all data.

Now, you’re probably wondering – what about my photos?

The most practical way to save your photos is to back them up to your SD card and install that same SD card onto your new Android device. To ensure your photos are automatically synced to your SD card, simply go to your camera application, click on settings, scroll down to storage and choose your SD card. Now, all photos taken will be automatically saved to the SD card installed on your device.

The alternative route is to backup your photos to a cloud-based system such as Google+. If you’ve already installed the Google+ app, you can enable “Instant Upload” for your photos. Now, any photos taken will be automatically uploaded to a private album in your Google+ account online. On the other hand, you could use the Dropbox or Facebook applications to automatically upload photos online.

In a nutshell, your Gmail account will automatically back up the most important data by default. Remember, photos can easily be saved to an SD card, or cloud-based backup system. Have you used any backup applications to transfer over information on your Android device? Feel free to drop a comment below and suggest your favorites.

Switch to Prepaid and Cut Your Mobile Phone Bill in Half

Is your monthly mobile phone bill getting out of hand? If you are using a traditional postpaid plan, you are probably paying more than you need to. Most customers can cut their cell phone bill in half by switching to a prepaid. The average US customer using a basic phone pays nearly $60 a month, the average prepaid customer only about $25. Postpaid smartphone users with unlimited voice and messaging plans and 2 GB of data per month pay around $100/month, prepaid smartphone users with similar plans spend about half that.

Do you think you are ready to try prepaid? Here are some tips for making a smooth transition so you can begin saving money.

1) Watch out for Early Termination fees. Call your mobile phone provider and ask them when the contract on your line and each family member’s line runs out and how much your early termination fee (ETF) would be if you canceled now. Termination fees can be very high, as much as $350 per line. In most cases you will want to wait until your contract expires before switching.

2) Check coverage. Rule out networks that don’t give you the coverage you need. There are many prepaid operators but most of them rely one of the big four operators (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile) for the bulk of their coverage. At the national level, AT&T and Verizon provide service in more places than T-Mobile and Sprint. But all four have areas that they don’t cover.  Use the coverage maps to eliminate operators that don’t have service where you need to use your phone. Page Plus has an excellent interactive coverage map that lets you zoom and view block by block coverage, but some other prepaid operators have very poor maps. I’ve created a page on Prepaid Phone News with links to detailed coverage maps that you can use for all prepaid carriers.

3) Determine your current usage. Go over your last few mobile phone bills and add up the maximum number of minutes and texts and the number of megabytes of data you or each family member uses per month. Be sure to include “free” night and weekend and mobile to mobile minutes in the total as most prepaid plans treat all calls the same.

4) Pick a prepaid operator and plan. Once you know many minutes, texts and megabytes of data you need it’s time to find the best provider and plan for your budget. A good starting point is the Page Plus Plan Picker Web App. It will recommend the best Page Plus plan for you based on your average monthly usage of minutes, messages and data.  There are also a couple pages on the Prepaid Phone News site that summarize plans and prices from many operators to help you make an informed choice. If you are a data consuming smartphone user go here: The Best US Prepaid Data Deals. If you just want to talk and text, see: The Best U.S. Prepaid Voice and Text Deals.

5) Make the switch. You probably want to keep your current number. That’s called “porting” your number. Thanks to the FCC’s number portability rules it’s now relatively easy to do. Here’s how:

  • Don’t terminate your existing service. You will almost certainly lose your number if you do. You old service will be cancelled automatically when the port is complete.
  • Always initiate a number port with the operator you are switching to. You will need your phone number, zip code,  account holder’s name and billing address and your account number, which should all be on your bill, if not call your current provider and ask. You will also need the account PIN code or password if you set one up. For a quick and painless port it’s essential that this information is accurate and complete.
  • Ports usually complete within 24 hours, often in an hour or less. During the porting process there may be a short period, usually less than five minutes, when neither phone works. When the port is done you may get a welcome text or voice message from the new operator. Or the new phone may just start working without any message. If the number hasn’t ported within 24 hours you need to call your new operator.

6) Enjoy the savings!

 

Dennis Bournique (@yeswap) covers the US prepaid mobile industry at prepaidphonenews.com

Save Money On Your Cell Phone Bill!

Looking to save money on your cell phone bill? Check out Page Plus Cellular – no hassles, no contract, no commitment!

Battery Saving Tips for Your Android Smartphone

Is the battery on your Android powered smartphone in a constant drain? It’s okay – you can improve your battery life! The longevity of your battery depends on how you are using your smartphone, and by following these tips, you can get the most out of your device –

  • When your device is not in use, press the lock button to turn off your screen rather than wait for the screen to automatically turn itself off
  • Don’t use live wallpapers!
  • Lower your screen’s brightness level, or set it to automatically adjust itself
  • Close out apps that drain power when you don’t need them
  • Turn off your GPS connection when not in use
  • Turn off Bluetooth when not in use
  • Manage your phone’s settings for auto-sync. Android phones are known to drain battery life when constantly searching for app updates.

Switch to Page Plus and Keep Your Phone Number

Nowadays, we’re tied to our cell phone number like our social security number. We never want to lose our number, and are inclined to go off the deep end if it happens. That’s why it’s important to find a cell phone provider who makes it easy to keep your phone number when making the switch. That’s where Page Plus Cellular can help you out. Page Plus allows you to keep your phone number through a simple process called a port-in. A port-in request asks to transfer your phone number from your current provider to Page Plus.

Prior to porting to Page Plus, you need to make sure your account is in an active status with your current provider. Page Plus will not charge you for porting in; however, you will need to ask your current provider if you will incur any charges from them when porting out. Your current provider may charge you an early termination fee (ETF), or for any past-due balance on your account. But there is no need to cancel your account with your current provider – we’ll handle that in the porting process. (Cancelling your account before porting to Page Plus would cause you to lose your number, and we don’t want that!)

If you are switching from another wireless provider, the port-in request should take no more than a few hours. If you are switching from a wire line (landline) provider, it usually takes five to ten business days, but can be up to forty-five business days. Port-in requests from wire line providers may take longer than their wireless counterparts because wire line companies must go through third party account verifications and schedule a disconnect before the number can be transferred.

It’s easy to keep your number when switching to Page Plus. We know how important your phone number is to you, so let us take care of the switching process. To submit a port-in request and switch to Page Plus, click here.

How to Get More Data on Your Monthly Plan

Did you know you can get more data on your monthly plan? You can do so by adding Flex Data.

Flex Data is an extra cash balance on your account, added with a Standard Plan PIN of any denomination, which allows you to use more minutes, messages or data than your monthly plan provides.

Flex Data gives you peace of mind knowing you can get more minutes, messages or data for those occasional heavy usage months. Think of it as “customizing” your plan so it fits your usage perfectly. By adding Flex Data, you essentially create your own plan that gives you the amount of minutes, messages and data that you really need month-to-month.

Adding Flex Data is easy. All you have to do is add a Standard Plan PIN ($10, $25 or $50) to your current active monthly plan. While the Standard Plan can be used for pay-as-you-go service, it can also act as a cash balance on your account. Don’t worry – by adding a Standard Plan PIN to your monthly plan, you will not be switched to the Standard Plan. The only way to go to the Standard Plan from a monthly plan is to call customer service and request it.

Once added, you can now use extra minutes, messages or data at the overage rate listed on your plan. For instance, if the data overage rate on your monthly plan is $0.05 per MB and you add a $10 PIN, you can now use 200 more MBs on your plan. Remember, you can use Flex Data for extra minutes or messages too.

Another reason Flex Data is flexible is that it rolls over month-to-month. You can add Flex Data to your plan and continue to use it month-to-month until it runs out. Your Flex Data will rollover as long as you continue to renew your monthly plan.

To start enjoying the benefits of Flex Data, visit the plans page, purchase a Standard Plan PIN and add it to your account. Remember, to use a Standard Plan PIN for Flex Data, it must be added to an account with an active monthly plan already on it.

If you have any further questions, contact customer service at 1-800-550-2436.

4 Simple Tips to Protect Yourself From Mobile Theft

Did you know that over 113 cell phones are lost or stolen in the U.S. every minute? Losing your cell phone is like losing your credit card. With the amount of personal information stored on smartphones today, they’re just as important to protect as your purse or wallet. Follow these 4 simple tips to protect yourself from mobile theft:

  1. Lock your phone – Whether numerical or pattern based, having a pass code is the first step in stopping a thief from accessing your data.
  2. Be aware – If you’re traveling on a bus, in a coffee shop, grocery store or even at work, make sure you are aware of your surroundings and don’t leave your phone lying out of sight.
  3. Customize your device – There are a number of phone cases out there that can disguise your phone to be something unattractive to an onlooker. A good example is the silicone case designed to make your phone look like an old cassette tape.
  4. Store information on a cloud – Hard drives are becoming nearly non-existent these days. From Dropbox to Google Drive, there are plenty of free options to store your information so that a perpetrator can’t find access to it.

By following these tips, you should be able to prevent and/or prepare for mobile theft. To be even more prepared, download one of the many available phone locator apps. These apps allow the authorities to locate a stolen device. Not to mention, some of these apps will even snap a picture of the thief and send it to an online account when he/she attempts to unlock the device! We’re all susceptible to mobile theft, but with a level head, you can protect yourself from being victimized.

More Things To Do With Your Smartphone – Continuing to Fuel the Growth

October 26th, 2012 1 comment

 

As the smartphone market grows, there continues to be more and more things to do with your smartphone. Let’s take a look at a few that popped up recently:

Getting Health Information on Smartphones

According to healthcare experts, smartphones are playing a bigger role in healthcare, and more changes will take place when providers connect with patients using smartphones and the related mobile apps.

According to a Manhattan Research survey, the number of U.S. adults using mobile phones for health-related activities, including looking up health information, grew from 61 million in 2011 to 75 million in 2012.

Mashable estimates that there are about 40,000 mobile health apps currently available for smartphones.  They range from apps that help patients access their health records electronically, log exercise time, monitor blood pressure levels, track pregnancies, and check nearby pollen levels, among other things related to healthcare information.

Exercising with your Pet

One of the top reasons people get smartphones is to keep track of things and to make phone calls. One of the top reasons people get dogs is to have a companion for exercise. Pet exercise apps can now add spice to your exercise by tracking your paths, times, distance, pace and other fitness information. There is a community aspect that also allows you to share information with friends. Most of these types of apps are free, adding to the many things you can do with your smartphone.

Smartphone Shopping

Thirty percent of shoppers with smartphones said they search for better deals with their smartphones…while they’re shopping!

Smartphones are now part of several facets of the shopping experience, from getting shoppers to the store and in the door, to helping consumers compare prices and check availability. Smartphones also aid shoppers in interacting with their community and other shoppers across social networks, before, during and after the sale is complete.

Mobile shopping with smartphones is truly breaking down the walls of traditional brick-and-mortar stores by giving shoppers and consumers the ability to easily find a cheaper price or alternative product in another nearby store. Smartphone applications allow consumers to scan a product’s UPC bar code resulting in a list of prices for the same item or similar item at nearby stores or even through other, alternative online retailers. Smartphones are turning traditional stores into showrooms where customers test and research, but sometimes make their purchase elsewhere.

This truly is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what can be done with a smartphone that will only fuel higher usage, more apps, more conveniences and more consumer gratification.

Do You Really Need Unlimited Data? Not Likely.

 

 

 

From time to time, comments crop up that “Page Plus needs to offer more data.” Some people actually believe – falsely – that they must have an unlimited data plan. In reality, however, the vast majority of smartphone users do not use more than 2 GB (gigabytes) of data per month, according to research firm NPD Connected Intelligence. The data was collected from smartphone users of Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. In fact, if you single out Verizon Wireless, only 3% of customers use more than 3 GB per month.

The “power users” in that 3% group simply tend to be more vocal about “needing” more data. They tend to stream a lot of audio and video, and don’t take advantage of Wi-Fi hot spots to supplement their cellular data usage.

And that’s strictly smartphone users. If you include feature (non-smart) phones, the average U.S. mobile subscriber uses just 450 MB (that’s megabytes, not gigabytes) of data per month, according to Q1 2012 data from research firm Nielsen.

We all need to analyze our actual data usage, use Wi-Fi when practical, and choose the plan that’s right for us. The Page Plus “55” plan, for instance, provides 2 GB of data per month, which is more than enough for 97% of people. Plus, it includes unlimited talking and unlimited texting, all for just $55 per month. So the next time you hear someone say they need unlimited data, you can do them a favor by showing them how they can save money, and at the same time get as much data as they are likely to actually need.

Top 5 Free Android Games

Back to school is approaching very soon and many of you are going to need a few awesome Android based games to kill time in between classes. Here’s a top 5 list of games that you have to check out (and they’re free!):

City Jump – Free (Average rating: 4.4 of 5)
This game can easily kill hours of your time. In City Jump, you jump between buildings while avoiding obstacles, killing monsters and various other enemies along the way. Simple concept, addicting gameplay!

Download for Android

Temple Run – Free (Average rating: 4.6 of 5)
Remember when Indiana Jones was chased out of a temple by a huge boulder? Well, Temple Run has the same concept except you are running from evil demon monkeys who are not the slightest bit happy! This game has a simple swipe to control play in which you go left, right, jump or slide. You can collect power ups along the way to unlock features. What’s your high score?

Download for Android

Draw Something – Free (Average rating: 4 of 5)
In this social-based game, you and a friend (or random pairing) take turns drawing pictures while the other guesses what it is a picture of. This is perfect for playing on the go. So, while you’re waiting for your next class, hop into Draw Something and kill some time.

Download for Android

Angry Birds Space – Free (Average rating: 4.6 of 5)
In the latest installment of ever so popular Angry Birds series, a giant claw kidnaps the Angry Birds’ eggs and takes them into space. This Angry Birds has all new birds, brand new superpowers and new puzzles that have zero gravity and light speed obliteration.

Download for Android

Logos Quiz – Free (Average rating: 4.5 of 5)
Think you know your brands? Well, you’d be quite surprised! Logos Quiz is a guessing game in which you try to identify over 800 logos. With a total of 14 levels that get harder and harder, you will spend plenty of time trying make out every one of them. The best part is challenging your friends and seeing who knows the most.

Download for Android

 

Photo courtesy of http://techdraginfo.blogspot.com/2012/04/download-free-angry-birds-space-for.html