Monday, July 23, 2018

Music & Money

 As more and more seniors venture into smartphones, some are unaware of the capabilities, and are surprised to find them useful for more than telephony.

Sometimes I hear a senior say that they don't do much phoning and don't need a smartphone.  (Yet more and more medical practices are using text messaging to communicate with their patients.)

But it is the non phoning activity that takes them unawares.

Listening to music is one.     Money is another.

All it takes is a smartphone to enjoy Concert Hall quality of music.     iPhones are delivered with a superb set of earphones with microphone. They don't look like much,  but the quality of sound will be as good as the most expensive speaker systems.

That is because there is nothing to get in the way of the sound.   

Hearing impaired seniors will hear even better than with speaker systems.      I found a $5 set of earphones from Five and Below which performs outstandingly.    Really!!

Then what about buying?

Buying on eBay alone will find you items you no longer can find in the stores, replacement parts you can't find anywhere else, and prices way below store prices.       Just take care in looking at the seller's history and the way the seller presents items for sale and handles your questions.

Seniors can buy online from nearly everybody nowadays and Amazon boxes are a common sight everywhere here

As I write this I am enjoying music and wearing $80 shoes I just got for $20 on eBay.   Really.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Which Cell Phone Service

 As more and more seniors start to use smartphones,  I get more and more questions about which cell phone service to choose.

At the moment, in general I am recommending Consumer Cellular,  especially for use with an iPhone, and for iPad owners. CC is easily accessible by phone.

That does not mean that there are not plenty of excellent alternatives.

In the past I have recommended Republic Wireless as costing a bit less.    Republic Wireless does not communicate by phone but only by email. Recently a resident had to go through a procedure of taking out the SIM card and upgrading to restore a locked up phone back to use, before re-inserting the SIM.

I have also used PureTalk.      Phone support is very good and prices are competitive.    This service uses AT&T as opposed to the others here which use Sprint.     I have heard that Pure Talk belongs to AT&T.

FreedomPop offers the lowest cost service but phone support is terrible.   I use it anyway.

Another service with low cost is Tello, which I have not tried, but offers phone, text, and data at just $10 a month.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Your Old Smartphone

 Users love to upgrade their old smartphones and show off their new ones.     

Often there is a good reason, such as getting a cheaper or faster plan, selecting a larger or smaller phone, or upgrading the operating system.    But maybe just for fun.

Yet if the phone is simply not running well,  there is a better solution.

That solution is a reset.   

I did both a factory reset, and a reset in settings where I deleted all my data.      The factory reset for my Moto G and Moto E is simply done by holding down the Run and Volume Down buttons at the same time for 30 seconds and then selecting reset with the up and down button.

The result can be miraculous.

The phones run just like new.

Memory is a bit short on the Moto G, and this time I employed a new approach from my efforts in the past to make the best use of memory.

I just installed as few apps as possible.      Instead of installing news apps,  I mainly had my news delivered by email.

I then simply installed:

Accubattery to assure that my battery was still good, Hangouts, Kindle Reader, Amazon. Microsoft News, Amazon Music, eBay, Google Podcast,  WeatherBug, and ConnectDrive to run media from a separate Wi-Fi equipped flash drive.

Google apps, especially the essential Google Docs, had been installed by default.

That way,  I came nowhere close to using up the limited memory.     In the Moto E I was able to install a separate 32 GB flash drive.   Most of the above apps are transferred to it.

If I need other apps, I can install and use them when I need them,  and then delete them If necessary.

Alternatively, I can run applications from websites designed for access from small devices.    These I can then add to the home screen just like other apps.