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The Phone Accessories of the Future are Here

Want a glimpse into the future? We found the most innovative phone accessories currently on Kickstarter. Some are already on the market, while others need some support to get through the final stretch of development.

SELFLY is the Phone Case that Makes your Phone Fly

SELFLY is a 9 mm thick phone case, which is also an autonomous flying camera device. Snap it onto your phone, let it fly and control it through their app. SELFLY operates for 5 minutes in the air, which is enough to take about 15-20 selfie flight maneuvers.  It’s available for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy 7, Galaxy 7 Edge and Nexus 6.

LenzO Turns your iPhone into an Underwater Camera

LenzO lets you take high-quality photos and videos up to 330 feet under water. Choose between settings like video, time-lapse, slo-mo and panoramic among several other features.

This case has solved the issue with water resistant phones interfering with the touchscreen, by using two control systems. One of them adjusts a small arm on the inside of the case. The other will transmit your touch letting you control camera functions on the phone. It so far available for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

LuminAid is a Phone Charger and Lantern in One

LuminAid

This is one of the phone accessories every camper needs! The PackLite Max Phone Charger is solar inflatable lantern and charger. It has a 5V USB output port with a fast charging output of 2.4 Amps, which has enough capacity to fully recharge your phone or other devices. You can either charge by micro USB for 1-2 hours or by a built-in solar panel, which takes 12-14 hours. The lantern packs flat and inflates into a lightweight and waterproof 150-lumen lantern. It even floats and can be submerged in water up to 3 feet. LuminAid runs for 50 hours on Low Mode.

The inventors, two Columbia University graduates,  pitched LuminAID on Shark Tank Season 6 and received an offer from all 5 Sharks and it’s so much more than camper gear. TheLuminAID lights have been used in more than 70 countries and after disasters, including Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan and the earthquakes in Nepal.

Konnect i1 Lets you Roam in 100+ Countries for $10

NUU Konnekt i1

Do you like to travel but want to avoid expensive roaming fees? The Konnect i1 supposedly connects up to five devices to a global 4G LTE Hotspot with coverage in 100+ countries. It even allows free international calling in 20+ countries.

So how does it work? The i1 will search for the strongest local carrier in their partner network and automatically connect you to a Wi-Fi. All you have to do is purchase a one-day plan for $10, which will give you unlimited data for your phone, laptop or tablet. Just connect to the NUU Konnekt i1 and start surfing.

Steadicam Volt™ Creates High-Quality Videos with your Phone

StediCam Phone Accessories

Mount your smartphone on the foldable stabilizer, power on and go. The Stedicam Volt helps to keep the subject in frame and at a stable horizon level. You can choose between sport, capturing fast moving moments, or movie mode, for the more cinematic shots. It accommodates phone sizes with or without a case from 100 to 250 gram in weight and 58 to 85mm in width and has 8 hours of battery life.

Fun fact is that Sedicam isn’t just known for their phone accessories. The Steadicam brand has helped filmmakers for 40 years to capture smooth and shake-free videos. According to their website, it’s the “stabilization choice of Hollywood”.

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Google Maps Updates You Might Have Missed

Google Maps Updates

Google Maps has made a series of updates during the first two months of the year. Most of the updates are relating to a new navigation bar. The bar consists of three icons: Places, Transit, and Driving, which help you explore the area around you. In case you missed what’s new with Google Maps, we’ve gathered the top hacks for you here.

The Date Hack

One of the keys to a successful date is to be one step ahead. Google Maps now gives you “live” updates, which will let you know exactly how busy a place is when you want to go there. To find live updates you type in and select your desired location, then tap on the name of the place and scroll down to the bottom.

Google Maps app showing live update of how busy Shake Shack is

The Parking Hack

Another new feature will help you find parking, or at least prepare you for how difficult it will be to find parking. Google says it’s now using historical parking data to calculate a parking difficulty score. The score is displayed in Google Maps’ directions card as Limited, Medium, or Easy. To view the parking info you enter the destination and the parking difficulty icon will appear on the directions card at the bottom of the screen.

The Ride Hack

As before, Google Maps will offer you multiple ways to get to a certain destination. What’s new is if you tap the icon looking like a figure with a hand up, you’ll access available ride services. It includes Uber and Lyft, among others, with price estimates. Select your ride, tap Request in the lower right corner and you’re off. Google will even integrate your payment settings so you won’t need the Uber app installed once logged in through Google Maps.

The Transit Hack

Google Maps now also provides real-time transit times to and from specified locations. According to Google, it promises you that “you’ll never have to sprint to the bus again”. The transit tab will list public transport options, along with information about when the next bus or train will arrive at a stop close to you. It also allows you to share an ETA with your friends.

The Find-Places Hack

The new Places tab is exactly what it sounds like. If you tap it you will see a set of new icons like restaurants, bars, gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores etc. close to you.

Google Maps Places

The WiFi Hack

Locate the nearest WiFi, as covered in How to make Your Phone a Wi-Fi Hotspot. Simply type in “Wi-Fi Hotspots” in the search window and you’ll see the Wi-Fi spots within reach.

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Is My Phone Unlocked? Can I Bring It To Any Network?

Unlocked Mobile Phone

We have covered this topic of locked vs unlocked phones in the past but it’s still one of the most common questions we get. Therefore, we’ve decided to take another stab at it!

Many carriers still limit the phones to only work on their network, at least till you tell them to do something about it. Legally you have the right to unlock your phone (more details in Can I Unlock my Phone) but you have to get the permission from the carrier. Locking your phone to a network is probably the easiest way to keep a customer. But to be fair, a common reason for locked phones are so that the carriers can offer lower upfront payments. You will have to stay as long as you’re paying off the device. We only offer unlocked phones in our shop.

In order to lock a phone, the carrier adds a software code on the phone during the manufacturing phase. That limits the phone from working on another network until you enter an unlocking code. The easiest way to know if a phone is unlocked when you buy it is to look for specs clearly stating that the phone is unlocked.

GSM vs CDMA

GSM vs CDMA

When you’re bringing over a phone from one carrier to another, it’s not only locked phones which limit you, unfortunately. Carriers operate under one of two types of networks: CDMA or GSM. Out of the four biggest carriers with their own network, AT&T and T-Mobile run on GSM, while Sprint and Verizon Wireless use CDMA. All other carriers operate on of these four networks (except for US Cellular who has their own network). You can check with your carrier which network you’re on if you’re uncertain. US Mobile is a GSM carrier.

In general, an unlocked GSM phone from AT&T and T-Mobile will work on each other’s networks. If you have a device that is locked, your carrier can unlock it if you meet their individual criteria.

Older phones from Verizon and Sprint, on the CDMA network, don’t operate with a SIM card. That basically means that those phones are restricted and can’t be used on another CDMA networks. However, most, if not all, 4G LTE devices from Verizon and Sprint are technically capable of operating on a GSM network, as LTE needs a SIM card to operate. Examples of phones compatible with all carriers 4G LTE speeds: iPhone 6, 6+, 6s, 6s+ and Google Nexus 5 models and Nexus 6 models.

US Mobile

Phone Compatibility US Mobile

When people ask us if their phone is compatible with our network, we usually ask them these two questions:

  • Does your phone have a SIM card slot? Check the back or on the sides of your phone if it has a slot for a SIM card. If yes, it’s likely GSM capable and should, therefore, work on US Mobile.
    • To avoid uncertainty, check the technical specs. Either just google the name of the phone or check your phone’s serial number. Your phone has a unique 15-digit code, IMEI or MEID, which can be found in the phone settings, or by entering *#06# on the dial pad.
  • Is the phone unlocked? If you’re still in a contract, or if you’re outstanding payments, your phone is most likely locked to that carrier. You have a legal right to have the phone unlocked if you meet the carriers’ criteria, described further in How to Unlock Your Phone from any Carrier.
    • If you happen to have a SIM card handy, you can always try to pop it into the phone to see if it’s unlocked or not.
    • If your phone isn’t unlocked, we can help you unlock it. All you need to do is to fill out this Unlock Request.

We hope that this shed some light on how to bring your own device (BYOD) to another network. Feel free to add comments and questions in case we need to clarify things further!

 

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Switching from RingPlus to US Mobile

RingPlus

Are you a RingPlus customer? Don’t fear – we’ll take care of you! RingPlus announced in an email to its customers that they intend to shut down all accounts on February 11th, 5 PM Central Daylight Time, so it might be time to switch to a new carrier. US Mobile is a no contract, no credit check, no activation fee kind of carrier. In addition, we have real people standing by to support you 24/7 and there are no hidden fees.

Phone Compatibility

RingPlus is operating on Sprint’s network, which is a CDMA carrier, whereas US Mobile is a GSM carrier needing a SIM card to connect to the network. However, any phone that is unlocked for GSM will work on our network. Most of RingPlus’ phones that take LTE SIM cards will work at US Mobile. Read more about phone capability in Is My Phone Unlocked. Can I Bring It To Any Network?

If you’re uncertain if your phone will work, you can contact our customer service 24/7. We’re available on chat, email help@usmobile.com and phone +1 888 878 1488.  If you’re looking to get a new phone, you can buy affordable unlocked phones from our shop.

Find a Suitable Plan

US Mobile has 252 different plans to choose from, based on how much talk, text and data you need. 200+ plans might sound a bit overwhelming but start off by looking at your last bill to see how much you actually use. The biggest differentiator is which data plan you select. If you are connected to a WiFi most of the time and don’t use your cellular data to stream on the go, you can start off by choosing the 500 MB or 1 GB plan.

As a reference 500MB of Data translates to either:

  • 4 hours scrolling through Facebook and Instagram
  • 20 minutes streaming YouTube videos
  • Roughly 12 hours of jamming out t0 Spotify
  • 35 hours of web surfing

Check out our blog post on How Much Data Do I Really Need for more information.

Take a closer look at our Plans’ Matrix and customize the plan exactly to your needs.

Phone Matrix Price

Transfer your Number

Porting your number, enabling you to keep your current number, to US Mobile takes approx. 24 hours and it’s free! Once you have a US Mobile SIM card, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your account. Select “Activate SIM” on the top left of the page
  2. Choose “Keep My Number”
  3. Input your Account Number and Password or PIN. Your account number with RingPlus should be your phone number (without any dashes or spaces). Contact RingPlus if you can’t find the account number or PIN. 
  4. Enter your SIM Card Number and Zip Code

Next, it’s time to choose a plan, accept the Terms & Conditions and select “Continue”. You’ll be redirected to a loading page, which will indicate the status of your port-in request. Read our Porting your Number post for more information. 

Finally, we would be honored if you would choose to be our customer and our customer service team is available 24/7 in case you need any assistance.

GSM SIM CARD

7 Secret Spotify Hacks You Didn’t Know Existed

 Thinking of Spotify1. Find Out about Concerts

If you go to Browse and look far left you’ll see Concerts. Tap it and find out when your favorite artists are performing. Browse Concerts Spotify

2. Send a Particular Part of a Song

If you want your friend to listen to a song, but just a certain part of it, do the following:

Right-click on the song and choose Copy Spotify URI. Paste the link in a message and add # and how far in the song they should listen. Example: #2.01. When your friend enters the link, they’ll automatically hear the song from that second.

Copy Song URI Spotify

3. Choose a Specific Year

Let’s say you want to listen to David Bowie but you don’t want to bother scrolling through all his music, but rather listen to songs from 1997. Write the following in the search bar: David Bowie year:1997 and you’ll only see his songs from 1997.

Search Year Songs Spotify

4. Recreate a Deleted Playlist

Did you delete a playlist by mistake? No worries! Log into your Account, click Recover playlist in the menu on the left. Click Restore next to the playlist you want to recover and it will show up in your playlist library again.

Recover Playlist Spotify

5. Sort Your Playlists

If you have too many playlists and want to group them, you can create a folder by right-clicking the playlist.

Create Folder Spotify

6. Remove Gaps Between Songs

If you’re, for instance, having a party you probably don’t want the music to go silent between the songs. There’s an easy fix to this in your Account, choose Show Advanced Settings. Determine how much you want the songs to intertwine by adjusting the crossfade bar.

Crossfade Songs Spotify

7. Have Spotify Make Playlist for You

If you tweet Spotify Cares and ask nicely, the team might make a playlist just for you. Try it out!

 

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