Today Apple announced the launch of the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE data, along with the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. The most interesting feature with this new watch is that you won’t need to pair the watch with an iPhone. Instead, it will have a standalone LTE modem for wireless data. That means no more tethering of the phone or the cell phone plan.
The Apple Watch Series 3 will be available on Sept 22nd but you can start ordering it already on the 15th of September.
Apple Watch Series 3 is Connected via eSIM
In order to get standalone data, the Apple Watch Series 3 uses an emerging technology called eSIM. eSIM is the new kid in town when it comes to connectivity. eSIM stands for “embedded SIM”. It’s a standardized SIM chip open to multiple mobile operators, which can be programmed and activated remotely. One of the perks of having an eSIM is that you won’t have to swap it out when you switch carrier. Other advantages are described in What is eSIM and How it’s a Game Changer for Consumers.
So, the Apple’s smartwatch will dial up the internet wirelessly even when it’s not connected to an iPhone. The SIM chip is built into the device, at the time of production, so you won’t need to insert a traditional SIM card. And, as mentioned, an eSIM can be set up remotely, over the internet, without a visit to a store.
Samsung’s Gear S3 Frontier was the first eSIM device on the market. The adoption has had a slow start since it requires a different device setup. The eSIM is in less 1% of all mobile phones and automotive devices.
Top New Features
The Apple Watch Series 3 will come in several new colors, as visible in the main image on top. It will sport new bands and new finishes to fit every type of customer. The watch itself has the same general design as the current Apple Watch. However, it has a bright red Digital Crown as a distinct new feature. Series 3 is 70% faster thanks to a new processor and it will support GPS, like its predecessors.
Another new cool feature is that you’ll be able to listen to 40 million songs from your wrist. You’ll basically be able to access to all your favorite music from your watch. You can even ask Siri to find your favorite track. Siri also talks, so you don’t even have to look at the watch.
Not surprisingly, the new Apple watch still doesn’t support Android. Another feature missing in the new watch is support for phone calls. Apple will turn off calling features inside its Apple Watch and will only allow the cellular connection to be used to connect to the Internet. A theory, why they’re doing this is to not cannibalize on the smartphones they launched simultaneously today.
The new Apple Watch will cost $399 with cellular connection and $329 without cellular connection. The cellular option will only be available in nine countries to start with.
Are you thinking about switching from Android to iPhone but does it sound daunting to transfer all the data? Data like photos, music, texts, calendar, and all the contacts from your address book. We feel you, and that’s why we’ve made an easy how-to-guide to accomplish this in the easiest way possible.
Moving Data from Android to iPhone
Option 1 – Utilizing Your SIM Card
The easiest way to move contacts is by using your Universal SIM Card. You want to make sure that the SIM card you have is the same size, or can be cut into the appropriate size, to fit the new phone. Before you switch phone, simply store the address book on your SIMaddress by doing the following:
- Make a backup of your address book on your Android to your SIM card.
- Move the SIM from your Android to your iPhone.
- On the iPhone, tap the Settings – Mail, Contacts, Calendars – Import SIM Contacts
- Choose the account you want to transfer them into.
- Once the transfer is down, your new iPhone will have all your old Android contacts.
Option 2 – Use Apple’s App
Since it’s in Apple’s interest to make a switch from Android to iPhone, they’ve created an app specifically for moving data from one to the other. The app is called Move, and according to Apple it will “migrate your content automatically and securely”. The app basically consolidates all of your Android data including contacts, texts photos, calendar, email accounts etc and imports them to your new iPhone. The only two steps you need to take are:
- Download Move.
- Connect to WiFi and get started with the app.
Make sure that your Android phone or tablet is running on Android 4.0 or higher in order to use this option.
Other ways include copying everything over to Google’s cloud, which means that it will always be synced, no matter which device you’re on. You could also syndicate your contacts via iTunes but it’s a bit tricky and we promised you to keep it simple!
Transfer Contacts from iPhone to Android
Of course, we don’t want to leave you hanging if you want to do the reverse, going from iPhone to Android. Before you do anything else though, make a fresh backup of your iPhone in iCloud.
Use vCard to Move Contacts
- Open Firefox or Safari (not Chrome as it won’t work) and go to iCloud.com.
- Sign in with your Apple ID.
- Click Contacts – All Contacts.
- Press the Ctrl key and A key on your keyboard simultaneously if you have a PC. If you have a Mac, press the Command key and the A key on your keyboard simultaneously. Then, click the Settings button on the bottom left corner of your screen.
- Click Export vCard and y. Your contacts will be saved as a .vcf file.
Import Contacts via Google
- Sign into your Google account and click the Google apps button in the top right corner.
- Tap Contacts – Import Contacts on the bottom of the left menu.
- Tap Choose File – Import Contacts – Choose File
- Click your vCard and open it, then click Import and all of your contacts should appear.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to move all other data, like photos and calendars separately. For more information on how to do that, check AndroidCentral.
No matter which route you take, please allow yourself some time to get used to your new phone. It’s a learning curve going from one system to another. Enjoy your new phone!
Image Source: Whistleout
Most people don’t know how much data they use in a regular month. This might make it hard to assess how much you really need to have on your cell phone plan. The easiest way to figure out how much you use is to check with your current carrier or directly on your phone.
On iPhone, go to Settings – Cellular and it will show your cumulative usage from the time you activated your phone. If you want to track usage from a specific date, you need to Reset Statistics. On Android, it’s a bit more straightforward; go to Settings – Data usage to see total usage for a given date range.
If you’re a US Mobile customer, you can just sign into your account to get an instant overview.
Once you know how much you use, you should know that your decisions on how you’re using your phone will impact the data usage.
Does a Faster Internet Use More Data?
The big question is, will faster internet speeds use more data? Technically no but logically, and in reality, yes. First of all, doing the identical thing on a slow vs a fast network will use the exact same amount of data. Downloading a 200MB photo will always require 200 MB. However, the faster the speed, the quicker you can complete a task such as downloading or uploading a file. That means that you’re able to do more, and consume more data, in the same amount of time if you have fast speeds. You naturally do more and probably use higher quality streaming.
When you increase internet speed it will also increase the speed of consumption of background data. For example, while browsing videos on You Tube you might not watch the full video. If the data download speed is fast, the entire video will be buffered despite the fact that you only watched parts of it. Had the Internet speed been slower, it would not have downloaded that extra unwatched part of the video. This also means that when you click on a web page, and the speed is fast, the whole page will be instantly loaded including graphics and widgets. You will, therefore, download a larger page than what you would have if your internet was slow. If you had a slower internet, you might also give up on a page sooner and automatically the total download would have been smaller.
So even if the faster network, per se, don’t use more data, the change in your consumption and larger page loads will lead to you using more.
Adjust Quality on Your Streaming Apps
If data were cookies, apps providing some kind of streaming service, are the cookie monsters. Usage, of course, varies by app and streaming quality. The rule of thumb is that the better quality (higher resolution), the more data you’ll use.
But you have the power to limit quality to use less of your plan. On Netflix, for instance, you have the option to only stream when you’re on WiFi, which means that you never use your mobile plan. Other usage settings are as follows:
- Auto – stream to the highest quality depending on your internet speed (~3 hours per GB).
- Low – stream 4 hours per GB.
- Medium – stream 2 hours per GB.
- High – stream 1 hour per GB.
- Unlimited – if you don’t have an unlimited plan, you should forget about this option as it’s about 20 min of watching per GB.
Most streaming apps let you make choices about quality which will impact your data usage. So make sure you check what options you have for your favorite apps.
Watch Out for Data Throttling
Finally, you should make sure that you’re aware of any data throttling going on. Throttling is when a carrier intentionally slows down your upload and download speed. Cell phone carriers often slow your cell phone data to dial-up speeds once you go over your monthly plan. For instance, you have 3GB and you’re streaming an Amazon Prime video. It’s working fine until you hit your max usage of 3GB and then you’ll just see an endless loading wheel. You might still be able to access some sites, but it will take a long time to load. You might also be hit with overage charges for using more than the plan you’ve subscribed to. Basically, make sure you get what you (think) you’re paying for.
So you have a GPS Tracker but no SIM card? Or do you think you’re paying too much for the service? Then, it’s time to pay attention.
How Does a GPS Tracker Work?
First of all, GPS stands for Global Positioning System. A GPS is a tracking method to work out exactly where something is. It could track the exact location of a vehicle, a cell phone, or some other handheld device. It can also track the movement. As an example, a GPS tracker can be used by a company to monitor the route and progress of a delivery truck, or by a parent to check on the location of their child or the family dog.
A tracking system uses the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) network, consisting of 24 satellites and many more ground stations. In order to communicate, microwave signals are sent between the satellite and the device to give information on location, speed, time and direction. All cell phones, for instance, constantly broadcast a radio signal, even when you’re not on a call.
GPS technology has become common in smartphones and knowing a smartphone’s location can be used for several different purposes. One area that has grown the last couple of years, is hyper-local mobile advertising. Say for instance that you’re the Marketing Manager at McDonald’s. By using location based marketing, you can send promo codes to a person’s phone who’s walking past a McDonald’s. You could also send out notifications to people driving, saying “you’re only X miles away from the nearest McDonalds”.
GPS Trackers Needing SIM Card
Any GPS Tracker has a receiver to triangulate its own position from the satellite signals. Most trackers need a SIM card in order to achieve connectivity. SIM cards are what allow location transmission, sending audio data, and receiving commands to turn on audio and other advanced features. Example of trackers powered by a GSM SIM card are:
- ATian TK103B
- Vision One
- Panadoo DZ09
- Samsung Gear S3
- Trax Family
- Covrt Gear
Most of the trackers mentioned above are currently getting prepaid affordable plans from US Mobile. A text and data plan for a GPS Tracker is just $6/month.
If you’re using a so called GPS Watch, or Phone tracker to track your kid or maybe for someone to keep track of you, you will also need a cellular plan. These watches or trackers tend to use very limited data since it’s just giving location instead of downloading big files or streaming videos. Some watches you can text with, and some you can call with. Overall your plan can be kept very small though.
Let’s say you have a smartwatch that uses talk, text, and data, it should be enough with US Mobile’s smallest plans. In fact, the 100 min, 100 test, and 100 MB for $9/monhth is the most common plan among our customers using our prepaid SIM card for their watches.
Feeling trapped? Then you’re not on a prepaid phone plan!
Having a prepaid phone plan usually means that you didn’t need to go through a credit check when you bought it, you don’t have a contract and you are currently saving money. In short, there are many reasons to consider a prepaid phone plan and there are many options to consider.
A Prepaid Phone Plan for the Budget-Conscious
Prepaid phone plans are in particular suitable for the frugal customer. Usually they come with no frills, but instead, the actual plans are generally lower. You pay up front for talk, text, and data, with no risk of overage charges or other surprises at the end of the month.
At US Mobile, you can go into our prepaid plans‘ page and explore what your monthly bill would be based on your current usage. If you don’t know how much you’re using on average, check your last phone bill. Another thing you can to clearly see what you would potentially be saving if you switch carriers is to look at our Savings Calculator. It will plot out what your current cost is, what the average US cell phone bill is, and compare them with your own-crafted plan with US Mobile.
Another thing you can see is what you would be saving if you switched carrier. Have a look at our Savings Calculator. It will plot your current cost is along with the average US cell phone bill, and compare them with your own-crafted plan with US Mobile.
Best Plans for Your Kid
Getting your kid a phone can be both costly and scary. However, a prepaid plan will help with both those concerns. If you go for prepaid, instead of postpaid, you’ll make sure that your kid isn’t using more than what you’ve paid for. You won’t have to face the horror that you might remember from back in the days when you dialed up to the internet with a modem, costing you $$$ for every hour you were online. The kid can use the phone until all the talk, text, and data is used up.
Speaking of data, you might even consider going with a talk- and text only plans for your child. That way you can ensure that they don’t go online without an adult supervising. The smallest talk/text plan you can buy for your kid is $7 including the monthly service fee. It will work both on a cell phone but also on any kind of GPS/Phone watch. If you have children in their teens, we would recommend adding more texts than minutes to the plan. In our experience, teens seem to prefer to communicate with text. For an unlimited text plan. you only pay $7/month (excluding service fee) at US Mobile.
When it comes to phone selection you should start by deciding if you need a basic phone, just for calling and texting or a smartphone. Smartphones have operating systems enabling apps, streaming movies and music, accessing the internet and taking photos or even recording videos.
Secondly, you should decide on a prepaid phone, where you pay month-to-month based on usage, or a postpaid phone. A postpaid phone is usually offered at a discount and you pay every month instead of upfront for it. The caveat here is that you’ll have to stay with that carrier until your contract is over (generally after 24 months). If/When you want to switch carriers, you need to make sure that the phone is unlocked. Check out Can I Unlock My Phone for more details on that.
To conclude, choose a prepaid phone plan if you want:
- Freedom to change phones and carriers without penalty.
- Pay for calling, texting and data services in advance, which usually lowers your phone bill.
- Flexibility to upgrade and downgrade your plan and come and go as you want.