Sabtu, 21 Desember 2013

Tracfone Android News - Use Any CDMA Phone at Tracfone

Now You Can Use Any CDMA Android Smartphone with Tracfone Prepaid Service

android tracfone news
Tracfone Android News!
We are covering some exciting Tracfone news as it develops:

There were rumors that Tracfone would soon allow users to bring their own Android Smartphones to use on Tracfone prepaid networks, and we recently noticed confirmation of this.

Tracfone states on their website that you can now bring your own phone when switching to Tracfone.

Yes, this means you don't have to use one of Tracfone's cell phones to use their prepaid service! While Tracfone recently released four Android Smartphones for use on their prepaid network, these phones are a few years behind modern smartphones. But now you can pick the latest and greatest smartphone, and still use it with Tracfone.

Unfortunately you can't bring any phone, but you can bring any CDMA Android Smartphone, which gives you some pretty advanced options, like the Samsung Galaxy S3. Tracfone does mention that Apple and Blackberry phones won't work.

UPDATE: More information has become available, and we have made a page dedicated to information about the Tracfone BYOP program. Visit the page to learn about the phone requirements and see a list of phones that will work.

The iPhone 4 and 4S will work with Tracfone BYOP, but unfortunately no 4G LTE compatible phones will work at this time. (so the Samsung Galaxy S3 mentioned above can't be used yet).

For all the latest information and details, visit the Tracfone BYOP page.

How You Can Use Your Existing Smartphone with Tracfone

Here is a quick guide for how you can pick a cell phone and use it with Tracfone prepaid service.

If you already own an Android Smartphone, and want to check if it will work with Tracfone, start by checking if it is a CDMA cell phone. If you use Verizon service, then it is CDMA. You can also check by looking for a SIM card (sometimes under the battery). If the phone has no SIM card space, it is CDMA. (learn more about the Difference between CDMA and GSM here)

android tracfone smartphone
Screenshot about using any Android Smartphone with Tracfone
Next, you will want to go over to Tracfone and check that your phone will work, and that you will have service in your area, by entering your ZIP code and phone's serial number.

From there you can simply follow the steps as Tracfone will have you purchase an access code, transfer your number (you get to keep it), and buy airtime.

What This Means for Tracfone Customers

This is exciting news for Tracfone customers and non-customers alike, because it means that you will have access to a much wider range of cell phones to use with Tracfone prepaid service. Do you like the features of an Android Smartphone, but don't want to pay the high costs for a contract service? Now you have some options.

This also means that Tracfone is moving towards allowing more and more different cell phones for use on their prepaid service.

You can still purchase their existing Android Smartphone offerings, the Huawei Glory, ZTE Valet, Samsung Galaxy Centura, and LG Optimus Dynamic. These phones come at a relatively low price compared with other smartphones on the market. But if you want the best Android Smartphone to use with Tracfone, now you can do that!

We will keep this updated as more information becomes available, and details are clarified. Please be sure to leave a comment with any questions or thoughts.

You can also take a look at our Holiday Tracfone Gift Guide or check out our most popular page, the Tracfone Promo Codes.

Don't forget to share this with friends and family who might want to know about this exciting Tracfone news!

Senin, 16 Desember 2013

How to back up your Computer

What's the most important thing we do with our Mac's?  Any thoughts?  For some of us it's creating documents or presentations that we use regularly for our businesses.  For others its the movies we create using Final Cut or iMovie, or our picture database we've created using Aperture or iPhoto.  Whatever it is you do with your Mac, my guess is that it's got some level of importance to you.  I know my content is of utmost importance to me.  So I ask you, are you prepared if your Macs hard drive fails?  Do you have a back-up option in place now?  If not, please, please, please tell me you are about to implement one.  There are so many great, easy to use options to back-up your computer, from Time Machine, software that actually comes with every Mac that's sold, to various online back-up options like Backblaze, CrashPlan and Carbonite.  Do yourself a favor, if you are not using Time Machine, check out one of these online backup options.  Hopefully you never need it and your hard drive keeps on ticking!

Let's start with Backblaze.  Backblaze offers only a single backup option.  Most others have multiple, some even offer ten or more.  That said, I like Backblaze's KISS strategy (keep it simple stupid).
The folks at Backblase let you backup an unlimited amount of data from a single computer, no restrictions on file size or file type.  There pricing is pretty straight forward:  $5/month; $50/year; $95/2 years.  They offer a nice discount for signing up for multiple years.  Other things offered include External Drive Support, Military-Grade Encryption (nice!), Continuous backup, iPhone Mobile App (very nice!), ability to restore to either a USB hard drive, or other Flash drive, and it's available in 11 languages!  So as you can see, you get quite a bit for not a lot of money!  All in all, a fantastic option!

Next online option, Carbonite.  Carbonite has three online options, sadly only one available to Mac users.  You pay $59.99 a year for unlimited backups.  Not much else to talk about here with Carbonite, as their website doesn't offer much...:(.

Another online option is called Mozy.  Mozy is a service offered by EMC, a company that has been involved in storage for years.  Mozy has a couple of options, starting at $5.99 a month for one computer, which gives you up to 50GB of storage (not so much).  For $2/mo you can add additional computers, and for another $2/mo you can add 20GB of storage.  I appreciate the fact that Mozy offers military grade security for my files, not that I need it, but it's nice to know its there.   Your files are readily available via your mobile device, or online, another very nice feature.

The fourth option, is not so strangely called SOS.  SOS has single user plans starting at $9.99/mo, which gives you 100GB of storage.  Or for unlimited users, you'll shell out $99.99 a month, which is quite costly for the consumer, but is a pretty good option for small business.  SOS is unique in that it will also backup your mobile device, something the other options here are yet to offer.  SOS offers military grade encryption, similar to the other services listed above, has online chat support, all in all, a nice rather pricey option.

The final online option I'm going to cover in this blog is CrashPlan.  CrashPlan has two options, both can be discounted substantially if you were to prepay for up to four years of service.  As you might imagine, the unlimited  plan lets you backup unlimited amounts of data, no restrictions (allows backup only from a single computer).  Pricing is like so.  If you decide to go month to month, you are looking at $5.99.  If you pay for 1 year of service, you price is lowered to the equivalent of $5/mo, so you'd pay $59.99.  If you prepay for 2 years, your total comes to $114.99, or $4.79/mo.  3 years upfront payment will cost you $164.99 or $4.58/mo.  Finally if you want 4 years prepaid, you are looking at $189.99 upfront, or only $3.96 a month.  The last option is absolutely fantastic.  It's easily my favorite option listed in this blog.  CrashPlan has military grade encryption, you can access your files from you mobile device, quite frankly, CrashPlan is a fantastic way to go.

Lastly, I'll talk about Time Machine.  Time Machine is a great tool available on all Macs, at no extra cost.  You will have to pay for an external drive to store your backups.  The beauty here, is that purchasing an external drive is a one-time fee, unlike our online brethren which you pay either monthly or yearly.  Time Machine is easy to use.  When you plug an external drive into your Mac, you are asked whether or not you'd like to use that device for backing up via Time Machine.  To get started, you can either enter the Time Machine setting via System Preferences, or there's an icon on the top menu bar of your Mac, that has about 80% of a circle, with an arrow on the left end.  You can right click on that to open Time Machine as well.  Time Machine keeps hourly backups for a 24 hour period, and daily backups for the past month.   One downside to Time Machine is that you need to monitor it to make sure it's backing up.  However, on a positive note, if you loose internet connection at your house, you can still backup, as Time Machine doesn't need internet connection, the online options do.

So I hope I've given you some resources to get yourself motivated to do your backups.  Don't wait till its too late, get a head start, you'll be so happy you did.

Backing up your Mac shouldn't be an option, rather a priority!

Good luck with your backups, till next time, best to you and your devices!

Jumat, 13 Desember 2013

Tracfone Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Gift Giving Ideas with Tracfone

With Christmas and the holidays fast approaching, it can sometimes be very challenging to figure out gifts to get friends and family. Well we are here to help! This is our 2013 Christmas(or for any occasion) Gift Ideas Guide.

tracfone christmas presents ideas
Tracfone Gift Guide for Christmas by de9w2dsl
This guide will help give you ideas and share some of the newest and best cell phones and accessories available from Tracfone. Use this guide to get a heads-up on some of the newer stuff available from Tracfone.

For those who might not know, Tracfone is a low cost, prepaid cell phone company that offers phones for $100 or less, and prepaid minutes in varying amounts.

In this guide, we will cover the latest and greatest Tracfone cell phones, cell phone accessories, and prepaid minute cards to give you a jump on what to buy others (or yourself...) for Christmas.

So let's get to it!

Cell Phone Christmas Gift Ideas from Tracfone

These phones are some of the best and newest available from Tracfone. All use Android OS, making them powerful, functional, and full of great features including tons of apps from Google Play.

A Tracfone cell phone can be a great gift for young teens, or anyone who doesn't have a cell phone and either wouldn't use the phone too often, or needs to learn not to talk and text all day!

These Android powered prepaid phones are each around $100 (some even less) and come with everything you need to activate them right away. You can even use an existing number if you want.

Here are the four Android Tracfone Christmas gift ideas:

Tracfone gift ideas
ZTE Valet
ZTE Valet - With great features like Android 4.1, WiFi, and Triple Minutes for Life, this is one of the top Android phones from Tracfone. Some users report low signal strength on the WiFi, and you can read our complete review of the ZTE Valet to learn more. It does come with a free 4 GB Micro SD card. The Valet can be found in many stores and online, but we found it on Amazon at $15 off!

Huawei Glory - Running Android 4.0, the Glory has many of the same great features as the Valet, and even has an FM Radio! Check out our review of the Huawei Glory for complete features and specs. It can be found on the Tracfone website, or from many other major retailers.

Samsung Galaxy Centura - A great phone from a well known brand, the Centura also runs Android 4.0, and has WiFi, Triple Minutes and much more. Read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Centura for all the details, including how to check your balance from the phone. The Samsung Galaxy Centura is available in many stores and websites, but you can get it on Amazon for $30 off!

LG Optimus Dynamic - Last but not least, this phone resembles the LG 840G in some ways, but comes with many more features, most notably Android 2.3. Get our review of the LG Optimus Dynamic for more information. The Dynamic is available in many places online and in store. We even found it on Amazon for just $60! (prices are current at time of posting, but may change!)

All four of these phones will make a great gift. But if you're looking for something that just does the basics like calling and texting, you might be interested in the LG 840G or the Alcatel 382G.

Cell Phone Accessory Gift Ideas

With cell phones, it is always nice to have plenty of accessories, whether that consists of car chargers, touchscreen covers or sturdy cases, below are some of the best options for your Tracfone device.

Tracfone Covers - A cover for your cell phone is one of the best ways to protect it form scratches, and even from dropping it. Covers come in many different colors, costs and levels of protection. Be sure to get the right cover for phone, as they come in all kinds of different sizes.

One easy way to find covers for your cell phone is to head over to Amazon and then search for the name of your phone, followed by 'cover' or 'case'. There should be plenty of options to choose from.

Charger and Accessories - Sometimes it's nice to have a car charger, or other accessories that make your phone more convenient to use. Some cell phone bundles come with extra accessories, but you can also find lots of options on ebay or Amazon.

Tracfone Prepaid Refill Cards

tracfone christmas gifts
A 1 year/400 minute card
Let's not forget about the prepaid minutes! If you know someone who uses Tracfone, one of the best gifts you might be able to get them is a prepaid refill card that will give them extra minutes for talking and texting.

Tracfone refill cards come in sizes ranging from 60 minutes for $20 to 450 minutes at $80.

One of the best deals is to get the 1 year/400 minutes card which gives the user 1 full year of service with 400 minutes.

You can find Tracfone prepaid minutes in most stores and online.

We hope this gives you some new holiday gift ideas to help find something for your friends and family!

Definitely go check out our Tracfone Promo Codes if you don't already know about that!

You might also be interested in learning about the Difference between GSM and CDMA Tracfone devices (and which is right for you).

Thanks for visiting, and leave a comment with your top gift ideas, or any questions you might have!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Jumat, 06 Desember 2013

Tracfone Promo Codes for December 2013

New Tracfone Promo Codes December 2013

Listed below are some fresh new codes that are valid through the end of December 2013! 

tracfone promo code december 2013
Tracfone Codes for December 2013
Tracfone is a wireless cell phone company that offers budget friendly prepaid cell phones. To get minutes on your Tracfone you must use prepaid minute refill cards. Whenever you add a refill card, you can also use a promo code to get free additional bonus minutes!

To use these codes simply enter them after entering the pin for the refill minutes card, on your phone, online or over the phone.

Unlike some other sites, here at de9w2dsl we provide Tracfone promo codes free for you, with nothing you need to click or sign up for!

We want to make adding promo codes as easy as possible, so this post just contains one or two codes for each minute card. If you want to see all our codes, just visit our main Tracfone Promo Code page.

Unfortunately, these codes don't work on the new Android Smartphones Tracfone has recently rolled out. But these phones are pretty great, so you might be interested in reading our new reviews of each phone - the Samsung Galaxy Centura, the LG Optimus Dynamic, the Huawei Glory, and the ZTE Valet.

Now, let's get to the codes!

Tracfone Promo Codes - December 2013

These codes should all work through the end of December 2013, and are organized by the minute card value.

60 Minute Card - you can get 20 bonus minutes by using code 43243

120 Minute Card - get 30 minutes for free by using code 59450

200 Minute Card - grab 40 bonus minutes with code 12066 or 23798

450 Minute Card - you can get 70 extra minutes free by using code 72505

1 Year/400 Minute Card - rake in 250 bonus minutes for free with code 66393 or 35025

There you go! Hope you enjoy using these codes during the month of December! We will update when January rolls around and new codes show up.

Remember that you can see these codes and many more on our main Promo Codes page.

Looking for gift ideas? Why not give someone a cell phone, or even upgrade their cell phone to a smartphone! View all our Cell Phone Reviews to learn more about some great options from Tracfone, or view our Full Tracfone Gift Guide with lots of ideas!

Leave your comments below with any questions you might have, and also be sure to report on these codes, to ensure they are working for everyone.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

iOS 7 Tips Part II

So I hope you enjoyed my earlier blog with some great iOS 7 Tips...In case you didn't get enough the first time around, here are some more!

The first thing I'm going to toss out on this blog is an addition I've been looking for for quite some time.  Have you ever gone into the App store and wished there was a way to create a list of Apps you'd like to get, without having to either do a screen capture, or worse, jot the Apps down by hand!  Well, now there is an easy way, by creating a Wish List!  There is one caveat, it only works for paid apps...

Safari has gotten considerably better in iOS 7.  Beyond the cosmetic improvements, one great addition (for those with Twitter accounts), is the Shared Links @ tab, let searches your Twitter account and gathers pictures and articles in one place for easy reading!

Safari in iOS 7 also has a new way to view multiple pages, using tabs!  Now you can not only easily see what pages you have open in Safari, but easily close them by swiping to the left on the particular tab!

If you use Safari, and iCloud on your Mac (or PC!), you can share what you are viewing on your iOS device (as long as you have the Safari toggle in iCloud on your iOS device turned on as well).  In Safari on your iOS device, slide up from the bottom, to show the open tabs on the other devices you are using.  Very handy, and very cool as well...:).

You may or may not have used the Compass app in previous versions of iOS, but the App now has a great new feature, it's a compass, and a Level!  If you haven't checked it out yet, I recommend you do so...The level works, and is great for hanging pictures, or whatever else you need a level for!

Another great addition to iOS 7 is the FaceTime App for the iPhone.  Not sure what took Apple so long to give it it's own app on the iPhone, but its finally here!  With it, comes one of my favorite new features, FaceTime Audio!  Apple is going to great lengths to decrease your monthly Cellular bill, by giving you free texting (iMessage), and now free calling with FaceTime Audio!  That's right folks, and not only is it free, but it's amazingly clear, way more so that a traditional call, so if you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it!

Maps in iOS 6 got more flack than all other iOS apps ever!  Thankfully, Apple did a nice job with Maps in iOS 7.  Many great new features, the one in particular that I'm going to point out here is the ability to have Maps give you either walking or driving directions.  Simply go to the Maps settings and set the default for whichever is best for you!

Another App thats gotten an overhaul in iOS 7 is Photos.  Now, your photo library is divided by date and location into Moments, Collections, and Years.  As more photos are added to those sections, the thumbnails get smaller.  To get a better idea of the pictures, simply long-press one, and move your finger around to view the others.

One of the great new additions to the App Store is a Kids section!  That's right, Apple has added (finally!) a section dedicated to kids only Apps!  The apps have three ranges:  5 and under, 6-8 and 9-11.  Parents now have an easy way to find age appropriate apps (and games) for their youngsters.

A cool new addition in Siri (of which there are many), is here ability to change settings for you.  For example, Siri can both make the screen darker, and brighter.  Check it out!

I decided to drop a second blog out this week because, quite frankly there are so many new features in iOS 7 I thought it be prudent to share more...look for a third and final blog on new features in the coming weeks...I hope these have helped, and if they have, share them with your friends, who should share it with their friends....etc...etc....etc...:).

Have an Awesome weekend!  

Until next to you and your devices!

Senin, 02 Desember 2013

iOS 7 Tips and Tricks...

Hi!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and those of you that celebrate had a great Chanukah!  It's been almost two months now since iOS 7 was dropped in our laps, and I've been quite surprised at how few people have actually like it!  I do workshops all over the Chicagoland area, and I have not had more than a handful of people that have said that they like it better than previous iOS iterations.  I've been using iOS 7 since the first beta release came out this summer, and I actually like the changes.  So I came up with a list of 25 helpful tips and tricks that I am going to be posting.  12 in this blog, and 13 in the next (coming in a few weeks).  I'm anxious to hear your thoughts on iOS 7, what you like, and what you dislike.  Remember this.  You all were VERY familiar with the previous release of iOS (1-6).  Almost nothing changed visually, there were tweaks under the hood (in settings), so iOS 7 was a major change, and most people don't like change.  I'm here to challenge you to grasp iOS 7 and make yourself like it, because it's hear to stay!  Hopefully this blog (and the one that follows) will help make your iOS 7 adoption all the more easy!  So here we go!

First, I'm going to start with the Notification Center, or as I like to call it, the "What's Happening in your life" Center.  The Notification Center in iOS 7 is WAY more than just alerts.  It tell's you what's going on in your life (that is, if you use the Calendar on your phone and not some paper calendar!), as well as what's going on in the rest of the world.  What's great about the Notification Center, is that you get to decide how much or how little gets displayed.  You just go into Settings > Notification Center and toggle on what you wish to see!

Prices of the iPhone have not changed since the iPhone 3 came out.  However the price you pay for the iPhones has gotten downright silly.  Prior to the 5S being released, there wasn't a great market for older iPhones.  There was a few outlets where you could sell your phone and get a couple of dollars, or you could sell it yourself on eBay or Craigslist (or to a friend etc).  Now it seems like everyone wants your old iPhone.  I Sold my 4S back to Apple, for $204!  I got my 5S for $12 (taxes).  Not quite sure how Apple is making money there, but I'm ok with that.  Problem is, the real cost of these devices comes from the carrier plans.  You may get the device for free, but the plans are anything but free!  Now with iOS 7, you can decide which apps get to use your data plan, and which ones don't!  I call this the "Save the data" setting!  Here's how it works:  In the Cellular Setting, slide down and you'll see Use Cellular data for:  Underneath that header, are all your apps.  You can toggle on/off the apps you wish to use while not on Wi-Fi.  Saving your precious data for what's important, and possibly saving you some money as well!

Siri has come along way since it was first introduced.  Now with iOS 7 you can change Siri's voice from the familiar female voice, to a new male version.  This is very easily accomplished by clicking the General Setting > Siri> Voice Gender

Next tip...Bigger may or may not be better...when it comes to text that is...:).  You always had the ability to increase text within the apps that came with your iPhone (or iPad), now in iOS 7, you can increase or decrease text size in all apps that support resized text.  Simply go into the Accessibility setting, (within General), tap the Large Type setting (toggle it On).  A feature that is long overdue for those of us who may have a hard time seeing smaller text...

I've had numerous clients, friends and family tell me they think the text in iOS 7 is harder to see than in previous iOS versions.  Well, it is!  The white background used in iOS 7 has made the text appear less easy to read than it did in iOS 6 and earlier.  How do you change that, glad you asked...:).  Back in the Accessibility Setting, you'll want to toggle the Bold Text setting to On.  Just a heads up, when you do this, your phone will prompt you for a restart.  It's ok, let it restart, when it turns back on, your text (in every app!) will be much easier to see!  

Finally, real multi-tasking comes to your iOS device.  Now with iOS 7 you have the ability to choose if you'd like your apps to update while running in background mode.  This can be very useful, but, for the iPhone, can also assist in battery drainage, so be careful.  Within the General Setting, go to the Backgroup App Refresh setting, and choose which apps you'd like to have the ability to update in the background.  

I have been pleading with Apple, since the first iPhone came out, to implement automatic updates.  It's coming they kept on saying.  Well, it's here!  No more, "I'll update my apps later, it takes too long!"  Now you can have your Apps update automatically!  This is very easily accomplished by going into the iTunes and App Store Setting, and under Automatic Downloads, toggle the Updates switch to Green (or on)!  Thank you Apple!

Ever use your device to listen to music?  Ever have the screen lock while listening and then you want to fast forward to the next song, only to have to hit the home button to do it?  Now, a feature that's been on the iPad for a while, comes to the phone, as the lock-screen has been significantly enhanced to allow you to simply tap the pause, fast-forward or reverse button, and not have to press the home button to get to your music.  Maybe not the biggest or best new feature, but a welcome one for sure!

Many of us don't bother with Restrictions, or worse are not even aware they are available on our iOS devices!  Now, in addition to being able to restrict explicit song lyrics and "mature" apps, iOS 7 lets you limit adult content in Safari as well.  You can even add specific sites to the list that you may want to keep away from younger kids (or any kids for that matter!).   Simply go into General Setting > Restrictions  and Enable Restrictions.  Then slide down to the Websites setting and you can decide what you wish to restrict.  Another nice addition by Apple.  

And Apple said, "no longer do you have to download a flashlight App!"  There are a lot of great new features in the Control Center, one of them is the addition of a Flashlight.  Why it wasn't added sooner doesn't really matter, it's here now!  Simply bring up the Control Center, the bottom has four icons, the first being a Flashlight, simply press it and what do you know, your iPhone is a flashlight.  Nice...

There's a new way to share (on newer devices), AirDrop!  I'm sure you've emailed or texted a picture (or file) to one of your contacts (if you haven't, you need to call me and we can set up a session!).  Now, with iOS 7 there's a new way to share, AirDrop.  AirDrop is a new feature that uses Bluetooth technology to find other iOS 7 devices (that are AirDrop capable, not all are) that are near you,  and now, instead of messaging or emailing a file you can AirDrop it.  To do this, you  must have at least an iPhone 5, or iPad 4 running iOS 7...

Lastly for this blog, Make sure you set boundaries up for AirDrop!  One thing to be very careful about is who you share things with!  If you are sitting in an airport, and you go to AirDrop something to a family member, make sure you set AirDrop to Contacts Only.  If you turn on the Everyone setting, you'll end up seeing iDevices that you don't recognize, and you don't want to accidentally send something (personal) to an unknown, or unsuspecting person...:).  

There are well over 100 cool new things within iOS 7.  I hope what I've shown you today helps you improve how you use your devices.  I will be doing another blog shortly covering additional new features.  Until then, if you come across ones you'd like to share, please do so by commenting here.  As always, I hope you enjoy reading my blogs, I enjoy creating them for you!  Until next time...

Best to you and your devices!