Jumat, 28 Februari 2014

What is Tracfone?

What is Tracfone Wireless?

What is tracfone
Tracfone Company Structure
(Click to expand)
This is a question we see from time to time, and while the short answer is that Tracfone is a prepaid cell phone company, it does get a little more complicated.

We want to provide here a quick and concise explanation to help everyone understand who Tracfone is, and what they do. Let's get to it.

Tracfone Wireless INC is a company under one of Mexico's largest telecommunication companies called American Movil. Tracfone then also has other wireless cell phone companies under them. There are quite a few:

  • TracFone
  • Net10
  • Straight Talk
  • SafeLink Wireless
  • Telcel America
  • Simple Mobile
  • Page Plus Cellular

Each of these companies is different, offering different phones, minute plans, etc. So it can be easy to think they are all the same, because they are all owned by Tracfone, but they are actually all very separate.

Straight Talk and Net10 each offer various monthly plans, while Tracfone is more geared towards minute refill cards and super cheap phones.

It is important to recognize that these are similar companies, but not the same, so a phone from Straight Talk will probably not work with Tracfone. Also, Tracfone Promo Codes are specifically for Tracfone.

When thinking about which service you would want to use, you can just evaluate what your needs are. Straight Talk and Net10 have more unlimited options, while Tracfone is more for pay as you go.

We hope this gives some clarification on Tracfone, and on the other brands which seem similar. Be sure to leave a comment if you have further questions on this.

For more about Tracfone, just read our Overview of Tracfone. Also, you might be interested in our Cell Phones Review page.

If you haven't heard about bringing your own smartphone to Tracfone, including iPhone's, visit our Tracfone BYOP page to learn more.

Thanks for visiting!

Rabu, 19 Februari 2014

Merging contacts on your iPhone and iPad.

Do you a contact problem on your iOS device?  Do your duplicates stress you out??   It’s practically inevitable that duplicate contacts appears on your iOS device either by accident, typos, through sharing vCard information with others, or from something as basic as a contact changing their name and addresses, for which an additional entry gets added. Prior to iOS 7, there was no simple way of handling multiple contact entries on your iOS device, but that has finally changed, and now there is an easy way to merge those contacts directly and easily!  

Ok, this will be fantastic for those of you that experience DCS!  Because this is done on your iOS device, you do not need to to sync to iCloud, iTunes  or any other computer for the change to take effect, you simply make the change directly on your iOS device, and iCloud, takes care of pushing the changes automatically to any other iOS and OS X devices that use the same Apple ID.

I've got screen captures just below to assist.

This fantastic new feature is not actually called Merge, but rather Link Contacts, which is possibly why it’s  often missed, or overlooked, regardless, here is what you do!

  1. From your iOS device, tap the Contacts app (or on your iPhone, tap the phone app) , open the contact you wish to merge another duplicate contacts with.  
  2. Next, tap on the “Edit” button
  3. Scroll down toward the bottom to find Link Contacts, then tap on the green plus icon “(+) link contacts…” to link/merge the contact with another.
  4. Then, locate the contact to merge (either a duplicate or a changed addressee) and tap on the name, then tap on “Link” in the corner
  5. Repeat for more than one duplicate, otherwise tap on “Done” to finish the merging
Yeah!!  This instantly links/merges all contact details from the two (or more) contact cards into a single contact entry, it does not overwrite any information, it simply merges all details into a single contact.
In the screenshots below, the address information for multiple AT&T contacts has been merged into a single card. The first contact edited will be the one that accepts the merged details:

Once you click “Done”, there will only be a single contact for the details you merged (linked), in this example I've Merged/Linked two AT&T accounts.
One great thing about the “Link Contacts” method is that although it merges the contacts,  it can very easily be  undone if you decide to unmerge/unlink the contact details. To do that, just go back to the contact in question, tap on “Edit” and then tap on the red (-) icon along the linked contacts details.
There are other ways to Merge/Link contacts,  but I'm not going to address those here.  Today I simply wanted to point out a great feature that was added to iOS 7.  
So now it's up to you!  If you are loaded with duplicate contacts, you've been given the green light to get rid of them!  It may take some time, but will definitely be worth it.  Free you device of DCS!
Until next time, best to you and your fewer contacts...:).

Senin, 17 Februari 2014

Tracfone Deals and Sales for February 2014

Great Deals on Tracfone Cell Phones - Cheap Android Tracfones

cheap tracfone cell phone
Tracfone Cell Phone Discounts and Deals 2014
We have collected a list of five great deals on Tracfone cell phones for you to enjoy and save money. While you might not be looking to upgrade your phone, some of these deals are hard to pass up, especially if you only have a Tracfone with double minutes.

These deals are collected for your convenience, to help our readers find great deals on Tracfone devices. If you spot a great deal, leave a comment below!

Tracfone Wireless is a prepaid, low cost cell phone company that sells cell phones and prepaid minutes for use in America. They provide very affordable cell phone service and are a popular choice for many Americans who don't need an unlimited plan, and don't want to spend the money on it.

Tracfone recently released several new Android powered smartphones and you can read our reviews of them on our cell phone reviews page. We also mention some of them here, as they are now at a great low price.

Now, let's get to the deals!

Best Tracfone Cell Phone Deals

Here are five great deals on Tracfone cell phones. There are many places to find Tracfone cell phones online, but be sure you trust the website you're buying from. eBay and HSN along with Amazon are great places to shop for cheap phones.

LG 840G with Triple Minutes for $15
The LG 840G is an older Tracfone touchscreen model that doesn't have Android OS, but it packs a great list of features including Triple Minutes for Life which is a great value.

The LG 840G typically retails for $50 or $60, but it is currently available on Amazon for $15. At that price, you might want to buy it just for the Triple Minutes. You can read our full review of the LG 840G to learn more about the phone and what it offers. For a long time, it was Tracfones best cell phone, until the new Android smartphones came out.

LG Optimus Dynamic - Android Smartphone at a Great Price
The Dynamic is one of four new Android powered smartphones Tracfone recently released and comes with Android 2.3 along with many other features. While it is a somewhat older smartphone, at $25 on Amazon, it is a great bargain!

If you would like to learn more about this phone, just check out our recent review of the LG Optimus Dynamic.

tracfone cell phones
ZTE Valet
ZTE Valet with Android 4.1 for $60
The Valet is a more powerful and newer phone than the Optimus and comes with Android 4.1. It originally retailed for around $100 but we have found it for significantly less. You can get the ZTE Valet on Amazon for $60 right now.

Be sure to read our full review of the ZTE Valet to help answer any questions you might have.

Samsung Galaxy Centura Deal - $40 off the original price
For many, the Samsung name brand is a big appeal for purchasing the Galaxy Centura but was originally priced at $130. The phone does come with Android 4.0 and a large collection of other features, but best of all, it is now priced at just $89 on Amazon.

While the Samsung Galaxy Centura is not the newest phone, it is a good performer. Read our review of the Samsung Galaxy Centura to find out more on the phone.

cheap cell phones
LG Optimus
Dynamic 2
LG Optimus Dynamic 2 - Newest Tracfone Smartphone now under $100
Released a few months after the other Android Tracfones, the LG Optimus Dynamic II is a big upgrade over the first Dynamic. The Dynamic II offers Android 4.1, more system memory and many other great features. It is now available for just $99 on Amazon, which is $30 off the original price.

While we haven't completed a full review of the Dynamic 2 yet, you can still see the specs and other details on the Dynamic 2 and learn more about it.

These are just some of the recent great deals we have found recently and wanted to pass along to you. There are several other websites that also sometimes have great deals on Tracfone products including eBay.com and HSN.com Let us know what deals you find!

Be sure to check out our Tracfone Promo Codes page for a full list of promotional codes that get you free minutes when you add a prepaid card.

Selasa, 11 Februari 2014

What is an AppleID?

Getting to know your AppleID

What a lovely spell of cold weather Mother Nature has dumped on us here in Chicago-land, or as we are now known, Chi-Beria!  Thankfully the cold hasn't stopped me from blogging!  Today's blog is inspired by my workshops.  At some of these workshops, I cover what I consider the "Basics" of your iOS Device.  I start in settings, and spend a good deal of time discussing the Apple ID.  Reason being, so many people just don't get it's importance.  So I thought I'd write about it in this edition of The MacMentor's blog, and how it ties into what I call, The Apple Ecosystem.

Apple has created quite a wonderful system for all it's device owners.  It started some 14 years ago with the introduction of the iPod and iTunes.  In order for the music you purchased to be tied to the correct device(s), Apple created the Apple ID.  Then a few years later along came iPhone and iPad,  all tied together using your Apple ID.  All part of the Apple Ecosystem.

Apple’s ecosystem consists of  your devices (Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) as well as iTunes, iCloud, iMessage and FaceTime.  The key to the Apple ecosystem is the Apple ID.  Your Apple ID is an email address that Apple uses as a pointer to what I call "Your Apple locker".  Your locker of content within the Apple ecosystem.  Your Apple ID  is what you will use to sign in to the iTunes Store, Mac App Store, iCloud, iMessage and FaceTime.  When purchasing content through iTunes, your Apple ID tells Apple who’s “locker” the content should be assigned to, as well as what devices your content can be shared with.  It's how Apple knows not to assign my purchases to someone else's device(s).  With iCloud, your Apple ID is what Apple uses to push or sync your non entertainment content (Notes, Reminders, Calendar events, Contacts) to all your iCloud enabled devices.   

Another great part of this ecosystem, and a feature that I love is iMessage. 

I'm sure you've all texted from your iPhone.  Did you know you can text to and from your iPad, iPod Touch and your Mac using iMessage?  Oh yeah, did I mention it’s FREE!  That's right folks.  Take a quick look at your Message App on your iPhone.  Click on any message.  It's either Blue or Green.  Do you know why that is?  The green texts are texts that are not going through iMessage.  The blue texts are being sent through iMessage.  I can see you all shaking your heads going, ah that explains it!  How's this for fun.  Apple is basically giving the phone companies the "Bird" (middle finger) with iMessage.  A free way to text.  Of course it's only free to those on Apple devices, but if your whole family is on them, you can get rid of your texting on your cellular bill.  Nice.  

Now let's discuss FaceTime.  FaceTime is the video chat feature of Apple’s ecosystem, that got a great update with iOS 7 and Mavericks and now has what's called FaceTime Audio. 

FaceTime Audio let's you make voice calls through the Apple Ecosystem.  Really?!?!  Do you see what Apple is doing here?  Providing you with ways to no longer have to pay for cellular calls, or texting.  Go Apple!  So how does FaceTime work?  Simple, you sign into FaceTime with your Apple ID and you use the FaceTime App to video chat with anyone else who has a FaceTime capable device.  Real life story.  Last summer, my daughter was in Israel.  From a Kibbutz, she used her iPhone to FaceTime me.  Do you know how much it cost?  NOTHING!  It was completely FREE.  A video call from Israel to Deerfield and it was Free!  Can't beat that with a stick...

Ok, that’s a high level of what your Apple ID does for you within the ecosystem, now let’s break it down further first by iTunes, and the Mac AppStore, then iCloud and iMessage.  

iTunes is the heart of the Apple Ecosystem.  It came to life Thirteen years ago, in January of 2001.  iTunes is where you purchase entertainment for your Apple Devices.  What started out as a cool place to buy and store your music has evolved into an incredible online entertainment store, where you can not only buy music, but movies, TV shows, Apps for your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch and much more.  You can even take classes from many of the top Universities around the world through iTunes U!  Whichever device you choose to purchase entertainment content from, you are required to enter your Apple ID (and password).  This allows Apple to correctly share that content to the proper devices.  The Mac App Store works the same way as iTunes, only it’s content is specific to Mac computers, where iTunes content can be used on all Apple devices, and on PC's.

Now on to iCloud.  The iCloud service is Apple’s latest attempt at cloud storage and syncing, and it blows away its predecessor, MobileMe.  What iTunes is for entertainment content, iCloud is for your personal, non-purchased content.  The iCloud service is available on all Mac’s running at least OSX 10.7 and all iOS devices running at least iOS 5.0 (I hope you are all at iOS 7!!).  To enable iCloud on your Mac computers, you’ll go into system preferences, click the iCloud preference, and login in with, you guessed it, your Apple ID! 

On your iOS device, you’ll tap on settings, and scroll down to the iCloud setting, tap, and sign in with...your Apple ID!  Then you’ll choose which content you desire to sync and backup through iCloud.  

Now what some people don’t realize is that iCloud can and should be used to back up your iOS device(s)!  Wirelessly!  How does one go about that you ask?  Good question!  All you’ll need is the white cord and power supply that came with your device, an electrical outlet and a wireless network.  Plug the appropriate ends of the cord into the iOS device and the power supply, plug the power supply into the outlet, put your device to sleep ( or let it go to sleep on its own), and if you are connected to a wireless network, iCloud will find your device, when the last backup was initiated and if it was over 24 hours ago, it will back up your device.  Once a day, iCloud will back up your non-purchased content (mail, if you have an iCloud account, Contacts, Calendar events, Reminders, Notes).  

A couple of other great features of iCloud are Photo Stream, Documents and Data and Find my iPhone.  Photo Stream let’s you share pictures, wirelessly, between all your Apple devices.  Now, on your Macs, you be have the appropriate version of iPhoto (which comes on all Macs circa late 2011 and forward).  If you are running an older Mac with OSX 10.7 or later, and have yet to upgrade iPhoto, you will NOT have Photo Stream on your Mac.  Upgrading iPhoto is simple, go to the Mac App Store and download it for $14.99.  Photo Stream will house up to 1000 pictures at a time, for up to 30 days.  Here’s how it works.  You take pictures with your iOS device, and when you get to a wireless network, those pictures get pulled up to iCloud and will be available in your Photo Stream.  So after a day of picture taking, you can come to your Mac and see those pictures in iPhoto, without having to do anything!  Just click on the Photo Stream option in iPhoto and your pictures are virtually there.  If you use the iWork suite of tools (Pages, Keynote and Numbers), iCloud can be used to sync your content from those applications between your devices.  So you can create a Keynote presentation on your Mac, save it to iCloud, and open it on your iOS device, very, very cool!  The Find My Phone service of iCloud is indispensable.  If you’ve misplaced your iOS device, or sadly if it gets stolen, you can log into iCloud.com (with your Apple ID!), and locate it!  That is awesome for those of us who quite often forget where we leave our devices!  It works using the GPS on your device to locate and display that information to a Map on iCloud.com, very cool!  I once had a customer who had her phone stolen, and we were able to track it on iCloud.com.  We called the police, informed them of where it was, they tracked down the perpetrator and got my client her phone back!  Technology at work!

That friends, is a high level overview of your AppleID, the Apple ecosystem and it’s benefits.  For more in depth help, please contact me to set up an appointment!

Enjoy your day, and until next time...Best to you and your devices!

Senin, 03 Februari 2014

Tracfone Promo Codes for February 2014

New Tracfone Promo Codes for February 2014

tracfone promo code february 2014
Tracfone Promo Codes February 2014
Listed below are new promo codes for Tracfone minute cards and are valid through the end of February 2014.

Tracfone is a prepaid wireless cell phone provider that sells cell phones and minutes separately on a no-contract basis.

Tracfone provides promotional codes for customers to use when adding a new minutes card to their phone, such as a 60, 120, 200 400 or 450 minute card.

To use these promo codes, simply enter the codes listed below when adding your minutes next time and you should receive 20-250 extra minutes for free!

Here at de9w2dsl, we strive to provide Tracfone promo codes that are useful, easy to use and simply fo find. So below we have just the promo codes that should work for February 2014. We also have a full page with many more codes, just visit our main Tracfone Promo Codes page to see them all.

We also do more than just codes! We provide news and reviews of the cell phones Tracfone sells, including the new Android powered smartphones.

Check out our reviews of the ZTE Valet, Huawei Glory, LG Optimus Dynamic and Samsung Galaxy Centura.

You might also want to learn more about the new LG Optimus Dynamic II.

Now, let's get to the codes!

Tracfone Promo Codes for February 2014

These codes have been tested and should work through the end of February 2014. Remember, some codes you can only use once, and you can always use a code for a lower minute card on a higher card. (codes for 60 minute cards can be used on 120 minute cards, etc.)

60 Minute Card - Use promo code 70166 and get 30 bonus minutes

120 Minute Card - Enter 91089 for 30 bonus minutes

200 Minute Card - Use code 25628 and get 40 bonus minutes

450 Minute Card - With code 61589 or 93528 you receive 50 bonus minutes

1 year/400 Minute Card - Use code 14774 and get a total of 250 bonus minutes

We hope you find these codes useful and are able to receive your free minutes when refilling your phone.

Leave a comment with any questions and let us know which codes are working for you! Don't forget to share this with your friends to help them save money!

You might be interested in our recent article, The Top 5 Tracfone Cell Phones.

Thanks for visiting!

Great devices for your iPhone and iPad.

To start off 2014, I decided to not only do an App of the Week post on my Facebook page, but to include a Device of the Week as well.  There are so many different types of devices out there, all you need to do is head to an Apple Store (or online to Amazon) to see a wide variety, ranging from wireless speakers to heart monitors, to home heating systems and beyond.  I decided to highlight one per week, then create a blog at the beginning of the following month to highlight those devices.  Here's my list for January!

First, the Tego Power Grid.  We are all looking for ways to extend the life of our devices, well look no further.  Tego has created a fantastic device.  For starters, it packs enough power to charge your device twice without needing to be re-charged itself.  Can easily be recharged by plugging into the USB slot of a computer.  It's super compact and light-weight, and best of all, is only $59.00.

So if you are one of the many people who always find themselves looking for an outlet to charge their devices, go get yourself the Tego, you'll be happy you did.

The next device that I highlighted in January just blows me away.  For those of you who still don't realize that there is an app for almost anything, check this baby out...Have you ever found yourself looking for a device, or system to help you keep track of your health?  A device or system that won't cost you an arm and a leg, but tracks and monitors you throughout the day?  Well if you fit that description, I've found the perfect device for you!  It's the Fit Systems Arm band by Body Media.  

If you are overweight, and looking for help counting calories, this beauty helps you keep track of your caloric count.  The calories going in, and the calories burned!  Sweet!  It helps you achieve your fitness goals by accurately tracking your daily activities.  Finally, it monitors how well you are sleeping!  As you may expect, the device comes with an App, to help you keep track of things while you are on the go.  So whether its you looking for some help with your health, or someone you know, I highly recommend the Fit Systems Arm band.

Ok...So the first two devices for January were quite cool.  The 3rd device that I highlighted in January is downright HOT!  Now if you are like me, you like your music clean, with rich bass and ultra-clean treble.   There's nothing worse for me than listening to some great music on some cheap speaker system with wimpy bass and treble that's overly tin-ee.  It's challenging to find small speakers that measure up!  We'll the UE Boom wireless speaker, from Ultimate Ears, ROCKS!   It will take the best bass from John Paul-Jones, and play it true.  It will make Miles Davis' horns shine.  All the while pulsating through a Neil Peart drum solo like a full blown set of floor speakers.  Yeah, it's that good!

The Boom starts at $199 (The limited edition Boom, the one right above, is $229).  An incredible feature of the Boom, that's not currently available on any other wireless speaker (that I know of), is that you can connect two Boom's via the Boom App to have totally mind blowing experience!  

So if you love your music, loud and crystal clear, the UE Boom is exactly what you've been looking for.  It can be found online, or at retailers like The Apple Store.

Ok, now for the final January device of the week...

In keeping with my music theme, my next device stays in the music genre.  I've attended more concerts in my lifetime than I can remember.  I followed the Grateful Dead for a bit in the early 90's, have seen more than my share of Dave Matthews shows as well.  I always wanted to record my concerts, but never had the right equipment.  Well look no further my friends.  Let me introduce you to the IQ5 Stereo Recorder.  

The iQ5 is a high quality stereo condenser mic.  Perfect for recording your favorite concert, or your child's first piano concert.  The iQ5 has a rotating device that allows audio recording with the optimal left-right stereo orientation, regardless if you are using it horizontally or vertically.

The Zoom has a companion app that allows you to record in linear PCM, 16-bit/44.1kHz format for CD-quality audio, that accurately captures the music and spaces.  It even records in compressed AAC format when you need smaller faster data transfer.  

Now I realize that to most of us the kHz and AAC compression won't really matter.  It was more for the audio files that read my blog (ha ha ha!).  All the rest of us need to know is that it records well, and can record in compressed format if you need to!  

So there are my choices for January's Apps of the Week.  The Tego Power Grid, The Fit Systems Arm band, The UE Boom Speaker, and finally the iQ5 Zoom recorder.  Keep up with my February Apps of the Week on my Facebook page, http://facebook.com/theMacMentor, then comeback early March and I'll have another blog post for the February App/Device of the week choices.

Thanks to all for reading...and if you have a favorite App/Device let me know about it!

Until next time, Best to you and your devices!

Minggu, 02 Februari 2014

Great Apps for your iPhone and iPad

Happy February!  Those of you that have "Liked" The MacMentor on Facebook have had the benefit of viewing my App and Device of the Week posts that I started this past January.  The goal of the weekly postings is to make you all more aware of the great tools available to you for your iPhones and iPads.

The first App of the week, is one that I recently started using.  It's called Scanner Pro.

If you were able to view my posting in early January, and you went to download ScannerPro, it was the AppStore's App of the Week, first week of January, and it was FREE!  If you missed it, it is still 50% off, but that ends Feb 4th, so hurry!  Scanner Pro is a great app that allows you to quickly and easily scan paper documents and save them into PDF format.

Once the device has been scanned, it can be easily uploaded to Evernote, Google Drive.  For those of you that use iCloud, the document can be uploaded there as well!  It can also be emailed.

It's a great tool for those of you looking for a quick efficient way to get your documents onto your iOS device, then either uploaded to your cloud drive(s) or emailed.

Week two of January brought us another great app, this one is however limited to those of you that own Mac's, as it works in conjunction between your iOS device and your Mac computer.  It's called Command-C.  Those of you familiar with Mac shortcuts, know exactly what Command-C does, it copies something into the Mac memory.   

Command-C is downloaded to both your Mac and iOS device, on your Mac, it sits on the Menu bar (see pic below).  When you capture something using Command-C, you can easily copy it to your iOS device!  Very, very cool!  

It's a super quick, and easy way to copy notes or other text between your devices.

Week 3 of January 2014 I decided to name Box (of Box.com), the App of the week.  Why you ask, good question!  Box.com is a great site for cloud storage.  When you sign up on-line, you get 10GB of free space.  What makes the Box app so awesome is that after you download it to your iPhone, iPad or both, your free space goes from a nice 10GB of free space to an incredible 50GB of free space.  That's right people 50GB!  That's something to smile about.  

Box has a super easy to use interface.  You can have your files listed separately, or in folders.  You can easily create new folders, or upload pictures and videos.  

You can download files for offline viewing, easily search your files, or access the other OneCloud apps (see the screen capture below).  

You can also easily e-mail or text a document.  

The easy to use interface, coupled with the incredible 50GB of free space could earn this app the App of the Month!

The last App of the week for January 2014 is an app geared for business/project users.  The app is BaseCamp.  

BaseCamp is an awesome tool for project teams.  If you've ever used Microsoft Project, you know how challenging it can be for the lay person.  BaseCamp is just the opposite, it's easy (not unlike your devices!).  BaseCamp lets you check on your project from virtually anywhere.  You can see the latest project updates, jump in on discussions and post your thoughts, view progress as team members complete to-do lists.  Everything in your project is available, helping you make important decisions where ever you may be!

So there they are, your January 2014 Apps of the week.  I'd love to hear from you, and get your choice for which App should be the App of the Month!  

My goal with the Apps of the week are to broaden your horizons as to what is available to you so you can be more productive with your iPhone and iPad.  I hope you enjoyed the weekly posts, as well as the more in-depth blog write up here.

Until next time (which will be very soon!)...best to you and your devices!