Optimize Your Android Device


The Nexus 7 (2013) is a mobile data capable tablet. It’s suppose to work with AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon’s LTE service. Sprint’s LTE service is incompatible. I use a T-Mobile sim card and have a data plan.

If someone asks for the IMEI don’t bother looking in SETTINGS under About tablet it’s not there. To get your IMEI download & Install the Network Info II app from Google Play. Open the app and look under Device. You’ll also find your Android ID. The IMEI can be displayed on the screen of the phone by entering *#06# into the keypad on most phones, but the Nexus 7 a tablet and doesn’t have a native keypad so that’s not an option.

I had my Nexus 7 tablet on T-Mobile’s free 200 MB data plan. The T-Mobile data plan tested at 45 Mbps download & 15 Mbps upload. Great speed but very limited amount of data, such that I mostly used Wi-Fi when it’s available, and when I’m away from a trusted and open Wi-Fi hotspot I’ll use my phone as a hotspot. The 200 MB limit force me to almost always carry both my phone and my tablet. See that’s the rub, I want to get down to just one device. T-Mobile’s current tablet data only plan (non-promotional) is $30/mo for 3 GB ($20 with a Family Plan), but after 3 GB they don’t throttle you, they cut you off till the next monthly data quota.

My current phone’s voice & data plan includes 2.5 GB of data, after 2.5 GB it’s throttled to an average of 0.14 Mbps download speed. Yes, that’s slow, and I’ll run into this two or three times per year, usually about a week before the new monthly data quota starts. When I have a good connection and before I’m throttled it has an average of 15 Mbps download speed, and 2.5 Mbps upload speed. Considering that my home Wi-Fi was around 7.5 & 1.5 respectively I thought it was pretty good. But I renegotiated my cable contract and AT&T just bumped it up to an average of 15 & 3, respectfully. Seems pretty good except Comcast is currently offering 50 Mbps download speeds in my area.

My phone voice & data plan is grandfathered into a $25/month plan, which is cheap enough (it’s currently offered at $35/mo), but I’m trying to get down to one device.

Talk & Surf?

Mighty Text allowed me to receive SMS messages on my tablet but didn’t allow me to make phone calls. Various VOIP apps allowed phone calls.

Just found out that T-Mobile has a promotion going on, “add a tablet for $10/month” up to 5 GB at LTE speed, then unlimited data throttled to 3G speed. There’s two catches: first is that someone must have a voice plan, so everyone on the Family Plan can’t convert to a data only plan. Second is that the promotional offer will eventually be withdrawn and 12 months later you’ll most likely face a more costly data plan. The extra 2 GB and throttling instead of being cut off is what I have been waiting for.

On Monday, October 6th, 2014 Alex Weisen a senior software engineer at Google announced a major improvement to its free Google Voice service, Multimedia Message Service (MMS) support across nearly every major cellular carrier in North America, with the exception of Verizon.

It has 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage memory, unfortunately it doesn’t have a SD card slot.

I’ve ported my old cellphone number to Google Voice and installed the VOIP Freedom App, so essentially my tablet is my smartphone.

  1. Remove Bloatware Bloatware takes up valuable RAM or storage space, and may even run automatically in the background, needlessly draining battery power. One of the nice things about Nexus 7 is that there’s no Bloatware, unless you install it. Technically it’s not Bloatware if you can install it and can remove it, but let’s not quibble over the definition. If you have a Android smartphone that’s backed it up with Google, when you sign into your Google account on the Nexus 7 it may restore from your back up and re-add the apps from your Google Play account that are compatible with your Nexus 7. Any apps that might have been useful when you were with AT&T, Verizon or perhaps another carrier may now be redundant or even useless.

    Depending on how you use your Nexus 7 you may consider some stock built-in Android apps to be Bloatware, such as Google Earth, People or Email apps.

    How to Remove or Disable Bloatware on Nexus 7 Tablet
    * Go to Setting and select Apps.
    * Tap on All tab and choose the built-in system apps that you want to disable or remove.
    * Tap on Disable or Uninstall, select OK button to confirm it. If it’s an Android System App then the app will be putted at bottom of the list and you can re-enable later if you so choose. You can’t remove Android System Apps without rooting or using a Bloatware Removal Script. If you haven’t or don’t wish to root your device or know how to modify a Bloatware Removal Script you probably are best being content to just disable the undesired App.

    If you wish to completely freeze or uninstall a preinstalled Android System Apps you’ll need to use third-party app on your rooted tablet.

  2. Replace your Keyboard – My choice is TouchPal X, but you may find another to your preference.
  3. Reduce data usage on Chrome – it’s auto selected on Chrome Beta, and perhaps on your version but it’s worth double checking. Go to Settings and under Advance Settings you’ll find it.


  4. Chrome – Enable Pinch to Zoom & Text Size

  5. Automate Your Device (If This, Then That)
    There’s various apps that will allow you to automate various tasks. I found some very useful functions such as automatically toggling Wi-Fi and enabling Screen Lock.

  6. Mobile, Wireless and Networks

    Mobile Plan T-Mobile offers a free 200 MB data plan for tablets. Under their Family Plan you can upgrade to a $20/ month 3 GB plan. ($10 more without the Family Plan).

    Location services / GPS
    GPS consumes power as it tries to keep a lock on satellite signals. Unless you’re using the Nexus 7 to navigate, keep it turned off. If you’re indoors keep GPS turned off since it’s unlikely you’ll get a signal.

    Wi-Fi settings
    Network Notifications: Switch this off, so your device will stop actively searching for new networks. I find it annoying and I don’t use “new networks” for security reasons.

    Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep: the ‘only when plugged in‘ option is a good compromise between power use and convenience

    WiFi optimization: Certain apps don’t work well when Wi-Fi Optimization is on, if so then turn it off. WiFi optimization doesn’t actually optimize your WiFi connection; instead, it optimizes battery usage. Yes, it’ll affect battery usage a bit, but that’s a choice you’ll have to make.

    For greater security and battery life, keep Bluetooth turned off until you need it. Rename your device to make it easier to find it, then minimize the ‘Visibility timeout’ to two minutes so the tablet will deactivate Bluetooth visibility as soon as possible. Consider using an automate it app to turn it on or off as desired.

    Near field communication (NFC), is used for NFC, tap to pay, and sharing contact info and files. It can be disabled, but it uses very little power. You decide if it’s worth turning if off & on.

    Airplane mode
    Airplane mode disables all wireless systems and will save a lot of power and data usage. I usually have my Nexus 7 (2013) tablet on Airplane mode with Wi-Fi enabled unless I’m away from trusted Wi-Fi connections.

  7. Sounds

    Notification Sounds
    Notification sounds can be annoying and rude as well as a (small) power drain. You can set the notification volume to very low or to zero.

    Touch and Screen Lock Sounds
    These can also be disabled.

Flipping Images

Flipping Images

by FredT4

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

Q. Unfortunately a few of my images are upside down. Is there any app that can reverse (not rotate) these, so I don’t have to fish through the Big Pile of Slides again?

A. Several computer programs and mobile apps can flip the contents of a picture vertically and horizontally to correct slides scanned upside-down or in the mirror image of their proper direction. The free Paint program included with Windows includes a “Flip vertical” and “Flip horizontal” menu command, along with the usual “rotate” option to spin the picture’s overall orientation. In recent versions of Paint, look under the Rotate menu on the Home tab to find the “flip” functions.

Mac users can flip and rotate images with the Preview program included in OS X; the Flip commands are in the program’s Tools menu. Image-editing programs like Adobe Photoshop Elements for Windows or Mac OS X also include “flip” commands. Adobe Photoshop Express, (available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone), is among the many picture-editing apps that can flip pictures on the go with a mobile device.

Buzztouch™ & BlackBerry: The BB PlayBook Process


Blackberry has a new Vendor Portal.

BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour

BlackBerry rewards loyal developers with shiny, red limited-edition Z10s

BlackBerry 10 Review

New Blackberry Z10 Review (YouTube)

Try BlackBerry 10 from your Android or iOS device.

9 things the BlackBerry Z10 does that the iPhone can’t

BlackBerry Z10 (YouTube espanol)



SF BlackBerry & PlayBook Developers Group

The BlackBerry PlayBook Process

by Fred @ MySkylla

It’s not officially supported by Buzztouch but you can create BlackBerry PlayBook OS apps as confirmed using Runtime for Android apps



Note: RIM had noted that ads will work inside the Android apps the only thing however that is not supported is RIM’s own BlackBerry Ad services. In other words, Android developers can still monetize their apps, just not using BlackBerry Ad services.

OPTION #1: How to sign, convert and install Android files for your BlackBerry PlayBook using Windows or Mac

OPTION #2: RIM provides tools to convert Android apps to Playbook apps. Read more here: https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/android/tool/

The process of repackaging an Android app for BlackBerry tablet OS 2.0 is well documented on BlackBerry Developers’ Zone.

  • First here’s a video to give you an overview of the process.
  • Register for an account in the Vendor Portal of the BlackBerry App World.
  • It took 3 hours for my account to be approved.
  • Your Buzztouch (iOS) source code will not work
  • Use the Buzztouch (Android) source code.
  • Remove any maps from Control Panel
  • Download Android Source Code
  • Open the Source code and replace the “icon.png” file created by Buzztouch.
  • Don’t have Eclipse, no problem. Don’t need Eclipse for this step.
  • Find your apps icon in the source code
  • res > drawable > icon.png
  • Replace it with a 80×80 pixel icon.
  • Use the same name “icon.png”
  • Delete BT_screen_map.java from the src folder.
  • Remove the two lines of Google Maps code at the end of AndroidManifest.xml.
  • You need to edit out the Google Maps related functions from BT_item.java (simply remove the file and comment out the refrences to it).
  • https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/android/
  • Android 2.3.3 Compatibility Tool
  • Download Simulator for the PlayBook: https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/android/tool/
  • My computer (Vista) gave me a warning about the downloaded file, run anyway.
  • For Buzztouch v1.4 (Android) the only problem shown by that tool was that the project referenced com.google.maps package.
  • Look for any references to com.google.maps in other files (import com.google.maps)
  • Installed the BlackBerry plugin for Eclipse
  • Request the signing keys, It took about 2 minutes to receive mine two keys via two email. You need both.
  • post from forum: Downloaded and installed an evaluation copy of VMware Fusion
  •  Post on Forum re simulator on a Mac: on my mac to run the PlayBook Simulator. I’ve got Parallels Fusion on my macbook, but it wasn’t good for running the Simulator, unfortunately. Then right-click on the Java project, Add BlackBerry nature (sth like this), and I was able to debug the app on the Simulator. It looked awful. First of all the simulator is not perfect, things were jumping, blinking and shaking, but I checked on BB forums and it turned out that people experienced the same with their apps on the Simulator and then everything was OK on real device.
  • The layout of Buzztouch v1.4 (Android) is not optimised for big screens (tablets)
  • Few things needed to be changed in xml layout files. It still doesn’t look amazing.

Posts regard Playbook:

Feb 8

The PlayBook now supports email. NY Times article

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0: Déjà Vu? | ZDNet

BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 OS:

Closer, but still no cigar | Mobile Technology – InfoWorld

Forum Posts:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

BlackBerry ID.

Beginning on April 15, 2013, you will be able to conveniently sign-in to your BlackBerry® World vendor account using your existing BlackBerry ID! You’ll no longer need to remember and manage multiple account credentials. Access all BlackBerry applications, services and websites using just one sign on: BlackBerry ID.

How will this work? The new BlackBerry World login page will walk you through the process. During the sign-in, you will be asked to link your vendor account to your BlackBerry ID. From there on, you will use your BlackBerry ID to sign-in to your vendor account.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

BlackBerry App World Category Changes & New Additions

Dear BlackBerry App World Vendor, We have recently made exciting changes to the categories within BlackBerry App World including modifying existing category names and adding new categories to help users easily navigate and discover content. This update is important for both your existing applications and new submissions to BlackBerry App World. They key category changes and additions include:

News: The News category has been expanded to include magazines. This category is now called News and Magazines and includes Blogs as a subcategory. Beta: The Beta category is discontinued. The apps located the Beta category have been moved to relevant categories. Reference and eBooks & Education: The Books and Reference category has been divided in to separate categories so that these are now individual categories respectively. The Reference category includes Education. This new category is Education & Reference. Shopping: The Shopping category has been renamed Lifestyle. Maps & Navigation: The Maps & Navigation category now includes Travel and has been renamed Navigation and Travel. Music Creation (*NEW*): There is a new subcategory Music Creation available under the Music and Audio category. Childrens Categories (*NEW*): There are two new childrens focused categories: New Childrens Games category within the Games Channel New Childrens Books subcategory within the Books category

These new categories are available for selection in the Vendor Portal. Please review your existing applications and make the necessary adjustments to ensure your app is located in the most relevant category and subcategory. Best Regards, BlackBerry App World Team

New BlackBerry® 9310 Smartphone Simulator and Specs Now Available

Great News!

The start of the summer season brings a new BlackBerry Smartphone Simulator model to the line-up. The new BlackBerry® 9310 Smartphone running BlackBerry OS 7.1 simulator is now available for download! Prepare your app for launch today!

Downloading the BlackBerry® 9310 simulator, test your app(s) and add the 9310 as a supported device in the App World Vendor Portal.

Instructions for adding 9310 support in the Vendor Portal:

1. Select Manage Products
2. Select the magnifying glass (view) under the Releases column of the app to be changed
3. Select (edit) next to the Release containing the bundle to be edited
4. Select ‘Add Release Version’ tab
5. Select the pen (edit) under the Device Support column for the bundle you wish to edit

Read the Developer’s Blog for BlackBerry 9310 product specification and related information.

Notes: You must indicate application support for this new device as current applications will not be automatically posted for sale for this new smartphone. Many applications that currently support the BlackBerry® 9320 should be easily ported to this new device with minimal change required. Submit as soon as possible to increase your chances for App World approval before the device launches.

Happy Development,

BlackBerry App World Team

John M Wargo BlackBerry Blog

Bitcasa – Online Storage

imageBitcasa is an excellent alternative to Dropbox for online storage, or perhaps an excellent solution in addition to Dropbox. Their Free account starts with 5GB and allows you to earn an additional 1GB per referral. In addition they offer Private, secure storage up to 3 devices.

How’s this different from Dropbox?

I’m glad you asked, their website claims:

“The Bitcasa Platform uses patent-pending technology to offer the most private and accessible cloud storage. Every time a file is uploaded, Bitcasa’s proprietary block-level encryption secures files before they are transferred to our servers. Once in Bitcasa, at least three fully encrypted copies are stored safely. Files can then be accessed from any device — real-time transcoding resolves any cross-platform issues — or can be shared seamlessly via email and social network integration. Bitcasa uses smart caching technology to make files feel just like they are locally stored, and “Favorite” files are stored locally for seamless offline access.”

One reason Bitcasa is able to offer 1TB for $99 per year is the unique way it stores files. Bitcasa understands that most of what is saved by users is a duplicate of what other users are also saving. Bitcasa leverages this by only keeping one instance of each file, no matter how many people upload it to the company’s servers. So if you go to store “file X”, and that file already exists on Bitcasa’s servers, Bitcasa will just use the file it already stored.

Screenshot Capture, Everything You Need To Know

Edit: Newer Android devices allow screenshot capture by holding down the power button and the down volume button simultaneously.

Another method is to use the Dolphin browser and screen cut plugin.

Here’s everything you need to know about “Screenshot Capture for Droid, Screeshot UX. And it’s Free (Trial Version) (Just love that business model) Enough said. Yes, that’s correct, this simple app is all you need. With this app you’re ready to submit your two required screenshots (you can submit six additional, but that’s up to you) to the Android Market.
The app’s users guide reference an install process, but I just downloaded the app from Android Market to my unrooted phone (Android 2.2.1) made a few quick changes in the settings and I was ready to rumble.
The only fault of this app is that it doesn’t install to sd card. That feature would normally cause a quick uninstall with a low rating, but this app is so useful that I’ll give them a High Five *****
It has an impressive list of Features:
-Analyzing possible capture method.
-Intuitive Topmost button to screen shot.
-Shake to screen shot.
-Status bar to screen shot.
-Intuitive Countdown feedback UI before screenshot.
-Edit(Crop, Draw/Undo/Redo, …).
-Share menu integration for Email, MMS, …
-View with external image viewer.
-Choose custom save folder


Posted from WordPress for Android by Fredt4

Cookies & Google Analytics & Your Privacy Policy

By Fred@myskylla.com

Recently someone asked for a review of their website. The first thing that stood out was their lack of a Privacy Policy.

I asked them if they used cookies. They replied that they didn’t collect any information. In further discussion with them it was revealed that they’re using Google Analytics. I opined that GOOGLE ANALYTICS TERMS OF SERVICE probably required a privacy policy. True enough it does and it further requires the ability to opt out of tracking.

On their Google Analytics website Google declares:

Important: Google Analytics does not collect any personal information about your website users. Read the Google Analytics privacy document for more details.

However, “In May 2011 it was ruled that EU websites must get user permission to store non-essential cookies on client computers. Website owners were given 1 year to comply before legal action is enforced. This resulted in all EU websites having to stop collecting Google Analytics data without the consent of the end user.”

Opt out of Google Analytics :

You can option out of Google’s Advertising Cookie here.

Use a browser plugin to opt out of Google Analytics : Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on

Are you familiar with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998), perhaps you should be because as of July 1st, 2013 if your app or website “(1) operate a website or online service that is “directed to children” under 13 and that collects “personal information” from users or (2) knowingly collects personal information from persons under 13 through a website or (2) knowingly collects personal information from persons under 13 through a website or online service.”

Have you heard of California OPPA? Perhaps you’re thinking I’m in Portugal and my website is not hosted in California or the USA so it won’t be relevant to you. Well guess again.

Free services:

Privacy Policy Generator for Google Adsense Publishers

Free Privacy Policy Generator

Customized Cookie Control

evercookie — never forget.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here’s a Privacy Policy for a website that uses Google Analytics. While you’re there check out his website, there’s some good info there.

Or perhaps you’re more interested in a much more complicated “User Agreement & Privacy Policy.

Google Services Is How “The West Was Won”

So, Android has 80% of the Smartphone market, but Google is shooting for 100% of the Mobile Market. Google is taking over the iPhone and making a uber play against Samsung to stop any thoughts of Samsung becoming the next Apple. Nook, Kindle and BlackBerry are Android devices leaving Microsoft as the only outlier. In fact Microsoft has launched an anti-Google Services campaign. Kindle is basically Android without Google Services.


By using “Google Services” Google is unifying the “Mobile Experience” and it’s not only eliminating the “Android Fragmentation” issue but it’s also looking into obliterating the iOS vs. Android war. For now on, “It’s Google baby”. Yes,  check out Google Services on your iPhone.

PDF and Buzztouch

How to display PDF non-working BTv1.5 (Android) PDF Screen

Possible Solutions:
Convert to HTML

Link via URL

Edit your PDF

Using Acrobat Pro: open the  PDF. Go to Document > Reduce file size

How to email/SMS a PDF Doc from Buzztouch apps:

The email button in the bottom toolbar of buzztouch will use the viewed document as the attachment. I don’t think you can use the built-in function at buzztouch to show one page, and email a different one.

Yes, you can by
create a Right Nav Bar button and link to a share screen and place link to pdf file.
User sees HTML doc (BT Android PDF screen doesn’t work)
but emails link to pdf posted online (website or Dropbox).

Problem: PDF file load time (local, not downloaded) iOS

I’ve got several PDFs in my latest app that are all around 440kb in size. I have them loaded in xCode to be included in the build, and in the xCode simulator, I get the pinwheel for about 1.5 seconds (not bad). This is regardless of if I’ve click on it before (not caching?). I can click on a PDF, go back and click it again, and it still has the delay. The real problem is when I load it on a real device. The pinwheel (load time) is a LOT longer.

Is this normal behavior? is 440kb that big of a task for the iphone to load? or is it inherent to PDFs?

Kinda both things. UIWebViews in iOS are notoriously slow when loading largish files. The trouble with PDF (and any other binary data) is that the UIWebView does not load it progressively like it can and does with HTML. This means it must load it all into memory, then display it. I don’t know of any work-arounds for this short of creating a cool custom view to show a little dancing monkey on top of the pdf while it’s loading. This cold be entertaining enough to help you forget about the slow load.

Its actually just a single page 8.5×11 document. I wanted to keep it in PDF form vs. html so the user could use the email button to send the PDF as-is to someone. Maybe I need to look into compression for the PDFs. They only have a header and a table on plain white background. Maybe its the way I am exporting them. (I used Photoshop’s PDF export function -using the ‘economy’ setting).

PDF study by @Moto110 6/1/12

I have done some testing and this is what I found.

I created a 14mb test PDF so that it was big enough to have a noticeable difference between opening local or downloading every time I access the screen. Just for reference I’m on a 90mb down internet connection via Wi-Fi on iPhone 4S

1. I added this PDF Document via the PDF Document screen using a URL and setting the document properties setting “Force Refresh” to “No, allow caching”. I tested this multiple times by accessing the PDF document URL screen and waiting about 14 seconds each time as the document was downloaded.

2. I added the same PDF Document via a Custom HTML screen and embedded the PDF in the HTML code. This option took just as long as option one and did not produce a desirable display of the PDF.

3. I added a the same PDF Document via a third PDF Document screen using the Local “BT_Docs” folder option and the file opens within about half a second. I do see the spinning “Loading” icon for a brief moment.

Now that these screens have been loaded on my device I turned on Airplane mode and accessed the PDF screens again.

Here is what I found:

1. Option one displays a network connectivity error and does not load the PDF document.

2. Option two Embedding the PDF in Custom HTML does show the couple lines of HTML text I added before the PDF embed code, but does not display the embedded PDF and gaves a network error.

3. Option three storing the PDF document in the “BT_Docs” folder works as expected displaying the 14mb PDF file within a second or less.

I think I know what I need to do and that is store the PDF local and hope that I don’t need to update it frequently.

On a side note I found this really good website for generating code to embed PDF documents in HTML. It might help someone else on a different app project.

Here is the link:



My reply:

Try posting PDF on a website/Dropbox and access via Custom URL webpage screen.

Not saying it’ll be better than embedding, just an option.

You can also use Launch Native App (browser) and test the result.

On the sidenote: embedding images into HTML is a useful tool. Hadn’t tried it with the various doc types.

Plus, you could also convert the PDF to HTML.




Section 508

Your Guide to Accessible PDF

Virgin Mobile Refer a Friend Program


* * *
Summary: If I have a $35/month plan and earn the maximum referral fees of $500 per year my mobile phone cost should be almost free. (It’s “almost free” and not “free” because I’ll have some taxes to pay.)
* * *

Need to lower your mobile bill?  One way is to use Virgin Mobile and refer up to 20 friends a year and earn a $25.00 bonus per friend. So go ahead and click on the link and sign up and Virgin Mobile will send me $25, plus Virgin Mobile will also give you a $25 account credit.

Coverage? Virgin Mobile is owned by Sprint and uses Sprint cell towers. The difference in Sprint service and Virgin Mobile service is that Virgin Mobile users don’t roam on Verizon towers.

Reason to love Virgin Mobile:

  • Android™-powered phones from top manufacturers like LG, Samsung, and HTC
  • iPhone (5s, 5c, 5, 4, 4s)
  • Uses the Nationwide Sprint® Network
  • No Contract
  • $35 for 200 minutes and unlimited data & text
  • $45 for 1200 minutes and unlimited data & text
  • $55 for unlimited voice, data & text
  • Refer a Friend Program
  • All plans include 2.5GB/month of high speed data, including 4G speeds in 4G coverage areas for capable devices.

    Note: I regularly hit 2.5 GB of data every three or four months at which point I’m throttled. I usually don’t notice I’m being throttled except when Virgin will send me a text message advising of such. (Adaptive protocol video limited to 3G speeds. Then it’s still unlimited but will be reduced to 3G speeds of 256 Kbps or below for remainder of the monthly plan cycle.)

    How much is 1GB:

  • 500 emails with a 2MB Attachment
  • 200 minutes of video clips
  • 8 hours of streaming music
  • 1000 webpages
  • 3000 emails (100 per day)

    If I use up my minutes midway though the month I can either restart my plan early or wait till the monthly renewal date. During the past two years I’ve gone over my mobile minutes twice and had to restart my monthly plan early. This has cost me an average of $2 extra per month. Normally I don’t use my monthly allotment of 200 minutes since I make most of my calls over Skype. Most of the time I’m using Wi-Fi at home or at business so most of my data doesn’t go over my phone plan. Occasionally I’m at a location where the Wi-Fi is either of such poor quality or it’s not available (password protected) so I’ll use my phone as a hotspot.

    And that’s the biggest reason I love Virgin Mobile. I can use my phone as a Hotspot at no additional charge. This allows me to use my tablet for most of my needs and only occasionally do I use my mobile phone. (On their site it says for $15 more a you can turn your phone into a mobile hotspots, but I use the free Quicker app found in Google Play market and accomplish the same for free.)

    Wireless connectivity is all about location. The big four Telecoms — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile — all have staked out their own territory, so what it boils down to it depends on where you live and work or play, that determines the quality of service you’ll receive. Often you won’t have viable options, so you’ll see a lot of bad reviews and criticism about all of them. I’ve lived in various areas with Sprint or a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) working off of Sprint and haven’t had serious issues. I’ve used Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile over the years and had to change carriers because of a new work location that was not yet covered by the carrier I had at the time. Usually within a few months the old carrier also covered the new area. When traveling out of my area it can be a different issue. Once I was in on the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and my Virgin Mobile phone had coverage and someone with a AT&T phone (and a $140+ monthly phone plan) couldn’t get coverage. As they say about real estate, “It’s all about location, location, location”.

    AT&T announced that it will be doing away with traditional data plans for new customers on October 25th, 2013. Existing customers won’t have to switch to a Mobile Share plan the next time they upgrade. Mobile Share starts at $70 per month for a smartphone with unlimited talk/text and 300MB of data, plus mobile hotspot service are included. You can add other lines to the plan for an additional fee. – Ouch!

    CDMA Carriers – (Don’t use simm cards):

  • Sprint
  • Verizon

    GMS Carriers – (They use simm cards):

  • AT&T $70 for unlimited talk & text, but only 300MB of data
  • T-Mobile $70 2.5 GB + Unlimited Talk after 2.5 GB data is throttled
  • T-Mobile gives tablet owners 200MB of data per month for no cost. Once that’s used up, customers will have the option of paying $5 for 500MB of data for one day or $10 for 1GB of data for a week.
  • Go Red Pocket (Affinity Link)

    Skype Data Usage:
    A high quality video call could use around 4MB per minute each way. So it’s probably safe to assume that each minute you are on a video call (high quality, not HD) you’re using about 10MB of your usage allowance.

    Voice only calling however uses about 25-30MB per hour.
    * * *

    Hi Fred,

    You’ve made your first referral, good job!

    With every friend you refer, you’ll be eligible to receive up a $25 account credit for each qualified referral, up to a total of $500 per calendar year.

    Refer again

    Your Friends at Virgin Mobile 11/3/13

    * * *

    Yes, it’s that easy. Virgin doesn’t tell me whom signed up so I’ll just have to say thanks to the mystery friend out there.

    * * *

    T-Mobile refer a friend program Hey, Please note that I (the Referrer) and you (the Referee) may each receive a Promotion Card for a successful referral.

    Sprint refer a friend Program Hey, Please note that I (the Referrer) and you (the Referee) may each receive a $25 Promotion Card for a successful referral.

    AT&T refer a friend Program Hey, Please note that I (the Referrer) and you (the Referee) may each receive a $25 AT&T Promotion Card for a successful referral.

    Version Referral Rewards Program

    imageAllPrepaidPlans.com Not a affinity link, just good info.