Friday, 29 November 2013

Random Smartphone Problems

My friends run into different problems with their smartphones this month. And as usual and being curious, I took a closer look on what's causing the problem. Though I am not really a techie person, I had some suspects on why their phones are behaving that way, and simple solutions that remedied the situations.

1. iPhone 5 on O2 network can not go online using mobile data


My friend told me that it was working fine but can no longer connect to the internet while on the move using mobile data. But it can go online using wi-fi connection. 

Her iPhone is showing 3G connection, and she told me that she has a data plan. In my opinion it should be able to go online, as her tariff has an internet allowance. Going into the iPhones APN settings (tap Settings, General, Cellular or Mobile Data, Cellular Data Network or Mobile Data Network) showed the correct APN for iPhone mobiles which is idata.o2.co.uk . Investigating further, she told me that the original tariff is for an android mobile phone that she just ordered a nano sim and ported the number of her original tariff to it. This made me suspicious that the problem might be the APN setting. We've changed the iPhone setting(idata.o2.co.uk) with the original android phone's apn setting (mobile.o2.co.uk) and it worked!



2. Samsung S3's SMS Problem


2.1. Can't send a text message 


Another friend is annoyed one afternoon when she cannot send a sms message to her son telling to get the house key from me because she will be out. A call might be a better idea but she is concerned that the mobile ring will make a disturbance inside her son's class. 

Every time she sends a message from her android phone, the phone says, "failed". It can receive a test message though. And she told me that she the problem just started a few days after one of her children played with the mobile.

What could be the problem?

 I went into the message settings of her android phone  and found out that the message center number is not properly set. It is only showing +44 and it should be at least 12 numbers. She doesn't know what happened but I suspected that somebody has accidentally deleted some of the numbers.

Going to the O2 website, we've updated the message center to +447802000332 and she was able to send messages again without running into failed message alert.

(go to message center by opening Messages, then touch the bottom left soft key and touch Settings, scroll to Text message settings, then tap Message Centre) 


The message centre for sms should automatically be set but if you run into problems with sending a text then it is best to check if it is set correctly. Below are the sms numbers from popular networks.

  • 3   (three)                   +447782000800
  • ASDA                       +447785014315
  • O2 Pay As You Go  +44 7802 092 035
  • O2 Pay Monthly       +44 7802 000 332
  • Orange                     +44 7973 100 973
  • Talk Mobile              +44 7785 014 318
  • Tesco                        +447802092035
  • T-Mobile                  +44 7958 879 879
  • Virgin                        +44 7958 879 890
  • Vodafone                  +447785016005

2.2 Long text message is converted into MMS


The fact that the Samsung S3 can only handle 160- character SMS at a time is annoying. If you exceed this, it will be converted into MMS(yellow boxed) and sent through the mobile phone network's internet service. The recipient should also have a smartphone with MMS enabled to read it. Or if you do not want to use MMS or your recipient do not have a smartphone, you need to stop and send your message after the 160th character and compose another with the rest of the message after sending the first one.



To solve this problem, you can download a messaging service app from the play store to get round this. One particular application is Go SMS Pro. This app has additional enhancements that can spice up the rather boring native sms application.



3. Battery is draining fast


Here's a classic smartphone problem, that I admit to continue have experience it from time to time with my S3 phone. With the built in settings to save the battery and other free apps that promise to extend battery life, why the smart phone is not smart enough to manage it's energy supply?

Here's what I have found out. You might be thinking of turned on wi-fi, bluetooth etc, although these contribute to the battery drain, but the real culprit is the handset is kept AWAKE at all time! Symptom for this is it loses it's battery power very fast, that you might need to charge it at least 2 to 3 times a day or more. See if you have an insomniac phone by going to settings then tapping the battery (1) then the battery level(3). You can see that the "awake"(4) entry is continuous. I also suspect that the AVG(2) is stalled or taking time to do what it's doing. You can also see a very fast discharge of more than half it's power in 4 hours.


What I did here was to force quit the application in question by going to Settings, Applications, then to the program in question then force quit(5), and restarted the phone at the end. See the difference of the second batch of screen shots taken the day after. It's been on for 15 hours. The awake button is intermittently turning on and off. You can see that when it is not awake(7), the battery level(6) is flat and when it is continuously awake (9) the battery has a very steep plunge(8).




Saturday, 2 November 2013

Why Join Cashback Sites

With Christmas just round the corner, I am sure everyone is busy planning for their activities and making their X'mas lists. How much would you be spending for gifts this year? No matter how much money would be flowing out of your pocket, you could get back some of it by using a cashback site! Joining a cashback site is easy and worth it. Not to mention it is free to join. The clear advantage is some of the money you pay for your purchases will go back to your bank account in the form of a cashback. This could range from a few pence to hundreds of pounds depending on the purchase and percentage of the cashback.

How to Join?


A good example of a company with a good reputation is topcashback.com.  Like most of the cashback company's, it is completely free to join. You just need your postaldetails and email address and you do need a bank account to join. Why? Because this will be needed when you want to withdraw your  cashback. 

Join now and start saving!



If for any reason  you are not comfortable in setting up your bank account to receive your cashback payment, paypal account is accepted. 


How to Earn Cashbacks?


To start earning through your purchases, the next time you buy something online, log on to topcashback.com and search(1)for the site you want to buy from. If the retailer is affiliated to topcashback, the summary of how much you will earn as cashback will be shown(2). Click  cashback(2) and it will show you the latest offers and voucher codes available for the said merchant. At the merchant's topcashback page, click get cashback(3) and a new tab will redirect you to the merchant's site where you can shop. 



You can be sure that the visit you made to the site is recorded by going back to the merchant's cashback page tab.




Popular Cashback Companies


 Most of the things you need when bought online can give you cashbacks, not only from retail companies, but utility companies like power, telecommunication, financial and other services. In fact high paying cashbacks come from telecommunications and financial institutions offering mortgages and insurances. 


Maximise Your Savings


The percentage cashback you receive from the site is independent from the existing promotion of the merchant's site. This means you can maximise your savings. For example you bought a galaxy tab basing from the present offers, buying online would already save you £20 (£99.97 online compared to £119.97 in store), plus another potential saving of £10 voucher for every thing less than £100 tablets, and a cashback of 4.04% which is another £4.03 or a total of £34.03 savings. Not bad by just using the topcashback site.

Checking and Cashing In Your Cashback Earnings


The good thing about this site is, there is no threshold in earnings before you can withdraw your cashback. As long as it is already available in your account, meaning it has been paid by the company to topcashback, and it is already showing in your account, you can cash it out. 


You can check on this by clicking my account(5) then earnings(6). You can see the transactions by merchant, your click visits, and most of all the cashbacks which are payable. The amount of this column represents how much you can withdraw!


To cash in, click the payments (9) tab and you can choose between paypal payment or bank transfer. If you have not arranged for the payment details when you have set up your account, you can set it up by going to my account, then my profile, then payment details.  



Join now and start saving!




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