Smartphone 101 – Retrieving Voice Mail

Retrieving Voice Mail

Voice mail is a wonderful tool and can be a huge help, especially if you have a busy schedule. Getting it and managing its contents can be a challenge for the busy individual. This section assumes you’ve set up your voice mail account and it’s all good to go.

iPhone

  1. Open the phone app
    VM-ios-01
  2. Tap the voice mail icon on the bottom right of the app screen
    VM-ios-02
  3. Tap the voice mail message you wish to hear. It will expand to show a progress bar, representing the audio length of the message.
    VM-ios-03
  4. Press the play button on the left side of the screen. The message will play.
    VM-ios-04
  5. If you wish to save the message for later, do nothing. If you wish to delete the message, tap the Delete button.

Note: the iPhone uses Visual Voice Mail, which brings a more tactile voice mail management system to the device as opposed to the more traditional voice mail systems (like Windows Phone, below).

 

Android

Please note that voice mail systems on Android devices can vary from device to device, even on the same carrier. Some have Visual Voice Mail, like the iPhone, above. Others have more traditional voice mail systems. The following demonstrates voice mail retrieval on the HTC One (M8) on Verizon Wireless.

    1. Open the phone app.
      VM-and-01
    2. Press and hold the “1” button. Voice Mail will be called.
      VM-and-02

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Smartphone 101 – Making a Phone Call

OK… now that we have everything synching between your phone and your email account, let’s figure out exactly how to use it.

If you remember I started this series a few weeks ago and had one article about setting up your email account and address book and then one about synching that data to your smartphone. At this point, any changes or additions you make to either your email account via your computer or on your smartphone, to any of that data, will appear in both places.  It’s really pretty cool.

Integration, remember..? It’s all about integrating your data into the places where you will make the most use of it. That’s what makes your smartphone smart. It puts your data where you want to use it most – meaning your phone – and even anticipates how you want to use it, sometimes.

Your address book can hold listings for friends, family, businesses and the like. You’re likely going to want to call your parents on the weekends, your children’s pediatrician when they’re sick or need a checkup, and your dry cleaners to make sure that your clothes are read to be picked up, among many, many other things.  You may just want to yack your head off with your best friend.  Who knows…

Here’s the best way to do all that in all three major mobile operating systems. There are a couple-three scenarios here.

  • Making a Call

  • Receiving a Call

  • Retrieving Voice Mail

Let’s run through all of them quickly.

Making a Call

There are a few different ways to make a call – you can dial directly, search for a person in your address book or dial from a Favorites – or frequently called numbers – list.  I’m going to try to make this easy and have screenshots from all three operating systems in each section so we only have to do this once. Please note that the instructions here are going to reflect calling numbers here in the United States. If you live in another country, please sub in your country specifics for direct dialing numbers.

Dialing Directly

  1. Open your device’s Phone app and switch to the dialing pad screen

    DD-ios-01 DD-and-01 DD-WP-01
    iOS Android Windows Phone
  2. Dial the 10 digit phone number:  (area code) phone-number and press the (usually green) Phone button on the dialer to initiate the call.

DD-ios-02 DD-and-02 DD-WP-02
iOS Android Windows Phone

Please note – in the US, you do not NEED to dial a “1” in front of the phone number as you do on your land line phone.  While your call will still connect if you do, it’s not required on the cellular network like it is on the land line network. In most cases, unless you’re going to do any regular, international travel, you should NOT store your phone numbers as +1 (area code) phone-number.  Leave the “1” (or “+1”) off unless you DO travel internationally; and then it’s a good idea to have the “+1” prefix.

    1. Conduct your call.

      DD-ios-04 DD-and-03 DD-WP-03
      iOS Android Windows Phone

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Smartphone 101 – Prerequisite 2: Setting up a Sync Relationship with Android Phone

Android+Google Account

There are a BOAT LOAD of different kind of Android devices, from numerous manufacturers running about 35 or so active versions of the Android operating system. As such, there simply isn’t a standardized set of instructions for setting the device up. Android versions may also differ on the SAME device on a DIFFERENT carrier (adding to the confusion… I know.)

These instructions were done on an HTC One (M8) on the Verizon Wireless Network. As such, it’s going to have Verizon specific screens in its setup routine.  If this is your phone, then you have the exact instructions you need to get going. If you have, say, a Samsung Galaxy S4 or other Samsung Android device on Verizon, these instructions will be close, but not spot on. Unfortunately, there isn’t ONE single way to deliver Android; AND the way its implemented differs from device to device, mobile carrier to mobile carrier, so, if something in the instructions doesn’t line up for you and the store you purchased the phone can’t give you immediate assistance, leave a question in the comments.  I’ll answer it ASAP.

1.    Turn on your Android phone for the first time. After it boots and displays various splash and logo screens, it should stop at a welcome screen. This should be the beginning of a setup wizard or other setup app.
Android_ss_0001

2.    The HTC One (M8) uses the Verizon Cloud to back up your phone’s important information. If you want to use Verizon Cloud, click the “Next” button. Otherwise, click the “Skip” button.
Android_ss_0002

3.    Choose the data that you want to backup to Verizon Cloud. By default, all data types are selected.  Click the “Next” button when you’re done.
Android_ss_0003

4.    Choose what wireless networks are used – cellular and Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi only – when backing up data to Verizon Cloud.  Click the appropriate radio button and then click the, “Done with Cloud” button to go to the next step.
Android_ss_0004

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Keep key files and folders in sync with Beyond Compare

I’ve got data in multiple places, and want it that way. I need and want synchronized backups of important files and folders without the need to run any kind of TSR (terminate and stay resident) app. This is one of the reasons why I really like applications like Beyond Compare. It’s a file sync utility for Windows.

Beyond Compare allows you to quickly and easily compare files and folders in one folder tree to another. By using simple, powerful commands, you can focus on the differences you’re interested in and ignore those outside your concern. You can then merge the changes, synchronize your files, and generate reports for your records.
With Beyond Compare, you can compare entire drives and folders at high speed, checking just sizes and modified times; or you can thoroughly verify every file with byte-by-byte comparisons. FTP sites and zip files are seamlessly integrated into compare activities, so you can update your website with the touch of a button. Once you’ve found the specific files you’re interested in, Beyond Compare can intelligently pick the best way to compare and display them. Text files can be viewed and edited with syntax highlighting. Comparison rules can be tweaked specifically for documents, source code, and HTML. The text contents of a Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF files can also be compared; but not edited. Data files, executables, binary data, and images all have dedicated viewers as well, so you always have a clear understanding of the changes.

Read full review | Download Beyond Compare

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Acronis True Image Home 2012 the back-up tool for anyone

So much can go wrong with your computer, such as accidental file deletions, system viruses and total hard-disk failures. Having a complete PC-backup solution is critical. And this solution can come with Acronis True Image Home 2012.

This back-up utility stands out because of its simplicity for casual users and for its comprehensive collection of features that makes it a useful tool for any network or system engineer. Not only that it can recover your data, but it can also restore it as it was before any incident. All the software, shortcuts and all the emails and contacts, everything can be backed up and restored thanks to Acronis’ patented disk imaging and PC-cloning technology. For a more secure environment, use the Secure Zone function to create a secure disk partition on your internal drive. That way you can recover your system easily at any moment, even if your Operating System has failed.

Synchronization is another interesting feature that comes with Acronis True Image Home 2012. If you have two or more PCs and want them to mirror a selection of files or folders you just have to choose the File Synchronization option, which lets you replicate important data between multiple computers, files or devices. Sync files with friends, family or colleagues over the Web. Or sync with local folders, including USB sticks or external hard drives.

Setting up and running your backups is convenient with Acronis True Image Home. Smart Scheduling offers you practical options to decide when your backups should run, like during idle times or just before startup or shutdown. Set&Forget lets you configure your backups just once and then the software does the remembering for you.

Now it’s easier to avoid disasters before they happen. For instance, if you want to try out new software but are not sure if it’s virus-prone, Try&Decide lets you take a test drive first to see if you want to keep or discard the changes to your system. This is also very practical for browsing potentially dangerous websites.

The special Plus Pack add-on gives the user advanced features, such as dynamic-disk support and Universal Restore, which lets you recover your entire system on a computer with a completely different architecture. Besides other additional functionalities, for the first time Acronis True Image Home 2012 can use the full capacity of drive bigger than 2TB, even if the operating system you are running doesn’t support it.

In case you have decided to try it out, I can only say:

download Acronis True Image Home 2012

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