Recently, I've been doing a little more travel than usual. There are some subtle ways of getting around a lot of normal inconveniences. There is also some wrong information out there which I will clarify...
Yes, you can bring your own water without having it confiscated. The trick is freeze it the night before. They will let you bring frozen water but not regular water.
You can bring your own food too! I typically pick up a Jersey Mikes SUB sandwich with the oil and vinegar on the side. I cut it in quarters and pre-wrap each. I oil them up when eating to keep them fresh. The alternative is paying a premium price in the airport or taking your chance on the plane. On a Delta flight to Tampa last week, the attendant apologized for running out of food before serving the whole plane. I was glad I brought my own food.
Pre-boarding trick. I personally register online and use my cellphone as my boarding pass. One of the benefits is unlike your boarding pass, the electronic boarding pass is read cellphone face down. That means if you are in zone 4 and want to board with an earlier zone, they won't notice. Try that with a paper boarding pass and it never works.
TSA Pre-Approved. TSA Pre✓ provides expedited security screening benefits for flights departing from U.S. Airports. Global Entry provides the TSA Pre✓ benefit plus expedited US customs screening for international air travelers when entering the United States. TSA Pre✓ costs $85 and Global Entry costs $100 for a five year membership. Travelers interested in Global Entry must apply through the Trusted Traveler Program website.
For frequent global travelers, Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI are programs of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. These programs offer travel benefits to pre-screened members. If you join Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI, use your membership number as a “known traveler number” in airline reservations to receive TSA Pre✓®.
Answer a call from your surfboard. Ask Siri to send a message. Stream your favorite songs on your run. And do it all while leaving your phone behind. Introducing Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular. Now you have the freedom to go with just your watch.
The only peace, quiet and solitude I ever get is in the water. No Facebook, e-mails or phone calls...until now.
For those who truly cannot miss an important call, the new Apple Watch Series 3 may be for you. I personally wear a RipCurl Search GPS watch in the water because it gives me GPS information, my wave count, top speed, distance and more. If you call me when I am in the water, you'll be greeted by my voice mail stating that "You have almost reached Joel, Please leave a message and I will get back to you ASAP". I have no personal desire to make or receive phone calls while surfing but if you do, hit me up and I can make it happen for you. Aloha!
With the race for Smartphone supremacy, there becomes a point where the manufacturer's stop being driven by consumers and driven only by the competition. In this case, Apple is battling Samsung for SmartPhone supremacy. The problem though is how big of a screen does one really need. In my opinion, the iPhone 4s, 5s and SE were some of the best devices Apple ever made. I particularly liked the pocket friendly size, feel and ability to operate it with one hand easily. The only bummer on these models was the tiny screen. We all know Apple built a better mouse trap and their iOS was always more stable and secure than Android. Apple should realize that they will never be able to competitively compete with Samsung. After all, how could they? Apple buys their Super AMOLED screens from Samsung. They previously bought their processors from Qualcomm who they are currently embroiled in a law suit with. Now they buy their processors from Intel. And you wondered why the cheapest iPhone X with only 64GB of memory starts at a grand?
I've been saying for years that Apple should come out with a moderately priced model instead of the $1000+ high end stuff. There has been plenty of rumors of Apple building some new iPhone X "budget" models with the less expensive LCD screen. I have been waiting for the wolf in sheeps clothing. That would be a newer iPhone SE model with the guts and camera of at least the iPhone 7 and the bezel less design of the iPhone X. Obviously, it would be much cheaper for Apple to use the LCD versus Super AMOLED screen and I am fine with that. It looks like my dreams may possibly come true based on a recent article from our friends art Cult of Mac.
About six months ago, I got bored of my iPhone 6S+ and sold it. Unfortunately, I was never impressed with the iphone 7 or 8 models. I pondered with the thought of buying an iPhone X but after insurance costs and tax, I could also easily buy two brand new surfboards. I ended up getting one new surfboard and buying a lightly used Samsung S8+. This blog post is about my journey, joys and frustrations with each device.
Starting with the obvious. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is slimmer, slightly longer and has an AMOLED screen to die for. Neither one of these devices is very pocket friendly but I think wide is better than long in most of my pockets. It is not very friendly out of the box with it's default settings like Apple. I hated the Samsung keyboard but love Google's G-Board which is a free download. I also like the fact that I have a whole team of virtual assistants. If one is not responding properly, I call on the others. Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana and Bixby are all there for my beckoning. SIRI used to be very moody with me. If I didn't have great signal, she was totally useless.
While I loved the stability and security of Apple's iOS, I was getting angry with their imperious attitude and fact that they often made things far more difficult than needed. This was before they got busted for covertly throttling processor speeds with a software upgrade. For people like me that enjoy creating and using their own ringtones, Apple even hid the tones option in one of their recent software upgrades. Fortunately, a little know trick with Apple's GarageBand application makes it easy to make your own ringtones.
Technologically speaking, the S8+ is years ahead of the iPhone 6S+ or even the X for that matter in my opinion. I particularly like the Retina Scanner for ID unlocking. That's not the problem. With the exception of my RipCurl Search GPS watch application, most of the Applications are the same for me on both Apple and Android. The cameras are outstanding on both but I would say the S8+ is better.
Last week, I took the Samsung S8+ with me on an international trip and bought another iPhone 6S+ because I missed my GPS watch application and the simplicity of the device and iOS. Information technology services is my calling in life so if I find the S8+ to be extremely complex to set up and optimize, it's no walk in the park. Like a dummy, I intentionally left the iPhone home so I could get the full international experience on the Samsung device.
The first problem I encountered was after arriving in Mexico. My T-Mobile plan is 100% local and unlimited there but my phone did not now that. I kept getting an annoying data roaming costs may occur and to either press cancel or settings to turn data roaming off. The problem is I could not find where to turn of this annoying message which haunted me every 5 minutes.
I thought my iphone was a nuisance everytime I butt dialed the last person I called from my pocket. The Android would launch Apps I didn't even know I had. It would regularly turn off Bluetooth, wifi, and everything else. Once I hit under 10% battery life, the screen would go so dark, I couldn't see it making the phone useless. What really sealed the deal and convinced me to dump this thing and go back to the iPhone 6S+ happened on the last day. I left for the 45 minute airport drive to Zihuatanejo with a full battery. I closed every application and slipped the phone in my shorts pocked...without locking it. Once I arrived at the airport, I looked down at my pocket and noticed the flash light turned on by itself and 6 applications had opened resulting in a totally dead battery. I had taken my wireless charger and inserted it in my checked luggage. I assumed the Micro USB cable that plugged into the charger would also plug into the phone directly. Wrong! The phone has a micro C model, making it impossible for me to charge my phone on the plane. The bottom line is when you get used to taking LYFT and have to take a cab and pay double because your phone let you down, it's time to find another. Anyone looking for a good deal on a Samsung S8+? I've gone back to my iPhone 6S+ and will live with it's shortcomings until the new X series debuts.
This almost happened 6 months ago but Sprint bailed out. What's become abundantly clear is Sprint is now in a class by itself... Last! That's for a number of reasons. Sprint was wrong buying Nextel's IDEN technology. They were wrong to launch 4G WiMAX with Clearwire which they eventually bought out, before LTE was adapted as the 4G global world standard putting Sprint years behind the competition. To make matters worse, their fellow "second tier carrier", T-Mobile is no longer a second tier carrier but has leaped past AT&T to become Verizon's fiercest rival.
The reality is Softbank is losing money on Sprint and wants out. They previously balked because they did not want to relinquish control. They really have no choice. Did I also mention that Sprint still relies on their CDMA 3G network backbone. The real downside here is that they are the only carrier that does not support voice and data simultaneously over acellular network like all the other carriers.
My opinion is Sprint cannot afford not to sell to T-Mobile. Even if AT&T or Verizon were remotely interested, the FCC would have a hard time pushing a merger with these two. Anyone who has seen those commercials with the ex-Verizon "Can You Hear Me Now" Dude saying that the network quality difference is only 1% is delusional.
Previously, Globalstar's Unlimited plan was $199.99. They dropped the price to $99.99 and offered a FREE refurbished GSP 1700 package that was great. This morning, Globalstar announced that the FREE GSP 1700 package is now FREE on their $64.99 100 minute plan and above. Get yours today by contacting us.
With Apple announcing that they are pulling the rug on their 32bit architecture, those with older devices that have not been upgraded to the latest software are going to have problems. Our friends at Cult of Mac made it easy to check whether your current applications are 32 or 64bit and whether they have already been upgraded by the developer. Here you go...
How to check if your favorite app is 32-bitThis change won’t have a dramatic affect; developers will have already updated their most popular titles to support 64-bit architectures long ago. But if you’re using an old piece of software that hasn’t been updated in a while, you might have a problem.
You can check whether or not your favorite apps are 32-bit inside macOS by following the steps below:
Apple has already stopped accepting 32-bit app submissions to the Mac App Store, so you’ll only find 64-bit software in there. The company has eliminated 32-bit apps on iOS, too.
Forced migrations never seem to go well. Remember when Microsoft decided they no longer wanted to support Windows 7 Professional, and XP. They forced everyone to migrate to their new Microsoft 8 (now X) and it was not pretty. In fact, it took years for Microsoft to work the bugs out of Windows 10.
When Sprint decided they made a huge mistake buying the IDEN Network from Nextel, they shuttered it. Never mind the fact that many businesses and government agencies used their two-way radio services for emergencies. The replacement technology that Sprint replaced it with was so awful, I was advising my clients to hold on their IDEN as long as possible. Then, un-announced, Sprint began shutting down their IDEN network resulting in me losing a major University account. Today, Sprint is hanging on by a thread and will likely end up getting bought by T-Mobile.
I'm beginning to wonder if Apple management is stuck on stupid. First they introduce the iPhone 8 which is more or less identical to the iPhone 7, followed 30 days later by another new model, the iPhone X, which allegedly gets discontinued this year and replaced by a new line of iPhone X models. This was a bit unusual. Then Apple gets busted for covertly slowing down the processors of iPhone 6 and 7 series models by sneaking in a nasty software feature. Today, they just announced they are pulling support for 32bit applications.
Nothing is worse than having a great device that is in fantastic working order but useless because the applications and operating system are obsolete. The manufacturers seem to intentionally make it so the newer operating systems require more processing speed and memory than your current device supports. I'm beginning to get pissed off about this and have a closet full of older computers that are in perfect working order like my 6 year old PowerBook below which was one of my all time favorite computers. It still works but Apple abandoned it long ago.
I realize that sometimes you have to move on and get new technology. On the other hand, if it ain't broken, why try to fix or replace it. Does anyone else out there feel like they are being strong armed into buying new software or hardware?
The iPhone 7 series remains current at Apple and all the carriers. Now that Apple's "Battery-Gate" scandal has resulted in new "Battery Management" software features, the slowing down on processor speeds is no longer an issue. There has never been a better time to get an iPhone 7. That's because T-Mobile is giving a $150 Mail-in rebate for anyone activating an iPhone 7 on their Unlimited plans.
Starting February 16 for a limited time, Business and Government customers with 1-12 voice lines who buy an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus on an eligible T-Mobile ONE voice plan can get $150 OFF (via mail-in rebate).
What to Know
Interestingly, most of the various global world wireless technologies disappeared, or morphed into Long Term Evolution (LTE). Sprint continues to utilize CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) as their network backbone. Their devices continue to support both their CDMA and LTE networks. Other than them, pretty much all carrier devices are now interchangeable. Your carrier does not want you to know that the day has come where subscribers can change carriers with no interruption in service. Moving your number and device has never been easier because the only thing that changes is the address and company name that you pay each month.
I remember the days when manufacturers made North American Models, Middle Eastern Models, Asian models, and European models. Even though they were all supporting EDGE or UMTS technologies, the frequencies often varied, they were locked, and you often could not even roam because the bandwidth differed in each country. To make matters worse, the carriers, not the device makers, wielded the big stick back then when it came to what features were offered, or more significantly, not offered. I'll never forget buying an Unlocked global NOKIA E-61 SmartPhone in Europe (pictured above) that even had built-in BlackBerry support, SIP trunking, text-to-voice, GPS, wifi dialing, and some other cool features that were five years ahead of their time. Miraculously, most of the features worked on my CIngular line back home in the US. I was a Cingular Wireless dealer at the time and became very excited when I heard they had commissioned NOKIA to make this model for their network. It would be called the E-62. Unfortunately, when it was released, it bombed. It turns out Cingular made NOKIA strip most of the above really cool features off the device. I suppose they couldn't sell monthly subscription add-ons like text to voice if they were coming free on the phone.
We can all thank APPLE who proved that if you have a great device, people will pay for it, even if they get saddled with a two year contract with a second rate carrier. We can also thank T-Mobile. It was their brash CEO, John Legere, who have relentlessly attacked "Dumb and Dumber" (Verizon and AT&T) from day one. After all, he was the one who abolished contracts, early termination fees, global text charges, global data charges and a lot more. Today, the contract is on your device, not your plan, assuming you finance it from the carrier. Should you want to take your current number and device to a different carrier, it has never been easier, especially for iPhone users. Dr Wireless has specialized in seamlessly moving businesses from one wireless carrier to another for years. It has never been easier because Apple and all of the major Android manufacturers are making devices that will work with all carriers worldwide. Even if you finance your device from your wireless carrier, you can move it to any other carrier, anytime, as long as you pay off the balance of what is owed. This is why carriers offer early upgrade programs, leasing (Sprint), and offer incentives in an attempt to bind you, "old school" contract style
So the choice when buying a device becomes whether to buy once locked to a carrier, or buy an unlocked one directly from the manufacturer. Until recently, I always recommended getting one from the carriers (except Sprint), since they were easy to unlock and often optimized with features that not all carriers offered (wifi calling, etc...). Today, again thanks to Apple, it's likely a better idea to buy an unlocked device versus one made for a specific carrier. Recently, this came to my attention when I noticed that Google had pushed out their newest OREO iOS to all carrier locked devices before their unlocked device owners (me). This was the exact opposite of what I would have expected. Maybe Samsung made this following statement to appease folks with the unlocked versions.
"We understand that many of you have Unlocked Galaxy S8/+ and Note 8 devices and may be wondering why those with Carrier models are seeing the updates first. The reason for this is that Unlocked devices must go through more rigorous testing than Carrier-specific devices because we need to make sure there is proper network functionality across ALL supported networks. (Ex. Carrier-specific devices are made to handle that one network. Unlocked devices need to be able to handle ANY / ALL compatible networks. Thus, they require some more preparation.)"
Where I am leading with all of this is there has never been a better time to be a wireless consumer. Your wireless carrier has to work even harder to keep you. That's why they all offer Unlimited everything plans today. It's still a rip off to some degree to have a one line plan. Each carrier sweetens the deal when adding lines. That means that the average price for a one line unlimited plan is $70-$80 per month. For two lines about $120-$130. Once you hit family or business plans with 4 lines or more, the line cost plummets as low as $40 each. I'm often asked which carrier I use and what plan am I on. Until last month, I was on an amazing T-Mobile dealer plan that offered me Unlimited everything at $48 for two lines. Apparently, TM management must not appreciate our new Robin Hood program. They just revoked my dealer plan! That's okay because I practice what I preach and negotiated an $60 plan offering Unlimited Everything for two users. Now, I can be candid and there is nothing they can take from me!
The main problem is if you are ill informed enough to keep overpaying each month for an obsolete plan, your carrier is sly enough to dummy up and let you continue to overpay. This is one of the reasons we got out of the activation business. Now instead of working for "them", we work for you. That means we offer a FREE wireless plan analysis. In ten minutes, Dr Wireless can determine whether your deal is good, or whether we can save you a bundle. In any case, there is nothing to lose. The worst thing that can happen is we determine that your current deal is a great one and you don't need our help. More commonly, we discover that with our knowledge, expertise and carrier resources, we can reduce your monthly wireless bills by $400 or more per year. If could accomplish this for you or your business, is that worth a one-time payment to Dr Wireless of $200? If we cannot deliver, we waive our charge 100%. if that is not a WIN WIN no-brainer, I don't know what is. Get more information about our Robin Hood program here. After 26 years in the wireless industry, nobody knows how this game is played better than us!
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.