The Smartphone Buyer's Guide 2015 (2015)

The Basics of a Cell Phone: Overviews and How-To’s

 

 

** this chapter covers a lot of basic capabilities of a cellphone; if you are familiar with all basic functions of a cellphone, please skip to the next chapter **

Shopping for a cell phone can be a daunting task, but before you begin your search for the perfect phone, it is vital that you are familiar with the basic capabilities the current mobile phone.  By acquainting yourself with the essential software and capabilities of the modern mobile phone, you will be able to make an educated decision in picking out the phone right for you. A plus is that this may help you save money in the long-term.    

 

Overview of the General Phone Applications

 

A mobile application is a computer program designed to work on mobile devices.  Mobile phones are run by various applications.  Subsequently, modern smartphones are can be considered computers more than they can be considered mobile phones.  In a conventional sense, it is only right that smartphones contain a fully-functional OS of their own.  Mobile operating systems make the advanced features of mobile phone available through mobile applications. 

 

When making phone applications, developers have to be conscious of the capabilities of that phone and the inabilities of the phone.  Developers must be aware to the variety of phones that are out there on the market.  The frequent changes in the mobile operating systems can make it difficult for some developers to keep up.  Mobile application development requires use of specific amalgamated development environments. Mobile apps are first tested within the development environment using emulators.  The use of emulators offers developers an inexpensive way to test applications on phones that they have no access to. 

 

Developers use mobile user interfaces to help keep the user as the focus of the development and design.  The mobile user interfaces grants the developers the ability to mimic how the user’s manipulation will affect the developing application.  This helps developers give users a user-friendly mobile application. 

 

Some of the first mobile applications appeared on the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or handheld PC in 1984.  It wasn’t until 1994 that PDAs gained the ability to place phone calls.  This was the earliest form of the smartphone, because during that time nearly all PDAs had the ability to do what the smartphone of today can do.  PDAs offered applications like touchscreen capabilities, a QWERTY virtual keyboard, handwriting recognition, stroke recognition. 

 

Today, the mobile apps development landscape and the mobile app marketplace has sky rocketed.  Thanks to the many contributions of mobile operating system developers like Google’s Android OS, Apple’s iOS platform, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, and hundreds of smaller third-party companies and teams that sell mobile applications through the major mobile application markets.  Most of the phones on the market today are programmed with some essential applications that are universal to all mobile devices.  Let’s take a look at some of the most used applications below.

 

Calculator

 

The calculator on your phone works just like a generic pocket calculator.  The calculator is a free application already programmed into your phone.  Even some of the more basic mobile phones contain this application.  You can locate the calculator application one your phone’s home screen or the phone’s application menu. 

 

This phone has the basic capabilities to carry out math problems such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  Some calculator apps will be able to handle more advanced math problems like square roots and radicals.  However, this depends on the operation system. 

 

If would like to have a calculator that is a little more advanced, then there are plenty of options for you located in your phone’s application store. 

 

Calendar

 

The calculator is a free application already programmed into your phone.  Even some of the more basic mobile phones contain this application. The calendar application can be located in the application menu of your phone.  Just simply touch the calendar icon to schedule events, set reminders for important dates, and much more.

 

Depending on the operating system, you may be able to sync your calendar on your phone with your calendars located on your computers and other mobile devices.  Operating systems such as Android and Windows are great examples of the syncing feature.  Be sure to check out your phone manual for a better understanding of how the features of the calendar application work. 

 

Cloud Computing Services

 

Cloud computing services are becoming very popular and have evolved drastically since the 1990s.  Your phone’s operating system usually has its own cloud service.  You will have your own cloud service once you phone is activated.  It will be secured by your username/email address and a password.  You will be able to upload files, media, contacts, mobile applications, and other important information to the cloud service.  This is convenient to users because you will be able to access everything saved to the cloud from any mobile device or computing system.  Also if you were to switch phones you will be able to download everything from the cloud service to your new phone with no data loss. 

 

Contacts

 

Each contact that you add to your contact list will be automatically synced with the Voice-To-Call and Voice-To-Text features on your phone.  All you have to do is speak the contact’s name into the microphone of the mobile device along with the intended command, and it will begin completing the command.  For example, if I wanted to call my brother John, I would pull up the voice command application.  Then, all I would have to do is speak, “Call John,” into the phone.  The phone will begin placing the call.

 

Global Positioning System (GPS)

 

This is a satellite based feature that is available to all mobile phones. This system is comprised of a network of approximately 30 satellites that have been placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. This feature provides clock synchronization which allows the time on your phone to be automatically updated.  This is critical for synchronizing its spreading codes with other base stations to enable inter-cell handoff and provision for hybrid GPS/cellular position recognition that is necessary for emergency calls and other applications.

 

 

Lock Screen

 

The lock screen is a security feature of the user interface implemented to mostly all smartphone.  Its purpose is meant to provide security to the personal information in your phone.  When this feature is activated, it will require a password to be entered whenever the phone is used after the screen times-out or whenever the phone is powered back on.  This feature can be activated under the ‘SETTINGS’ options. 

 

Media Player

 

The media player is an application that plays the music, videos, and podcasts downloaded to the phone.  You can also receive live stream support through the later media players.  Most media players are able to automatically detect the media stored in your phone and on your SD card, and add the media to the library.  This application is controlled by commands such as play, pause, skip forwards, skip backwards, shuffle, repeat, and loop. 

 

Navigation

 

The GPS navigation application is responsible for precisely calculating the geographical locations through GPS satellites.    This applications gives you access to step-by-step directions to and from any location of your choice.  You are also able to access traffic congestion maps, street maps, and directions via text or speech. 

 

Photo Gallery

 

The photo gallery is the application where you can view the pictures that have been downloaded, Bluetoothed, or saved to your phone from the camera.  Just like the media player, the photo gallery is able to automatically detect the media stored in your phone and on your SD card, and add the photo gallery.

 

Marketplace/Store

 

This is the digital distribution platform for mobile applications.  Each smartphone has this feature. Mobile Marketplaces mimic the layout of an online store, where users can browse through these various app categories, view details about each mobile application, (e.g. number of downloads, ratings, reviews, etc.), and access applications (e.g. ringtones, games, and any applications that you think would be useful to you and your phone). The applications are offered as an automatic download, and the installation of the application begins. Some marketplaces may also allow the operating system to spontaneously remove an installed application from device the mobile device under specific conditions, to prevent malicious software.            

 

Web Browser

 

A mobile browser is a web browser designed for use on a mobile device such as a mobile phone or PDA.  Mobile browsers are augmented to present web content that is suitable for small screens of mobile devices.

 

 

Overview of the Codes Assigned to Your Phone

 

Every cell phone that you come in contact with has unique, alphanumeric codes that are only assigned that individual phone.  These codes are utilized to identify the phone, phone carrier, and owner.  Familiarize yourself with these codes below:

 

System Identification Code (SID)

 

This is a unique 5-digit number that is allocated to each phone carrier by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  This code is programmed into the phone at the time of purchase.  This unique code is used to identify cellular networks in identifiable areas.  System Identification Codes are transmitted by several base stations in order to locate the cellular networks.  When the phone is powered on it listens for a signal, and once the signal is identified and received, the phone investigates the SID.  It compares the SID signal to the SID that is recorded in the phone. 

 

Electric Serial Number (ESN)

 

This is a unique 32-digit number that is allocated to the phone by the manufacturer.  The number is programmed in the phone at the time of its creation. 

 

Mobile Identification Number (MIN)

 

This is a 10-digit serial number that is allocated to the phone, once a phone number is assigned to the phone by the phone carrier.  This number is used to identify phones that are operating in cooperation of TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) standards and PCS (Personal Communications Service) technologies. 

 

International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI)

 

An IMEI is your 14 to 16 digit serial number that will be unique to your mobile device.  The use of this number has been implemented to help eradicate the use of stolen mobile devices. This is a unique number used to identify 3GPP, iDEN phones, and satellite phones.  This number is normally located inside the battery compartment of the mobile phone.  It can also be displayed on the phone screen by entering in ‘#06#’.  You can also find this number by going to the settings menu and looking the phone’s operating system. 

 

Inside the Phone

 

The basic components that will bring your mobile phone to life as follows:

 

Random-Access Memory (RAM)

 

The memory in your phone is where the software and programmed into your phone and the data runs.  Random-Access Memory is a type of computer storage data that houses the operating system software and the applications on your phone.  RAM allows the data in your device to be interpreted at the same rate simultaneously no matter the order the data is accessed.  This memory runs at a very fast pace.  Mostly all mobile and stationary computer devices have RAM.  An increased amount of RAM allows for more complex software to be run on the device. 

 

Antenna

 

Embedded in the handset case, the antenna is a very important technology component to the mobile phone.  The antenna provides the phone with all of its wireless capabilities.  The antenna is the base of all wireless communication, and enables the phone to perform at the best quality. 

 

In a wireless system, an antenna converts guided radio wave energy (such as a signal traveling in a coaxial cable for television) to energy that is emitted or “radiated” out into free space. An antenna also does the reverse—it receives radio waves from the air and feeds them into the devices that detect, decode, and amplify them. In a cell phone system, there is one antenna in the handset and another in the base station tower. Both of these antennas transmit and receive waves.

 

Keyboard/Keypad

 

The QWERTY virtual keyboard, the QWERTY the keypad, or the keypad is available is the input device on your mobile phone.  Here you will be able to communicate message, type in phone numbers, and input other commands. 

 

Microphone

 

The microphone is the part of the phone that you will speak into.  This will be where you will talk on the phone, and send out voice commands. 

 

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Screen

 

The LCD screen will be where you will be able to view all of the actions, commands, and applications to your phone.  This is what makes the phone so attractive.  However, this is one of the most fragile features of the phone.  It is very susceptible to damage, so it is very important to purchase a reliable and sturdy phone case to protect your phone and screen from damage. 

 

Battery

 

The battery provides electricity and power to your phone.  You can monitor your battery life through the icon that will be located at the top left corner of your phone’s display screen.  Your phone battery will likely be composed of lithium.

 

Speaker

 

The speaker is where you will be able to listen to phones calls, music, and hear notifications. 

 

Circuit Board

 

The circuit board is the brains of the phone.  It consists of several chips that translate audio signals. 

 

How to Work the Most Important Applications on Your Phone

 

These are general instructions.  Specific procedures will differ by operating system.  Check your phone manual for the instructions unique to your phone

 

Alarm/Clock

 

The alarm clock is a basic feature on the phone, and a free application already programmed into your phone.  Even some of the more basic mobile phones contain this application.  Here you will be able to set the time, and set alarms.  You can also see the time on your Home screens by adding a Clock widget.

To set new alarm:

Open your phone’s Alarm/Clock application.

At the bottom of the screen, tap the add icon that is usually indicated by a “+” sign. 

Enter in the time that you would like for the alarm to go off. 

Next, you will need to set the alarm to repeat.  Depending on the OS there will be a dropdown menu titled, ‘REPEAT’ with a list of the days of the week.  Select the days that you will need for this alarm to go off. 

Then you can choose the ringtone that you would like for the alarm.  This option is available under the ‘SOUND’ menu. 

You will then need to label the alarm.  Touch the text box located under the ‘LABEL’ or ‘NAME’ title.  Type in the name you prefer. 

Set the time you want, and then select ‘OK,’ ‘SAVE,’ or ‘DONE’.

Once the alarm is saved, you will be able to view the alarm in a list.  From here switch the alarm from ‘OFF’ to ‘ON’. 

 

Dialer/Phone

 

All mobile phones have the capability of placing and receiving phone calls.  This is the most essential feature of any phone.  The typical phone call is placed by picking up the cell phone and dialing in the recipient’s phone number.  This can be done through the touchscreen QWERTY keyboard, or the alphanumeric touchpad.  More advanced mobile phones offer the feature of voice dialing.  You can place a call through the phone by simply speaking the recipients’ name (recipient’s name and number must be saved in your contacts) or speaking each digit of the phone number into the microphone. 

 

You will be able to place a phone call whenever there is a paid cell phone subscription assigned to your phone.  If there is an interruption is your service, bad reception, the phone is powered off, or if you are out of range of your phone carriers’ coverage areas, you will not be able to place a call. 

 

Usually, you will not be able to place a call while the cell phone is busy running another application.  However, this rests solely on the capabilities of the phone.  Since some phones do allow phone calls to connect while the phone is busy running applications. 

 

The easiest way to place a phone call is to begin at the home screen.  Select the ‘DIALER’ or the application that is used to make phone calls.  From here, you will need to make sure that you know the full phone number of the person you are calling.     

 

There are three types of phones calls that can be made from your phone, local, long distance, and international.  To determine if the call you are placing is local, long-distance, or international, you will need to check the country code, area code, and/or city code. 

 

To get a better understanding of what these phone numbers will look like, check out the examples below:

 

To place a LOCAL Phone Call

 

To determine if your phone will be connected locally, be sure that you have an area code associated with the phone number you wish to call.  If there is an area code, check to see if the area code matches with yours or it the area code is out of state.  If the area codes are the same, then this will be considered a local phone call.  However, the call may still be considered local if there is a different area code.  Most cities have boroughs or suburbs that are located no less than 10 minutes from major metropolitan areas.  These suburbs/boroughs will usually have area codes that differ from the main city.  If this is the case, this will still be considered a local call. 

 

To place a local call, you may enter either the last seven digits of the phone number, or you can enter the full ten digits.  For example, if I live in Sacramento, CA (area code 916), and I want to call my grandmother that lives two blocks away, I will need to enter in the phone number as follows: 

To call phone number (916) 555-555 or 555-5555:  I will first, dial area code ‘916’. Next, I will dial phone number, ‘555-5555’.  Finally, I will select ‘SEND”. 

 

To Place a LONG-DISTANCE or DOMESTIC Phone Call

 

If the call that you wish to place is long-distance, out of state or in another city, you will need to enter the full phone number or all ten digits.  For example, if I live in Sacramento, CA (area code 916), and I wanted to call my cousin in Memphis, TN (area code 901), I will need to enter the phone number as follows: 

 

To call phone number (901) 555-5555:  I will first, dial area code ‘901’. Next, I will dial phone number, ‘555-5555’.  Finally, I will select ‘SEND’. 

 

To Place an INTERNATIONAL Phone Call

 

If I am placing an international call to a mobile phone, I will dial 011, and then the country code for the country I am calling, the area or city code, and the phone number. However, there is a general rule of thumb when calling international.  If I am in America, and I am placing a call to a cell phone that is native to the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand, I will need to type the number in as follows: 

To call phone number (+66) 2-555-5555: 

First, I will dial, ‘011’.  Next, I will dial country code, ’66.’ Then, I will dial city code ‘2’.  Then, I will dial phone number, 555-5555’.  Finally, I will select ‘SEND”. 

 

International phone numbers have separate city codes for landlines and separate city codes for mobiles phones.  For example, if I live in Lagos, NG and I wanted to call a local land line phone, the city code will be different from my mobile phone even though we live in the same town.  Most city codes contain two or three digits.   However, some international phone numbers do not have a city code.  If you feel that you are not capable of sending a text message internationally, check your phone carrier’s website for further instruction, or to find out if your phone carrier has special instructions for sending international calls.

 

***Poor call quality is a common issue with cell phones.  Sometimes calls may have terrible reception, calls may be dropped, or calls be unsuccessfully connected.  This problem usually has everything to do with your phone carrier.  However, if you are experiencing frequent problems with your call quality, you will first need to attempt to solve the problem on your own. 

To troubleshoot you will need to do the following: 

If you are experiencing frequent poor call quality, check the signal strength of the phone.  This can be done by observing the signal indicator (usually 4 to 5 bars ascending in size) that is usually located at the very top of the phone’s display screen.  If the problem persists or you need help with more options for troubleshooting, please refer to: Mobile Phone Signal to be advised. 

 

Email

 

Setting up your email account on your mobile phone will be very easy if you have an email account associated with the operating system programmed to the phone.  Start the email program on your phone by tapping the ‘EMAIL’ icon associated with the operating systems email provider (e.g. Gmail for Google’s Android, Outlook for Microsoft’s Window, iCloud for Apple’s iOS, etc.).  The phone will simply prompt you to enter in your login information for your email service provider. 

Once you have entered is the login information, you should be able to access your email easily.  However, if you do have other email accounts associated with other operating systems you can either download the email application to your phone’s marketplace if it is available, or you can set it up through POP3 or IMAP. 

 

Setting Up POP (Post Office Protocol) or IMAP (Internet Message Protocol)

You can set up email on a wide selection of phones with internet capabilities through POP or IMAP.  Here are some universal instructions for setting up email on your mobile phone.  Some setups slightly differ from one phone to another, but the general instructions are pretty much the same. 

 

Start the email program on your phone by tapping the ‘EMAIL’ icon.  The email application is usually located in the application menu of your phone.  Choose the option to add an account. If you need help finding the email app, use the documentation that was included with your phone or tablet.

 

Use the following information to help you set up your email.

 

Email address: Enter in your full email address when prompted (for example, tony@phoneemail.com).

 

User name: Your user name and email address is the same thing.  You may be asked for both or either one of the two (for example, tony@phoneemail.com).

 

Password: This is the password for your email account.

 

Incoming mail server settings: These are your incoming (POP3 or IMAP4) server settings.

 

Text Messaging and Multimedia Messaging

 

You will be able to send a text message whenever there is a paid cell phone subscription assigned to your phone.  If there is an interruption is your service, bad reception, the phone is powered off, or if you are out of range of your phone carriers’ coverage areas, you will not be able to send a text message.  Usually, you will not be able to send a text message while your cell phone is busy running another application.  However, this can depend on the capabilities of the phone.

 

The easiest and most common way to place a send a text message is to start at the home screen.  Select the ‘Messaging’ icon or the application that is used to send text messages.  From here, you will need to make sure that you know the phone number or email address that you are sending the text message to. 

 

There are two types of messages that can be sent from your phone, to numbers that are local, long distance, and international or to any email address.  You will be able to send a Multimedia Message Service (MMS) or a Short Message Service (SMS).  If your area code is the same as the recipient’s or if the recipient lives in the same city, this will be considered a local phone call.  If the individual is located out of state or across the country, then this will be considered a long-distance phone call.  International calls apply to phones calls that are placed to recipients out of the country. 

 

Check your cell phone carrier to see how much text messaging and multimedia messaging costs, or if messaging is included in your phone plan.  If your phone plan does not allow you to send text messages, each message you send or receive will cost about 10¢ to 20¢ per message.  For international or roaming the rate may increase. 

 

Sending a Text Message

 

All mobile phones have the capability to send and receive text messages.  Text messaging is one of the essential features of the mobile phone.  Phones will in regards to the menu options and buttons, but the procedure of sending a text message is pretty much the same.  A text message can be sent by picking up the mobile phone and dialing in the recipient’s phone number through the touchscreen QWERTY keyboard or the alphanumeric touchpad

 

The standard text message or SMS (Short Message Service) involves composing and sending concise, electronic messages that are transmitted between two or more mobile phones, or a computer system.  Text messages are usually limited to 140 to 160 characters (numbers, letters, symbols, and spaces).  If your text message exceeds the character limit, it is automatically separated into several text messages.  Each text message is usually sent one after the other until the entire text message is sent to the recipient. 

 

More advanced mobile phones offer the feature of ‘Talk to Text’.  You can send a text message by simply speaking the recipient’s name (recipient must be saved in your contacts) or speaking each number of the phone number into the microphone.  You can then relay the message through the microphone, and the phone will type it out to the best of its abilities.  All you will have to do at this point is press or say send. 

 

You will be able to send a text message whenever there is a paid mobile phone subscription assigned to your phone.  If there is an interruption in your service, bad reception, the phone is powered off, or if you are out of range of your phone carriers’ coverage areas, you will not be able to send a text message.  In most cases, you will not be able to send a message while the mobile phone is busy running another application.  However, if the phone is still in the process of sending the message, you will be able to run applications as normal. 

 

The easiest and most common way to send a text message is to start at the home screen.  Select the ‘MESSAGING’ application that is used to make send text messages. 

 

To Send a LOCAL Text Message

 

To send a text message locally, be sure that you have an area code associated with the phone number you wish to call.  If there is an area code, check to see if the area code matches with yours or it the area code is out of state.  If the area codes are the same, then this will be considered a local phone call.  However, the call may still be considered local if there is a different area code.  Most cities have boroughs or suburbs that are located no less than 10 minutes from major metropolitan areas.  These suburbs/boroughs will usually have area codes that differ from the main city.  If this is the case, this will still be considered a local call. 

 

To send a text message locally, you will need to enter the full ten digits of that phone number when prompted.  Unlike placing a phone call locally, failing to include the area code will cause the text message to be unsuccessful.  It is vital to that the entire phone number is entered in when prompted.  For example, if I live in Vallejo, CA (area code 707), and I want to send a text message to my sister that lives on the other side of town, I will need to enter in the phone number as follows: 

 

To send a text message to phone number: (707) 555-555 or 555-5555:  I will first, dial area code ‘707’. Next, I will dial phone number, ‘555-5555’.  Finally, I will type in the text message that I would like to transmit, and select ‘SEND’. 

 

To Send a LONG-DISTANCE or DOMESTIC Text Message

 

To send a text message to a long-distance phone number, you will need to enter the full phone number or all ten digits.  For example, if I live in Pasadena, CA (area code 626), and I wanted to call my cousin in Olive Branch, MS (area code 662), I will need to enter the phone number as follows: 

To a send text message to phone number:  (662) 555-5555Dial area code ‘662’.  Then dial phone number ‘555-5555’.  Finally, I will type in the text message that I would like to transmit, and select ‘SEND’. 

 

To Send an INTERNATIONAL Text Message

 

If I am sending a text message to an international phone number, I will dial 011, and then the country code for the country, the city code, and the phone number. However, there is a general rule of thumb when calling international.  If I am in America, and I am placing a call to a cell phone that is native to London, UK, I will need to follow type the number in as follows: 

To a send text message to phone number:  (+44) 20-555-5555:  First, I will dial, ‘011’.  Next, I will dial country code, ’44.’ Then, I will dial city code ‘20’.  Then, I will dial phone number, 555-5555’.  Finally, I will type in the text message that I would like to transmit, and select ‘SEND’. 

International phone numbers have separate city codes for landlines and separate city codes for mobiles phones.  For example, if I live in Lagos, NG and I wanted to call a local land line phone, the city code will be different from my mobile phone even though we live in the same town.  Most city codes contain two or three digits.   However, some international phone numbers do not have a city code.  If you feel that you are not capable of sending a text message internationally, check your phone carrier’s website for further instruction, or to find out if your phone carrier has special instructions for sending international calls.

 

***Be sure to check the status of the text message after you select ‘SEND’.  Sometimes the text message will fail to send and will automatically save to the ‘OUTBOX’.  In most cases, the phone will be able to send the message on its own after some time has passed.  However, if the message fails to send after an extended amount of time, you will first need to attempt to solve the problem on your own. 

To troubleshoot you will need to do the following: 

Select ‘OUTBOX’ from the SMS menu.  Locate the failed message and select to review.  Once you have reviewed the message, select ‘RESEND’. 

If the text message fails to send again, check the signal strength of the phone.  This can be done by observing the signal indicator (usually 4 to 5 bars ascending in size) that is usually located at the very top of the phone’s display screen.  If the problem persists or you need help with more options for troubleshooting, please refer to: Mobile Phone Signal to be advised. 

 

Sending a Multimedia Message

 

All mobile phones have the capability to send and receive multimedia messages.  MMS is one of the essential features of the mobile phone.  Phones will in regards to the menu options and buttons, but the procedure of sending a multimedia message is pretty much the same.  An MMS can be sent by picking up the mobile phone and dialing in the recipient’s phone number through the touchscreen QWERTY keyboard or the alphanumeric touchpad, and attaching whatever media type that you would like to send to the message. 

 

You will be able to send a multimedia message whenever there is a paid mobile phone subscription assigned to your phone.  If there is an interruption in your service, bad reception, the phone is powered off, or if you are out of range of your phone carriers’ coverage areas, you will not be able to send a text message.  In most cases, you will not be able to send a message while the mobile phone is busy running another application.  However, if the phone is still in the process of sending the message, you will be able to run applications as normal. 

 

The easiest and most common way to send a multimedia message is to start at the home screen.  Select the ‘MESSAGING’ application that is used to make send messages. 

 

To Send a LOCAL Multimedia Message

 

To send a multimedia message locally, be sure that you have an area code associated with the phone number you wish to call.  If there is an area code, check to see if the area code matches with yours or it the area code is out of state.  If the area codes are the same, then this will be considered a local phone call.  However, the call may still be considered local if there is a different area code.  Most cities have boroughs or suburbs that are located no less than 10 minutes from major metropolitan areas.  These suburbs/boroughs will usually have area codes that differ from the main city.  If this is the case, this will still be considered a local call. 

 

To send a multimedia message locally, you will need to enter the full ten digits of that phone number when prompted.  Unlike placing a phone call locally, failing to include the area code will cause the multimedia message to be unsuccessful.  It is vital to that the entire phone number is entered in when prompted.  For example, if I live in New York City, NY (area code 212), and I want to send a picture to my sister that lives on the other side of town, I will need to enter in the phone number as follows: 

 

To send a multimedia message to phone number: (212) 555-555 or 555-5555:  I will first, dial area code ‘212’. Next, I will dial phone number, ‘555-5555’.  Finally, I will attach the picture or the media that I would like to transmit, and select ‘SEND’. 

 

To Send a LONG-DISTANCE or DOMESTIC Multimedia Message

 

To send a multimedia message to a long-distance phone number, you will need to enter the full phone number or all ten digits.  For example, if I live in Jackson, TN (area code 731), and I wanted to call my cousin in Orlando, FL (area code 407), I will need to enter the phone number as follows: 

To a send text message to phone number:  (407) 555-5555Dial area code ‘407’.  Then dial phone number ‘555-5555’.  Finally, I will attach the picture or the media that I would like to transmit, and select ‘SEND’. 

 

To Send an INTERNATIONAL Multimedia Message

 

If I am sending a text message to an international phone number, I will dial 011, and then the country code for the country, the city code, and the phone number. However, there is a general rule of thumb when calling international.  If I am in America, and I am placing a call to a cell phone that is native to the Hong Kong, CHN, I will need to follow type the number in as follows: 

 

To a send text message to phone number:  (+852) 5555-5555:  First, I will dial, ‘011’.  Next, I will dial country code, ’852.’ Then, I will dial phone number, 5555-5555’.   Finally, I will attach the picture or the media that I would like to transmit, and select ‘SEND’. 

 

International phone numbers have separate city codes for landlines and separate city codes for mobiles phones.  For example, if I live in Lagos, NG and I wanted to call a local land line phone, the city code will be different from my mobile phone even though we live in the same town.  Most city codes contain two or three digits.   However, some international phone numbers do not have a city code.  If you feel that you are not capable of sending a text message internationally, check your phone carrier’s website for further instruction, or to find out if your phone carrier has special instructions for sending international calls.

 

***Be sure to check the status of the text message after you select ‘SEND’.  Sometimes the text message will fail to send and will automatically save to the ‘OUTBOX’.  In most cases, the phone will be able to send the message on its own after some time has passed.  However, if the message fails to send after an extended amount of time, you will first need to attempt to solve the problem on your own. 

To troubleshoot you will need to do the following: 

Select ‘OUTBOX’ from the SMS menu.  Locate the failed message and select to review.  Once you have reviewed the message, select ‘RESEND’. 

If the text message fails to send again, check the signal strength of the phone.  This can be done by observing the signal indicator (usually 4 to 5 bars ascending in size) that is usually located at the very top of the phone’s display screen.  If the problem persists or you need help with more options for troubleshooting, please refer to: Mobile Phone Signal to be advised.