Geeks in Phoenix

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Switching from one Android smartphone to another

I know that change is good, but sometimes I just fear it. Case in point is my smartphone. I really liked my original Droid; it was small enough to fit in my pocket and did everything I needed it to do. But it started to show its age and newer Android apps wouldn't run on it, so I decided it was time to get a new phone. And the move was really quite easy.

The biggest problem I was facing was the installation of my apps. Some of them were installed before Google created the Android Market, now known as Google Play. I had sync 'd my old Droid with my Google account, so some of my apps were shown as installed inside of Google Play. And there was a couple that was not and I would have to manually install them.

Both of my Droids appear in My Devices in Google Play
Both of my Droids appear in My Devices in Google Play

Since my Droid survived so long (over four years) I decided to go with a newer version, the Droid 4. First thing I did was to add the Droid 4 to my Google account and then go over to Google Play. It was now listed in my devices and I could install apps on it. I went to Apps > My apps and all of my apps showed up.

Apps show they are installed but not on what device
Apps show they are installed but not on what device

But when I selected one, it would show it as installed, but didn't show what device it was installed on. It was when I clicked on the 'Installed' button that I was given a list of my devices to choose from. From there it was pretty easy to get the apps I had on my Droid installed on my Droid 4.

When installing Google Play apps you have a choice of which device
When installing Google Play apps you have a choice of which device

Next thing I had to do was to get my photos, music, etc. off of my Droid and on to my Droid 4. Everything was on the micro SD card in my Droid and since the Droid 4 did not come with a micro SD card, I just powered off both devices and moved my existing 16 GB micro SD card from the Droid to the Droid 4. When I started up the Droid 4, all of my data was found. I simply connected my Droid 4 as a mass storage device to my computer via a USB cable and was able to move files in between the internal storage and the micro SD card.

List thing I did was manually install the apps that were not listed in Google Play. Once that was done I had to do some configuration on the apps I had just installed. This took the most time of all. But when it was all done, my Droid 4 was ready to go and working great.

Calling on the cloud with Google Voice

If you haven't heard about Google Voice, let me be the first to tell you about it. Google Voice is a telephony service that can be used on any cellular phone and any carrier. Just a Gmail account is required.

The Google Voice web based interface
The Google Voice web based interface

Google Voice was designed to compliment your existing cellular phone carrier. But recently Google has added Phone Number Porting, which allows you to use Google as your primary carrier. The set of features are very rich, with all of the usual stuff (personal greetings, voicemail, etc.). And when used with Google Gmail and Google Talk, you can make calls from your computer (headphones / speakers and microphone required).

Use Google Voice with Google Talk to make calls from your computer
Use Google Voice with Google Talk to make calls from your computer

And, for me, the two best features of Google Voice are the free calls within the US and Canada and really cheap international calls. My some of my family is in New England and France. Here's a complete list of features:

  • Voicemail transcription to e-mail
  • One phone number that can be ported to multiple phone numbers
  • Personalized voice mail greetings
  • Cheap international calls
  • Block / screen callers
  • Conference calling
  • Mobile app (Android, iPhone and Blackberry)
  • SMS to e-mail

Here's a quote from the Google Voice website:

Teach your phone new tricks

Google Voice enhances the existing capabilities of your phone, regardless of which phone or carrier you have - for free. It also gives you:

One Number
Use a single number that rings you anywhere.

Online voicemail
Get transcribed messages delivered to your inbox.

Cheap calls
Free calls & text messages to the U.S. & Canada.
Super low rates everywhere else.

For more information on Google Voice, just follow the links below:

Google Voice
Google Voice features

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Geeks in Phoenix is an IT consulting company specializing in all aspects of Computer Repair / PC Repair / Laptop Repair. Since 2008, our expert computer repair technicians have been providing outstanding Computer Repair, Virus Removal, Data Recovery, Photo Manipulation and Website Support.

Geeks in Phoenix have the best computer repair technicians providing computer repair and service in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe Arizona. We offer In-Shop, On-Site and Remote (with stable Internet connection) computer repair service.

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