Posted on December 12, 2017
What to do if you lose your phone
Tens of millions of phones are lost or stolen each year. If it happens to you, there are steps you can take to find your phone or at least prevent your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.
First, enable the find function, so that if your phone really is lost (not buried in your couch) you can see it on a map, play a sound, lock it or erase it. There are different ways of doing this, depending on whether your phone is an Android or iPhone.
We’ll walk you through the basic steps.
Finding your Android phone
If your phone is linked to a Google account (and you’re signed in), Find My Device is on by default. But for the function to work, your phone must:
- Be turned on.
- Be signed into a Google account.
- Be connected to mobile data or Wi-Fi.
- Be visible on Google Play.
- Have Location turned on.
- Have Find My Device turned on.
Is Find My Device switched on? Let’s check.
- Open Settings.
- Tap Security & Location. (If you don’t see Security & Location, tap Google > Security.)
- Tap Find My Device.
- Turn on Remotely locate this device and Allow remote lock and erase.
Is Location switched on?
- Open Settings.
- Tap Security & Location > Location. (If you don’t see Security & Location, tap Location.)
- Turn on Location.
Is your phone visible on Google Play? If it’s not visible, it won’t show up when you try to use Find My Device.
- Go to https://play.google.com/settings/.
- Check the box under Visibility.
Can you find your device? Let’s see.
- Go to android.com/find and sign into your Google account.
If you want to use one Android device to find another, install the Find My Device app on all your devices. You’ll find it at the Google Play store.
OK, so you’ve lost your phone. Now what? You can see it on a map, play a sound, lock it or erase it. Here’s how.
- Go to android.com/find and sign in to your Google account.
- If you have more than one device, click the device that’s lost at the top of the screen.
- You’ll see a map that displays the location of your device. (The location is approximate. If your device can’t be found, you’ll see its last known location, if available.)
- You can click Play Sound and your device will ring at full volume for 5 minutes, even if it’s set to silent or vibrate.
- You can click Enable Lock & Erase. Choose Lock you’ll lock your device with your PIN, pattern or password. If you don’t have one, you can set one at this time. To help someone return your device to you, you can add a message or phone number to the lock screen. Choose Erase and you’ll permanently delete all data on your device. After you erase, Find My Device won’t work on the device anymore.
You can also search “find my phone” at Google and proceed from there.
Here’s Google’s nifty video on how to find your device:
Finding your iPhone
Find My iPhone is similar to Android’s Find My Device function. You can see your iPhone or iPad on a map, make it ring, lock it or erase it. The feature must be switched on or it won’t work.
Here’s how to set it up.
- Go to your home screen.
- Tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud. (If you’re on iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > iCloud.)
- Scroll down and tap Find My iPhone.
- Toggle on Find My iPhone and Send Last Location.
- If you’re asked to sign in, enter your Apple ID.
When you set up Find My iPhone, your paired Apple Watch and AirPods are automatically set up too. And when you turn on Find My iPhone, Activation Lock is enabled automatically and, from that point on, your Apple ID password or device passcode is required before anyone can turn off Find My iPhone, erase your device or reactivate and use your device.
So you’ve lost your iPhone (or iPad). Now what? You can play a sound, see it on a map, lock it or erase it. Here’s how:
- Go to iCloud.com and sign into your account.
- In the main menu, click on Find iPhone.
- Sign in again if you’re prompted.
- Click on All Devices at the top of the map.
- Click on the device you want to track.
- You can click Play Sound and your device (or AirPods) will play an audible tone for 2 minutes, even if they’re set to vibrate or silent. If your device is offline, it will play a sound when it’s next online.
- You can choose Lost Mode and immediately lock your device and begin tracking it. You can see where it’s been over the past 24 hours. You can also display a custom message with your contact number on the lock screen, so whoever finds your device can call you. Apple Pay will be disabled and any credit or debit cards set-up on Apple Pay will be suspended on the device, even if it’s offline.
- You can select Erase, delete all your personal data and restore your device to its factory settings. (If you get it back, you can restore your device from your iCloud backup.) Activation Lock will remain on to protect your device. If your device is offline when you start the erase function, it will begin when the device is next online.
You can also use the Find My iPhone app to locate one Apple device with another. The steps for the app are similar to the steps above.
If you have lost your phone, don’t forget to contact your carrier right away. They can help you keep your accounts safe and replace your phone.
Posted on December 5, 2017
Stephen Miles, executive director of Win Without War, joined CREDO for a special conversation to discuss how the organization has refocused its efforts since Donald Trump took office. If you missed the live stream, you can watch the full broadcast on our Facebook page or below.
CREDO welcomes Win Without War’s Stephen Miles to discuss how the organization has refocused its efforts since Donald Trump took office.
Posted by CREDO Mobile on Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Posted on December 5, 2017
How to back up your phone
We keep a lot of important stuff on our cell phones like photos to phone numbers. So it’s a good idea to backup your phone regularly, in case your phone is lost, damaged or stolen – or in case you buy a new phone and need to transfer your old data.
You may find yourself asking “How do I backup my phone?” Well, there are several different ways to back up the digital files on your phone, depending on the type of phone you have.
How to Backup an iPhone
You can easily back up your iPhone or iPad with iCloud or iTunes. What’s the difference?
*Stores backups in iCloud.
*Offers up to 2 TB of storage (your first 5 GB are free).
*Always encrypts your backups.
*Lets you create and use backups from anywhere with Wi-Fi.
*Stores backups on your Mac or PC.
*Storage depends on your Mac or PC’s available space.
*Offers encrypted backups (this function is off by default).
*Lets you create and use backups from your Mac or PC.
Follow these steps to backup an iPhone to iCloud:
1. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
2. Go to Settings > [your name], then tap iCloud. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or an earlier version, go to Settings, then scroll down and tap iCloud.
3. Tap iCloud Backup. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Backup. Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on.
4. Tap Back Up Now. Stay connected to your Wi-Fi network until the process is complete.
You can also enable iCloud Backup and automatically back up your device every day. Follow these steps:
1. Make sure iCloud Backup is turned on in Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > iCloud > Backup.
2. Connect your device to a power source.
3. Connect to a Wi-Fi network.
4. Make sure your device screen is locked.
5. Make sure you have enough space available in iCloud for the backup.
Follow these steps to backup an iPhone with iTunes:
1. Open iTunes and connect your device to your computer.
2. If a message asks for your device passcode or to Trust This Computer, follow the onscreen steps.
3. Select your device when it appears in iTunes.
You can also back up your iPhone or iPad using a third-party cloud-storage service like Dropbox, Google Drive or Box. These are especially good for sharing files with other people, since iCloud makes sharing more difficult.
These services also handy if you’ve used up your free 5 GB of iCloud storage and you don’t want to pay for more space. Most cloud-storage services offer a limited amount of free space, with the idea that you’ll sign up for a subscription once you’ve reached your limit. But if you do a bit of organizing, you should never have to pay for cloud storage. Just separate your files and store them using different services. Put your personal photos in one service and your work-related files in another – and so on.
How to Backup an Android Phone
The easiest way to back up your Android phone is with Google, which just happens to own Android. Google Photos, for example, will back up every photo and video you ever take to the cloud – automatically.
The app probably came preloaded on your phone. If not, you can download it from the Google Play store. Just ensure that the app is set to automatic backup.
- Open the Photo app.
2. In the menu, choose Settings.
3. Choose Backup & Sync.
4. Toggle on Backup & Sync.
Google Photos gives you unlimited free storage if you upload photos and videos with the High quality setting, which most people find good enough. If you choose Original quality, your storage space will be limited.
If you have other files you’d like to back up, you can use Google Drive to store them in the cloud, where you can access them from any connected device. Like Google Photos, Google Drive probably came preloaded on your phone.
To manually upload folders and files with Google Drive, follow these steps.
1. Open the Drive app.
2. Tap the + button.
3. Tap Upload.
4. Select the file(s) you want to back up.
You can back up your phone’s settings and apps with Android Backup Service, which will back up the apps you use and the settings you’ve chosen for most Google apps. This makes it simple to restore those settings on a new phone.
Follow these steps to activate Android Backup Service.
1. Open your phone’s Settings.
2. Select Backup & reset.
3. Tap Backup account and add your account if you don’t see it there already.
As mentioned above, you can also use any number of third-party cloud-storage services to back up files from your Android phone.
Posted on December 1, 2017
Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three amazing organizations. Those small actions add up – with one click, you can help fund efforts to support human rights across the globe, defend the environment in court and protect the rights of working people. Just last month, over 100,000 CREDO members voted to distribute our funds to Amnesty International USA, Earthjustice and Economic Policy Institute.
These donations are made possible by CREDO customers and the revenue they generate by using our services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our October grant recipients thank you.
Amnesty International USA
“Amnesty International USA thanks CREDO and its members for their commitment to advancing human rights around the world and in the United States. Support from the CREDO community is essential in the ongoing fight to protect and advance human rights globally.” To learn more, visit amnestyusa.org.
“Thank you for your ongoing support! CREDO members help Earthjustice represent hundreds of clients each year, free-of-charge, by holding the government and polluters accountable to the law and protecting our right to a clean and healthy environment.” To learn more, visit earthjustice.org.
Economic Policy Institute
“Thank you for voting for EPI! Your vote powers the movement for progressive economic change. We bring facts to the fight to raise workers’ wages and protect critical services for working families.” To learn more, visit epi.org.
Now check out the three causes we are funding in December, and cast your vote to help distribute our donations.
CREDO members who use our products are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience.
Posted on December 1, 2017
Each month, CREDO members help decide how we donate tens of thousands of dollars to three great nonprofit groups fighting for our progressive values. This month, you can help fund organizations fighting for better working conditions, improving our food system and strengthening the voices of progressive advocates by voting for National Domestic Workers Alliance, the Pesticide Action Network and ReThink Media. Learn more about each of these causes, and then cast your vote for one, two or all three by Dec. 31.
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Domestic Workers Alliance is working f or improved working conditions for domestic workers in the United States while building a powerful movement led by low-wage women workers, many of whom are women of color and immigrant women.
Funding from CREDO members would represent a significant investment in the organization’s work to advance the rights and dignity of domestic workers by allowing NDWA invest in critical technology and help local affiliates engage in community defense and rapid response work.
Pesticide Action Network North America
Pesticide Action Network (PAN) North America works for a healthy, just and vibrant food system by joining with people on the frontlines of hazardous pesticide exposure to promote safe, chemical-free alternatives. Read More
Posted on November 30, 2017
When Donald Trump campaigned, he promised to be a different kind of Republican with regards to the LGBTQ community. He awkwardly held an upside down pride flag on stage, went to Twitter to thank the LGBTQ community and even promised to “protect LGBTQ citizens” at his party’s national convention.
Yet like most acts Trump puts on, it was nothing more than obvious pandering and dangerous lies. In the last 10 months, Trump and his bigoted administration have waged a full-scale war on LGBTQ people with orders banning transgender people from serving in the military, appointing a Supreme Court justice openly hostile to LGBTQ people, rescinding protections for transgender students and signing orders to expand discrimination against LGBTQ people.
But the resistance to Trump’s attacks is strong, in part because of the strength of CREDO members and our progressive allies like the National LGBTQ Task Force, including its executive director Rea Carey, who we were honored to welcome recently at our headquarters.
Since 1986, CREDO members have voted to donate more than $461,000 to the LGBTQ Task Force, and CREDO has been a long-time ally of the Task Force’s critical work standing up for the LGBTQ community. Read More
Posted on November 29, 2017
Once again, relentless activism by CREDO members and our progressive allies sunk another deeply unqualified nominee from serving in the Trump regime.
This month, anti-science radio talk show host Sam Clovis, Donald Trump’s pick to serve as chief scientist at the Department of Agriculture, withdrew his name from consideration following reports that he played a key role in the Trump campaign’s communications with Russia.
Clovis’ withdrawal comes after months of sustained activism from our members, including a petition signed by more than 170,000 people and a grassroots call campaign that generated more than 4,700 phone calls to the offices of key members of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Clovis is a birther conspiracy theorist who has called President Obama and his Black and Latino cabinet members “racists.” He has no policy expertise in food and agriculture or experience in hard sciences, and he believes climate science is “junk.”
While the Trump campaign’s shady connections to Russia just sank another monster in Trump’s swamp, the fact is, a racist climate change denier should never have been nominated to serve at the USDA in the first place.
And thanks to the tens of thousands of CREDO members who took action to keep Clovis out of the USDA, we proved once again that resistance to Trump’s dangerous agenda works.
Posted on November 27, 2017
With so many cloud storage options out there these days, do you still need storage inside your phone? Manufacturers think you do. They continue making phones with more storage. Flagship phones like the iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 come with a whopping 256 GB of storage. Less roomy phones come with 32 GB, 64 GB or 128 GB of storage However, keep in mind that a phone’s system files and pre-installed apps take up 5-10GB of storage themselves.
So then how much space do you need? The answer is: It depends. It partly depends on how much you want to spend. If you want a phone with more storage, you’ll have to pay for it. For example, the iPhone 8 64 GB costs around $700 retail, while the iPhone 8 256 GB comes in at around $850.
From there it depends entirely on what sort of user you are. If you’re someone who uses your phone primarily to talk, text, read email and browse online, 32 GB is likely enough storage, especially if your phone has a microSD card slot, which you can use to cheaply expand your storage.
For more active phone users, a 64 GB phone is a good option. This is plenty of space if you just take a few photos now and then, save your favorite songs on your phone for offline listening or download a few apps.
128 GB and 256 GB phones are aimed mainly at people who live on their phones, take hundreds (or thousands) of photos, download every new song and play a lot of different games.
Let’s take a look at some different usage scenarios.
The size of your phone images will vary depending on the quality of your camera and the resolution you use. Most flagship phones these days take photos around 5 MB.
For the occasional photographer, 1 GB will be enough storage for 200 photos. If you snap photos more often – most weekends, say – and you delete old photos now and then, 5 GB will give you space for up to 1,000 images. If you’re a selfie addict, you’ll need around 30 GB, which will hold around 5,000 photos.
Videos use a lot of phone storage, especially the 4K videos you can take nowadays. The following scenarios assume you’re using the ultra high definition (UHD) setting, which takes videos with lower resolution than 4K.
If you rarely record anything, 5GB of storage is enough for 10 minutes of UHD video. If you want to capture most special moments – birthdays, weddings, your dog snoring – 30 GB of storage is good for 60 minutes of UHD video. If you shoot a lot of video, 100 GB will hold around 4 hours of UHD video.
Most people nowadays listen to a streaming music service like Pandora or Spotify. But when you do stream music on your phone, you need Wi-Fi or a data connection.
So let’s say you want to keep some music on your phone for those times when you’re not using a streaming app. If you listen only on the train to work, say, 1 GB is enough for about 200 songs. If you listen more often, 5 GB will hold 1,000 songs. If you’ve always got your headphones on, 30 GB of storage will be enough for over 5,000 songs.
Apps come in various sizes but most don’t take up a lot of storage space., although the more you use an app, the more data it will cache and the more storage it will use.
If you just want basic apps on your phone (Facebook, email, etc.) and you play Minecraft now and then when you’re bored, 5 GB will be enough for that. If you want dozens of apps and games, 10 GB is sufficient. Hundreds of apps and a 3D gamer? You’ll need at least 50 GB.
Movies and TV
Netflix and other streaming services are the user’s choice these days, but you might want to download movies and TV shows for watching offline.
If you just want two to three movies, 5 GB is enough. 30 GB will hold up to 20 movies and, for true film buffs, 100 GB will hold around 50 movies.
Follow the above parameters and you should be able to come up with a rough idea of how much internal storage you’ll need on your phone.
If you’re an average phone user and you fall in the middle of the above scenarios, 64 GB or 128 GB should be plenty of storage for you. If you don’t mind storing your photos and videos in the cloud, you can probably make do with 32 GB. Remember, though, that you can only access items in the cloud when you have a Wi-Fi or data connection.
Posted on November 21, 2017
How to make video call quality better
So it’s Thanksgiving, you’re in Hawaii and your family are all in Fargo, North Dakota. What are they doing there? Never mind. You’re going to bring them a little sunshine in a video call. Mahalo.
You might use Facebook Messenger, Skype, or Google Duo. There are all sorts of good video-calling apps out there. And the best ones work on both iPhones and Androids. So if you have, say, Messenger on your iPhone and your mom has it on her Samsung, you can chat seamlessly. (Apple’s FaceTime app only works on iPhones.)
The quality of your call is up to you—or much of it, anyway. Assuming that both ends of the call have a decent connection, follow these tips to make video quality better and ensure that your video call is the best it can be.
Make sure your app is up to date
Companies improve their apps with each new update. So if you’re still running the same version you downloaded two years ago, you’re probably going to get the same video quality you had two years ago (i.e. not so good).
Or earphones or AirPods or whatever you have. The point is your calls will be more loud and clear if you’re using a headset of some kind. You’ll hear better and your mic will pick up less background noise. Also, you won’t accidentally end the call while you’re pressing your phone to your ear.
Light yourself well
Let there be light—but let it be in the right place. Overhead lighting is not good for a video call. It will cast shadows under your eyes. Also, obviously, no bright lights or sun-filled windows behind you or you’ll be a mere silhouette. Natural light is best. Sit by a window, facing the window, so that the light illuminates your face. Or use several soft-light sources at around eye level.
Use a stable background
If you’re in a crowded cafe or there’s a TV on behind you, move to a different place. The more motion you have in your frame, the more work your app will have to do and the choppier your video will be.
Keep your shot straight
The best angle for a call is eye level, so hold your device there—and keep it as steady as you can. Also, try to look at your screen and maintain eye contact with the person at the other end.
Close other apps
Video calls require your device to do a lot of work. Shut down other open apps to reduce the multitasking demands on your device and the video quality for your call should improve.
Check your device
Some cell phones and tablets are better for video calls than others. Factors to consider:
Battery life: Video calls are battery-intensive. If your battery is low, keep a charger handy so your call won’t end suddenly.
Front-facing camera: On most phones and tablets, the front-facing camera is of lesser quality than the rear-facing one. If your front-facing camera is of particularly low resolution, your picture will be less clear at the other end of the call.
Screen size: Larger is better for video calls, for obvious reasons.
Keep these tips in mind to make video quality better for your next call.
Posted on November 14, 2017
How to take better pictures with your phone
People are taking more photos than ever—and they’re using their phones to take them. In fact, 85% of digital photos are now taken with phones (up from 50% in 2011). This is because, as professional photographer Chase Jarvis said, “the best camera is the one that’s with you.”
To take the best photos with your phone, try these cell phone photography tips.