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This summer, make sure your smartphone is prepared

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Whether you're heading to sandy beaches or exploring history-steeped cities this summer, make sure your smartphone is prepared.

When packing for holiday, devices like our tablets and smartphones are almost as essential as sun cream these days, but unlike sun cream, they can cost us a lot of money when overseas. Last summer, while holidaying in South Africa, a woman was landed with a £2,600 bill following a Neil Diamond album download, and we’d prefer that not to happen to you. So, here are a few tips to help you out this summer while on your jollies. Backup before you pack up. Before jetting off it might be an idea to backup all the stuff on your device to a cloud system (Dropbox, Google Drive) or an external hard drive. This way, just in case your belongings go walkabout, you’ll have all your contacts and photos safely stored elsewhere.

 

Avoiding data roaming costs

It might seem obvious, but turning off ‘Data roaming’ on your handset’s settings menu is a good place to start. This will ensure you don’t automatically connect to the localnetwork provider. However, this doesn’t mean you have to disable your Wi-Fi connection.

A few years ago it was a rarity to see a local bar with Wi-Fi, but they’re fairly common at holiday hotspots in the EU now.

If you want to get involved with a bar or restaurant’s wireless network, make sure it’s password protected. We also wouldn’t recommend using banking apps if you’re unfamiliar with the owner of the network – just to be safe.

On the upside, data roaming costs have been tumbling over the past couple of years, due to an agreement in 2012 that states European companies must meet the agreed maximum prices.

Please note that data costs can be significantly more when travelling outside the EU.

Don’t get lost

 

If you’re getting sick of sitting by the pool and fancy exploring your new surroundings, you can avoid costly internet charges by saving your maps offline.

 

When you’re connected to a reliable internet signal, like the wireless one in the hotel for example, search for where you want to go on the Google Maps app. Once you’ve found it, clear the search bar and type in ‘OK maps’ – you’ll then be presented with the option to save that area offline. Easy.

 

The waterproof truth

You may have recently bought one of the awesome handsets that are waterproof, i.e. Sony Xperia Z3, Samsung Galaxy S5, S6 or S6 edge. Although all these handsets are definitely waterproof, their durability refers to fresh water. So watch out for that one.

 

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