Dear Google, what happened?

Google introduced two brand new Pixel phones along with other products last week. At this point, there’s no question about what Google can do when it comes to software. The crown is on Google’s head. But to keep that crown in place, Google has had to enter the uncharted territory of hardware, and show the […]

How to Live with a 16 GB Smartphone

The space we need

Apple, Samsung, and other major smartphone vendors used to release the base model of their flagship smartphones with a mere 16 GB of storage. After around 14-15% storage taken up by the OS and default apps before you even unbox your phone, there is not much space left for you to play on. Thankfully, things have improved. The smartphone-hunger game has been intensified in recent years. In response, many, especially Apple and Samsung, are providing better value for the same or less money including graduating their base models from 16 to 32 GB. Samsung even post-graduated theirs to 64 GB model with Galaxy S8 series this year. A nice move by Sammy.

Even though, there are phones with more storage options available in the market, it’s unrealistic, however, to think that everyone will ditch their old phones and buy a new one. So what if you are one of those people with a 16 GB smartphone still proudly holding in your hands. Can you live with a 16 GB smartphone in 2017, and still have fun with all those storage-hungry games or keep up with ever increasing social networking? Yes, you can.

For iPhones, every iCloud account comes with a 5 GB cloud storage for free where users can backup their data including photos, videos and whatever else they like to throw in there. Other smartphones come with no cloud storage at all. This 5 GB iCloud storage quickly fills up in little to no time. However, good news is that following some simple tips like those shown below, you can still use your 16 GB smartphone like a champ:

-Anything captured by the camera in your phone take the most space, collectively. Download the Google Photos app to store all of your photos and videos. Google Photos comes with unlimited storage for pictures and videos in their original quality for free, yes, for nada. Take all the snaps you like but save none on your phone or in your tight iCloud vault. Allow Google Photos to backup your photos when you’re connected to a WiFi network, and later allow it to delete photos that are already backed-up  from your phone. Deny iCloud to store or backup your photos or videos. No worries though, you’ll still be able to access all your photos and videos from any Internet connected device. One vacation worth of memories can fill up all the space in your phone. So, solve this problem with Google Photos for free.

-Don’t let third party apps store data in the iCloud or on the device. Use iCloud to only backup important information that otherwise be lost if you don’t save. So, use iCloud wisely.

-Never download apps that you don’t regularly use. For instance, you don’t need to download a banking app to pay your credit card bill. You don’t pay credit cardbill every day or week. That can be done on the web once a month. Save that space for something more urgent.

-Remove the unnecessary files that you once downloaded and no longer needed.

-Take advantage of free cloud storage services like Google Drive which gives you 15 GB free storage and use that to store files and other things.

-Download the latest version of OS if available. Doing so, may free up some space as manufacturers streamline their OS with every iteration update. My 32 GB iPhone 7 plus was recently updated to 10.3 and doing that around 2 GB of storage was liberated. Updating to latest software not only streamline the storage usage but improve the security of your smartphone also.

If you have followed the tips above, you should see a significant amount of storage available on your phone. If you find this article useful, please leave a comment below or hit the like button. Please don’t forget to subscribe to be benefited from the future posts. See you in another article soon.

Experience using Project Fi overseas


Before my last trip to Bangladesh, I had many questions regarding international usage of Project Fi. Unfortunately, Project Fi customer service was clueless on some of those questions. However though, many questions were answered by fellow Project Fi users. For the rest, I wanted to try and find out myself.


So I started my journey with a Nexus 6 and Project Fi service activated on it. As my plane from JFK was descending to Dubai International airport which was my transit hub for the next flight to Bangladesh, I turned the Nexus on with a curious mind. As soon as the Airbus A380 touched down on Dubai runway, I saw the message popped up saying “Welcome to the United Arab Emirates” and I was like, oh yeah things are working as Google said.


I was able to browse the web and place calls via default dialer right away. I also placed calls using Google Hangouts. When I landed in Dhaka airport, I received a similar message that says Project Fi has coverage here too. While in Bangladesh, I made most of the calls using Google Hangouts and was charged WiFi rates which is Google Voice rates for international calls, not 20 cents per minute. I should mention here that most of the times, I had trouble making and receiving calls using default dialer app via cellular connection.
Before I went to Bangladesh, I asked Project Fi support that if I remove the Project Fi sim from my Nexus and use a local operator, since the Nexus is unlocked and ready to be used by other networks, will I be able to re-insert the Project Fi sim and resume the service whenever I want? The support team said no, the service can only be activated in the US. I found this to be wrong. For the first couple of days, I used Project Fi and then I was able to get a local sim card and started using that instead. A couple days later, I popped the Project Fi sim into the Nexus just to see if I can reactivate the service. Sure enough, the Fi got me connected to a 3G network right away. One thing I was surprised to see that everywhere I went with my Project Fi phone I was connected to a 3G network even though no local network operator in Bangladesh offers such a wide spread 3G coverage. That left me wondered which network did Google connect me to, I never could find out. I tried the dialer code “Fiinfo” but it always showed T-Mobile. I also found out that every call I made using Google Hangouts, I was charged the Google Voice rates for international calls.
On my way back to the States, I switched the local sim card with the Project Fi one and continued with cellular simplified international journey. I communicated with family and friends in and out of both countries. Everything was nice and easy. Project Fi made this trip a lot less stressful than last time when I had to pay at the airport to make calls to my family. Some of you may remember how expensive those calls are at the airports.
Finally, we have a phone service that works the same way whether you’re at home or abroad. The 20 cents per minute is still kind of expensive but when I see all the conveniences it provides, I can’t really complain. It’ll be nice to see if Google treats all calls made while overseas as Google Voice international calls regardless of cellular or WiFi connections. 

Here is how I save at least $30 per month using GV

We all have bad memories of paying high cell phone bills here in the US. We still pay a lot of money to network operators just to be able to use their networks. Does it have to be like this? Apparently not. I was tired of giving my hard earned money to cell phone companies and desperately looking for a way to save, and at last I found one. I have had a Google Voice number for a while but never thought about making it my primary line up until last April. I always have more than one unlocked phones laying around my house and most of them are Android which is kind of a natural habitat for all things Google. I ported my primary line to Google Voice from a traditional carrier. I had to pay a one time $10 fee to Google but that’s okay comparing to what I used to pay. Most of you reading this article may know that Google Voice is completely free of charge (generous mighty Google). Calls and text to most US and Canadian numbers are free. Anyway, I installed Google Hangouts and Hangouts dialer apps on my phone. On the Google Voice my account page, I opted in to receive calls and texts in my Gmail which is connected to Google Hangouts and everywhere I use Google services. No call forwarding number is needed if you don’t have one or just don’t want to. I turned on calls and texts options by going into the Hangouts app and boom, I’m done. For all incoming calls and texts, Hangouts app rings. Now, I have WiFi at home but what if I go outside? I decided to find a cheapest plan possible. I’ve got a T-Mobile data only plan for just $20 with 2gb LTE data. This is all I spend on the cell phone bill every month. Unlimited talk, text and 2gb LTE data for just $20 per month. Sweet, right?
Once signed up in the US, Google Voice can be used anywhere in the world as long as you have a internet connected device and the specific country is supported by Google Hangouts.