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What’s The Best International SIM Card in 2019 for Travelling in Europe?

Overseas travel is unfortunately often associated with excessive charges and high roaming rates. This is especially true in Europe, where you encounter a large number of different carriers as you travel across individual states.  This is where an international SIM card will help you immensely, especially when used with the best dual SIM phones.  Below you will find 3 of the top sim cards for Europe.

ProductBrandNamePrice
MobalEurope Plus SIM by Mobal. 1GB of Fast 4G Data Included. Great Calling Rates. Excellent Coverage Throughout Europe – The Best European SIM Card Available. Great for Italy, France, Germany, UK etcBuy on Amazon|$59(Price as of 02/20/2019 04:32 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.


Update: These SIM cards no longer offer unlimited data as they did last year, the plans have been changed to 1GB free and unlimited incoming calls and texts.

The high prices of roaming originate from the inefficient way operators pass down charges to individual customers. Since you have no easy way of determining which local carrier will facilitate your connection and what the costs are, your operator simply charges you with the highest possible rate to avoid losing any money.

Get 1GB Roaming Data and Unlimited Incoming Calls & Texts Covering Most of Europe

Purchasing a local SIM card may be a good solution for certain cases, but certainly not for travelling across Europe. You will quickly get tired of constantly changing your SIM card, and the people you try to stay in contact with will have to play a guessing game when determining which number they should use to contact you.

A much better alternative is to purchase an international SIM card that you can use in all countries you will be visiting, thus keeping the same number and never worrying about extra charges. Even though there are many international SIM card providers, one stands out as the best choice for travelling in Europe. We are talking, of course, about Mobal and their new Global Unlimited SIM.

Global Unlimited SIM

Founded in 1989, Mobal is one of the world’s longest running cell phone providers and a provider of the bestselling international phone in America. Their fair approach to customer support already convinced thousands of international travelers, who appreciate that they never have to worry about hidden fees and surprising data caps. These travelers know how great it is to be able to easily connect with friends and family from any place they visit.

Mobal Global Unlimited SIM service comes with 1GB of free data and unrestricted tethering. You can use your international Internet connection to connect online with your laptop or tablet. All you need to do is create a portable hotspot and you are all set.

Unlike with roaming, there’s absolutely no reason to worry about accepting incoming phone calls because they are completely free in over 130 countries. The same is also true for text messages that you send to your loved ones and business partners.

Outgoing call rates cannot rival local providers, but 30¢ per minute in all countries beats roaming and the added convenience tips the scale in Mobal’s favor. After all, how else could you keep a single US phone number?

The service itself doesn’t require you to sign any contract. You simply pay $50 for every month you want to use the service and stop paying when you don’t need it anymore. The SIM card itself works with all devices and mobile operating systems.

International Cell Phones

Most unlocked GSM phones will work with international sim cards.  The top tiered phones such as the newer generation iPhones and unlocked Samsung Galaxy phones will work.   T-Mobile phones generally are also unlocked, and if for some reason your T-Mobile phone is locked, simply ask them to unlock it for you, it will be done without question.

Unless you have an iPhone, CDMA phones do not work well with international sim cards, so if you have a phone from Verizon Wireless, your best bet is to try to get Verizon to unlock the phone for you, or try one of these cheap global gsm phones below.

Best Dual Sim Smartphone (2017)

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
SamsungSamsung Galaxy S8 - Dual Sim419.99
SamsungSamsung Galaxy J7 LTE (2016)371.5
OnePlusOnePlus 5364.99
LGLG G6 - Dual Sim289.99
MotorolaMotorola Moto G5 Dual Sim164

How to Get Started

When you order your international SIM card, you have to wait 2-5 days before you receive it in your mail. Alternatively, you can pay $25-35 for a priority shipping option and have it in your mailbox next business day by 10:30 am.

All that remains to do is to activate the SIM card via the included activation link and leave for your European adventure.

Each month of use is billed individually, which means that you never pay for something that you won’t use.

Get 1GB Roaming Data and Texts For over 130 Countries Worldwide 

An International Sim Card Versus Roaming

To remain at least somewhat relevant, carriers have implemented more palatable pricing structures and removed some of many outdated restrictions placed on their customers.

Sadly, even with these welcomed changes, international roaming still isn’t a viable option for most people. Those who are travelling to just a single country are much better off purchasing a local SIM card, and others can save lots of money by paying for a proper international SIM.

AT&T

The least friendly of the bunch is AT$T with their 25-15 cents overage charges and high costs of data. The basic package starts at $30 and includes 120MB of data and $1 per minute calls. Things get a little better with the $120 option. It includes 800MB of data and 35 cents per minute calls.

T-Mobile

On the other hand, T-Mobile leverages their international network by offering customers free international data roaming in over 140 countries. The only problem is that the free plan is limited to 2G speeds.

The cheapest plan with faster speeds costs $15 for 100MB of data to use for one day. When customers download more than the allocated amount, speeds become limited to 128 Kbps.

Sprint

Sprint closely mimics T-Mobile’s model by offering free 2G data roaming in 60 countries around the world. Extra connection speed costs the same as with T-Mobile.

Verizon

Last but not least, is Verizon with their improved TravelPass service. Customers pay a one-time fee each time they want to connect to a foreign network. Voice and data usage is then billed as normally. This costs $10 per day, with the exception of Canada and Mexico, where it costs just $2.

Things to Consider Before Traveling

Modern technology isn’t always travel-friendly. Different countries and regions use different standards and your particular phone may not work outside the country you brought it in. Furthermore, operators like to lock their customers to their own network to keep them from leaving for a competing provider.

Is Your Phone Unlocked?

You may have heard that about the concept of carrier locks, but there’s a good chance that you are unsure about what it really means. When you purchase a phone from a carrier, there’s a good chance that the phone will be configured to work only their network to prevent you from using a rival carrier’s plan.

Some smartphones are sold specifically as “unlocked” (often for a premium price), which means that you are free to use the phone on any network. These days, most carriers offer at least some way how customers can unlock their phones. It’s often not very straightforward, and it sometimes even costs money.

Whatever the case may be, you need to make sure that your phone is unlocked before you begin your travels. One of the simplest ways to do that is to head over to IMEI.info and input your IMEI number in the search field. You can get this number by dialing *#06# on your device.

Does Your Phone Support GSM Networks?

Mobile phones operate on two basic technologies: CDMA and GSM. Both CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and GSM (Global System for Mobiles) are methods used by various radio communication technologies to facilitate wireless communication.

In the United States, AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM networks, while Sprint and Verizon Wireless use CDMA. This rather complicates things because the rest of the world uses GSM.

If that wasn’t enough, GSM has 4 different frequencies, each used in a particular region. Europe operates on GSM-900 and GSM-1800, but North America uses 850 MHz and 1900 MHz communication bands.

Your phone has to support the particular frequency of a local carrier to work properly. Some phones come with a so-called quadband support, which means that they can be used anywhere in the world.

You need to consult manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that your phone is fully compatible.

Conclusion

It’s very unlikely that roaming prices would reach acceptable levels in the foreseeable future. Operators simply don’t have enough incentive to change their flawed business models and customers have to deal with the consequences.

Fortunately, international SIM cards, such as Global Unlimited SIM from Mobal, provide an excellent, cost-effective alternative for savvy travelers. We highly recommend you check just how much you could save and imagine what it would be like to travel without worrying about paying absurd sums of money.

ProductBrandNamePrice
MobalEurope Plus SIM by Mobal. 1GB of Fast 4G Data Included. Great Calling Rates. Excellent Coverage Throughout Europe – The Best European SIM Card Available. Great for Italy, France, Germany, UK etcBuy on Amazon|$59(Price as of 02/20/2019 04:32 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

How to Receive Wi-Fi Calls with Google Hangouts for Free Without a SIM Card

Google Hangouts is a wonderful app that can save you a lot of money and allow you to talk to others even without a SIM card. We have already explained how to make free Wi-Fi calls using Google Hangouts dialer without SIM card, and, now, we are going to take a look at how you can receive Wi-Fi calls with Google Hangouts for free.

Note: if you plan on ditching your phone carrier and want to use your phone without a SIM card, you will need constant Wifi connection, so ideally you would spend most of your time where wifi is accessible.  We tested the method on this phone without a SIM card and worked great.

phone calls

Why Would I Want to Do This?

Good question. After all, everyone owns, at least, one smartphone, so we understand why it might seem useless at first to turn a Wi-Fi only device into a phone. But when you pause and think about it, there are actually many scenarios where that could be the best thing to do.

  • Save Money: Simply put, if you can make and receive calls without a SIM card, you can drop your phone carrier and simply use your Android phone as a Wifi only device without missing a beat, and save a boatload in monthly cell phone bills.  And oh yea, UNLIMITED DATA (if you are connected to wifi).
  • Business purposes: let’s say that you run a business. You have your own office where you sit, do you work, and communicate with clients. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dedicated business number without paying for a second SIM card? Google Hangouts allows you to do just that.
  • Elderly parents: since Android allows for virtually unlimited customization, you could setup an Android smartphone or a tablet to boot up into an easy-to-understand user interface with shortcuts for a selected number of apps. Google Hangouts would always run in the background, allowing you to contact them at any time.
  • Back-up: if you like mobile devices as much as we do, you probably have a nice collection of antique smartphones and tablets just lying around your house and collecting dust. Why not give them a chance to again enjoy a happy digital life by turning them into backup phones?

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Step-By-Step Guide How to Receive Wi-Fi Calls with Google Hangouts Dialer

Let’s take a look at what steps you need to go through in order to receive Wi-Fi calls with Google Hangouts. You will need to jump through some hoops, but, trust us, it will take only a couple of minutes.  Before you get started, you do want to make sure you have a secure and strong wifi connection.

  1. Sign up for Google Voice: visit the Google Voice website, then sign in with your Google Account. You’ll be prompted to choose a Google Voice account type. Select I want a new number.
  2. Confirm your Google Voice account using a real phone: this is the tricky part. In order to activate your Google Voice account, you must confirm it with a real mobile phone number. Either use a phone number of somebody you know or you can even use your own smartphone if you have one.
  3. Uncheck but don’t remove your phone from the account: because you want Hangouts to ring only on the device without a SIM card, you must uncheck the phone used for verification from Google Voice, so it won’t ring on incoming Google Voice calls.
  4. Install the Google Hangouts Dialer app to turn on the receive call feature: now, go to the Play Store and install the Hangouts Dialer app. Open it, and, at the top left, tap Menu and then tap Settings. Then tap the Google Account that you use with Google Voice. Under the “Google Voice” section, check the box next to “Incoming phone calls.”
  5. Enable text messages in Google Voice to confirm your number in Google Hangout Dialer: the last step is to open Google Voice on your computer and, at the top right of the page, click Settings. Open the “Voicemail & Text” tab and check the box next to “Forward text messages to my email” located in the “Text Forwarding” section. Click Save Changes and you’re done.

Alternatives

You can also do the same without having to go through the complicated setup procedure with apps such as WhatsAppGoogle DuoGrooVe IPSkype, or Line, and many others. They allow you to make and receive both domestic and international phone calls, but only when the other person uses the same app as you.

How to Save and Watch YouTube Videos Offline Where Reception Is Bad or to Save Data

With over 1,000,000,000 video views per day, YouTube is the king of online video sharing. Mobile YouTube users watch on average 40 minutes of video every day, and the number is only growing larger. But as smartphone and tablet manufacturers embrace high-resolution displays and content makers switch to 4k, not everyone has a mobile data plan that can support our modern viewing habits. And even with a fantastic, unlimited data plan, there are still many situations—subway rides to work, camping trips, remote parts of the country—where reception is bad.

As Android users, we face technical issues head on and always come up with clever solutions to pesky problems. The issue of the day is how to save videos for offline use and watch YouTube in places with a bad reception. This time, however, the most attractive solution doesn’t come from a clever third-party developer—it comes directly from Google.

youtube-red

YouTube Red

On its official website, YouTube Red is described as “a paid membership that gives you an enhanced, uninterrupted experience across YouTube, YouTube Music, and YouTube Gaming.” The service was launched on October 28, 2015, and is currently available to users in the United States, Australia, Mexico, and New Zealand. YouTube Red is actually a rebrand of Music Key, an ad-free music streaming service that launched in November 2014.

Google makes most of their mind-bogglingly large profit from advertisement, and ads on YouTube are a very big deal. They generate revenue not only for YouTube but, most importantly, for YouTube’s content creators, who are, after all, the backbone of the site. Unfortunately for Google, people really don’t like to be interrupted when they are about to watch their favorite show, and they don’t hesitate to use ad-blockers to improve their experience.

With YouTube Red, Google is giving viewers a way how they can give back to their favorite YouTube creators with a paid membership that helps the creators create next-level content and gives the subscribers a whole range of enticing features.

First and foremost, there’s the access to YouTube Red Originals, new exclusive shows from some of the most popular YouTube stars, including PewDiePie, Lilly Singh, and Rooster Teeth. In Scare PewDiePie, the famous game streamer is placed in live scenarios inspired by various horror games, and, for example, in Fight of the Living Dead, popular YouTube personalities are put in a realistic zombie apocalypse scenario.

If your subscription box is already overflowing with content and new shows are the last thing you want to hear about, you will be pleased to know that, with YouTube Red, you can enjoy all existing videos on YouTube or any YouTube app without ads. That includes pre-roll or mid-roll video ads, banner ads, search ads, homepage banner ads, and in-video text-overlay-ads.

What’s more, a subscription to YouTube Red enables you to save videos on your mobile device for your next trip out of town, and allows you to play videos in the background even with the screen off. The downloaded videos will remain available for up to 30 days.

With a YouTube Red subscription, you get an access to Google Play Music at no extra cost, allowing you to listen to ad-free music. The YouTube Music app has been enhanced with Audio Mode, a clever feature that turns off the video stream, allowing you to greatly decrease your data usage.

YouTube Red is currently priced at $10 per month. Given that Netflix costs $8 per month, Spotify $10, and Amazon Prime $8.25, the $10 price tag may seem to be quite high. The good news is that you can sign up for a free one-month trial, by going to YouTube’s Red landing page. Once you sign up for the service, you can cancel your subscription at any time.

5 Best Uses for Your Old Android Phone

Don’t throw your old Android phone into the garbage bin just yet! If you think about it, older Android smartphones don’t differ too much from those single-board computers that people geek over so much, like Raspberry Pi. Of course, your old Android smartphone comes with a high-resolution display and an operating system that allows you to easily install over two million apps and games, which is a huge plus if you don’t fancy the idea of spending the entire Sunday afternoon typing obscure commands into the command line.

Use It as a Clock with These Apps

With nothing but a free Android app and a smartphone stand (if you are a DIYer, check out this tutorial on how to make a smartphone stand from a paper clip), you can use your old Android phone as a highly accurate clock that automatically synchronizes the time and date with a time server.

We recommend Big Digital Clock for a simple full-screen clock. The app has just a few settings, such as the option to switch between AM and PM mode or the ability to customize the color of the digits, so it’s very easy to use, as a simple clock app should be.

If you’d prefer a fancier clock with an excellent alarm functionality, Timely Alarm Clock fits the bill. This elegant, colorful clock features multiple themes and comes with hand-picked sounds that are guaranteed to make your mornings less painful. Timely Alarm Clock allows you to synchronize your alarms across multiple devices and snooze all active alarms, across all devices, with a single press of the snooze button.

Don’t like the idea of having a large clock right in front of you, constantly reminding you how late you are? Then how about looking at the current weather information, instead? Weather Forecast transforms your old Android phone into a compact weather station, complete with beautiful visuals and potentially life-saving storm and flood alerts.

How to Stream Game of Thrones without Cable for Free on Android

The Season 7 of Game of Thrones premiered on HBO on July 16, 2017, which means that we’ll soon get to see what’s going to happen next in one of the most popular and best-rated TV shows in history. An event like this is something you don’t want to miss, and it’s definitely something you mustn’t let others spoil for you.

Sling TV 7 Day Free Trial

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SlingTry Sling TV free for 7 days

But what if you don’t have a cable subscription? How can you watch the latest season of Game of Thrones live, preferably on your Android device? We have several fantastic ways how you can not only watch Game of Thrones on a budget but also for free by taking advantage of free trials.

HBO Now

  • One-month free trial
  • $14.99 after

Operated by American premium cable and satellite television network HBO, HBO Now is a subscription video on demand service that allows subscribers on-demand access to HBO’s library of programs, films, and other content. It costs $14.99 a month, and there’s a one-month free trial that you can take advantage of to try it for free.

HBO Now subscribers can comfortably watch the Season 7 of Game of Thrones using the HBO Now Android app. While the app has had a rocky start on Play Store, HBO Now is working hard on making it better, releasing updates on a regular basis. With the free trial available on the official website, there’s no reason not to give it a go and watch Game of Thrones streamed directly from the show’s creators.

3 Reasons To Buy LG V30 Over Galaxy Note 8

Leaks about the LG V30 have been rampant.  The LG flagship has been rumored all year, and now it is expected to be announced tomorrow, Aug 31st, 2017, at the IFA Conference in Berlin, Germany.  LG is announcing the LG V30 in one of the biggest stage out there.  For those not familiar with the IFA conference, it is one of the biggest electronic conferences in Europe, basically the CES of Europe.

Let’s be clear about this release: LG is is not messing around with this phone.  They are going head to head against the incumbent leader of its category, the Samsung Galaxy Note series.  LG plans to offer the LG V30 for sale on the same date as the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, a huge power move by LG to not settle for the backseat for this release.  Both will go on sale in South Korea on September 21st.  With LG making such a big splash at the conference, we are expecting the LG V30 to get the most hype out of this entire conference.

Reasons To Buy LG V30 Over Galaxy Note 8

LG has done did it now, announcing to the world that they are taking on the behemoth Samsung head on.  These commercials aren’t exactly subtle.  Fairly direct dig at the Note 8.

You don’t need to speak or understand Korean to get the undertone here.


LG might be onto something here, and below are a few reasons we think the LG V30 might make more sense as your everyday phone than the Galaxy Note 8.

LG V30 Will Be First Phone With F/1.6 Lens

By far the biggest selling point of the LG V30 will be the spectacular camera.  This camera phone is set to feature the largest aperture and clearest lens in the market.  According to LG’s press release earlier this month, its F/1.6 lens is said to “delivers 25 percent more light to the sensor compared to an F1.8 lens”, which means 25 percent more light than the iPhone 7.  For those unfamiliar with aperture in photography, the “F number”, or f-stops, are used to describe the size of the aperture and how much the aperture is opened.  If you are looking for the perfect lighting for your photos, the smaller the f number will get you the larger aperture.

The V30 will feature a dual camera in the front.  A 16 MP, f/1.6 with phase detection autofocus, plus a 13 MP, f/1.9 camera, and comes with LED flash.  While the Galaxy Note 8 will also have a solid camera, but comes with a smaller dual 12 MP camera.  Both phones will come with a 8 MP front-facing camera.

The dual camera feature will be great for snapping photos in various occasions.  One has large aperture, which is great for daily photos.  While the second camera will help you pick up wide-angle shots, giving you better coverage for landscape and group photos.

LG Is Doubling Down On Its Audio Capabilities

The LG V20 was a huge hit last year partly due to its audio technology.  The LG V series phones sport a dedicated digital to audio converter (DAC).  With the quad DAC in the V20, it was able to reduce ambient noise by 50%, which captures a higher quality and clarity in the recorded audio.  LG setup a whole campaign around this technology when they partnered up with Nick Jonas to feature the recording capability.  The #SingWithLG campaign showed a mashup of users with LG V20 singing along with Nick Jonas’ hit song Jealous.

Now LG is doubling down with the quad DAC and bringing it back to the LG V30.  The latest flagship will feature a dedicated quad DAC that should bring an improved music playback and recording quality.

LG wants you to utilize the LG V30 as a multimedia device.  According to LG’s press release a couple days ago, It will feature a “32-bit Advanced Hi-Fi Quad DAC powered by ESS Technology’s SABRE ES9218P. LG’s Hi-Fi Quad DAC presents two new features: digital filters and sound presets.  While LG’s original Hi-Fi Quad DAC emphasized delivering Hi-Fi sound as close as possible to the original source by minimizing distortion and white noise, the new Advanced Hi-Fi Quad DAC offers more options to customize the audio experience.”

The audio aspect of the phone simply just isn’t a big part of the marketing campaign for Samsung.  You might see LeBron taking selfies with a Galaxy S8 in its commercials, but rarely do you see them hyping their audio capabilities.  In this three minute Galaxy Note 8 intro video, there was no mention of audio at all.

LG V30 Priced More Competitively Than Galaxy Note 8

Updated Sept 3st, 2017: it appears the price of the LG V30 will be $749.99 according to an official LG giveaway contest

Talk about bang for your buck, per CNET, the price of the LG V30 is expected to be in the $700 range for the 64 GB variant and around $875 for the larger “LG V30 Plus”.  The pricing is consistent with the pricing of the previous LG flagships, such as the LG G6 (launched at about $650, currently goes for under $500 at Verizon) and LG G20 (launched at around $700, currently goes for under $600 at Verizon).

As a comparison here are a few of competing phones released around the same time, as you can see, the LG V30 is priced much more competitively for a premium phone.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8 currently retails for $960 on its website and also similar price on various carriers like Verizon Wireless ($960) and AT&T ($949.99).
  • Google Pixel XL 2, which is rumored to be released on October 5th, is expected to sell at a higher price tag than his predecessor, the first generation Google Pixel XL.  The Google Pixel XL launched at a price of $769 (32 GB) and $869 (128 GB).  Even at those prices, the V30 would be a better deal.
  • Apple iPhone 8 is expected to be announced in September 12th.  If the price of the Galaxy Note 8 scares you, than don’t even think about the iPhone 8.  The iPhone 8 is expected sell for north of $1000.

LG V30 vs Galaxy Note 8 Targeted Buyers

The LG V30 and the Galaxy Note 8 have similar specs and both are competing for the premium 6-inch phone market.  Each of these phones have premium features and you can’t go wrong with either phone.  But ultimately, the market may eventually dictate the segment of buyers for each device and perhaps each will get its own niche of users.  With such a large difference in pricing, the LG V30 may eventually cater more to the younger generation, while the Galaxy Note 8 would end up in the hands of the professional crowd.

As Forbes put it, “expect Samsung to lean heavily on the enterprise features of the Note 8. From the security minded software for document storage to a mix of fingerprint and biometric facial recognition, the phablet will be pitched as a workhorse device for busy and connected professionals. That’s going to be enhanced by the S-Pen, arguably the Note 8’s secret weapon.”  These features are all great and dandy, but not likely useful for the millennial crowd.

LG V30 appears to be targeting the younger generation with this release.  What do the millennials gravitate toward these days?

How about photos…

With the LG V30, maybe you too can create a video like this.

Vibrant Display…

To go with the top notch camera, you would need this bezel-less plastic OLED FullVision display from the V30 to show off the glamorous photos and videos.

How about music…

LG V30 has that covered as well. Who do you think LG is targeting with the clip below?

Rock on you music loving, photo obsessed millennial you…go pick up that LG V30 and thank us later.

5 Best Bitcoin and Ethereum Apps for Android

Long gone are the days when cryptographic currencies and public blockchain-based distributed computing platforms were synonymous with the criminal underground. Today, we use blockchain, a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of records called blocks and forms the backbone of both Bitcoin and Ethereum, to move from central record keeping systems to decentralized systems, eliminating the need for costly middlemen in financial transactions.

Want to keep your bitcoin tax calculation simple? We recommend these two services:

The very nature of technologies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum matches the spirit of the Android operating system, so it should come as no surprise to you that the Play Store is full of useful apps that serve as great examples of real-world applications for blockchain technology. We have selected our top 5 favorite Bitcoin and Ethereum apps for Android, splitting them into two categories for your convenience.

Bitcoin Clock – Live Price Checker

A straight forward Bitcoin price app.  If you just want an app that gets straight to the point, just a giant Bitcoin price across the screen of your phone or tablet, almost like a clock.  Set it on your office desk or beside you on your night stand while you sleep.  You’ll never miss the live Bitcoin price again with this app.  Don’t miss the moon without this app!
Download Bitcoin Clock App

bitcoinwallet

Bitcoin Wallets

A Bitcoin wallet is a software- or hardware-based tool that allows you to start making payments with merchants and users using Bitcoin, the infamous cryptographic currency that once powered Silk Road, an online black market owned by Ross Ulbricht and the first modern darknet market.

Back in 2011, when Silk Road launched, there weren’t that many Bitcoin wallets for Android to choose from. A lot has changed since then, and current Bitcoin users have a lot more options. We encourage you to spend some time on Bitcoin’s official website and learn as much as you can about the technology, so you can make your own educated decisions. But to help you get started, these are our top 3 favorite Bitcoin wallets for Android.

Coinbase

Headquartered in San Fransisco, Coinbase is a digital asset exchange company that operates exchanges of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital assets with fiat currencies in 32 countries, and Bitcoin transactions and storage in 190 countries worldwide. In other words, they are huge.

The company was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, and they grew to one million users by 2014. Coinbase has recently added Ether, the value token of Ethereum, as only the second digital currency offered to their retail customers, which is not something many other exchanges can brag about.

Coinbase’ Android app has a great rating of 4.5 stars and is often recommended as the best Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet for Android. The wallet allows users to buy and sell digital currency using various payment methods, has real-time and historical charts, price alerts, support for NFC and QR codes, and plenty of other useful features.

The app frequently receives updates, ensuring maximum security of all transactions and leveraging the latest version of the Android operating system to its maximum potential.

Mycelium

Developed openly on GitHub, the Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet allows you to send and receive Bitcoins using your mobile phone. Compared to Coinbase, Mycelium is certainly geared toward seasoned Bitcoin users and blockchain enthusiasts. On the official website, the app proudly lists some of its advanced features, such as the support for Hierarchical Deterministic wallets, single address accounts, watch only accounts, and secure authentication using Bit ID.

If none of these technologies ring any bells, then you are probably better off sticking with Coinbase. That being said, Mycelium is a fantastic option for more advanced Bitcoin users, as it empowers them to precisely manage their transactions and has been confirmed by thousands of users to be incredibly reliable.

Xapo

Xapo, a Switzerland-based company founded in 2013 by Wences Casares and COO Federico Murrone, stands out with a cold storage vault and a Bitcoin-based debit card. The company also does its best to ensure complete security of their customers, using physical servers located around the globe that are protected by biometric scanner access, 24-7 video surveillance, and armed guards, according to Casares.

Their Android App is a mobile bitcoin wallet and vault that combines convenience and industry-leading security, allowing users to send money to friends or family with ease. You can use it to manage your Bitcoin account just like a checking account, easily tip content creators via Twitter, check the price of bitcoin and other stats in real-time, buy bitcoin directly from Xapo, and more.

Its polished user interface follows the latest Material Design guidelines, resulting in an intuitive and seamless user experience that makes you forget about the underlying technology by placing emphasis on its practical usage.

bitcoin-billionaire-game-1

Bitcoin Games

If you feel like taking a small break from your real-life responsibilities, perhaps you wouldn’t mind earning a few Bitcoins at the same time, would you? Believe it or not, you can earn real Bitcoin by playing addictive Android games, and it’s no scam either.

Blockchain Game

Blockchain Game is a simple but fun block-stacking game that generates revenue through in-game ads and then redistributes a large portion of it to players. All you have to do in order to claim attractive prizes and receive Bitcoins directly to your wallet is play.

Bitcoin Billionaire

Unlike Blockchain Game, Bitcoin Billionaire uses fake Bitcoins as an in-game currency. Even though you can’t earn real money through the game, we still believe that it’s worth your attention just because of how fun it is to play. Essentially, it’s an idle clicker about raking in Bitcoins and building up a massive fortune.

Want to keep your bitcoin tax calculation simple? We recommend these two services:

Trick to Drop Your Cell Phone Plan Completely and Use Your Android Smartphone Without a SIM Card All for Free

You’ve heard us explain how you can send and receive text messages for free without a SIM card, and we have also shown you how you can do the same with incoming and outgoing phone calls. But what steps you need to take in order to completely ditch your cell phone plan and use your Android smartphone without a SIM card? This article will give you the answer.

Before you get started, we do want to preface by saying this trick only works for people who generally spend most of their time with solid wifi connections.  So if you spend msot of your time at home or in a office with consistent wifi connection, then there is really no reason for you to keep paying the bloated cell phone bill, a wifi only device would be perfect for you.  Just make sure you have a reliable wifi connection at home.   Consider getting a long range router or wifi booster for your home if you have spotty connection.

What Can I Do with This Setup?

With this setup, you should be able to do anything you are used to doing with a phone carrier. That includes making and receiving phone calls, sending and receiving texts, surfing the web or watching online videos, and using the email to conduct business and communicate with your friends and family.

That’s because you probably already do most of this stuff via Wi-Fi or data connection, so your SIM card is actually quite bored most of the time. Apps like WhatsApp and Google Duo already allow you to send text and multimedia messages, make and receive phone calls, and do many other useful things – all for free and over Wi-Fi.

Who Is This For?

Ideally, you are someone who embraces the latest and greatest technology solutions and isn’t stuck doing things the same old way. If you read about advantages of a communication app like Line and immediately see how you could benefit from using it, you are ready to get rid of your SIM card for good.

On the other hand, you could be someone who doesn’t need to communicate with others all that much, and having a convenient way how to contact a selected number of people is all you need. This is also a situation where a SIM card is not necessary.

Last but not least, this solution works best if you spend most of your time on Wi-Fi. You could, of course, also pay for mobile data, but that could get more expensive than using a regular phone plan.

How to Use Your Android Smartphone Without a SIM Card

There are essentially two ways how you can go about using your Android smartphone without a SIM card.

The Google Voice Way

We call this method “The Google Voice Way” because it revolves around Google Voice, telephony service that provides call forwarding and voicemail services, voice and text messaging, as well as the U.S. and international call termination services for Google Account customers, according to Google’s own description.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Register on Google Voice to receive a number for all your phones.
  2. Follow our guide to use your Google Voice number to send and receive text messages.
  3. Continue with configuring Google Hangouts to receive Wi-Fi calls.
  4. Finally, setup Google Hangouts Dialer to make free Wi-Fi calls without a SIM card.

The Alternative Way

Alternatively, you can skip all that configuration and just install a mobile communication app like WhatsAppGoogle DuoGrooVe IP, Skype, Line, or many others. Just bear in mind that people who are not using the same app won’t be able to contact you. This is probably fine if you want to talk only to your close family and friends, but it would make doing business nearly impossible.

What Does LTE Stand For?

If you own one of the latest smartphone models available in the market then chances are you have heard of the term LTE. This will usually appear on your phone screen once you turn on your mobile data connection. Basically, LTE or Long Term Evolution is a 4G wireless broadband standard. Right now this is the fastest network ( at least 10 times faster than a 3G network) for mobile devices and has replaced the now outdated 3G technology.

To take advantage of LTE the network must support this technology and the phone that you are using should be an LTE capable device. The internet speed that you will be getting on your phone will be significantly faster than a 3G connection however this will depend on several factors. These factors include your location with respect to the network towers, the number of consumers connected to the tower using the LTE network, and signal interferences among others.

Some of the advantages that the end consumer will get when having an LTE connection are as follows.

  • Faster upload and download speeds.
  • Low data transfer latency. Those who play online games on their mobile phones will know this as lag. The lower the lag or latency the better the reaction time when playing with games.
  • Enhanced mobile device support.
  • Can be used to make clearer voice calls using VoLTE ( Voice over LTE).