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Recently my wife and I had our phones cut for a few weeks. During that time period we were not at home and still needed to stay in contact with each other constantly due to my daughter being in the hospital.

Since we both had smartphone and internet where we were staying, at the hospitals and at my work it actually was not as hard as one would think. The following is a guide, that I hope will help others in situations like this, to the apps that we used to stay in touch on our android phones.

Google Hangout:
We started with hangout because it was already on our phones. Hangout is a good app for this because, like I said, its pre-installed on most android phones, its free and you can text and have video or audio calls.

Facebook Messenger: we ended up using FBM more for phone calls once I found out you can call other Facebook users via VoIP. If you don’t know how I’ll explain. When in the messenger app find the person you want to call, tap on them, then tap the “I” info icon in the top right corner and you should see “free call”. The call quality was actually very good and considering most people have Facebook and the messenger app already its a good choice since its free and you can call a lot of the people you know, at least if they have Facebook anyway.

Now that I’ve covered the two apps that helped me and my wife message and call each other while our phones were cut, what about if you need to call a landline or cell phone. Sure you could use Skype or one of the many knockoff apps, but that costs money. What if you are strapped for cash and need to make free calls to landlines, that’s where this next app comes in.

Bobsled Calling: it took a lot of searching to find an app that would let me call landlines for free. There are a lot of apps that do this, but most either cost money or give you a certain number of free calls before charging you per call. Bobsled calling is an app put out by AT&T oddly enough. It works great if you have a solid WiFi connection and the app itself is easy to use once it connects. Beware though if you have a weak or slow connection the quality drops significantly.

**Update** Bobsled actually only has a trial period like most other apps. But it works well for that trial period and if you feel like shelling out some cash its not a bad option.

Magic Jack: yes this is an app by the company that makes budget VoIP phones that you may or may not have seen. This app us actually pretty amazing. Once you sign up for a Magic Jack account you not only get to make unlimited phone calls for free, but they also give you voicemail. Now you may ask yourself, why would they give me voicemail? Well its because you get a phone number. Yes you read that right, they give you your own FREE number. Here is the catch, when calling you, your friend must first sail the Magic Jack number, then dial your number once connected to magic jack. So for example 1(679)555-5555 then 0127883321. So while its a bit complicated and most likely will cost your friends or family long distance fees they can call you if they need to and even leave you a voicemail if you don’t answer or are on the “phone” at the time.

So there you have it, my guide to surviving without a cell phone. Hope it helps out people who have been are in or will be in a situation where there cell phone gets cut.

One last note, I am  from Canada, I know in the United States they have Google calling for free and that would work in this situation perfectly. But if, like me, you aren’t in the States and can’t use that service these apps should help out until you get you service back.

Richard
@riche_613

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