Sure, ghosts, zombies, and ax-wielding maniacs are scary - but have you ever overpaid for holiday roaming? Terrifying!
In honour of our favourite spooky holiday, we've put together some quick solutions to some of your most-feared smartphone nightmares. Scared of bill shock? Dreading a data shortage? Read on for answers.
Wet phone horror stories!
If your phone goes on an unauthorised aquatic adventure, don’t fret: if you’re lucky, it can be salvaged. Your first step is to ensure the device is switched off immediately, and stays off until the drying-out process is complete.
Dry the surface with a towel or cloth, then - if possible - open it up, remove the battery, and dry the inside too. You’ll then need to pop your device in a container filled with dry rice. Make sure your phone is completely submerged, then place said container in direct sunlight (a window sill or balcony is a great dry-off spot).
You’ll probably need to give your phone at least two or three days to dry out, possibly more if you’re living in a cooler climate. Once the inside of your handset is completely dry, you can replace the battery, power on your device and assess any further damage.
If your phone has stopped working properly, your next step is to have it repaired, but be aware: smartphone warranties don’t cover water damage, so unless you have device insurance, you may be out a few hundred dollars.
Eeek! I need more data!
Are you constantly in danger of exceeding your plan’s monthly data limit? Find yourself rationing megabytes at the end of your bill cycle to avoid dreaded data use overages? You may benefit from a bigger plan.
If your main fear is that more data means a bigger bill, you might be surprised by how affordable larger data allowances have become. If you take up a BYO-device plan from a smaller operator like Jeenee Mobile, you can get 10GB of data for as little as $36 per month, or pick up 12GB for $32 with Virgin Mobile.
Ghoulish global roaming fees!
You may have unlimited talk and text and a hefty data allowance in Australia, but if you’re planning an international trip you’ll need to guard against sky-high roaming fees. How you should do this, however, depends on which telco you’re with, and where you're going.
Making and receiving calls on your Australian SIM while overseas is pricey, but the real culprit of overseas bill shock is the cost of data usage. If you're paying as you go, data will cost you as much as $3 per MB. If you want to upload a holiday snap to Instagram, that could easily cost you $9. Oversharing? More like overscaring.
While you can simply disable data on your phone and hope you find Wi-Fi hotspots, there are a few other options if you want to stay connected overseas.
Optus and Telstra post-paid customers have the option of buying a travel pass. These vary in price depending on where you're going, your duration, and the inclusions you're after.
Vodafone post-paid customers can take advantage of $5 per day global roaming. For this flat daily fee, Vodafone lets you use all of your inclusions - calls, data, text - as if you were at home.
Alternatively, if you have an unlocked smartphone, it might just be cheaper to buy a local SIM when you arrive at your destination, especially if you're staying for more than a couple of days. The only real draw back to this is that you won't be reachable on your normal number, but the rise of over-the-top services like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, FaceTime, and WhatsApp means you'll still be easy enough to contact.
You can also buy a pre-loaded travel SIM card before you leave. These cards come with an included amount of minutes, texts and data (or an included credit amount), and can be topped up easily while you're travelling.
Frozen phone nightmares!
Is your screen suddenly unresponsive? Stuck in an app you can’t get out of? You can reset a frozen Android device or iPhone, although the exact steps may vary depending on your device and operating system.
The easiest method is a forced restart. For an iPhone, press down on the Sleep/Wake button at the top or right side of your device until the ’Slide to power off’ toggle appears on-screen, then slide it to the right. Once your phone shuts down, press the button again to restart and, hopefully, your problem will be solved.
Android owners can achieve the same results by holding down their phone’s Power button or, if necessary, forcing a reboot by pressing down the Power and Volume down buttons until their device’s screen goes blank. Switch your handset back on, and everything should be fully operational.
If you're still having issues, you may need to update your phone's software - check Settings for any new software upgrades you may have missed. You may also want to try clearing memory to improve your phone's response, and if all else fails, performing a factory reset to bring your device back from the dead.