Make International Phone Calls from your Mobile even without the Internet

May 21st, 2015

How do you make international calls from your mobile phone? Mobile carriers often charge exorbitant rates for international phone calls but you can Internet based services like Skype or Google Hangouts and call any landline or cell phone number in the world for a low per minute fee.

All you need is a mobile phone connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot and some credit balance in your account for making the phone call. You can use these VoIP apps when travelling overseas as well and make significant savings for both domestic and international calls.

Now consider a scenario where you have a mobile phone but there’s no Wi-Fi around and the 3G/4G services are either slow or unavailable. Would you still be able to place calls through any of these apps? The answer is obviously in the negative but there’s at least one app that has figured out a unique solution to this common problem.

The app, known as Ringo, lets you make international calls from your mobile phone but “without” requiring the Internet. It does so by cleverly converting your request to dial an international number into a local number.

Let’s say you are trying to call someone in Singapore from India. When you make a call through Ringo, the app will internally dial a local number in India. At the other end in Singapore, it will again make a local call to the desired number and will connect these two calls using their own infrastructure. This process is transparent to the end users though it make few seconds extra to initiate the call.

International Call Rates – Comparison

Here’s a chart comparing the voice calling rates (in cents per minute) for all the popular voice calling apps. Ringo not only allows you make international phone calls without 3G or WiFi but it is cost-effective too.

Skype Viber Ringo
Callback
Ringo
Wifi
Google
Hangouts
USA 2.3 1.9 1.2 0.2 Free
India 1.5 2.2 1.9 0.9 1.0
UK 2.3 5.9 1.4 0.4 3.0
Russia 2.3 7.9 12.5 11.6 12
Brazil 3 19 3.6 2.6 6.0
China 2 1.3 1.6 0.6 1.0
Singapore 2.3 1.9 1.4 0.4 2.0

 

In my testing, I found the voice quality good and the app automatically figures out all the international numbers in your phonebook.  Also when open a contact inside Ringo, it will show their current local time and this little detail does help save a trip to Google.

Is Ringo a replacement for Skype or Google Hangouts? Well, yes and no. With Ringo, you do not need the Internet to make phone calls but you still need a local number. In the case of Skype, you do not need a local number but you have to be connected to the Internet. Also, Ringo is mobile only while Skype lets you call telephone numbers from Mac and Windows PCs as well.

Ringo is available for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone.


The story, Make International Phone Calls from your Mobile even without the Internet, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 18/05/2015 under Skype, Internet.
Digital Inspiration Technology Blog

Racist Anti-Obama Hack Strikes Google Maps

May 20th, 2015

Where previous Google Maps hacks were arguably playful, this is ugly.

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SearchCap: Google Buy Now, Cortana & Apple Coherent Navigation

May 19th, 2015

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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Survey: Consumers Prefer Mobile Browser To Apps For Local Information

May 18th, 2015

In the larger context of Google and now Bing’s Mobile Friendly algorithm updates comes a new consumer survey from SEO firm BrightLocal. The data show overall that consumer expectations of mobile sites, even for local business owners, have grown significantly since 2013. While local businesses…



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Online Reviews, Reputation And How To Become Super Credible

May 17th, 2015

Looking to build your online reputation? Columnist Marcus Miller details the mindset local businesses need to build credibility beyond simple reviews.

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SearchCap: Google News, Transparency Report & BrightLocal Survey

May 16th, 2015

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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Login to your WordPress Website without Typing the Password

May 15th, 2015

As is common knowledge, two-factor authentication is necessary for increasing the security of WordPress websites. Once enabled, you’ll need a one-time password generated on your phone, in addition to your existing WordPress username and password, to log into the website. WordPress has not included 2-factor authentication in the core yet but there are WordPress plugins that will easily add this layer of security to your website.

The only downside of adding 2-factor authentication is that you need to type a few extra digits on the login screen before you are allowed in. And if you have a handful of WordPress websites to manage, this can be a bit time consuming.

This week I discovered Clef and it will completely changes the way you log into your WordPress websites. With Clef installed, you can log into your website by simply waving the mobile phone at the computer screen. Clef also secures your site with 2-factor authentication but you don’t have to type any username or password nor do you have to wait for the one-time tokens.

It almost feels like magic. Watch this short demo to understand how Clef works.

A video posted by Amit Agarwal (@labnol) on

Login into WordPress Automatically

Getting started is easy. You install the Clef plugin on your website (it is available in the official WordPress plugin repository) and download the Clef app on your mobile phone. The app is available for both iPhone and Android phones.

Clef will replace the default login screen of your WordPress website with an animation that resembles a moving wave. You scan this “wave” with the Clef app on your phone and voila! You are logged in instantly. You don’t have to remember passwords and this will even work if your phone is not connected to the Internet.

One more thing. You can use Clef to log into your WordPress website from the mobile browser as well. In this case, you don’t have to scan the “wave” but you’ll be automatically redirected to the Clef app on the phone and it will log you in. It can’t get any simpler than this.

Also: Google 2-Factor Authentication with USB Key

And if you ever lose your mobile phone, you can also always deactivate your device by paying a visit to getclef.com/lost. Do not fret because you can still get into your Clef enabled WordPress website with the old school method – your username and password.


The story, Login to your WordPress Website without Typing the Password, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 07/05/2015 under Password, Security, WordPress, Internet.
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Demanding More Detail, Legal Group Calls On Google To Disclose RTBF Criteria

May 14th, 2015

The group of 80 lawyers and academics want a lot more information from Google.

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Send Personalized Tweets & DMs in Bulk from a Google Spreadsheet

May 13th, 2015

Introducing Twitter Merge, a new Twitter app that will help you send personalized tweets and direct messages (or DMs) to multiple Twitter users in one-go. You create a template for the tweet, specify a list of Twitter users and the app will take care of the rest. The Twitter Merge app, like Gmail Mail Merge, also runs inside a Google Spreadsheet but instead of emails, this one allows you to send customized tweets and DMs in bulk.

Let me share a scenario where such an app may be useful.

Say you are a brand and you are trying to organize meetings with Twitter users in various cities on different dates. You want to send them invites on Twitter but it would take just too much effort to compose the tweets or DMs manually. You thus create an invite template and add the Twitter user names in a Google Sheet. The Twitter Merge app, using that template, will send a personalized tweet (or DM) to every handle listed in the sheet automatically.

Here’s a sample Tweet template and the corresponding tweets / DMs generated from the template.

Personlized Tweets

To create a Twitter template, write a tweet in notepad (or any text editor) and replace the words that will be different in each tweet with {{variables}}. For instance, if you are write a tweet with customized name and city, your template will read something like “hello {{first name}} from {{city name}}” while the “First Name” and “City Name” will be columns in your Google Spreadsheet.

Bulk Send Tweets & Direct Messages

Follow these steps to get started:

    1. Click here to copy the Twitter Merge spreadsheet in your Google Drive.
    2. Add new columns to the sheet so that you have one for every variable that exists in your tweet template. The column names should be the same as the variable name though the case doesn’t matter.
    3. Fill the spreadsheet with one or more rows. Add the Twitter screen names in the “Twitter User” column while keeping the “Tweet” and “Status” columns as blank.
    4. Go to the Twitter Merge menu at the top and choose Authorize. This is required because you need to allow the Spreadsheet to send tweets on our behalf.
    5. From the same menu, choose Configure and paste the text of your tweet template. You also need to specify whether the tweets are be sent as DMs or public tweets. Save the configuration.

We are almost done now.

The “Tweet” column will display the actual text that will be sent and you have an option to manually edit that text. Choose Send tweets from the Twitter menu and the app will send the customized tweets to all the listed Twitter users. The following video (link) will also guide you through the process.

Also see: Archive Twitter Search Results in Google sheets.

Later, if you wish to send more tweets or DMs, you can just repeat from step 2 onwards.  Also, if the “Status” column for a tweet is set as “SENT”, the app will skip sending a tweet to that particular Twitter user.

Internally, there’s a Google Script running that transforms your template into actual tweets using data from the row and it then connects to the Twitter API to send the tweets. Give it a try and do share your feedback in the comments section below.


The story, Send Personalized Tweets & DMs in Bulk from a Google Spreadsheet, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 13/05/2015 under Google Docs, Twitter, Internet.
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SearchCap: Google UX Not On Desktop, Link Building & Keyword Research

May 13th, 2015

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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Prime Reasons for, why SEO plays in enhanced web traffic

It has been recently found that, the strategies opted by the SEO Birmingham companies have become critically significant to the success of small businesses. If your online business is not making use of SEO Birmingham, this write-up discusses prime reasons why you should opt for the local strategies used by SEO Birmingham companies.

As per the recent findings, more than 39% of the NETIZENS experience problems while searching for the local businesses over the Word Wide Wed. People know about the existence of the local business, but suffer inconvenience while locating web information about such businesses. The major reason behind such inconvenience suffered by the Netizens is that such business fails to understand the relevance of SEO Birmingham. Thereby, if your business provides products and services over the web nationally or internationally, search engine optimization can be of great help over making the brand visible on the search engine results.

Nowadays, more and more people rely on the Internet for finding local businesses

There have been times, when the local business did not worry about the scope of SEO, just word of mouth has been more than enough for spreading their existence to the local consumers. But, today as per the statistics more than 84% of the people make use of the Internet medium for locating the local businesses. No telephone directories, people rely on search engines.

Thus, it becomes essential to change the traditional marketing strategy to modern day strategy of online marketing.

SEO Birmingham costs a little less

If you are considering Adword strategy to capture the online marketing domain, you must be aware of the fact; the popularity of the keyword chosen is directly proportional to the amount of the fee paid. Selection of local keywords means lesser keyword competition, which means you need not pay extra costs.

Helps in reaping the benefits of advanced Google features

SEO companies in Birmingham, such as SEO Results4u at Avon House, 435 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 4AA 0121 746 3121 also contribute to the SEO landscape of their local area, be it Solihull, Birmingham or even the wider West Midlands area.

People are actually unaware about the fact, Google plus has changed the traditional way of Internet usage. If the keywords chosen are relevant to the domain to the local market, you very wisely unlock enhanced services offered by Google:

  • A map representing the physical location of a business
  • Appealing pictures with respect to the business
  • Make use of the reviews posted by the user

Truth be told, without using the local platform of SEO, Google plus fails to recognize your business, which clearly means lack of authentic information over the web.

Local SEO encourages better and enhanced credibility

People trust Yahoo, Bing and Google with their eyes closed and believe, these magical search engines have remedies for each and every query. It is a well-accepted notion among the commoners, the brands that appear in the top search lists are most wanted and authentic service providers. So, if you want people to believe in your brand's credibility, Search Engine Optimization adds credibility to your brand power among the commoners. Local SEO adds credibility as well as a definite increase in the web traffic.

Your Peers are using

Business is all about competition. Your peers are using it and yielding the benefits, why aren’t you?