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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Put the Mobile Back into Your Mobile Phone

  • Instantly teleport yourself to another location by using fake "noises" in the background of your cell phone calls. Choose from options such as car noise, "outdoor" sounds, a phone ringing, and much more!

  • Using Verizon's new iobi Home product, you can be on the go and still get calls, email, text messages, and more—without having an "all-in-one" device.

  • Is all that slacking giving you some spare time to fill? Try out some of the most popular games that can be played on a cell phone.

There are three things we don't leave the house without: keys, wallet, and our beloved mobile phone. Problem is, not only do we rely on our cell phones, but so do our bosses! Just because technology lets us be reached wherever we are on this planet doesn't mean we should be. But it's too late to go back to the pre-'90s days of stationary communication.

So, why not have a little fun with your cell phone, then?

Sound Effects—Your Instant Alibi

Here's a scenario: You're supposed to start work at 9 a.m. sharp but after a night of heavy partying, you forgot to set your alarm so you wake up at 8:52 a.m. (with your tongue stuck to the top of your mouth). What to do? Call your supervisor or boss on the cell phone and explain that you're stuck behind a huge collision and you'll get there as soon as humanly possible. Now, imagine your story could be supported with traffic jam sound effects that matched your excuse? A clever European application called SounderCover—or Soundster in the U.S. (http://www.soundster.com)—plays sound effects in your phone so that you sound like you're in one place when you're really in another (see Figure 4.7)!

Figure 4.7

Figure 4.7 Ah, it's good to be a slacker in the 21st century. Products such as the SounderCover let you choose a background noise to fake your location. Clever, huh?

This clever program lets you easily drop in a background sound effect during any incoming or outgoing call so that it gives the impression you're actually in the environment where the background sound is normally heard! (see Figure 4.8).

Figure 4.8

Figure 4.8 Per the icon at the top of the cell phone screen, SounderCover is active, so simply press the down button during a call to initiate the selected sound effect.

You can pretend you're at the doctor's office, caught in a thunderstorm, in the park, or even at a circus parade! A favorite is the "phone ring" sound—the person on the other end of the line will hear a phone ring so that you can tell them you need to go ASAP because you're expecting an important call. Hmm, this is perfect for when customers are asking where their delivery is and you forgot to send it out!

You can even use your own prerecorded sounds, or sound files downloaded from the Internet.

What's more, Soundster allows you to assign fake environmental sounds to anyone in your address book. You can also simply pick a sound when they call, or when you call them.

The selected Soundster noise is launched once you press the Down key/arrow on the phone whenever you call someone (or when you receive a call). A notification will appear on top of your phone's screen to confirm that Soundster is active.

If you want to try before you buy, there's a downloadable demo—but they don't loop, so they're only played once during the call. The full version retails for $4.99 for the application (with three or four sounds) and $2.99 for additional sounds.

Be sure to visit http://www.soundster.com to see the long list of supported devices.

Set Yourself Free with Verizon's iobi Home

If you crave the freedom to, ahem, "work" anywhere you like then there's a silly little four-letter word you might want to be acquainted with: iobi (pronounced "eye-oh-bee").

iobi Home from Verizon is an inexpensive monthly service that consolidates your landline, cell phone, and email—and helps people find you instead having to juggle multiple lines of communication from different sources.

iobi Home lets you email voicemail messages, schedule call forwarding to any phone, or tell your PC to hold your calls. You're thinking, "So, how can this help me slack?" Imagine you've got a date with your golf clubs but you're supposed to be working in your four-foot-square cubicle you call an office. With iobi Home, you can forward your work telephone number to your cell phone so you can close that deal while putting on the green (don't think it hasn't been done!).

iobi Home lets you

  • Listen to voicemail right on your computer desktop or email a voicemail clip.

  • Send a text message—without a cell phone. Simply log into your iobi Home account and type the message using the intuitive interface.

  • Take advantage of the call display features so you can see who's phoning and choose to answer, ignore, or block the call.

  • Tag incoming phone numbers and add them to your address book.

  • Call forward to any phone. Or how about the ability to schedule call forwarding on your calendar! You know, just in case you've got a hot lunch date a week Thursday!

  • Access all this information from any Internet-connected PC or telephone in the world.

To find out more about iobi Home, including an animated demo and a quick test to see whether the service is available in your area, visit http://www.verizon.com/iobi.

This landline service costs $7.95 a month and can be used to forward to any cell phone—not just ones tied to Verizon Wireless.

Pay It Forward

Most cell phone carriers let you call-forward your mobile phone number to another phone altogether, such as a landline. Some companies charge a flat rate per month for this feature, while others charge for each time you forward. Why do you want this, you ask? What if you're planning to spend Friday afternoon at your buddy's house playing Texas Hold 'Em poker, but when you get there, your cell battery's low? Quick, forward your cell number to his landline so your boss, client, or customers can reach you. As far as they know, you're still working. Just remember to unforward the number when you leave or you'll be busted!

Do you live in the Great White North? Canadian subscribers to Bell Canada or Bell Mobility (http://www.bell.ca) can easily call-forward their phones—landline or cell phone—to another number by punching in a few simple keys. For the first time, simply press *72 and then enter the 10-digit number you want to forward your phone to. If it's a cell phone, press Talk, and you will hear a long tone—this means the forwarding function has been successfully activated. So now you can spend the afternoon at that special someone's house you met the other week—but have all your office calls forwarded there (your customers won't know the difference)! To unforward, press *73. You will hear the same long tone again, indicating the forwarding function is now off. What's neat is that the phone will remember the number, so if you use the forwarding function again, you simply need to press *72—and not enter the 10-digit number. But, should you want to reset the forwarding number, go back to the first step. Here's two other neat facts about this feature. With Call Forwarding on, you can still use your phone for outgoing calls. And, incoming calls are forwarded to the number you choose even if your phone line is busy.

Fun with Cell Phone Games

Did you know your cell phone is all you need to play the latest digital diversions?

Okay, so its small screen and lame sound might turn you off, but cell phone games sure come in handy when you need to waste a few minutes (especially on company time). The following are a few recommended solo and multiplayer games.

To find out which phones are supported, how to download them to your phone, and for how much (it varies between carriers), visit the game's corresponding website.

  • NFL 2005 (Jamdat; http://www.Jamdat.com)—Handheld sports games have come a long way since Coleco Head-to-Head Football. Jamdat's pro pigskin sim features all 32 NFL teams and rosters, and includes a deep playbook with dozens of offensive and defensive maneuvers to chose from. Jukes, tackles, fumbles, and snaps—it's all here.

  • Might & Magic (Gameloft; http://www.gameloft.com)—Fans of fantasy role-playing games will find refuge in this magical single-player adventure that's spread over 15 huge and colorful 3D levels. Set out on an epic journey to battle foes, solve puzzles, and unravel the mystery that haunts the world of Erathia. D&D nerds, eat your heart out.

  • Joust (THQ Wireless; http://www.thqwireless.com)—Save your quarters—this "old skool" classic looks, sounds, and plays just like the arcade version, but now it's small enough to fit in your pocket. Fly your ostrich around increasingly tough levels, while pouncing on winged enemies and running over eggs before they hatch. Also includes cooperative play for two gamers and an Internet high- score list.

  • Phil Helmuth's Texas Hold 'em (Summus; http://www.summus.com)—Anyone who's studied the World Poker Championships on television and thought "this guy's an idiot" can now see how'd they fare with this mobile version of the popular poker game. After you can beat the tough A.I. opponents, it's time to log online and test your skill on multiplayer tables (dark sunglasses and cheesy moustache not necessary).

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