I Lost My Android Phone! Help!

SGNOTE4- Alt_© Terri Nakamura 2015 IMG_0012

Have you ever had that sick feeling when your Android phone goes missing?

It happened to me!

After a day of work, errands and the usual rigamarole, following dinner, my husband and I settled in for an hour of TV. That’s when I process and post my Instagram photos that were shot during that day.

When I went to grab my Samsung Galaxy Note 4, it was not to be found!

Hmmm. I looked through my office, my car, and the usual places in our house, then started to quietly freak out. Where is my phone?!

Tried to call it — nothing. But I distinctly remember having it here when I got home this afternoon. Weird!

If you’ve linked your Android to Google, you’re in luck. I used the My Timeline link (https://www.google.com/maps/timeline) on Google to retrace my steps. I wanted to see where in the world my phone could be:

My Timeline August 4, 2015

It’s interesting, but a ton of people must lose their Androids. If you type “I lost my Android phone” into Google, you’ll get something like this:

I lost my Android - Google

When you sign in, Google gently urges you to have a back up phone designated to receive 2-step verification (if you’ve set it up that way)

Don't get locked out

After you sign into Google with your password, Google will attempt to contact your phone. You can choose to have it can ring your phone at full volume for 5 minutes to help you find it. The only thing is, in order to do that, your phone’s battery needs to have some juice. Mine was dead, dead, dead.

So I selected the option to lock my phone, put a message on the lock screen, then changed the password. Pretty cool you can do all of this from your computer. You also have the option to erase your phone, or change the name of the device. Since I was PRETTY sure it was in my house, I didn’t want to erase the phone. I hadn’t backed up the contents for a week, so I would’ve lost some photos.

Ring, Lock, Erase

During the 3 days my phone was missing, I checked the location each day and saw that it hadn’t moved, and I also saw that the phone hadn’t been re-charged or turned on. Yep, Google can tell!

Contacting my phone

Google says the phone location is accurate to 33 feet, and it’s not kidding. So I had to believe the phone was someplace in my home. But where? I thought I’d looked everywhere.

As an added measure to make sure the phone couldn’t be used, I had Verizon suspend the service but continue billing. If you suspend service and maintain billing, there’s no penalty. But if you suspend service and billing, for each day service is suspended, you add 1 month to your current contract.  www.verizonwireless.com/support/suspend-service-faqs/

VZW suspend service

When you suspend your phone service, Verizon will send you an email verifying you’ve requested to do so. Included in the email is a link to reactivate it — super convenient!

So, how did I find my phone?

The first half of the week, after an epic run of hot weather, it had finally cooled down. So I’d been wearing black skinny jeans and black socks with my Arcopedicos.

I don’t know what other people do, but I keep my sports socks in a separate drawer.

On the day I found my phone, Seattle was back to hot, sunny weather. It was time to break out the shorts and tennis shoes! That meant I needed some low socks!

When I opened the drawer, lo and behold…

Samsung in the sock drawer © Terri Nakamura

I activated the link on the Verizon email and the phone was back online in a few minutes.

It was freaky being without my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for so long. I take it with me everywhere, because it’s the best camera I’ve seen on a smart phone.

I hope this article will help you in case you find yourself in this predicament!

Happy ending for me. I hope it is for you, too!


Alki Surf Shop: http://www.alkisurfshop.com

Terri Nakamura on Twitter: https://twitter.com/terrinakamura

Alki Surf Shop on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlkiSurfShop

The Horsfall House on AirBNB: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1229224

More from Terri Nakamura: http://seattledesigner.blogspot.com/

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Up in the AirBNB

Randle at sunset

The Horsfall House in the afternoon sun

The Doors sang, “People are strange, when you’re a stranger.” But since we put our country house on AirBNB, the people we’ve met have been anything but strange.

AirBNB is to lodging what Uber is to cars for hire. As of early January of 2015, it had booked more than 25 million reservations in 92 countries.

Our vacation home is in the insanely beautiful Cascade Mountain area of Washington State. We hadn’t been using it very much because of the work we were doing on our new retail store, Alki Surf Shop, in West Seattle. So we thought it made sense to let other people take advantage of it. The listing was begun in 2013, but wasn’t activated it until last fall when a friend enquired about renting our house. It seemed like it was as good a time as any to give it a try.

Before creating our listing, I did some research to see what kinds of properties were available in the area, how they were priced, and what kinds of amenities they included. Then I began the process of collecting images of our home, and writing descriptions, with the goal being 1) honest representations and 2) highlighting the positive attributes.

Among the tools we’ve used to create and manage our presence, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has been great. Not only is the AirBNB app terrific, the Note 4 has enabled me to document changes in our house and share them on the site. Here are a few new ones:

Kitchen

A peek at the kitchen

Kitchen Nook

Looking into the breakfast nook

Living Room

The living room has a sleeper sofa that sleeps two

You can see, the quality of the photos are as good or better than most point-and-shoot pocket digital cameras! That’s because the camera on the Note 4 is amazing!

Toward dining room

Looking into the dining room from the living room

Verizon is the only carrier we have found to provide reliable service in Randle, Washington. We heard from one group who said they were able to get a signal on AT&T and to a lesser degree, T-Mobile, but the last time we were there (a week ago) AT&T at least, was zilch. Honestly, I don’t know what we’d do without Verizon. It has been our lifeline to the outside world.

My real-life bestie has using AirBNB in her travels, and has found some amazing places in the U.S. and abroad. I’d also heard of VRBO (Vacation rentals by owner), but felt more confident in AirBNB because of my friend’s personal (and positive) experiences.

I’m am AirBNB novice, but I’ve found ample support, both within the host communities, and from AirBNB itself. Each time I’ve had a question or issue, AirBNB has answered within 24 hours. The communities are even faster. Post a concern, and BOOM, help is there.

The experience has been largely positive, and we’ve learned through guest feedback, how to make our home even more hospitable. We’ve met people from far-off lands, as well as those from our own back yard. We discovered we share mutual IRL friends with one of our guests. Several people in another group work at a very popular restaurant here in Seattle, The Whale Wins, listed by Bon Appetit as one of the top 10 new restaurants in the U.S. in 2013. We enjoyed them so much, I made it a point to take our extended family there when we celebrated my birthday earlier this month. And trust me when I say the food was fabulous!

So how are a country house, AirBNB, a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and an award-winning restaurant connected?

Through great technology and with help from Verizon.


AirBNB: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1229224

Alki Surf Shop: http://alkisurfshop.com/

Terri Nakamura: https://twitter.com/terrinakamura

Exploring a New Galaxy

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 composited with SG NOTE 4 + 800px-Andromeda_Galaxy-creative-commons

Two months ago I took a “day-cation” from my phone and digital life. “Digital detox” allowed me to enjoy people and things in my real life, and it yielded the surprisingly positive outcome of feeling happier and more relaxed. Since my first time, I’ve been taking a break about twice a month, and it’s wonderful.

On a recent digital detox weekend at our house near Mount Rainier, Fedex attempted to deliver a package from Verizon and @TheOnlineMom. To my delight, it turned out to be the Galaxy Note 4 by Samsung — #TheNextBigThing!

Once we were back in Seattle, I zipped over to Fedex and unboxed it right on the counter! I immediately took a photo and texted it to my social media BFF, Reg Saddler @zaibatsu, and later posted it on Instagram.

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 4.11.22 PM

I’m a long-time Apple devotee and sometimes feel lost when setting up non-Apple devices, but much to my surprise, the Galaxy Note 4 was easy to set up and begin using. After topping off the charge on the battery, I was excited to get started.

Adding email accounts and loading my favorite applications was a snap. And after authorizing the apps, it was ready to roll.

The first thing I did was try the 16 MP camera. I found it to capture images with a nice, warm color range. It features the standard control options you’d expect (exposure, white balance, ISO) as well as a higher resolution-than-iPhone front-facing camera.

The Galaxy Note 4 phone was easy to use and sync with my contacts, and as an e-reader, I found the display only slightly smaller, but much lighter than my Kindle Fire HD (6.2 oz. versus 10.1 oz.).

Terri Nakamura VZWBUZZ recap 10-24 2014The volume and variety of apps available on the Android platform are plentiful and many are free. In a recent #vzwbuzz post-chat conversation with Monica Vila about photo and sharing apps, I mention:

But there are now more than 1,000,000 apps in the Google Play store, so explore and you’ll find some useful and fun treasures.

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Kahuna Dave, me and our kids at Alki Surf Shop

tumblr_neys2vD6i11qd3kzpo1_500

Our wonderful home on AirBNB

The past seven months have been busy. My husband, David Horsfall, and I opened a store, Alki Surf Shop, I’ve been working on graphic design projects from branding to long-narrative collateral and everything in between. And I began managing one of our homes on AirBNB. All the while I’ve maintained real-life and virtual relationships on social media.

I treasure time away from my devices, but it’s always great to come back to such great technology, including my iPhone and Galaxy Note 4.


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was composited with 800px-Andromeda_Galaxy-creative-commons. Other images (c) Terri Nakamura

First-time Kindle User Embraces Change

Bookcase_resized_cropped_SM

I love real books. In my 20s I started to collect contemporary signed first editions and early editions of classics. Books are to graphic designers as buildings are to architects. They are among the few projects a designer can create that has a good chance of outliving them.

The tactile nature of a real book—the paper, the smell, and the graphic design—dust jackets, fonts, format, margins, page numbering system—all contribute to why real books rock!

At home and work we have tablets and computers that are great for consuming online content, but not great for reading long-narrative content. My iPhone and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (starting at $299 via Verizon), have apps that allow me to read books on them and they work pretty well. So while I’ve checked out Kindles belonging to friends and family members, I’ve never seen the value of owning one.

Until now!

kindlefirehd_sq_resized_sm

Kindle Fire HD – Kids Edition (super-durable case not shown)

Thanks to a great event, #TNTSeattle, sponsored by Techlicious and The Traveling Mom, I became the happy owner of an Amazon Kindle Fire HD!

Mine is the Kids Edition, so it comes with a super sturdy case and 1-year subscription to Freetime. Freetime features a ton of fun content to entertain kids.

There are plenty of books, episodic programs, movies and games to enjoy. The kids edition also includes the ability to restrict content and access, so it means parents can help ensure an appropriate experience for their children.

I’m using the Kindle as an e-reader and tablet, and have to say it’s really quite cool.

Charging the Kindle took about 4 hours. It was simple to set up and easy to add email accounts, my Amazon account, and download some apps.

I own a limited slipcased edition of The Goldfinch, and hadn’t yet read it because I didn’t have a “reader copy.” So I just downloaded an electronic version for the Kindle and have started to read.

So far, the experience has been great. Having recently finished reading a 925-page, hardbound edition of 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, in comparison, the Kindle is as light as a feather.

A few criticisms: I wish the brightness automatically adjusted to the ambient light; and when hitting the home button, it would be great if the “carousel,” showed the recently used apps and content in a continuous loop. Also, the camera is not the greatest, but if you stop to think about it, do you really need your e-reader to take good photos?

In terms of a good reading device and mini-tablet for an adult to share with a child, the Kindle Fire HD looks to be a great choice.

I’ve noticed commercials recently promoting the Kindle Fire HD starting at $99. Pretty hard to beat that!

Photo of Alki Surf Shop wall, shot with the Kindle Fire HD

Alki Surf Shop wall, shot with the Kindle Fire HD

Alki Surf Shop wall shot with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Alki Surf Shop wall shot with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4