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#28542 - 04/04/14 11:53 AM Taking i-things to USA
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Hi, it's a long short but may be worth it, since so many people here are in America.

We're going (back) to USA soon (hurrah!) for a road trip, and I'd like some idea wrt:

1. Will our mobile phones - UK ones - work on arrival? One is very old Nokia, one is new Samsung, much like an iPhone. Both contracted to Vodafone.

2. Rental car connectivity with iPods. I can't get a definitive answer out of either Avis or Hertz. One iPod is old with wide interface socket, the other is new 7th generation with lightning connector. Both Avis and Hertz say that their cars have CD players - does that mean we should take a load of CDs and forget iPod music? ???

Hope someone can help, many thanks in advance.

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#28543 - 04/04/14 04:14 PM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: Bensheim]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Others can fill you in on the technical aspects of using your phones in North America but there is another very important matter you want to check out before using a cell phone outside your home country - the cost for roaming. Some companies have one rate for their home customers and a substantially higher rate for visitors.

There have been numerous news reports here about people traveling to the U.S. or overseas and returning home to roaming charges that run into thousands of dollars. The charges appear on the regular bill from the service provider in the home country.

When the customer complains, the service provider replies: "There's nothing we can do about this. These all charges you accumulated in that other country and, if you wish to dispute the amounts, you have to deal with the company (or companies) over there. Meanwhile, you owe this amount."

And, apparently, some phone service providers have reciprocal agreements: "You skin our customers when they're in your country and we'll skin yours when they come here."

You are well-advised to check carefully before you travel. Talk to your phone company and let them know you're concerned. Perhaps there's some sort of prepaid package to protect yourself.
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
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#28544 - 04/05/14 08:01 AM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: Bensheim]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Bensheim

2. Rental car connectivity with iPods. I can't get a definitive answer out of either Avis or Hertz. One iPod is old with wide interface socket, the other is new 7th generation with lightning connector. Both Avis and Hertz say that their cars have CD players - does that mean we should take a load of CDs and forget iPod music? ???

Hope someone can help, many thanks in advance.


iPod connectivity in rental cars is hit and miss. All the rentals have the manufacturers' original audio system, so what you get could depend on the specific make and model (most rental agencies will not commit to a specific make/model, but only list examples and say "…or something similar").

From my experience you won't find 30-pin connectors or Lightning connectors, but you might find an RCA mini-plug jack (I think that is the right term) in the audio console; it connects via the iPod's headphone jack and requires an inexpensive and easy to find connector. You run the wired connector from the headphone jack to the console jack, you put the car's stereo in AUX mode (auxiliary) and it picks up the iPod. This works really well and the iPod controls most everything.

Note that I have had rentals that have had none of the above, in which case CD's or the radio are your only option. Then again, sometimes you get free satellite radio, so go figure.
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#28545 - 04/05/14 08:33 AM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: ryck]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Thanks for the heads-up Ryck.

Roaming is using the internet while abroad, right? I already intend to use the hotels' business computers to do a minimal amount which will be confined to clearing out junk from business email boxes (the hits are so massive that this will have to be done even while on vacation, regrettably); and checking in on-line on the last day.

As to browsing the internet while away, I will be glad to be shot of this. No offence, of course!

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#28546 - 04/05/14 08:35 AM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: Ira L]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Hi Ira and thanks for the confirmation. It seems strange to me that we have to drop down to CDs to listen to our music while on a road trip in USA. And it's unwelcome confirmation of what I had suspected - now I'll have to burn compilation CDs and take them with us. (sigh)

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#28547 - 04/05/14 10:01 AM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: Bensheim]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
Roaming is using the internet while abroad, right?

No. Roaming is using your cellphone when you are outside the area served by your local provider. For example, if you leave London and go to Birmingham it is most likely that your cellphone access is through a Birmingham company, not the one you use in London. You have "roamed" from London to Birmingham.

The likelihood of extra charges being generated by that roaming are slim and, if there are charges, they will be minimal. That's the way it works here in Canada and I assume it's not different elsewhere.

The problem arises when you "roam" outside of your country. You are then connecting to various phone companies (and you have no idea who they are) and you rack up roaming charges at whatever rates they choose to charge. Those charges are sent to your home provider who adds them to your bill through a reciprocal arrangement between the phone companies.


About your question about charges for internet browsing….you can avoid charges by staying at places that offer free internet. That's what I do. In fact, there are probably more places that offer it than don't.
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#28548 - 04/05/14 11:19 AM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: Bensheim]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Unless you organize something before leaving the UK, using your mobile in North America could leave you penniless (as others have commented).

Unless you're planning on a many-month excursion (and deem your iPod repertoire essential), just listen to "local" radio in your car rental, which might also have as a perk satellite radio.

Last but not least: Any time you enter the good ol' USA with electronic devices, border security (by whatever name) has the authority to examine in detail everything you've got on your devices (eg, laptops, iPods, iPads) and/or confiscate same. So, delete anything which paranoid Uncle Sam might construe as a homeland threat or porno or ... OR just don't travel with them. It's not a pretty picture.

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#28549 - 04/05/14 11:39 AM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: Bensheim]
alternaut Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: bensheim
- I already intend to use the hotels' business computers
- now I'll have to burn compilation CDs and take them with us. (sigh)

- To elaborate on ryck's comment about 'free internet' (and possibly also on yours about hotels' business computers), that's an option usually offered by way of WiFi hotspots. Such access points are often notoriously unprotected (read: users send their data unencrypted, and access passwords are widely known or easily obtained), and anyone with the (readily available) right gear can pick up your traffic and intercept any passwords you send. There are many reports that free internet access points may not only be monitored, but also frequently set up by malfeasants with the express purpose of pilfering your private data. Moreover, certain settings on your internet device (like sharing etc.) may allow others to easily access it.
Your best options include (1) modifying such settings, and (2) NOT accessing sites for which you implicitly or explicitly need to provide passwords (e.g., email and financial or commercial sites) without using (3rd party) encryption. An example of things to consider with your use of free internet is given in 9 Tips to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi. Obviously, this not only applies to the US, but to your own bailiwick in the UK as well.

- Instead of burning discs with your favorite music, you could consider ad-hoc workarounds, depending on what you find in your rental. These include cable adapters like Ira mentioned, and FM transmitters to send your iDevice's music to your rental's FM radio. These gadgets are fairly easy to get and their cost may be worth it compared to the time needed to burn discs and the chance of not finding players to use 'm in...
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#28550 - 04/05/14 03:59 PM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: grelber]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: grelber
Last but not least: Any time you enter the good ol' USA with electronic devices, border security (by whatever name) has the authority to examine in detail everything you've got on your devices (eg, laptops, iPods, iPads) and/or confiscate same. So, delete anything which paranoid Uncle Sam might construe as a homeland threat or porno or ... OR just don't travel with them. It's not a pretty picture.


Or run software that hides your porn stash. smile

I travel out of the country extensively--my passport has more stamps than a post office. I also make part of my living writing porn. One of the things I do is keep whatever written material I'm working on stashed on iCloud and not on my local machines, so it's available but not actually on my devices.

As for the roaming issue, it might be that the cheapest solution is to get a pay as you go SIM card from a place like T-Mobile as soon as you get here. I recently had a lovely young Romanian woman with Canadian citizenship stay with me for a time. When she traveled to the US she got a local SIM card for her phone and tablet.
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

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#28551 - 04/05/14 04:01 PM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: Bensheim]
MacManiac Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
If you are bringing a standard GSM phone with you, there is a perfect fit option available through

http://www.truphone.com/US/

The site linked to is the US page, however, they are located in Great Britain and should be able to provide you a reasonably priced and seamless pre-paid phone for your US travels. I use their SIM's in many of the places that I have traveled recently.
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Freedom is never free....thank a Service member today.

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#28553 - 04/05/14 07:47 PM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: tacit]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: tacit
One of the things I do is keep whatever written material I'm working on stashed on iCloud and not on my local machines, so it's available but not actually on my devices.

Be sure you're logged out of iCloud when you pass through customs. While you're logged in, all your iCloud documents are mirrored in ~/Library/"Mobile Documents".

(I'm not sure how soon, or even if, this folder is emptied after you log out. It wouldn't hurt to peek.)

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#28555 - 04/06/14 09:26 AM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: grelber]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: grelber
Unless you organize something before leaving the UK, using your mobile in North America could leave you penniless (as others have commented).

Unless you're planning on a many-month excursion (and deem your iPod repertoire essential), just listen to "local" radio in your car rental, which might also have as a perk satellite radio.

Last but not least: Any time you enter the good ol' USA with electronic devices, border security (by whatever name) has the authority to examine in detail everything you've got on your devices (eg, laptops, iPods, iPads) and/or confiscate same. So, delete anything which paranoid Uncle Sam might construe as a homeland threat or porno or ... OR just don't travel with them. It's not a pretty picture.


thanks for all these heads-up, I have now examined the Vodafone website wrt all this. I have to tell them that both phones are being taken out of Europe, ok. My phone is so old that it won't browse the internet anyway; the other one is not going to be used for that, I have just decided. It would be stupid to go so far from home without emergency communication devices, so we'll take them anyway but only use in emergencies.

Any calls back to Europe will be on landlines and very short indeed........

As to border security potentially confiscating my iPod, I'm not going to be scared by that. It only has music on it, and I'll need it for both long-haul flights. If people were scared so easily no one would take any i-thing on any flight and AFAICS planes are full of them.

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#28578 - 04/07/14 04:01 AM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: Bensheim]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
As to border security potentially confiscating my iPod, I'm not going to be scared by that. It only has music on it, and I'll need it for both long-haul flights. If people were scared so easily no one would take any i-thing on any flight and AFAICS planes are full of them.

Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.
If you have info on your devices which you'd rather not have another government examining (for criminal and/or tax purposes), then you should delete it with no residue. Even if encrypted, the authorities can demand decryption (with unpleasant consequences if you don't provide such); the same goes for passwords to access your information.
Enough said.

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#28580 - 04/07/14 07:49 AM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: MacManiac]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: MacManiac
If you are bringing a standard GSM phone with you, there is a perfect fit option available through

http://www.truphone.com/US/

The site linked to is the US page, however, they are located in Great Britain and should be able to provide you a reasonably priced and seamless pre-paid phone for your US travels. I use their SIM's in many of the places that I have traveled recently.


Why not just use the free Truphone or Skype app on your iPhone/iPad with a free wi-fi connection? True, you may not always have wi-fi when you want to place a call, but you would best know your needs.

Also, while Skype and the Truphone apps are free when calling to others with the app, Truphone can call any number via the app quite inexpensively. You buy a flat dollar amount in advance (through the app or the web site) and then you can call whomever.
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#28581 - 04/07/14 07:51 AM Re: Taking i-things to USA [Re: Bensheim]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
Hi Ira and thanks for the confirmation. It seems strange to me that we have to drop down to CDs to listen to our music while on a road trip in USA. And it's unwelcome confirmation of what I had suspected - now I'll have to burn compilation CDs and take them with us. (sigh)



Do rental cars in your part of the world have 30-pin or Lightening connectors? I don't think it's a USA thing; I think it's a car rental thing.

Also, grab a RCA mini-jack connector to take with you just in case.
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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