JeffGreenberg

What's App use during intl travel shooting...?

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Am cretin when it comes to apps.

Just learn WhatsApp allows free intl phone calls.

But if, say, calling a museum to get info, it won't work if they're not using it on call???

And one still has to be online so its NOT a way to avoid need SIM card or similar?

Any comments-advice about WhatsApp whilst travel shooting appreciated...

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14 minutes ago, JeffGreenberg said:

Am cretin when it comes to apps.

Just learn WhatsApp allows free intl phone calls.

But if, say, calling a museum to get info, it won't work if they're not using it on call???

And one still has to be online so its NOT a way to avoid need SIM card or similar?

Any comments-advice about WhatsApp whilst travel shooting appreciated...

I just use my cell...costs me $10 a day to use in most countries the same as I would here.

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I used Skype from Malaysia a few years ago. Skype to Skype was free using the hotel WiFi Internet connections. Skype to landline cost money but was very cheap. I think I bought $10US credits and used less than $1 on numerous calls back to the states. Then Microsoft got involved so I hope it is still the same. I also used Facebook video Messenger for end to end calls with my wife. For local calls in Malaysia I was directed to buy the cheapest $35 cell phone in the country and add minutes for a Pay-As-You go plan. I was there for 3 weeks. We carried 2 SIM cards so one worked in Malaysia and another in Singapore.

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The big advantage in the EU and a few associated countries (Switzerland, Norway are two that come to mind) is that one's home allowances, calls, texts and data are carried across all countries. So no additional charge for roaming but outside the bloc it gets expensive with $s per day for perhaps 50 MByte, soon mounts up as I discovered on a trip the summer before the new EU rules.

 

So if travelling in EU get a local SIM and use it across all countries (choose carefully though), it is a big step forward. Some EU telcos have a first tier of countries outside the EU where the additional cost is relatively modest (because of frequent EU travellers or reciprocal schemes I guess).

 

Otherwise I agree Skype is a good choice for calls if a bit restricted.

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Whats App, Skype, Facetime, Viber, Facbook Messenger all allow you to make phone calls as long as you have internet access. Whenever I am overseas I always buy a local SIM card then I am not at the mercy of having WiFi available and most times the free WiFi is very slow. Having your own local SIM card allows to have 24 hour internet access and hence access to all the travel guides and it is impossible to get lost. Don't be put off by the cost because it is only a similar cost to buying one Lonely Planet printed guide book.

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I don't know where you are- you might need to have a US based account to get i. But I use Google Voice. Calls in (and to when I travel abroad) the US are free. Calls to landlines in most of the "developed world" are a couple cents a minute. Previously I'd also buy cheap local services, I think I got a SIM card and lots of minutes for 10Eur in France a few years ago. I used to use Skype, but they charged a connection fee that was pretty hefty and I'd often pay alot just to hang up on an outgoing message machine. Also TMobile plans (again at least in the US) also include slow data and SMS  in the subscription for much of the world at no extra cost. 

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Google voice sounds like an interesting idea. I have not heard of it before.

I’ve been using WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Skype to call, but only on WiFi and to those with recoprical Apps. I think the next time I venture into the French countryside, where I have no Wifi, I’ll get a cheap French, pay as you go phone. 

 

Jeff, what US phone plan do you have? That will make a difference as to what might be available to you. Also depends where you’re going, 

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9 hours ago, Cecile Marion said:

what US phone plan do you have?

 

AT&T

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On ‎20‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 23:20, JeffGreenberg said:

Am cretin when it comes to apps.

Just learn WhatsApp allows free intl phone calls.

But if, say, calling a museum to get info, it won't work if they're not using it on call???

And one still has to be online so its NOT a way to avoid need SIM card or similar?

Any comments-advice about WhatsApp whilst travel shooting appreciated...

Jeff

 

You picked on a hard one here. Wattsapp, and a lot like them, are point to point call systems, so you can call any other user, using wifi, or any other networked data, but you both have to be on the same system. That's to get it free. Skype "normal" is the same, although Skype for business may let you break out if you're on a work system and you pop out of their land based network. I can do that from my office system, i.e. Skype for business at home, call a landline number, it goes My Phone___Internet__Office___Office telephone system___landline call. I think you can also subscribe on Skype to make dial calls, but it's not cheap last time I looked.

 

Your telephone provider may have an app to help. In the UK if you are a BT broadband user there's an app called Smart Talk. Wherever you are in the world if you have wifi you can use the app to make a call as though it is from your home, and it appears on your bill. I used it in Argentina a few years ago to make a call to a business in the UK, and it came out as a domestic phone charge. Obviously you cannot use BT as you're not in the UK, but your mobile/broadband provider may have something similar. It's not unique technology.

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Just to add, you need to check where you are travelling and what they permit. In China for example they block Watsapp so it's not useable from hotels. We fell foul of that last month. India has laws about bypassing local telephone companies so limits some apps, but not all. That's all about revenue protection. Malaysia went to speak with the various messaging services to get access to "encrypted" messages, not sure how that turned out and may not change with a new government. 

 

There's no single common standard in the world for this - you will need different solutions for different countries.

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