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Category: Tech

FaucetSafe Premium App Is Your Personal Guide To Safe Drinking Water Worldwide

Knowing whether or not the tap water where you are or happen to be visiting is safe to drink is a problem FaucetSafe solves right from your phone. Whether or not the local water is potable is one of the most common questions travelers have but a lot of the information online is either inaccurate or out of date. I developed FaucetSafe to be a travel guide in your pocket, that can give you current information on water potability around the world.

Now, with latest version of FaucetSafe Premium (available on iOS and Android) you’ll have personalized notifications to alert you on the potability of the water from the tap. FaucetSafe Premium unlocks the following features:

  • Automatic Notifications: Get water potability information as soon as you arrive at your hotel, home, or vacation rental destination down to the neighborhood level – works offline. Notifications with water drinkability works completely offline so you don’t need an Internet connection!
  • Track Specific Localities: Select countries, states, and other localities you want information on and receive notifications any time there’s an update to the water quality there.
  • Personalized Support: FaucetSafe Premium users will also get personalized support for any questions you have regarding the water potability in a given country, city, or neighborhood. We’ll be your clean water personal guard so you always drink only the best. (And avoid getting sick when traveling. Because that sucks.)

All of the Premium enhancements come with all of the regular FaucetSafe features including always up-to-date independently verified water quality reports from all over the world, user community, and of course, complete offline functionality.

How To Get FaucetSafe Premium FREE

FacuetSafe Premium is an upgrade you can select from within the FaucetSafe app. It’s a yearly subscription you can try 30 days for free and connect with other travelers, just in time for your next trip!

Of course if you have any questions about FaucetSafe you can send me a message here. Have a safe and hydrated flight!

Mint Mobile’s Data Usage Might Be Confusing Your Phone

A few months ago when I reviewed Mint Mobile, a popular pay-as-you-go cellular service in the United States, I noted there was some lost data. Meaning that the amount of cellular data usage from my phone once Mint was activated skyrocketed, resulting in a lot of unexplained data usage.

It’s a mystery I’ve been testing and investigating since it’s come up and I’ve got some answers but now a few more questions. Here’s the latest.

Gigabytes On Up

Prior to using Mint Mobile, I was averaging about 2.5-3 Gigabytes of cellular data usage a month. Primarily tied to WiFi in most cases, I’m not a heavy user. So it made sense to get a $15 a month 4GB plan to test on for a minimum 3 month term. Yet a week or two into my plan though I hit that data limit and got a notification I’d have to purchase more data – so I got 5 GB for an $15 extra dollars. And then 10 days later, guess what? The same thing happened.


In fact this happened each month so at the next 3 month interval, I went with a 10 GB plan. Same thing, went over my data limits, had to buy more. Then I went with the unlimited plan and well, that’s when things got weird.

Looking For Leaks

Prior to this I had tried to find if there was some data leak on my phone. I made sure WiFi Assist was off on my iPhone, a feature which uses cellular data when you’re on a weak WiFi connection. iCloud and iCloud Drive were off too, which they always are. Apps were checked for data consumption and my phone was left in airplane mode for days at a time.

Still, I went from averaging 3 GB a month, getting Mint Mobile, then averaging 15 GB or more a month. That is until I switched to an unlimited plan.

No Records

I reached out to Mint Mobile to see if they could share a history of my data usage over the months but they replied that since they’re a prepaid service, they don’t have such records. If that’s true, it would make it very difficult, if there was some sort of data issue, for Mint Mobile to investigate it since they wouldn’t have any records to go back and check.

Whether they have the information but don’t share it, or could access such records but don’t have the data parsed, or just don’t keep such records at all, in all 3 cases that’s a bad look. It means as a consumer you have to track all of your data usage by month and record it. Should there be a potential issue you noticed last month, well Mint Mobile wouldn’t be able to help you much since they can’t verify or cross reference the data usage you’re seeing from your phone to any records on their side.

And here we are. So far this month I’ve used a small amount of data and am wondering, what will happen when I go back to a 4GB plan or 10GB? We’ll see and I’ll update you in a few weeks with those results.

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Are Ready For First Class

The first generation Bose QuietComfort had great sound quality and the best noise-cancellation you could get in earbuds. Still, they were hard to recommend for everyone because they were big, bulky, and not very comfortable to wear for long periods. With the new Bose QuietComfort II though, Bose has addressed nearly all the shortcomings of the first version and improved upon pretty much everything else.

You can watch my review of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II above or read on.

Smaller Case, Smaller Buds

Bose has overhauled the design of the QuietComfort II. Gone is the larger pill-shaped case from before which has now been replaced with a thinner, puck case that’s reminiscent of the AirPods Pro 2. The case is 30% smaller, is lighter, and retains 18 hours of battery for the earbuds. Gone is wireless charging but since it gives us a smaller case, it’s a tradeoff most will be happy with. The case charges over USB-C, taking 3 hours for a full charge and can quick charge the earbuds in 20 minutes.

bose quietcomfort earbuds II

Now the earbuds themselves have undergone a design overhaul as well. They are 20% smaller and 30% lighter than before, with a pill shape that’s got a sleek rubber band around the edge to secure the fit. As a result of the physical design and light weight (6.2 grams each) the QuietComfort II Earbuds stay in place and are very comfortable to wear for hours at a time.

Sound Quality ANC

Active noise cancellation (ANC) has always been a strong point of Bose headphones and earbuds and these QuietComfort II are no different. Activating ANC turns off the outside work so much so that you’ll hardly be able to hear yourself type once activated. The ANC is adaptive, meaning it adjusts to spontaneous loud sounds like a sneeze or noisy truck passing by. For frequent flyers the ANC will make engine noise mostly disappear. For times you need to hear the outside world, a long press on the earbuds will scroll through Aware mode or turning ANC off.

bose quietcomfort earbuds 2

Aware mode uses the microphones in the earbuds themselves to funnel in outside sounds to your ears so, in theory, it’s like you’re not wearing earbuds at all. And the QuietComfort II do a good job at this, really giving you the feeling of not wearing earbuds for the most part. Aware mode is great for when you need to hear a gate announcement at an airport or listen for your name at a coffee shop.

Worthy Of Upgrade

There are a few minor gripes I have with the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II. Mainly that it (still) doesn’t have multi-point support and the long press to scroll through ANC modes is slow. Both of these issues could potentially be resolved with software updates but still, if you’re using the previous version, these are a worthy upgrade. For everyone else shopping for active noise cancelling earbuds, Bose has just made these a top contender you should take a close look at.

What iPhone 14 Means For The World Of eSIMs

iphone esim

When the iPhone 14 was announced this past September, it was, well more or less the standard release we’ve come to expect in recent years. A better camera, improved battery, but also quietly mentioned was the removal of a physical SIM card slot. The iPhone 14 models have gone completely eSIM, on U.S. models only for the time being, so what exactly does that mean?

What Is An eSIM?

Let’s start with physical the SIM cards you’re probably familiar with. SIM stands for (Subscriber Identity Module) and they’re thin plates of gold on plastic that have information embedded on them which identifies your phone to a mobile network. It’s how Mint Mobile for example, recognizes your phone and associated cellular plan. With physical SIM cards, when you want to switch networks, you have to remove one card and insert the other, for another mobile network. (Some phones have dual SIM card slots, but the concept is the same.)

sim cards

eSIMs are basically a software version of the same thing. Instead of a physical card with your phone’s identifying information, that information is stored on your phone like a file would. Many newer phones have a physical SIM tray and support eSIM but the iPhone 14 has dropped the tangible cards altogether.

The Apple Shift

Chances are on a regular basis you don’t think about SIM cards much. They only really need to be changed when you’re switching carriers from a regular provider or temporarily when traveling internationally. Many countries do support eSIMs but not all carriers everywhere do. With Apple completely removing the SIM tray from their U.S. phones (sure to be coming to international phones soon enough) it will push major carriers everywhere to support eSIM in a big way. As Apple and the iPhone goes, so does the smartphone industry.

What This Transition Means

At the moment, unless you’re using an iPhone 14 purchased in the United States or some other eSIM only phone (which isn’t many of you yet), these changes won’t affect you directly. For iPhone 14 and other eSIM only users, transferring your old phone to the new one will be a relatively straightforward software sync of a few minutes. When traveling, most other countries have some eSIM provider – though it might not be all the carriers everywhere yet. So if you want to get a local phone line and data plan, you can try adding a new eSIM using a service on your phone. (Which is much simpler, cheaper, and faster than having to get a new physical SIM card.)

Otherwise in the instances where an eSIM is not available, you can add an international plan to your primary cell line for the duration of your trip or bring an older phone with a physical SIM tray as a backup just in case. And as you’re reading this probably by the time the iPhone 15 rolls around, eSIMs will be a lot more common and familiar around the world.

DroneMate Premium Shows You Local Drone Laws As You Travel

dronemate premium

A drone can provide you incredible shots from you vacation but traveling with a drone, especially internationally, can be a bureaucratic nightmare. A patchwork of laws, regulations, and registration forms that might not be clear or well-defined can get your drone confiscated or you fined. Not to mention that in some parts of the world authorities may not know the rules well enough to enforce them properly. (Or rely on your ignorance for ahem *cough* a bribe.)

DroneMate Premium Features

DroneMate, the app that puts all of the world’s drone laws on your phone (available for iOS/Android) also has a Premium version that unlocks the following features:

  • Track Specific Localities: Select countries, states, and other localities you want information on and receive notifications any time there’s an update to the drone rules there. When there is an update, DroneMate displays a notification with the complete updated drone laws, including links to any documents, forms, or registration materials needed.
  • Personalized Support: DroneMate Premium users will also get personalized support for any questions they have regarding specific drones laws, rules or regulations. Premium users are notified of responses by a DroneMate administrator to their questions in the comments section. Premium users can ask about specific rules, drone hardware, or travel experiences with a drone in a given locality.
  • Automatic Notifications: DroneMate Premium users will get a notification of whether they can fly their drone, need registration, or other restrictions on drone use upon arrival at your destination. The complete drone laws, including links to any documents, forms, or registration materials needed will be displayed and it works completely offline!

All of the Premium enhancements come with all of the regular DroneMate features including the built-in traveler network, specific drone requirements, and of course, offline mode!

dronemate     wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
How To Get DroneMate Premium FREE

DroneMate Premium is an upgrade you can select from within the DroneMate app. It’s a yearly subscription you can try 30 days for free and connect with other drone pilots, just in time for your next trip!

Of course if you have any questions about DroneMate you can send me a message here. Have a safe and legal flight!

How To Watch Movies And TV Shows With Your Friends And Family Online

Whether you’re traveling half way across the world or simply can’t make it out of the house, you can set up a virtual watch party with your friends to watch your favorite shows together. As more of our lives (and work) have moved online, streaming movies and shows so your group of pals can watch together remotely doesn’t have a one-click solution.

Fortunately, setting up Zoom with a few tweaks makes it relatively simple to set up your own, virtual watch party. You can see how in this video or read on for the exact steps.

Streamer And Watchers

Pretty much most of the setup required here is for the streamer, the person who’s actually setting up the watch party. We’ll get to everyone else (the watchers) in a bit. First, you the streamer, will need to download Zoom and create an account. The web-only interface won’t cut it. Once you’ve installed Zoom, open up your web browser to the streaming service of your choice (e.g. Netflix, Paramount+, etc.), and queue up your movie or TV show.

In Zoom click:

  • Under New Meeting click the down-facing arrow > find your personal ID number (it will look like 123 456 7890) > click Copy Invitation
  • Next click New Meeting > then click Join with computer audio

zoom copy invitation

You should see a screen that looks like this:

zoom share screen

Text your friends directly or using some VoIP service like Facetime, Signal, or Whatsapp the meeting invitation your copied moments ago. They’ll then need to click the link in the invite, you’ll get a notification in Zoom to admit them, and now they’ll just hold on. At this point, I would suggest setting up a group call with your friends that are watching.

Now you’re ready to share your screen but there are two additional settings which are important not to neglect.

  • At the bottom of the Zoom window, click > Share Screen
  • In the window that opens, make sure Share sound [with Stereo (High-fidelity)] is checked. You can switch from “Mono” to “Stereo” by clicking the down-facing arrow next to Share sound. Then, be sure Optimize for video clip is checked.
  • At this point you can choose to share your entire screen or just the window with the web browser that has your TV show on it.

zoom share screen optimize for video clip

And that’s pretty much it. On the separate phone group call you have with your friends, make sure they can see and hear your stream and if so, you’re good to go. Everyone should mute their phones (otherwise you’ll hear their TVs and visa-versa, which might not be exactly in sync) and you can un-mute when you have something to say, then mute again.

It’s not the most straightforward setup but it’s simple enough once you’ve got through it the first time. You, as the streamer, will need decent bandwidth to ensure a smooth viewing experience but you should be able to get away with 10-15Gbps download and 3-5Gbps upload speeds at the very minimum. Keep in mind if you’re traveling internationally, you may need to use this trick to get around regional restrictions.


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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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