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  1. #1
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    Somewhere in the Hills
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    Google Questions

    My parents own an Android smartphone (set up as a low-cost Tracfone), an iPad, and a MacBook Pro.

    So far, they get minimal use out of the smartphone strictly using it as a fancy cellphone. (Cellular service near their home is spotty, so their usage of the Android is light anyway.) But they asked about other features and functionality. To date, the phone has not been connected to a Google account; they haven't set up a Google account yet. The phone uses a Google account to activate certain Tracfone features, such as how many minutes are on the account.

    I have my own G-mail account and I occasionally use a connected YouTube account. Beyond that, I don't have very much experience with Google services. I tried out Google Voice once (a free service that supposedly acts as an internet-accessible answering machine) which looked slick but turned out to be incompatible with my cellphone.

    In order to facilitate Tracfone services on their Android, and to cross-connect their tablet and laptop, I'm decided to investigate Google. Problem: there is so much Google how-to BS on the internet that it's like wading into a swamp, and you don't know where your next step will take you. I am looking to set up a free account that will give them access to free services that can be used (and shared?) on all three machines. Much of what I've encountered on the internet is geared to pay-services for business. Central to what I'm looking for is G-mail, but I want to set up and give them access to whatever other services are available.

    Where do I begin, and what do I look for?

    Thanks in advance.

    -- MtnMan
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  2. #2
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    To start, it should be fairly simple for them to create a (free) Google account - if you go to google.com and click the blue "Sign in" button in the upper righthand corner, there is a "Create account" link under the sign in box. They will need to fill in some basic information (name, birthdate, location, mobile phone number), and this will then create the account (including a Gmail account). They can then sign in on their phone using the username and password they selected for the Google account - this will enable some of the Google services. If they want Gmail in particular, they can sign in on the Gmail app using that same username and password, same applies for some other specific services. Anywhere they sign in with the same account will give them access to some shared things - for example, when using the Chrome browser, you can view your history, bookmarks, etc, from any other device where you used the Chrome browser while signed into your Google account. Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Forum Member Lani's Avatar
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    By the way, a Google account isn't necessarily a Gmail address. If they already have an email address they use, they can register THAT as their Google account.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    I've been reviewing the Lynda.com tutorial title "Setting Up Your Mobile Office To Work from Anywhere" by Jess Stratton as I read replies to this thread. It was made back in Sept. of 2013, so it is just recent enough to still be useful. There are alot of passages in this title about using and cross-connecting apps for tablets, smartphones and laptops, and some very basic travel tech survival skills and need-to-bring lists. Some of the stuff isn't in sufficient detail, though. That's why I decided to post these questions here.

    (For those who aren't aware, Lynda.com is a subscription-based web service that offers a variety of video tutorials on computers, business skills, and travel.)
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  5. #5
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    Step 1 - go to google.com/mail
    Step 2 - create account
    Step 3 - use that newly created account to sign in to the tracfone app

    BTW, Google voice is the best thing since sliced bread and is compatible with ALL phones. You create one phone number that you can give to friends, family, coworkers, enemies and the like. This number will forward to your cell, office, home phone or the local payphone so people don't need to try to figure out where you are.

    Then, you can set up groups where your friends will get one voicemail greeting, your family another and your co-workers yet another greeting. You can screen or block specific or unknown calls and even respond with a "this number is not in service, please check the number and dial again" message.

    It sends voicemail messages (sometimes with pretty funny text-to-speech translations) to your email and also forwards text messages.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

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