Supercharge Your Phone: 40 Tips and Tricks

Avoid annoying people, make free phone calls, and manage your life with these 40 tips to supercharge your smartphone

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Phonevite is a great service for softball teams, party hosts, and anyone who works with a group. The service allows you to broadcast a 1-minute voice message to 25 phones for free. This could come in handy if you are ever faced with something like a last-minute rain delay and you need to call the entire team to let them know.

With Phonevite you can also schedule your calls to go out later in the day, and recipients can use their dialpad to respond to your message by entering 1 for Yes, 2 for No, or 3 for Not Sure.

Before you use Phonevite, you need to set up your service online, where you can also define the distribution groups for your messages. Phonevite is free to use twice every 30 days; if you need to send messages more often, or if you need to add more recipients, check out Phonevite's premium service, which allows you to send 2-minute messages to a maximum of 30,000 recipients at once.

A similar service, Call-Em-All, lets you send audio or text messages, but does not have a free version as Phonevite does.

Make Free Voice Calls via Google Voice

If you have a cell phone plan that allows you to call a limited number of preferred phone numbers for free on any carrier (such as AT&T's A-List or T-Mobile's MyFaves), try this trick to get free voice calls.

Add your Google Voice number as one of your faves in your carrier plan, and then authorize your cell phone as one of your Google Voice-connected devices (this is a one-time-only step). Now just call your Google Voice number, and press 2 when your voicemail picks up. The service then prompts you to dial the number you wish to call--and suddenly you're making a free phone call to anyone you want.

This trick worked when a colleague of mine tried it, but I suspect that it's a loophole too good not to be plugged up by the wireless carriers. But try it out, and see if it works for you.

Receive eBay Alerts

Bidding on a classic Amazing Spider-Man comic book on eBay, but unable to sit in front of your computer all day to make sure you don't get outbid? Activate your SMS notification preferences to find out via text messages if you've been outbid. You can also rebid on an item or configure the alerts to notify you 10 minutes before the auction for a particular item closes. eBay notifications are free to use, but you must register your phone by going to your My eBay page, clicking Account, and then selecting Notification Preferences. Standard messaging rates apply.

Manage Your Finances Through SMS

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