How To |

How to set location alarms on iOS and Android

By Jamie Waterhouse June 24, 2022

Sometimes it happens… sometimes, as you sit on the bus, dreaming about the day, you miss your stop. Perhaps you’ve had a couple too many afternoon beers; or perhaps you’re too busy playing the latest and greatest Xbox game with Games Pass. Perhaps you’re just absent-minded. Sometimes, occasionally, it happens. Maybe you need to set up a location alarm.

It’s a feature of both Android and iOS devices and can be set up easy both in-app and with voice assistants. It’s not just a handy reminder for the bus either, you can use location alarms to remind you to pick up the milk when you leave work, or to give mum an overdue call next time you’re off for a drive.

Not sure how to do it? Just follow the instructions for your platform below.

Location Reminders on iOS

Since iOS 7, and still in iOS 15 today, location alarms are tied to the Reminders app. You can either ask Siri to set a reminder for a location, or set one up yourself. Here’s a quick guide of how to link a reminder to a location inside the Reminders app yourself:

  1. Open your Reminders app and tap the plus to add a new Reminder
  2. You’ll see a row above the keyboard of other options, including the little location arrow. Fill in your reminder details, and then tap on that arrow to link a location.
  3. Now there are a few pre-filled options, such as getting in or out of your car you can select from. Or, of course, you can enter an address yourself.
  4. That’s it! Next time you meet the location criteria you set up, you’ll be alerted your reminder.

You can make life even easier for yourself by saving regularly visited locations, such as home or work too, so you don’t need to manually add the addresses in each time. It also makes it easier for Siri, where you can simply ask things such as “Siri, remind me to take the rubbish out when I get home”.

Location Reminders on Android

Up until earlier this month, the best way to set up location reminders or alarms was through Google Assistant, but this feature was recently removed.

These days, your best option is to use the Google Keep app. It comes installed on most Android devices these days, but if you don’t have it, you can download it from the Google Play Store.

In Google Keep, to set up a location reminder, it’s quite similar to iOS. Here’s how:

  1. Add a new note in Google Keep, or open an existing note you already have
  2. Fill in your reminder details
  3. Tap on the little reminder bell up the top of the screen
  4. From there it will let you select a time, location or both for you to be alerted.
  5. Save that note, and you’re all set.

Set Location Reminders with Bixby Routines on Samsung devicesSamsung Bixby Routines location alarm

If you have a Samsung Galaxy device, like the Galaxy S22 or Galaxy Z Fold 3, your other option for location based alarms and reminders is to use one of Samsung’s most underrated features – Bixby Routines. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Open up Bixby Routines on your Samsung device, then add a new routine
  2. Tap on the “If” section, then select “Place” as your trigger
  3. You’ll then be able to pick between your current location, your saved home address or you can add a new location
  4. The next screen will give you the option to choose if you want to be alerted when you leave that location or when you arrive at that location
  5. Now you’ll be back on the screen you started on, and tap the “then” to add the reminder details
  6. Tap “Notifications” and then “Show custom notification”
  7. Add your details, then save it.
How To | Tech and Innovation |

How to improve battery life on your Android phone

By Sunil Joseph January 11, 2022

Google’s Android operating system continues to get better and better with each new release. Can you believe we’re already up to Android 12?! For all those Android users, whether you’re rocking a Samsung, Pixel or anything else – here are a few quick and easy things to look at to improve your Android phone’s battery life.

There are loads of things that will help your battery life, but a lot of those tips can be more complicated or technical than they’re worth. So we thought we’d pull together some of the easiest and quickest things you can try that will help you loads.

1. Check battery usage to see what’s draining your phone

The first step is simple, find out what is actually hogging your battery life and then do something about it. The easiest way to check your battery usage is by going into your settings. Your menu might visually look a little different, but the steps should be roughly the same across devices.

  • Either swipe, type or search for your phone’s Settings
  • Once you’re in there, scroll to Battery to get a basic look at your apps’ power usage
  • Tap on Battery Usage to learn in more detail
Samsung Android One UI Battery usage tips

2. Turn down the screen brightness and set to automatic (or adaptive)

As you can see from the above screenshots, the ‘Screen’ is a big battery hog. With such big, highly detailed screens on your phones these days, it is no surprise they need the most power. Keeping your phone’s brightness to automatic so the phone can adapt to your current lighting situation is the best way to manage it in general. But, if you need to boost your display’s brightness manually, here’s how:

  • Pull down from your status bar up the top of the phone, near the clock
  • You should see a brightness slider in the quick-settings menu now – some phones only half open the menu, so if you don’t you may need to swipe down again to see the full menu including slider
  • Slide your brightness to the desired level and you’re set! You may need to temporarily untick the automatic brightness option if it keeps changing by itself. Just don’t forget to turn it back on when you’re done.
Android 12 brightness slider

3. Use dark (night) mode even in the day

Dark Mode is one of the most useful features of a modern smartphone. Not only does it make your screen easier to look at when the lights are off and lines of code easier read, it can also save you quite a bit of battery on the right phone. That right phone is any phone with an AMOLED or OLED phone – any Samsung Galaxy S device from the last couple of years, or Google’s latest Pixel phones, for example. To oversimplify what’s going on here – OLED (and AMOLED) technology is able to completely turn off individual pixels on your screen when it needs to display black. So when you have Dark or Night Mode on, your phone’s display won’t need to power as many pixels depending on how much black is on your screen.

You might need to go in to some apps to change their settings individually for this, but most apps these days will respect your phone’s default choice. Here’s how to set it:

  • Go to Settings–>Display and tap Night Mode. Some devices might also call it Dark Mode.

It’s as easy as that! Most phones will also have an option to set it to turn off and on automatically depending on time of day or even to line up with sunrise and sunset.

4. Turn on battery saver or power-saving mode

This is an easy task and can save a lot of battery life depending on how you use your phone, particularly how many apps run in the background. Most phones these days offer some kind of battery or power saving mode to help reduce battery drain by limiting things like screen brightness, always-on display, processor speed and background notifications. If you know you’re going to be out all day without a chance to top up the battery, you should be able to squeeze an extra couple of hours by turning this on at the start of the day.

5. Restart your phone

It might sound a bit silly, but this could genuinely help. Sometimes apps can get stuck in the background and use extra amounts of your phone’s resources which drain its power – when you turn your phone off and on, your apps are all fully closed too. So when you turn it back on, if you had any apps misbehaving, they’ll return to the best behaviour after a clean start.

Bonus tip: limit your high battery use apps

We mentioned right at the top checking which apps use the most battery. If you pay enough attention, you might see an app you don’t expect or use often that’s draining your battery, many phones will let you limit its background usage. In that same battery usage screen, tap into the app where you should see an option to limit its background activity.

Google Pixel 6 Pro on a table with travel equipment
Devices |

Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro: hands on review

By Luke Hopewell October 29, 2021

This year we get more Pixel than ever before, and there’s a Pro version to boot! This is the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. We went hands on to see if it does what it says on the tin (spoiler: it does).

A new chip, new camera, new design, new models. The Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro have what you need for your everyday adventures.

Both models are packed with top-shelf gear. Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro both come with 50-megapixel rear-facing cameras that take unreal pics at anytime of the day or night.

Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are designed to excel at computational photography for better HDR, Night Sight and everyday pics; AI and machine learning to get you what you need when you need it; speech recognition for live translation1, and more.

The camera pairs with awesome software smarts to take uncompromising pics. So you can adjust the focus of a shot after the picture has been taken, and with Magic Eraser you can literally delete photobombers from your special moments2.

The new design is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus for added protection and scratch resistance, and security is taken care of by a smart little fingerprint reader under the display.

It’s not the first device to have an in-screen fingerprint reader, but I have to say it’s the fastest and most reliable I’ve ever used in a smartphone.

All of this is powered by Google’s new hardware under the hood – Google Tensor.

What is Google Tensor?

At the heart of both Pixels this year is Google’s first ever processor called Tensor.

Tensor is custom-designed for this year’s Pixels, and everything they’re good at.

Google is also taking hardware security very seriously on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Connected to the Tensor SoC is the new Titan M2TM security chip to keep your stuff safe.

Google says the Pixel 6 Pro in particular has the most layers of hardware security in any device on the market at the time of release. And with Android 12 you can take better control of your private data to make sure it’s only being shared where you want it to be3.

Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: what’s the difference?

Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro sitting side by side on a table with travel equipment

The Pixel 6 features a 6.4-inch 1080p OLED screen that refreshes up to 90Hz. That means it’s designed for great Full HD content in rich colour and vibrant blacks. The 90Hz refresh rate means you’re getting a “smoother” screen overall that makes your day-to-day actions look super crisp.

The Pixel 6 Pro is a step up, designed for those who won’t compromise.

The Pixel 6 Pro features a larger 6.7-inch screen with a higher resolution. You get a display resolution that’s 1440×3120 so everything looks sharper, with a higher refresh rate at 120Hz. It kicks everything into top gear.

Other than screens, the Pixel 6 Pro features more storage than the Pixel 6, with a 512GB variant to sit alongside the 128GB and 256GB. Speaking of memory, the Pixel 6 Pro also has more RAM at 12GB compared to the Pixel 6’s 8GB.

The Pixel 6 Pro also comes with a 48-megapixel telephoto camera, with 4x optical zoom so you can get closer to your subject without blur. The front camera is also boosted to 11.1-megapixels on the Pixel 6 Pro compared to 8-megapixels on the Pixel 6.

The 6 Pro is also the first ever phone to support mmWave 5G.

What is mmWave 5G?

mmWave – pronounced as “millimetre wave” – is a short-range, high-frequency network technology that really shows off what 5G can do. It’s the next ‘wave’ of 5G, so to speak.

If you think of a network like a pipe, you can only force so much down that pipe before things become congested. We’re always looking to create newer, wider pipes so more data can be carried across our network for more people at once. That’s where mmWave comes in.

mmWave is a huge pipe. It has a lot more bandwidth on offer. Nearly 10 x regular 5G and can allow tens of thousands of people to connect, stream or upload photographs simultaneously. It’s another step towards delivering on 5G’s potential with super-fast speeds and more capacity.

As mmWave signal only travels a few hundred metres from a cell it is best suited for areas of intensive customer demand such as transport hubs, shopping districts and even sports stadiums or tourism hotspots, which is where we have begun the rollout.

Telstra currently has 65 mmWave sites live across 5 cities and we plan to nearly triple that number before the end of the year.

mmWave support means you can do even more cool stuff with your Pixel 6 Pro in even more places thanks to our massive 5G network that covers 75% of Australians. Duo HD screen sharing – for example – allows you to watch your favourite show or game over a video call so you can be together, even when you’re apart.

When is the Google Pixel 6 coming out?

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are available for purchase on Telstra from 28 October.

Telstra customers will be able to get $150 off the Pixel 6 Pro 512GB from launch until 22 November. That means you get a 512GB device for the same price as a 256GB device, but only for a limited time, or while stocks last.

Things you need to know

Compared to the main rear camera on Pixel 5.

1 Not available in all languages or countries. Not available on all media or apps. See g.co/pixel/livetranslate for more information. Internet connection required during setup only.

2 Magic Eraser may not work on all image elements.

3Based on a count of independent hardware security subsystems and components.

Battery life depends upon many factors and usage of certain features will decrease battery life. Actual battery life may be lower.

Compared to Pixel 5. Based on internal CPU benchmark testing on pre-production devices.

Confused man looking at phone
Cyber Security |

The FluBot SMS cyber attack continues to evolve

By Darren Pauli October 15, 2021

Criminals behind the prolific FluBot SMS-based cyber attack sweeping Australia and the world have flipped their scam on its head – they’re now telling potential victims they need to install a ‘security update’ to remove an existing FluBot infection. The ‘security update’ actually contains FluBot.

The latest trick showcases the criminals’ willingness to experiment with new scams (known as a pretext) in a bid to increase infections as news of the cyber attacks spread.

A sample of the new message being sent to users, which erroneously says they're infected with FluBot in a bid to install FluBot.
A sample of the new message being sent to users, which erroneously says they’re infected with FluBot in a bid to install FluBot.

We warned of FluBot in August as reports of strange, often garbled “missed call” messages began to hit people’s SMS inboxes.

FluBot is malware – like a computer virus – that can be installed on your Android device if you click on a malicious link in a SMS message. This malware then sends many similar text messages to other people from your phone without your knowledge, potentially infecting them.

The malware requests high levels of access to a victim’s phone in order to steal data and proliferate to other devices. Modern Android phones will provide owners with warnings about the access an app is requesting, but this may be of little protection to those who believe they are installing a legitimate app.

The scam is thought to have begun in Italy before spreading around Europe and then coming to Australia. The attacks are independent of carriers and can potentially affect everyone.

Currently, the FluBot “bait” messages you’re likely to receive suggest you have an unchecked voicemail as a way to get you to click the link. The message content can change, however, as we’ve seen from the messages claiming to help with an existing Flubot infection.

It has also in recent weeks claimed the recipient has missed a parcel and that Australia Post deliveries have been stalled amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you click on the link, the FluBot malware authors will attempt to trick you into installing the virus by deactivating some security settings on your device. FluBot webpages you click may ask you to allow the installation of “unknown apps”, which is restricted by default to stop malware like FluBot.

Android devices typically don’t allow unknown apps (that is, apps not from the Google Play Store) to be installed by default. FluBot cannot be installed if the installation of unknown apps is left as its default setting of denied. We strongly recommend you leave this setting as denied.

FluBot also cannot, to date, be installed on iOS devices like iPhones and iPads.

Infected Android phones should be factory reset after important data like photos and phone contacts are backed up. Make sure you restore from a backup that was taken before you were infected with FluBot, otherwise you may risk reinfecting yourself.

If you don’t regularly back up your device, now is the time to start!

The evolution of the FluBot scam reinforces our continued message that the public is best placed to beat scams by being sceptical of all unexpected communications, regardless of the message, the sender, and the medium on which it was sent – be it email, SMS, chat message, or a phone call.

Telstra and our industry peers are continually examining ways to combat sophisticated threats such as Flubot.

You can report a scam to Telstra using our website. If you want to learn more, we also have more cyber safety advice on our website.

How you can tell if you are infected with FluBot

If you have clicked one of these links, you may be infected with FluBot already. The malware sits on your phone and intercepts passwords and other login details, while simultaneously sending out messages to your contacts to encourage them to install it too.

You can tell if you have FluBot in a few ways. Your phone may warn you it is sending a large number of text messages, and you are also likely to receive SMS messages from mobile numbers that have received FluBot links sent from your device. Customers of Telstra will also receive a message from us warning of a likely FluBot infection.

Finally, you may notice an app called ‘Voicemail’ bearing an icon of a blue cassette in a yellow envelope on your device. Please bear in mind the name and icon of this app could change anytime.

What we’re doing about it

Connected technologies increasingly sit at the very heart of the lives of most Australians. But as we move more rapidly to a digital economy, we need to be more and more cognisant of the growing cyber risks and those who seek to do us harm online.

We get that scams like FluBot are annoying, and we’re working to make the internet a safer place for our customers through our Cleaner Pipes initiative.

Cleaner Pipes includes a range of existing work designed to help keep our users safe from malicious activity online. We also recently announced we’re blocking around 13 million scam calls, on average, from being delivered every month.

Alongside Cleaner Pipes, we’re actively working to help people who have inadvertently been infected with FluBot. We identify compromised users based on the distinctive nature of the FluBot malware and notify those affected as to how they can fix their infected devices.

For those close to home, our free Broadband Protect service also helps safeguard you and the devices connected to your home network from accessing many known dangerous websites. Our data shows that Broadband Protect blocks, on average, around 2.5 million malicious websites per hour.

For even more online protection when you’re out and about, our Device Protect product helps safeguard your mobile, tablet or laptop, keeping users from falling foul of scammers that want to do you harm.

Devices | How To |

How to block your number and caller ID on your phone

By Campbell Simpson September 2, 2021

There are plenty of legitimate reasons that you might want to temporarily or permanently block your caller ID so that your phone number is not displayed to whoever you’re calling. Here’s how to do that on your home phone or mobile phone.


Change your caller ID on a home phone

To block your number on a call by call basis when you’re making a call from your home phone service, first dial 1 8 3 1 and then dial the number that you want to call. When you do this, your caller ID won’t be displayed.

You can find out more of the features that your home phone service is capable of, like Call Waiting and Call Return, at our Home Phone Features page.

If you wish to block your caller ID on a permanent basis, we call this an ‘unlisted service’; you can enable this feature in My Telstra – a guide on how to do so can be found on our Silent Line page.

Change your caller ID on an Android phone

Blocking your caller ID on an Android phone varies depending on what device you’re using, but the below is a general guide – it will work on most current Android phones including Google’s Pixel range.

  1. Open the Phone app
  2. Tap the three dots to open the menu, then tap ‘Settings’
  3. Tap ‘Calls’
  4. Tap ‘Additional settings’
  5. Tap ‘Caller ID’, then select whether you want to hide or show your number when calling.

To check the network default setting, dial * # 3 1 # in the Phone app and tap the call button – you’ll then see a pop-up message that tells you whether your caller ID is restricted or unrestricted by your mobile provider.

How to change your caller ID on an iPhone

Blocking your number on an iPhone is quite straightforward – there’s only one setting that you need to change to decide whether you want your caller ID displayed when you’re making a phone call.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap ‘Phone’
  3. Tap ‘Show my Caller ID’ to switch between displaying or hiding your caller ID every time you call.

To check the network default setting, dial * # 3 1 # in the Phone app and tap the call button – you’ll then see a pop-up message that tells you whether your caller ID is restricted or unrestricted by your mobile provider.