Devices |

Do you clean your phone daily, weekly, monthly – or not at all?

By Fiona Hayes September 28, 2021

Most of us use our phones every hour of every day. We take them out into the world, tap them against all manner of things, and then raise them up to our faces to take a call without a second thought! Whether you’re out and about or even if you’re just at home, following some simple steps will keep your device clean from any unwanted nasties.

To find out how Aussies are treating their phones and if phone hygiene is an important consideration in 2021, we worked with YouGov to ask people all around the country how they use them every day. The results were…

We started out by asking where you all use your phones, and we don’t think many of you will be surprised by the answers. As it turns out, we use our phones everywhere: the most popular places are on the couch (84%), in bed (62%) and in the kitchen (56%). While we’d say that’s already good evidence there that we’re using our phones in places that get a bit dirty, there’s more: 43% of people surveyed used their phones while they were eating, 30% while sweating away exercising, and 35% use their phone when they’re on the toilet!

If you’re over 50, you’re more likely than your younger peers to be using your phone on the couch. If you’re 18-34, though, you’re more than twice as likely as your parents to use your phone in bed. It gets worse, too – it’s these young Aussies that are three times more likely to use their phones while eating and six times more likely to have a quick scroll on the loo.

We use our phones everywhere, but we’re not great at cleaning them

When it comes to cleaning our phones, the numbers we’ve seen are pretty gross. Let’s start with the top of the class; one in four Australians (25%) clean their phone every day – good on you lot!

A third of us clean our phones weekly, and 15% give their phone a quick wipe down at least once a month. One in five Aussies let a few months go by without cleaning their phones – yuck – but we have some advice for the nearly 1.5 million Australians (7%) who never clean their phone…

You’ve gotta clean your phone! Your phone touches your face when you make a call, but it also touches your hands, your pockets or purse and dozens of other surfaces every day. Each one of those can harbour invisible nasties like viruses and bacteria, and your phone is a perfect vehicle for them to get into your nose or mouth.

We commonly share our phones around all the time, too, so it’s not just your health at risk; when was the last time you showed your friend or family member something on your phone? The good news is that cleaning your phone is simple and barely takes ten seconds – read on to find out how.

We can point a few fingers at the younger generations in our research, with 18-24s and 25-34s less likely than those 35-49 and 50+ to clean their phones daily. There’s some good news if you’re a parent of children under 18 – you’re nearly twice as likely to clean your phone daily than if you didn’t have kids to clean up after in the first place. Those kids, though, need a bit of a refresher course.

Maybe there’s something in the air up there, but Queenslanders don’t need their phones when they’re out for a jog or a stretch, with only 20% using their phones during exercise versus 34% of NSW and Victorian athletes. A round of applause to those fastidious South Australians, too, with 70% cleaning their phones at least once a week.

Our store staff keep their hands, and your phone, clean

In our stores, our team members follow good hygiene practices when they’re interacting with your device.

Our stores have hand sanitiser available for you to use when you visit, our working spaces in stores are regularly cleaned with disinfectant, and our store staff have gloves available to use when they’re handling your phone.

Social distancing practices are built in to how we work to keep everyone safer. We’d strongly prefer that you pay by card, too, but have procedures in place if you need to use cash.

Keeping your phone clean is simple and quick

Our simple advice is to clean your phone daily. A lint-free soft microfibre cloth is ideal for this, or you could use another gentle cloth like a camera lens cleaning cloth. You can dampen part of the cloth with a small amount of water, or a disinfectant or alcohol solution, for extra cleaning power. It’s a good idea to spray this on the cloth, not the phone. Don’t use spray bleach or compressed air to clean your phone as those might damage it.

You can also clean your phone with a single-use disinfectant wipe or alcohol wipe of the kind you can buy in supermarkets and pharmacies, but it’s always worth checking with your phone manufacturer to make sure that it’s safe and supported to do so.

Either way, the important thing to remember is to keep your phone clean and to do that regularly – it only takes a few seconds, and might just be the difference between you living your best life or accidentally picking up a nasty bug that’ll ruin your week.

Devices | How To |

How to extend your phone’s ring time

By Campbell Simpson July 27, 2021

If you’re just missing picking up those important phone calls more often than you’d like, there’s a solution: you can extend your phone’s ring time using a quick shortcut on your handset. We’ve got a guide for iPhone and Android users alike, as well as for home phone users.

It’s always a pain when you hear your phone ringing when you’re not close enough to catch it – especially if you were waiting for that important call! Here’s how you can solve it once and for all.


Extend the ring time on your home phone or landline

If you want to extend the time that your home phone or landline rings before diverting to voicemail or hanging up, the settings to do so can change depending on the handset that you’re using. For most handsets, though, it’s a straightforward process.

To extend the ring time on a landline phone, you’ll have to type in a short sequence of numbers as if you were about to call someone. This time, though, you’ll be using the * (asterisk) and # (hash) keys as well.

The code you want to enter is * 9 9 [5-60 seconds, in 5 second increments] # .

So, if you wanted to extend your home phone’s ring time to 45 seconds, you’d type in the code * 9 9 4 5 # and then hit the call button. After that, you can hang up the call, and your phone’s ring time will be set to the time you entered.

Extend the ring time on your Android phone

To extend your ring time using an Android handset, you’ll need to open the Phone app in your phone’s menu and then dial a code.

You’ll want to change one part of the sequence – that’s how long you want your phone to ring for. You can choose for your phone to ring for 15, 20, 25 or 30 seconds before diverting the call to voicemail.

Here’s how:

  1. Open the Phone app on your phone.
  2. Type the following: * * 6 1 * 1 0 1 * * [15, 20, 25 or 30] #
  3. Press the call button.

So, if you wanted to make sure your phone only rings for 15 seconds before diverting, you’d open the Phone app and type * * 6 1 * 1 0 1 * * 1 5 # .

Once you’ve done the steps above, you’ll then see a pop-up appear with a message that says “Call forwarding successful”.

To find out how long your phone is currently ringing for before diverting to voicemail, you can dial * # 6 1 # in your Phone app. You’ll see a pop-up appear that tells you your voicemail phone number, and how many seconds your phone will ring for each call that comes in.

Extend the ring time on your iPhone

To extend the ring time on an iPhone, all you have to do is this – open your iPhone’s Phone app and enter the sequence below.

There’s one part of the sequence that you’ll want to change – that’s how long you want your phone to ring for. You can choose for your phone to ring for 15, 20, 25 or 30 seconds before diverting the call to voicemail.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Phone app on your phone.
  2. Type the following: * * 6 1 * 1 0 1 * * [15, 20, 25 or 30] #
  3. Press the call button.

By default, ring time on the iPhone is set to 20 seconds. So, for example, if you wanted to extend your phone’s ring time to 30 seconds, you’d open the Phone app and enter the code * * 6 1 * 1 0 1 * * 3 0 # .

Telstra News |

What we love about the new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

By Luke Hopewell January 22, 2021

Samsung’s 2021 flagship is here. The Galaxy S21 range demands attention with its bold new design. We’ve spent some time with the top of the range Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, and there’s a lot to love.

A camera that continues to impress…

The 108-megapixel, five camera shooter on the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G takes photos that boggle the mind.

And with 8K video recording at 24 frames per second to boot, this smartphone is ready for the future of screens. You’ll need an 8K screen to watch 8K content on playback

Samsung also takes close note of how its customers actually use their phones, and design new modes in a bid to make life easier.

The Single Shot mode is perfect for anyone with kids or pets. With other cameras, there’s a solid chance you’ll miss a precious memory because your shutter finger isn’t as fast as you’d like it to be. And countering your own shutter speed with burst mode delivers a blurry result overall. The S21 Ultra 5G makes up for it with Single Shot: press one button and 15 seconds of video and photo rolls. Then the clever software figures out the significant moments and creates a slew of photos, collages, videos, boomerangs and effect shots for you to choose from. It takes the guesswork out of capturing a great memory that will truly last forever.

And then there’s the zoom performance.

…with a zoom lens that delivers the goods…

Putting a solid zoom lens into a smartphone is tricky. You have to get around the need to pack it full of glass, keep it as thin as possible but still deliver an incredible experience. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G delivers a crisp and seamless zoom experience thanks to a clever new zoom system.

There’s a difference between optical and digital zoom. Optical zoom uses lenses to get you closer to your subject, delivering a beautiful image without distortion. Digital zoom crops the image itself to bring you closer to the subject which can lead to some image distortion.

Samsung has cleverly put a 10x optical zoom into the S21 Ultra 5G, while simultaneously reducing the size of the camera bump. Samsung has cleverly put a 10x optical zoom into the S21 Ultra 5G, while simultaneously reducing the size of the camera bump. The Note 20 Ultra offers 5x optical zoom but the S21 Ultra manages to fit double the zoom into a slimmer design.

The experience with the optical zoom is truly phenomenal. You can get really close to a subject without losing quality on your image. It’s a technical masterclass.

And for when you need to get really close, there’s the 100x Space Zoom. Zoom levels above 10x rely on digital zoom rather than optical. That’s when you may experience some image distortion. You notice the distortion as you get closer to 100x on the S21 Ultra 5G, but even at a wild zoom of 30x it’s a beautiful balance between a crisp shot and a tight zoom.

That being said, however, you’ll get such a good level of detail and user experience out of a cropped photo at 10x optical zoom, it’s rare you’ll need to venture beyond it.

The S21 Ultra 5G is more than just its camera, however. It’s a great tool for getting stuff done.

…and S Pen support for the best of both worlds…

For the first time on a Galaxy S device, the S Pen is here to play.

The S Pen is Samsung’s stylus that – until now – was exclusively reserved for the Galaxy Note range. One of the Note’s best features now plays well on the S21 Ultra 5G so you can get more stuff done.

The S Pen accessory for the S21 Ultra 5G relies on the technology in the screen to recognise the device. If you’re looking for all the features offered by a Bluetooth S Pen experience, the Note 20 range is still your best bet.

The S Pen on the S21 Ultra 5G can handwrite notes; edit excel documents; annotate images and screenshots and so much more on the go.

It’s a larger S Pen than we’re used to, which feels great in the hand.

And, if you’re upgrading from an older compatible Note model, it reduces the e-waste as you can reuse your S Pen again!

…all on Telstra’s massive 5G network

5G is here to stay, and the Galaxy S21 range really cements it with an extensive 5G lineup. Don’t worry if you’re not in a 5G area, either: the device still features 4G/3G connectivity also.

We’re now in more places than ever with Telstra 5G, so you can experience the true power of the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra 5G out of the box5. Check our website for coverage, and to find out more about when this awesome tech will be available near you.

Pricing and bonus offers

We’re excited to carry the Samsung Galaxy S21 range on our incredible network.

We’ll be stocking:

Outright MRO 12-months MRO 24-months
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G 128GB $1248 $104 $52
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G 256GB $1344 $112 $56
Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G 128GB $1536 $128 $64
Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G 256GB $1632 $136 $68
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 128GB $1848 $154 $77
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 256GB $1944 $162 $81

Pre-orders open from 8am (AEST) on 15 Jan 2021. The devices will hit the shelves at 9am (AEST) on 28 January 2021.

To the pre-orders go the spoils! If you pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G or Galaxy S21+ 5G before 11:59pm on 28 January 2021 (AEST), you’ll get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live in Mystic White included (RRP $319). Pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G before 11:59pm on 28 January 2021 (AEST) and you’ll get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro in Phantom Silver (RRP $349).

Those who purchase a Samsung Galaxy S21 series handset our flexible XL Plan will save big too. If you take up a $115 XL plan, you’ll receive a $50 bill credit for 12 months. That’s a saving of $600, and a whopping $180GB of included data per month for $65.

And if you trade-in your old eligible Samsung device, you can get up to $600 credit on your bill when traded in at Telstra6.

Finally, if you find a better deal on your Samsung Galaxy S21 series device, let us know within 7 days and we’ll credit the difference back to your bill. That’s our 7-Day Price Match at work! Find out more about Price Match on Telstra.com.

Tech and Innovation | Telstra News |

Find your lost devices with the updated My Telstra app

By Jenni Barnett September 10, 2020

We’re always busy adding great new features to the My Telstra app. This month we’ve added something you’ll really like: a Device Locator that allows you to find your phone when it wanders off!

The new Device Locator function allows you to track down any registered Telstra iOS and Android mobile phone, or even a SIM-enabled tablet.

When activated, the Device Locator places a pin on your map marking your device’s last known location. That means you’ll be able to find it fast.

Device Locator will also have advanced features in the future, with the ability to play a sound on your device to help you track it down faster, even when you drop it in-between the couch cushions! The Device Locator will also allow you in the future to put a message on the screen, so a Good Samaritan can return it when it turns up. Just one more way we’re making your life easier with the My Telstra app!

Speaking of making life more convenient, eligible customers are now able to manage their eSIM directly from their device using the My Telstra app. eSIM is a digital SIM card, which opens up the opportunity for you to have multiple phone numbers on one device. That’s right, no more carrying two phones. You can have work and personal numbers on one device and manage those numbers easily from the app.

Alongside these updates, you’ll now be able to view your 5G network access trial in the service summary screen in the app. In the future, you’ll also be able to check for 5G service coverage in your area in My Telstra. 5G is the next generation of mobile technology and has the potential to transform the way we live and work.

The 5G network access trial is available on selected plans so everyone with a compatible device has the opportunity to try 5G when in a 5G coverage area.

Keen to give 5G a go?* Upgrade to our new plans before 30 September.

The app will also help you stay on top of your bills, with more personalised push notifications. This feature will send customer in-app notifications to ensure you know when a bill is due.

You can download the My Telstra app for both Apple and Android devices, making it easy to view your services and bills and to make payments on the go.

Things you need to know

Existing Telstra 24×7 app users may need to manually upgrade their app by searching My Telstra in their app store, then tapping update.

*Only available in 5G coverage areas with compatible devices. Check our coverage maps online for more information.

Man on mobile phone and working on his laptop computer
Tech and Innovation | Telstra News |

Get eSIM in a snap with our network world-first

By Andrew Stormont September 1, 2020

We’re all about making life more convenient. That’s why we’re embarking on what we believe to be a digital world-first that will soon allow our customers to manage their own eSIMs easier than ever.

What is eSIM?

An “embedded SIM” (eSIM) is regarded as a SIM card that cannot be physically removed from a device, it is rewritable and it is significantly smaller than the plastic SIM card. eSIM opens up new opportunities such as the ability for you to have two active phone numbers on a single device, one number for work, the other for home. Today, this is only possible if you carry two phones or have a dual physical SIM phone. eSIM brings greater security as it cannot be physically removed from a device and due to its size, devices can be smaller, be more dust and waterproof.

Get eSIM in a snap with our network world-first

Part of our T22 modernisation plan is a focus on creating awesome digital experiences for our customers. At the heart of that mission is the pursuit of making life easier when you need to get stuff done.

Currently, moving from a physical SIM card to an eSIM or moving your mobile service to an eSIM in another device is a simple process, but one that is slowed down by having to visit a store or have an eSIM activation card shipped to your address. A job that takes a matter of days or a special trip to a store, and we know we can do better.

From today, eligible customers will be able to activate pre-paid and manage their eSIM directly from their device using the My Telstra app. The process takes less than two minutes. No more waiting around for eSIM activation card to be sent through the post or having to travel to see someone face-to-face.

These latest updates will support all existing eligible iPhones, iPads and Android devices that are eSIM compatible.

We’re excited to make eSIM accessible to more people more conveniently, in what is set to be a world-first for a telco offering digital eSIM capabilities.

Enabling eSIM availability in the My Telstra app is key to providing customers with a better, more digital self-service experience.