Devices |

How to download the COVIDSafe app

By Luke Hopewell May 7, 2020

The Australian Government has released the COVIDSafe app to help speed up the process of contacting people exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19). Here’s how to get it on your smartphone.

COVIDSafe app is designed for both Apple and Android devices. The app is quick and easy to set up.

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How to install COVIDSafe

To install this app, your smartphone will need to be on either Android 6.0 or higher or Apple iOS 10 or higher. You will need a Google Play account if you have an Android smartphone or an Apple ID if you are using an Apple iOS device such as an iPhone, in order to download apps.

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If you have an Android device:

  • To run COVIDSafe on Android, you will need a device running Android 6.0 or higher. You can check your version of Android by opening Settings > About Phone > Android Version;
  • Download COVIDSafe from the Google Play Store, or search the store for “COVIDSafe”;
  • Tap ‘Install’;
  • Once installed, tap the COVIDSafe app to open and follow the instructions.

If you have an Apple iOS device:

  • To run COVIDSafe on iOS, you will need a device running iOS 10 and above. You can check your version of iOS by opening Settings > General > About > Version;
  • Download COVIDSafe from the App Store, or search the store for “COVIDSafe”;
  • Tap ‘Install’;
  • Once installed, tap the COVIDSafe app to open and follow the instructions.

‏‏‎ ‎Our Telstra Store staff are willing and able to help you install the COVIDSafe app if you’re experiencing difficulty, free of charge.

For more information on the COVIDSafe app and how it works check the Australian Health Department’s advice page.

How To |

Tips for taking the stress out of home schooling

By Luke Hopewell April 3, 2020

With many parents already opting to keep their kids home from school, and the potential for more home-schooling on the horizon, creating a productive learning environment at home is important. With many parents also needing to balance their working from home needs with their children’s schooling, we’ve got some tips on how to take the stress out of the process.

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Get a routine in place

It’s important to understand that kids and parents may have different schedules when working from home – and routines may differ from school-to-school. The best thing to do is to consult with your child’s teacher about how best to structure the day based on the work they have to complete.

Outside of their workload, it’s important to remember that kids need the same essentials as you. They need a sound workspace; healthy food; regular exercise and occasional learning breaks.

Planning out your week ahead of time will save you a lot of stress in the long-term.
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Create a study zone

Kids need a quiet and comfortable space to get work done. The good news is, it’s simple and easy to do.

Here are our tips:
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  • Use a chair with a comfortable seat cushion and a backrest with lumbar support to help kids sit upright. Most people will have a chair at the right height, with a comfortable seat cushion and back support (this could be a kitchen or dining chair). Feet should be well supported on the floor or on a footrest with thighs parallel to the floor. Sit with your kids to see what’s comfortable for them based on this advice.
  • All you need is a flat relatively clutter-free surface; most kitchen tables will be the right height to work on. Ensure elbows are at 90 degrees or slightly greater when using the keyboard and mouse, and place items kids need, a tablet, book or pair of headphones within easy reach.
  • If your kids are using computers or laptops, they can avoid glare by adjusting the angle on the monitor and reducing the brightness and contrast. Position the screen so the top third of it is at eye level when kids are sitting upright. You can raise a laptop using a stand/riser, or by using reams of paper and books – you’ll need an external keyboard and mouse if you are doing this.
  • Don’t forget that kids should stand-up and move every 30-60 minutes – these stretches are a great way to relax and reset. Get them to set a reminder on their phone or desktop!

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Identify your tech

You and your kids may take for granted having a whole swathe of tech available at work or in the classroom, but when you’ve moved into a home environment, that gear might not be at your fingertips.

To maximise productivity, we recommend following a checklist to make sure your workspace is set up for ergonomic success.

  • Laptop or tablet (and charger);
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Headphones or headset for online learning

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Explore the world online

Though kids are at home, there are plenty of ways to bring the world to them:

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Get busy making things

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Get kids moving

Sitting still isn’t always easy for kids, when they need a break or some time to decompress – these online resources can help:

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Make learning fun

When the set lessons are done, here are other resources to stimulate young minds:

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Raise your hand to ask for help

When we spoke to a teacher about the best advice for parents during this challenging time, they told us that it’s OK to understand your limitations.

The best advice you can have, they said, was to do what you can, when you can and how you can for your kids. Remember that you’re a parent, not a trained teacher, and that we’re all working in an uncertain space right now.

Be flexible with your situation and be sure to ask when you need help – teachers are expecting to hear from you!

Shot on Google Pixel
Devices | How To |

Testing Pixel 4’s incredible Night Sight photography

By Troy Tozer December 18, 2019

When Google dropped the unreal Pixel 4, we were impressed by the updated Night Sight feature that allows for incredible astrophotography – the ability to take spectacular pictures of the night sky. We gave a Pixel 4 to Troy, one of our technicians based in regional Queensland, to see just what it could do.

We live in a vast, beautiful country outdone only by what’s above us.

I’m part of the team that builds and maintains Telstra’s mobile and radio infrastructure – more than 10,000 mobile base stations providing more than 2.5 million square kilometres of coverage to metro, regional and remote Australia. It means I’m out of town a lot, so to speak, for work.

When you get away from the city lights, the Milky Way is awesome. Truly awesome.

I’m also a keen snapper. Astrophotography typically requires some serious gear, lots of settings adjustments and patience to yield a result, so I was interested to see how the Google Pixel 4[1] would go on my recent travels.

The key to nailing that starry night shot is to get out of the cities and into the country, where there’s little to no light pollution to clutter an image. Light pollution is the bright hue that is cast across the sky by things like cars, street lights and buildings. It’s a disruptor and stops us from seeing features of the night sky.

Photo by Troy Tozer, Telstra

These photos were snapped near one of our mobile base stations at Mt Kent, west of Toowoomba. Both are straight out of the Pixel 4 with no edits. It really shows off the shots you can get of the night sky without light pollution.

Photo by Troy Tozer, Telstra

I used a high intensity LED torch to help compose my shots (as it was basically pitch black). I used objects in the foreground to provide some depth to the photo.

Once the photo was composed the Pixel 4 basically did the rest. 4 min long made up of multiple exposures that are stacked on top of each other, this gets rid of any movement in the sky (star trails) and as you can see the Pixel pulls light that the human eye struggles to see.

Photo by Troy Tozer, Telstra

On the flip side, you can also use a light to create a fun element to your pic. All I did with this shot is leave the interior light on in my work car to create a cool extra point of interest.

Photo by Troy Tozer, Telstra

And finally, this is a four-minute exposure shot pointing straight up at the stars for a shot that’s unheard of on a phone. You can see the constellation of Orion clearly in the night sky, shot with nothing but a phone camera and a native Android app.

Troy’s tips for better night photos

Google has a number of recommendations for getting the shot after the Sun goes down. Here are a few tips on how to get the shot from the Pixel 4:

● Stabilise your phone to make sure it will not move during long exposures: prop it up on a stable surface such as a rock or a fence post or use a tripod if you happen to have one. 

● Launch the Google Camera App, switch to Night Sight, and frame the shot. 

● Once the phone is steady, the viewfinder should display a message that says “Astrophotography on” to indicate that long exposures are enabled, and that, depending on the brightness of the scene, taking a shot may take up to four minutes. If there’s strong wind and the phone is on a tripod, then the camera may shake too much for a sharp long exposure and “Astrophotography on” may not appear. If that’s the case try shortening the tripod legs to keep the phone closer to the ground, use your body to shield the phone from the wind, or move to a spot that is less windy. 

● The phone will try to focus automatically, but autofocus can fail in extremely dark scenes. For landscape shots you may just want to set focus to “far” so that anything further away than about 4 meters (13 feet) will be in focus. 

● For best results set the self-timer to 3 seconds. This shifts the beginning of the exposure to 3 seconds after you have tapped the shutter button, and avoids unwanted motion-blur by ensuring that the phone doesn’t move when it starts capturing light. 

● Once the exposure has begun, the viewfinder displays a timer that shows how many minutes and seconds are left until the exposure is complete. If you want to stop the exposure early for some reason, for example, because a car’s headlights have appeared in the frame, tap the shutter button again. You will get a photo even if you stop early, provided at least one frame has been captured, but letting the timer count down all the way to zero will produce a brighter and clearer image. 

● The viewfinder in the Google Camera App works at full moonlight levels but in environments darker than that the on-screen image may become too dim and grainy to be useful. When this happens we recommend the following: point the phone in what you think is the right direction, then tap the shutter button. As soon as the exposure for an individual frame is complete, the frame will be shown in the viewfinder, and you can check and correct which way the phone is pointing. Wait for the next frame to see the effect of your corrections. Once you are satisfied with the composition, tap the shutter button a second time to stop the exposure. Then tap the shutter button once more to start a new exposure and let it run to completion without touching the phone. 

● You may want to reduce the phone screen’s brightness and also enable Android’s Dark theme. This will help you preserve your own night vision while working on astrophotography.

Pricing

Customers who purchase a Google Pixel 4 or  Pixel 4 XL through Telstra will also receive an exclusive bonus Google Nest Hub. Using the bonus Google Nest Hub, customers will also be able to take advantage of another Telstra exclusive – Voice-activated Calling – allowing you to make voice calls via the Hub and/or other Google Nest devices.[2] Bonus offer ends 13 January 2020. 

Both devices are available on Telstra’s new post-paid mobile plans that offer consumer and small business customers greater flexibility with month-to-month plans, the freedom to change your plan once a month, no excess data charges in Australia, and the ability to personalise your plan through add-ons, including the option to pay off your device over 24 or 36 months.

The Google Pixel 4 (64GB) will be available from $1,049, which works out to $43.70 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 24 months or $29.13 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 36 months, plus your chosen plan costs.

The Google Pixel 4 XL (64GB) will be available from an RRP of $1,279, which will be $53.29 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 24 months or $35.52 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 36 months, plus your chosen plan costs.

For a full list of plans please visit our Google Pixel 4 store page.


[1] See g.co/pixel/astrophotography to learn more about astrophotography on Pixel 4.

[2] Requires a Telstra mobile service with credit on a smartphone, a powered Google Home/Nest speaker or display* connected to an active Wi-Fi network and activated through iOS/Android Google Home app. Data charges may apply. Call charges will be in accordance with your Telstra mobile plan. To call E000, say “Hey Google, call Triple Zero. *Currently not available on Google Nest Hub Max – coming soon.

People | Students | Telstra Careers |

The 3 most important tips I’ve learnt from technology leaders

By Laura Doyle April 16, 2018

I’m halfway through the Telstra Graduate Program and what I’ve noticed since starting here is just how much Telstra invests in and develops its people.

As a graduate, I can connect with senior leaders within the business through mentoring and reverse mentoring programs, as well as at monthly sessions called ‘meet our leaders’.

Being able to gain insights from such a senior group of people has helped me to understand the breadth of leadership styles across Telstra and also learn about how they have overcome obstacles in their own careers.

I’m also encouraged to attend events and gain insights from external leaders. One of the most recent events I attended was called Code Like a Girl, which aims to inspire more women into coding and leadership careers within the technology industry.

I learnt a lot during the event but here are the top three things I took away:

Advice | Telstra Careers |

5 ways to kick-start your day (without coffee)

By Jarrod Cardy April 3, 2018

What does your morning routine look like?

To be honest, mine isn’t great. It takes me a while to get out of my comfy bed, which gives me little time for doing the morning essentials like getting dressed and cooking breakfast.

I know it’s important to be productive in the morning as it helps to set up my day at work. So, I thought I would ask a few Telstra people what they do in the morning so that I can get a bit of inspiration. It might even help you too.

Here’s what they told me: