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Old June 29th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Using your Motorola Droid internationally--let me answer questions for you!

I've taken my Droid overseas with me multiple times, and I'm currently (well, when I initially wrote this post in June 2010) in the middle of a two month trip up Europe. Let me start off by saying that it's one of the most indispensable travel tools I have (aside from my debit card, that is!)

****

EDIT: June 2011: I've now taken my Droid to 11 countries (Costa Rica, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, and Germany) and my Thunderbolt to two countries (Singapore and Malaysia), and not had any issues with any of those countries and incurring data charges--everything that I have described below worked perfectly. Please read this ENTIRE thread (it's not that long, honest) to find answers to questions you may have.

****

I keep reading misconceptions on how the Droid works (and other Verizon Android phones work) or doesn't work overseas, so I thought I'd post a thread clearing things up for people, especially since it's summer and people are traveling more.

1.) DATA/ROAMING.
If you are in Europe, they use GSM, so you will not be able to use your phone as an actual phone.* If you are other places in the world, well, there are places that use CDMA, so if you don't put your phone in airplane mode, you may be able to use your phone as a phone, but you also CAN get hit with data charges.

***Here is a list of countries that use CDMA, and YOUR PHONE WILL WORK AS A PHONE: Countries Where Any Verizon Wireless Phone Will Work

If you are using wifi, YOU WILL NOT GET CHARGED FOR DATA.
Trust me. It's wifi. You may have to pay for wifi, depending on where you are, but you won't have to pay for data. Incidentally, I HIGHLY recommend an app called WifiScanner for sniffing out open wifi hotspots. It is possible to turn on both wifi and GPS (more on GPS in a minute) when you're in airplane mode. When you're on the home screen, open Settings, then go to "Wireless and Networks". Check the boxes for both Airplane Mode and Wi-Fi. Voila--airplane mode is on, and so is wifi.

If you want/need your cell phone to NOT be in airplane mode (more on why you'd want that in a minute) and you're in a country where CDMA works and you DON'T want to get hit with data roaming charges, you need to do the following:
1.) Go to Settings-->Accounts and Sync.
2.) Uncheck the boxes for "Background Data" and "Auto-Sync".

This way your phone shouldn't automatically send or receive data... unless you want it to! If your phone isn't in airplane mode and you're in a country with CDMA (like Canada, Mexico, Japan, etc.) you can still incur data charges if you do something that involves sending and receiving data, such as using the browser or using an app that requires data sending/receiving, like Maps.


*You CAN use Google Voice for texting when you're connected to wifi (since it sends through the internet) and you can use Skype for making phone calls when you're connected to wifi (there might be a way to receive them, but I haven't fiddled with that--I'm on vacation, and I don't want people calling me!)


2.) USING GPS.
It took me a couple of trips overseas before I figured out the GPS issue. I'll try to keep the technical stuff to a minimum here, but basically most Android phones have what's called A-GPS, or assisted GPS. It's assisted by the cell phone's radio, which in the US, means that GPS connects faster because it's using the cell towers to help triangulate your location (because waiting for the phone to connect to the three satellites needed to triangulate your location can take a while, and would make any GPS-based function seem slow.)

So anyway, in order to use GPS, you need to do the following:
1.) Take your phone OUT of airplane mode. (If you're in one of countries on Verizon's list that I linked to above that uses CDMA, don't worry, this will only take a minute... BUT TURN OFF DATA SYNCING FIRST as described above under Data/Roaming.
2.) Turn on your GPS (Settings-->Location&Security-->Use GPS Satellites.)
3.) UNCHECK the box right above that says "Use Wireless Networks".
4.) Go outside where you can get a clear line of sight (not under trees/roof overhangs/amidst a bunch of tall buildings) and wait for the phone to connect to GPS. Then put the phone back into airplane mode. GPS will stay on, and it *should* stay connected.

I know this will prompt the inevitable question: "But if I can't connect to Google Maps, how do I know if GPS is working?" or some variation thereof.

I have two free apps I use when I'm traveling internationally. Both are free.

1.) GPS Status (I use the one by EclipSim, although there are multiple programs available that will do the same thing.) What this does is tell me I'm connected to GPS (I can watch the screen as the satellites connect), it works as a compass, and it gives me my exact GPS coordinates.

2.) MapDroyd. This essentially is offline Google Maps--you choose the countries, and it downloads street-level maps for those countries. Unfortunately, it can't yet provide you with directions, and there's no way to search for certain streets, so it is pretty limited. But you can use it to show your location (just like in Google Maps) and just having city maps and knowing where I am in relation to other things and places has been immensely helpful.


3.) USING GOOGLE MAPS.
If you want, you CAN use Google Maps, but you HAVE to be connected to wifi in order to do so. Also, once you have maps open and a certain map selected (for example, the map of your location) you can disconnect and it will save that map for a while... but I wouldn't count on that, if I were you.

What is kind of amusing, and kind of cool (to me anyway) is that even if you're not connected to wifi and you have GPS on and My Location selected in Maps, if you move off of the map that you loaded when you were connected to wifi, and you get the gray grid that Maps kicks out when it can't serve up a map, it will still show your location, and if you're moving, it'll show you moving... along a gray grid. Helpful, I know. There have been times where I've been somewhere and wanted to remember where I was, so I used GPS Status to email myself the coordinates of where I was, and then I added it to my Google Maps later on so I could find it again. (Of course email won't send while you're online, but at least it's in your outbox and you know where to look for it.)


Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I think I've covered the basics of using your phone overseas. If anyone has any questions about using your Verizon Android phone overseas, feel free to post them here--I'm happy to help!

Other travel programs I love:
- TravelDroyd (made by the fine folks at MapDroyd): I can download maps for the countries I'm visiting, AND (unlike MapDroyd) they are SEARCHABLE. NICE.
- WikiDroyd (you guessed it--same folks as above): Offline Wikipedia (all the articles, no pictures) so if I'm somewhere interesting and want to look something up about where I am, I can.
- iTravel Free: offline WikiTravel (you choose which articles to download.)

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Old July 1st, 2010, 02:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks KarieMarie, I PM'ed you w/ some questions. I'm hoping the above works for the HTC Incredible.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 09:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I found out yesterday (through testing) that if someone calls you on skype and you are connected to Fring (with Skype syncing) on your phone via Wifi in airplane mode, then your phone will ring and you can receive the call (you won't hear it on vibrate, it has to be on ring).

So....this will allow you to receive calls internationally for free if you're connected to WiFi overseas. This will only work if the person calling you is calling you through their skype account to your skype account, but it enables you to use a WiFi connection to receive calls.

Now, the question is, will WiFi connections overseas really allow you to connect and use their WiFi like you can in the US. I'm not familiar with the technicalities of this. In theory it should work, but I don't know if compatibility becomes an issue.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 10:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cman8882 View Post
I found out yesterday (through testing) that if someone calls you on skype and you are connected to Fring (with Skype syncing) on your phone via Wifi in airplane mode, then your phone will ring and you can receive the call (you won't hear it on vibrate, it has to be on ring).

So....this will allow you to receive calls internationally for free if you're connected to WiFi overseas. This will only work if the person calling you is calling you through their skype account to your skype account, but it enables you to use a WiFi connection to receive calls.

Now, the question is, will WiFi connections overseas really allow you to connect and use their WiFi like you can in the US. I'm not familiar with the technicalities of this. In theory it should work, but I don't know if compatibility becomes an issue.
Wifi is wifi--I haven't had any problems using open wifi signals either in Europe or Latin America. In fact, a few of the cities I've visited have free public wifi, and it's worked great!
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 11:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That's good to know. However, I'm not sure if Fring through Skype would work when connected to international WiFi.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 11:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That's good to know. However, I'm not sure if Fring through Skype would work when connected to international WiFi.
It works perfectly fine when calling out. I haven't tried having people call in--like I said, I'm on vacation. It's nice to hide from the phone once in a while, since I've found it impossible to hide from email.

Wifi is wifi anywhere you go. There is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between wifi inside the US and wifi outside the US. As long as it's an open, unprotected wifi signal (or if it's a protected signal, you have the password) it will work the same as whatever wifi you usually connect to at home.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 08:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Karimarie

Thanks for the info!!! It helps a ton as I will be in Europe in a couple of weeks from now. The maps app is wonderful. Can't wait to use it out there.

Anyway, thanks
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Old July 21st, 2010, 08:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Any time--glad to help!!!
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 04:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I can't seem to get it to work. Sometimes I get gps signals (I test using gps status mostly and once it works mapdroyd).
Most of the times it sees NO sats at all even waiting for a while. Tried the above mentioned method too but no go.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 04:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I can't seem to get it to work. Sometimes I get gps signals (I test using gps status mostly and once it works mapdroyd).
Most of the times it sees NO sats at all even waiting for a while. Tried the above mentioned method too but no go.
I'm happy to help you troubleshoot it if you want! What country are you in? Are you in airplane mode or no? In order for the GPS to initally connect, even if you're NOT in the US, it MUST be in regular mode (NOT airplane mode.) This turns on the cell's radio.

And sometimes, no matter if you're doing everything right, it just is really really slow to connect. I think it took me almost 30 minutes to connect today... that's HIGHLY unusual, but for some reason it just does that sometimes.

I promise it does work. Here's a picture I just took today of the phone's screen when the GPS app was open when we were on a high-speed train in Germany... 189 MPH, baby!!!

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Old July 23rd, 2010, 02:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm happy to help you troubleshoot it if you want! What country are you in? Are you in airplane mode or no? In order for the GPS to initally connect, even if you're NOT in the US, it MUST be in regular mode (NOT airplane mode.) This turns on the cell's radio.

And sometimes, no matter if you're doing everything right, it just is really really slow to connect. I think it took me almost 30 minutes to connect today... that's HIGHLY unusual, but for some reason it just does that sometimes.

I promise it does work. Here's a picture I just took today of the phone's screen when the GPS app was open when we were on a high-speed train in Germany... 189 MPH, baby!!!

I'm in Western Europe too. I did try exactly as you said.
I will try again and leave it out longer. 30 mins of waiting makes it pretty much useless.
My guess is that the gps can't get a quick lock on without the rough estimate of where the phone is from the lock on cell towers. (a-gps?)

I know any gps needs a longer time to lock on when it's in a totally different location from the last time it had a lock.

Thanks for the picture, I should have snapped one when I had it on in the airplane. 1050 km/h at 38000 feet .. :-)
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 10:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Love the picture. 189 mph. Too cool.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 04:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm in Western Europe too. I did try exactly as you said.
I will try again and leave it out longer. 30 mins of waiting makes it pretty much useless.
My guess is that the gps can't get a quick lock on without the rough estimate of where the phone is from the lock on cell towers. (a-gps?)

I know any gps needs a longer time to lock on when it's in a totally different location from the last time it had a lock.

Thanks for the picture, I should have snapped one when I had it on in the airplane. 1050 km/h at 38000 feet .. :-)
It doesn't normally take 30 minutes. Like I said before, that's a rare exception, and it's seemed to only happen in Western Europe, for some reason. Like I said before, it is a-GPS. It doesn't *have* to have cell towers to lock on, but that speeds the process.

I know that there were multiple times in the past two months that I was on my trip that having GPS on my Droid really came in handy. Hopefully this thread will help other people be able to use it too.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 09:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Have you successfully used your Droid in Italy?
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Old August 7th, 2010, 10:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Have you successfully used your Droid in Italy?
Well, not as a phone, since it's CDMA and Europe is GSM. But I took it with me when I went for 8 days at the end of last November, and that's when I discovered just how awesome it really is to travel with--camera, wifi, travel guides, maps... Good stuff. :-)

The thing you have to know about Italy is that there are virtually no unsecured wireless networks. Due to a government anti-terrorism law, it's required that all wifi broadcasters know the identity of the users of their networks. So you still find cafes and some other places that offer wifi (free and/or paid) but you have to be a customer and fill out a quick little form with your name and passport number on it (hotels just take the info straight from your registration.)

Also, there are a fair number of wireless hotspots belonging to wireless-providing companies, like Boing Boing, TMobile, ummm... I think British Telecom... I can't remember exactly. You can buy access cards at some tabaccis (tobacco shops, which are generally like small magazine stands.)

Or you can do what I did--install Wifi Scanner and walk around and periodically check it, hoping it finds something open. :-) I had a bit of success with that. I wouldn't count on that solely, though.

Was that kind of what you were looking for?
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Old August 8th, 2010, 08:25 AM   #16 (permalink)
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That's good to hear. Were you able to use the GPS? Also could you recommend an offline map program that allows you to add waypoints/POI's?
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Old August 8th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #17 (permalink)
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That's good to hear. Were you able to use the GPS? Also could you recommend an offline map program that allows you to add waypoints/POI's?
I explained how the GPS works in my original post--take a look at that, since it's kind of tricky sometimes. As far as offline map programs, the only one I used was MapDroyd, and you can't add POIs to that. I used a program called GPS Tracker to store POIs, and it has a radar mode where you can enter that POI and it'll give you an arrow pointing in the correct direction as well as the distance to your target. That was helpful.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 01:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm looking to use the GPS Navigation on my HTC Incedible...does this apply for that phone as well?
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 02:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm looking to use the GPS Navigation on my HTC Incedible...does this apply for that phone as well?
I have no idea. The Incredible also uses A-GPS, so my guess would be yes.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 03:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Love this thread. I may be traveling to Canada in a few weeks and I don't want to incur any roaming charges. Any tips? I've never done this before and I'm not the most tech savvy person.

Would installing WifiScanner be necessary? I believe the phone can do this on its own as it is.

If I go:
Wireless & Network Settings > Mobile Network > and uncheck "Data Enabled" and "Data Roaming," would I still need to tweak the settings over on "Accounts & Sync?" I think maybe this way, I wouldn't have to worry about accidentally activating the browser or something. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Is there any other way to text without Voice?

Thanks so much!
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Old August 27th, 2010, 11:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Love this thread. I may be traveling to Canada in a few weeks and I don't want to incur any roaming charges. Any tips? I've never done this before and I'm not the most tech savvy person.

Would installing WifiScanner be necessary? I believe the phone can do this on its own as it is.

If I go:
Wireless & Network Settings > Mobile Network > and uncheck "Data Enabled" and "Data Roaming," would I still need to tweak the settings over on "Accounts & Sync?" I think maybe this way, I wouldn't have to worry about accidentally activating the browser or something. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Is there any other way to text without Voice?

Thanks so much!
In both my boyfriend's and my experience overseas, Wifi Scanner picks up more signals than does the built-in Droid app, and it gives the signal strengths in a number format, which is nice because then you can figure out where to stand to get a stronger signal.

I don't know for sure about the settings w/ accounts&sync--I figure better be safe than sorry.

I don't know if there are other apps that allow for texting besides Google Voice. I've always just used GV ever since I first got it about a year ago.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Great info-we will be in paris and london in a few days and just got droid Xs. THANKS!!!
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Old September 9th, 2010, 11:28 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Thank you - this looks really useful. I was envisioning myself with my Droid and colleagues in a wifi hotspot (in Tanzania, with a beer) speaking into Google Translator and getting Swahili text back. Since this would only be an internet connection, I don't see why it wouldn't work. Anyone have any experience along these lines?
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Old September 15th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Karimarie,

Great Post! I have a question about receiving email in South America. If i put my droid in airplane mode and use WiFi can i receive/send email?
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Old September 18th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #25 (permalink)
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OK. Here I am in Ireland.

I am in airplane mode.

I am in a hotel, where there is wi-fi.

With wi-fi, my email and gmail have been updating.

Just for kicks, I hit Google Maps. It found me. Took all of 15 seconds.

This threw me because I'm in airplane mode, but I apparently left the GPS on and it's still working.

But I started freaking out about roaming charges and all that business. But then, how could I be using cell towers to "A" my "A-GPS" when I'm in a non-CDMA country?

So my question is: how did this happen in airplane mode? Was it the Wi-Fi that assisted the GPS and managed to plot my hotel in Dublin? And, more importantly, if I turn the GPS back on (from the widget) am I in absolutely no danger of accidentally roaming (because I'm (a) in airplane mode, and (b) in a country where I couldn't connect to their cell towers if I wanted to)? Or is it possible that Verizon can hit me with some sort of roaming data charges for using the GPS?
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Old September 18th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
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OK. Here I am in Ireland.

I am in airplane mode.

I am in a hotel, where there is wi-fi.

With wi-fi, my email and gmail have been updating.

Just for kicks, I hit Google Maps. It found me. Took all of 15 seconds.

This threw me because I'm in airplane mode, but I apparently left the GPS on and it's still working.

But I started freaking out about roaming charges and all that business. But then, how could I be using cell towers to "A" my "A-GPS" when I'm in a non-CDMA country?

So my question is: how did this happen in airplane mode? Was it the Wi-Fi that assisted the GPS and managed to plot my hotel in Dublin? And, more importantly, if I turn the GPS back on (from the widget) am I in absolutely no danger of accidentally roaming (because I'm (a) in airplane mode, and (b) in a country where I couldn't connect to their cell towers if I wanted to)? Or is it possible that Verizon can hit me with some sort of roaming data charges for using the GPS?

You are in ABSOLUTELY NO DANGER of getting hit with data charges in Ireland--I PROMISE. There is no CDMA service there, so there's no way you could possibly be using mobile data. They can't charge you for using wifi and GPS, I promise. I used my Droid in Ireland too.

Yeah, the GPS is a-GPS, and you probably have the box checked to use wifi to help find your position.

Kind of cool, huh?
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Old October 14th, 2010, 04:03 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Ok I'm going to India, and its on the list of coutnries that have CDMA. However, I have no intention of using cdma to make phone calls. What I want to do is enable airplane mode, then enable wifi, and ONLY use wifi to connect to hotspots. for calls i want to use skype.

will this ensure that i get no roaming charges provided i leave my phone on airplane mode the entire time i'm there, only use wifi, and use skype through wifi for calls?
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Old October 14th, 2010, 04:16 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Ok I'm going to India, and its on the list of coutnries that have CDMA. However, I have no intention of using cdma to make phone calls. What I want to do is enable airplane mode, then enable wifi, and ONLY use wifi to connect to hotspots. for calls i want to use skype.

will this ensure that i get no roaming charges provided i leave my phone on airplane mode the entire time i'm there, only use wifi, and use skype through wifi for calls?
Yep! If you are in airplane mode, it shuts off the cell phone radio (that transmits calls.) So wifi will still work, but you won't be able to call (or use data.) Incidentally, you most likely won't be able to use GPS either, unless you take it out of airplane mode for short bursts, since like I mentioned above, the GPS is a-GPS and needs the cell radio on to connect (even if there's no cell signal and it's using wifi to determine your location.) That's my experience, at least.

If you want to be able to use GPS, you can turn off data sync and 3G on your phone--I outlined those steps in my post above.

Have a great trip!
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Old October 14th, 2010, 04:26 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Thank you! You've eased my fears haha...i called verizon initially and as per usual they were clueless, but you've helped. Thanks again!
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Old October 14th, 2010, 04:36 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Thank you! You've eased my fears haha...i called verizon initially and as per usual they were clueless, but you've helped. Thanks again!
Yeah, they're pretty clueless, but to be fair, it's hard for one person to be an expert on all the phones all the time. That said, you think they'd have certain groups responsible for each phone, so when you call with a phone-related question/issue, they can ask you what kind of phone you have and direct you to that department, ya know?

Have a great trip!
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Old October 14th, 2010, 04:39 PM   #31 (permalink)
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exactly...i'm not upset that they don't know, i just get annoyed when they claim they know but are obviously not sure of themselves...luckily there are forums out there and people who help like you haha...Thanks!
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Old November 27th, 2010, 11:06 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Default Need to prime GPS with data?

I can get the GPS to work after turning off airplane mode for a short period. I am thinking you need to 'prime the system' with a small amount of data first.

My question: Do you need to have a WiFi connection while traveling abroad in order to get the GPS started?
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Old November 27th, 2010, 11:38 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I can get the GPS to work after turning off airplane mode for a short period. I am thinking you need to 'prime the system' with a small amount of data first.

My question: Do you need to have a WiFi connection while traveling abroad in order to get the GPS started?
I addressed both of these questions in an earlier post. The cell phone "radio" that transmits a signal needs to be on in order for the GPS to initially work. So in order for you to get GPS going, it can't be in airplane mode. It doesn't need cell tower signal, but it does need to be in non-airplane mode.

Having wifi does help the GPS triangulate your signal as long as you have the box checked for using wifi networks to help facilitate GPS location.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 11:34 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Default Using a travel app like Trip Journal

So, in light of all of these things to keep in mind while traveling internationally, how might an app like Trip Journal come into play for documenting a trip? I'm going to Nicaragua (non-CDMA) and figured I would at least like to mark my photos with GPS and then upload or whatever when I get back home. Thoughts?
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 03:01 AM   #35 (permalink)
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I am currently abroad in Spain (My home country, feels great to be back, and good weather despite the purported coldness going on everywhere in the US at this time ), and I'm a new Droid owner. I'm tryna get skype on my phone, and try and use enable wifi. I have it in Airplane mode as of right now, and I'm stuck in a stand-still.

-I haven't downloaded Skype, and I dunno if I can access the App Market.
-Apparently Verizon doesn't have service over here, I was under the impression that they did because two years ago my Ex (Also Spanish-American) would text me/call me, although she had T-Mobile.
-Spain has TONS of free WiFi hotspots, so I'm sure I could access it.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 08:50 AM   #36 (permalink)
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I am currently abroad in Spain (My home country, feels great to be back, and good weather despite the purported coldness going on everywhere in the US at this time ), and I'm a new Droid owner. I'm tryna get skype on my phone, and try and use enable wifi. I have it in Airplane mode as of right now, and I'm stuck in a stand-still.

-I haven't downloaded Skype, and I dunno if I can access the App Market.
-Apparently Verizon doesn't have service over here, I was under the impression that they did because two years ago my Ex (Also Spanish-American) would text me/call me, although she had T-Mobile.
-Spain has TONS of free WiFi hotspots, so I'm sure I could access it.
There is no CDMA in Spain, and therefore, your Droid will not work unless it's the Droid global, in which case you need to get a SIM card.

[strike]As far as I know, the Skype app in its current iteration won't work solely via wifi. I used Fring (as described in my original post) and accessed my Skype through that. I don't know if it still works that way though--I've heard Fring has changed some things. I'm not leaving the country again until May, so I'll probably play with it then.[strike]

UPDATED JUNE 2011: The Skype app (downloaded from the market--NOT the Skype Mobile app that comes preinstalled on some phones!) does indeed work over wifi, without having to use Fring!!

You can get on wifi when you're in airplane mode, you just have to turn it on.

There are some countries where you can't purchase paid apps on the Android market. However, I'm pretty sure you can in Spain. I know when I was on my trip last summer, the only country I wasn't able to access paid apps on the market in was Bosnia. Here's a list of what you should be able to access and where: Android Market - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old March 21st, 2011, 09:41 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Hi,
I'm going to be visiting friends in Germany this summer, and would like to be able to call their cell/home phones from my droid using my skype credits that I purchased. I'm aware that they won't be able to call me, since I won't have a number to call me.
I've been reading this thread and am a bit confused about something:
Do I have to be connected to "Fring" to make such a call or to use skype overseas at all?
I make calls through skype and never had to use Fring before. Why would I need Fring as mentioned in one of the posts? I'm completely unfamiliar with Fring, and wouldn't know what to do with it. Would I just need to be logged into it, and why is it necessary?
By the way, thanks for all the helpful information so far!!!
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Old March 21st, 2011, 12:49 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Hi,
I'm going to be visiting friends in Germany this summer, and would like to be able to call their cell/home phones from my droid using my skype credits that I purchased. I'm aware that they won't be able to call me, since I won't have a number to call me.
I've been reading this thread and am a bit confused about something:
Do I have to be connected to "Fring" to make such a call or to use skype overseas at all?
I make calls through skype and never had to use Fring before. Why would I need Fring as mentioned in one of the posts? I'm completely unfamiliar with Fring, and wouldn't know what to do with it. Would I just need to be logged into it, and why is it necessary?
By the way, thanks for all the helpful information so far!!!
Purzel
The way to Skype from wifi may have changed since I last used it, but when I went to Europe last summer, there was no Skype app for the Droid, so you had to connect via a third-party client. I used Fring. When the Skype app was originally released for Android, it only worked via a regular cellular connection, NOT via wifi. I have no idea if this has changed, so you might want to test it yourself (by putting it into airplane mode, then turning on wifi) and see if that's still the case.

UPDATED JUNE 2011: The Skype app (downloaded from the market--NOT the Skype Mobile app that comes preinstalled on some phones!) does indeed work over wifi, without having to use Fring!!
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 09:08 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Thanks, I guess that would make sense, since the "Fring" comments were made a while ago.
Thanks for that info. I'll give it a try and see what happens
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 09:58 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Awesome thread. Thanks for starting it, Karimarie. You know your stuff!

I'm in Canada for the week. Not as romantic a location as some of you have! Nevertheless, data roaming charges will be incurred the same here as if I were on a warm beach in Portugal. I've got a wireless connection on my DX but my Skype app won't work. Keeps telling me that they can't find my telephone number. Annoying, but that's not what has me upset. What's upsetting is that when I try to use Google Voice, it tells me that Airplane mode needs to be off to use it. I thought it went through the wireless? Anyone know why this is happening?
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 10:03 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Awesome thread. Thanks for starting it, Karimarie. You know your stuff!

I'm in Canada for the week. Not as romantic a location as some of you have! Nevertheless, data roaming charges will be incurred the same here as if I were on a warm beach in Portugal. I've got a wireless connection on my DX but my Skype app won't work. Keeps telling me that they can't find my telephone number. Annoying, but that's not what has me upset. What's upsetting is that when I try to use Google Voice, it tells me that Airplane mode needs to be off to use it. I thought it went through the wireless? Anyone know why this is happening?
Are you trying to call or text using GV? You can text via wifi through GV, but you need cell signal to actually make calls. And I'm pretty sure the Skype app works the same way (not entirely sure, though.)
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 09:54 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Thanks. Both text and voice in GV tell me to shut off airplane mode.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 09:48 PM   #43 (permalink)
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First of all, thank you so much for creating this thread. It's just what we were all looking for.

Next month I'm going to travel with my D2G to Hong Kong for a few days, then Korea for a month, and I don't want to incur any data charges, or phone charges - but I know I'll definitely want Wifi (and sometimes GPS). I was thinking about calling Verizon for this information, but I've had some bad experiences with them giving me false information before, so I think I'd trust this a lot more than their customer "service" center. This is gonna be so helpful to me.

The only thing I'm worried about, is sometimes the D2G phone crashes (once a month it seems), and I have to turn it off and back on. If that happens, I'm worried my phone will suddenly send/receive tons of data when it turns on before I'm able to shut off the 3G receiver and the other settings. Any way around this?
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Old April 5th, 2011, 04:41 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Confused CDMA phone in a GSM country

So I am an HTC Incredible owner, but I imagine that is all fairly irrelevant to my question. I think it would help myself, and it seems others browsing this forum, to be able to see somewhere definitive that a phone that can only work on a CDMA network does not work, or roam, or charge for roaming of any kind when you are in an area (see prev posted maps or links) that does not offer a CDMA network. What I am getting at here, is that if I travel to Spain and Italy (keeping it off or in airplane mode on the plane ride) and spend however long, say a week in each location, why would I even need to worry about roaming charges or airplane mode or turning my cell radio on or off??

Someone please correct me if I am wrong or send me to someone who can verify, but my current understanding is that no matter what mode my phone is in, Verizon (or whatever CDMA-only mobile phone plan in question) cannot charge me for international or any roaming if there is no network available to roam in. I have seen this mentioned in a few posts but I guess I am just double checking because then people still keep asking about what mode to have the phone in in these countries. Could there be CDMA-compatible networks in Italy and Spain (in my case) that I am unaware of that my phone may roam to?

Sorry if I am not making sense it just seems like a question that is at the root of a lot of this discussion (unless the travel in question involves out of US CDMA networks). I just hope I figure this out for sure before I rack up the bill on my trip next month

Like others I am just trying to use my android phone for mp3s/maybe some GPS if it gets a signal/wi-fi if and where its offered/some offline maps and travel guides/possibly a few offline games/maybe taking some notes or pictures or video without having to worry about paying the 7,000 dollars we've seen in horror stories around the web.

Thanks so much for all of the information so far in this and related threads!! I hope I am not crazy and this helps others as well!!
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Old April 5th, 2011, 03:45 PM   #45 (permalink)
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So I am an HTC Incredible owner, but I imagine that is all fairly irrelevant to my question. I think it would help myself, and it seems others browsing this forum, to be able to see somewhere definitive that a phone that can only work on a CDMA network does not work, or roam, or charge for roaming of any kind when you are in an area (see prev posted maps or links) that does not offer a CDMA network. What I am getting at here, is that if I travel to Spain and Italy (keeping it off or in airplane mode on the plane ride) and spend however long, say a week in each location, why would I even need to worry about roaming charges or airplane mode or turning my cell radio on or off??

Someone please correct me if I am wrong or send me to someone who can verify, but my current understanding is that no matter what mode my phone is in, Verizon (or whatever CDMA-only mobile phone plan in question) cannot charge me for international or any roaming if there is no network available to roam in. I have seen this mentioned in a few posts but I guess I am just double checking because then people still keep asking about what mode to have the phone in in these countries. Could there be CDMA-compatible networks in Italy and Spain (in my case) that I am unaware of that my phone may roam to?

Sorry if I am not making sense it just seems like a question that is at the root of a lot of this discussion (unless the travel in question involves out of US CDMA networks). I just hope I figure this out for sure before I rack up the bill on my trip next month

Like others I am just trying to use my android phone for mp3s/maybe some GPS if it gets a signal/wi-fi if and where its offered/some offline maps and travel guides/possibly a few offline games/maybe taking some notes or pictures or video without having to worry about paying the 7,000 dollars we've seen in horror stories around the web.

Thanks so much for all of the information so far in this and related threads!! I hope I am not crazy and this helps others as well!!
I'm pretty sure I said this above, but you DO NOT need to keep it in airplane mode if you are somewhere where there is no CDMA coverage. You can keep the cell radio on. HOWEVER! If you just leave your phone like normal, and it can't find a CDMA signal, it can potentially keep searching for a signal, and drain your battery a whole lot faster. I've noticed this on my Droid, which is why I always kept it on airplane mode.

Does this help?
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Old April 5th, 2011, 03:47 PM   #46 (permalink)
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First of all, thank you so much for creating this thread. It's just what we were all looking for.

Next month I'm going to travel with my D2G to Hong Kong for a few days, then Korea for a month, and I don't want to incur any data charges, or phone charges - but I know I'll definitely want Wifi (and sometimes GPS). I was thinking about calling Verizon for this information, but I've had some bad experiences with them giving me false information before, so I think I'd trust this a lot more than their customer "service" center. This is gonna be so helpful to me.

The only thing I'm worried about, is sometimes the D2G phone crashes (once a month it seems), and I have to turn it off and back on. If that happens, I'm worried my phone will suddenly send/receive tons of data when it turns on before I'm able to shut off the 3G receiver and the other settings. Any way around this?

I honestly wouldn't worry. First of all, if you shut off roaming data on your phone (in the directions above) it'll stay shut off when you reboot your phone. Second, the phone can only sync so much at a time--it's not like an avalanche all coming down at once. But anyway, try putting the phone in airplane mode and restarting it--when you restart it, it should come back on in airplane mode. If it does, you know you should be good to go.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 11:09 PM   #47 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure I said this above, but you DO NOT need to keep it in airplane mode if you are somewhere where there is no CDMA coverage. You can keep the cell radio on. HOWEVER! If you just leave your phone like normal, and it can't find a CDMA signal, it can potentially keep searching for a signal, and drain your battery a whole lot faster. I've noticed this on my Droid, which is why I always kept it on airplane mode.

Does this help?
Muchas Gracias, karimarie,

I know I had seen you post it before, but I just didn't get why that didn't answer a lot of people's issues after that. If my only issue is draining the battery looking for a signal, then I have no worries. Of course since I can't call or text I will just keep the phone turned off unless I am using it. I suppose I should just double check that I won't be in any area that offers any sort of CDMA if I really want to be safe, but seems like I am all squared away! I already planned on modifying my phone setup to turn off as many auto updating features or notifications or widgets for that same battery reason.
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Old April 10th, 2011, 07:25 PM   #48 (permalink)
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You mentioned that we have to turn off Airplane Mode in order to connect to GPS, but my D2G phone allows me to turn on Airplane Mode, then turn on GPS after it.
The GPS works fine, but would this be a problem if I did it this way in another country? Maybe there's something I'm missing...
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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:41 AM   #49 (permalink)
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[/B]***Here is a list of countries that use CDMA, and YOUR PHONE WILL WORK AS A PHONE: Countries Where Any Verizon Wireless Phone Will Work
[B]
Hello,

I'd love this point clarified:

I am going to Southeast Asia (a few of the island countries) that are listed as using CDMA using the list above.

Does that mean that I won't need to switch out the sim card at all and my original Droid will automatically connect when I land in those countries?


Thanks
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Old May 18th, 2011, 03:37 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Default Fring w/DX

Great Droid travel info and it almost sounds like a verizon account shouldn't even be needed in Europe if I had a deactivated DroidX that could somehow access a wifi acct. Like any netbook do you think text/email/fring would work on an inactive but formerly wifi capable Android smartphone?

Verizon suggested I temporarily swap/disable my DroidX and have them send me a global loaner phone for our trip to Spain/Italy next week. Apparently my U.S. only DroidX would be deactivated until I return the loaner. Data rates on their loaner are $20/mb, $1min voice, .50p/text. YIKES.

I'm leaning toward bringing the loaner for emergency reliable calling(teenagers at home under guard) AND bringing my DroidX to possibly text/call/Fring for cheaper use on wifi.

Thanks for your input.
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