Helpful Cell Phone Facts

Think you know all the cell phone facts and features? There's a lot of things that your phone can do that you may not know about. Check your cell phone savvy against these little-known facts.

Global Emergency Number
There's a bit of debate over whether dialing 112 will connect you to 911 emergency dispatchers. This feature works throughout Europe and has been adopted in many parts of the United States, but it's by no means universal. Dialing 112 will, if the service is enabled, route your call through the nearest cell tower, regardless of whether it's part of your cellular network or not. This feature won't work in areas where no cellular signal is available.

Get Live News and Information
You can sign up to receive important news bulletins for your area, such as Amber Alerts when a child is abducted or traffic reports for your commute home. These services can be downloaded for free and keep you linked in with the latest information.

Directory Assistance
Rather than waste a dollar every time you call the 411 information directory, use a free directory number (800) FREE-411. You listen to a short commercial and then you are put through to a free directory service. This is a wonderful alternative to those who use directory service frequently.

Set Up Conference Calls
Setting up a conference call is something that most cell phone users don't think they can do, but many phones now have three-way calling built in. You'll need to check your owners' manual to get the exact process for your phone. In general, this feature works when you call someone, then open a second line and call another person, allowing all three of you to talk at once.

Urban Legends
There are plenty of urban legends going around about "hidden" helpful features on cell phones. One of these is that you can unlock a car door using your cell phone. The rumor is that if someone with the car's key fob holds it near their cell phone, then presses it, the signal will pass through and unlock the door to the car as long as the cell phone is held close to the door.  

Another popular myth says that you can enter a keycode, usually *3370#, to access a hidden reserve battery in your phone. There's no hidden battery in your phone. Once the power drains, recharging it is the only way to get it working again.

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