An email came in to our inbox the other day entitled “5 Things You Didn’t Know Your Mobile Could Do!”. It’s also been going around facebook if you haven’t seen it already.
As we read through, it became clear that it was a mixture of truth, exaggeration and plain fantasy. Following on from that, we thought we’d share with you the facts on some of the claims regarding mobile phones circulating the internet:
1. Dial 112 – it is the world-wide emergency number for mobiles
This is mainly TRUE. It is not “world-wide” but certainly operates in most countries around the world including Australia. Dialling 112 will connect you to the 000 emergency line from your mobile. It is also true that 112 will work without a SIM in Australia. It is also true that the phone will pick up ANY network that is available when you dial an emergency number, not just your own provider’s network. The important thing to remember here is that dialling 000 WILL WORK EXACTLY THE SAME WAY in Australia, so no need to remember 112 unless you’re travelling.
2. Unlock your car with your mobile phone if you’ve forgotten your car key remote
If you lock your keys in your car, you can unlock it by getting someone at home to call you on your mobile. They then press the unlock button on your spare key into their receiver. You point the mobile phone at the car and it unlocks. Err no. Completely FALSE. Keyless entry systems operate on an encrypted radio signal, which cannot be transmitted by a mobile phone over a voice channel. Call your road-side service provider, or get someone to drop your spare keys to you.
3. Hidden battery power
Hidden battery power is unlocked by pressing *3370#. Press this when your battery is about to run out to get up to a 30% increase in your remaining battery power.
FALSE! One of the bugbears of modern smartphones is the battery life. Bigger screen sizes and more processing power equals more power required to run them. Manufacturers are constantly trying to find ways to improve battery life, just to keep up with the technological advances of the phone. Do you really think they are holding out on us to the tune of 30% of the battery life?
4. Blocking your mobile phone if stolen or lost
Dial *#6# and a 15 digit code will come up. Keep a note of it and if your phone gets stolen, advise the carrier and they can stop it from being used.
TRUE. Dialling this code will display your phone’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. It is effectively your phone’s unique serial number. Your carrier has the ability to block your handset if it is stolen and quoting this number to your provider will enable them to do so. In Australia, there is agreement between carriers so that phones are blocked on all networks if reported stolen. It doesn’t get your phone back, but makes it only useful as a paperweight for the thief.
5. Using your phone while refuelling your car can cause an explosion
This seems to be one of those things that just started circulating 10 years ago, and has never really been challenged. There has never been a single documented case of a mobile phone causing a petrol pump fire or explosion, only urban legends. This myth is FALSE. The battery in your phone is the same voltage as a car battery, but with far less current. It is therefore wrong to assume the battery is the cause. Radio frequency EME (electromagnetic energy) cannot spark a petrol fire, or any other type of fire for that matter. The stickers on our petrol pumps look impressive, but in reality, they are protecting us from a danger that doesn’t exist!
If you have any more mobile myths you want proven or disproven, add a comment below, and we’ll investigate. Alternatively, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or let us know on Facebook.