Read a very helpful article in the NY Times on free services you can access from your cell phone. My favorites:
FREE DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE Call 800-FREE-411 (800-373-3411) instead of 411. A computer or human being looks up a number for you at no charge, once you’ve listened to a 20-second ad.
FREE ANSWERS Google’s 46645 text-messaging service can fetch phone numbers as well as the weather report (in the body, type, for example, “weather sacramento”), stock quotes (“amzn”), where a movie is showing nearby (type “flushed away 44120”), what a word means (“define schadenfreude”), driving directions (“miami fl to 60609”), unit conversions (“liters in 5 gallons”), currency conversions (“25 usd in euros”), and so on.
FREE INTERNATIONAL CALLS You can now call any of 50 countries from the United States, free. Talk as long as you like. You pay only for a call to the access number in Iowa, which is 712-858-8883
FREE VOICE MAIL YouMail, in beta testing, is dissatisfied with traditional voice mail. Its solution, though, is a complete surgical replacement of your carrier’s voice mail system. When you sign up at youmail.com, you’re instructed to reprogram your cellphone by typing in a series of codes. When it’s over, YouMail is your voice-mail service — not your cell carrier. Big benefit of this is you can create different voicemail messages depending on the person. You can even create a message for people you don’t want to talk to. This might come in very handy for me in getting rid of a certain stalker…