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195 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


Topic # 97050 9-Feb-2012 23:52 Send private message

If you use an Android smartphone with 2degrees (prepaid or paymonthly), you might be interested in how to make a shortcut from your homescreen so that with 1-press you can get your account balance info.

There are widgets on the market that use hacks to get your balance, but they are hacks and require giving an app your 2degrees login info.

You can do all this without downloading a dodgy app and without using data on your phone. In this simple method we make a shortcut to dial the USSD code *100*1# for us.

An example:


This can be achieved on all versions of Android. Here's how to do it:

  1. In your contacts create a new contact called "Balance". The name will be what appears as the text on your homescreen -- There isn't much room for text below the shortcut on the homescreen, so "2Degrees Balance" will likely be truncated to appear as "2Degrees Ba..". Keep it short.
  2. Create a new phone number entry for your new contact. Set the number to *100*1# (prepaid or paymonthly customers) 
  3. Save the contact
  4. On Android 2.3 or older: (some phones are slightly different, so adapt to suit)
    1. Long press on an empty space on your homescreen.
    2. From the menu select Shortcuts then DirectDial
    3. Select the contact with the number you just created
    4. Long-press the new icon on your homescreen to move it to a different position or to remove it.
  5. On Android 4.0 ICS:
    1. Open your apps.
    2. Choose Widgets or page right until you get to the widgets screen
    3. Page around until you locate the Direct Dial widget.
    4. Long press the Direct Dial widget and place it onto your homescreen in the position you want then lift your finger off the screen.
    5. The Contacts app opens.
    6. Locate the contact with the number you just created and select it.
  6. Pressing on your shortcut will now open the USSD screen that displays your balance! Your balance is now just one press away!
Extra tips:
  • On ICS if you give the contact a picture the picture will appear on your homescreen. Try doing a Google Images search for "2degrees logo". This may work on some older Android versions or may not.
  • If you change the name of the contact you will need to remove the shortcut and add a new one again for the name to change on the shortcut.
  • To remove the shortcut long press and drag it to the section on your screen that changes to trash/remove
  • You can have multiple shortcuts on more than one screen. Just repeat.
I find this method works well as it uses only built-in features of android and doesn't expose you to problems that badly written apps can cause like polling reducing battery life, using data, potentially stealing your 2degrees website login info, etc.

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2735 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 49

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  Reply # 579533 10-Feb-2012 07:33 Send private message

Yep, this is the method I've been using since I got my phone. Works well.

Choice!
693 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 6

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  Reply # 579711 10-Feb-2012 13:10 Send private message

Publius: If you use an Android smartphone with 2degrees (prepaid or paymonthly), you might be interested in how to make a shortcut from your homescreen so that with 1-press you can get your account balance info.


I use a widget myself, but this is a good idea too. Good post. 




Stuart Maxwell
Choice Technology (Managed IT Services)


Watchmaker Wizard
2378 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 579750 10-Feb-2012 13:46 Send private message

A chap on this very forum wrote the "2Degrees Toolbox" app that also lets you send the top-up requests etc.

This is still a pretty cool idea though.




465 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 579790 10-Feb-2012 14:24 Send private message

Yea I personally use the 2Degrees Toolbox, which is excellent, needs an update tho. What is the widget that was mentioned above?




CraZeD,
Your friendly Southern Geeky Fellow :P

Choice!
693 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 579826 10-Feb-2012 15:41 Send private message

crazed: Yea I personally use the 2Degrees Toolbox, which is excellent, needs an update tho. What is the widget that was mentioned above?


Here's the link to the widget: https://market.android.com/details?id=nz.org.winters.android.nzmobileaccountwidget 




Stuart Maxwell
Choice Technology (Managed IT Services)


80 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  Reply # 579843 10-Feb-2012 16:09 Send private message

How do you change the name that appears on the icon? Yours says Mobile but mine, with ICS, has come up with Other.



195 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 579994 10-Feb-2012 22:05 Send private message

@xile the text superimposed on the logo is taken from the phone number type you set for the *100*1# phone number contact. Mobile is the default but you can edit a contact number to be anyone of mobile/home/work/etc. There is a custom type too.
You'll need to remove the shortcut and add it again for any changes to take effect.

80 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  Reply # 580184 11-Feb-2012 15:18 Send private message

Thanks Publius. Got it sorted now.

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