Gone are the days when the only capability of a phone was to make a call; now we carry around multifunctional mini computers that just happen to be able to make phone calls along with acting as our camera, portable GPS system, web browser, MP3 player and so much more.
With so many functions and features, using a smartphone can be a bit daunting at times. Here are a few little tips, tricks and shortcuts to help you make full use of your smartphone.
- Protect battery life. To protect your smartphone’s battery life, reduce the screen’s brightness, set the screen to go blank in fewer seconds; turn off Bluetooth when it’s not needed; disable the Wi-Fi (unless you plan to connect); and download and install a battery-saving app (such as Juice Defender for Android smartphones).
- Dialing 911. For those who have dropped landlines, you should take time to teach your kids how to use your smartphone to dial 911 in case of emergency. In addition, because 911 systems don’t detect locations quickly, teach your children to also provide the 911 operator with the specific emergency location.
- Did you know that even if you don’t have current service on your phone you can still dial 911 in emergency situations? Keep an old charged phone in your car.
- Track your phone. Companies are starting to add a function built in to your iPhone, iPad, and other mobile devices that sends a signal allowing you to identify the location of a smartphone, if it is lost or stolen. In addition, you can call and lock your lost or stolen phone to protect its contents and many of these applications have a remote wipe feature, which allows you to wipe all data off your device remotely.
- Traveling abroad. When traveling abroad, if possible, you should deactivate roaming to avoid roaming fees (which can be excessive), deactivate any push apps, and set your email from auto-check to manual. Thereafter, connecting to a free (secure) Wi-Fi to download your email and voice mail most likely will save you money.
- Airplane mode. An alternative to deactivating roaming is to keep your smartphone in Airplane Mode (unless you need to make or receive calls); otherwise, you may be charged excessive international fees any time someone calls you or leaves a voice mail.
- Take a picture instead of notes. As a conclusion to a successful brainstorming meeting, take a picture of the whiteboard using your smartphone camera before you leave the room.
- Remember where you parked. When parking at an airport or large mall, use your smartphone’s camera to take a picture of the parking space number to help you remember where you parked. The same goes for your hotel room number.
- Text shortcut. On the IPhone, hit the space bar twice at the end of your sentence. You get a period, a space, and a capitalized letter at the beginning of the next word.