With all the new features of smart phones, it’s time to learn how to get the most from your device. Try these simple smart phone tips and hacks to save time, money and make your life easier.
Smart phones are quickly replacing desktops, laptops, and tablets as the go-to technology device. The latest iPhone and Androids not only allow you to make calls and send texts, but can also work as your alarm clock, camera, video and audio recorder, computer and even personal assistant. With the average price of a smart phone $363 and some much more, it makes sense to get the most out of your investment with these tips.
Save Battery Life
Video and graphic friendly apps such as FaceTime and Google Maps can drain the battery life of your smart phone. To preserve the battery, go to the phone’s ‘Settings’ and turn down the screen brightness, close applications after use and don’t use the phone while charging. If you need to charge a phone quickly, switch to ‘Airplane Mode’ in ‘Settings’; it will cut the charging time in half.
Reduce Data Usage and Your Cell Phone Bill
Exceeding your data plan can be expensive. With an iPhone, you can monitor data usage by going to ‘Settings’ and ‘Cellular’ giving you a breakdown on what apps are using up your data. One smart phone hack is to turn Cellular Data off which restricts your data to Wi-Fi. Another popular tip to reduce data usage is making sure you are connected to your home or office Wi-Fi when using your phone in those locations.
Save Time with Shortcuts
Save time by adding shortcuts to the things that you do frequently on your iPhone, such as calling a certain person, viewing the weather or setting your alarm clock. Go to ‘Settings,’ ’Siri & Search’ and then ‘All Shortcuts’. You will see suggestions for things that you do frequently. Tap the appropriate listed phrase such as “Call Mom,’ then you will be prompted to record that phrase. After you do this, Siri can use it to tell your phone to run that shortcut.
Record Better Audio
Like to record concerts and other live events with your smart phone but hate getting the crowd noise? Improve the audio recording by covering the phone mic while recording. By doing so, you muffle the background noise, so you can more clearly hear the main audio stream.
Prevent Unwanted Calls & Text Notifications
iPhone users can prevent calls and texts from being a distraction. Go to ‘Settings’ and turn on ‘Do Not Disturb.’ Don’t want to be awaken at night by calls and text notifications? You can schedule a set time range for ‘Do Not ‘Disturb.’ During that time, your screen dims, calls will be silenced, and notifications appear in the Notification Center until the ‘Do Not Disturb’ ends. If you still want calls by certain people – say your spouse, your kids or a client to go through, simply set up their contact numbers on your phone as a ‘Favorite.’ Then, going back into ‘Settings’ and ‘Do Not Disturb,’ scroll down to ‘Allow Calls From’ and tap ‘’Favorites.’ You now won’t miss that important or emergency call.
Next time you misplace your glasses and are struggling to read the screen, try this smart phone hack to increase the type. With an Android device, go to ‘Settings,’ then to the ‘Display’ heading. From the ‘Display’ menu, tap the font size link to change the default font size or select the display size link to make on-screen objects appear larger or smaller. For iPhone users, go to ‘’Settings,’ ‘Display & Brightness,’ ‘Text Size’ and push the button up or down to increase the font. Another hack to make your iPhone work as reading glasses is to go to ‘Settings,’ ‘Control Center,’ then add the ‘Magnifier’ to ‘Custom Controls.’ With your finger, push up the bar at the bottom of your phone. Tap the magnifier and hold up to any text you want to read to enlarge the type.
You can use your smart phone to help remember where you parked. Simply take a picture of your space and pull it up in Photos when you return to your car. Also, use your smart phone to take a photo of a recipe and you’ll have a convenient shopping list to take to the store.
If you are lending your smart phone to someone but don’t want them accessing your information, you can use a hack called ‘screen pinning’ with an Android device. ‘Pinning’ one app to the screen means that the user can only use that app unless the lock screen code is entered. Open ‘Settings,’ then the ‘Security’ menu, ‘Enable Screen Pinning’ and launch the app the borrower needs to use. Then open ‘Overview’ by tapping the square navigation button below the phone screen. You should see a thumbtack icon (in the lower right-hand corner on the app window). Tap the thumbtack to pin that app to the screen.
To keep your phone secure, you need to enter a PIN code or fingerprint scan to unlock it. If you are tired of having to enter the code every time you want to use an app, use the Google Smart Lock feature on an Android device. From ‘Settings,’ tap ‘Security’ and then ‘Smart Lock.’ This will disable the lock screen when you are at home or another secure place.
You can read more smart phones tips and hacks below.