Smartphones are more advanced than ever. They’re packed with tons of features, like front- and rear-facing cameras, heart rate monitors, fingerprint screen lock, and access to apps galore. For some, there’s a strong learning curve that accompanies the highly sophisticated smartphones of today. Although, most devices are user-friendly enough to warrant ample praise for usability.
Even if you’re a tech-savvy smartphone user, you probably don’t know every tip and hack in the book to get the most from your device. We’ve compiled this 5 most useful smartphone tricks to solve common problems. There’s plenty of tips to help you use your device in new ways. This comprehensive list will change your relationship with your smartphone.
1. Disable background data for your non-essential apps.
“Many apps run in the background, even when you’re not using them. This makes sense for things like email and social media, where you might want to know the minute you get a new message or comment, but do you really need your games, notes, and music players gobbling up battery resources 24/7?
“With iOS, you can turn off background data on an app-by-app basis. Go to Settings—>General—>Background App Refresh, and select apps to turn off.
“With Android, you can “restrict background data” for each app. Go to Settings—>Data usage. Tap on your app of choice, then scroll to the bottom to restrict background data on cellular networks. (Note that this setting can also save you from accidentally going over your data plan threshold.)”
2. Don’t use your smartphone while charging it.
“Ever wondered why phone manufacturers make such short charging cables? Do they want to save money? No, the answer is — They don’t want you to use the phone while charging. Yes, they discourage the idea of simultaneously charging and using it, as it reduces battery life to a large extent. Most phones run on Li-ion batteries and these batteries have a limited charge cycle after which they need to be replaced.”
3. Back-up your data to avoid losing photos, videos, and other important information.
“A friend of mine recently took her phone back to the store for a replacement battery and the technician ended up deleting all her photos and contacts through an inadvertent factory re-set. Make sure you use one of the many cloud services (Verizon customers can use Verizon Cloud) to sync and store all your important photos, media, contacts, and even text messages.”
4. Download memory management software.
“Users can download and install memory management software for free or a very low cost to use on their smartphones. These programs restore memory lost by defragmenting the hard drive or performing a recovery to find the lost information. Defragmentation also helps the Android run faster and this can even be done while using the phone. Once the software is installed, users can click on the app at any time to run the program and free up some memory. These software apps also provide other features for users to help them stay on top of their memory usage.”
5. Capture something important or entertaining.
“Your friend just made a hilarious typo in a text message and you want to share it with your other friends. Capture it as an image with a screenshot.
“On an iPhone, press and hold the Home button along with the Sleep/Wake button. You should hear a shutter click. The screenshot will appear in your Camera Roll or Saved Photos section.
“On Androids, hold the Power and Volume Down buttons at the same time. The image is saved to the “Captured Images” folder in your Gallery app. That only works in Android 4.0 and higher, though. For Android 3.0, 2.3 or earlier, use an app like AirDroid.
“Once you have the image, share it to your favorite social media site or through email.”