Tips For Getting the Most Out of Your Smartphone
Whether you’re a professional event planner or just an on-the-go consumer, smartphones are essential to getting your work done. But are you really getting the most out of yours?
Smartphone battery life has improved over the years, but many people still struggle to get through a day on one charge. Luckily, most phones have built-in features that can help.
1. Take Better Photos
Whether for work, fun, or keeping track of family and friends, your smartphone is an indispensable tool. But there’s much more that goes into a smartphone than meets the eye. It has a lot of hidden features and shortcuts that you can use to get more out of your device.
1. Take Better Photos
You can easily make a smartphone into a great camera by simply taking better photos. Smartphone cameras are getting incredibly smart, with features like Portrait mode, which creates a professional-looking photo by blurring the background.
2. Avoid Using Flash
The flash on most smartphones can cause your subject to look overexposed and negatively affect colors. Instead, try to capture your subject in natural light, even after dark. You can also play with shadows in your favorite editing app to create a more interesting composition.
3. Use the Grid Feature
Most smartphones have a grid feature that can help you frame your shots more carefully. This will allow you to follow the rule of thirds, which suggests that you should aim for points of interest at places where the lines intersect.
2. Turn Off Unwanted Notifications
Whether it’s an email from the boss or a notification that Facebook has “forgotten” one of your memories, incoming alerts are often intrusive and distracting. Worse, they can also lead to unproductive habits. You’re better off turning them off whenever possible, unless the alert is essential.
Thankfully, most smartphones give you the option to block notifications from apps completely or to mute them when the phone is in Do Not Disturb mode. And if you want to get even more aggressive, some apps let you set unique sounds for each individual notification, so you can tell at a glance if it’s something you need to address immediately or not.
Android’s latest update, Nougat, gives you a lot of power over notifications. Just swipe down on the Notification Shade and long-press an app’s icon to bring up a menu with the option to nix it through settings. The instructions for older versions of the OS, like Jelly Bean, are a little more complicated. If a notification keeps popping up, you’ll need to find the app in your list of apps and tap the cog symbol (i) on its icon to open the app management screen.
3. Manage Your Data
Having a data-limited mobile phone plan can still allow you to use the full capabilities of your device, but only if you manage your usage properly. Using built-in tools and apps to monitor your data usage is the best way to keep an eye on how much you are using and to get alerts when you’re close to going over your data limit.
Some of your most data-consuming apps may be social media and email, so you’ll want to disable push notifications, synchronize only over Wi-Fi and set up reminders for events that you don’t need your phone to notify you of. You can also stream and download content with lower resolution options to help reduce your data usage.
You can further manage your data with your device’s Low Data Mode, which pauses background and automatic updates when you’re not on Wi-Fi. You can even set up your device to only update when connected to Wi-Fi, so that you never exceed your data limit. The tips and tricks outlined above can help you make the most of your smartphone without blowing up your data plan.
5. Manage Your Storage
Smartphones today have smaller storage capacities than they used to, and it’s common to run out of space. Getting hit with that “your storage is full” notification is no fun, especially when you’re about to take a picture or download an app. Fortunately, there are ways to fix that without having to upgrade your phone.
Most smartphones have built-in tools for clearing data and reducing overall storage usage. For example, the Android OS has a feature called Storage and Device Care that will show you how much space your apps are taking up, along with a list of miscellaneous files and folders — like screenshots or app caches — and their overall storage usage.
It’s a great idea to check these areas on your smartphone regularly, particularly the downloads folder, to clear out old PDFs, restaurant menus or energy bills that you might not even need anymore. Not only will this free up space, but it’ll also make your phone run faster.