Just bought a shiny new smartphone? Or maybe you’ve had your device for a while. Either way, you’ll want to know how to get the most out of your mobile. But this goes way beyond picking the best wallpaper and downloading your favorite tunes to use as a ringtone. It means fully utilizing your phone — for work, for play and for everything in between. So, how can you get started? Though it may seem daunting at first, that’s why we’re here to help. Read on to discover how to own your smartphone as well as some of the things you shouldn’t do.
Optimizing Your Phone for Maximum Performance
As you get used to your phone, you’ll discover all its loveable quirks. That includes key aspects like speed, power and battery life. After a while (or right away), you may notice that your battery doesn’t last as you’d like or that your phone seems a bit slow when browsing. You can’t have that. But is there anything you can do? Absolutely. While these aspects of performance may seem dependent on the manufacturer and the general quality of the phone, there are quick and simple things you can do to optimize your device.
If you want your smartphone to work even smarter, you’ve got to do some spring cleaning on your apps. That means digging deep into your system settings and finding all those preinstalled apps you don’t need — that’s bloatware, and it should be banished from your life. If you’ve already done that, look through your apps and determine what’s essential. Do you need that fitness app from your 2014 New Year’s resolution? Chances are you don’t. If it’s not essential, go ahead and delete it. You’ll find your phone runs smoother and efficient without it.
You can also increase your phone’s battery life in several ways. Turning off the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and other battery-sucking vampires will have a much more significant effect than you may think. Since you don’t need these features 24/7, it won’t hurt to go without them for a while. Turning down your brightness, using your battery-saving mode and turning off some of your notifications (we mean you, Facebook!) will also help exponentially.
Harnessing the Power of Your Smartphone at Work
Having a smartphone can make your work life run much smoother. One study from Claremont University found that smartphone usage at work is beneficial to both employees and employers, increasing communication, education and even a culture of modernity. So, how can you hop on the bandwagon?
Fortunately, there’s an app for that. Quite a few apps, truthfully. While you shouldn’t go downloading workplace apps willy-nilly (as this can erase all the work of getting rid of the bloatware), there are a few you should consider while in the office. For example, the MailTracker app for iPhone sends you a notification as soon as your emails are read. You’ll know who has the information you’ve sent out and when they received it.
If you’re easily distracted at work, download an app like Focus Lock. This useful application for Android allows you to block out notifications from apps, which take your attention away from the task at hand. You can even set a timer to start receiving notifications again, when you want, too. That’s real power! The list of workplace apps goes on and on. Depending on your job, however, they may or may not be right for you — so do your research to determine their usefulness.
Need some ideas for apps to increase your performance? Check out Thomas Frank’s “10 Most Essential Apps for Productivity.”
Utilizing Your Smartphone for Recreation
Of course, all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. And you don’t want to be a dull boy, do you? You don’t have to be when you use your smartphone for recreation. There are a million ways to do this, and there’s sure to be a method out there that suits your madness. If you’re a 4G-gaming fiend, you’re not alone. Statista reports that there are over 64 million smartphone gamers in North America alone. Your device isn’t just for work!
We’re not only talking about Candy Crush here either, although that is a viable option. You can play all sorts of games on your smartphone. Relax with Viridi, the gardening game that allows you to tend a pot of adorable succulents whenever you have the time. This game is much simpler than nursing actual succulents, and it’s sure to put you in a state of Zen before the big meeting. If you’re looking to rev up your engine for a few hours of fun, download the latest Clash of Clans (or other games of its ilk) and get to conquering the neighborhood. You’ll make friends, enemies and become entranced with the scenery of this dynamic world.
Of course, not all recreational smartphone activities are created equal. If you want even more excitement in your life, try playing some online bingo. Once relegated to the dusty halls of the past, this sport is reemerging like a Phoenix from the ashes — and you should take advantage when playtime comes around. Download a mobile bingo app like the one from Wink Bingo, which offers convenience, accessibility and especially mobile compatibility. New players can play for free while they learn the game, and seasoned bingo superstars will enjoy 75-ball, 90-ball and 5-line bingo as well as some fantastic promotions and gaming rewards.
What to Avoid on the Little Screen
Now that you know how to make the most of your mobile, you’ll need to know how to avoid the worst. Unfortunately, the wonderful world of smartphones is plagued by pitfalls, and you don’t want to fall down the rabbit hole of mistakes. So, what should you not do? Well, there are several things that will wreak havoc on your productivity and pleasure.
The first is letting security slide for the sake of convenience. Don’t forget to set a password for your little pal as well as install proper virus protection and verify all your apps. Never store personal or sensitive information like your social security or PIN number on your phone. It will save you a lot of heartbreak in the future.
You should also avoid neglecting your app and phone updates. It may seem like a hassle to deny yourself access to the digital world for the few minutes or hours it will take for your updates to install, but that doesn’t mean you should keep putting it off. Updates enhance your phone’s performance and allow it to run smoothly, so give them a chance.
Lastly, keep track of everything you have stored on your smartphone. Know which apps you use and how much data and battery life they cost you. That way, you won’t have to launch a days-long investigation when your phone starts running out of battery quickly or runs out of storage space. You’ll already know what’s causing it because you’ve kept track the whole time!
Remember, your smartphone has incredible potential to help you — and potential to frustrate you, expose you to security risks and take up a lot of your valuable time. So, make sure you follow these steps and get to know your mobile inside and out. You’re only a few steps away from being an intelligent smartphone user, so go ahead and get started.