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Top smartphone tips and tricks to enhance your experience

By : Hemanth Balaji   /  

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Sure, you know how to use your phone to get you to the restaurant that you’re meeting your blind date at and sure you can navigate your phone to find out when the last train home is before making the quick dash from the bar to the station only to see you’ve actually missed it, but aside from these small wonders, there are some hidden gems that you’re probably not aware of which can make full use of your phones capabilities and in some cases enhance your experience with your phone. It’s time to discover these top smartphone hacks.

How to make your battery last longer

Make your phone battery last longer

We’ve all been there, standing in the rain trying to call your partner to lovingly ask to be collected and brought back into the warmth of your own home, only for your battery to give up on you.

Find out what app is draining your battery

You may have all your favourite apps downloaded and ready for use whenever needed, but when laying dormant, these apps could well be draining your battery (if you did not correctly close them, and come on, how many of us close apps correctly?!). However, a top tip is a simple one; close each app after you are done with it. You may think that your apps are not draining your battery, but did you know, on iOS 8 and above, there is a simple tool in your settings which will show you exactly what apps are guilty of taking your precious battery and once you identify the heavy hitters, you’ll be sure to close these moving forward (you can also access this information on Android smartphones). To see exactly how much battery usage each app is taking, navigate to, Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage on iPhones and for Androids go to, Settings > Battery and on some devices you will be shown a list of apps and percentage of battery life they are using; if you do not see a list of apps then simply tap Battery Usage to see this information. 

Find out what app is draining your battery

Tone down the brightness

Those vibrant colours popping off your screen are lovely yes, however these are draining your battery so the simple solution, turn down the brightness of your screen when you are not actually looking at your phone. To do this, simply visit Settings > Display & Brightness turn down the brightness. There is a quicker way to change the brightness, depending on your phone, either swipe up from the bottom of the screen, or swipe down from the top to see the phones control centre and adjust the brightness here.

Switch off connections that drain your battery

Having your Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Location Services on when your phone is sitting beside you on your desk at work or in your pocket is certainly bringing down the percentage of your remaining battery’s life. Unless being connected to Wi-Fi is a must, then why not switch this and a variety of connections off. Below we’ve collated those connections which can be switched off to conserve battery.

For iPhone users: 

  1. Settings > Wi-Fi > Off.

  2. Settings > Bluetooth > Off.

  3. Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Off.

  4. Settings > General > Cellular > Enable 3G > Off.

  5. Settings > General > Cellular > Enable LTE > Off.

  6. Settings > Sounds > Vibrate on Ring & Silent > Off.

For Android users: 

  1. Navigate to your settings (on most devices, simply swipe the screen from the top to the bottom to display your setting options) > Wi-Fi > Tap to switch off. 

  2. Navigate to your settings (on most devices, simply swipe the screen from the top to the bottom to display your setting options) > GPS > Tap to switch off. 

Manually checking your inbox saves battery life

We know the urge to be instantly informed of new emails dropping into your inbox so you don’t miss out on anything important, but why not manually check your emails? Having your phone constantly connected to your inbox refreshing itself to alert you of any new emails exhausts the battery of your phone. For iPhone users to turn of this feature and save some juice, visit Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calenders > Fetch New Data and turn this off. 

Manually check emails to save battery life

And there you have it folks, simple solutions to keep your phone daily lifespan last a little bit longer. If you find your battery still is running out quickly, perhaps it's time for a free battery health check on your phone. Find your nearest store here and have a full diagnosis performed on your battery on us. If you find our tips have improved your battery life, let's now delve into the world of tips and tricks for the iPhone and Androids.

Enhance your experience 

Snooze the tunes

Are you listening to music when you get into bed only to nod off without switching your music off? Did you know there is a timer just like you would find on TV’s to switch off your music when you’re catching some quality shut eye. For iPhone users to set this, navigate to Clock > Timer > When Timer End, when here, scroll down and tap on Stop Playing and set a suitable timer and then hit start. Now you can play your music and it will turn off after the defined time.

If you are using an Android, there is a neat tool that will automatically turn your music off. On your music player, find the More button (usually located at the top) and click this, you should then see a list of options, from here navigation to Settings. From the settings options, you will see 'Music Auto Off' select this option and here is where you can set your timer for your music to automatically turn off and save your battery. 

Set timer on your iPhone

Cap the app

It’s only the second week of the month, yet your data limit is almost in sight. There’s no need to stop checking your news feed on Facebook, or the activity on Instagram on your journey into work. Instead, decide on what apps are not essential and should be accessed only when on a Wi-Fi connection to save some data on your device. iPhone users should go to Settings > Mobile Data and app by app decide on what app can be saved for accessing only when on Wi-Fi. Android users should visit their Settings and tap Data usage. Once here scroll down to see a list of your apps, for those you wish to restrict, tap the name of the app and select 'Restrict app background data'.

Turn off apps to save data

Get visiting and emailing faster

Let’s all be honest, when was the last time you fully typed in a regular contacts email address? You haven’t because we’re used to using a shortcut in the form of the contacts email address pop up after typing in the first few letters of their name. Your iPhone also has a secret shortcut which will get you to the website you’re looking to visit with speed and precision. Save precious time by simply holding down the full stop icon whilst typing the address which brings up a shortcut series of suffixes.

Capture the perfect photograph 

Thought the only way to take a picture on your phone was tapping the button on screen? Nope. There is a fantastic trick that allows you to snap by using your volume control buttons on the side of your phone. No longer will you need to try to keep a steady hand and navigate to the capture button at the same time. You can also use this same method of hitting the volume button on a pair of connected headphones. This same method works for both iPhones and Androids.

How to take the perfect photograph hands free

Alternate your shooting directions in Panoramic mode on iPhones

Hidden away in the iPhone panoramic mode is an option which allows you to switch the shooting direction from left to right or right to left, ensuring you’ve got every chance of shooting the perfect wide shot. Tap the arrow icon when in the panoramic mode and choose your movement direction.

Changing panoramic direction on your iphone

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Turn off preview messages from appearing on your screen

Do you leave your iPhone lying around a lot of the time and sometimes have private messages come through that you’d rather not everyone be able to read? There is a simple solution to prevent this, turn off message previews. To do so, go to Settings > Notifications > Messages > Show Preview and switch this functionality off.

With all this extra knowledge of what your phone can do for you, do you feel like a phone Jedi? We hope you do! But don’t stop there with this power and knowledge, share what you’ve learnt here with friends and family to let them fully utilise their phones. The majority of guided steps we have provided work on all iOS versions and Android phones, however some newer versions may be slightly different.

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