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5 Crucial SmartPhone Tips

5 Crucial SmartPhone Tips

Most of us are carrying smartphones — powerful and productive devices that do a great deal more than place phone calls. I’ve collected five crucial tips to help you get the most benefit out of yours.

WHAT TO DO

Spend a bit of time with these five tips, and you’ll save a lot of time and aggravation later. I can almost guarantee it.

5 Crucial SmartPhone Tips

1. Protect your phone and your data. Not only will several free apps help you find and track your phone (and make it sound a loud alert) from any web browser, but some will take photos of whomever is accessing your phone and send them to you. Make sure if someone lifts your phone, you know how to get it back.

And in case your phone is lost or damaged, prepare now with a good, automatic backup. Apps like Titanium will let you back up your data to your computer, but those aren’t automatic. Apps like DropSync (for Dropbox) and free services from Google and Verizon will automatically sync your apps and data with backups in cloud storage. One person lost all her files when she went to the store for a battery replacement — an ounce of prevention could pay off in gold one day, depending upon what you store on your phone.

2. Install a Battery Saver. Do you carry your phone all day? Of course you do — and apps like Battery Doctor will help you stop apps, turn off unused services, and keep you from draining your battery.

3. Try a different web browser or email client. Depending upon what you use often or find cumbersome, you might want to try a different browser or email app that is more to your liking. For me, Google’s own Gmail program does what I need, but the Opera browser is faster and handles tabs more elegantly than the one that came with my phone.

4. Replace your home screen. This tip is more aggressive (and time-consuming to get used to), but has proven well worth it for many active users. After months of swiping between screens looking for the app I needed at that moment, I installed everything.me on my Android smartphone on the advice of a friend. Besides the apps waiting in the bottom bar, it offers a second row of apps which changes based upon what I’ve used recently, the time of day, and even where I am. The longer I’ve used it, the better it has learned my regular pattern. [It’s almost scary.] And because it provides folders of other apps (sorted by general topic), it’s rare that I need more than two taps to find the app I’m looking for.

Yahoo has just publicly released their Aviate home screen replacement, which is supposed to do even more of the work for you and provide more information up front — I found it limiting when I tried their beta, but I’m giving that another try as well. If you’re an iPhone user, I know you can find many other recommendations.

5. Use it as an Internet Phone. Finally, remember that smart phones can connect to Internet phone systems (like ours!) if you have a fast, stable wireless network. Wireless networks continue to improve all the time, so while your smartphone may not replace a desk phone at this point, it should be able to support a short business conversation without too many quality issues. If you’d like to try this out, just let me know!

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