In 2016, there are estimated to be 2 billion smartphone users worldwide. Like it or not, smartphones are more than a trend – they are the way many people communicate now. If you’re just making the switch to a smartphone from a flip phone, here are a few steps to follow, to get the most out of your new phone:
1. Jump Into Functions
One of the most exciting things about using a smartphone is the unbelievable amount of useful features that are available to help you connect, create, learn and get where you need to go. From checking your email, calling friends though speed dial, browsing the web, keeping your calendar updated, using GPS to find your way, listening to music or taking high-quality pictures – smartphones aren’t just smarter than the average phone – they’re also more fun.
2. Add New Apps
Aside from the built-in features, adding applications (apps) are where smartphone users can really customize their phone in new ways. To get started, visit Google Play app store and browse around to find out what other Android™ users are downloading. The Editor’s Choice section can give you tips on which apps have been the most popular and why. Check out our must-have apps, and favorite game apps you can use without data. Read some reviews, do some comparison-shopping and start adding those apps!
3. Keep Your Data Safe
Having a smartphone is like carrying around a small computer in your pocket – a computer that has key information about you like passwords, pictures and account details that you don’t want to share with the world, should you misplace your phone. Some of the best tips to keep your data secured and your privacy intact include:
Set a lock screen that self-destructs
Leaving your phone unattended on a desk for a few minutes could lead to someone accessing it to extract lots of vulnerable information. To really keep your data safe from thieves who keep trying new passwords, you can enable a lockscreen feature that erases all data from your smartphone after a preset number of failed attempts. On Android™ phone, use an app like MobileSecure.
Only download trusted apps
Because they require your personal data in order to customize them to your needs, apps can be a target for hackers to try to steal your data. When downloading an app, make sure that all the details of the app come from the original ‘company’ or correct developer. If it’s a popular bank or financial service (PayPal) app that has no rating or comments, chances are it might be fake — and you should be careful about downloading it and logging in. Download an app only if it has been rated many times and has multiple comments.
Enable “Find my phone” feature
Losing your smartphone means more than just losing your means of communication. It can be an incredibly frustrating and expensive experience to ensure that your data is safe – and then to get started with a new smartphone. To help avoid this reality, install an app that can help locate your phone if it’s lost. Some good location apps for Android™ include: Where’s My Droid?, Plan B and Lookout Security and Antivirus. Check out 5 Ways to Keep Your Identity Safe to learn more about smartphone security.
4. Protect your Phone
If you’ve made the investment in a smartphone, you’re going to want to keep it smart. No matter how careful you are, gravity is just stronger than you. You’ll probably drop your phone at least once or twice in the years that you own it. One of the best ways to keep it protected is by getting a solid case.
Even if you don’t care about the occasional scratch or even shattered back, you could also damage one of the buttons on your phone, which would make it much more of a hassle to use than just a few scratches. Also, dropping your phone it will create little nicks and scratches that will lower its resale value. So put a case on that shiny new toy. Luckily, there are lots of options to choose from.
5. Making use of your Touchscreen
If you’ve never used a touchscreen device before, here are a few basics to help you get around:
Tap once: Using one finger, quickly and firmly touch the screen and then lift your finger. Do this to choose a field such as a search box, select an item in a list, open an app, or follow an online link. You will use this gesture most often.
Double-tap: Using one finger, quickly and firmly touch the screen twice. If you are familiar with using a computer, the double-tap is similar to the double-click with the mouse. Use the gesture to zoom in or out.
Long press: Press your finger on the screen and hold it there for a few seconds. Often this results in a menu popping up with options to choose from. The menu will change depending on what you have long pressed on top of.
Flick: Press your finger on the screen and quickly flick your finger in the direction you want the screen to move. This allows you to scroll the screen quickly.
Pinch open: Place your finger and thumb on the screen and spread them apart. The further apart you spread your thumb and finger, the more zoomed-in the screen becomes.
Pinch closed: Place your finger and thumb on the screen already spread out and pull them together. The closer together you pull your thumb and finger, the more zoomed out the screen becomes.
Moving from a flip phone to a smartphone is an exciting prospect. There is so much to use, and also, so much to discover. Enjoy the ease, convenience and accessibility of what your smartphone has to offer – and most importantly, make sure to customize it to make it work for your specific needs.
Check out these posts for more help with your switch:
- Avoid Smartphone Security Risks: 5 Ways to Keep your Identity Safe
- Organizing your Phone: Backing up Pictures and Files to your Computer
- Android Notification Icons