20 fast methods to dial up your smartphone recreation

This story has been up to date. It was initially revealed on October 19, 2019.

Whereas we would pull out and examine our smartphones dozens (or a whole bunch) of occasions a day, we’re extra prone to be checking social media feeds than tweaking settings which may enhance our expertise.

Take the time to make your life higher and simpler with these helpful hints for Android and iOS. Every will solely take a few minute, and you are able to do them whereas ready on your practice, throughout some downtime at lunch, or everytime you’ve bought a spare second. By the point you’ve labored by means of all of them, you’ll discover your telephone extra customized, extra environment friendly, and extra enjoyable to make use of.

1. Filter previous pictures

In case you’re utilizing Google Images (on Android or iOS) or iCloud Images (on iOS) to again up your footage and movies to the cloud, you’ll be able to clear the native copies off your telephone and unlock some severe cupboard space. In Google Images, faucet your profile image (prime proper), then select Unencumber house.

For iCloud Images, open the Settings app, faucet your identify on the prime of the display screen, choose iCloud, then Images, and activate the toggle change subsequent to iCloud Images. Your telephone will solely delete native copies if it is aware of you’ve already bought backups within the cloud.

2. Tidy up your property screens

Android and iOS handle dwelling display screen icons fairly in a different way: iOS sticks to regimented rows and columns, whereas Android provides you far more freedom. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to tidy up your sprawl of icons on each working techniques by dragging them into folders.

Simply press and maintain on an icon, then drag it on prime of one other to create a folder. (On iOS, a menu will seem and also you’ll have to pick out Edit House Display earlier than you’ll be able to transfer something, although it’s also possible to press and maintain on an empty space of the display screen to unlock the flexibility to maneuver issues round.) Faucet to open the folder and you’ll rename it no matter you want—perhaps Social, Productiveness, or Video games. Your property screens ought to now be simpler to navigate.

3. Prioritize your widgets

Widgets offer you useful at-a-glance info and prompt entry to numerous apps—you will get the climate forecast, visitors circumstances, or the search bar for a particular app, for instance. On Android, you’ll be able to faucet and maintain on a clean a part of the house display screen, then select Widgets to see the widgets accessible out of your apps.

It’s barely completely different in iOS, the place you’ll be able to add widgets to your property display screen or the At this time View (one swipe proper from the house display screen). From the house display screen, press and maintain on a clean space, then faucet the plus icon within the prime left nook to decide on widgets. From the At this time View, scroll to the underside of the checklist and faucet Edit to pick out the shortcuts and panels you’ll have entry to.

4. Entry key options sooner

Each Android and iOS allow you to pull up panels full of icons for telephone options you would possibly use usually, just like the flashlight or airplane mode. On Android, this panel known as Fast Settings, and on iOS it’s the Management Middle.

[Related: 24 iPhone settings that feel like secrets]

These shortcuts could be actually helpful, however you don’t should accept the default choice and structure. On Android, open the Fast Settings drawer with a three-finger drag down from the highest of the display screen, then faucet the pencil icon (backside left) to start out customizing. On iOS, open Settings, then go to Management Middle to make edits—faucet the plus and minus icons so as to add or take away controls and drag the three strains to the appropriate of every function to rearrange them.

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5. Sort to your digital assistant

Ask Siri no matter you need with out shouting it to the world. David Nield

In case you’re in a library or at a bus cease, you don’t essentially need to ask questions out loud to Siri and the Google Assistant, however you’ll be able to choose to sort them as an alternative. That is really fairly easy on Android: from your property display screen, faucet the coloured dots on the backside, then the keyboard icon. In case you sort one thing to the Google Assistant, it’ll routinely reply quietly.

Siri requires a bit extra configuration. From Settings go to Accessibility, Siri, and activate Sort to Siri. In case you don’t need Siri to audibly communicate again, select the choice under to solely enable voice suggestions With Silent Mode off or Solely with “Hey Siri”.

6. Quiet noisy notifications

If an app is distracting you greater than you’d like, you don’t should put up with it. If you understand the place to search for them, each Android and iOS have advanced to have some pretty superior notification administration options.

These of you on Android might want to head to Settings, select Apps & notifications, and faucet on a specific app to regulate its notification settings. On iOS, head to Settings, then contact Notifications. Choose an app from the checklist to vary the best way it notifies you, or to show alerts off for it altogether.

7. Get some peace at evening

Talking of muting notifications, you’ll be able to arrange a Do Not Disturb window on your bedtime, which implies no vibrating telephones or loud alerts will wake you up in the midst of the evening. Notifications will nonetheless come by means of, however they are going to achieve this silently.

On Android, head to Settings, then Sound & vibration, and Do Not Disturb. On iOS, from Settings decide Focus, adopted by Do Not Disturb. In each circumstances you’ll be able to set particular occasions for Do Not Disturb to allow and disable itself. You can even enable calls and notifications from particular contacts if you happen to suppose they may want to succeed in you in an emergency.

8. Use your smartphone responsibly

Android and iOS each allow you to set timers on particular apps that will help you use them responsibly and get some form of steadiness between your telephone and your actual life. These timers are simple to override, however you would possibly discover them to be useful aids to your (typically weak) willpower.

In case you’re utilizing Android, decide Digital Wellbeing & parental controls from Settings, then faucet Dashboard, and faucet the hourglass subsequent to every app to set a each day restrict on it. On iOS, open Settings and choose Display Time, then faucet App Limits to start out setting restrictions.

9. Acknowledge folks by their ringtone

Assume rapidly—your telephone is ringing from the opposite aspect of the room; do you stand up from that amazingly comfy place in your sofa and take some time to know who it’s? Or do you let it ring? You gained’t have to go away the consolation of your sofa ever once more. It’s potential to assign distinctive ringtones and textual content alerts to particular contacts in your telephone, so that you’ll know with out trying whether or not the individual attempting to succeed in you is somebody you need to communicate to or not.

[Related: How to make a custom ringtone on Android and iOS]

On Android, you’ll be able to handle this from the Contacts app by tapping on a contact, then tapping the menu button (three dots, prime proper), and selecting Set ringtone. To set customized textual content message sounds, you’ll really must go to the Messages app, open a dialog, then faucet the menu button, Particulars, and Notifications. On iOS, open Contacts, then select a contact and choose Edit. Subsequent, scroll all the way down to Ringtone and Textual content Tone to make modifications.

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10. Get your telephone to flash

In case your telephone tends to get misplaced at the hours of darkness depths of your bag or backpack, it may be helpful to have its rear digital camera flash mild up if you get a name or a textual content. That is fairly simple to do on iOS. From Settings, decide Accessibility, Audio/Visible, and LED Flash for Alerts.

It’s a bit extra difficult on Android, although. Some Android telephones, like Samsung and LG handsets, have the choice in Settings—go to Accessibility and Listening to to search out it. Different Android telephones don’t, however a free app akin to Flash Alerts will do the job for you.

11. Velocity up your typing

How to register macros on an Android phone.
Why sort a whole sentence when your smartphone can do it for you? David Nield

If there are phrases you all the time end up saying and typing—”see you quickly” or “I’m on my approach!”—you’ll be able to set textual content macros in your telephone. When you do, simply sort in two or three letters, and your telephone will broaden them to a full phrase.

In case you’re an Android person, open Settings and choose System, Languages & enter, Superior, and Private dictionary. On iOS, you’ll must go to Settings and decide Normal, Keyboard, and Textual content Substitute.

12. Use the keyboard with one hand

On the subject of keyboards, you need to use your telephone extra simply with one hand by switching to the aptly named one-handed mode. That is significantly useful if you happen to’re attempting to wrestle with a telephone that has a big display screen.

With the Android Gboard keyboard on display screen, press and maintain on the comma, then drag up and to the appropriate to the one-handed mode icon. Use the arrow icon to change sides, and the broaden icon to return the keyboard to regular. With the iOS keyboard, press and maintain on the globe icon after which decide the left or proper possibility. While you’re performed, the arrow icon will take you again to the conventional mode.

13. Take pictures when you’re filming video

Have you ever ever needed to take a snapshot of a second when you’re recording a video? Possibly you desire a thumbnail for instance the video later if you add to the online, otherwise you simply see one thing framed in a cool approach and need to seize it.

[Related: Your phone’s camera does so much more than take pictures]

Android will do that for you routinely. File your video, and if you’re completed, open it by tapping the gallery icon on the appropriate aspect of the shutter button. The video’s timeline will seem below it, and also you’ll discover a handful of dots over it. Faucet the dots to see the chosen frames Android selected for you, and if you happen to like them, faucet Export HDR shot to reserve it as a photograph. 

On iOS, if you’re recording video within the default digital camera app, you’ll see a white shutter button to the left of the massive purple video recording one—faucet it to take an image.

14. Hyperlink to web sites from the house display screen

If there are web sites you’re all the time opening up (perhaps your favourite information or sports activities web site), you’ll be able to pin shortcuts to those web sites onto your telephone’s dwelling display screen. It will make opening the positioning so simple as launching an app.

In Chrome for Android, you are able to do this by tapping the menu button (three dots, prime proper) and selecting Add to House display screen. In Safari on iOS, you’ll must faucet the share button (an arrow popping out of a field), then decide Add to House Display.

15. Mirror your telephone display screen

The iOS Control Center with Screen Mirroring and other tools.
What an excellent larger display screen? Have your telephone display screen displayed in your Apple TV. David Nield

Generally it may be helpful to get your telephone display screen up on a giant display screen. Each Android and iOS can do that, however they use completely different platforms.

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On Android, open Fast Settings with a three-finger drag down from the highest of the display screen, then swipe left and select Display Solid—you’ll be able to then mirror the show to any Chromecast gadget. On iOS, open Management Middle by dragging down from the highest proper nook of the display screen (or up from the underside in case your telephone has a House button) and tapping Display Mirroring (two overlapping rectangles)—right here you need to use any AirPlay-enabled gadget, akin to an Apple TV.

16. Change to a darkish theme

The most recent variations of Android (Android 11) and iOS (iOS 15) embody system-wide darkish modes you need to use if you wish to give your eyes a relaxation, or if you happen to suppose the darker mode seems to be cooler than the lighter one.

In case you’re on Android 11, go to Settings, then faucet on Accessibility and Darkish theme. In the meantime, on iOS 15, you’ll want to move to Show & Brightness in Settings after which choose Darkish.

17. Get your battery to last more

Each Android and iOS have battery administration modes that kick in when the battery is low. They limit the variety of apps that may run within the background, scale back the variety of occasions apps can examine for updates, and apply numerous different tweaks that’ll make your battery last more. What you may not know is that you just don’t have to attend till your telephone is dying on you—can activate these modes manually.

[Related: Extend your phone’s battery life with these 4 easy steps]

You can begin limiting battery use everytime you like, even when your battery is at 75 p.c. On Android, head to Settings, then Battery and Battery Saver. On iOS, open up Settings, then select Battery and toggle on Low Energy Mode.

18. Make textual content simpler to learn

In case you’re struggling to learn the textual content that exhibits up in your telephone display screen, don’t fear—your telephone features a setting to spice up the textual content dimension throughout your whole apps and the cell working system itself.

In case you’re an Android person, open Settings, then head to Show, Superior, and Font dimension. In case you’re on iOS, you’ll must go to Settings, then decide Accessibility, Show & Textual content Dimension, and Bigger Textual content. As you make changes, they’ll be previewed on display screen.

19. Don’t let your telephone disrupt your sleep

Each Android and iOS embody choices to cut back the quantity of blue mild your telephone show emits. Blue mild has been related to blocking the melatonin chemical that helps regulate our sleep, so the extra you expose your self to it, the more serious you’ll sleep.

It’s a good suggestion to show your display screen a hotter shade late at evening to stop this. On Android, drag down with three fingers from the highest of the display screen, then faucet the Night time Gentle button on the Fast Settings panel. On iOS, open Settings, then faucet Show & Brightness and Night time Shift.

20. In case of emergency

Lastly, ensure that your telephone’s emergency particulars are updated—these may come in useful within the unlucky occasion you’re injured and somebody must know who to name. These particulars embody info akin to your identify, blood sort, meals allergic reactions, age, emergency contacts, and whether or not or not you’re an organ donor.

With Android, open Settings, then decide About telephone and Emergency info. On iOS, you’ll must open up the Well being app, faucet your avatar within the prime proper nook, then faucet Medical ID. You can even select to make this knowledge accessible from the lock display screen of your telephone, so anybody can see it.