Smartphone Tips

This site is designed specifically for viewing on smartphones.

Don't let your phone be smarter than you are. Use these tips and tricks to be the smart one. Learn how to do things quicker. Uncover new uses you didn't know about.

 

Android Tips

Customze the Home Screen

Press down on any open space in the home screen and a personalize menu will open with various options, For example, select a Widget, App, or Shortcut to add to the home screen.

You can also customize your Android phone’s background. Press the menu button and select the Wallpaper option. Follow the directions to select images from your phone’s camera, images loaded onto your phone, or a default wallpaper.

How to Customize Everything

Press the menu button and choose "Settings". A list of various settings will appear. Take a look and configure to suit your personal usage.

Personalize Rings and Alarms

Go to the Personalize menu and choose "Ringtone". A selection of ringtones will be shown. Tap the one you want and tap "Apply".

To add your own mp3, create a folder on your SD card called "ringtones" and put your file there. You can do the same for alarm sounds and notifications by using folders named "alarms" and "notifications," respectively.

How to Block Unwanted Callers

Add the unwanted caller’s number to your contacts. Then open the profile for that number, press Menu, tap Options, and you'll see the Send to Voicemail option. Choose that option, and calls from this number won’t ring on your phone. The number hasn't been totally blocked but it has been rerouted where it won't bother you.

Stop the phone from tracking you

Location tracking can be useful but not everybody wants Google to know everywhere they go. Turning off location tracking is done by disabling wireless networking. Go to "Settings > Location and Security" and uncheck "Use Wireless Networks".

Recently Viewed Sites

You can get a list of the websites you have recently viewed by holding down the back button while your browser is up.

How to import Contacts

The easiest way is to import to Gmail. Convert Outlook (or other email software) contacts to CSV format and import.

Default Keyboard Shortcuts

If your Android smartphone comes with a physical keypad, there are some handy keyboard shortcuts.

Quick Launch

  • Search + B = Browser
  • Search + C = Contacts
  • Search + E (or) G = Email (or) Gmail
  • Search + M = Maps
  • Search + S = Messaging

With the Browser

  • Menu + B = Bookmarks
  • Menu + W = New Window
  • Menu + R = Refresh or Stop page load
  • Menu + F = Find on Page
  • Menu + J (or) K = Navigate Backword (or) Forward

With Maps

  • Menu + D = Directions
  • Menu + M = Change Map Mode
  • Menu + O = My Location

 

iPhone Tips

Create Icon for Any Website

Do you regularly visit websites that don’t offer their own app? You can easily add a one-touch shortcut for any webpage to your homescreen in the iPhone’s Safari browser. Visit the page in Safari and tap the Go To icon at the bottom of the Safari window. Tap Add to Home Screen.

Organize with Folders

Finding and accessing apps can be easier if you organize them in folders for related tasks. You could have a games folder, a tools folder and so on.

To create a folder, just press and hold any app until it starts wiggling. Then, drag the app into another app that you’d like to group in the same folder. The iPhone will automatically generate a name for the folder based on its contents. You can edit this name by pressing and holding the folder icon.

Cut, Copy, and Paste

Find the text you want to edit in a note, email, web page, or other app. You can select a word by double-tapping it, and select more or less text by dragging the grab points. Then tap to cut, copy, or paste. To undo an edit, shake iPhone, then tap the Undo button.

Make the Screen Easier to See

To reverse black and white on the screen, push the home button three times in a row. This can be handy when there is glare.

Choose Your Wallpaper

In Settings, choose Wallpaper, tap the image of the Lock and Home screens, then tap one of your photo albums or tap Wallpaper for the Apple-designed images. Find the image you want, tap Set, and then choose whether to use it as wallpaper for your Lock screen, Home screen, or both.

Save Images

In Safari, touch and hold an image to save it to your Camera Roll or copy it to paste into an MMS or email.

Add PDFs to iBooks

From a Mail message or a web page, touch and hold the PDF icon or link, then select “Open in iBooks.”

Keyboard Tricks

  • Tap the space bar twice, and iPhone adds a period and capitalizes the next word.
  • Touch and hold a letter to reveal a list of special characters.
  • To enter a number or symbol quickly, touch and hold Number keyboard, then select the key you want. Lifting your finger returns you to the alphabet keyboard.

 

Battery Life Tips

Find Power Hogs

Want to know what's using up your Android's electric power? Android has a little-known screen that will tell you where the juice is going. Go to Settings –> About Phone –> Battery use to see what has been draining your battery.

Disable Unneeded Wi-Fi

Turn off all wireless radios when you're not using them. When you are out of range of a personal Wi-Fi network, turn off the Wi-Fi so it doesn't constantly attempt to detect or connect to other networks. Also, switch off Bluetooth and the GPS when you are not using these services.

Control Display Brightness

Both Android and iPhone sytems have an automatic brightness adjustment setting. Turn it on and your phone will automatically dim its display in darker environments, including seemingly well-lit indoor rooms.

Check Email Less Often

Change the interval for checking email to 1 hour . Or use manual checking and reduce battery use.

Don't Run Down the Battery

Your battery will last longer if you don't let it completely discharge before plugging it in. Give it a recharge when you get down to around 40% capacity.

 

Other Smartphones

BlackBerry

For an extensive list of tips and tricks for many different BlackBerry phones go to this list from BlackBerry itself.

Another extensive list is 121 CrackBerry Tips, Hacks and Resources at this site.

Windows Phone

  • Double tap on a block of text to zoom in for easier reading. Double tap again to zoom out.
  • If you see a phone number or address on a site that looks like a link, tap it to quickly place a call or view the address on a map (may not work everywhere).
  • Press and hold on links to copy, share, or open them in a new tab. Press and hold on a picture to save or share it with someone.
  • Easily share the website you’re viewing to your favorite social networks by tapping More (…) and then Share page.