If you’re using an Android phone or iPad, you know it can be tricky to navigate your device. Fortunately, there are many easy tricks and short cuts that can make your mobile life easier. Tech Tip Tuesday is a series of quick and simple tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your devices.
1. Turn off notifications
Whether you’re looking for a way to improve productivity or just want to make sure your device doesn’t annoy you, turning off notifications can be helpful. It won’t stop apps from sending you notifications, but it will help you focus on the things that matter most.
Notifications are an invasive way for smartphone apps to get your attention. They can alert you to new Facebook memories or spam emails — and they’re often more intrusive than necessary.
Notifications on Android can be turned off by long-pressing an app’s notification, or through the Settings app. However, not all apps will offer you permission to disable notifications, and certain systems apps — such as software updates — are considered essential to your phone’s functionality.
2. Turn on Do Not Disturb mode
Whether you’re going to bed, at work, or just need a break from all those notifications, Do Not Disturb mode can help. This mode silences all alerts and calls that ring or make noise on your device while it’s locked.
You can turn on Do Not Disturb mode from your phone’s Control Center or from your phone’s settings. Here, you can configure it to allow certain contacts through or only when you’re in an emergency.
You can also set Do Not Disturb to automatically turn on and off based on an event or time of day by setting some rules. For example, you can schedule it to go on during a meeting or end at the end of a calendar event.
3. Turn on bubbles
Android recently introduced Bubbles, a feature that lets you see your important notifications from various apps in a single floating icon. The tool works with Facebook Messenger, Slack, and more.
This is an excellent feature for power users that have contacts spread across multiple chat apps. It reduces the time spent flitting between them when you need to respond quickly.
However, the underlying problem with bubbles is that they aren’t always working properly. You may be unable to send messages from certain conversations or receive notifications from other apps when you’re trying to use them.
Fortunately, it’s easy to fix this issue. To do so, simply tap the bubble again and select “Manage.” You can then tap “Don’t bubble conversation” to dismiss it. You can also choose to disable bubbles for that app or for all of them.
4. Turn on emojis
Emojis can be a great way to add a touch of fun to text messages, emails and Slack conversations. They can also help convey a message faster than a written word.
You can turn on emojis on your mobile device by opening the Settings app. Next, navigate to General > Language & Input and select the emoji keyboard you want to use.
Alternatively, you can download an emoji keyboard from the Google Play Store. Many of these apps come with a built-in icon dictionary so you can easily check what emojis mean.
Although emojis have become an important part of mobile communication, it isn’t always appropriate to use them in professional settings. For instance, a crying face emoji might be inappropriate for an email conversation with your boss.
5. Turn on voice commands
If you want to use voice commands on your phone, there are a few things you should know. First, you’ll need to turn on the feature.
You can do this by opening the Settings app and then tapping Accessibility, then Voice Access.
Next, you’ll see an option to “Activate for incoming calls.” If this option is turned on, your phone will start listening for voice commands every time it ring.
This can be a valuable function in certain situations, but it can also drain your battery if you’re not careful.
In fact, if you don’t have any particular needs for this functionality, you can even turn off the option to “Activate on screen wake up” and save yourself some battery life.
6. Turn on the flashlight
Most Android phones and iPhones have a camera flash that can double as a handy flashlight. This is great for finding things in dark places, or when you’re looking for your keys late at night.
However, turning on this function takes a few swipes from your lock screen or home screen. Luckily, there are several ways to turn your phone’s flashlight on quicker and easier.
One quick way to turn on your flashlight is through Android’s Quick Settings toggle, which is accessed by pulling down twice from the top of your screen (or once using two fingers). Once you open this menu, tap the Flashlight icon to instantly activate the LED flash.
7. Turn on the flashlight app
Most modern smartphones come with a flashlight built-in, and they’re easy to use. It’s also a useful accessory for when you need to unlock your front door at night or find something in a dark room.
There are several ways to turn your flashlight on and off, including through Quick Settings or a flashlight app. The latter option is often baked into Android devices and is just a few swipes away from your phone’s screen.
One of the best options for a simple app is Icon Torch, which places a button-shaped widget on your home screen. Tap on the icon, and you’ll see a flashing LED light.
8. Turn on the flashlight in the dark
It’s no secret that a flashlight is an essential item in your arsenal. From household projects to car repairs, you can’t do without it.
While a flashlight may seem complicated on the outside, it’s actually pretty simple inside. Its main components include the case, a lamp, and a switch that activates the bulb’s light output.
To turn on the flashlight, you can use a variety of methods, including screen-ff gestures, quick tap, or even the magic of all magic – shaking your phone in a “chopping” motion. It’s also worth noting that many smartphones now include a handy “flashlight” widget. The app can be found by long-pressing on a space on the home screen, and it will display the most relevant information in a concise manner. The app itself is free and takes up no more than 4MB of your device’s storage.
9. Turn on the flashlight in the rain
A flashlight is a must have item for any mobile device user. With a little planning and a few batteries in the tank, you’ll have one to keep you company on a night out on the town. Getting the battery out of your pocket may be no small feat, so you’ll probably have to get creative with your cord management. Thankfully, most smartphones come equipped with an included charging port. The best part? A quick charge and you’re good to go. You can even take your pick from a variety of manufacturers. The trick is figuring out which model is right for you and your needs.
10. Turn on the flashlight in the dark
Your smartphone may seem simple on the surface, but underneath there are a lot of hidden features and shortcuts you can take advantage of to do more with your mobile. Here are a few of them, along with some tips for keeping your phone running smoothly.
1. Turn on the flashlight with a tap and release gesture
There’s a hidden way to turn on your iPhone’s flashlight from the Lock screen. You’ll need to be unlocked, of course, but you can do it quickly and easily by tapping the button at bottom left and releasing it.
2. Turn on the flashlight from Control Center
If you’re a fan of quick access to your phone’s most frequently used features, you can easily toggle the flashlight in Control Center. It won’t be as fast as using the lock screen, but it works without needing to open up your lock screen or Face ID.