If I asked you about how to use your smartphone, I am satisfied that the answer would be yes, but can you do it efficiently? Our more advanced readers may answer with another resounding yes, but many are likely not entirely sure.
It is not enough to control usage times and manage data consumption minimally and other elements associated with your monthly rate. Other aspects come into play that can make an important difference, and that will be of great help to you.
Wondering why you should learn to use your smartphone efficiently? Well, it’s very simple, because:
- You will enjoy a much more satisfying user experience.
- Your smartphone will age better and will suffer less markedly over time.
- You will be more productive, versatile, and efficient in your day-to-day.
- You will control your time in a more precise way, and you will use it much better.
- You will have under control one of the most important devices in your day-to-day.
- You will know how to react to possible unforeseen events, and you will be able to lean on your smartphone.
- You can also control the expenses necessary to use your smartphone.
How to Use Your Smartphone Efficiently: Basic Concepts?
Before going directly to see the different tips, I want to share with you a series of basic ideas that any user should be clear from the beginning.
Our starting point to be able to use a smartphone efficiently is very simple: we must be aware of the possibilities, and the limitations, that our smartphone presents. For example, if we use a low-end smartphone, we must be aware that its performance and features could end up being insufficient for us. The same applies to other aspects, such as the battery capacity, for example, which directly affects the terminal autonomy.
Another basic idea that we must internalize is related to the operating system and its capabilities. Let’s go with another example, if we use iOS, we must be clear that, as it is a more closed operating system than Android, we must assume significant limitations that can affect our most basic needs. In return, we will enjoy greater security and a longer support cycle (updates).
With Android, we will enjoy greater freedom, we will be able to download applications from external sources without a problem, and we will have more customization options at our end. However, we will have to be much more careful, since greater freedom implies a greater risk of malware infections, and we will also have to assume a shorter support cycle.
Finally, you must also be clear that your smartphone hardware will determine, irreversibly, what you can do with it and whatnot. For example, a low-mid-range smartphone may be able to cover the basic needs of most current users, but it would be insufficient for those who want to play demanding games, or who want to take photos and obtain a quality result.
If you want to use your smartphone for very specific purposes, be very careful before buying, and assume that, in these cases, you will have to make a considerable investment to enjoy a good experience.
1# Adjust the brightness of the screen yourself
The screen is one of the most important elements when using a smartphone. It is the component that allows us to interact with it directly, through a touch interface, and it is also responsible for displaying both the operating system and the multimedia content, images, games, and everything we have on our terminal.
The brightness of the screen can have a huge impact on both the user experience and battery consumption. If you are going to use your smartphone indoors, with dim lighting, you can adjust the brightness level to a medium or low setting and achieve an optimal user experience. Outdoors, and in strong sunlight, you will have no choice but to turn the brightness to maximum (or almost), otherwise, you will not be able to see the screen well.
Automatic adjustment systems do not work badly at all, but to achieve the best result and enjoy a good experience, it is best if you manually adjust the brightness of the screen to adapt it in real-time to each situation. Always keep in mind that, as we have said, a higher brightness can greatly reduce autonomy.
2# Cleaning applications regularly
Using your smartphone means downloading applications. Not all users follow the same trend, some install applications from time to time, others limit themselves to installing the ones they know and need, and they can go months without downloading a new application, and others, on the contrary, download and test applications with very often.
This last user profile tends to accumulate applications that you do not need, and these end up taking up valuable space on your smartphone. The problem is aggravated in those cases in which the user is not even aware of all the applications that he has installed, and that he has not used for a long time.
Take a moment at least once a month to review which applications you have installed and which of them you don’t use. Delete those that you don’t need to recover a storage space that, in most cases, you will end up needing in the medium or long term.
3# Don’t be afraid to personalize your smartphone
Although Android is indeed a more customizable operating system and more open than iOS, the truth is that with the arrival of iOS 14, Apple has improved a lot in this regard, and has come to offer a much more interesting degree of customization than in previous versions.
With iOS, you can customize important aspects, including from the classic wallpapers and home to widgets and the organization of the application library. This option can help you, for example, keep your most frequently used applications closer at hand and instantly view useful information via widgets.
If you use Android, you will have access to a series of much more in-depth customization options, so much so that you can even change the appearance of the home screen and the launcher. Don’t be afraid to customize your smartphone to suit your tastes and your needs.
4# Learn to disconnect so that nothing bothers you
And I do not mean to stop using the smartphone or control the time of use, about that we will talk later, but to disconnect it from the Internet when necessary. It is essential to use your smartphone efficiently and to enjoy a more satisfactory experience.
In my case, for example, I tend to disconnect my smartphone from the Wi-Fi network and disable mobile data when I want to concentrate on something specific and not have any interruption, but I know that I will have to use an application of said terminal. Another more radical option is to turn it off directly.
There are also other intermediate options, such as silencing groups or users in applications such as WhatsApp or Telegram, which can be very useful in certain situations.
5# Look for new applications that are useful to you
Finding new applications that may interest you is one of the best ways to use your smartphone efficiently, although the truth is that it can be quite complicated, due to the enormous saturation of applications and tools that currently exist both in the App Store and in the Google Play Store.
Many of the applications that we can find in both stores are, generally, copies of other popular applications. Unfortunately, it is also common to find applications and tools that seem interesting a priori, but that later have a debatable utility and that is loaded with annoying advertising.
There are useful and quality applications that will help you use your smartphone efficiently. To make it easier for you to find them, follow the recommendations of your app store, and also those of POST JOURNAL experts:
6# Take care of the updates, both of the applications and the operating system
An up-to-date operating system is a state-of-the-art operating system with all that security entails, but it is important for other reasons as well. Updates at the operating system level typically introduce performance improvements, bring new features, fix bugs, and resolve various issues.
On the other hand, we must not forget that an “old” version of Android or iOS may end up losing support and compatibility with a large number of applications. I give you another example, my partner still uses an iPad Mini 2 that I gave her at Christmas 2013. Yes, it is still “alive”, it has been preserved very well and works perfectly, but she was neglecting the updates to such an extent that in the middle of 2020, I was still using iOS 8. When some applications started giving her errors, she warned me, I updated it to iOS 12, and voila, she is very happy with the result.
The same applies to updates dedicated to applications, and of course, to security updates. Keeping your terminal updated in every way will help you use your smartphone in the best possible way.
7# Free up space by moving photos, videos, and other content
It is quite a classic, but many times we end up overlooking it, either due to lack of time or due to sheer neglect. In my case, I usually get the first option, lack of time. At the writing time of this article, I have almost 9,000 photos accumulated on my iPhone 8 Plus, and I barely have 4 GB of storage left. I have to start transferring them to the PC and make a backup.
Passing the photos, videos and all that content that we have accumulated on our smartphone will allow us to recover an enormous amount of storage, a limited and very valuable resource that, with the simple use of the terminal, gradually runs out.
I recommend that you do not limit yourself to transferring them to your PC, but also look for a way to make an additional backup, either in the cloud or on an external storage unit. Once done, you can erase all that content from your smartphone and recover a lot of space. In my case, I hope to recover about 55 GB.
8# Organize your applications
There is no doubt that this advice is closely related to points two and five. If you are one of those who download and use many applications, you may end up finding a hodgepodge of them on your smartphone screen, and this will prevent you from efficiently using your smartphone, since you will waste time looking for a specific application, and you may even end up opening one by mistake.
Luckily, both Android and iOS have functions that will help us to organize our applications simply and effortlessly. In my case, I don’t use too many applications, but I have distributed in three folders to have the smartphone screen as clean as possible.
In the “Applications” folder, I have all those that have a more generic utility and those that come by default in iOS, while in the “Utilities” folder, I have those that I really use in my day-to-day life. Finally, in the “Games” folder, I have a few titles that I enjoy very occasionally. By following a similar approach, you will be able to use your smartphone more efficiently.
9# Familiarize yourself with the battery, and autonomy, of your smartphone
Knowing the average autonomy that our smartphone offers under normal daily use can be very useful, since it will help us to be clear about what level of autonomy we can expect in a specific situation, and will allow us to deduce, quite correctly, if we should go out with the charger, or not.
You can also make small changes to your habits and see how the autonomy results improve and optimize, in this way, the way you use your smartphone.
Both Android and iOS have tools that measure the terminal use time and the applications we have installed. They also include a complete tool for analysis and management of battery life and its consumption. With both, we can obtain very interesting information and improve, based on it, our habits.
10# Do not be obsessed with closing all applications in the background
It is a fairly frequent evil. Many users still believe that closing applications left and right will improve performance, as an application is removed in the background and thus frees up the RAM it was consuming, but the reality is totally different.
When you open an app, it continues to run in the background so that when you need it again, it doesn’t have to go through the processor again. The process is recovered from the RAM, which translates into an instant response, in normal situations, and improves autonomy by reducing battery consumption since the processor does not have to recharge it.
If you close all the applications, when you want to open them again the processor will have to reload them. My advice is simple, if you want to use your smartphone efficiently, don’t close those applications that you use very frequently. Limit yourself to closing those that you use sporadically, or infrequently, and thus you will be able to use your smartphone most intelligently.