If I were a betting person, which I’m (mostly) not, I would bet that you’re either reading this on a mobile device of some sort or you are reading it on your computer but your mobile device is within reaching distance. It’s a simple fact that we are a society that has adapted to having technology at the tip of our fingers at all time. I hear so many people have ditched traditional alarm clocks and started using their phone instead. Whenever I travel, that is what I do because I don’t want to take the chance of the hotel alarm not working correctly and me missing a meeting or flight. I see grandparents (and parents) recording their kids’ activities using an iPad, people of all ages relying on their phones to navigate them to their next destination and apps like digital grocery lists becoming the norm. There’s nothing wrong with the way we absorb these multi-functional devices into our everyday lives.
Just because we drive cars doesn’t mean we know how they run. It also doesn’t mean we all take proper care of them. Nor does it mean we know what all the different buttons and switches do. It’s like that with our electronics, too. U.S. Cellular recently compiled a list of commonly asked questions that some of you may have wanted to ask as well.
What is the best way to disinfect my wireless device?
Some people grab a bottle of glass cleaner and just start spraying and wiping to disinfect or remove smudges. While it may seem logical, that is NOT the best way to clean your device. We utilize screen protectors as our first line of defense. Our personal preference is IntelliArmor IntelliGlass but there are other products on the market such as PureTek. They offer screen protectors for a variety of devices including the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S5. For cleaning a device with a screen protector, spray a cloth with ethyl or isopropyl alcohol or disinfecting spray, power down your device then wipe it with the cloth. Pre-soaked wipes have a lot of moisture and can damage the device. Moisture is not a friend to your device so the less moisture you expose your electronics to, the better.
How can I make my device charge faster?
One of the quickest ways to charge your device is to do so when you aren’t utilizing it. It also helps to control how quickly the battery is burning down in the first place. Maximize usage time by closing any unnecessary apps running in the background. You might be surprised how much battery life you save when your minimize the activity it is doing! Reducing the screen brightness also helps. We always have portable battery chargers and power banks on hand and opt for chargers with better output. As an example, an iPhone will charge faster when plugged into an iPad charging station.
Can my smartphone read texts and emails out loud to me?
Cars are pretty smart these days and many have hands-free options built-in. In addition to that, most of the latest devices offer features that allow you to control the device with voice commands. You can download the Voice Commands app for your Android that allows access to the phones features and control systems. There are also a number of hands-free devices on the market including the Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit. As a parent, I encourage you to outline cell phone guidelines for your teen driver regarding what is and isn’t allowed when they are driving.
How can I take a photo on a tablet without needing two hands to focus the photo and press the shutter?
If using your tablet is your only option for photos and videos then be sure you have apps installed to maximize the usage. Say Cheese Camera lets you use voice control to take pictures, turn on the flash and rotate the camera view. It’s available in the App Store for a great price: Free. Group Shot is another option for getting the perfect picture. It is easy to use to combine the best aspects of multiple pictures. There are also remotes and tripods available to help improve your chances of capturing that perfect shot.
Can my smartphone alert me to messages other than through sound or vibration?
Both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus offer the ability to utilize the camera’s LED light as an alternative to ringing and vibration. Most cameras have LED lights that can flash different colors for emails, text and phone calls. Just don’t forget to turn it off when you are at the movies!
Our phones and tablets are powerful devices and most people don’t utilize even a fraction of the capabilities. If there’s something you’re curious about with your phone, contact your local U.S. Cellular store and see if their reps can walk you through how to use it.
What do you wish your phone could do (that you don’t know if it can or can’t do!)?