Cell Phone Secrets: 6 Tricks for Your Smartphone

If you’re mystified about the myriad features of your cell phone beyond using it to make calls, you’re not alone. Here are a few technological tips to help you get the most out of your phone.

1. You can silence your ringing phone speedily by pressing any key on its side. (It’s still ringing — you can answer it or let it go to voicemail — but at least you’ve quieted it.) Remember this when you’re at the theater, a concert, or in church.

2. There are several ways you can improve your cell phone’s reception: Use your phone near a window if you are inside a building, as walls weaken signals; move away from all electronic equipment, including TVs; stay away from large objects, especially if they contain metal; and move to a higher location if possible.

3. Nothing uses up your phone’s battery like searching for a signal. Turn your phone off when it is out of cell phone signal range.

4. Before traveling overseas, call your phone company to buy a special temporary overseas plan. Many people rack up bills of up to $5,000 while on holiday just because of international Internet fees. If you can’t get an affordable roaming plan, try buying a cheap phone abroad to use with a local SIM card.

5. If you have an iPhone and want to enlarge the screen for ease in reading tiny type, double tap the screen with three fingers. Then pan around by dragging with three fingers. Turn this feature on by tapping Settings, then General, then Accessibility. Double-tap with three fingers to restore the screen magnification.

6. Make sure that you synch all of your contacts and data with your computer. If you have an iPhone this just requires plugging your phone into your computer. It all happens automatically. Then if your phone is lost, you still have all of your information.

Sources: Salon.com, The New York Times, Executive Travel Magazine, livemint.com

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