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General | 24 November 2020

Try out these hacks for your smartphone

There are plenty of tweaks and changes available that will make your Phone even more useful to you. I’ve compiled a quick round up of the tips I think will be the most helpful 👍

🔎🔎🔎 First, let's look at iPhone (scroll down for Android tips)

📱Help people ID you in an emergency (or find you if you lose your phone)

Apple lets you set up a Medical ID which can be displayed when your phone is locked. You can enter information like medical conditions, allergies or an emergency contact.

To do it, head into Settings and then into Health. You can then select the option to create a Medical ID. Here, you can enter your name and list an emergency contact number. You can toggle a button so that your Medical ID is shown on your home screen when your phone is locked. This means your emergency contact can be called if you lose your phone or if you are involved in a medical emergency.

To find the emergency info when your phone is locked, swipe up so you see the dialpad. On the bottom right you should see ‘emergency’ – tap that and then you should see Medical ID appear bottom right. Tap that and you’ll see any information saved.

📱Charge your phone faster – a simple battery hack

Putting your phone on airplane mode while charging will charge it faster. You can do this by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and tapping the Airplane icon which will appear in the upper right-hand corner of the display.

📱Connect multiple pairs of Bluetooth headphones to one iPhone

If you want to share music you can pair two pairs of air pods or wireless headphones to the same iPhone at once so that you can listen to music together without having to share earphones.

Connect the first pair via Bluetooth as normal, then open the Bluetooth menu inside Settings. Next, hold down the pairing button on the second pair of headphones. Then, tap the second set of headphones when they appear under Other Devices are ready to pair. Confirm both devices show Connected in the list of devices and you’re good to go.

📱Allow certain numbers to bypass your ‘Do Not Disturb’ setting

Did you know you can allow certain phone numbers to bypass ‘do not disturb’ by allowing them an emergency bypass?

To do this, head into your Contacts app, select the desired contact and tap Edit, then tap Ringtone. On the ringtone screen there should be an option to enable Emergency Bypass.

You can then repeat this for any other contacts.

You can also adapt your settings so that if the same number calls you twice within three minutes, the second call will go through. To do this just head into the Do Not Disturb menu in Settings and enable the option for repeated calls to bypass Do Not Disturb.

📱Set a timer to stop your music

If you like to fall asleep with music on try this one out.

Go to your Clock, select a Timer and set it to your desired amount of time e.g., one hour, half an hour, etc. Then scroll to the bottom of the ring tones and select ‘Stop Playing’ to stop playing your music after your desired amount of time.

📱Take a hands-free photo

This is a great hack for snapping photos in a hurry and it’s pretty simple.

Just plug in a pair of headphones, open the camera app and tap the volume button on them to snap a photo.

📱Quickly delete a text

This one’s handy for those that like to be speedy texters.

If you’ve typed out a message that you want to delete just shake your phone and the ‘Undo Typing’ notification will appear, then tap to undo.

If you delete it and then change your mind just shake your phone again and the option to ‘Redo Typing’ will appear. Tap the Redo option and your text will reappear.

📱Quickly redial a number

Try this out if you get cut off during a phone call.

If you tap the green call button on your keypad in your phone contacts, it will automatically dial the last number you called. This should come in handy if you accidentally hang up or get cut off.

📱Prevent Audio iMessages from expiring

You can stop messages from expiring after the default two minutes.

Go into Settings and then head into the Messages menu and scroll down to Audio Message. Just tap ‘Expire’ and then select ‘Never’.

📱Visual Voicemail hack

This only works with O2, EE and Vodafone.

IPhones have a facility for visual voicemail which enables you to see your voicemails on the display screen but it only works with certain networks – currently, only O2, EE and Vodafone enable this facility.

Here’s how to enable this facility on each network:

I hope these come in handy – if you know of any great iPhone hacks that I haven’t included, then let me know and I’ll share them with other Snoopers 😊

🔎🔎🔎 Now, let's look at Android phones

Android phones have pretty customizable software, so there are plenty of tweaks and changes available to make your phone more useful to you. I’ve compiled a quick round up of the tips I think are the most helpful 👍

Just bear in mind, given the nature of Android phones, different manufacturers will have slightly different set ups. I’ve tried to highlight the most common ways to do things though. If in doubt, you can always ignore my instructions and search for these topics in Settings on your device 😊

📱Create a split screen to run two apps side by side

There are a few ways to do this one depending on your phone.

Tap the Overview button and then choose which apps you want to see. Hold and drag the first one to the top or to the left of the display screen and then choose the other app you want to appear alongside it.

Or (for example, for newer Samsungs) you may need to tap the Recent apps button, then tap the icon, select ‘Open in split screen view’ and choose the other app you want.

Or (for example, for older Samsungs) go to Recents, hit Settings (via the three dots in the top right), turn on ‘Split screen view action’. Then just press and hold the Recents button to change your current app to split screen.

This trick should work well for social media apps, displaying photos, etc. but might lag if used for gaming apps.

📱Change individual audio settings

Your phone has different types of audio, including, media, ringtones, alarms, notifications and phone calls. Android gives you a quick and easy short cut to alter these audios individually – for example you might want to set your notifications to full volume while having your alarms a tad quieter.

To do this, just tap the physical volume buttons on the side of your device. When you do, a small box will appear on the screen, showing which volume setting is changing – on the side of this box, there’ll be an arrow. Tap it and the box will expand to show more volume sliders at once where you can adjust the levels of each one.

📱 Limit kids or friends to one app when borrowing your phone

You can lock the user of your phone into one app.

This might come in handy if you frequently loan your phone to friends or young children and you only want them to be able to access a particular app.

Open Settings > Security > Other security, and Enable Screen Pinning (on some phones this may be called something else e.g. Pin windows). Once the feature is enabled, open the app you need, then open Overview on the window tab – or Recents – for the most recently used app, you’ll see a pin icon in the bottom right-hand corner. Tap this icon to pin that app to the screen. Once an app is pinned, you’ll need to either use your pass code to open other apps again or press and hold the Recents and Back keys at the same time.

📱 Set your phone to stay unlocked when you’re at home

Just head into Settings, tap Lock Screen, and turn on Smart Lock. You can set your home as a trusted place to disable the lock screen while you’re at home. You can also disable the lock when it is connected to a trusted device via Bluetooth.

📱 Choose your own default apps

You can choose your own default apps for browsing, messaging, viewing photos etc. with this clever hack.

Head to Settings, then go into Apps, and then tap the Cog Icon in the right-hand upper corner or hit the three dots and choose Default apps. You will then be able to select a category to see a list of apps which can take over as the default – for example, if you prefer to message via Whatsapp, you can select this as your default messaging app rather than the built-in SMS app.

📱Design your own status bar

You can select which icons and notifications will appear in your status bar.

This hack will only work with newer Android models, but it’s worth checking if it’s available on your phone.

To enable it, swipe down from the top of the screen so the Quick Settings pane appears (you might need to put down twice if you have unread notifications). On some phones you can just hit the three dots and Button grid, then choose which icons to add or remove from your status bar. For other phones, press and hold the Settings gear icon for a few seconds.

If a confirmation message pops up, that means you have enabled Settings UI. When you next go to the Settings menu, you’ll see a new menu entry called System UI Tuner. Tap on this and then tap Status bar to control which icons— battery levels, for example — will show up in the status bar.

You can also tweak your Do Not Disturb settings in the System UI Turner and you can choose which apps you will see notifications from in your status bar.

I hope these come in handy – if you know of any great Android hacks that I haven’t included, then let me know and I’ll share them with other Snoopers 😊

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