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5 Things Every Smartphone User Should Know

Illustration of a cell phone on a background of clouds. The phone's screen says "Arianna's phone" with a screenshot of her usage hours.

Let’s be honest, the world without smartphones seems like eons ago. Today, we rely on them as the Earth relies on the moon. Our smartphones serve as clocks, alarms, memory collectors, health monitors, children trackers or financial advisors…the list goes on. There are so many things our phones can do for us, in fact, that the possibilities can easily turn into distractions.

Need directions? There’s An App For That™. Need to know where the nearest public restroom is? There’s An App For That™ too. Need to order groceries and have them delivered to your door as soon as you get home? There are several apps for that!

Here are 5 things every smartphone user should know to get the most out of their mobile experience.

(Note: App creators’ views and values are their own and are not endorsed by CREDO Mobile. Before downloading any app, please confirm that it meets your personal standards for corporate ethics and protection of privacy.)

Protect yourself in case of an emergency.

Smartphones offer two really important features that you should set up immediately. The first is the Health App available on the iPhone or Medical ID for Android users. This feature can save your life in an emergency by providing EMTs and health care professionals with vital information about your medical history in the event that you are unconscious or unable to respond to questions.

Additionally, the Bsafe app, available for both iPhone and Android users, makes walking alone a whole lot safer. The app features an SOS button that will immediately alert your family or friends with location and real-time video that automatically begins streaming. The service can be voice activated and includes additional features like Sirene, which creates a loud siren-like alarm to deter attackers with one touch.

Easily record your screen

Sharing phone tips just got a whole lot easier with the iPhone’s ability to record your screen. Simply access the control panel by swiping up from the bottom of your screen (or down from the top right corner if you have the iPhone X). Click on the circle record button, wait for the countdown and begin using your phone. This feature is a huge time saver if you’re like me and people are always asking “How do I customize my control center?”  Once you’re done recording you just swipe down and click stop recording. Then locate the file in your Photos App and send it off!

Android users can download Mobizen form the Google Play Store and perform the same functions.

Hang a picture or measure a space

Unless you’re an interior decorator or architect, chances are you don’t carry a measuring tape or leveler with you wherever you go. Except now you do! Apple’s new Measure App is built into your iOS and uses the augmented reality technology in your device to automatically detect the dimensions of rectangular objects.

And with the leveling feature in the app hanging pictures has never been easier. Simply open the app, choose “level” and use as you would a regular leveler!

For Android users, Bubble Level has the same features.

Let your phone ease you into bedtime

Apple calls this feature Downtime. Under Settings > Screen Time > Downtime. You can customize the app by day and time, then choose what apps will not be available during that time. This will prevent you from falling down a YouTube, Twitter or Instagram rabbit hole right before it’s time for some shut eye.

Google’s version of this is called Wind Down and you can find it under Settings > Digital Well Being.

Salvage a wet phone

Because many of us are attached to our phones – we take them everywhere – and because water covers 71% of the earth’s surface, our phones are bound to meet water at some point or another. So this last tip is here to help give you peace of mind.

We’ve all been here. Rex, the family’s new Chihuahua rescue, is afraid of water and uses the pool to drink rather than swim. But it’s a hot day and out of the corner of your eye, you catch him dip his toe in timidly before taking a gleeful plunge. Your heart swells with pride as you grab your phone and fumble for the camera. The next thing you know, your phones at the bottom of the pool and the screen has gone black. Your phone is dead.

But it might not be! You might actually be able to save it (and that video you just took) by following a few simple steps. (Note: This advice will not always work, so we suggest keeping your phone away from water if possible!)

  1. Do not turn it on. If you have an Android, open the back and pull out the battery. If you have an iPhone, leave it intact.
  2. Fill up a bag with uncooked rice.
  3. Put the phone (and its pieces) into the bag. Seal it. Leave it overnight. If your phone was in the water for longer than a minute, consider leaving for an additional day.
  4. Be patient! Don’t try to turn it on after a few hours or speed up the process by blow drying it, or sticking it in the microwave or oven.
  5. After 24 or 48 hours, put your phone back together. If it turns on, you’re in business.

Be safe, redecorate with ease, save time and reduce your stress levels so you can get back to doing the things you love like scrolling through endlessly entertaining cat videos on YouTube (during appropriate daylight hours).