In this edition we’re bringing you a few tips and tricks on how to use and set up your smartphone.
The Weather on Your Phone
A basic feature of perhaps every smartphone home screen is a clock and weather widget. If you live in Paris, Berlin, Prague or Bratislava, you don’t have to worry. Capital cities are always available. But what if your town is not available?
You have two options. The first is to install another app. However, you will probably have to buy it. And weather apps tend to be among the more expensive apps. It must be noted, however, that they are some of the most detailed and visually appealing apps out there.
The other option is to check the availability of the desired location by searching. The app already on your phone can show you available cities from an online database. You can add a place this way and know the weather for another city.
There is also a third option – wait until you come to the place. The app will find your location using GPS and give you the local weather. The disadvantage here is that you can’t look at weather before you head off on a business trip or a holiday. But when you do get there your phone will show you the weather for your location.
How to do this?
In your weather app, open the menu and tap on add city. From there, type in the name of the place and tap on it.
Have Your Phone Wake You Up
Did you buy a new phone and want it to wake you up in the morning? Make sure you know how your alarm is set up. You can usually control a ringing alarm in three ways; via the screen, the volume buttons or the power button.
Check your alarm settings before you start relying on it the next day. These settings don’t work universally on Android and every manufacturer has their own default settings.
You turn the alarm on in the Clock app. Typically, you have two alarms. One for workdays and one for the weekend. Make sure to select every day you want when setting up. Otherwise the alarm will go off only once.
Clock – Settings – Snooze length. Here you set when your alarm goes off again after snoozing. The default is typically 10 minutes, but you can also choose 5 minutes.
Clock – Settings – Volume buttons. This setting is responsible for your sleeping in. If your alarm is going off, you can lower the volume with the volume buttons. Your phone maker could have also set the buttons to dismiss the alarm. You will make the alarm go quiet, but it won’t ring again, and you might sleep in. You should pick the Snooze option.
What about Apps I Don’t Use?
We install a variety of apps on our phones. Sometimes just to try them out, other times they are single use apps. But then we just forget about them, and they just use up our storage. But not just that – many also run in the background and turn on when you restart your phone. Apps contain special parts that may be small, but still run on the phone. It’s not easily visible, and the app seems to be inactive. It uses the phone’s resources and has a negative impact on battery life.
How to Do This?
The easiest way is to hold the app icon and drag it to the Uninstall option on the top of the screen. You will remove the app and any data related to it. So, if a game has 50 MB when installed, but then downloads another 800 MB, all of it will be removed.
Did you know that your home screen wallpaper has two modes? Wallpaper moves when you swipe around by default. If you swipe from the first page to the last, you see the whole wallpaper.
A moving wallpaper can only be seen in whole when moved around like this. The speed of the movement and how much is revealed on the next page depends on the number of pages.
How To Do This?
Hold a finger on a blank part of the screen. A few options will pop up including one for changing the wallpaper. On the next page choose Home screen wallpaper. Then pick an image, and before you confirm you can choose whether you want it to move or stay still.
Maps Without an Internet Connection
Do you want to get somewhere with a map but are afraid of using up data? Google Maps has a solution. It’s called Offline maps and is available in the main navigation menu on the left. There you can find this feature that helps you save data while using Maps abroad or in Slovakia.
You can pick any area by zooming in or out. Everything that fits in the blue rectangle on the screen. Depending on the size of the area chosen, your map will take up more or less space on your phone. Bratislava is about 30 MB, including the surrounding area. Prague requires about 40 MB, and if you’re going to Paris, it’s 300 MB. Of course, you can choose smaller areas, like only the part of the town you’re going to be in, and you know you won’t get to see the other parts.
Even with European roaming, this feature is useful. You’ll even use it here in Slovakia. Like in areas with slower Internet. The map will be loaded, and you will see your location with GPS on the map, not a blank screen. Even when you have no Internet at all. The Global Positioning system doesn’t require Internet.
Text: Michal Reiter, foto: flickr.com