There are very few feelings quite like upgrading your smartphone. Suddenly everything that once lagged or felt awkward feels like joy on your new device. Scrolling is smooth and lacks jitter. Apps launch and close with lightning speed. Your new phone never hangs and it never crashes. In short, it’s a massive improvement over your previous phone and you’ve fallen in love with it.
Even so, it’s not always easy to know what you should actually do with a new phone. The possibilities are endless, but knowing where to start can be tricky. What apps to download? What to do first? How to test out the new phone’s capabilities? These are all questions that flummox people more than you might think. Whether you’ve got a new phone or you’re trying to make your old one feel new again, here are 7 things you can do to make the most of your new smartphone.
1. Browse the internet
Believe it or not, one of the most memory-intensive apps on your phone is the internet browser. That’s probably Chrome if you’re on Android and Safari if you’re on iOS (although alternative browsers are of course available). With this in mind, one of the most effective ways to test a new phone’s power is to go surfing. You could check out your horoscope for advice on how to go about your day. Maybe now is the right time to start blogging from your smart device. However, you decide to use your internet browser, usage over a long period of time is a great way to put a new phone through its paces. Just make sure you’re not draining the battery too much. It’s probably best to do this on a Wi-Fi connection, too, so you’re not annihilating your data plan.
2. Download some new apps
When you get yourself a new phone, you can do a lot of things that you just couldn’t with your old, less powerful model. With that in mind, you should celebrate your new phone by checking out the top games on either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. If you’re not a gamer, don’t worry; a lot of these games are perfect for those who aren’t massively into the hobby and don’t require complex button inputs to play. If gaming really just isn’t your scene, then see how the display for your phone holds up with apps like YouTube, Twitch, and Netflix. There are plenty of ways to enjoy your new phone’s power and (presumably) superior display.
3. Pair it with Bluetooth accessories
Even though Bluetooth is relatively old news now, we still kind of feel like technologically advanced wizards when we pair devices with Bluetooth accessories. Your new phone’s lightning-fast pairing capability will go perfectly with either old-school Bluetooth devices or newly acquired ones. Usually, you can do this by heading to Settings and finding the Bluetooth option. Recommendations for first Bluetooth devices include wireless speakers, true wireless headphones and Bluetooth fitness bands. All of these are great ways to make the most of a phone that effortlessly connects with devices wirelessly. If your phone has aptX technology, you can enjoy superior wireless sound without the tradeoff the lack of cables usually brings. Your new phone deserves only the best wireless accessories.
4. Have some fun with your voice assistant
Whether you’re an Android or iOS user, you’ll have a voice assistant built into your phone. It’ll either be the Google Assistant or the infamous Siri. You can set up your Android phone to activate when you say “OK Google”, and you don’t even need to unlock the phone to do this. Similarly, your iPhone will respond to “hey, Siri” without needing to have the device active. There’s lots of stuff you can do with your Google Assistant or with Siri. Some of these things are incredibly useful for your day-to-day life, while others are just fun little extras. Either way, there’s nothing quite like issuing voice commands to your phone to make you feel like your purchase was worth it.
5. Buy a case (and possibly a screen protector)
Screen protectors have become increasingly less necessary as the glass used to make smartphone screens has improved. With that said, there are still plenty of tempered glass screen protectors that are worth applying to your phone. With a good-quality screen protector, you can know your phone won’t be damaged or unduly distressed; instead, any damage from dropping the phone (up to a certain height, of course) will be weathered by the protector. One thing that is absolutely essential to your new phone is a case. You might be tempted to simply stick with the flimsy gel case that might be included with your device. Don’t. It’s worth investing in something more hard-wearing so that if you do drop your phone you won’t have to panic.
6. Become a developer
Okay, so maybe your phone is pretty speedy and flashy. Still, maybe it’s not quite as speedy as you’d like it to be. Could be that you’ve been seriously lagging behind for a while and that even though you’re upgrading, it’s still to a model that isn’t current. If that’s the case, you should definitely enable developer options. This option is available on both iOS and Android, although it’s significantly more difficult to enable and work with in Apple’s ecosystem than it is in Google’s. Android’s developer mode will enable you to scale back the animations of your phone and make them significantly less memory-hogging and faster. Even those with high-powered phones should do this; you won’t notice the difference if you change animation scale from 1x to 0.5x.
7. Remove bloatware
Bloatware is incredibly irritating, and the worst part of it is that many people won’t even know there’s software on their phone that can easily be removed. Depending on the manufacturer and your carrier, you may find your phone is riddled with unnecessary apps and programs. Some of the worst bloatware programs are pretty ubiquitous, so you’re likely to find them on most phones. Removing them is easy – simply follow the process for removing apps on your phone and you can get rid of them in most cases. If that doesn’t work, this handy guide for removing bloatware should finish the job. Android users are usually worse affected by bloatware than iOS users, although the latter camp does still experience this unfortunate phenomenon from time to time.