Last updateFri, 03 Apr 2020 8pm

How to Get More out of Your Smartphone

You could have the swankiest smartphone with all the latest features, but without some strategizing, it could feel like you’re carrying around a very expensive brick.

Boost Functionality

Familiarize yourself with the scope of your phone’s functionality. You can find detailed instructions about your model online, as well as online tutorials that can teach you hacks and shortcuts for getting more out of your phone’s camera, word processing software and more.

Also, be sure to install free apps that can make life better. For example, you can turn your phone into a fundraising fitness coach with Charity Miles, an app partnered with corporate sponsors that donate a few cents for every mile you log on bike or foot. You may just find yourself off the couch and moving more as you start to rack up miles.

Your phone can also become your greatest teacher when you download language apps such as Duolingo, which provides free language instruction to help you build vocabulary, master grammar and prepare for your next big trip abroad. The app helps you stay true to your goal, sending push notifications reminding you to practice.

Research Your Mobile Network

Is your mobile network up to snuff? Check out the results from the latest “State of Mobile Networks” report from OpenSignal. Rather than basing results on the simulations used in older network testing methods on only one phone model, OpenSignal gathers data directly from wireless customers who have downloaded the app onto their smartphones. Performance measurements are taken wherever customers happen to be, at home, at work, or on the go -- indoors and out -- resulting in a representation of customers’ actual wireless data experience.

T-Mobile placed number one in every category that the OpenSignal report measures. In more than five billion tests from actual wireless customers in the second quarter, T-Mobile’s network was not only deemed to be the fastest, but also the most responsive, and T-Mobile customers get an LTE signal more often than customers of any other major wireless company do, according to the report. With plans to further broaden its LTE footprint for customers this year with its newly acquired 600 MHz spectrum, those looking for a reliable network may want to consider a T-Mobile plan. To learn more about T-Mobile’s network, visit t-mobile.com/coverage.

Extend its Life

Treat your device with care to extend its life. Never leave your phone exposed to the elements. To protect yourself financially from loss, theft or damage, check with your mobile network about warranty options. Read the terms carefully to understand what’s covered.

Also, be sure to protect your phone with a well-fitting, drop-resistant, water-resistant case. Retain your style by checking out Shutterfly, where you can upload a photo to use as the case design, or Etsy, which offers designs created by independent artists.

Getting more out of your smartphone requires a combination of protecting your device, understanding its various functions and using it on a fast network.