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Tech Talk with Greg Bailey

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Today I’m going to go over a couple of really simple tips for smart phones. Smart phones, particularly the iPhone, have become increasingly widespread over the past few years. Many of the people using them however are unaware of how to avoid some of the product’s common pitfalls.

The following tips correct common smart phone related problems that new or inexperienced users might be having an issue with.

A problem I’ve heard many friends and family members complain about recently is “pocket dialing” with their phones. Pocket dialing refers to accidentally calling someone with your phone after ending a call and putting it away, and it can create situations that can be anywhere from annoying to embarrassing to serious, depending on what you say once the accidental call has been made. Imagine the last person you called hearing a conversation you really don’t want them to know about.

The way to prevent pocket dialing, or any sort of accidental phone usage, is to get into the habit of locking your phone when you aren’t using it.

When the smart phone is locked, the user is unable to put in any input until it is unlocked. This is different from turning it off; while the phone is locked the user will still be able to receive phone calls and messages as always.

Different smart phones have different ways of being locked, but finding out how to lock them shouldn’t be too difficult.

The iPhone, for instance, has a button on the phone itself that handles locking and unlocking.

Taking the extra second to hit that button to lock your phone as you stick it your pocket can save a lot of grief.

This next tip is a bit more iPhone specific, but users with different smart phones should have a comparable feature, although with a different keystroke.

When browsing the internet or performing any other task with the iPhone, a user might want to keep track of whatever information they happen to be looking at right now. For example, if you’re looking up a phone number or address, once you find it you look for a pen and paper and write it down. There is a better way.

On an iPhone, pushing and holding the “Home” and “Sleep/Wake” button (the big button on the bottom of the screen, and the smaller one on the top-right of the phone) will take a screen shot of whatever is currently being displayed on your phone. This screenshot is placed with the other photos on your phone, and is essentially the same thing as a photo. This allows you to e-mail it to a friend or coworker who might need to see the information, or just have it handy for yourself. Much more convenient than a pen and paper!

Any questions, requests for clarifications, or comments can be sent to gregbailey9@ gmail.com. Greg Bailey is a Computer Science major at UCR.

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