Now that smartphones have become nearly ubiquitous in the US (and many other developed countries), it’s time to discuss what people are doing wrong with them. From what I’ve seen, a lot of people that own smartphones tend to be rather… dumb about using them (ha!). Here’s what I’ve seen over the course of a year or two. Keep in mind that while I use Android, this can apply to Blackberry, iOS, Symbian, Windows Phone, etc.
* Keeping the brightness at 100% at all times. I know that super bright displays look awesome in a well-lit showroom, the colors pop, your retinas burn, it’s beautiful. But oh man is a bright screen painful to look at when it’s dark. Plus it kills the battery more than anything else. So turn down the brightness, your eyes and battery will thank you. Many phones have auto-brightness that can adjust properly to the lighting, and some Android phones will let you adjust the brightness by swiping across the notification bar. Neat.
* Live wallpapers. Do you really need floating bubbles or drifting leaves at all times? That just bogs down your phone and kills the battery as well. Put a nice fixed background, your phone will work so much faster.
* Leaving 4G/LTE, Wifi, GPS on all the time. There’s really no need to have the GPS on all the time, unless you’re *super* into the whole location-based networking thing (like checking in at every single place you go to). Wifi is useless to keep on unless you’re at home all the time, because the phone will just keep scanning for wifi networks, draining the battery. Same with LTE, which is a huge battery hog even when you’re not actively using it.
* Being overzealous with a task manager. Most smartphones handle multitasking pretty well, no need to intervene. By having a task manager kill apps you’re simply forcing the phone to open them again when you need them, which just wastes battery life.
* Dropping them. Come on, you pay so much for a smartphone (maybe not initially but you still fork over lots of money in a long-term contract) that dropping it is just the dumbest thing you can do. If you’re a klutz then invest in a massive case and maybe a wrist strap, and definitely a screen protector. It’s just sad to see literally every other smartphone having a cracked screen.
* Not fully using the smartphone features. If you’re only texting/using Facebook on your smartphone, you’re not using it to its full potential. Check out some productivity apps, it’s incredible what you can do with a modern smartphone. For example, I can FTP into my server from my phone, post blog posts from it, sync my Evernote notes, read PDF’s/eBooks, check RSS feeds, read the news, navigate while driving, schedule evens on the Calendar, accept credit card/debit card payments, draw, download torrents, and of course play games.
* Having a separate iPod/mp3 player. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen somebody have an iPhone and an iPod Touch on them at the same time… *why?* Most smartphones these days have very good music players on them (iPhone literally has the same exact music player as the iPod Touch), there’s no need to have a second device to weigh you down. If you’re using your smartphone correctly then battery life shouldn’t be the reason to not use it for music. I can listen to music on my phone all day with minimal battery drain. Most phones nowadays are also powerful enough to handle playing music and games at the same time without lag.
* Having an excessive amount of home screens. There’s no need to have every single app on your homescreen when you have an app drawer (this mostly applies to Android users as iPhone users have no choice in the matter). Having too many homescreens just slows down your phone.
* Taking pictures of every meal. Yeah we get it, you like food. But there’s no need to capture every single thing you eat and put it on Instagram.
Those are the major things I’ve seen people doing. If I missed anything, feel free to comment and tell me.