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Your Digital Kids

My Phone is so Smart It’s Become A Full Time Job

Now that buying a mobile phone is like buying a computer, moving, adapting and configuring your phone has become a full time job.  In the last few weeks I’ve heard the newest excuse for bad phone behavior –pocketbook dialing, misdials, and phones sounding off in inappropriate places.  “I just got a new phone and I’m still figuring out a few things.”
Here’s my list of do’s and don’ts to make your learning curve less offensive to your friends, family and colleagues.

Forget apps. Start the move with your existing contacts and phone numbers.  You did buy your phone to make a call, right?  Step one is to import your contact list from wherever it lives now.  If it’s large, it may be a good time to weed  – getting rid of those contacts  where you haven’t had any contact in a decade.  Immediately learn how your phone “finds a contact” and “places the call”.

Practice your touch. The single biggest complaint most new users have is getting used to a touch screen. They can be both overly sensitive and insensitive, very dependent on your perfect touch. Like my bowling, my touch finger has a hook.  I’m always one to the left of the key I really want to press. My solution was to get an Android with a keyboard; others learn to watch the autocomplete feature which finishes your word for you as you touch.

Take your old GPS with you on the maiden voyage.  Before you grab your phone and head off with its navigation app you should take a maiden voyage with your dedicated GPS as a backup. Nothing like rushing into the car to find out that you can’t read your GPS screen and can’t seem to make it talk. Plus, the routes suggested by a Garmin and an Android are strikingly different.

Make the fonts bigger.  Mobile phones are going to be the worst villains in the history of eye strain. Head to your settings and configurations and choose a font size that you can actually read.  Just getting the gist of an important email is not  enough.  Hats off to iPhone for the pinch and pull, by far the easiest way to enlarge. The rest of you?  Head over to your Settings.

Learn how to shut down/silence ringer.  Don’t even think about taking your phone into a public place until you can shut it off properly.  Can’t be fumbling for the first time in a darkened theatre.
Make it Secure  Studies show that mobile phones are the highest security  threat in the workplace. .  Most service providers have decent “backend” protection against hackers and malware but there are few things you should do:
A: don’t keep your Bluetooth or WiFi turned on when you’re not using it; it gives other devices a chance to hack into your system
B: Keep the number of apps that use location based notification to a minimum. Broadcasting your coordinates to your friends doesn’t insure that it stays amongst your friends.

Save Battery Power  A dead phone isn’t much good and smart phones are hungry phones.  Leaving your GPS on; forgetting to end a call, or leaving your phone connected to Wifi even when you’re out and about are perfect battery drainers.  I download an app called Advanced Task Killer – it’s like the RAID of mobile phones. It knock anything that’s running dead.
Now, we’re ready for some App device.

  Stay tuned and enjoy this photo for the MS Windows 7 Mobile launch.  That’s a tweeter on a swing you’re looking at.

At Microsoft's Open House in NYC, a tweetie bird answered tweets from her perch below a treehouse.