By Tracey Dowdy
Having a smartphone has put a calendar, a camera and a music library in our pockets. I depend on mine for everything from online banking and scheduling appointments to snapping photos at a wedding last weekend.
I love my phone and am absolutely dependent on it, but because I use it so frequently and for so many purposes, I run into three issues fairly frequently: lack of storage, battery drain, and cutting it close on my data usage. These tips and tricks have helped me work around those issues and make the most of my iPhone.
I have a16G iPhone 5C. The catch is that with the operating system and native software factored in, I really only have 12.6G of available storage. Videos, photos, music, messages and apps eat up space so trimming them is the easiest way to free up space.
Delete Apps: Go to Settings app > General >Usage > Manage Storage to get an overview of what’s taking up the most space. You can delete any unused or unnecessary apps from within settings by tapping on them in the list. You can also delete apps by holding down the app icon on the home screen. The apps will start to shake and simply tap on the X that appears to delete.
Delete Messages: Swipe left and tap Delete from within your message history.
Delete Photos and Videos: The easiest way to clear out your photos and videos is to open the Camera Roll or Video albums. Tap Select, tap each photo or video you want to delete and then tap the trash can icon.
I’m one of those people whose anxiety spikes when my battery level drops below 30 percent. Who am I kidding, I hate when it gets below 50 percent! Several things can contribute to battery level dropping quickly and if you know it’s going to be a while before you can recharge, the following changes can make a big difference.
Lower the Brightness: Lowering the brightness level on your display has a big impact on how quickly your battery drains. Go to Settings>Display>Brightness and slide the cursor to the left.
Turn off Location Services: Location tracking services are a constant drain, as once you’re off Wi-Fi your phone starts searching for the nearest tower. Open Settings> Privacy >Location Services to toggle off.
Close Apps Running in the Background: The fastest way to close apps running in the background is to double tap the Home Button. Your phone will display all the apps currently open, just swipe up to close them. Your other option is to turn off Background App Refresh. Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and toggle off.
Reduce your Data Usage
Unless you have an unlimited plan, you run the risk of going over your data usage. However, a few simple changes can keep you within your plan’s limits. The most obvious choice is to disable your mobile data and only turn it on when needed but that’s a hassle and there are better ways to reduce usage and prevent those expensive overage charges.
Change your Settings: Go to Settings>Mobile>Mobile Data Usage. Two counters are displayed: Current Period and Current Period Roaming which lets you know where you are in your usage since the last time you reset – if ever – the counter. Below the counters is a list of apps using mobile data. Simply scroll through the list and toggle off any apps you don’t want using data when Wi-Fi is unavailable. If you reset the counter each month, you’ll have a fairly accurate picture of where you are in your usage but keep in mind there’ll be some delay.
Change Settings within Apps: Some apps have their own settings that let you chose data or Wi-Fi only. Open the app in Settings and toggle off any you don’t want eating up your usage.
Disable Background App Refresh: Background App Refresh is great if you want updated information when you open your apps. If you’re okay with the information being downloaded just when the app is launched, go to Settings>General>Background App Refresh. You can disable it completely or choose specific apps to restrict.
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.