Smartphones may seem simple to the generations that grew up with them, but for first time smartphone users that just isn't true. There are so many features on a smartphone that it can easily become confusing and overwhelming for someone that isn't familiar with the technology. Luckily, there are some tricks to make smartphones not as difficult to use for those who aren't so tech savvy.
When you begin to set up your smartphone, there will likely be passwords that you need to create and save for things like Apple ID, Google accounts, and more. There are apps that you can download to keep track of all of your passwords, or it may be a good idea to keep a physical password book. This way it will be easy to find any password that you may forget in the future.
One feature that is definitely useful is Find My iPhone (for iOS devices) or Find My Device (for android phones). To set up Find My iPhone, go to Settings, click on your name at the very top, and find the section that says "Find My." From there you can click to enable the function.
On an android phone, install the app Find My Device if it is not already on your phone. From there it has you sign into your Google account and allow GPS and location services to be on. With these functions set up, finding your phone will be much easier if it ever gets misplaced. You can track its location by signing in on another device, such as a friend or family member's phone.
Another feature to set up on your phone is a lock screen password. This ensures that no one can get into your phone except you. Pick a password that is easy for you to remember and keep track of it in the place you store your other passwords. If you are not worried about other people accessing your phone, then you may choose not to have a password to make it easier to access. There is also an option on some iPhones to scan your finger instead of entering a password. To enable this, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode.
Locating things on the main screen of your phone can be tricky if it's filled with tons of apps. To make it simpler to navigate, you can use folders to organize apps that are similar, such as social media, games, or finance apps. To create folders, simply hold down on an app and drag it to another app that you want to be in the same folder. From there you can name it and add other apps. You can also put your most used apps in the bottom bar of your screen, where they are set apart easy to locate. Good apps to include are messenger, contacts, safari, calling, or anything else you use more regularly.
The text on phones can often get very small and hard to read, especially if you have any vision impairments. Luckily, there is an option on smartphones to increase text size to make things easier to read. On iPhones go to Settings >Accessibility > Display & Text Size to change the text. On Androids, go to Settings > Accessibility > Font Size.
Voice control is a really handy tool for navigating things on your phone or using a short cut to find what you need. On iPhones, Siri is the default voice control. To enable Siri, go to Settings > Siri & Search. You can then say "Hey Siri" followed by a command such as "call Joe" or "where is the nearest gas station" and Siri will find the answer for you. The Android equivalent of this is the google assistant, which works the same with the exception of saying "hey Google" instead. To use google assistant go to Settings > Google > Search Assistant & Voice to enable it.
Speak text is a way to have text read out loud to you if it is hard to see. You can simply click on the text you would like read out loud, and your phone will speak it to you. To enable this feature on an iPhone, go to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver. On an Android, go to Settings > Accessibility > Select-to-Speak.
Sometimes it can get hard to type on a smartphone, especially when the letter buttons are smaller. One way to get around this is by using dictation, where your phone types out whatever you say out loud. When you go to your keyboard to type, click the button with a microphone icon that is located on both iPhones and Androids. Simply click that button and then speak aloud what you would like your phone to type.
Smartphones can be overwhelming at first, but there are many ways to simplify the user experience. Using features like voice control, password trackers, or app folders are quick fixes that can make your smartphone much easier to use and save you from unneeded hassle.