Phone Call Pro Trick, TV Spies, Facebook Portal, and More: Tech Q&A

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By Kim Komando

Smartphone Speed-Up

Q: I can’t afford a new smartphone. Is there anything I can do to make this one last longer? It’s so slow.

A: 

If your phone is acting sluggish, one of the first things to do is delete unused apps. You’d be surprised how many apps you’ve downloadedover the years that you’ve never used or haven’t used in forever.

This applies to iPhones and Androids. Depending on the make and model of your phone, there are two surefire ways to delete apps. For Androids, we’ll be focusing on Samsung phones since they make up 70% of all Androids made.

To delete apps from Androids

On the display screen, lightly touch but do not press down on the icon for the app you want to remove; a small menu display will appear; click “Uninstall.”

If you don’t have a light touch you can instead go to Settings, scroll down and click Apps. A list of all the apps on your phone will appear. Select the app you want to delete and click Uninstall. Make sure to go back to your display window to delete the widget.

Depending on your Android model, the above steps may not be exactly the same. However, Settings is the place to start when looking to delete apps.

To delete from iPhones

On iPhones with 3D Touch, you can also uninstall an app by lightly touching, but not pressing down, on the app’s icon. After a second you’ll see the Delete button.

If your iPhone doesn’t have 3D Touch, such as the iPhone XR, you can lightly press the icon and hold for a second or two until the “Jiggly” mode appears. Just press the X button to delete the app.

If you don’t have a light touch, launch the Settings app, tap General, tap [iPhone] Storage, scroll down and select the app you want to delete. Tap Delete App, and tap Delete again to confirm that you want to delete the app.

In the ongoing consumer battle over which phone is better, iPhone has a significant advantage over Android in the bloatware department. In Androids, several come pre-installed from your carrier, Google and Samsung. Unless you’re willing to risk rooting your phone, you’re stuck with them.

By contrast, iPhones come with no preloaded carrier software. It does contain some Apple bloatware, but not anywhere near what you find on an Android.

If you’ve gone about cleaning out your apps, you may have caught some battery eaters. When you download a new app, keep an eye on your battery’s lifespan.

If you usually end the workday with 50% power but now find yourself at 15%, it’s very likely the new app is draining your battery. These aren’t necessarily malicious apps (more on them later), but they are power hogs.

Among the biggest power-eating apps are Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Tinder and most news apps. Other battery hogs are weather apps like the Weather Channel or Accuweather. If your phone comes with an installed weather app use that instead. If it doesn’t, just Google the temperature.

Ironically, some of the biggest memory hogs are apps that monitor your battery life. Go figure?

Finally, while it may sound counterintuitive, letting apps run in the background is not a bad thing for Androids. In fact, Android warns that if you are constantly opening and closing apps you can actually hurt your phone’s performance and battery life.

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