How to Become a Champ at Using your Smartphone


Not all smartphone consumers connect with the 17th iteration of the latest Apple or Android phone.

There exists a population of struggling texters. (Those keyboards? Downright Lilliputian.) A segment of users might lack smartphone savvy altogether. Now that smartphones populate pants pockets, book bags and handbags everywhere, there’s a steep learning curve to climb.

Gen Xers love technology, though. They ushered in the video-game era. Their joystick/button combo pales in comparison to the complexity of the Xbox controller. Our eyes and fingers aren’t always as keen to so many buttons and options.

Find yourself in catchup mode for the smartphone world? Level up with these resources.

For everything

Asurion Premier Support

It’s a service for major carriers. Asurion includes an app to connect you with tech experts familiar with your phone type. Representatives answer questions about anything on your smartphone, such as how to transfer photos or get the optimal battery life on your device.

Asurion provides coverage for tablets, laptops, gaming consoles and more. Agents can also assist in tech setup, just in time for the holidays.

Howard Forums

It’s not an official site for a specific manufacturer. This community covers a load of phones, though. Users post questions to others who own the same phone type and draw upon the knowledge of more than a million members. Sites also exist for palm phones, blackberries, Windows mobile phones and more.

The manufacturer sites provide FAQs and troubleshooting. I check in with other users who might have experienced the same setbacks I did, though.

For setup

Whoever bought the device for you

Ask a friend or family member to act as your consultant/technician. Sometimes it’s easier to describe what you’d like out of your smartphone experience than to do it yourself. Do you need voice activation? Photo editing? GPS? Request these basics from the start:

SETTINGS | Sync your device with your Google or iTunes accounts, or create them. Ask for a password manager and lock screen pass code. Be sure to activate a find-my-phone feature.

APP TUTORIAL | A seasoned user would recognize which apps you’ll find useful. Apps, software programs you access on your smartphone, cover everything from gaming and social media to shopping and movie/music streaming – and tons more.

CUSTOMIZE | Get comfortable navigating on your device, select background images, ring tones and notification preferences. Hit buttons. Change settings. You might even become the person to turn to when it’s time to set up another newbie’s device.


About Author


Eli studied English and Religious Studies at UNC Charlotte. A former sportswriter, he writes a blog about coaching his daughters in soccer and once was mistaken for racecar driver Juan Pablo Montoya. He writes on the Internet and other technology. He’s a native of Greeley, Colo., an avid NPR listener and average disc golfer.

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