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If you’ve ever wandered in a hot parking lot looking for your car, you’ll love me for this tip.
The next time you park, open Google Maps, tap the blue dot showing your location, and select Set as parking location† Easy, right? Tap or click for a hidden Google Maps security setting that you need to change now†
These little tech tricks might make you think, “Why didn’t someone tell me before?” I did! Tap or click for 10 Incredibly Useful iPhone and Android Tricks That Will Make Your Life Easier†
In the spirit of a better digital life, here are five smart ways you can use your gadgets to fix some of life’s little annoyances. These are also fun to share with friends and family. Just imagine how impressed they will be.
Problem: You are sick of notifications but don’t want to miss what’s important
If you’ve turned on mobile notifications for every email you receive, you know how distracting all the buzzing and beeping can be. You may have turned yours off completely.
Did you know that you can only enable alerts and sounds for important emails? I’ll show you how, using Gmail as an example.
Follow these steps on your iPhone, iPad, or Android:
- First open the Gmail app†
- Press three-line menuthen scroll down to Settings†
- Select your account.
- Then tap Email notifications† Select High priority only†
How does Gmail determine what has high priority? It makes its best guess based on your behavior. You can help the AI make this more accurate.
- Open an email in the Gmail app† Press menu with three dots in the upper right corner.
- Tap Highlight important†
- Open gmail† In your inbox, you’ll see a small arrow next to each email. If you don’t see the arrow, you see a star. Click on the arrow or star to make it yellow. This indicates that the email is important.
- If the arrow or star is yellow on an unimportant email, you can also click the arrow to tell Gmail that you don’t consider the email a high priority.
Think your inbox is private? Bad news. Hidden trackers lurk on many popular and free email providers. Tap or click here for the secret advertisers you don’t want you to know†
Problem: You Can’t Find Your Favorite Vacation Photos
We’ve all experienced it. You are scrolling searching too long for a photo you know is on your phone. Facial recognition, scene and object detection, and artificial intelligence make finding what you’re looking for just a quest away.
On an iPhone:
- Open the Photos app and tap the magnifying glass icon in the lower right corner.
- Enter the name of a place, person (if you assigned it in the Photos app), or search term. You can also search by month or year, category or company name.
Follow the same steps in the Android photo app. Play again with different names, places, events and things.
- Open the Gallery appand then tap the magnifying glass icon near the top.
- Enter your search term to view matches.
If you use Google Photos, the search functions are also powerful.
- Open the Google Photos app†
- Pick a person or pet, view places or things, or even browse by category, such as screenshots, selfies, and videos.
- To search for something specific, type it into the search bar at the top of the page. Results will appear, probably before you even finish typing.
Problem: You take out your phone only to see it’s a scammer again
I like this tip. I recently set this up myself to see who is calling without taking my phone out of my pocket, no smartwatch needed.
You know you can assign ringtones to specific contacts, but you can also set unique vibration patterns. That means you can tell who is calling from the buzzing pattern.
On an iPhone:
- launch you Phone app and tap Contacts† Then select a Contact from the list.
- In the top right corner of the screen, tap edit†
- Hit ringtone if you want the phone to vibrate or Text tone if you want vibrations for lyrics.
- Then tap Vibration† Under the Default list, select a vibration.
- Tap to go back ringtone or Text tone†
- Tap Finished twice to finish.
If you have an Android, you’ll need a third-party app to get this done. Buzzkill is highly rated, but it does cost $2.49. On the plus side, it doesn’t connect to the internet, so your data won’t leave your device.
Another handy feature: you can set Buzzkill to notify you only once when someone texts you multiple times in a row. Cool.
Problem: You hung another frame crookedly on the wall
If you need to put up a picture, you don’t have to grab a spirit level – your phone can do it for you.
On an iPhone:
- Open the Meet app, then tap Level at the bottom right.
- The level appears on the screen and is ready to use.
On an Android:
- Open the Google app or your browser and search for ‘bubble level’.
- Use it just like a normal spirit level, place it on a surface.
Starting a home renovation project? Tap or click for 7 apps that can help you get your DIY job done right†
Problem: You are wasting time typing handwritten notes
Sometimes it’s just easier to write something by hand, but it’s a pain to type everything in once you want to edit it or send it digitally. Here’s an easier way: use the free Google Lens app.
It turns your handwriting into text right before your very eyes. Google Lens is pretty amazing. Tap or click here for direct links to download and more useful features†
If you don’t like using Google products, check out the Evernote app or Microsoft’s OneNote. Both allow you to take a picture of your writing so you can edit it all.
The caveat, of course: if your handwriting isn’t legible, the apps won’t work properly. If you write with goosebumps, speech dictation will also save you from typing. Tap or click for professional tips for better results in Microsoft Word or Google Docs†
PODCAST CHOICE: AirTag Travel Hack, Protect Alexa Privacy, Texting Tricks
A man found his lost luggage thanks to an Apple AirTag. I’ll tell you how these trackers can help you, and how to use Apple’s new self-service repair program. Plus, you’ll soon see Prime delivery across all sorts of online stores. This is why. You’ll also learn a Google privacy trick, why brick-and-mortar metaverse stores are opening, and more.
Watch my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast player.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts from. Just search for my last name, ‘Komando’.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s National Radio Show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station† You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
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Learn about the latest technology on The Kim Komando show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim answers phone calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. Visit her website at Komando.com for her daily tips, free newsletters and more.