A new smartphone is like a blank slate. Oh sure, there’s some writing already along the edges put there by the manufacturer and carrier, but smartphones also have plenty of hard drive space for apps and media and a lot of settings users can fool around with. Which settings and which apps you get depends on the smartphone in question, but there are a few basic things just about every smartphone owner can and should do as part of their phone’s setup.
Image via Flickr by Ervins Strauhmanis
Most smartphones insist that you set up at least one layer of security when you first turn them on. This could be a password, a passcode, a swipe pattern, or a fingerprint lock. Depending on the model, you can then set up all the other security measures to cover all your bases. However, you don’t have to stick with just the onboard security features.
There are apps for everything, including security, and you can download and use them to add a few new security features. A password manager can keep track of the passwords you use for websites and apps to make logging in more convenient. You can get antivirus and firewall software to protect against malware, you can get web monitoring and blocking apps for your kids’ smartphones, and you can get a theft-protection app that lets you report your phone as lost, lock it remotely, and even wipe the hard drive in case you don’t think you’ll get it back. You can also consider VPN software for iOS or Android to ensure your security online.
The details of this step depend a lot on the generation and manufacturer, but the basic question you should ask yourself is, “When do I want my smartphone to remind me it exists?” By default, your phone will alert you when you get a text message or a phone call, but you can set up notifications for other services, too. While your phone is locked, it can notify you when news stories come up, when you get emails on a linked account, or when someone messages you through Facebook or Twitter.
Since T-Mobile has been ranked as the fastest network, beating out Verizon and AT&T, whenever you get a notification you will be able to access that email, news update, or other information without delay.
Back when answering machines were a thing, you could record your own message that people will hear when they call you, and you don’t pick up. Voicemail is the mobile version of an answering machine, but many people don’t realise you can still record your own message instead of letting the default robot voice tell your caller what to do. And if you’re wondering now how to set up your voicemail, T-Mobile lays it out nice and easy.
Image via Flickr by Mike MacKenzie
Android has Apple beat when it comes to this step since Android phones come with a lot more customisation options for what information you can put on the main screen. Your phone can display the time, the weather, and your location, plus you’ll still have enough room left over for the apps you use most often. Still, even the iPhone lets you organise and rearrange apps, plus both systems let you create folders to save space and organise your apps by how often you use them or what type they are.
The default backgrounds on smartphones are pleasant and inoffensive, or else they feature company logos front and centre. But why should you stick with the default when you don’t have to? You can find all sorts of wallpapers for your home and lock screens both on your phone and online, and depending on the phone, you can also set screen colours and otherwise customise your phone’s appearance.
Aside from all that, there are the usual steps of synchronising with your old phone, signing in on your Google or Apple accounts, re-downloading any apps that didn’t transfer over, and wiping your old phone once you’re done with it. With the basic steps done and with your new phone as protected and personalised as you can manage, you won’t have to fiddle around with it later when you suddenly realise the settings feel uncomfortable.
Above mentioned things are those which you must know and set up as a smartphone owner so that you can get most out of it. Also, security is the biggest concern, so you know this primarily to avoid being a victim of stolen or hacked phone.
Hope this blog post gives you a good insight about the important things to know about your smartphone, and then set those up on the phone.