Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Friday, 25 April 2014

Phone Cleaning Could Be The Best Kind Of Spring Cleaning You Do -

Phone Cleaning Could Be The Best Kind Of Spring Cleaning You Do - 

As the dust gets swept out of corners and the closets get cleared of clothes, it's probably your one most important material possession that's still in need of some spring cleaning — your phone, of course.

The virtual holder of all your information is a great spot for clutter to gather as well, and unless you've hit your memory max recently, you likely haven't bothered looking at half of what's on there.

Kulveer Taggar, the CEO of Agent, an app that helps make everyday tasks easier via your phone, says people can make their phones faster and more organized in very little time.

There's plenty of advice online, not to mention apps that can assist, that prompt you toward cleaning up your mobile device (and yes, that goes for tablets too). We've amassed it together for your spring cleaning pleasure, so take 20 minutes out of your weekend and trash some of the apps and contacts you've been hanging on to for way too long. Just because it's digital doesn't mean it can't weigh you down.

Clean Up Your Apps
Remember that game you tried and hated, and then immediately forgot about? It's still sitting there on your phone, taking up memory and waiting for your next bout of boredom. Don't let it win (because you certainly can't win it), and just delete it. Now. The same goes for that budget app you always "intended" to use and the travel guide to Madrid from your Spain trip four years ago. You can always download it again if you need it.

Change Location Permissions
Depending on your phone philosophy, you may or may not let apps access where you are at all times. But if you've distractedly pushed "allow" on a few too many, it can drag down your phone, and in some cases, invade your privacy. Go through the list of apps that use location services, and make sure you're OK with all of them.

Go Through Contacts
No, you don't need the phone number for your old roommate's ex-girlfriend — if you really want to get in touch her, that's what Facebook is for. Because many phones automatically save contacts when you, for example, email someone new, clearing out the list is a good way to pare down on the essentials. You can also create groups so that you only see certain numbers when you want them.

Check On Notification Settings
Like location permissions, push notifications can happen without you noticing them when you download apps. And maybe you've gotten lazy about getting rid of them, even if they're annoying. But it can be worth your while to stop the clutter of their pop-up messages, if only just for your mental health.

Delete And Back Up Pictures
No, you don't need the 10 takes it took before getting that perfect sunset shot. So this is actually a two-step process. First, go through your pictures and delete any extraneous shots that are still lingering there. Next, get to a computer and back up what's left. And then delete them all and start fresh (though if you want to hang onto a few sentimental shots of your kids/food/best night out ever, we understand).

Look For Background Refreshers — And Stop Them
For many apps on new phones, there's a setting called "background app refresh" or "background source refresh" that allows apps to keep pulling in new data (and using yours in the meantime) while they're open in the background. Check to make sure the ones that have permission to do that are ones you want.

Clear The Cache
Who knew? Your phone has a cache, just like your computer (which makes sense, given that you use an Internet browser for both). Androids have an app called, usefully, the App Cache Cleaner, which can get rid of the cached files and free up memory. Meanwhile, for iPhones, go to "Settings" for any browsers you use and hit "clear cache."

Do The Updates
Those software updates you're sent every once in a while (we're looking at you, iOS) aren't there just to annoy you with design changes. They can also (a) make your phone work better, and (b) make your phone more secure. So if you've been putting off downloading the new system, take a deep breath and dive in.

Optimize The Battery
There are many, many ways to drain your battery throughout the day, but there are also almost as many ways to optimize it. If you haven't already, change settings on things like brightness, and minimize your screen brightness to the shortest available time, advises PC World. Again, an app like Battery Optimizer for Android can help you, and other suggestions, like turning off Bluetooth unless you need it, can help. Check out PC World's full list here.

Get It Literally Clean
And while you're at it, it's probably a good idea to literally clean your phone on the outside too. Studies find that 2,700 to 4,200 units of bacteria are on your phone at any given time, according to Time, and yes, they can result in illness. How-To Geek describes how to do this quickly and easily using distilled water, cotton swabs and a microfibre cloth — just remember to take the case off too!


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