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In this article, we will cover different ways to reduce the complexity of your smartphone. In Part 1 of Making Your Smartphone Age-Friendly, we covered how to increase its overall readability.
Offloading or deleting unused apps
How often do you use all the apps installed on your smartphone? According to this article on LinkedIn, research shows that an average smartphone user has over 80 installed apps but only uses a handful regularly.
Offloading an application means deleting its data (files and documents) that are taking up memory on the device but not deleting the app itself. For instance, a messaging app might save entire conversations and photos in memory to load faster when used. Offloading that app will delete the messages saved on your phone. The next time you use the app, the conversations and photos will load from the cloud instead of the phone’s memory.
A better option than offloading unused apps is deleting them.
Deleting unused apps have many benefits, including:
- Reducing complexity by allowing most used apps to be easy to find
- Saving space on your device
- Making your device more responsive and faster
If you are an Android user, you can find some beneficial information, including a step-by-step process on how to offload or delete unused apps from the Google Support website.
On iOS, follow these steps to offload or delete any app quickly:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap on General
- Tap on iPhone Storage
- From there, you will see your phone’s memory state and a list of all your apps. By tapping on any of the apps, you can either offload or delete them.
Organizing your smartphone
Another great way to reduce the complexity of your smartphone is by organizing and decluttering it. Is it sometimes challenging to find a specific app or a person to text or call? If yes, then it might be time to reorganize your phone.
To declutter your smartphone, you can:
- Use Folders and different screens to organize your apps.
- You can keep your Home screen simple, with only the apps you often use.
- In calling and messaging apps, you can pin your favorite people or conversations at the top to make them easily discoverable or accessible.
Extra tips to reduce the complexity of your smartphone:
- Instead of relying on a passcode exclusively, use FaceID or fingerprint, which are more secure, faster, and easy to remember 😃.
- Some newer Android devices now adopt gesture navigation instead of the classic 3-button navigation style. The good news is that you could revert to the previous classic 3-button navigation style by doing the following:
- Open your device’s Settings app and go to System > Gestures > System navigation.
- From there, select the classic 3-button navigation style.
- If you are a Samsung Galaxy user, you can turn on Easy Mode, which has a simplified Home screen layout with oversized on-screen items, longer touch-and-hold delay to prevent accidental actions, and much more. You can learn more about Samsung’s Easy Mode and how to activate it at this link.
Bonus: Jan 28 is Data Privacy Day
There is no better time than the present to remind everyone to practice safe Data Privacy hygiene. If you do not know where to start with Data Privacy, here are a few tech-tip videos and articles that might help:
- How to limit tracking on Android
- How to limit tracking on iPhone
- How to adjust Alexa recording settings
Leave a comment below with any questions or input that you might have!
Techspert Jonathan is Senior Planet’s Sr. Digital Community Relations and Product Specialist and a former Senior Planet San Antonio technology trainer. He is also an iOS developer with a background in Information Systems and Cyber Security.
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