Top 10: Ways to Make Your Device Feel Newer

I’m sure we’ve all been there.

We have owned a smartphone or tablet for almost 2 years, about due for an upgrade but you can’t bare the cost to upgrade your phone for what it offers.

In this post, I am going to list my Top 10 ways that you can make your smartphone or tablet feel newer, with all thoughts being my own opinion.

10. Change the order of your web browser bookmarks

For people that have a lot of bookmarks in their smartphone’s web browser (e.g. Safari or Chrome) you could be tapping on the same button every day.

Changing the order that they are in will get you thinking of where the button is now and will feel different because it is not in the same spot.

9. Find a new game or app to get hooked on

The easiest place to do this is to go to either the iOS or Google Play App Store and go to the charts to see what is popular among other people.

Some people will think there phone is still if they play the exact same game on a regular basis.

supermario
Nintendo announced Super Mario Run at Apple’s September 2016 Event

I’ve been playing Subway Surfers for quite a while now and after I’ve unlocked everything I’ll need a new game to play, which will likely be Super Mario Run.

8. Delete unwanted apps to free up storage space

This is incredibly important for people that either have:

  • A very cluttered home screen of apps.
  • Less than say 3GB’s of storage space on their phone.

The easiest way to free up space on your phone is to delete apps that you no longer use or off-load your photos to a computer or cloud storage solution such as Google Photos or Apple’s Photo Stream.

7. Change your phone’s unlock pin

A report that came out a few months ago suggested that the average iPhone user, unlocks their phone via either a passcode or Touch ID 80 times a day.

Other smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung and LG suggest the number is as high as 150 times per day.

That is up to 80-150 times you have to enter any of:

  • 4-digit PIN.
  • 6-digit PIN.
  • Alphanumeric password.
  • Draw a Path.

Just changing your unlocking method will make it feel less tedious day to day.

6. Change your keyboard to a 3rd party option

Do you use the same QWERTY keyboard that came with your phone when you turned it on the first time?

This is not unusual for people to stick with the default keyboard, but there are lots of different alternatives out there.

A popular option for iOS and Android is SwiftKey (recently acquired by Microsoft), which allows you to swipe your finger between letters on the keyboard and also detects what words you are entering. For people that can master this, it could help speed up your typing experience.

Microsoft has also a few months ago released an app called “Word Flow” for iOS, which curves the keyboard towards one side of the screen to make it easier to type one handed on larger screened devices. This will make a big phone (or phablet) feel like a smaller phone that is more one-handable.

5. Get a new phone case

Do you see all of these phone cases on eBay and in shops at your local shopping centre? Do you know why?

It’s because they want you to buy into the idea that you need more than one type of case for different situations, being social, casual, work etc.

Just changing your case to one of the same type but in a different colour will make you feel like you have a new phone because instead of looking at a red edge around your screen, you could be looking at a blue, or green, or yellow or any other colour.

4. Change the apps you use for default operations

Your probably thinking that the apps you use are what need changing because you interact with them all the time.

Depending on what the app does, there is likely an alternative out there.

Instead of using the Mail app that comes with your iPhone for example, you could be using either the Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo email apps (where appropriate).

For Calendars, there are options like Fantiasical 2, of whom won a 2015 Apple Design Award.

The list goes on and on.

3. Re-arrange apps on your home screen

Everything that you do on your phone, except for incoming phone calls and alerts are all done via the home screen in terms of launching apps.

You have likely got these apps set up in a specific order and you do not want to change it because you do not want to change your muscle memory.

Re-arranging the apps on your home screen will help to reduce boredom using your phone, because it will make you start thinking without realising it.

This is easier to do on Android than iOS because you can put your apps anywhere on your screen instead of in a set grid system from top left to bottom right like on iOS, which I requested in my iOS 10 Wishlist but since that did not happen, it’ll be in my iOS 11 Wishlist.

2. Change your ringtones/alert tones

If you’re someone who uses their phone as a phone (pun intended) and get lots of calls, you may possibly have a ring in your ear of your phone’s ringtone about to go off.

Changing this alert tone to something different can help your phone feel newer and in some ways, more unique.

A lot of people do not change their ringtones after getting their phone, so when a phone call goes off in a public place for example, you start to question if it is your phone or not.

Having a unique ringtone will make your phone stand out from the crowd and can also reflect your personality.

For example, you could have the TopGear theme song if you are a petrol-head.

This also applies to alert tones, for things like SMS, new and sent mail, reminders and calendars.

Now if you want to change alert tones for apps that give you lots of notifications such as Facebook Messenger, Twitter or SnapChat that give you the same alert tone for every user, there is no way currently (unless supported in the app) to change this.

I hope this gets updated at the operating system level for iOS, so you can choose an alert tone for notifications on an app-by-app basis. This would allow everyone’s smartphones to be more unique and save you having to hear the same Facebook Messenger alert tone every-time in public places.

1. Change your wallpaper

Perhaps the quickest and easiest way to make your smartphone feel newer/different is by changing the wallpaper on the home screen.

This is because the wallpaper on iOS for example is reflected on:

  • Lock screen and when entering PIN codes (unless you have a dedicated image for the lock screen, which you should change that as well).
  • Home Screen with app icons
  • Multitasking Tray with changing apps.
  • Colour of buttons when pressed in phone app.

Conclusion

Just because you own a smartphone or tablet that is not the latest, does not mean you have to go out and spend money on a new smartphone or tablet just for the purposes of having a new device.

The upshot of it all is if you change every now and then what you interact with on a daily basis to make the operations on the phone feel less repetitive, you will hopefully be less willing to have the urgent need to upgrade your phone.

And the question I have for this post is:

“How do you keep your phone feeling new?”

For me, I mainly change my wallpaper and have even done things like changing the app icons around, but will be looking into doing more of the above things soon as I still own an iPhone 5s that I got at launch.

If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like and follow me for more posts like this in the future on Twitter @neilh_apps.

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