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9 Things You Should Do After Buying A Smartphone

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If you do not already own a smartphone, then there is a very high probability that you will own one before the end of 2011 as Nielsen predicts the US smartphone penetration to go beyond 50% in 2011. That means even more people would be asking how to get the maximum value from the smart phone in their pocket. This article will help you answer that question.

smartphones

1. Install a Mobile Antivirus

In a guest post about best antivirus for smartphones, published back in January 2011, we had argued that smartphones would attract increasing number of virus attacks. That prediction has come true with the recent episode of malware in applications available in the official android market. Since you will be using the mobile for many data sensitive activities like email, mobile banking etc, installing a good Mobile Antivirus on your smartphone should be your top most priority. We recommend the following five popular mobile antivirus programs:

  • Kaspersky Mobile Security
  • F-Secure Mobile Security
  • BullGuard Mobile Security
  • AVG Antivirus
  • Lookout Mobile Security

2. Setup a Security key to unlock your Smartphone

Now that most of the important information such as email ids, contacts, bank account numbers etc.  are stored on the mobile, identity theft becomes a real danger in case your handset falls in wrong hands. Most of the smartphone OS like iOS, Android, Bada, Symbian come with phone lock configuration that provides a first level of data protection in such scenarios.

We strongly recommend that you activate this feature as soon as possible to protect your data and to avoid someone else browsing or misusing the personal information stored on your mobile.

3. Install Backup software (for contacts and important data)

Back in the good old days only the computer used to hang and loose all data. Unfortunately as the mobile phones continue to get smarter the chance of losing data, because of some software and/ or hardware malfunction, has increased significantly.

There are many applications that let you backup important data/files and contact information stored in your phone. Some of them allow you to schedule automatic backups as well. Go ahead and set up one of them so that you will not have to lose your brain the next time your mobile refuses to respond.

4. Configure Facebook, Twitter, Email and Instant Messenger

What use is a smartphone if you are not using it for email, messaging and social networking on the go?

Almost all smartphones today support emails/ push emails, IMs, Facebook and Twitter. So go ahead and configure them and be connected 24X7.

5. Define and configure your bookmarks and shortcuts

A smartphone is supposed to make you more efficient and better connected. A small step in this direction is setting up bookmarks for the websites you browse often and shortcuts for your most frequent tasks and applications.

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This will make sure that you spend less time on navigating to the website or application.

6. Get a good screen guard installed

It is great, if you already have a screen guard for your touch screen mobile. If not, get one. Screen guard is one of the most crucial accessories that you will get for your mobile as it protects the display of your smartphone and prevents it from scratches, which can hamper your experience with the phone.

In fact most of the newly launched smartphones like Nokia N8 come with a protective glass layer called Gorilla Glass which is scratch and break resistant.

7. Install Skype

Skype is the best software for VOIP, voice chat and video chat. Skype is also available for almost all smartphone platforms.

Once you have Skype on your smartphone you can do voice chat (or call your friends in US and other countries) on your 3G network or Wi-Fi without being tied in front of your computer.

8. Install and configure mobile banking software

Most of the banks offer their mobile banking software for all smartphone platforms. By installing the mobile banking software you can do banking (almost all the basic banking functions) on your mobile itself.

But a note of caution here is that you should install a Mobile Security Software for added protection against theft/virus and subsequent misuse.

9. Configure your phone to improve its battery life

Smartphones tend to consume a lot of power because of large displays and high end processors. So once you get your smartphone, you should configure your handset’s power options in a way that will enable your phone to run much more on a single charge.

Some simple tips to improve battery life:

  • Adjust your display brightness settings. Brighter the screen, more is the battery consumption. So turn on the ambient light sensor / Auto-brightness that automatically adjusts the brightness of the display depending on the surrounding light
  • Check for backlight timer settings. If possible reduce the time for backlight timer.
  • Turn on Wi-Fi only when necessary. If you leave it on, it will keep draining the battery.
  • Turn off GPS and Bluetooth when you are not using them. GPS in particular drains your battery.
  • Use vibration mode when necessary as it consumes more power than simple ringtone.
  • Use applications judiciously. There are many apps (like the ones which need Adobe Flash), that consume a lot of CPU processing power, which in turn drains out your battery. Avoid using these applications when the battery is running low.
  • Push mail keeps synchronizing/ checking for email every few minutes and consume battery. If you really don’t need push mail, don’t use it. Instead you can check email manually as required. Alternatively increase the time interval for auto refresh of mails.


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Sulakshan runs a price comparison site for Books, Mobiles and Cameras, Games, Appliances - MySmartPrice.com.

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