Life

The five smartphone hacks you need to know about

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SMARTY

How many times do you look at your phone each day? Forty times, maybe? Guess again. According to new research, we check our phones an average of 85 times a day. It’s no surprise, then, that mobile tariff provider SMARTY has come up with an easy way to manage your data to make sure you’re not paying over the odds each month. And, as an extra spark of genius, they’ve put together these savvy tricks to help you make the most of those precious megabytes.

communications concept: girl using a digital generated smart phone. All screen graphics are made up.

Sort out your inbox

There’s a lot to be said for switching off background refresh on any app, but email especially. This goes double if you have your work emails on your phone, or you get a lot of unrelated business spam. First, set up some filters on your email account so that unimportant stuff gets siphoned out of your inbox, leaving it focused and streamlined. Then get rid of background refresh and notifications on any non-essential messaging apps – this also applies to Messenger and WhatsApp.

Happy girls on a vacation in Paris

Get savvy with the Cloud

“What difference does it make? My photos are on my phone,” we hear you cry. “They’ve been taken by a MACHINE. Where’s the data loss?” All of this is true – but if you’ve set your pictures to automatically upload to the Cloud, then you could be rolling up your data allowance and throwing it away. Make sure you’ve only enabled your phone to upload to the Cloud when you’re on WiFi. Remember your new mantra: check your phone settings.

Young woman using cell phone to send text message on social network at night. Closeup of hands with computer laptop in background

Be clever with your settings

You don’t even need to be using an app for it to be quietly using up your data and draining your battery. Head to your phone’s Settings, then switch off Notifications and Background App Refresh. And when you’re in the app, make sure to switch off the auto-playing feature: head to the app’s Account Settings, Video and Photos, hit Autoplay and select On WiFi Connections Only, or Never Autoplay Video. 

Girl friends photograph their feet on terracotta tiled roof with smart phone for social media

Video needn’t use up your data

If, like us, you find yourself scrolling your way through Instagram and watching endless Stories, realising almost an entire hour has passed, fear not. Instagram has introduced an in-app option to cut down on the amount of data you use – just bear in mind it will slow down your experience, so WiFi will continue to be your best option. In Settings, head to Mobile Data Use and select Use Less Data. This will stop videos from automatically loading when you’re using mobile data.

Young African woman smiling while sitting alone at a counter in a bistro taking photos of her meal with her smartphone

Only pay for the data you use

Fortunately, with SMARTY you only pay for the data you use – if you have some left at the end of the month, SMARTY will automatically deduct the value of any unused data from the following month’s plan, meaning extra money for you. There are no contracts – just a £5 monthly service charge and three simple plans starting from £7.50 a month. All SMARTY plans include unlimited UK calls and standard texts. What’s more, refer a friend and both of you will get a month free – you can earn as many free months as you have friends wanting to chat. Now that really is smart.

Find out more about SMARTY here.