The first things to change on your new phone

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Want to get the best out of your new phone? Here's what to do...
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The first things to change on your new phone

The first settings to change on your smartphone

You’ve got a new phone. Congratulations! Naturally, you’ll be wanting to show it off as soon as possible. But let’s not be too hasty. Before you head out the door there are a few things we recommend you do.

1. Make it secure

You might be lucky enough to have a phone with fingerprint scanner protection. If so, go through the set-up process right now.

Don’t worry if your phone doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner or state-of-the-art security features. A good old PIN is enough to protect your phone from anyone lifting it up and accessing your personal information.

If you’ve got an Android phone, it’s also worth checking out SmartLock. This lets your phone stay unlocked in certain locations -at home, for example - where you don’t want the hassle of unlocking it every time you pick it up.

If you want to set this up, go to Settings, search for ‘Smart Lock’, and tap it. You can then select the situations when it’s safe for your phone to stay unlocked.

Must reads:
4 security tips for your Android phone
4 security tips for your iPhone

2. Make it lock automatically

Leaving your screen on when it’s not in use isn’t a good idea. Not only does it drain your battery, but it’s also a security risk. The good news is that it’s easy to lock it automatically. We suggest you turn down the timeout interval as low as possible, so that your phone locks as soon as it detects you’re not doing anything.

To do this on iPhone, tap Settings / Display & Brightness / Auto-Lock.

If you’ve got an Android phone, go to Settings / Display / Screen Timeout.

3. Make it trackable

There’s nothing worse than losing your phone. Luckily, you can track it down if you’ve set things up correctly.

To do this on your Android phone, go to Settings / Security & location / Find My Device.

If you’ve got an iPhone, go to Settings, tap your Apple ID name, then your device’s name, and enable ‘Find My iPhone’.

The tools for Android and iPhone work in very similar ways. You can track your device’s location on a map in a web browser, get the phone to ring (in case it’s lost behind the sofa), and lock or wipe it remotely if it’s lost or stolen.

4. Be good to your battery

An overly-bright display is one of the worst things for power draining, so go into your Display settings and make sure it’s not set at an eyeball-meltingly high level. Set it at the lowest level where you can still see everything clearly.

You can also try turning the ‘automatic brightness’ feature off. This feature’s a good idea, but it’s not always perfect. Try doing without it, and seeing how you get on.

Finally, check out your phone’s battery saving feature. These vary between manufacturers, so take some time to find out what yours has to offer, and have a think about how you’ll be able to use it if you find yourself running low.

5. Back it up

If you do ever have to wipe your phone, you’ll definitely want to have a backup available. Let’s be honest, this is the kind of thing that we usually don’t bother with until it’s too late. So go ahead and do it now.

If you’ve got an Android phone, go to System /Backup, and select your backup option.

If you’ve got an iPhone, go to Settings, tap your Apple ID name, then your device’s name, and choose whether you’d like to keep a copy of your data in iTunes or iCloud.

And that’s all there is to it. You’re now free to head on out the door with your new phone. What do you think? Have we missed out any handy tips? Feel free to share your own favourites with us below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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