13 Fall 2017 | www.htcinc.net 12 www.htcinc.net | Fall 2017 Savvy solutions for smartphone users Ahh — the ever-evolving smartphone. It connects us to family, keeps us entertained and allows convenient research on the go. Like it or not, the smartphone has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. We hardly ever leave home without it, so why not use it to its full potential? Follow these tips to make the most of your experience. Say cheese! A picture’s worth a thousand words, but a high-quality image taken by a smartphone is worth a thousand and one, plus a high-five. Use these five tips to take photos that put a smile on your face time after time. Crop, don’t zoom. Camera quality has increasingly become a priority for smartphone users, with tech companies upgrading their resolution more and more with each new release. As a reference point, the Galaxy S5 boasts a whopping 16-megapixel camera. What this means is that you can generally crop your photos without having to worry about image resolution. While it’s tempting to zoom in on your subject, this distorts and lowers the quality of the image. Stick to cropping afterward. Edit, don’t filter. The pre-determined washes that appear as an option when you capture your image are limiting. Instead, adjust the brightness, contrast, coloring and more using the in-phone camera’s editing features. Or, download a photo-editing app like Snapseed, Aviary or Instagram and take your photos to the next level. Focus! As you are about to capture your picture, lightly tap the screen of your smartphone to focus the camera on your subject. It’s a quick way to help boost the camera’s focus and ensure that the lighting is optimized. Ditch the flash. It’s bright, often unintentional and usually annoying to those around you — so turn the flash off. It tends to make a photo look overexposed and make people look washed-out. You’d be better off searching for some natural light or using the “Exposure” tool post-capture in your photo editor or app. Clean your dirty lens! This advice may seem a little simplistic — but sometimes, that’s all it takes! Your lens picks up dirt, dust and who knows what else as it rolls around in your purse or pocket. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the lens before you snap your next shot. Save up! While smartphones add connection and convenience to our lives, it can be a pain to constantly try to beat the dreaded red-battery icon. Use these tricks to beat the screen blackout and coax the most life out of your battery. Don’t let your phone get too hot. This is especially pertinent to our community members here in Horry County! The hot Carolina sun can do some damage to battery life — permanent damage, in fact. If you’re out in the yard, at the beach or at a ballgame, try to keep your smartphone covered in your bag or pocket. Don’t use auto brightness. It may seem efficient, but auto-brightness is usually much brighter than you really need. It’s better to manually set the brightness to a low level and give it a boost when you need, versus letting the device decide for you and auto-adjust. Lower brightness altogether. In fact, screen brightness is one of the biggest battery-drainers. Operating with a dimmer brightness on your device saves a good bit of energy. Further, make sure your phone’s auto-lock time is set as low as possible (ideally 30 seconds or less) so that your screen won’t stay on when you’re not using it. Both of these adjustments can be made under “Settings.” Don’t shut down every app, every time. There was a time when articles floated around the internet instructing us all to completely close every app after use. The most recent word from technologists is that you won’t save battery life by constantly doing that. Smartphone operating systems are now advanced managers of active apps, and they don’t usually run in the background anymore. While some apps may still run in the background, it won’t affect you much if you’re in a low-power mode already. If you do close and reopen the app relatively frequently, it tends to consume more power than if you’d just left everything as it was. Keep these tech tips in your back pocket! And be sure to check out the latest lineup of new smartphones at your closest HTC location or by visiting www.htcinc.net/wireless.