How many social media posts have you seen where someone is distraught over losing “all of their photos” because their phone was broken or lost, or their contacts even?
Have you ever had someone try to text you a three-minute long video?
These types of problems are easily avoidable in 2018. In fact, they are problems that shouldn’t exist anymore. We wanted to try and expedite their, and other smartphone issues, by showing you a few things you should be able to do with your phone in 2018 and how to do them.
Never Lose Your Photos or Contacts
There is no reason to ever lose any photo you take anymore. None. Zero. Pretty much every smartphone on the market has the ability to instantly back up photos to the cloud, or at least back those photos up when your phone is returned to its home network. These photos are saved privately on cloud servers where you can then decide to share them, or just save them for future viewing pleasure.
How to do it: Backing up photos is available for Apple via iCloud, Google via Google Photos, and then Amazon Photos app. Just go into settings in each of these respective apps and set up the auto upload feature. So, no matter which platform you prefer, you can make sure you never lose a photo again, even if your phone is at the bottom of a river. This also applies to your contacts. Tweak your iCloud or Contacts settings to make sure they are backed up. When you set up a new phone, all of those photos and contacts will be available to you (or they will be available to you on your desktop via your cloud service.)
Send a Huge File
Not being able to send a big file can cause a problem. If you’re texting video files to your friends, they are most likely going to come through looking horrible. This is because sending by text will compress the file. What’s the point?
How to send a video: Send video files through internet messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. If that’s not possible, then upload the video to an online drive service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. If you have a gmail account, you already have Google Drive. From there, you can send it as a link to your friends, who can watch the video in full resolution.
Wait, how do I do that?: Google Drive and Dropbox allow you to upload and share files of all sizes without having to send the physical files to people. Instead, you can simply send people links to the files. They then click on the links and, depending on your settings, they can view, edit, and save the files you sent. So, set up an account, upload your video from your phone, then share it from the Google Drive and Dropbox app to your friends in whatever fashion you choose, since what you’re sharing will be a link.
Collaborate on a Document
Ever have to work on a Word document that someone emailed to you? You’ll download the Word doc and make your edits and then you’ll email it back, only for them to make some edits and email it back to you. This laborious chore is so 2000s.
How Do I Do It? The best way to collaborate on documents now is to use a cloud service such as Google Docs or Microsoft Office Online. Once you decide who you’d like to collaborate with by sharing the document to their email address, you and they will be able to make real time changes to the SAME document instead of making multiple revisions to multiple copies of a document. And, yes, you can do all of this directly from your phone.
Save it all
Keeping everything in one place is super important when you’re going on a trip, or planning a video shoot. From multiple tickets and directions to the hotel, to notes that you’ve been accumulating through the course of multiple meetings, putting everything in ONE spot is essential to efficiency.
A great example of this is the travel one. I recently booked a trip across the country and had to use multiple airlines. I also booked an AirBnB in the city I’m traveling to. Sure, all of these different items are found as email confirmations in my Gmail, but that doesn’t help when I’m trying to look at it all at once. The solution? Using a note taking app to consolidate every flight confirmation, my AirBnB address and phone number, and anything else I might need along the way.
I personally use Evernote for note taking, but there are numerous ones out there, including Google Keep. The beauty of these note apps is their simplicity that allows for complexity. Not only can I take quick notes on my phone in order to remember I may need the next day, but I can also put together comprehensive notes that have every piece of valuable information I may need.
Sure, there are many other things that you probably should be able to do on your phone in 2018, like put text on photos and properly Instagram a Cobb salad, but having at least a working knowledge of how to back up, send a large file, collaborate, and coordinate and recall useful information will turn you into a power user just yet.