Missing the home button or hate alerts? Stop annoying smartphone features

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When it comes to consumer technology, there’s a huge list of things that can drive us all crazy.

Take your slow Wi-Fi. You can’t stream, you can’t join a video meeting, and it always happens at the worst time. Tap or click to discover smart ways to speed up your home connection.

How about browsing through thousands of photos, looking for the one you want? Tap or click for a quick shortcut, plus four other smart tech fixes – as a hidden way to know a scammer is calling without picking up your phone.

Our smartphones help us do a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to throw them out the window sometimes. Here are the top complaints I hear about and ways to resolve them:

1. Your screen brightness is constantly changing

Apple’s Face ID does more than unlock your phone. It can also know when you pay attention to your phone. If you look away, your screen dims and your alert volume decreases as well.

Fluctuating brightness can be frustrating. You can disable this feature.

• Go to Settings > Accessibility > Face ID and attention.

• Round stopped Attention-sensitive functions.

On Android, adaptive brightness or auto-brightness uses a sensor to adjust the screen to suit your surroundings. Sometimes it works well, but not always.

The steps vary depending on your phone model, but here’s a starting point.

• Go to Settingsthen Display.

• Find adaptive brightness and enable it stopped.

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2. Your caller cannot hear you

When you’re on a call, your iPhone monitors the noise around you and tries to reduce it, so the person you’re talking to can hear you better. It’s a nice feature, but it could lead to “Wait, what did you say?” too often.

First, check your microphone volume. Press the volume up button during a call to adjust it. You can disable the noise cancellation feature if people still have trouble hearing you.

• Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio-visual and switch stopped Phone noise cancellation.

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3. You don’t want bloatware

Android phones are notorious for coming preloaded with apps that you don’t want or need. These foreign programs slow down your phone and eat up storage space and battery life.

There are several ways to get rid of bloating.

Delete apps from your Android phone:

• Open the Google Play Store app.

• At the top right, tap your Profile icon.

• Faucet Manage apps and devices > Manage.

• Press the app name you want to delete, then select Uninstall.

Some apps cannot be deleted. You can turn them off by long-pressing the app and tapping the Disable option – or you can hide them on some Android phones.

Hide apps by long-pressing the app and dragging it down the screen to the Remove from home screen area. This does not remove or disable the application; he just moves it out of sight.

Hide apps from your Samsung phone

• Open your App drawerthen touch the three points top right.

• Open Home screen settings (or just Settings).

• Select the Hide apps option.

• Choose the apps you want to hide.

• Confirm via the Apply Where Do button.

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4. Your group text is too talkative

Group messages are a fantastic way to stay in touch with friends and family, but constant pings can be too much. Here’s how to turn off conversations on your iPhone:

• Open poststhen press and hold a conversation.

• Faucet Hide alerts.

• You can also do this in the conversation by tapping on the name(s) at the top of the screen, then activating Hide alerts.

It’s a useful option, but you’ll still get notifications if someone mentions you in a group text. You can also disable this type of notification.

• Go to Settings > posts.

• Scroll down to Mentions and toggle stopped Tell me.

On Android, the steps to hide chat alerts vary depending on your phone model. Try that:

• Open poststhen press and hold a conversation.

• Press the three dots icon in the upper right corner.

• Select deactivate the notifications to open the settings for that contact or conversation.

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5. You miss the home button

The iPhone 8 was the last model with a home button. It was a long time ago, but I know change is hard and you may still miss it. You can’t install a physical home button on your phone, but there’s a feature that gets you close:

• Go to Settings > Accessibility > To touch > Support contact.

• Round on Support contact. A button will appear on your screen.

• Under Custom Actions, change the single tap, double tap, and long tap settings.

• If you want the closest home button experience, set Single-Tap to Homethen swipe the button down in the middle of your screen.

• Now whenever you press this virtual button, you will be redirected to your home screen. Cared for!

Keep your technological know-how

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from across the country. Look for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click the link below for a recent episode.

PODCAST CHOICE: Amazon police plans, flying taxis, robot manicures

In this episode, get a $10 manicure from a robot, change that secret Google Maps setting, and watch out for flying taxis. Additionally, Amazon is testing police stations as package collection points, work-from-home jobs that pay $20/hour, and YouTube will allow creators to offer paid video courses next year.

Check out my “Kim Komando Today” podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotifyor your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando”.

Discover all the latest technologies on the Kim Komando show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For his daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit his website at Komando.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.

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