Your Mobile Device Needs a New Years Resolution Too

Your Mobile Device Needs a New Years Resolution Too

The new year is all about fresh starts.

While you may be focusing in your health, your career or your education, your digital life garners some attention too. Your mobile device, whether it be a smartphone or a tablet helps you manage your day to day life, so why not help it, help you by cleaning it up, getting rid of the clutter and giving it a fresh start?

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Backup Your Device

Mobile BackupBacking up your device can safely be placed under the category “I’ll do it someday” for most people.

Let’s face it, while it’s good for productivity, there’s more entertaining things you could be doing with your smartphone. Well, no better time than the new year for someday to be today!

Backing up data such as photos, music and contacts on your device actually kills two birds with one stone. While it has the obvious benefit of protecting your data in case your device goes on the fritz, gets stolen or infected by malware, it also makes space for new photos, music and apps.

The ever improving technology behind cloud storage provides you with an easy way to store your backed up data. There are a wide variety of cloud services out there, some with free cloud storage (up until a certain size) that make it easy for mobile device users to use. iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud drive and Microsoft SkyDrive are just a few among the cloud storages on offer.

App Audit

One of the biggest drawcards of the smartphone and tablet, are the large amount of apps available that range from entertainment to productivity to health and fitness.

It is easy for your phone to become chock full of apps, which can, ironically, become a productivity killer.

Mobile Apps

Rid Your Device of Unused Apps

A simple solution is to give unused apps the flick. Be ruthless. The best way to determine which apps to keep and which to flick, is to think about whether you have used that app in the past few months. If not, you will most likely never use it again. The issue with hoarding apps is that all of these unused apps clutter your navigation, making it difficult to find the app you’re actually looking for. This then takes your precious, sparse time away from getting things done.

Restoring Deleted Apps

The best thing about mobile devices and their app ecosystem, is that the apps exist not solely on your smartphone, but also in the cloud, meaning you can restore an app you used to have should you find you are in need of it again.

How to Restore An App On iOS Devices:

Navigate to the App Store, click on “Purchased”. This will bring up every app you have on your device, but it also displays apps you have bought previously and that are not on the device currently. Restoring the app is as easy as simply clicking on it, which will start the installation process. Rest assured that you won’t be charged again for the app as you have already paid for it.

How To Restore An App On Android Devices:

Navigate to the Google Play Store and go to “My Apps”. Every app you have ever bought (except for free apps you have previously downloaded) will be listed, which enables you to restore the app from there. Unfortunately, for any free apps you have previously downloaded you will need to navigate back to the app store page and find the app again.

Organise Your Apps

Continuing on from the previous point on apps, organising your apps into folders is a great way to ensure you can access the app you need quickly, as well as just keeping your mobile device digitally neat and tidy.

iOS app folders

How To Create Folders On iOS Devices:

Press and hold an app icon until all apps start shaking. Then, drag one app on top of another that you’d like to group together. This will create a new folder with the two apps in it. iOS will preselect a name for the folder based on what types of apps are in it (e.g. Photography, Productivity, Games etc), however you can change the name to whatever you like by simply clearing the title bar and typing your own label. You can add up to 12 apps in one folder and have up to 20 folders/ icons on one page.

Android app FoldersHow To Create Folders on Android Devices:

For Android devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (and 4.1 Jelly Bean), you create folders for apps in much the same way as iOS devices.

For older Android devices, you will need to tap and hold the home screen to create a folder and then name it. Once you’ve named it, you can drag and drop app icons into it.

For Windows Phone Users:

Unfortunately for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7 users, there’s no native support for creating app folders. However, you do have the option to ‘pin’ your most frequently used apps to the start screen using the ‘Live tiles’ functionality, providing easy access to the apps you need. However, the WP OS keeps games separate to all of your other apps, by grouping them together in the ‘Game Hub’.

Cache Files

Cache FilesWe spend a lot of time browsing the internet and using apps, which create temporary files that can take up space and memory, sometimes with the affect of slowing down your browsing or app.

It is important to once in a while delete cache files, which you can either do manually or via an app such as ‘Easy Cache Cleaner’. The app scans your phone for cached files, and allows you to clear them out in one go.

The methods for deleting cache files from the mobile browser will vary slightly between browsers, however, they should be located in the browser settings.

Currently the only way to delete the cache files for applications in iOS is to delete the app and re-install it, however, for many this will be inconvenient.

To clear the cache files of applications in Android, you can use the Easy Cache Cleaner app available from the Google Play Store.



Message Inbox

Mobile messagesIt’s easy to let your message inbox expand to an enormous size, particularly for business users who seem to spend most of their time replying to messages. It’s important to routinely clear your message inbox as most of the time once you have replied you won’t have to refer to the message again.

Bulk Deleting Messages In iPhone

You can delete all of your messages in one go on the iPhone via iTunes.

  1. Open iTunes and connect your iPhone to the computer.
  2. Right click on your iPhone name in the left window of iTunes and select Back Up from the pop up menu. (this transfers newest message and other information from your iPhone to the computer)
  3. Run iTunes Backup Manager, select your iPhone name in the left window then select main menu > Plugin-> Messages, the program will pop up a SMS viewer window, it will show all SMS messages in a tree view.
  4. If you want to delete all messages, just select the root of the tree message tree, or you can hold the CTRL or SHIFT key to select multiple messages then click the delete button on the toolbar to delete selected messages.
  5. Exit the SMS viewer window, select main menu > File > Restore and select Only Restore Modified File(s) in the pop up window and press the OK button. (this transfers the modified SMS message database to your iPhone).
  6. After the restore process is completed, your iPhone may restart automatically.

Bulk Deleting Messages in Android

For Android, you can batch delete messages by going to  Messaging > Options > ‘delete threads’. You can also set up in the Message Settings (Messaging > Options > Settings) to delete old messages when the maximum number of messages have been reached.

You can also use a third party app such as ‘Delete Old Messages‘ from the Google Play Store.

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