Owning a smartphone doesn't make you any smarter. In fact if you're like me, smartphones can leave you feeling, well, sort of dumb. They're infinitely complicated, but there are some easy tricks you can use to make you feel a little smarter.
1. Salvage A Wet Phone
There are a lot of us who've heard that heart-stopping KER-plunk sound as we watch our beloved cellphones slip out of a pocket and disappear underwater. If it's not in a waterproof case there's a really good chance it won't survive...or will it?
You might be able to salvage it with a few steps.
First, DON'T turn it on because you'll fry it. Instead, wipe it down with a soft, dry cloth. If the gadget is dirty you can use rubbing alcohol to clean it.
Second, if the phone has a removable battery, take it out. Then fill a container with uncooked rice and put the smartphone in it overnight. The rice will help pull the moisture out of the gadget.
The next day, put the phone back together and turn it on. If it starts up, congratulations! If not, say "Hi!" to the nice folks at the Apple Store for me.
2. Take a Screenshot
Autocorrect just turned your friend's text into a HILLarious message and you want to share it with your other friends. Capture it as an image with a screenshot.
Here's what you do. On an iPhone, press and hold the Home button along with the Sleep/Wake button. You should hear a shutter "click". The screenshot will appear in your Camera Roll or Saved Photos section.
Using an Android phone? Hold the Power and Volume Down buttons at the same time. The image is saved to the "Captured Images" folder in your Gallery app. Once you capture the image you can share it just as you would any other photo.
3. Find a Phone
The whole idea of a mobile phone (remember when we called them that?) is that they're MOBILE. But, that also means that you take your phone somewhere, put it down and walk away from it.
If you have an iPhone there's an App for that. Apple's Find My iPhone app allows you to use a computer or another iPhone to find your missing phone using GPS.
You can also remotely lock and wipe your phone as well. If you've installed iOS version 7 you even have the ability to take photos of the thief (assuming your phone was stolen). It also has a lock system so they can't wipe the gadget and use it for themselves.
Android devices have apps that do the same thing. Where's My Droid? is a good one to check out.