(BPT) - As with all technology, mobile phones have come a long way in a short amount of time. Gone are the days of big, bulky phones. Today, phones are sleek and slender and, in most cases, smart, allowing users to surf the Internet, watch movies and keep in touch with friends and family.
The potential downside of smartphones is the assumption that they are difficult to use. However, with a few simple tips, smartphones can be easier to operate than older cell phone models. Once the basics are mastered, users can easily take advantage of all the features, giving them a new way to communicate with friends and family - particularly younger family members.
With more than 2 million users and the highest overall customer satisfaction of any mobile carrier, according to Nielson Mobile Insights, Consumer Cellular caters exclusively to the boomer and senior demographic. If you’re uncomfortable with contracts, don’t worry. The company offers popular smartphones, like the Apple iPhone, without forcing you to sign a contract. This offers you the flexibility to pay month by month with the option to cancel at any time. It’s a perfect option for anyone who wants to try something new.
Consumer Cellular recently teamed up with AARP to offer smartphone classes for seniors. The classes don’t just cover the basics of how to operate a phone, but also delve into how smartphones can enhance your lifestyle. So if you’re ready to upgrade to a smartphone, or already have one but just want to better understand it, here are five tips that can help:
1. Communicate easier with family members – Text messaging has become one of the most widely used forms of communication. Many seniors report once they start texting, they are able to communicate with grandchildren more frequently. A unique “text” language has also developed, and many find it enjoyable to send emojis (small cartoonish pictures) or abbreviated phrases such as “idk” (I don’t know) or “omg” (oh my gosh!).
2. Learn to type faster – On first use, typing on the small touch screen can seem clumsy. The best way to become accustomed to typing on a smartphone is to hold the phone horizontally in landscape mode. Next, learn to love predictive text. While you’re typing out a word, the phone will offer several options, or predictions, of what word you want. If the word you’re typing appears, simply tap on it and move on. Once you get used to this you’ll be amazed how fast you can type.
3. Access the Internet on the go – Being able to access the Internet from almost anywhere is one of the most useful smartphone features. Access to the Internet allows you to check and send email, view local news, shop online or visit your favorite website. Connecting to Wi-Fi, which is available at many establishments, allows you to surf the Internet without using your cellular data plan.
4. Share your experience with pictures – Smartphones come with a powerful camera that takes high quality pictures that can rival most digital cameras. With the capabilities of sending photos as texts, you can instantly share your photos and experiences with loved ones.
5. Find your way and discover more with maps – Stopping to ask for directions is a thing of the past. You can easily find your way with the highly accurate maps smartphones can connect to, as well as discover new places to visit. For example, if you’re in an unfamiliar area and in need of a cup of coffee, all you need to do is type “coffee” in your map’s search bar, and you’ll see the locations to all the nearby coffee shops. You’ll even get directions on how to get there!
Smartphones are designed to be user friendly, and it’s easier to learn the basics than you might first think. It’s amazing from one handheld device, you can access the Internet, watch movies, store photos, listen to music and so much more. Visit www.consumercellular.com to find the phone that’s right for you.
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