Tech tricks for clear calls, saving money and more privacy

Apr 23, 2023, 5:45 AM

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

When you’re the tech-savvy friend, people ask for help. It comes with the territory.

And who helps those people? Me! I’ve always got your back with new tricks, tips and secrets to master your devices. Browse the hidden apps you didn’t know are built-in to your iPhone or Android.

Secret Windows restart trick
Bet you didn’t know there’s a better way to restart your PC. When you click the Restart button, your computer goes through a process that saves some of its memory or RAM. This helps it start up faster when you turn it back on, but not everything is closed out. Some background processes and open apps may still be running.

Frequent shutdowns can fix most computer issues, but you can try a hift shutdown to close all processes and apps and clear the RAM completely. As the name implies, all you do is hold down the shift key before you hit restart. Keep holding it until your PC powers down, and choose Continue when it turns back on.

Computers only keep that new machine speed for a while. Luckily you can bring it back if you know what to do. Follow these steps to make your PC run like new again.

Wipe your location from photos
Your phone stores metadata every time you take a picture. That might include the date you took it, your camera settings, and where you were. Think about that for a second if you’re sending pics you took at home.

When you share your image, anyone can have access to that data. Yikes.

To stop location sharing on iPhone, open the image you want to share, go to Options, and toggle off location.

On Android, open your gallery, select the photo, then go to Details and click Remove location data.

Your GPS app needs your location, but does every game and shopping app need it too? Nope. Here’s how to see what knows where you are and stop it.

Fix your phone’s call audio
You’re on an important call, but the background is noisy, and your friend can’t hear you. Good news if you have an iPhone: the new Voice Isolation mode.

All the background noise that gets in the way of your convo is blocked out, leaving just your voice to come through crystal clear. Just dial up whoever you want to talk to and wait for them to pick up.

Then, swipe down from the top right of your screen to access the Control Center. You’ll see a button labeled Mic Mode.

Tap on it, and you’ll be given two options: Standard and Voice Isolation. Choose Voice Isolation. It’ll stay activated for the whole duration of your call.

Hidden tricks make using your phone a whole lot easier. Here are 10 more for iPhone.

The entire library in your phone
The average person pays around $219 per month on subscriptions. Whoa. You can access the same movies, books, and video games for free. All you need is a library card.

You can borrow new e-books and audiobooks from Libby. It’s easy to set up, and you can even get a library card through the app, depending on where you live.

You can also use online platforms like Rosetta Stone to learn dozens of languages at no cost and stream music and videos from places like Kanopy and Freegal.

Many libraries also offer subscriptions to specialized databases and services like or J-STOR, which provides access to scholarly articles and journals if needed.

Remote in like an IT pro
I know how frustrating it can be to walk someone remotely through tech steps. In many cases, it’s just easier to do it yourself. And you can if you know the software to use.

An easy solution is Google’s Remote Desktop. To use it, you’ll install the browser extension on both your computer and the computer of someone you’re helping. I highly recommend doing this before, say, next time you visit your parents.

Then, when it’s time to remote in, go to the Remote Desktop site. You’ll allow access to your computer and enter a code to access the other computer. After that, you can use it just as if you’re sitting in front of it. Easy!

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

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Tech tricks for clear calls, saving money and more privacy