Features you ought to know about your smartphone

See and hear the world through young eyes and ears by knowing how to get the best from your smartphone.
NOEL LEEMING/SUPPLIED

See and hear the world through young eyes and ears by knowing how to get the best from your smartphone.

The world may be changing at a dizzying speed, but luckily, many of us carry the perfect tool for keeping up in our pockets or handbags.

Smartphones aren't just a symbol of the new world we're living in, they're a way of seeing and hearing it with young eyes. Whether you are upgrading your existing smartphone, or getting one for the first time, chat to staff and the Tech Solutions experts at Noel Leeming who will help you work out exactly what you need. There's definitely no age barrier to understanding technology.

The real fun begins as you navigate your way through an exciting new world that lets you talk face-to- face with anyone anywhere in the world, listen to the best new music – and all the old classics – and capture and store high quality images without having to carry around your heavy camera.

Noel Leeming Tech Solutions staff are happy to show you around the geography of your phone if it's unfamiliar territory, and here's their guide to the basics of music, video chat and saving photos to the cloud.

SOUND OF MUSIC

With a smartphone you can listen to any music, any time, any where.
WILLIAM IVAN/UNSPLASH

With a smartphone you can listen to any music, any time, any where.

The way we listen to music has been completely transformed by the growth of mobile devices. You can hear the world's best vocalists, musicians and orchestras in superior quality whether you are at home, driving your car, or walking along an isolated beach.

To begin with, the emphasis was on building up a personal music collection through services such as iTunes (available on Apple devices) where you buy or import the music by single track or album, but the focus is increasingly on apps that allow you to stream music. On demand music streaming is a great way to not just hear your favourite artists, but discover new ones. Many of the apps will recommend music for you based on the choices you have already made. Here are a few to try:

Spotify: You can access millions of songs, podcasts and videos for free, by simply signing up using your email address or connecting via Facebook. You can search out artists you know, or find ready-made playlists put together by music fans and experts. There is advertising on the free version, so if Spotify works for you, it's worth signing up to the premium version to avoid these. With the premium version, you can also take advantage of an offline mode, meaning you can listen to music without being connected to wi-fi.

iHeart Radio: Whether you're into news, sports, country music or pop, iHeart Radio offers free access to the radio stations that provide it. You can also pick a song or artist and create your own personal ad-free radio station.

WHO'S CALLING?

If there's one thing that makes it clear you're living in the future you dreamed of as a kid, it's the way smartphones have revolutionised how we communicate with each other. Voice calls, texts, and emails can put us instantly in touch with people on the other side of the word, for free. Of course, the most dramatic change is video calling, which allows us to see the person we're connecting with in real time. Some tech companies include built-in chat options (Facetime is standard on every Apple device) but there are several other apps worth downloading. They are mostly free, but some have a subscription fee for advanced use.

Skype: Although it has been around for a long time, Skype is still widely used for voice and video calls, and instant messaging. You can skype on desktop, tablet and also available on your smartphone. You can also use it to exchange digital files such as images and videos.

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What'sApp: Whether you're part of an extended family, a group of friends planning a trip away, or colleagues working on a project together, What'sApp is great for group chats. You can share messages, photos, and videos with up to 256 people at once. You can also make calls and message for free when you are connected to the internet.

PHOTO ALBUM

Smartphones have made it incredibly easy to document our lives, but what happens when you get the message telling you there is no room left on your device? Or, if you lose your phone? You need to save images to the cloud (online services that store your images in servers that are accessed from any internet-connected device). If you have an iPhone you can save straight to Apple's iCloud (find it in Settings), your Android phone will help you sync to a Google Drive.

To learn more about these features or even more tips and tricks, contact the passionate experts at Noel Leeming. Their Tech Solutions team know it all. They will help you get the most out of your devices with product training, set up, and much much more. If you want to find out how to get the most from your device with Tech Solutions, visit noelleeming.co.nz/techsolutions, call the team on 0800 555 989 or enquire in Noel Leeming stores.

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