Change these default settings and be more satisfied with your technology

How to change these default settings and be happier with your technology

How to change these default settings and be happier with your technology



Many default settings buried deep in our technology cause us to share unnecessary amounts of data with technology companies. In the last column I went over how to turn them off.

But not all default settings do tricky things with our information. There are also some items that need to be enabled or disabled to make using our devices more enjoyable.

Newer iPhones, for example, come with an impressive camera that can shoot crystal-clear 4K videos at extremely high resolution. But most people probably don’t use their cameras to their full potential, because by default the phone is set to shoot videos at a lower resolution.

Televisions are another example. Many modern TVs come with an effect known as enabling motion smoothing to make videos appear to be playing at a higher frame rate, making fast-moving scenes look more detailed. But in many applications, especially when watching movies, it creates an effect in TV series that many find to be fake. It’s the setting on TV a lot that tech-savvy folks immediately turn off.

Our electronic devices are among our most expensive home purchases, so it’s worth reviewing and changing the default settings to get the most out of them. Here’s what other tech writers and I always change to make our phones, computers, and TVs work better.

Apple iPhones have many settings that are turned off by default and should be turned on to make the device more comfortable to use and take better photos.

  • Unlock the iPhone while you are masked. Although mandates for masks have been lifted in many places, many people still wear them to feel safe, especially indoors. One of the biggest issues with using the iPhone was having to enter a passcode, rather than using facial recognition, when wearing a mask. The latest versions of iOS from Apple now allow iPhone users to unlock the device without removing their mask. go to the Settings → Face ID & Passcode → Face Recognition with Mask This setting is enabled (green).

  • Shoot 4K video. To make your iPhone camera shoot video in the highest resolution, go to Settings → Camera → Record video And select the 4K option. (I prefer “4K at 30fps” because it works well when uploading videos to social media apps and websites like YouTube.) The downside is that 4K recordings will take up more of your phone’s digital storage. But if you’re paying for this fancy camera, why not use it?

  • Turn on the network camera. In digital photography, photographers use different composition techniques to make images more aesthetically pleasing. The iPhone camera has a grid view setting to help group photos together. go to the Settings → Camera → Network and enable this setting.

Android phones also have controls that can be turned on or changed to make the screen look better and the phone easier to use.

  • Change the display color profile. Many Android phones come with large, bright screens, but their colors can appear too saturated or too blue. He usually changes the default color profile when he sets up a new Android phone, said Ryne Hager, editor at Android Tech Police. Instructions vary from phone to phone. For Samsung phones, go to Settings → Display → Screen Mode natural. For Pixel phones, go to Settings → Display → Colors → Natural.

  • Change the shortcuts. On Android phones, you can customize the quick settings menu for shortcuts to the features you use most frequently. Swipe down from the top of the smartphone screen, and swipe down again. If you click on the icon that looks like a pencil, you can choose to add boxes that let you, for example, turn on a hotspot to share your phone’s cellular connection with a computer.

  • Turn on the network camera. Like the iPhone, some Android phones can also display a grid to facilitate image composition. On Pixel phones, open the Camera app, swipe down from the top of the screen, tap the gear icon, then go to Grid type → 3×3.

On Macs, where Apple users tend to work, it’s a good idea to tweak the settings to avoid distractions and speed up tasks. This includes turning off some features that are enabled by default and turning on some hidden features.

  • Run a shortcut to display the desktop. Minimizing and moving windows just to find a file on the desktop can be daunting. The first thing I do with any Mac is to run a shortcut that instantly hides all windows to show the desktop. go to the System Preferences → Task Control → Show Desktop and select the keyboard key to activate the shortcut. (I use the fn key on my MacBook keyboard.)

  • Turn off notifications to distract apps like notifications. In the age of never-ending video calls, you definitely don’t want text messages bombarding your screen and playing sounds when you’re in a meeting. Just turn off these notifications permanently. go to the System Preferences -> Notifications and Focus -> Notifications -> Enable notifications and change the setting to off (grayed). In this menu, turn off notifications for any other annoying apps.

  • Add a Bluetooth icon to the menu bar. Most of us use Bluetooth accessories like headphones and wireless mouse, and to make it easier to connect and disconnect these devices on your Mac, it helps with quick access to the Bluetooth menu. go to the System Preferences -> Bluetooth -> Show Bluetooth in the menu bar and check the box. This will display the Bluetooth icon at the top right of the screen, where you can quickly connect and unplug your headphones and other wireless accessories.

Like Macs, Windows PCs, by default, we are bombarded with tons of notifications, but the most frustrating are the many beeps and explosions that go off when something goes wrong. Kimber Stream, the Wirecutter editor who reviews laptops, shuts down all those annoyances.

  • Turn off notifications. go to the Settings → System → Messages. Uncheck all boxes and turn off all switches to disable all notifications.

  • Turn off system sounds. go to the Settings → System → Sound → More sound settings → Sounds → Adjust volume: No soundsthen hit to apply.

Almost every TV comes with default settings that are far from ideal for displaying the best picture.

With any TV, you have to adjust the colors, brightness, and contrast to suit your space. There is no universal set of steps because the best settings will be different for each TV and living room. But there are useful TV calibration tools to make it easier, including my go-to, Disney’s Wonderland Blu-ray CD with video tutorials on adjusting TV settings.

However, the most important step on any TV is to turn off the dreaded Motion Blur effect. The steps differ between TVs, so search online for disabling them for your model. On my LG TV, I went to All settings → Photos → Picture mode settings → Picture options → TruMotion → Off.

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