Many default settings are hidden deep in our technology and cause us to unnecessarily share large amounts of data with technology companies. These can be disabled.
But not all factory settings do difficult things with our data. There is also some that is necessary Activate or deactivate it so that you can enjoy even more when using our devices.
For example, newer iPhones come with a great camera that can record Ultra HD videos 4K HDHowever, most people probably don’t take full advantage of their cameras because the phone is set to record video at a lower resolution by default.
Televisions are another example. Many modern TVs come with an effect known as Movement smoothing (or interpolation) (“Motion Smoothing”) to make videos appear to be playing at higher frames per second, making fast-moving scenes look more detailed. However, on many occasions, especially when watching movies, it creates a soap opera effect that many consider to be fake. It’s where many techies show it on TV Deactivate immediately.
Our consumer electronics are among the most expensive purchases in our home, so it’s worth taking a closer look and changing the default settings to make the most of their benefits. Here’s what other tech writers and I always change to make our phones, computers, and TVs work better.
iPhones come with many settings that are disabled at the factory and you need to turn them on to make the device more convenient to use and take better photos.
- Unlock iPhone while wearing a mask. Although the mandatory use of face masks has already been phased out in many places, many people still use them to feel safe, especially indoors. One of the biggest hassles with using the iPhone was entering the unlock code, instead of using Face ID, when wearing a mask. Recent versions of iOS from Apple now allow iPhone users to unlock the device without removing their mask. Go to Settings, Face ID, Passcode, Face ID with Mask and click to turn it on (in green).
- 4K video recording. To have your iPhone camera record video in full resolution, go to Settings, Camera, Record Video, and choose the 4K option. (I prefer “4K 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 digital storage space on the iPhone. However, if you pay for such a great camera, why not put it to good use?
- Activate network camera. In digital photography, photographers use various composition techniques to make images more aesthetic. The iPhone camera has a setting for cross-line display to help compose shots. Go to Settings, Camera, Network and activate the option.
Android mobile phones
Android phones also have controls that must be turned on or changed to make the screen look better and to make the phone easier to use.
- Change the screen color profile. Many Android phones come with large, bright screens, but their colors can appear oversaturated or too blue. Ryne Hager, editor of the Android Police blog, says it often changes the default color profile when setting up a new Android phone. Instructions may vary from model to model. For Samsung phones, go to Settings, Display, Screen Mode, Normal. For Pixel phones, go to Settings, Display, Colors, and Natural.
- Modify the shortcuts. On Android phones, you can customize the quick settings menu to get shortcuts to the features you use often. Swipe down from the top of the smartphone screen and swipe down again. If you press the icon that looks like a pencil, you can choose to add tiles that let you, for example, turn on hotspots to share your phone’s cellular connection with a computer.
- Activate network camera. Similar to iPhones, 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, and go to Network type, 3×3.
On Macs, where Apple users tend to get their work done, it’s a good idea to configure settings to remove distractions and complete tasks faster. This means disabling some features that are enabled out of the box and enabling some hidden features.
- Activate a shortcut to show 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 activate a shortcut that instantly hides all windows to show the desktop. Go to System Preferences, Task Control, Show Desktop, and choose a key to run the shortcut. (I use the ‘fn’ key on my MacBook keyboard).
- Turn off notifications for apps that distract you like messages. In the age of endless video calls, it’s definitely inappropriate that text messages bombard your screen and make noises when you’re in a meeting. Just turn off those notifications permanently. Go to System Preferences, Notifications, Focus, Messages, Allow notifications, and turn them off (greyed out). In this menu, disable notifications from any other annoying apps.
- Adds a Bluetooth icon to the menu bar. Most of us use Bluetooth accessories like headphones and a wireless mouse, so to make it easier to connect and disconnect these devices on your Mac, quick access to the Bluetooth menu is useful. Go to System Preferences, Bluetooth, Show Bluetooth in the menu bar and check the box. This will display a Bluetooth icon in the upper right part of the screen, where you can quickly connect and disconnect headphones and other wireless accessories.
Like Macs, Windows PCs by default send us a lot of notifications, but what’s even more frustrating are the low and loud beeps that sound when an error occurs. Kimber Streams, who edits on Wirecutter and tests laptops, turns off all those annoying sounds.
- Turn off notifications. Go to Settings, System, Notifications. Uncheck all boxes and change the setting to disable all notifications.
- Turn off all system sounds. Go to settings, system, sound, more sound settings, sounds, sound scheme: no sounds and click apply.
Almost all TVs come with factory settings that are far from ideal for best picture display.
With any TV, it’s worthAdjust colors, brightness and contrast To adapt it to your space. There is no universal step set because the best fit will vary with every TV and living room. However, there are useful TV calibration tools that can make the process easier, including my favorite, Disney’s “World of Wonders,” a Blu-ray disc with video tutorials for adjusting TV settings.
However, the most important step to take with any TV is Turn off the obnoxious motion smoothing effect. The steps vary from TV to TV, so do a web search to disable it on your model. On my LG TV, I went to General Settings Images Picture Mode Settings Picture Options TruMotion Off.