Cooking, ironing and sewing used to be essential skills for women. But in 2016, the definition of our “basic life skills” has been rewritten — technology has permeated so many areas of our lives that it can feel debilitating not to be equipped with the relevant know-how when the occasion calls for it. Many times, we end up getting help from someone else, but a little DIY never hurt anyone. Here’s a round-up of 5 basics.
1. Android to iPhone transfers, and vice versa
Android users, simply download the Move to iOS app from Google Play; not only will it transfer all your contacts, messages, photos, and other data, it also suggests free apps you can download at the App Store. Bought apps will automatically be added to your wish list in the iOS App Store. And you will be prompted to recycle your Android phone so that you don’t go back to Google’s mobile platform.
Going Android? There are no shortcuts but the process is not complicated. To transfer your contacts, e-mail them to yourself and download them on your Android device. To transfer music, photos and videos, save them in Mac or PC then drag and drop them into your phone.
2. Use Siri more
Whether yours is an Aussie-speaking bloke or a posh Brit chick, make it work harder for you. Many aren’t aware of the capabilities in store; you can get Siri to give you specific reminders such as “Pick up the drycleaning by 5pm”, make social media posts through dictation, do your math (perfect after lunch with a big group) or even suss out the nearest free wi-fi hot spot. Too lazy to trawl through your e-mails for the name of that client you have to meet at 4pm? Siri will do the job — just go “Find e-mail with 4pm meeting in the subject line”. Yes, ask and you shall receive.
3. Google more efficiently
Quote marks streamline searches well. Trawling the web for images of white lace dresses? Type “white lace dresses”, and you’re likely to find what you want quickly. Otherwise, the search engine looks up each word individually, plying you with options you don’t need. Another tip: Use hyphens, which identify items better. For example, the word “tan” can refer to a family name, a colour or an activity. So be specific with “tan – colour” or “tan – family name”. That way, you won’t have to deal with useless information such as building names or consultancy names.
4. Maximise your phone camera
Don’t feel like a fish out of water when you’re in a foreign country — even if you are. The Google Translate app instantly ensures that all signboards, notices or instructions will make sense. Download the app (it’s free!), fire it up and then click the camera icon. Point the phone camera to whatever you need to decipher, and the language should turn into English within a few seconds. A 3G/4G data connection is required.
5. Abandon slow wi-fi networks
This works for iPhones: Turn on the Wi-Fi Assist function, which you’ll find in Settings/Mobile Data. It automatically drops your iPhone back onto a strong 3G or 4G signal if wi-fi is slow, unstable or disconnected. Doing this means you won’t have to manually switch off wi-fi to get things up to speed.