Tech tips and apps that make your life more comfortable and productive

In their article published by the American Wall Street Journal, authors Cordelia James and Joanna Stern offer advice on how to make devices more useful, safe and fun this year.

The advice includes a set of useful information, applications and guidance that can provide benefits and make the lives of technology users more productive and comfortable.

Get prepaid data for international travel

If you're going on an international trip and don't want to pay expensive data roaming charges, your best option is to use the included shared data SIM through your country's service provider's telecom app.

But instead of buying a data card at the airport after your long flight, the author recommends downloading the OBG app and installing a virtual SIM card.

You can choose how much data you want, then follow the steps to download and set up an embedded SIM.

Make sure you set this up at home just before you go as you'll need internet access to download them, and turn off data roaming for your line in your phone's settings to avoid paying extra charges. Do it.

Check your phone's battery cycle

All lithium-ion batteries have a specified lifespan. To measure your phone's battery life, you need to take into account the charging cycles it went through, i.e. how many times you fully charged your phone and how many times you discharged it. If you start with a full battery and then drain it completely, that's a cycle. You can find the number of cycles on the iPhone 15 by going to Settings, then General, and clicking “About.”

But to check the battery cycle on iPad and older iPhone, you need to download an app called Coconut Battery for Mac, plug in your device and it will tell you the device's battery cycle count, battery temperature, charging speed and more. Will display.

If you just want to check the battery status of your iPhone, go to: Settings > Battery > Battery Health & Charge. If its capacity is below 80%, it's probably time for a new battery.

create your own emoji

Google's Emoji Kitchen app is now available on the web and directly in Google Search, letting you combine two emojis into one, which you can send to friends.

Go to Google and type Emoji Kitchen and you'll see the tool at the top of the search results. Click “Start Cooking” to get started.

Block sensitive content on social media sites

After the October 7 attacks in Israel and the subsequent war in Gaza and shocking images online, it is understandable why some people want to limit viewing of difficult scenes in their social feeds, without blocking the news.

Here are ways to do this:

  • on platform xOpen the desktop version of the site, click More, then Settings and Support, then Settings and Privacy, then Privacy and Security, click the content you see, then uncheck the box that says “View media that contain sensitive “There may be material.”
  • on tiktok: Click your profile, then click the horizontal lines in the top right, then Settings & Privacy, then Content Preferences, then click Content Restrictions Mode.
  • on Instagram: Highlight the Profile tab, then tap the three horizontal lines in the top right, then tap Settings & Privacy, then Content Preferences, tap Sensitive Content, and then tap Low Signal.

Check for compromised passwords

To find out which of your passwords are vulnerable, follow these steps:

  • Apple iCloud KeychainIf you store passwords in iCloud KeyChain password manager on your Apple device, go to Settings, then Passwords, then Security Recommendations.
  • Google ChromeTo store passwords in Chrome, go to, then Check Passwords, and then Check Passwords. Last year, Google also started alerting Gmail users when their email addresses appeared on the dark web.
  • microsoft edgeYou can find the compromised passwords in Microsoft Edge by going to Settings and more, then Settings, then Profile, then Passwords. After you turn on Password Monitor, you should receive a notification if any passwords have been compromised.

Download the Flights app to track air travel

According to the two authors, no app will save you from delays, missed flights and lost luggage, but the Flights app for iPhone — which doesn't work on Android devices — can help you better track the details of your trip. will help. It's sometimes even faster than your airline's app.

Enter your flight number and you'll get live updates, including the real-time location of your aircraft, how often it was on time, detailed information about estimated departure times, landing and take-off times, instant access to customer service information and more Is. ,

To get the most out of the app, you need to subscribe to the Pro version which costs $48 per year or $6 per month.

block fake calls

Sometimes persistent unwanted calls cannot be ignored, like offers to refinance your non-existent home. To block these calls on your iPhone, go to Settings, then Phone, then Silence Unknown Callers. Thus, any caller who is not in your contacts will be blocked.

Most new Android phones can also block unwanted calls in phone settings: Phone applications, then More options, then Settings, then Spam & call monitoring.

Schedule notifications for later

The authors explain that clearing information is great for mental health. iPhones running at least iOS 15 have a Scheduled Summary feature that lets you select apps to group together and deliver notifications at a specific time. Go to Settings, then Notifications, then Scheduled Summary.

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