Ten Steps For a New Year’s Cellphone Makeover

As much as we all love our cellphones, we can also be mighty tough on them. My family is always coming to me with stories of “a friend” who set aside their phone and promptly forgot where they left it. I even find that I, against my own advice, sometimes forget to delete apps I’m not using, eating up precious memory.

Let’s all commit to a fresh start this year, for the sake of our hardworking phones. My New Year’s resolution is to treat my phone right—and enjoy the rewards of better performance and security that I know will follow. To get started, I put together this list of what I’m calling my “Cellphone Self Improvements” for 2017. I hope that by sharing them, you might benefit from at least a few of these, too.

1.) Download a Password Manager

A password manager app (like LastPass) securely stores passwords and logins for all your devices, taking the guesswork out of signing in.

2.) Backup your photos every month using Google Photos or iCloud

Make sure you have space available to capture that beautiful sunset or unique family moment!

3.) Charge your smartphone every day

Don’t let “low battery” interrupt your busy day! Setup a charging station at home, or get a car charger if you need to “juice up” on the go.

4.) Delete apps you never use…

If you really “need it someday,” you can always download it again later.

5.) …but try a new app every month or so!

There are so many fun and helpful apps coming onto the market all the time! You can always find my recommendations right in this blog!

6.) Always keep Wi-Fi turned on

Wi-Fi is available just about anywhere now, so why not preserve the data from your cellphone plan for when you really need it?

7.) Turn off GPS and Bluetooth unless you really need them

There’s a double benefit here: you’ll conserve precious battery life, and in the case of GPS, save on data usage as well.

8.) Put your phone in the same pocket of your purse or bag

Imagine not having to fumble and search every time you reach for your phone. Pick a spot, and stick with it.

9.) Download “Find My iPhone” or “Android Device Manager”

Here’s the quick and easy way to locate a missing Android device or iPhone! Just follow the steps I listed here.

10.) Learn a new feature each month

Even if it’s as simple as something like using emojis, commit to mastering one skill each month and you’ll be an expert in no time!

The beauty of this list is that the payoffs are immediate. Even if you only do half of them, you’ve still improved your phone’s performance and reliability (or in my case, made sure I can actually find it when I need it!) Let’s start our “cellular New Year” the right way—we’ll benefit all year long.

12 Thoughts on "Ten Steps For a New Year’s Cellphone Makeover"

  1. Bob says

    Re: #4… my phone has a ton of Apps I didn’t download and I don’t know what they do… I’d like to delete them if they don’t do some hidden thing that’s otherwise important. For example, what is Adobe Air? I’ve never “run” it, yet it appears it might be needed to make other things work. What is “Hangouts” Four or five times a day, I get a message saying “Unfortunately, Hangouts has stopped,” but I don’t seem to even have it installed! Why can’t I delete Google Play Books, Play Music, Play Movies & TV, Play Newstand, which I have never used and don’t want — they hog a lot of the limited storage of my Moto G.

    reply to Bob

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Great question, Bob. Many devices come loaded with many great apps. Others are included with the operating system, such as Google Play Music and more. These apps are often needed by other features, so you won’t be able to delete them. We’re happy to go over the apps on your phone and tell you which ones you really do need to keep. Just call us at 888-345-5509 at your convenience, and we will be happy to help you. Thanks for posting today!

      reply to Ashley

  2. Jeff Moeller says

    There are 2 places I go where I can’t make or receive calls due to low (or no) cell signal, work (8-5, M-F) and my mother’s house. Adding them together, that’s a really big chunk of time I can’t use on my CC service. Best I’ve been able to determine, CC doesn’t have wi-fi calling available. My unlocked phone probably wouldn’t be able to use the feature even if you did offer it. What would be a great “New Year’s Cellphone Makeover” for me would be an app that would let me make and receive calls using my existing phone number over an existing wi-fi network at those locations where there is no cell signal. Do you offer, or can you recommend an app that will let me do that? Thanks!

    reply to Jeff

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Jeff! Certain building materials can make it difficult to receive a strong signal, and we can appreciate your frustration. Perhaps you could try using the Google Hangouts app or Skype when you’re connected to Wi-Fi? These apps allow you to make video calls to many of the people on your contacts list. These apps are also good to use when you’re vacationing outside of the U.S. so you can stay in touch and avoid roaming fees. Both apps can be downloaded from the Google Play store for free. We’re also happy to further troubleshoot this issue you’re having, and see if a new SIM card might be in order. We appreciate you taking the time to post, and we look forward to assisting you!

      reply to Ashley

      • Mark Bacon says

        I see your answer about Jeff’s poor reception in some areas; you mentioned a possible Sim card replacement as solution?
        My wife’s Samsung J3 has very poor performance in our home, compared to my Moto G3’s call strength. We were actually going to ask about a “trade-in” for a different phone for her. Is a different (or new) card a possibility?

        reply to Mark

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          Thank you for asking, Mark! Depending on your area, we may be able to send your wife a new SIM card that provides better coverage, or even simply send some updates to her device. If possible, please call us from a different line at 888-345-5509. That way, we can send any updates that are needed and restart her phone, and see if a new SIM card is in order. We appreciate you reaching out to us!

          reply to Ashley

  3. Brent Lee Mancini says

    I have been with Consumer Cellular for a long time; since 2012 or so. Most if not all of your competitors offer unlimited talk and text with their plans and charge separately for their data plans.

    Why can’t you do the same? I understand you have different levels of charged to keep costs down. I appreciate that but would like to see texting separate from data charges. I don’t use data that often except for my home wifi where I don’t have data charges. Unfortunately when I am on my phone away from my home or other wifi hotspots, my data charges are not easily controlled and I usually go over my limit. I would like my texting charges be separate from my data so I can turn off data to keep my charges down but he able to text my family as needed.

    I hope this blog makes sense as I would like to stay with CC rather than go to one of your competitors who separate data from their talk and text plans.

    reply to Brent

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Brent. We appreciate your suggestion about our plans, and I’ve passed it on to our management team for review. As a long time customer, you know that we work to change our plans often so that our customers always get the best value. You do currently have the option to turn off the data on your phone, and you’ll still be able to send text messages. Just open your Settings app, then go to Data Usage. From there, tap “Cellular Data” to disable it. If you run into any issues, we’re happy to help you over the phone at 888-345-5509. Thank you again for your feedback, as it truly helps us create plans and services that best benefit all of our customers!

      reply to Ashley

  4. Eva Hunter says

    We called for help, and Cynthia in Oregon was a sweetheart. She patiently answered all our questions, fixed the problems that we were having, and got us signed up. We are thrilled with the Con. Cell. support and services as well. It was a smart move for us!

    reply to Eva

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for sharing your story with us, Eva! We’re so happy to have you aboard, and I’ll be sure to reach out to Cynthia’s supervisor so she gets the credit she deserves. We appreciate you posting, and look forward to serving you for years to come!

      reply to Ashley

  5. Steve says

    Can I make calls to Europe specifically Germany?

    reply to Steve

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Absolutely, Steve! You’ll find our full list of international calling rates by country here on our site. To call a regular phone number in Germany will be $0.04 per minute, and to call a cellular number will be $0.07 per minute. If you run into any issues placing your call or if you have any other questions, we’re happy to assist you at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting today!

      reply to Ashley

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