The phone in your hand can do more than the computers we had years ago. It’s a communication device, a camera, a scanner, a fitness tracker, a camcorder, a GPS, a game console — I could go on.
There’s also a lot your phone can do that you would not think was possible. Tap or click for seven brilliant ways your smartphone can help you get things done, from measuring someone’s height to remoting into your computer.
But sometimes, you just need to talk. If your service is spotty, there are a few ways to boost your signal strength.
When it comes to texts, it’s nice to know if your message went through and the person read it.
On an iPhone
Apple’s default text messaging app, iMessage, makes it easy to know if your recipient has read your message. There is one caveat. Both the sender and recipient must be using iMessage on an iPhone or iPad and have Read Receipts enabled.
When you text someone with Read Receipts turned on, you’ll notice the word “Read” beneath your message, and the time it was opened.
To turn on your Read Receipts in the iMessage app, click Settings, scroll down, and tap Messages. Enable Send Read Receipts. These steps work with Macs and iPads as well.
Speaking of texts, I know you’re sick of spam messages. I am, too. Tap or click for tricks to stop all the junk.
On an Android
Like iPhone users, Android read receipts require both sender and recipient enable the feature. Instructions may vary according to your device’s manufacturer, model, and operating system.
First, open your Messages app and navigate to the settings. Depending on your phone model, operating system, and cellular provider, you will notice one of the following: Read Receipts, Send Read Receipts or Request Receipt. Turn on the applicable option.
On a Samsung phone, go to Messages > Menu > Settings > Chat settings. Here, you can enable read receipts.
In Google Messages, open Messages. Tap the three-dot menu (More) > Settings > Chat features. Tap Send read receipts.
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What about Facebook?
Read receipts are enabled by default in Facebook Messenger. If you wish to turn them off at some point, sorry, Charlie. You can’t. A sneaky workaround allows you to read messages without producing a read receipt.
Just turn off your Wi-Fi and cellular connection to read all received messages. Open the app, then turn on Airplane mode. When you finish reading your messages, force quit the Messenger app.
Are you one of those people with a perpetually low phone battery? Here’s how to get more life out of your smartphone.
WhatsApp lets you choose
Unlike its parent company Facebook, you can opt out of read receipts in WhatsApp.
How do you know when someone views your message using WhatsApp? Look for the checkmarks:
A single gray checkmark indicates a successfully sent message.
The appearance of a second gray checkmark shows your message was delivered to the recipient’s phone.
The two checkmarks will turn blue if the recipient has viewed your message.
To turn off this feature, click Settings and tap Account. Choose the Privacy option and disable Read Receipts.
Once you have your read receipts enabled on all your apps, you will no longer have to wonder or worry about whether a recipient has viewed your message.
Bonus Tip: Essential tech cleanups to do before 2022
Is your digital life in need of a little TLC? Listen for smart ways to tidy up your tech, inside and out. You’ll learn a few cleaning secrets, along with simple methods of sorting the clutter, clearing out junk and freeing up space on your devices. It looks like you just found your new holiday project.
Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Explains” on Apple, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast player.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television, or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
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Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters, and more, visit her website at Komando.com.