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Smartphone hacks to offer holiday timesaving options

By Staff | Dec 16, 2016

The holiday season brings more travel and celebrations in two months than the rest of the year combined, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. U.S. Cellular can help smartphone owners tackle to-do lists for trips, party planning and shopping with several phone features to make it manageable.

“With the latest devices like an iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S7 on our nationwide network, smartphone owners can use a device’s features at home or on-the-go to simplify and enhance their holiday travel and celebration plans,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in the Mid-South. “We invite everyone to visit our local U.S. Cellular stores to learn more from one of our helpful associates.”

Smartphone owners are more likely to use their device while traveling than ever before. According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 76 percent of people used their phone while traveling in 2015, up from 68 percent in the previous year.

U.S. Cellular suggests following a few simple tips to help manage holiday travel:

Take a screenshot of directions, and turn off location services while traveling in populated areas to conserve battery life.

Charge phone on airplane mode. Busier schedules sometimes mean going longer between charges. Using airplane mode helps devices regain their battery strength by eliminating apps or services running in the background.

Capture photo of where you parked at the airport. It can be challenging to remember where the car is parked after a late flight or long trip. If there is a saved photo, it can serve as a location reminder.

Also, the majority of users keep appointments and events on their phone with 42 percent using this function at least once a day. Wireless devices can help you prepare for holiday parties from concept to execution. Follow these U.S. Cellular tips to help streamline the process:

Take picture of refrigerator and pantry before shopping for a holiday party. Making a list is always helpful, but a photo of what ingredients and items are available at home will keep you from making unneeded purchases.

Track the master to-do list in the note feature of your phone. It’s easy to make a quick list at the office and lose track of it on the way home. But if it starts in your device, it stays with you. For Apple users, the reminder feature allows you to display both completed and outstanding tasks.

Put the phone in a cup to amplify music at a holiday gathering. The cup works with the phone’s speaker to increase the volume and help set the mood of any party. Cups with harder surfaces, like glass or porcelain, work best.

Fifty-six percent of smartphone owners use their phone to shop online and with the holiday upon us, online shopping can help save time, money, and stress. Many already have their favorite shopping and coupon apps, but what about the delivery of all those packages during the busy holiday?

ParcelTrack (free) allows users to track all packages from Fedex, UPS, DHL, USPS and more. Each ParcelTrack user is assigned a random user ID and an email inbox. When one forwards an online shopping confirmation, ParcelTrack’s server automatically extracts the tracking number and adds it to an account and keeps track of your delivery. For a premium (IOS and Android $2.99), live tracking is available and even a barcode scanner if one is shipping a package oneself.

Free Device Workshop Dec. 21

U.S. Cellular is ready to help users find ways to enhance their holiday season with these tips and the latest in wireless devices and accessories for everyone on your list. The company offers device workshops for the entire community, including those who are not U.S. Cellular customers. Join the U.S. Cellular team on Dec. 21, 9 a.m. at 940 Foxcroft Ave in Martinsburg to learn more. For more information contact the store at 304-264-0400.