Minnesota tech suggests ways to get more value out of your smartphone

Minnesota tech suggests ways to get more value out of your smartphone

In Minnesota, there are more cell phones than people.

According to Federal Communications Commission data, there were 5.8 million mobile wireless subscriptions in Minnesota in 2020. Minnesota had a population of about 5.7 million in the US census that year.

Between 2016 and 2020, nearly 93% of households in Minnesota had some type of computer, including a smartphone, census data shows. Some research shows that the different touches people make to their phones every day add up to three hours of use.

However, the value that users receive from their phone can depend on how well that person understands what is available or possible with that device.

We spoke with cellular service, app developers, and device management executives about how they get the most value out of their personal devices.

“The main features customers are looking for are great photos and cameras, more storage and updates after noticing what they’re doing on their phones, and more storage they need,” said Amanda Sebo, AT&T vice president who oversees mobility and consumer markets in Minnesota. and neighboring countries.

Seabaugh applies some tricks to her phone – some of which are functions that users tend to overlook.

Using a smartphone to manage emergency contacts is something most people should do. Enabled location settings allow emergency response teams to locate people via the phone’s GPS signal.

For other health-related functions, users can download apps, or in some cases use pre-installed apps, to better manage their health, Seabaugh said. These apps track their heart rates and food intake, monitor their exercise progress, and track glucose intake and blood sugar levels.

Sibo added that some of the app’s functionality helps couples track the ovulation of those trying to conceive. For those of you short of time, she said, using teleconferencing with a doctor for non-emergency appointments is helpful.

For busy parents, using calendar apps to monitor and remind their kids’ activities, rather than scanning the chalkboard or notes on the fridge, is also helpful, says Sibu, who uses certain apps to see how her kids are doing in school and whether they’re turning in their homework on time.

At work, Seabaugh uses Microsoft Outlook to manage her daily schedule and Apple Notes to manage daily tasks, a much better system than using an actual daily planner or calendar notebook.

“More and more, a lot of things are relying on apps to help people manage their time and increase efficiency,” she said.

To ensure the phone can use these fast-moving apps, users should ensure that the phone has enough storage space and has an optimal download speed, Seabaugh said.

Sean Higgins, founder of tech company BetterYou in St. Paul, the goal for users is to learn how to unlock the potential benefits of their devices. Higgins has developed an app that helps people find better uses of their time on their mobile phones. More than 100 organizations, including H&R Block and Minneapolis-based Allina Health, have used the app for their employees.

Through the app, users receive digital “alerts” to take an action they want to take. Higgins said that instead of spending 30 minutes watching YouTube videos, that time could be spent calling a friend or family member.

Higgins said research BetterYou conducted on its users showed that about a quarter of them touch their phones for uses under 16 seconds. Of the three hours of time on the mobile phone each day, that means people were interacting with their phones for up to 300 different sessions per day.

“We don’t get the value of the apps on our phones,” Higgins said.

While BetterYou is an app that employers get for their employees, the purpose of the app can be applied to any user who wants to improve the strength of the connection with the people in their network.

Higgins said that instead of receiving a notification from an app like BetterYou, people can rearrange their home screens to hide certain apps, or make it more difficult to access apps that don’t provide value during any given day. This changes behavior to avoid accessing apps “unless I have a good reason to be there,” Higgins said.

For many in the workforce, there is not much that cannot be done with a smartphone. In addition to sending emails and field phone calls, people can create and share presentations, sign and send documents or contracts, conduct research, join virtual team meetings, perform accounting processes and manage social media channels.

However, most people with these responsibilities use two phones – one for work and one for personal use – for security purposes.

Minneapolis Jamf software company, which helps companies manage their Apple devices, is deploying technology that allows people to have a work profile and a personal profile on the same phone, eliminating the hassle of constantly carrying two phones.

Since there is no physical SIM tray in the new iPhone 14, the phone can be registered to the company’s network and separated into two phone lines via an eSim, or digital SIM card, installed by Jamf, allowing the user to switch between a business line and a personal line, Jamf CEO Dean Hager said. .

With this functionality, called the Jamf BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) solution, anyone can simply swipe to switch from one profile to another, or turn off one profile to block calls or emails to that account, Hager said.

Hager said the storage for each profile is also kept separately, with work files stored on a company-managed Apple ID, and personal items backed up on the phone’s owner’s Apple ID.

As employers adjust to a more hybrid work function, a simplified one-phone system that a phone owner can set up on their own reduces the amount of work a company’s IT department needs to set up devices, Hager said.

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