Clever You! 7 Tech Tips to Make Your Life Easier

Is your tech life comfy? Smartphone, tablet, and laptop working the way they should? That’s swell, but it’s always good to learn something new. These seven tips for your myriad devices will make your life just a little bit easier.

1. Name that tune. How often do you hear a song and wish you knew its name? On the iPhone, ask Siri: “What song is playing?” Within seconds, the name and artist of the track appears, as well as a link to iTunes. Windows Phone assistant, Cortana, works similarly. Android users can download the free Google Play Sound Search, which lets you ID a track by pressing the “What’s this song?” widget on the phone’s home screen.

2. Share Kindle e-books. A Kindle e-reader or tablet is handy for storing an entire literary library, but not for sharing books with family and friends. That’s changing, thanks to an Amazon feature called Family Library that lets a user share Kindle books, audiobooks, apps, and games with another adult and up to four children. Each adult needs an Amazon account; kids’ profiles are set up through adult accounts. (Items not downloaded through the Amazon Appstore aren’t sharable “at this time,” Amazon says.)

3. Use a picture password. Passwords are a pain to remember. Newer iOS and Android devices let you use a fingerprint instead to unlock devices. If you don’t have fingerprint reader, there’s an easy way to log in to Windows without a password: Use a picture. Hold down the Windows key and press I to display the Settings window. Select Change PC settings, then Accounts and Sign-in options. Under Picture Password, select Add. Choose a picture, then use your finger or stylus to “draw” three gestures on it — any combination of circles, straight lines, and taps. The next time you sign into Windows, the picture will appear. Log in by drawing the gestures on the photo. If you forget the three gestures, your password will still work.

4. Shake to undo on the iPhone. Though it’s not new, many iOS users still aren’t aware of this feature. Say you’ve started typing an email or text and want to delete it. Simply give your iPhone or iPad a quick shake, then tap Undo Typing in the pop-up box.

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