How to Change These Default Settings and Be Happier With Your Tech – The New York Times
Many default settings buried deep inside our technology make us share superfluous amounts of data with tech companies. In my last column, I went over how to shut those off.
But not all default settings do sneaky things with our information. There are also some that need to be activated or disabled to make our devices more enjoyable to use.
Newer iPhones, for one, come with a fancy camera that can shoot extremely clear videos in ultrahigh “4K” resolution — but most people probably aren’t using their cameras to their full potential because, by default, the phone is set to shoot videos at a lower resolution.
TVs are another example. Many modern televisions come with an effect known as motion smoothing turned on to make videos look as if they are playing at a higher frame rate, which is supposed to make fast-motion scenes look more detailed. But in many applications, especially when you’re watching movies, it creates a soap-opera effect that many find looks fake. It’s the setting on a TV that many tech-inclined people switch off immediately.
Our consumer electronics are among our most expensive household purchases, so it’s worthwhile to peruse and change the default settings to reap their maximum benefits. Here’s what I and other tech writers always change to make our phones, computers and televisions work better.
Apple’s iPhones include various settings that are turned off by default and must be activated to make the device more convenient to use and to take better photos.
Unlock an iPhone while wearing a mask. Though mask mandates have been lifted in many places, plenty of people still wear them to feel safe, especially indoors. One of the biggest drags to using an iPhone was having to punch in a passcode, rather than use facial identification, when wearing a mask. Recent versions of Apple’s iOS now let iPhone users unlock the device without removing their mask. Go to Settings → Face ID & Passcode → Face ID with a Mask and toggle this setting on (green).
Shoot 4K video. To make an iPhone camera shoot video at its highest resolution, go to Settings → Camera → Record Video and choose a 4K option. (I prefer “4K at 30 fps” because it works well when uploading videos to social media apps and internet sites like YouTube.) The downside is that 4K recordings will clog more of the phone’s digital storage. But if you paid for that fancy camera, why not put it to use?
Activate the camera grid. In digital photography, photographers use various composition techniques to make photos more aesthetically pleasing. The iPhone camera has a setting to show a grid …….