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Smartphone Basics for Text Messages, Phone Calls, and Contacts

Welcome to the world of smartphones! Whether you’re new to technology or just need a refresher, this guide will help you master the smartphone basics of sending text messages, making phone calls and adding contacts. A smartphone is just a modern mobile phone that does most things that computer will do, but it fits in your pocket.

Smartphone Basics 1. Sending Text Messages

Text messaging is a quick way to communicate with friends and family and an important element of smartphone basics. Life is a little different to how it used to be and you may have noticed it can be harder to catch friends or family with a phone call. Everyone is busy and a little distracted these days! A solution to this connection issue is to use text message on your smartphone/iPhone to communicate with people. Now I know you may be thinking, “but I just want to pick up the phone a call someone to talk!” Sure, but what’s the point if they hardly ever answer when you call? Life changes, communication changes, it’s time to learn how to text! 😁

Don’t know how to ‘text’? Here’s how to do it:

    1. Open the Messaging App:

    • Locate the messaging app on your home screen. It usually looks like a speech bubble or an envelope with a green (iPhone) or blue (Android-not iPhone).
    different smartphone text message icons

    2. Create a New Message:

    • Tap on the “New Message” icon, often found at the right corner of the smartphone screen. It might look like a pencil (iPhones) or a plus sign (Android-not iPhone). In the image below it is on the right side of the photo and looks like a pencil sticking into a square – this is a common new message symbol for iPhones
    new text message button

    3. Add a Recipient:

    • In the “To” field at the top, type the phone number or name of the person you want to text. If the contact is already saved, their name should appear as you type. If you want to learn how to save a number to a person, continue reading on below.

    4. Type Your Message:

    • Tap on the text field at the bottom of the screen and start typing your message using the on-screen keyboard. Text messages can be as short or as long as you would like but they typically range from a couple of words to longer messages with several sentences or paragraphs. When you send a message, the other person receives it on their phone either instantly or within 1-2 seconds (it may take them longer to check their phone and reply however!)
    sending text message

    5. Send the Message:

    • Once you’ve finished typing, tap the send button, usually represented by a paper plane (image below) or a green arrow pointing up (image above). You’re done, congratulations, you’ve learned how to send a text message with your smartphone
    Send message button on smartphone

    Smartphone Basics 2. Making Phone Calls

    Making a phone call is one of the most helpful and important aspects of smartphone basics. Anytime you need or want to you can just pick up your smartphone and give someone a call – no need to wait until you get home to use the home phone. Got your phone ready? Ok, here’s how to make a call:.

    1. Open the Phone App:
      • Find the phone app (button) on your home screen. It typically looks like a telephone receiver (left photo below).
    2. Access the Key Pad
      • Tap on the “Key Pad” icon, which looks like a keypad (circled in blue in the middle image below), to manually dial a number. Alternatively, you can go to the “Contacts” or “Recent Calls” tab to find someone you’ve called before – they are the icons at the bottom of the middle photo below)
    3. Dial the Number:
      • Use the keypad to enter the phone number of the person you want to call.
    4. Start the Call:
      • Tap the green phone icon to initiate the call.
    5. End the Call:
      • When you’re done, tap the red phone icon to hang up.
      • That’s it! Happy chatting 😊

    Smartphone Basics 3. Adding Contacts

    Adding contacts to your phone helps you to keep all your important numbers in one place. No need to flick through your address book or worry about misplacing it altogether! The last element of smartphone basics is adding contacts 👉 Here’s how to add a new contact:

    1. Open the Contacts App:
      • Locate the contacts app on your home screen. It usually looks like a silhouette of a person or a phone book.
    2. Add a New Contact:
      • Tap on the “Add Contact” button, often represented by a plus sign or “Add New.”
    3. Enter Contact Information:
      • Fill in the contact’s name, phone number, and any other details you want to include, such as an email address or a profile picture.
    4. Save the Contact:
      • Once you’ve entered all the information, tap “Save” or “Done.”

    *Important note* These image guides use an iPhone and buttons/applications relevant to iPhones. You may have a different kind of smartphone but the good news is that the process is essentially the same! The only difference is that instead of the phone app (button), you may have a contacts app (button) that you press to get into the contacts section. It usually has an outline of a persons head, rather that an outline of a phone (see image bellow). After you find the contact or phone app (button) on your smartphone, just follow the steps 1-4 above. Don’t know what kind of phone you have? Use our simple smartphone guide to see what kind of phone you have and why it matters!

    Smartphone contacts icon

    *Tips for Beginners*

    • Practice: Don’t be afraid to explore your phone and practice these steps multiple times. The brain takes time to learn new things, but every single person is able to learn new skills no matter their situation. Think about it like this – to get fitter your body has to go through a little physical stress, correct? The brain is the same and has to go through a little bit of work to learn new things like using a smartphone to send messages and make calls. It may get a little frustrating or tiring but that it the brain learning – take a rest and then try again! 🧠🤔
    • Ask for Help: If you get stuck, ask a friend, family member, or tech support for assistance.

    By following these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a ‘whiz’ 😉 with your smartphone. Happy texting, calling, and connecting!

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