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BEACON Senior News

A resolution to let technology better your year

Dec 22, 2021 03:46PM ● By Adam Cochran
Combination lock with the word password

Another January rolls around. Will life return to normal this year or be packed with more weirdness? Either way, here are some technology tips that can help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions and improve your life in 2022.

Never forget a password 

If your life depended on you finding your Gmail or Netflix password in the next 60 seconds, could you? 

So many people set their browsers to autofill their passwords that most don’t even remember setting one up. Make 2022 the year you never forget another password by installing a password manager.

A password manager scrambles and encrypts all of your passwords and stores them in the cloud. You can even set one up to create extremely complicated passwords for you.

My favorite third-party password manager is LastPass, but there are many to choose from and they all essentially work the same. Password managers keep everything behind their own username and password, which means the master password you create with them is the only password you actually have to remember.

It may seem scary to have your passwords stored in the cloud, but the encryption is unbreakable. And, being able to access your passwords from anywhere using the app on your phone is extremely beneficial when trying to sign into your email or bank from a friend or family member’s computer.

Download LastPass at

Learn your phone’s hidden features

Whether you’re an iPhone or Android user, your smartphone is packed with handy tools you probably don’t even know about. For example, did you know that in addition to the flashlight feature you also have a “measuring tape,” a compass and a level? Each phone is different, but these features have been in almost every smartphone for at least the past five years.

Another hidden feature is your phone’s ability to translate. Simply install Google Translate and use the camera to translate signs or other writing from one language to another, instantly. You don’t even need to take a photo—just hold the camera up to the writing and watch it magically translate.

Finally, take advantage of your smartphone’s voice features. If you have an Android, say, “OK Google…” or if you have an iPhone, say, “Hey Siri…” then go nuts! 

Because your smartphone has a GPS, you can say “Hey Siri, remind me when I’m at City Market to get eggs.” The next time you enter City Market’s parking lot, your phone will alert you to your reminder.

Or, when calculating a long list of numbers, ask, “OK Google, what is $345.75 plus $264.74 plus…?” When you stop listing numbers, Google will immediately give you a total. Best of all, this works even if you have the sound muted, as a transcript always appears on the screen.

Get in shape

iPhones and Apple Watches work together to offer a robust assortment of health and fitness monitoring features. If you prefer Fitbit, the app will work perfectly on Android or iPhone devices. Although the Fitbit app doesn’t play well with the Apple Health features, Fitbit’s app is arguably more user-friendly.

A Fitbit or an Apple Watch combined with your device’s health app will allow you to monitor your heart rate, log your food, and automatically document the effectiveness of your exercise. Even if you don’t have a daily workout routine, using a Fitbit or Apple Watch can provide you with information on how well you’re sleeping, how many calories you’re burning, or, for some devices, whether your heart rhythm is irregular.

Make 2022 the year you never forget a password, the year you use your phone’s hidden features to supplement your daily routines, and the year you acquire a better understanding of your personal health. Each of these can be resolutions that actually make your life easier and more enjoyable without the need to make major changes in your daily routines.

Read more Talking Digital