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Smartphones & gadgets

How to prevent the butt dial

Back in my day, we had flip phones, so this was never an issue. But as phones became smarter they also became flatter and less-hinged, which paved the way for something that is as comical as it is frustrating: the butt dial.

You have either made one or received one, and if you disagree you are only lying to yourself. These days it does not even have to be your rear end that does the deed, as people have accidentally made all sorts of calls just by having the phone in their pocket.

Remember how awful it was before visual voicemail, too? How you would not be able to fast-forward through the message and therefore had to listen to the entire thing, lest you accidentally delete a real voicemail?

It does not need to happen anymore

While this has been a part of life for a while now, it does not need to be. There are steps you can take to prevent inadvertent dialing, butt or otherwise, all of which are simple and effective.

The best way to ensure you don’t make any accidental calls is by locking your phone before placing it in your pocket. Do that, and you are probably going to be alright.

Other than that, there are some other steps you can take.

No matter what kind of phone you are using, be it an iPhone or Android, you will need to be aware of the voice command settings. If they are set to listen for spoken commands, it is possible they will think you are asking it to make a call when you actually are not.

To change this in iOS, you will need to go to Settings and then click on “Siri & Search” to open up a screen with options. From there, turn off what you want.

Disabling the ability to listen for “Hey Siri” would mean the phone will not dial by voice command, though it will come at the expense of being able to ask your phone to do anything else without touching a button. Another option would be to leave that on but turn off “Allow Siri When Locked,” which would mean the digital assistant would take a break as long as you remember to lock it.

It’s a similar process to disable Google Assistant. You will need to open the Google app, then click on the menu in the upper left-hand corner (three horizontal bars on top of each other). Click on “Settings,” then on the next screen, click on “Settings” listed under the header “Google Assistant.”

As was the case with the iPhone, it will be up to you to decide which settings you want to disable.

Those tips have to do with the voice assistants. They won’t help if you are actually pressing buttons in order to call. Again, the best defense against that mistake is to lock your phone before sliding it into a pocket or bag.

If you are worried that you may forget to lock your phone manually, you can set your device to lock itself. For an iPhone, go to Settings and tap on “Display & Brightness.” Then press on “Auto-Lock” and set it for whatever you prefer. Of course, the shorter the time, the more quickly the phone will lock itself if you forget to.

Similarly, on an Android, you will go into Settings, tap on “Display” and then again on “Sleep.” That is where you will set the amount of time of inactivity before the phone will lock itself.

That should about do it

Ever since phones went away from needing to be flipped open, the butt or pocket-dial has been a thing. It’s usually funny and sometimes embarrassing; we have all been there.

But it does not need to happen, and with just a few simple steps, you can avoid doing it yourself. As for everyone else in your life, you should probably share this article with them so that they don’t do it anymore, either.

So yeah, police used a dead man’s fingerprint to try and unlock his phone

It is said that dead men tell no tales, and while that may be true, the same cannot be said for their fingerprints. Or, at least, a fingerprint could lead to a dead man’s tale being told. Click here to learn more about this made-for-TV police procedure.

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