Tech Life hacks and simple life hacks are usually fun, compelling solutions to our common daily scenarios. Let's face it; we've all built up some levels of inner rage through something as simple as a lost set of car keys, egg shells in your omelette, or a beat up USB cable that doesn't charge anymore.
While peeling 50 potatoes in under 30 seconds with a power drill, toilet brush, and bucket sounds like a lot of fun, the reality is that our biggest need on a day-to-day basis is going to do with evolving technology. We all need tech life hacks to help make our relationship with these new technologies smoother.
Before I get started, let me mention now that a VPN is a great "tech life hack". How about improved privacy on the web, increased security, global content streaming, and more benefits? Check out this page for more details.
Pay as you go SIM card
Whether it is checking Google Maps or finding the nearest restaurant, having Internet access when travelling abroad can be a lifesaver. Using your current cell phone provider is an option, but only if you are willing to pay some outrageous roaming charges.
These scenarios are where international SIM cards come into play. With either a prepaid or pay as you go plan, you can simply swap out your phone's SIM card when travelling to enjoy local rates on data, voice, and text. KnowRoaming and WorldSIM are two popular options when it comes to international SIM services.
Keep in mind that in some cases, you will need to have your device fully unlocked.
Boost Wi-fi with Foil
Do you suffer from a poor Wi-Fi signal from your router at home? With a few minutes and a couple of pieces of aluminium foil, you could potentially boost your connection back up to acceptable levels.
By creating an aluminum foil disk and placing it on top of your router, you can reflect some waves and increase the effectiveness of your router. The method might sound slightly ridiculous, but using an empty beer can might just work as well.
Charge your iPhone faster
I know, this has probably appeared in every "top life hacks" page you have ever read. Still, I find it shocking how many close friends and relatives aren't familiar with this little charging trick.
Disabling radio communications and other features by just enabling Airplane mode will result in a faster charging time. It is worth noting that this will only save you a couple of minutes (as you can see in the chart below), but still might be just enough time to send that final email.
So the next time you've only got 5 minutes before boarding that flight, consider this handy charging tip for your iPhone (or any other iOS device).
View masked passwords
Thought private, saved passwords couldn't be accessed by anyone from your desktop? Think again! By using this easy trick in your browser, anyone can view passwords fields that would typically stay hidden.
Right-click on the password field, select "Inspect Element" and wait for the window to appear in the footer of your page. Once here, the password field's code will become highlighted. Find the type="password" part and replace the "password" with "text".
An easy tech life hack that should be of some help when trying to figure out forgotten or lost passwords (and not anything sinister!).
Create GIFS easily from YouTube videos
GIFs are the new trendy way to communicate, and there are numerous ways to create your GIFs to share with your friends. Check out this super-easy way to create your own GIFs straight from YouTube videos.
Simply sticking "gif" in front of the "youtube.com/watch?example" to make it "www.gifyoutube.com/watch?example" will load your desired YouTube video into a handy GIF editor (pictured above).
...and here are 5 tech life hacks that didn't quite make the cut...
Although not entirely a life hack, in-flight Wi-Fi is an excellent idea on paper which has turned into another way for airlines to make a quick buck off unsuspecting passengers. Whether it is American Airlines charging $12 for a two hours of Wi-Fi access or shoddy Wi-Fi availability for transcontinental flights, in-flight Wi-Fi is expensive and very disappointing.
Simply put, in-flight Wi-Fi hasn't reached the heights required to make it a worthwhile purchase. (pun intended)
Take pictures through binoculars
Have a lame smartphone that doesn't take pictures well over great distances? Boost your photography skills by taking pictures through binoculars.
Oh yeah, that picture is probably going to look terrible (unlike this photoshop). Want to take beautiful pictures? Invest in a decent camera.
Change your iPhone's color quickly
Stuck on that same shade of gray or white with your iPhone? Check out this awesome video on how to spice up your old iPhone!
Although this video is slightly dated (5S release), it should work with other models as well. Ok, please don't actually do this.
DIY mobile headset
Need to do a lot of hands-free talking while on the go? Avoid the high cost of a BlueTooth hands-free device and simply strap your phone to your head.
Unbelievable stuff, right?! Bluetooth devices cost around $15 at Walmart.
Use your PC case fan grill as a cheese shredder
Ok. I couldn't even come up with anything clever for this one.
For the sake of anything and everything related to hygiene, please don't do this at home.
Clearly, the last 5 "tech life hacks" we have mentioned here are merely jabs at just how ambiguous the phrase "life tech hack" actually is. That being said, there still are a few ways to improve your overall quality of life (like the first five tips in this article), and I hope to have made your lives just a little bit easier as result.
If you know of any helpful DIYs, tips, or tech life hacks- share them below!