Lifehacker readers offer their best tips for using Google’s voice search, hanging headphones off your desk, and saving battery on your smartphone.
Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.
Spell Uncommon Words for Google Voice Search
Alex Palacios shows us how to search for strangely spelled words on Google:
If you’re trying to find the definition of a word that is not easy for the speech recognition engine (such as “morel,” which it keeps thinking is “moral”), you can spell the word letter by letter. If you simply say “Define m-o-r-e-l” you’ll get the definition.
Totally loving Google Now, and using it more often than I thought I would.
Mileage will definitely vary with this one — sometimes Google is not very good at understanding when you’re spelling and when you’re saying words like “oh”.
Hang Your Headphones with a Wire Coat Hanger
uzly16 shares yet another (awesome and cheap) way to hang your headphones off your desk. See the above image.
Turn Off Local Weather for Better Battery Life
Samurai discovers a little workaround for battery-draining weather widgets:
If you’re using local weather settings in your weather app, your GPS will activate every time you access the app. Moreover, if you’ve enabled this in the native Weather app and you also have the Weather widget in the Notification centre, the Location Services icon will pop back up every time you open the Notification centre.
If you want the Weather widget in the Notification Center but don’t want to activate Location Services each time you open it, try manually inputting your location in the Weather app instead of setting the app to detect the local weather.
This may lead to a slightly less accurate forecast (I’m not sure about this though), but will prevent the Location Services icon from popping up every time you open Notification centre, which may help save battery.
In iOS 5, this was an option in the Weather app, but in iOS 6 you have to go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and turn Weather off there.
Turn an Old Smartphone Into a “Sleep Clock” for Children
Domudem finds a good use for a broken iPhone:
I have an old iPhone with the home button not working properly (important if we don’t want our daughter to play with it). I installed a 16 hours video out of Powerpoint with two images : a moon for 12 hours and a sun for 4 hours. Whether it’s for the nap or for the night, we set the movie for the appropriate number of hours, put it on a stand and tell our 2 years old daughter that “moon” means “sleeping” and “sun” means “waking up”. Works like a charm.
The Cheapest NBN50 Plans
Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.