Smartphones-What does this button do?

This learning guide is the equivalent of our live seminar by the same name. See the seminar handout here. Here is the printable seminar handout.

The goal of this guide is to acquaint you with the terminology of smartphones, and familiarize you with their basic operation. To watch all the videos and follow along should take about an hour.



The first thing to understand is that there are 2 major classifications of smartphones: Apple iOS and Android. This is their operating system.


Smartphones are essentially pocket computers. They can do all the same things a computer can do. The biggest drawback is those tiny little onscreen keyboards. One new way of typing on them is to glide your fingers over the keys rather than tapping them one by one. Swype was the first app that made this possible. It originally was available just for Android devices but has since been made available for iOS as well.

Watch Video #365

Smartphones need “Data” connections

When you own a smartphone, you also need a contract for service from a cellular provider. The contract provides voice calling minutes, text messaging service, and data. The data is what provides connection to the Internet. It is measured in GigaBytes, not in time, and it is probably the most expensive part of the contract. It can be important to know what Apps on your phone are using the most data.

Watch video #375

You can also make use of Airplane mode for determining if an app can be used without any data at all. Watch episode #75 of What Does This Button Do, from 4:56 to 10:30.

The First 4 Buttons to Learn: Iphone (iOS) and Android

  1. Power button – Sleep/Wake, silence, screenshot
  2. Home button – one press, double-press, LongPress
  3. Volume buttons – UP/Down, Silence, Camera shutter button, screenshot, zoom
  4. Settings – lots of them, but we demonstrate how to set your screen timeout, and do not disturb

Watch Episode 124 of What Does This Button Do was all about the first four buttons we think are the most important to learn. Start at 10:01 and watch thru 40:07.

Installing apps, and scanning QR Codes

Watch video #453

Try scanning these QR codes:

Review Questions

1.To ReBoot a phone means to hold down on _________ until _________

2.The term “Smartphone” includes both iPhones and _________________

3.If you don’t like how your phone screen goes dark too soon, you can change that timing and many other features by using your ________________________

4.To read a QR code you may need an app.  Get the app from _______(android) or ______ (apple)?