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5 ways to use your devices better, from David Pogue

Digital shortcuts to simplify your life 04:43

Technology guru David Pogue has been keeping us informed about the best gadgets and apps out there for years. Now he's letting us know: We're using them wrong.

In his new book, "Pogue's Basics: Essential Tips and Shortcuts (That No One Bothers to Tell You) for Simplifying the Technology in Your Life," released Tuesday, Pogue offers a compendium of smart tricks to make your gear work better for you - and ways that you can get better at using your gear.

"They throw technology at you without a manual, with no drivers ed course," Pogue told "CBS This Morning." "How are you supposed to know the basics? I see people all the time doing things (in) inefficient ways. I (said), man, I should write a book with all this stuff."

To get your smart phone battery to last longer, Pogue said the key is minimizing everything that saps a phone's energy.

"It's like a bucket, your phone. Electricity is coming out of it as long as you are using it and it charges when it's plugged in," he said.

To "stop it from leaking while charging," he advised, you can turn down the screen brightness and turn off push data, so you're phone isn't spending juice on alerts as soon as that juice is getting to it.

"And, if you are really in a hurry and you have to get out the door for work and it wasn't charging all night, put it in airplane mode or even turn it off," he said. "It can charge twice as fast if it's off."

To get everyone in that selfie, Pogue offers a pretty ingenious trick: "Instead of holding your arm out like an idiot," prop the phone on something in front of you and use your earbuds as a remote shutter control. "Press the clicker on the earbud and it goes click."

In an attempt to prevent embarrassing gaffs when your phone goes off in a library, during a play, or at church, Pogue reminded viewers that there is one fast and surefire way to silence the ringer without fishing out your phone and banging nervously to decline the call.

"What you do is squeeze the phone," he said. "Any of the physical buttons on the edge it will silence it. So, all you have to do is reach into your pocket and squeeze the whole thing."

Spacebars could also be put to better use, he said.

"If you are on the web, hit the spacebar to scroll down. And add the shift key to scroll back up," he said. "It's much faster than bothering with the mouse."

And when typing on your mobile device, let it finish your sentences for you. Double-tapping the spacebar will insert a period, add a space and automatically capitalize the start of the next word you type. That's three keystrokes for the price of two.

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