Q & A

Q: Is there a way to re-sort the contacts on my smartphone? They are currently alphabetised and listed by first name, but I’d like to have them sorted by the last name.

Most smartphone platforms let you specify both the sorting order of the contacts by either the first or the last name. Sorting “Jane Smith” by the first name puts the entry in the J’s, whereas sorting by the last name still lists her as “Jane Smith” but files the entry under S. You should also be able to choose the way the contacts are displayed on the screen and decide if you want to see “Jane Smith” listed, or “Smith, Jane.”

The “People” or “Contacts” app on your phone lets you edit the information within a particular entry on screen, but if you want to change the way the entire address book behaves, you need to tinker with its overall settings. On an Android phone, for example, open the People app, tap the Menu button and choose Settings. On Windows Phone 8, swipe in from the left edge of the Start Screen to Settings, then go to the Applications menu and choose People. On an iPhone, tap the Settings icon on the Home screen and select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars.”

Once you get into the settings area for the app, you should see the options for choosing both the sort order, as well as the display order, for viewing the names on your contacts list. Some phones may also give you other settings to adjust, like the ability to show contacts from online services along with those you imported onto your phone.

Q:  On my computer’s browser, I’m seeing something called “Lite” mode when I go to Google Maps. What is this?

“Lite” mode is a very basic, often zippier, version of the Google Maps site. You typically see this version if you are using a computer with an outdated operating system or browser. In Lite mode, a lot of Google’s like 3-D maps are not available. 

To get the Google Maps site with its 3-D maps and satellite photos, you need to be using at least Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.8.3 or Google’s Chrome OS on a computer with an Intel processor or a modern browser on a Linux system.

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