Posts Tagged mobile

10 Tips on Preserving Your Battery

10 Tips on Preserving Your Battery

Have you ever been lost in a new city and need to book a taxi ride home but you can’t because your phone battery is dead? I know I have. There’s little that’s more frustrating in life than having a dead battery in when you need it the most.

It’s not just us though, a lot of people suffer from this problem but few of us have any idea how to fix it. Today, we’re going to change that by figuring out why a lot of phones have a terrible battery life and how we can stop them from draining so quickly.

There are a lot of reasons that your battery isn’t retaining its charge, and there are some things you can do that may improve the situation, but first let’s take a look at the science behind it all…

How Does A Battery Work?

Batteries work in such a way that they have a certain amount of battery cycles. This means that your battery can be charged and drained a certain amount of times before you begin to see deterioration in the functionality of your phone.

The problem is that smartphone technology is developing so fast that battery developers don’t have time to catch up. Our phones are capable of running all sorts of apps, but these features use a lot of energy, thus causing the battery to use up charge cycles much more quickly.

In addition to this, software updates can cause older phones to struggle under the pressure and cause even quicker battery deterioration. In spite of all this, there are some things you can do to preserve those battery cycles and slow down the deterioration of your battery. Let’s take a look at how.

How To Improve The Battery Life on Android Phones

1. Check Up On Your Power Usage In Settings

Apps can be a major contributing factor when it comes to fast-depleting batteries. It’s often the case that apps are eating up your power even when you are not using them, so go into the settings, check out what’s going on, and remove any apps that are causing a problem.

The OS you are using could also be causing rapid battery loss, so you can try updating the OS to improve the battery life.

2. Get Rid Of Clutter

People tend to have hundreds of apps on their phones, of which they use only a few. Just having a lot of apps can contribute to the speed with which your battery drains, so it may be time for a clear out. Delete anything that you don’t use anymore; delete any games that you don’t play and you should see an improvement in your battery life.

3. Make Use Of Airplane Mode

Although Airplane mode was designed to use when you fly, what the function actually does is stop the phone from attempting to connect to cellular and 3G networks. Both of these functions really drain battery life, especially if you are in a low signal area, as the phone will have to work harder to try to connect to a network. If you’re running really low on charge and you want to preserve the battery for that little bit longer, switch to airplane mode, and you should be able to slow the process down a little bit.

4. Ditch Notifications

Most people have notification set up for pretty much all their apps. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most other social apps send notifications regularly and this could be causing your phone battery to die faster. Of course, you may want to continue receiving personal message notifications, but if you really want to save battery life, then turn them off on the less important apps.

5. Turn Off Ambient Display

The ambient display allows apps and notifications to cause the screen to light up when they are received. If you receive a lot of notifications, this repeated lighting up of the screen can cause the battery life to drain much faster than when it is turned off. If you have a device that runs on Android 7 and above, you can also specifically select that notifications don’t light up the screen, but messages and other things still do.

6. Make use of Power Saver Mode

Power saver can be your saving grace if you are really trying to save the power on your phone. This function disables power draining features like location services and reduces the quality of animations. For newer model Androids, you also have the option of choosing ‘extreme power saving mode’, which disables data connections when the screen is locked and gives priority to important apps like GPS and messaging.

7. Get a Good Charger

Its no myth that cheap chargers are worse than certified or official chargers. If you want to have the best chance of maintaining your battery life and charging your mobile quickly, purchase a charger from the manufacturer or a certified third party.

8. Don’t Let Your Phone Overheat

All smartphones are susceptible to overheating, and your battery life can be affected by this. If your phone overheats regularly – or even gets too cold, for that matter – you will notice reduced functionality and battery life. Do what you can to keep it at a normal temperature. That might mean removing accessories that stop heat from escaping and keeping it out of direct sunlight.

9. Don’t Let Your Battery Die Too Often

Leaving the battery to completely burn out can be really damaging to the longevity of the battery. The optimal way to charge your phone is to keep the battery charged between 40% and 80% at all times. This will help the battery to run in a more healthy way, and the charge will be likely to last longer.

10. Use the Screen Dimming Function

If you are facing a battery life emergency, then dimming the screen as much as possible can help to preserve the last bit of charge. You can also use dimming functions to improve the batteries overall longevity too. For Android, you can make use of the adaptive brightness settings, which allows the phone to adjust the brightness of the screen automatically based on your surroundings, in order to reduce the amount of power the screen brightness is using up.

That’s all there is to it! That concludes our 10 tips for preserving your Android’s battery life. Hopefully, these will help you to improve your phone’s battery and avoid getting stuck in any more difficult situations without a charged phone in the future.

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10 Tips for Charging Your Phone Correctly

10 Tips for Charging Your Phone Correctly

One of the most frustrating things about current mobile phones is their battery life. As our devices have become more powerful and technologically advanced, battery manufacturers have struggled to keep pace. All those incredible apps and smart features that come with mobiles in 2018 drain your battery much quicker than they used to.

Because of this, it’s sometimes necessary to charge your battery twice, or even three times per day – particularly if you’re someone that uses it a lot – and that’s just not viable. So what’s the solution?

Well, it might seem obvious, but a surprising number of people don’t know how to charge their phone correctly. By ‘correctly’, I mean in a way that maximizes the battery life both in the short-term and in the long-term, and charges it quickly enough that you can go from 0% to 100% in no time at all, allowing you to fit in multiple recharges per day.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of 10 tips that will help you to charge your phone faster and more safely. Let’s get into it!

1. Don’t charge it to 100%

You might have thought that the best way to make sure your phone has enough juice to keep it going through the day is to charge it fully, right the way to 100%. Well, you’d be wrong. Why? Two words: battery life.

Most modern smartphones have lithium-ion batteries, and these batteries don’t respond well to being charged to maximum capacity. I won’t bore you with why that is – it’s far too complex and technical to get into here – but you’ll just have to take my word for it. If you charge them to 100%, you’ll cause a tiny bit of damage to the battery which will, over time, reduce its lifespan. If you do this regularly, after a few hundred charges your battery life will be dramatically reduced.

The good news is partial charges cause no harm whatsoever to lithium-ion batteries so aim to do frequent, short charges of between 10%-20% at a time if you can. If that’s not possible, just unplug your charger before it gets to 100%.

The exception to all of this is if your mobile has a nickel-based battery. Nickel batteries actually benefit from the total opposite due to something called the ‘memory effect’. This refers to when a battery ‘forgets’ its full capacity if its never being charged to it. For example, if you only ever charge it up to 80%, it might forget about the other 20% over time. Sounds weird, I know. Fortunately, you probably don’t have to worry about this too much anyway as very few modern phones still have nickel-based batteries.

2. Don’t let it run too low

In the same way that you shouldn’t ever let your phone charge all the way up to 100%, you shouldn’t let it deplete to 0% either. This actually damages the battery a little bit each time, which will cause the battery life to drop over the long-term. Try not to let it drop below 25% if you can help it.

If you want to be really safe about it, aim to keep your battery charged at between 65%-75% at all times as research shows this is the optimal amount to maintain battery life.

3. Don’t leave it at 0% for too long

If you do fail to keep your phone battery from running out, try to get it charged up again as soon as possible. If you leave it at 0% for too long, it can completely die. By that, I mean totally lose its capacity to hold a charge and refuse to turn on again even when plugged in.

Of course, this won’t happen over a few hours or even a few days. We’re talking about a phone that’s left for months with 0% charge. It does happen sometimes, though, when people store old mobiles in drawers. If you do, just remember to charge it back up to around 50% every now and then to prevent the battery from dying.

4. Use a fast charger

All chargers are not made equal. It’s possible to get ‘lightning chargers’ which are able to charge up your phone faster than regular ones – but only if your phone supports fast charging. Many new Android models do, so if you have one of these phones, pair it up with a fast charger and you’ll be able to charge much more quickly.

5. Turn it off whilst charging

It might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning as most people still use their phone whilst it’s charging. If you can, go without it for a few minutes and turn it off. It will charge much quicker as there will be fewer things draining the battery whilst it’s charging up.

6. Stop touching it

If you really can’t turn it off – perhaps you’re waiting for an important call – then at least stop touching it. The screen is usually the biggest battery drain at all, so even just touching your phone to check the time uses up some charge. Try to leave it alone and the battery will charge quicker.

7. Use airplane mode

If you can’t turn it off and you can’t stop touching it, then at the very least switch on airplane mode. This will stop things like WiFi, GPS, and 4G from draining your battery so that it can recharge more quickly. You should also close any apps you’re not using.

8. Use a wall socket

If you just rely on the USB lead to charge your phone, it’s not going to charge as quickly. Instead of plugging it into your laptop, plug it into a wall for maximum speed. If you don’t have a plug and have to rely on the USB, at least aim for a USB 3.0 port as this will charge it quicker than a USB 2.0.

9. Keep it cool

Batteries charge slower the hotter they are. Therefore, you can reduce the time it takes to charge up your battery by keeping it cool whilst charging. This means taking off any accessories like mobile phone cases that might be trapping in the heat. It also means charging it in a cool room, out of the way of direct sunlight.

10. Get a portable charger

Ok, so the final tip is a bit of a cheat. It’s not exactly a way to charge your phone more quickly per se, but it is a way that you can avoid letting your battery deplete entirely and charge it up on-the-go. Buy yourself a portable charger and take it with you to work or wherever you’re spending your day. That way, if your battery starts getting low, you can top it up before it gets to 0% even if there isn’t a wall socket nearby.

That’s it for our 10 tips on charging your phone correctly. Have fun and remember – don’t let your battery ruin your day!

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Ten Exciting Trends Already Changing The Look Of Phones In 2018

Ten Exciting Trends Already Changing The Look Of Phones In 2018

The Mobile World Congress is the place to be for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other stakeholders in the smartphone ecosystem. In keeping with this tradition, all roads in the mobile phone world led to Barcelona in March. In the famous Fira Gran Via halls, exhibitors and attendees poured in from more than 200 countries to participate in this annual mobile phone festival. Expectations are typically high, and this year’s outing did not disappoint at all. It was all about the future of mobile phones plus features and functions that will dominate phones this year and maybe even beyond. There is more to report than space will permit, but here are some titbits to whet your appetite.

1. Turning Design a Notch Higher

Trailblazing designs is part of the Apple DNA, so the notch at the top of the iPhone X becoming a standard design feature is probably expected. Apparently, that little cutout at the top of the phone has caused more than a mere stir. Meanwhile, competitors may have noticed the way their users have been casting admiring glances at the notch on the iPhone. Wasting very little time indeed, Android phones are already copying the feature. Asus and LG have been noticed to be ahead in this regard. No sense losing customers to a notch!

2. Facial Unlocking Technology

Mobile phone security is still a big issue, and previous experimentations were limited to security codes, but Apple raised the bar with its facial recognition security feature in the iPhone X. Although it was not exactly a novel mobile phone feature, it still made a difference by providing a biometric authentication that swift, secure and functional in a wide variety of lighting conditions. The stiffest competition in this area comes from Samsung which is introducing an iris scanning feature. Although this feature is superior to Apple’s Face ID, it falls short in terms of speed of execution and convenience.

3. Souped Up LTE

While waiting for the network carriers to up their game, the smartphone manufacturers are trying to stay way ahead of the curve. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 Processor is looking like a standard feature for most high-end mobile phones. One major advantage this chip possesses is its in-built gigabit LTE capability which its manufacturer says should offer twenty percent more than what is commercially available at this time. Other capabilities of the 845 processor chip are its dedicated security chip for fingerprint and payment protection as well as battery life enhancements.

4. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is becoming more of a reality than ever this year. The challenge is actually the existence (or lack thereof) of a killer augmented reality app. The expectation however in 2018, is that the upgraded capability of smartphones (ARCore for Android and ARKit for Apple) will be game-changers as far as augmented reality is concerned. Apple already boasts of some nice-looking ARKit app on iOS while Google Lens is pretty indicative of how Artificial intelligence will work with the inbuilt Google Assistant. Obviously, there is a whole lot to look forward to.

5. Dual Cameras

This is one feature that is fast proliferating among phones, even those manufactured by second-tiers OEMs. The reason? Well, everyone loves a great selfie and this is probably a selfie’s best buddy. The trend started last year but really gained a lot of ground this year. Examples? Think Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Appl iPhone X as well as Huawei Mate 10 Pro. You know what happens when a trend gains so much dominance; it becomes a demanded product rather than a luxury. In summary, this particular trend will catch up even more as the months roll by in the mobile phone world.

6. Wireless Charging

Once, it was seen mostly in adverts but with time and its adoption by the two main contenders in the mobile phone world; Samsung and Apple, wireless charging is expected to feature more prominently in mobile phones in 2018. There have even been experimentations of charging across a distance not just via a charging pad. This year is looking set to see many viable and commercially available options in the market. Consumers are eagerly waiting!

7. Slim Bezels

Slim bezel designs fall into that category of features that get accelerated acceptance and adoption across the board. The trend is catching on such that even second-tier smartphones are also sporting slim bezel designs. Chinese OEM, ZTE and Nokia have gone to market with their Blade V9 and 7 Plus which feature the slim bezel design. Of course, last year, it was the phones with slim bezels that stood out of the crowd, but with the ongoing trend, this year, phones without this design will stick out like a sore thumb. Well, no smartphone manufacturer wants to stand out for the wrong reasons.

8. Emojis

Having become a staple in the mobile phone world, emojis are seemingly making an upgraded appearance in 2018. Apple probably kicked off this trend with its face-tracking animated emoji but its competitors have fast caught on. Now, Samsung Galaxy 9 has the new AR Emoji. This one actually mimics the user’s face in the popular Nintendo Wii style and animated it as well. Not to outdone, Asus is debuting with its Zenimoji as well. Of course, the competition never rests, so we can expect other brands to introduce their versions of this feature. Well, well, well, the consumer wins all the time!

Final Word

There are still quite a few features that are being tried out and others already out there. For sure, it is expected that longer-lasting batteries will become a staple this year. Ongoing research into making lithium-ion batteries last longer should yield fruit this year for the benefit of smartphone users. Additionally, foldable phones are being spoken off albeit in hushed tones, but expectations are high, and manufacturers are unlikely to disappoint their teeming users. We anticipate a very active year, and consumers can look forward to a souped-up experience all around. Are you ready? OEMs are all set!

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Is Mobile VR Worth It?

Is Mobile VR Worth It?

We’ve seen plenty of hype around virtual reality and its various forms. Now that the public has become more familiar with VR, it seems that our smartphones are poised to become the primary way this new media is consumed. After all, mobile devices are ubiquitous and a basic part of our daily lives. We use them for just about everything that we happen to do. Many people have had their reservations regarding the quality of mobile VR and the capabilities of mobile devices. Fortunately, these concerns are no longer an issue now that developers have a fuller grasp of what virtual reality apps need. There are things you need to become more familiar with to fully appreciate mobile VR, but just about any smartphone can handle the apps. You’ll want to make sure you check out the headset you’re buying and not every phone is going to allow you to use every app. Regardless, the time for mobile VR is finally here.

1. Why Virtual Reality Is Perfect For Your Phone

Mobile VR started out as something of a gimmick with most apps being focused on simple but amusing tricks. You can now use mobile VR to watch movies, play games, and even write code thanks to certain headset display systems. The variety out there means you’ll find something that appeals to you no matter what you are looking for. You’re going to come away with something satisfying and maybe even pick up something you didn’t even think you would want. The idea of a VR aquarium may not sound exciting right now, but wait until you actually try it out before you dismiss it.

The most obvious reason most people decide to try mobile VR is the gaming experience. Movies have sold virtual reality as the ultimate in interactive entertainment. A portal into a new world alien to anything we’ve ever seen before. Although it’s going to take some time to get used to the experience, you’ll probably come away from mobile VR feeling very satisfied with playing mobile VR games. Mobile VR tends to lend itself to certain genres more than others, so don’t expect to play too many platformers or side-scrollers. First person shooters and racing games are extremely abundant among mobile VR selections, however.

One of the most surprising pleasures of mobile VR is the movie experience. You can experience movies as if you are actually in the scene and the characters appear as if they are actually standing next to you. The experience of watching a movie in VR makes it seem as if you have actually visited the scene itself. This experience is so powerful that many people actually “believe” they have explored the places in the movie. It creates a sense of false memories because of the up close and personal nature of the whole thing. With so many streaming apps out there it’s the perfect time to try this out for yourself. Even watching a typical viral video can feel completely different in VR. Hardly anyone comes from it without feeling completely satisfied.

2.What You Need To Know

One of the obvious concerns people have for mobile VR is the power of smartphones. We know that the strength of a typical smartphone is nowhere near what a modern PC can offer you. There’s going to be differences between the experience that you have with a VR app versus what you might get at home, but it isn’t too much of a difference to stop you from enjoying everything. You’ll certainly want to find a phone that better fits what you desire from your VR experience. If you want to watch HD movies or play games with high res graphics, you’ll want to pick something that can deliver that experience. Even on a relatively weak phone, you can enjoy mobile VR.

The most fascinating use of mobile VR is in its more serious utilities. There are already people using VR to communicate and work thanks to a variety of apps. Some apps allow you to use the VR headset for video chats and texting. It’s just as easy to use in VR as it would be in a more traditional phone format. You can even use VR to write code and develop software. These special apps, called virtual desktop, allow you to use VR the same way you would use your traditional desktop. It shows VR isn’t a radical departure from the norm and it brings smartphones yet another step towards becoming the only thing we’ll ever need for all our computing needs. The VR screen is wide and perfectly fit for just about anyone’s needs.

3. Enjoying The Experience

When you consider everything that mobile VR provides, it’s obvious it’s time to check it out. It takes time to get used to the experience, but it isn’t too nauseating. You’ll find that the issues that are often experienced by many people are easy to overcome if you practice using mobile VR. The sensations the VR experience brings become routine and even the most complicated VR becomes comfortable. Virtual reality is here to stay, and it will only become much more common as more developers decide to adopt the media form for their products or services.

Virtual reality is an experience that takes us away from the world around us, so it’s natural to have concerns about using it in a public area. Early mobile VR users probably did feel embarrassed when they want outside and had their headsets on, but there have been serious improvements in the design of mobile headsets. Augmented reality, an experience that overlays virtual reality onto the real world, is taking off and it’s improved the quality of public VR considerably. You’ll be able to see the world around you and what’s going on, but you’ll also interact with virtual objects. We already know AR games can work perfectly fine on a mobile device, and there are now examples of games using mobile VR headsets to great effect.

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