Category Archives for "Buying A Phone"

Essential information on buying a used cell phone.

September 13, 2018

Power Hungry Apps You Need To Know About

Power Hungry Apps You Need To Know About

Almost everyone is very dependent on smartphones nowadays. These marvelous devices have infiltrated every aspect of our lives from messaging to photography, even cooking and relationships. There are around 197 billion mobile app download last year. In 2016, mobile app downloads of iOS users amounted to almost 25 billion while Android users, at the same year, downloaded a whopping 90 billion applications.

Three years ago, Facebook was the most used application but last year, Amazon got the largest number of users. According to reports, nine applications are used by people on average daily while thirty applications are used monthly. In the Apple Store, there are around 2.2 million applications as of January 2017 while Google Play had almost 3 million applications as of June 2017.

​So Many Apps To Choose From

One can argue that the popularity of the smartphones can be attributed to the thousands of applications available to the users. These applications stretch and give more functionalities to the smartphones.

Applications can also be considered as the reason why smartphones are heavily used. However, the downside to having too many applications installed on one’s phone is the tendency of the phone to slow down or even crash. This may be due to decreasing memory of the smartphone which can contribute to the decreased processing speed of the device.

In addition, applications tend to eat up a lot of battery power. In fact, there are a lot of applications that are considered power-hungry. If you feel that your phone’s battery dies faster than it used to, then check your applications because these may be the culprits.

Apple recently released an iOS update that is supposed to ​"enhance" ​the battery life on their devices. There are mixed reviews on whether or not it worked.

A new report from Avast, a mobile security firm, have revealed that there are certain applications which suck most of the power out of a smartphone’s battery. The report has determined that the applications which used the most energy are Facebook, Netflix, and Snapchat.

Coincidentally, these are three of the most popular applications out there. Avast has categorized applications into two classifications:

  • 1
    ​​Applications that immediately run as soon as the phone is booted up​.
  • 2
    ​​Applications that users manually start themselves.

Applications that Immediately Run at Start Up

Listed below are the top ten applications which drain the life out of your battery as soon as you start the phone. These phones can be considered silent workers since they still run even on background which makes them not the first suspects in case the battery runs dry. These applications are:

Android

  • 1
    ​Samsung Allshare
  • 2
    ​Samsung Security Policy Updates
  • 3
    ChatON Voice & Video Chat
  • 4
    Google Maps
  • 5
    WhatsApp Messenger
  • 6
    Facebook
  • 7
    AppLock
  • 8
    WeChat
  • 9
    Microsoft Outlook
  • 10
    DU Battery Saver (a little bit ironic)

iOS

  • 1
    ​Moves
  • 2
    ​BT Wifi
  • 3
    ​Google Search
  • 4
    ​Facebook Messenger
  • 5
    ​Facebook
  • 6
    ​Google Hangouts
  • 7
    ​H&M
  • 8
    ​WhatsApp
  • 9
    ​Google Maps
  • 10
    ​Viber

Google Maps drains batteries fast because it regularly tracks and transmits data in order to ascertain efficiently where you are or the details of the place you’re trying to locate.

Social media applications such as Facebook and WhatsApp are power hungry because they utilize LTE or Wifi connectivity in order to bring real time updates and messages. Even though these applications are closed from time to time, still they run in the background in order to stay connected.

Applications That Users Manually Start Themselves

For Android users, these are the power-hungry applications that are usually launched by the users themselves:

  • 1
    ​Beaming Service for Samsung
  • 2
    ​Samsung WatchON
  • 3
    ​Netflix
  • 4
    ​​Clean Master
  • 5
    ​​Snapchat
  • 6
    ​Photo Grid
  • 7
    ​Super Bright LED Torch
  • 8
    ​ES File Explorer File Manager
  • 9
    ​Amazon Shopping

How to Deal with Fast Draining Battery

There may be applications that are non-negotiable to users. This means that even though they are aware that the applications drain their battery lives faster, they need the application on a daily basis and they cannot do anything about it.

In that scenario, the users may do something else in order to save their batteries from crashing down earlier than expected.

  • 1
    Get a power bank or extended ​battery​ – This is a practical solution which does not really target the root cause of the problem. But having a power bank is really helpful especially when you are always on the go but still need to be on your smartphone 24/7.
  • 2
    Use content blockers in Safari​ – content blockers are technologies used by advertising companies in order to track other advertisements do use a lot of battery life
  • 3
    Reduce the screen brightness​ – This is one of the fundamental things you need to address. Of course, if your smartphone is on full brightness mode, it will use a lot of battery power than usual. Luckily, smartphones now are equipped with night mode or reading mode screen brightness which not only will help prevent eye strain but also help your battery live longer than usual. Note that some phones have an auto-brightness feature, like the iPhone, which adjusts the brightness of the screen in accordance with the light around it. You may want to turn that feature off too.
  • 4
    Turn off Background Motion​ – For iPhone users with an iOS 7 and up, there is a feature called Background Motion wherein when you move your iPhone, the application icons and wallpaper of your phone move separately or independent from each other. It may be cool but it can also drain your battery. If you do not need that feature much, you can turn it off too and opt for a longer battery life.
  • 5
    Make the Battery Usage feature your best friend​ – Again, this is for iPhone users, more specifically for those with an iOS 8 or up. In Settings > Battery, you will find the Battery Usage feature which will actually show you which of your applications eat up the most battery power over the past 24 hours. With this information, you will be able to see which applications to close on purpose and which applications to use less, if possible.
  • 6
    Replace the battery - If you are still not able to pin down the excessive battery drain it will take a toll on your battery capacity. Replacing the battery will not stop the excessive power consumption although it will give you a longer life. This is especially true for older phones. You can get your battery replaced easily at a local cell phone repair shop.

There are other ways to save up on battery too like turning off the Location Services and Cellular Data of your smartphone. But then again, these tips need not be followed religiously if you need these features on a daily basis.

​At the end of the day, you will be able to decide which applications to use scarcely and which applications you cannot live without, despite the battery eating tendencies.

Everything You Need To Know About Turning Off iCloud

Everything You Need To Know About Turning Off iCloud

With the advances of technological, we have found a way to store media, information, and other content “up in the cloud”.  Some of these storage devices are Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud. 

The latter being one of the most popular Apple online storage services.  If you own an iPhone, iPad, and a Mac, you probably know how convenient it is to have an iCloud storage. iCloud lets you keep data online and sync all data among multiple Apple products. 

​When you set up your iCloud account, you can access all files that are uploaded, and synced data, anytime anywhere with your Apple devices. 

iCloud has different aspects such as iCloud Drive where you can store information and other media such as iCloud Photo Library where, as its name suggests, it stores your photos online. Photo Stream also works the same way as the Photo Library.  

Despite the convenience offered by the iCloud storage devices, there is also a danger with keeping all your media and other information stored online.  For instance, when someone gets hold of any of your Apple devices, which has iCloud on, then they can easily access and download your data.  Security of your files is the biggest problem of people using an iCloud.  

There has been glitches with security measures, hackers have found ways to access people’s most private files.  Therefore, if you are planning on turning iCloud off on your Apple devices, then do not fret, we are here to help.  In this article, we will discuss different topics related to iCloud and how to turn it off. 

Note: iOS 11 revamped the Settings app and the iCloud settings can be found in your Apple ID and its own preferences and settings.  The iCloud tab, which was present in older version of iOS, is inexistent now in the iOS 11.

How To Turn Off The iCloud?

First and foremost, here are the steps which will enable you to turn off the iCloud on your devices.

  • 1
    ​Go to the Settings app and look for your profile, which is found at the top of the screen.
  • 2
    ​Once you get to your Apple ID, tap iCloud.
  • 3
    ​Find the switch for the iCloud Drive at the bottom and click it to turn off.

Note: The steps above outline how to turn off the iCloud Drive for your Apple ID. There is a different switch for the iCloud backups of the different applications running on your phone. To switch the latter, here is what you should do:

  • 1
    ​​Go to the iCloud tab as instructed by the steps above.
  • 2
    When you get to the iCloud screen, you will find just above the switch of the iCloud Drive the list of all apps using iCloud.  Turn off the iCloud access by ticking the switch next to the app’s name.  You can individually choose which applications will use iCloud.

Revoking App Access to iCloud

Despite individually turning off iCloud access of apps installed on your devices, there are still applications which can still have access even with the iCloud Drive turned off. 

​These applications are the iMovie and Pages which saves files to iCloud. Unlike other applications, iMovie and Pages are not ones that appear on the Apple ID screen. 

As a rule of thumb, applications that create new files on your devices and those with games that use iCloud.  If you want to deny access to these applications, on the iCloud, you need to turn them off, you have to revoke the access to all. This is also very important when you sell your iPhone to a friend, family or complete stranger. You can also do this wen your sell your iPad.

​Just go to the Settings app, then to the tab of the specific application, and revoke the access of the app.

Moving Files Away From iCloud

If you finally decide to do away with iCloud, after some time of using it, you may want to transfer your uploaded data to a computer as backup.  To do this, you can use an iOS data transfer program of your choice.  ​

​Programs like this can transfer your data from any Apple device to a Mac or even windows PC, some can even do vice versa.  

Read different articles or go to forums which talk about transfer programs.  Choose the one which you think is most useful and applicable for your needs.  Download it, follow the instructions, and transfer away.

Should You Turn Off Your iCloud?

Now that you know how to turn off and revoke iCloud access, and how to transfer files from your iCloud, you may be wondering if it is really worth it to turn off iCloud as it involves tinkering with some of the security settings of your iPhone.

​To help you decide, aside from the features already talked about at the first part of this article, the written features listed below are the pros and cons of using iCloud.

Pros:

  • 1
    ​Backing up your data to the iCloud is very easy to do.  With a simple click of a button, the devices automatically back itself up.  You also can turn WiFi on and backup to store data online as soon as the device is connected to the internet.
  • 2
    ​All your devices are synced.  A good feature of the iCloud is that it is available to all your devices, whether big or small.
  • 3
    ​iCloud is free until you reach a certain size of memory.  If more memory is needed there is an extra charge.  However, the free memory per Apple ID is already substantial.

​Cons:

  • 1
    ​The fear of hackers is not uncommon in online storage.  Apple is definitely a prime target with hackers as it is one of the biggest tech companies worldwide.  With a clientele, consisting of some of the most important people in the world, Apple needs to reassure its users that it is doing its best to safeguard their media and information that is uploaded in the Cloud.
  • 2
    ​Some users are paranoid that Apple employees are able to look into their files.  This hasn't been proven and no incident has been reported yet, but there are still doubts with regard to confidentiality.

A Closer Look With Our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review

Our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review
Our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review

Samsung is one of the major players in the smart phone industry and it is not hard to know why. The South Korean company has released a lot of game changing phones with impressive display and excellent performance. However, it hit a roadblock when its Note 7 started to burst into flames.

So when the Galaxy Note 8 came out it was a wonder if this newest offering from Samsung will redeem the company’s tarnished reputation.

Read on to find out more and understand why we think Samsung found the perfect solution with our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review.

Tried and Tested Battery

Before beginning it is imperative to tell you that Samsung has learned from its mistakes and have completed exhaustive tests before giving the green light for the Note 8.

According to reports, Samsung did an eight-point battery safety check on the Note’s battery. In addition to an increased number of safety testing, Samsung has also decreased the physical size of the battery to avoid repeating history.

The capacity of the battery was also decreased from 3,500mAh to 3,300mAh. Samsung also sought a certification from an independent organization to endorse the Note 8 as a safe and secure phone.

However, it is too early to tell if the Note 8 is safer than its predecessor. If you are still worried, then it is best to wait a few months after it has been released.

An Impressive Display and Cool Features

Two of the major wins of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are its marvelous screen display and two powerful cameras. The Note 8 boasts a vibrant 6.3 inch super AMOLED display and is very expensive to get this Samsung screen repaired. Thanks to the Infinity Display of the phone, users will have a wonderful experience interacting with the screen and its features.

With this impressive display, this phone can easily be the go to gadget of artists, students, and businessmen. For instance, the Galaxy Note 8 also has a feature that allows you to jot down notes even when the phone is locked.

This feature is called the Screen-off Memo that also allows you to make animated GIFs that are shareable in different social media and messaging apps.

A Kick Butt Camera That Takes AWesome Pictures

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 sports dual 12MP rear cameras and one 8MP front camera. The two cameras at the back work together in order to deliver crisp photos. When you take a picture with the Note 8, the camera saves two versions of the photos: one wide-angle and one portrait.

Samsung’s portrait mode, also known as the Live Focus, should be taken when you are at least 4 feet away from the subject of the photo and the lighting has to be good. You might think that it’s too demanding for a camera but when you see the high quality photos from the Note 8, you will not hesitate to adjust accordingly to its needs.

The photos taken with the phone are vibrant and sharp thanks to Samsung’s ability to reproduce true to life colors. Aside from Live Focus, Samsung has also added new tools and filters to the camera app that will surely delight any photography lovers out there.

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An S-Pen You Might Actually Use

The S-Pen, Samsung’s stylus pen, is already loved by many users. When paired with the amazing features of the Galaxy Note 8, fans of the stylus will be delighted.

Samsung has made its stylus so compatible with the Note 8 that using it comes almost as natural as breathing. Other than writing, the S-Pen can also be used for taking shots of just portions of the screen, erasing mistakes in typing, checking out previews of images and hidden menus. The Galaxy Note 8 is a water resistant phone and Samsung has also added this capability to the S-Pen.

No Change To The Finger Scanner

Sadly, in our opinion, the Note 8 is still a few steps away from being perfect. The Galaxy Note 8 still has that inconveniently placed finger scanner at the rear part of the phone. Most users have complained that Note’s finger scanner is a hassle to use.

Unfortunately, Samsung still thinks otherwise. Given the fact that complaints regarding the scanner have been around since Note 5, one would expect Samsung to come up with something better, but it didn't.

Perhaps it's because the phone also offers the face and iris scanner, which to Samsung means users have two other options to unlock their phone and let go of the finger print scanner.

But still, we do think that in certain situations, the finger scanner is the better and faster tool to use to unlock a phone. For now, we are stuck with the bad position of the finger scanner.

The Bad: Finger Scanner and the Hefty Cost of the Phone

Aside from the finger scanner, one thing that might slow you down from running out and buying the Note 8 is the price.

Since Samsung has put a lot of effort into the display, camera, and performance of the phone, it is no wonder that they would want to recoup their costs and monetary value for their efforts.

In the United States, the Galaxy Note 8 starts out at $930. Carriers like AT&T and Verizon offers the same model for $950 and $960 respectively. Sprint also offers the Note 8 at $960 while T-Mobile tries to be competitive with $930.

Therefore, buying the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is not a decision you should make right away. That is unless you get on a payment plan or you have an extra grand laying around. ​

Our Final Thoughts On The Note 8 Review

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a powerfully beautiful phone that is a few notches away from perfection. If you are in the market to buy a new phone, then we encourage you to know your priorities and needs first before purchasing. You may even want to sell your old phone to raise some cash for the new one.

There are a lot of good phones from other brands that are not as pricey. So before spending almost a $1000, ensure that what you are getting is something that you will put to good use every day.

September 30, 2017

The iPhone 8 or iPhone X, Which One Should You Get?

iPhone 8 or iPhone X

For 2017, Apple has decided to launch three iPhones. There are two similar looking iPhone's and one premium, re-designed iPhone X. If you are thinking of buying one of these new iPhone's, you will be confronted with a mind-boggling question: the iPhone 8 or iPhone X?

These three iPhone's are built to attract different types of consumers who value different things in an iPhone. Read on to learn the differences between the 2 iPhone's so that you can decide which one is right for you.

iPhone 8 Price Is for those on A budget

Starting off with the price, your budget is one of the major factors in determining which iPhone is right for you.

For the iPhone 8, the price starts at $699 while the iPhone 8 Plus starts $799. This is still a considerable amount of money to pay but certainly less than the iPhone X which starts out at $999.

These prices, however, are before additional charges like taxes, Apple Care or if you want to get one with more storage. The starting price alone is a determining factor on getting the iPhone 8 or iPhone X.

iPhone 8 is Easier to handle but iPhone X Has A Bigger Screen

Aside from the price, the size of the iPhone also matters. The iPhone 8 is a more comfortable choice if you are looking for an easy to handle phone. The size of the iPhone 8 screen is 4.7" while the 8 Plus is 5.5". This is what you are familiar with on the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus so the iPhone screen repairs on the 8 shouldn't be too expensive.

iPhone X Has A Larger Screen Display

However, the iPhone X is physically sized between the two iPhone's but with its bezel-less design, its screen is larger than the iPhone 8 Plus by .3 inches.

Apple has upgraded its screen resolutions for the three new iPhones by adding True Tone Technology making the iPhone adjust with the lighting conditions. However, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus still have the HD Retina displays just like the older versions.

If you desire an iPhone with a premium display, then you should go for the iPhone X which has a Super Retina display and more pixels per inch. The iPhone X also has OLED and HDR technology, which is a first for Apple. These new technologies give the iPhone X a deeper, richer color and true to life images.

The iPhone 8 or iPhone X camera, Which Is the Better choice?

For some, the camera is a very important feature in their iPhone. If you are one of these people, then the iPhone 8 Plus or the X is the better choice. These 2 iPhone's have dual camera lens which helps in zooming and gives DSLR-like images.

Both iPhone's also have a Portrait lighting feature. This setting gives a studio-like lighting effect which helps the shots look better. Fortunately, the Portrait Mode is available on the iPhone X front camera.

Aside from that, both lenses of the iPhone X have faster aperture and optical image stabilization.

There Is NO Home Button On The iPhone X

The biggest and most noticeable change Apple did to the iPhone X was removing the physical home button. The home button has been a prominent identifier of the iPhones for a long time.

iPhone X Has No Home Button

It is a little weird seeing an iPhone without a home button but Apple has a way around that. With the iPhone X, maneuvering through the iPhone is done by gestures. Which may turn you off a little by having to learn a new way to navigate your iPhone.

Therefore, if you are not ready to let go of the physical home button yet, then you should opt to get the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus which still has the traditional build, design & navigation.

Your Face is Now Your iPhone Unlock

With the disappearance of the physical Home button, Apple has also did away with the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone X. The premium iPhone X can now be unlocked with a thing called Face ID. Authenticating payments and users, which used to be the function of Touch ID, is now part of Face ID’s functionality.

According to Apple, the Face ID is more secure than the Touch ID. This is the first time that Apple has used facial recognition technology as part of its security features. According to the tech company, its own version of the technology is more secure than others given the fact that it uses a 3D scanner. Which means that the Face ID cannot be tricked by merely using a photo.

However, while Face ID might be safer, there is still a debate on whether it is convenient. If you are not yet sure whether you will be comfortable with the Face ID technology, then the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus should be your choice since both of those iPhone's still use the Touch ID feature.

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Gamers Are Going To Love These iPhone's

All 3 iPhone's launched this year are equipped with Apple’s augmented reality function. This gives the user a more exciting gameplay and life-like experience with interactive apps. For this feature it does not matter if you go with the iPhone 8 or iPhone X since both will have them.

Augmented Reality For The New iPhone

If you REALLY love this type of technology, then go with the iPhone X. Aside from its augmented reality capability, this iPhone's front camera has TrueDepth technology which lets the camera do facial mapping. This means that you can now make a Snapchat filter of yourself or even an Animoji of your face.

Know your needs With The iPhone 8 or iPhone x

If you are coming from an iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 might not offer you a substantially different experience than if you went for the iPhone X. But if you are coming from an iPhone 6 then the iPhone 8 can definitely bring you something fresh.

At the end of the day, choosing the right iPhone for you means you have to know your wants and needs and which of these is negotiable. Buying any of these three iPhone's will put you back a significant amount of money so make sure that the iPhone you choose will be something that suits your lifestyle and personal preferences.

You can also save big by not buying one of these "new" iPhone's and consider buying a used iPhone, unless you plan on getting the iPhone X.

Everything On The iPhone 8 Rumors & The September 12 Release Date

iPhone 8 Rumors & Release Date
iPhone 8 Rumors & Release Date

For those who do not know, 2017 is a big year for the manufacturing giant, Apple. The tech company will is celebrating its 10th year anniversary of the iPhone. People are excited for what is in store for this year’s release of the much-anticipated iPhone 8.

With only a few weeks to go before the big launch of the latest device, there are many rumors already circulating about it including one leak from Apple itself.

The Hardware: Living from Edge to Edge

Unlike its predecessors, the iPhone 8 is said to have a radical design with a display from edge to edge. It has been said that Apple will do away with the physical Home button and the only bezel that will be left is a small area dedicated for a front-facing camera.

Apple confirmed that it is working on a facial recognition technology so expect that the Touch ID may be eliminated in favor of the former. Because of its edge to edge design, the device may have a size similar to the of the 4.7 inch iPhone but with a display area same as the 5.5 inch one. However, there are also rumors suggesting that the display area will be 5.8 inches with 5.15 inches of usable space.

Since there is a huge possibility that the physical Home button will be eliminated, gestures might be used to navigate the phone. The display screen is said to be made of flexible plastic OLED rather than the usual LCD. This switch will help Apple come up with a thinner device with less power consumption but shows off a better display with higher contrast ratio and more true to life colors.

Let's hope that the new display is more durable than all of the previous models combined. Replacing the iPhone 8 screen will set you back $109. You can walk into our cell phone repair store in Austin Texas or use our iPhone mail in repair service that works for anyone in the USA.

Still, it is better to invest in a good case and tempered glass screen protector to avoid the costly repair.

Will Apple Go With An All Glass Body?

For the body, the iPhone 8 may veer away from the aluminum. Unlike its immediate predecessors, the latest device might be sporting a glass body similar to its great great grandparent, the iPhone 4.

The glass is said to be built around a polished frame of stainless steel just like the Apple Watch. It is also expected to be water resistant and hold up rain, splashes, and brief submersion in water. The water-resistant feature has also been confirmed by Apple’s supplier and such feature may extend to all iPhone models moving forward.

Inside its body, the iPhone 8 is expected to sport a 10-nanometer A11 chip which will help it be faster and more efficient. New technologies like wireless charging and facial recognition can also be expected. For higher-end models, optical image stabilization may be expected for both front and rear cameras.

The camera will also include 3D sensing capabilities that will allow it to locate and find the depth of objects in front of it. Such 3D capability will also help in its facial recognition features.

The Software & The A11 Chip

For this year, Apple will be sticking with its A11 chip for all iPhone models. The production for the newest chip began in May 2017. The chip is expected to give the users a faster and more power efficient performance compared to the present A10 chip.

The A11 can also lead to a better battery life that will surely be music to the ears of most users. The RAM of the iPhone 8 is similar to that of the iPhone 7 Plus, a 3GB one. The DRAM transfer speed of the latest models is expected to be 10-15 percent faster than the iPhone 7.

So What’s The Price to Pay?

Rumors have been circulating that the iPhone 8 will be the most expensive phone from Apple. The new OLED display, wireless charging, bio-metric features and improved camera performance have been pointed out as the causes for the price increase.

Some have priced the iPhone 8 at around $1,000 while others believed it will go beyond that. However, there are also rumors that lower-end models will be released for those who do not want to spend such a big amount of money on a new phone.