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10 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Smartphone

10 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Smartphone

The average cost of an iPhone has climbed to a staggering $687, and even the most affordable Android devices come with a median price tag of $254. Instead of wasting your money by upgrading annually or paying a monthly rental fee, it is wise to pay close attention to the best practices for extending the life of your smartphone. Fortunately, there are several ways to do this, and utilizing the following tips will help you get more bang for your buck.

1. Remove unnecessary apps and photos.

Almost every smartphone user has experienced serious lag times that make it frustrating to use their mobile device. In the vast majority of cases, this happens because the storage and RAM capabilities of the smartphone are being maxed out. This can make the phone much less responsive, and it often convinces people to upgrade before they truly need to. To avoid this unnecessary expense, make sure that you regularly remove any apps, photos, documents or text messages that you do not actually need.

2. Use a tempered glass screen protector.

A broken screen can make your phone next to impossible to use, and it may end up leading to further damages. Instead of paying approximately $100 to replace your screen, you should take steps to protect this integral smartphone component. A tempered glass screen protector is a good investment that will dramatically reduce your risk of ending up with a smashed screen. However, if your screen gets cracked before you take preventative action, make sure that you look into a repair instead of buying a new phone.

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3. Invest in a sturdy case.

Now that your screen is protected, it is time to be proactive with the rest of your smartphone’s components. No case is going to prevent every possible type of damage that can render a phone unusable, but purchasing something very sturdy will give you the best odds of steering clear of an expensive accident. This is especially important for people who tend to frequently drop their smartphone. As an added bonus, a sturdy case will add an extra layer of protection to the phone’s screen.

4. Avoid software updates after two generations.

Phone manufacturers only provide software support for approximately two generations. This is the reason that the latest iOS updates are only compatible with the 4S and later models. In some cases, you will have the ability to update even if your device is older, but it is very likely that doing so will cause a lot of performance issues.

This may be because it is difficult to create stable updates that will work across a wide variety of devices, but most people believe that the reality is more sinister. After all, why would Apple want to keep making updates available for older phones when they can simply push consumers into making a new purchase every couple of years? Either way, you can extend the life of your smartphone by avoiding updates after two new generations have been released.

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5. Power down regularly.

You would never leave your laptop running for several weeks at a time, yet most of you have not turned your smartphone off in months. Keep in mind that your phone is very similar to a computer in many ways. Simply allowing your phone to power down for a few minutes at least once a week will help it run more efficiently, and this will also extend its useful life.

6. Keep the battery in good shape with best charging practices.

You do not need to worry about overcharging your battery by leaving it hooked up for an extended period of time. However, even though that myth is incorrect, there are some things you probably do daily that are damaging the phone’s battery and reducing its overall lifespan.

The single most important thing you can do to get the most out of your smartphone is to put it on the charger when it reaches a battery life of 75 percent. Waiting until the battery life drops to 25 percent will dramatically reduce its ability to receive and hold a charge. In fact, if you always charge your phone at 25 percent, the battery will only work to its full potential for 500 charges. On the other hand, opting to use the charger at 75 percent will give you up to 2,500 fully powered charges.

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It is also important to note that draining your battery all the way and then charging it back to 100 percent is a bad idea. Your phone will last a lot longer if you charge it for a few minutes off and on throughout the day.

7. Don’t exercise with your smartphone in your pocket.

There are numerous apps available for your smartphone that can help you work out, but it may not be in your best interests to use them. This is due to the fact that some iPhone users have experienced water damage issues as a result of sweating while their phone was in their pocket or secured to their arm. This problem becomes exacerbated by Apple’s unwillingness to cover even minimal moisture damage under their warranty program. When you consider how expensive an iPhone is, it does not make sense to take the risk of harming it with sweat.

8. Secure your smartphone while driving.

Your phone’s built-in navigation system makes it very useful during a road trip, but be careful where you place this precious device. Unless the smartphone is properly secured at all times, you are running the risk of it being thrown through the vehicle during an accident. This can easily damage the sensitive electronics within the phone. Unfortunately, this type of issue is not likely to be covered by your warranty.

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9. Avoid viruses and malware.

Although it is not very common for a smartphone to become infected with a virus or malware, you should still take precautions to protect your investment. Viruses come from malicious apps, so do not download anything that seems suspicious. If your phone starts acting oddly after a new app has been installed, you can check the app’s data usage to determine if it may be sending out information to a third-party. It is also possible for virus-laden apps to be installed without your permission if you have a jailbroken device. Be aware that the only way to get rid of a virus is by resetting your iPhone or taking your Android into safe mode to delete the offending app.

10. Take advantage of cloud storage.

Cloud storage is one of the best ways to ensure that your phone never becomes clogged with too much data. This will enable you to run a tight, lean device, and it will minimize the risk of data loss if something does go wrong. Take advantage of any free cloud storage that comes with your smartphone and perform backups on a regular basis to receive the best results.

Now that you know how to get the most out of your smartphone, you can stop wasting money on annual or biennial upgrades. You can even go one step further by looking at numerous other ways to reduce your expenses. Always remember that the money choices you make today could have a huge impact on the rest of your life, including retirement.

Featured photo credit: Japanexperterna.se via flickr.com

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Published on November 19, 2020

15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

When looking to improve your workflow, you need to have a proper computer. And one of the most appealing computers out there is macbooks. These sleek transportable computers allow you to work anywhere at any time and provide a lot of functionality to their users.

But sometimes, that’s not enough. In so many cases, you’re looking for more.

While you could go for some productivity apps, there are actually a lot of macbook accessories available that will make your life easier in many ways. These extra accessories will allow your macbook to charge faster, hold more data, or keep it safe and protected while you travel around.

Beyond that, there is a wide variety of accessories to pick from as many companies have jumped onto the bandwagon of supply to macbook users. Below we’ve listed off some of the greatest macbook accessories that’ll benefit your computer.

What Makes For Great Macbook Accessories?

Before getting into the list, we wanted to go over the criteria for what makes for great macbook accessories. The items that we’ve picked from this list will have the following criteria:

  • Reasonably priced – Accessories themselves shouldn’t break the bank compared to the large initial investment of a macbook.
  • Usability – All these accessories are practical in various situations, however, they also have extra features that make them useful in a few situations beyond their obvious functions.
  • Compact – Workflow is also about space in most circumstances. As such, anything that’s too bulky doesn’t help much. These accessories are either large on purpose – for storage of other items – or are nice and compact so they won’t get in the way.

A USB Drive To Store Files Quickly Without Accessing The Cloud

    While you can always access the Cloud at any time, sometimes accessibility can be cumbersome or it takes time. Instead of trying to access files that way, getting a USB flash drive can save you plenty of time. Especially if your work entails providing presentations.

    The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive is great as it offers USB-C and USB-A connectors allowing you to plug into virtually any device and transfer files and more between computers. Also, USB drives boast several hundred gigabytes these days making them solid storage devices.

    Buy SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive here.

    Compact Charger That Does More Than Charge

      Your default charger that comes with your MacBook is a good option for a charger, but these days chargers can offer so much more. This can help you speed up your workflow as you can be charging other devices or using the charger for other uses beyond charging.

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      In the case of the Anker PowerPort charger, it is more compact than the default charger. It also offers another USB-C connector allowing you to rapidly charge another gadget with it.

      Buy Anker PowerPort charger here.

      Port Adapter For Those With Multiple Devices

        One of the hard restrictions with a macbook is that it only has two USB-C ports. This is manageable for people with fewer gadgets but if you’re the kind who has several, it can interrupt your workflow if you need a particular device and you can’t charge it or access it.

        In this situation, a port adapter from Satechi can help. It offers multiple USB-C ports allowing you to use multiple devices. This can also help in organizing cords which we know can disrupt work. If the USB-C ports aren’t enough, it also comes with an SD card reader and ethernet cable port too.

        Buy Satechi Multi-Port Adapter here.

        A USB Cable That Isn’t As Intrusive Or Cumbersome To Use

        The USB-C cable that comes with Macbooks is small and is used to hook to an external monitor. By adding more length to them, you can have better cable management. One option that we found to be ideal was the Nomad Kevlar cable which offers enough length to do what you want while giving you more space to work with.

        Buy Nomad Kevlar USB-C Cable here.

        Screen Cleaning Your Laptop To See What You’re Doing

        Dust, particles and splotches are to be expected on laptop screens after a while. While you can work around these, sometimes they can obscure your vision at times. The same can apply to all devices these days.

        The only problem with many solutions on the market is that they can damage screens. Fortunately, we found a screen cleaning solution that doesn’t harm screens. ScreenDr Professional screen cleaning kit comes with a spray that’s safe for screens and an antimicrobial microfiber cloth to ensure you make the most of the spray.

        Buy ScreenDr Professional Screen Cleaning Kit here.

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        Card Reader That Speeds Up Photo Transfer Time

          If you’re looking for a standalone card reader for your work, getting a device designed for photo transferring and reading is essential. One of the best macbook accessories in this category we found was the Vanja card reader.

          This one is able to read SD and MicroSD cards while also transferring the pictures to a computer with ease thanks to its USB-C and USB 2.0 port options. It’s also small making it easy to carry around and is cheap to buy making it a great choice to pick up if you deal with plenty of pictures.

          Buy Vanja Card Reader here.

          Protective Sleeves To Protect Your Laptop From Harm

          For those who are travelling the last thing that you want is your laptop to get damaged for whatever reason. Even though you’re not likely to drop it as frequently as your phone, having a sleeve for a laptop to be in can save you time.

          One sleeve that we found interesting was the Native Union sleeves. They are made of tear-resistant material with genuine leather accents. Its interior is soft as well preventing scratches from your laptop. It also offers a pocket area where you can store cables and other macbook accessories easily.

          Buy Native Union’s laptop sleeve here.

          Car Charger For Charging On The Go

            For the person always driving around, a car charger is always a helpful tool to have when you’re on the go. The one from Anker is particularly helpful in a number of ways. Not only can this charge your macbook, but it also has an additional port for you to charge your phone if needed.

            It’s not the fastest charger out there when compared to the Macbook Pro adapter but it’s the highest in the market with an output power of 30 watts. For comparison, the second-fastest charging connector offers an output of 18 watts. Aside from that the charger has an illuminated LED ring for you to see it and the connectors late at night. It also has a function that ensures devices don’t experience surges or overheating from the charger itself.

            Buy Anker PowerDrive car charger here.

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            USB-C to USB-A Adapter Grants Access To Older Models

            If your older macbook still works but has files you want that you didn’t back up that you want this makes it easier to access them. It also allows you to access devices that have USB-A slots only. This can save you a lot of time if you are moving between older and newer devices.

            Buy Thunderbolt Adapter here.

            A Hardshell Case For Added Protection

            A sleeve is good for travel, but when you’re using it, having an extra layer of protection can be nice. Beyond that this hardshell case can also serve as additional protection from scratches and bumps too.

            Buy Incase Textured Hardshell case here.

            Alternative Sleeve For Those With Tighter Budgets But Want Protection

              If you are looking for an appropriate laptop sleeve but aren’t looking to spend too much, AmazonBasics brands are a good alternative. Their sleeves are elegant and still offer good protection from scratches as well. It also has a few pockets for small essentials too.

              Buy AmazonBasics laptop sleeve here.

              A Hub That Accommodates Several Ports At Once

              We’ve already mentioned a port before being a huge time saver thanks to it having various ports for different devices. This one is a great alternative as while it doesn’t offer as many USB-C ports, it offers more variety. Paired up with the design being the same color as the MacBook Air, it offers two USB-C connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and SD and microSD card readers.

              Buy Satechi Type C Pro Hub here.

              Earbuds To Deal With Fewer Headphone Cords

                Cords are a common problem when boosting productivity at the desk and one way to mitigate them is to go wireless. If you are thinking about that, one option to consider is the Soundcore earbuds. These are cheaper than the traditional AirPods from Apple which can save you money.

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                Furthermore, they deliver great sound and are connected via Bluetooth. The beauty of these earbuds is they can also cancel sound despite them being so compact. They also offer touch control allowing you to pause, play, skip music and answer calls.

                Buy Soundcore Wireless Earphones here.

                Desktop Stand To Save Desk Space

                  Desk space is another crucial part of productivity as things can get in the way and obstruct your work. In cases where you don’t need your laptop at the moment, having a stand where you can set it aside can be helpful.

                  In those situations, we recommend the Twelve South Book Arc. This neat Macbook accessor can save a tonne of space since it requires you to close your laptop in order to insert it into the stand. It also keeps it elevated from the surface which can protect it from spills

                  Buy Twelve South BookArc desktop stand here.

                  A Comfortable And Easy To Use Mouse For Faster Working Speed

                  The last of the macbook accessories we’ll talk about is a proper mouse. Logitech offers fantastic mouses and their Logitech MX Master 3 is one of the greatest wireless mouses out there. It’s ergonomic design, customizable buttons and insanely precise movement is fantastic. It also comes with a scrolling wheel for precise scrolling.

                  The battery power can last for months between charges and like all Logitech devices, it comes with a USB-C connector for charging.

                  Buy Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse here.

                  Bottom Line

                  There are many macbook accessories out there to improve your workflow. Taking the time to do research and invest in some of the best ones though will save you plenty of time, money and energy in the long term. At the same time, all of these accessories can help you with specific needs for whatever you are doing.

                  Featured photo credit: Viktor Ritsvall via unsplash.com

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