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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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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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