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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 February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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