*This article was written by Kyle Khoury, owner of Rapifix.*
Admittedly, I’ve always been a tech junkie. From smartphones and tablets to laptops and desktops, if it’s confusing, got wires coming out of it and generally makes life easier for its users, I’m all for it. In fact, it’s for that exact reason that I first opened Rapifix—to help Montrealers not only enjoy their personal electronic devices more, but to show them how to get the most out of them.
But here’s the thing about technology—not everyone cares about the subtle intricacies of how a gadget or gizmo functions. Generally speaking, all people care about is whether or not what they’ve purchased works as it was originally advertised. Luckily, I get that side of the spectrum, too. Seriously, these are the people who are coming by my shop on a routine basis.
Yes, the occasional mp3 player makes its way onto my work desk, but more often than not, the issues my customers encounter have to do with their smartphones. Seeing as how they’re always in use, they’re much more likely to break. Is this a situation that sounds all too familiar to you? If so, the following ten tips should help you find a long-term solution or two to keep your precious phone up and running for as long as you need it:
1) Delete What’s Not Needed
Storage space is routinely a problem for users of older smartphones. That said, regardless of make or model, once your phone finds itself with under 500MB of space, immediately delete any photos, videos, music or apps that you no longer need. They chew up a great deal of memory.
2) Feel Free to Add More Storage Space
Having trouble getting rid of photos and videos filled with fond memories? If you’ve performed a hefty audit of your mobile device and are still left with an slow, inefficient smartphone, simply add more storage space.
If you’re phone comes with a microSD slot, a 16-128GB microSD card should do the trick. Have an iPhone? No problem—ppt for a Sandisk iXpand, Mazzo Powerdirve or Mophie Space Pack. Fortunately, each option is relatively inexpensive and easy to install.
3) Allow for Faster Charging to Take Place
No, you’re not imagining this—your smartphone might very well be charging slower than normal. To fix the problem, try removing any dust, dir or oxidation from your charging port and pins. Also, just for the record, cheap micro-USB chargers use lower-gauge wires, hindering charging speed. Luckily, you don’t need a new phone. Instead, invest in a quality charger.
4) Make Changes to Improve Battery Life
Change can be difficult, right? Well, not if it strengthens your phone’s battery life. Though massive battery improvements without a replacement are unlikely, a series of small ones might be enough to help out if you’re willing to make some changes. As soon as possible, dim your screen light, uninstall any apps that you never use and turn off your phone’s GPS settings.
5) Replace Your Battery Altogether
Once you’ve owned your smartphone for around 18 months, no matter how hard you try, that battery of yours is going to gradually weaken. As sad as it may be, it’s a natural part of the aging process. Luckily, for around 35 bucks, you can replace it, and it’ll be as good as new. However, whatever you do, avoid official, brand-specific stores. They’ll overcharge you for the replacement.
6) The Cooler the Temperature, the Better
Though seemingly a myth, it’s not—temperate environments are better for the longevity of the lithium-ion battery your smartphone uses. So, with the summer months just around the corner, keep your phone close to room temperature. This isn’t too difficult, but it does mean that you shouldn’t store your electronics near each other in the home. Simply put, they’ll overheat.
7) Invest In a Quality Screen Protector
There’s a one-of-a-kind pit in the stomach that’s felt by a person who’s just dropped their phone. It’s almost as if time stands still while it approaches the ground. Far too often, the end result is a spiderweb of screen cracks. Save yourself a headache and dedicate a few dollars to a screen protector.
8) Buy a Top-Notch Case for Additional Help
Remember what you’re parents told you as a young person: “Always wear protection.” All joking aside, as far as your phone’s concerned, the situation might be entirely different, but the basic principle is still the same. It’s not an issue of if you drop your phone, but when. As such, be prepared for the worst, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
9) Back Your Address Book With the Cloud
While having little to do with the overall integrity of your smartphone, there are few things more frustrating than having to ask each and every person within your social circle to text you their phone number because you didn’t back your address book with some sort of cloud-based service. If you don’t know how to do this, ask a friend or family member. It’s a valuable skill to learn.
10) Use Your Lock Screen the Right Way
Lock screens aren’t only for keeping nosy people away from your phone’s content; they’re also a smart way to protect your phone in the event that it goes missing. To do this, simply add a friend’s phone number and an emergency email address to the background. With some luck on your side, if a Good Samaritan happens to find it, the two of you will soon be reunited.
It doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you make, smartphones are expensive electronics. Even worse, truth be told, here in Montreal, people are far too quick to toss them in the trashcan at the first sign of trouble.
Do both yourself and your wallet a favor and make a conscious effort to take better care of your smartphone. It doesn’t require much time, energy or money to give each of the above suggestions a try. Rest assured, when done properly, they’ll keep your phone working for years to come.
Rapifix is a business of the Saint-Laurent Boulevard specializing in electronic devices repair when all the above tips aren’t enough. Fixing broken smartphone screens happens to be their specialty, so don’t you worry…you’re not alone in this!