July 2014

Smartphone Quick Tips: Data Usage


How much data do you 
need? and How to Avoid Overages 

These days almost every smartphone plan has a data usage limit or usage speed-cap.  Going over your data limit can mean overage charges, snail-paced data speeds, or loss of service, depending on your mobile plan.

frustrated_cellphone

Here are a few quick tips on understanding, monitoring, and managing your cellular data use.

Understanding Data Usage

200MB, 1 GB, Unlimited 4G speeds up to 2 GB – What does it all mean?  Measuring minutes spent on the phone or text sent and received is one thing; but data usage is an abstract and confusing concept for most.  Let’s break it down in to a little simpler terms.

First, 1GB (gigabyte) = 1024 MB (megabytes) and 1 MB = 1024 KB (kilobytes)

Here are a few estimates of 1 GB of smartphone data use:

          11,000 set/received emails

          33 hours of music streaming

          66 hours of web browsing or 1000 web pages viewed

          2800 social media posts with pictures

          8 hours of SD video streaming (standard definition)

          3 hours of HD video streaming (high definition)

Remember to consider all usage when determining how much data you need.  Your usage is a total of all online cellular activity; email, internet browsing, streaming music and video, games, social media, etc.

So now that you know how data usage is measured, how do you keep track of personal usage?

Monitoring Data Usage

iPhone users: Tap on Settings and then Cellular.  This will give you a breakdown of your data usage by app.  It will even allow you to dictate which apps have permission to run on cellular data.  You can also Reset Statistics and see the last reset data.  Tap System Services for more usage information.  When downloading apps, their size is visible under details and information.

iPhone data usage

Android users:  Go to your Settings Menu and tap on Data Usage.  This will show your usage and allow you to set a data limit.  Once your limit is reached, cellular data will shut off, helping you avoid overages. There are also free apps available that monitor data usage.  A few popular free Android apps are 3G Watch Dogs, Data Usage Defender, My Data Manager (also on iPhone) and Onavo Count – Data Usage (also on iPhone).

android data usage

Windows Phone users: Go to your App List and tap on Data Sense.  Here you can see detailed data usage and set limits.  You can even set certain tasks to operate only over a Wi-Fi connection.  Pin the app to your start menu for live tile updates and monitoring.

windows data usage

Here are a few tips to avoid data overages and overage charges.

Managing Data Usage

Top data hogs to avoid:

  • Streaming video: i.e. Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, YouTube, Facebook, FaceTime, Skype, Video Chat…
  • Streaming music: i.e. Pandora, Spotify, I Heart Radio…
  • Location based services: i.e. map apps, Google Maps, navigation apps, GPS tracking services and apps…
  • Games: i.e. online games, graphic heavy games, multiplayer games, free games with pop-up ads…
  • Picture and video posts: i.e. uploading media to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook…

Save downloads and uploads for when you are connected to Wi-Fi.  Wait to download apps, music, or videos and to upload videos and pictures.

Keep an eye on apps that show data usage in MB or GB.  These use the most data.  For the most part apps measuring usage in KB will not be the source of overages.

When setting up a mobile plan, start with a larger data limit.  Monitor your usage and adjust the plan if you find you are consistently below you data limit.

July 2014

iOS 7 Quick Tips: Find My iPhone

Have you ever misplaced your iPhone?

Did you suspect it had been lost or even stolen? 

Have no fear “Find My iPhone” can help you track down your missing device. 

(Also works for iPod Touch, iPad, and Macs with iCloud.)

So, you need to make a phone call and suddenly realize your phone is missing.  What should you do?  Well, luckily you have iCloud and Find My iPhone set up on your phone.  You read the earlier blog on auto backup and setup iCloud and while you were there you turned on you “Find My iPhone”  feature. You are prepared.  So now what? Don’t worry there are a lot of great people out there who want to get your phone back to you.  Gotta get that positive lost phone Karma saved up, right?

Step 1: Go to icloud.com/find on your computer or login to the Find My iPhone app on your mobile device.  Once you are logged on you will see a list of your devices along with their current position on a map

find my iphonefind my iphone map

  Step 2: You notice that your phone is at your location.  Hit the “Play Sound” button so your phone will reveal its hiding spot. [Skip to Step 6]

play sound button

OR You notice your phone is not where you are and you hit the Lost Mode button.lost mode button

Step 3: Turn on Lost Mode and follow the few easy steps.  Here you can enter a contact number and short message for anyone who finds your phone.  Your phone is now locked and shows your custom message.  When it is found a simple push of the “call” button will help the finder reunite you with your phone.  [Skip to Step 6]

lock mode step 1 Found Phone

Let’s say no one finds your phone.

Step 4:  In Lost Mode your phone is locked down and Find My iPhone will track its location over a 24 hour period.  If the phone is off or disconnected from the internet you will see its last known location.  If you want to retrieve it you can tap on the car icon for map directions to this current location.  [Skip to Step 6]car button

But what if you fear the worst?  -  that your phone has fallen into the hands of an evil super villain with nefarious intentions.  No problem  proceed to

Step 5: Push the “Erase iPhone” button to remote wipe your device.  Your information is now cleared from the phone and your secret identity is once again safe.

erase iphone button To top it all off your phone can not be reactivated without your consent.  iOS 7 implemented an “Activation Lock” feature.  What does that mean?  For your protection you phone cannot be reset, Find My iPhone cannot be turned off, and if erased the phone cannot be reactivated without your Apple ID and password.  So the super villain has been thwarted twice! Not only is your info gone, but he can’t even use the phone.   And if you were hasty and wiped the phone unnecessarily don’t worry, it will continue to show your Lost Mode message.  So it can still find its way back to you.activation lock

Step 6:  Once you have your phone back enter your passcode to deactivate Lost Mode.  If the phone was erased, login to your Apple ID and restore from iCloud (remember you set up auto backup when you created you icloud account).

Finally,

Step 7:  Return to your normal everyday life and try to keep better track of your phone.

  • Remember, above all, please be safe.  If you suspect your phone has been stolen, DO NOT confront the person who has it.  Call the police and provide them with the location of the phone.
June 2014

Smartphone Quick Tips: Auto Backup

 Have you ever broken a phone, gotten it wet, lost it, locked yourself out or had to factory restore your phone and you lost everything on it?  Did you lose your photos, the vacation pictures, family moments, and once-in-a-lifetime shots?  Here are a few simple ways to insure you never lose your pictures again.

There are many apps and programs out there designed to backup your mobile devices, but the simplest method is built right into your phone’s software.  Did you know most smart phones and mobile devices have a built-in backup system?

Here are the quick and easy steps to configuring your phone’s automatic backup:

iPhone userssign-up for and login to iCloud and turn on Photo Stream.  Photo Stream will store up to 1000 pictures for 30 days, allowing you to access them from the web, or other iOS devices.  You can even set your computer to automatically download photos from photo stream.Photo Stream Backup

Set up: Go to your Settings.  Select iCloud. Login or sign up with your Apple ID. 

Select Photos and turn on My Photo Stream.

 Android userssign-up for and login to Google+.  Google+ gives you 15GB of free storage for photos, videos, and documents – any photos under 2048×2048 pixels and videos under 15 minutes don’t even count against your storage limit.  Google+ is available on the computer, web, iOS, and Android devices.

Google+ Backup

Set up: Open your Google Photos app.  Tap the menu icon. 

Select Settings followed by Auto Backup.  Check Back up local folders.

Windows Phone userssign-up for and login to any Microsoft account for access to OneDrive (formally SkyDrive).  OneDrive gives you 15GB of free storage for photos, videos, and documents.  OneDrive is available through desktop apps, the web, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Xbox.

OneDrive Backup

Set up: Go to your Photo app.  Tap for Settings

Turn on Auto Upload and select OneDrive.

  • Remember, backing up or uploading photos uses data.  So, if you have a limited data plan you may want to choose an upload/backup over wi-fi only option if possible. 
  • Many popular could storage programs give you a free storage limit.  If you need more storage you can upgrade for a monthly or yearly fee.
June 2014

Smartphone Quick Tips: Battery Life

Want to get the most out of your cellphone battery?  

Want to extend your battery’s lifespan?  

Here are a few DOs and DON’Ts to help you maintain a healthy battery.

 (This advice also applies to tablets and other mobile devices with lithium-ion batteries.)

Battery Percentage

DO use the charger that came with your device  These chargers are specifically designed for your phone.  They provide the proper voltage and many even cut off the charge once your battery is full. 

DO charge your battery when it gets below 50%, and optimally no lower than 20%.  Charging from 0% stresses your battery and reduces its lifespan.  Optimal battery range is 40% to 80%.

DO unplug your battery when it reaches 100% or even right before to avoid overcharging.

DO charge your battery in airplane mode for the fastest charge.   

DO store unused devices with 50% battery life.  This will keep the battery ready for when you use the device again. 

DO relax, the average lithium-ion battery has a lifespan of 3 to 5 years.  Doing a don’t once or twice wont kill your battery.

                                      DON’T use cheap chargers.  It’s true that you get what you pay for.  Many cheap chargers have unregulated voltage and can pump too much electricity into your battery, damaging it. 

DON’T let your battery die completely.  Every complete discharge shortens your battery life. a once-a-month complete discharge helps calibrate the battery’s memory, but anymore often can shorten the lifespan.

DON’T leave device plugged in overnight or for extended periods of time.

DON’T let your device get too hot or cold.    Extreme temperatures can damage the battery, decreasing its lifespan.

DON’T leave your battery at 0%.  Leaving   a battery completely dead for and extended period can render it unable to hold a charge.

DON’T use your phone while it is charging.  This can put stress on the battery as well as cause the battery to overhead.

And remember, if your battery fails you DON’T panic and

DO head over to Tech Armor where we can replace your battery in no time!

May 2014

App Discovery: Music & Movies

 

What is the name of this song? Oh, I love this song, who sings it? 

What are they saying? I wish I knew the words.

Sounds like you need my favorite music app –

SoundHound: the “Instant Music Search & Discovery” app.

soundhound2

Want to know the name of a song or who sings it?  Let SoundHound listen and tell you the name, artist, album, and even the lyrics.  It will give you info about the artist, tell you what albums feature the song, show you music videos, recommend similar tunes, and more.  Song you want to know about not playing?  Just sing or hum it for SoundHound.  There are even links to listen of iTunes Radio, play on Spotify for free, or launch a Pandora Station.

soundhound logo

App available for free download on iPhone, iPad, iPod,

Android devices, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.

 

Watching a movie or TV show and recognize and actor but can not place them?

Love a movie and want to see more by the writer or director?   

Found a new favorite actor or actress?

Sounds like you need my favorite entertainment app –

IMDb: the Internet Movie Database, app for info on “Movies, TV and Celebrities”.

imdbOpen the IMDb app to search movies, TV shows, celebrities: actors, writers, directors and more.  Search a movie for info such as rating, runtime, genre, release date, summary, list of cast and crew, along with reviews and ratings.  Search an actor for filmography, mini bio, stats, trivia, quotes, and photos.  You can also watch trailers, read reviews, check out upcoming films, see what is in theaters, participate in message boards, read celebrity news, and much more.

imdb logoApp available for free download on iPhone, iPad,

iPod, Android devices, and Windows Phone.

 

May 2014

iPhone Repairs: The Power Button

Can't turn on or off your iPhone 5?  You might need to replace the power flex ribbon.

Has your power button stopped working?  Does it no longer depress when you push it?  Has it stopped clicking?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are one of the many people in need of a power button repair.   An inoperable power button is one of the most common iPhone problems.  Why?  Well, for a couple of reasons.

You could have a bad power flex cable.  This ribbon connects your power button to the motherboard – your phone’s brain.  There is more than just the power button on this ribbon though.  On the iPhone 4 and 4S this ribbon also has the proximity sensor (the thing that blacks out your screen when you put the phone to your ear).  On the iPhone 5, 5C, and 5S the power flex cable also has the volume button and the ring/silent switch.  If you notice problems with any of the parts that share the ribbon with the power button, the flex cable probably needs to be replaced.

Parts of the Power Button

Parts of the Power Button

Or you may have a worn out piece on the button itself.  The power button has a few necessary components that allow it to work. If any of these are missing or worn out, the button will not make the proper connection and will not function.  The technical details: The button has a small depressor and two small convex metal disks.  When you push the button the depressor forces the metal disks down making a connection with the ribbon.  This connection is what makes the button function.  The depressor on the button is a very small piece that can wear out easily.  Sometimes just replacing that small piece can repair the button.

So now you know the how and why of your broken power button, but what’s the next step.  First take what you just learned and impression your friends with your technical knowledge of the iPhone.  Then head in to your nearest Tech Armor for a fast, convenient repair.

But wait…do you need a quick fix to get buy until you can make it to Tech Armor?  Try this:

Go to your Settings Menu and select General.  Next select Accessibility and scroll down until you see the Physical & Motor section. Here select Assistive Touch

Assistive Touch

and then tap the switch to turn on the feature.  You will now see a button on your screen.  This button allows you to control numerous features of your phone, including those operated by your power button.

Now, tap your new onscreen button, then tap device.  You will see a button for lock screen: tap to lock your screen or hold to power down your iPhone.

Assistive Touch

Need to turn your phone back on?  Just plug it into the charger, the phone will automatically power back on.

Now come in to Tech Armor

to get your power button running like new

in just about an hour!

May 2014

iOS 7 Quick Tips: The Swipe

One of my favorite features of the iPhone’s latest software – iOS 7 – is the gesture control. My very fav – Swiping!  You can swipe your way through so many time saving shortcuts. Here are a few:

Safari swipe

Home screen swipes

 

When Internet browsing:  Swipe right from the left edge of the screen to go back a page.  Swipe left from the right edge of the screen to go forward.

You no longer have to worry about trying to get that elusive address bar and tool bar to reappear.

 

 

 

 

 

Swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen to for quick access to frequently used settings and apps.

 

 

From the home screen:

Home screen swipes

When texting:Text shortcuts

When checking your email:Email shortcuts

April 2014

Smartphone Quick Tips: The Soft Reset

Cellphone issues?

Cellphone issues?

If you have ever had an issue with your smartphone and spoken with someone in cellphone sales, repair, or technical support you have probably heard the term “soft reset”. Soft resetting your phone is basically just rebooting it. Smartphones are like tiny computers, and much like your home computer they occasionally need to be rebooted. So when you encounter an issue with your phone or if it is acting strangely, don’t panic try a soft reset. A soft reset of your device can resolve a number of issues. We at Tech Armor have seen a wide variety of issues resolved with a simple reboot: from iPhones that refuse to power on, to cameras that will not focus, and a number of software glitches in between. So how do you soft reset your phone. Well, here are a few simple questions to ask yourself:

Soft Reset Chart

April 2014

MacBook Repair in Honolulu

macbook_repair_Pearlridge1

MacBook broken? Call us today at 808-955-7470

Are you looking for a convenient and reliable repair shop for your MacBook? 

Call us today.

We are open 7 days a week and are located in the Ala Moana Shopping Center.

No appointment necessary.

Easy drop off and pick up. 808-955-7470

macbook_repair_pearlridge2

If you have software or hardware issues with your MacBook give us a call at 808-955-7470

 

Tech Armor

We are open 7 days a week, call us today at 808-955-7470

Tech Armor

We are located in the Ala Moana Shopping Center open 7 days a week. Call us today at 808-955-7470

iPhone 5S Screen Repair In Honolulu

Tech Armor

Fast convenient iPhone 5S screen repair.

Ala Moana Center

808-955-7470

Pearlridge Center

808-955-7755

Waikiki

808-922-7755

If you happened to suffer a crack, a white screen, or water damage then we are who you want to call. We are here to help. We are open 7 days a week, fast convenient easy drop off and pick up. Now at 3 great locations. Best of all you don’t need to make an appointment and all of our repairs come with a 90 day warranty.

March 2014

iPhone 5S Screen Repair Hawaii

Is the screen cracked or the picture black on your iPhone 5, 5C or 5S? Take advantage of this great offer. Act quick because this special offer won’t last long and available to the first 100 customers. Most repairs are done in about and hour. You don’t even have to make an appointment. All repairs come with a 90 day warranty. We have 3 convenient locations. Ala Moana Center 808-955-7470, Pearlridge Center 808-955-7755, and Waikiki 808-922-7755.

February 2014

WiFi Hotspot Rentals-Waikiki

Fast convenient Wifi Hotspot Rental.  Daily and weekly affordable rates.  Unlimited 4G internet speed, connect up to 6 devices.  We are conveniently located in the heart of Waikiki.  Why pay those outrageous hotel rates or have to go to an internet cafe.  Enjoy fast internet service from the comfort of your hotel room, poolside or the top of Diamondhead.  Call us today and see why Tech Armor is the #1 choice for Wifi Rental in Waikiki 808-922-7755, Ala Moana Center 808-955-7470

February 2014

Cell Phone Unlocking Waikiki

If you need your cell phone unlocked for use on other carriers, give us a call at 808-922-7755. Our most popular unlocking service is for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models. We do unlock most other models as well.  Typically unlocks take about an hour. but varies depending on carrier, model, and holidays.  However for the iPhone currently we offer the fast service 1-4 days and the regular service which takes 7-14 days.  We guarantee our unlocks or your money back.  If you have any questions we’re here to answer them.

Tech Armor Unlock Service

Unlocked

Advantages to unlocking:

  • Save on roaming fees when travellig
  • Use your smartphone worldwide
  • change to a more affordable cell phone plan
  • potential increase resell value of your smartphone
  • stay connected worldwide
January 2014

iPhone 5 Screen Dropped?

20140127-233925.jpg

If you enjoyed your Pro Bowl weekend a little too much and happened to drop your iPhone 5 there is hope. The screen as many people have found out is not shatter proof. It will crack.

If you don’t want to hassle with trying to set up an online appointment at Apple and hoping your schedule is open for the time slot an alternative is to bring it to one of our convenient locations either at Tech Armor in the Pearlridge Center at 808-955-7755 or Tech Armor Ala Moana at 808-955-7470. Most repairs take under an hour. We are open 7 days a week. All our repairs come with a 90 day warranty. Give us a call and find out for yourself how fast and convenient we are.

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December 2013

Tech Armor Accepts Bitcoin

We are pleased to announce that we now accept Bitcoin digital currency.  If you don’t know what Bitcoin is we recommend you go here to learn more about it and get a free digital wallet.  Here is the link https://www.weusecoins.com/en/

This is the future

This is the future

 

 
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