Maintenance For Your Mobile Phone 101

Have you ever found yourself wondering, ‘Why is my phone so slow?’ or ‘Why does my battery run out so quickly?’ Here are a few simple maintenance steps you should take to keep your phone running at peak performance.

Phones are expensive. Even more so as they become more complex and can do even more. Picking up some basic care and maintenance habits can make your investment last a lot longer and give you more bang for your buck. Follow these five tips to speed up your phone, make your battery last longer, and keep your phone in top form.

The exact method of completing each of these tasks varies by phone, operating system, and even OS version, so instead of trying to explain how to do this with every phone, we’ve explained what you should do and why. Look up specific instruction manuals for your particular phone for more specific directions.

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How To Maintain Your Mobile Phone

With the rapid development of the era, improvements have been made, not just to people’s living standards, but also to science and technology. We have increasingly frequent access to a wide variety of electronic products, such as mobile phones. However, it is important to pay attention to maintenance of such items to ensure they can be used safely and effectively. Read on to maximize your phone’s potential,while maintaining its value. It’s not just as simple as waiting to it breaks and taking your phone to the Footscray mobile phone repair shop. Try avoid it, look after your phone and you will save yourself money and heartache.

Why Do I Need To Do Anything To Keep My Phone Maintained?

Phones, while pretty smart these days, aren’t just miracle devices that look after themselves.  You can optimise them and prolong their lifespans if you keep a few simple maintenance habits.

Keeping your phone in tip top shape is about more than just wiping off the fingerprints every now and then. Storage, battery and operating speed can all be maximised by being proactive and keeping your phone clean on the inside – don’t crack open the case and start polishing the electronics, we mean inside the phone’s system.

1. Clean House

You probably have pages of apps and only use a handful. Time to purge.

On your iPhone, launch the Settings app, tap General, Storage, scroll and select the app you want to delete. Tap Delete App, and Delete again to confirm that you want to delete the app.

To delete apps from Androids, go to Settings, scroll, and tap Apps. A list of the apps on your phone will appear. Select the app you want to delete and tap Uninstall. Make sure to go back to your display window to remove the widget. If all else fails, Settings is the place to start when looking to delete apps. (Note that the steps in this post are for Samsung phones. Your exact steps may be different.)

Apps are only one way that advertisers track you through your smartphone. 

2.  Charge Smarter

The way you charge your phone can have a significant impact on the life of its battery. Increasingly, phone batteries aren’t removable, meaning it can be impossible or at least very difficult to replace them if they stop working.

Let’s bust a myth about phone batteries right away – ‘battery memory’, the idea that you need to drain your battery completely before recharging it, does not apply to phones (nor tablets and laptops). This applies only to nickel-based batteries. Phones use lithium-ion batteries, which perform best when they are topped off with a charge as much as possible. In fact, letting your phone spend too much time below 50% charge can shorten its lifespan. We recommend either plugging it in or turning it off before it hits 40% and charging it up to 80% or higher before removing it.

Another thing to note on charging: While all chargers with the same plug might seem identical and interchangeable, they aren’t. Different chargers have different output rates and voltages, even within the same brand, so it’s best to use the right cord designed for your specific phone model.

3. Get a Case

There’s nothing worse than dropping your phone and shattering the screen. It happens a lot, and there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get it fixed. The answer is to protect your phone with a case.

There are dozens to choose from for every model. If you know you often drop your phone, then get a case that will protect your phone against anything (even driving a truck over it!). It will make it heavier, but it’s worth it. Otherwise, a slimmer case or simple sleeve will do.

One tip: if you’re using a clip on case, make sure it’s got a decent-sized lip all around so if the phone does drop, it doesn’t land directly on the screen.

4. Protect Your Phone

You also need to protect your phone from drops, which happens more often than you might imagine. Unless you have an unlimited budget for changing your phone screen every time it cracks due to a fall, you should get a screen guard once you unbox it.

These days, most Android and iPhones now come with glass backs. These can shatter if they drop. It can also be a sorry sight if your mobile has scratches and cracks all around the frame. 

To prevent this, simply get a protective mobile cover or carry pouch. There are tons of premium iPhone Case options out on the market that are also stylish and trendy. 

5. Don’t Believe The App Hype

Contrary to what most believe, letting apps run in the background is not bad for Androids. If you are constantly opening and closing apps, you can hurt your phone’s performance and battery life.

Apps on iPhones, on the other hand, don’t truly keep running in the background. If you are multitasking, the app you’ve stopped using will suspend itself, keeping its data in memory but not using resources.

Closing apps and reopening them will drain your battery in the long run on an iPhone. If you want to use Background App Refresh, go to Settings, General, Background App Refresh and turn it on.

6.  More Battery Drain Culprits

Your settings can siphon battery life. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, turn off Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi when you’re not using them. If you’re in a place with no Wi-Fi, use Airplane Mode. Your phone will stop hunting for a signal, which really drains the battery. Another straightforward trick is to lower the brightness of your screen.

To lower the brightness on your iPhone, open the Settings app, and tap Display & Brightness. To turn off the GPS on your iPhone, tap on Settings, Privacy, Location Services and slide the toggle to off. To turn off Bluetooth, open the Settings app, scroll down and tap Bluetooth, then slide the toggle to off.

For turning off Wi-Fi, launch Settings, tap Wi-Fi and slide the toggle to off. There’s also an easy way on iPhones to adjust your screen brightness or shut off your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi by accessing the phone’s handy Control Center. There you can see icons for Screen Brightness, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

On your Android, open Settings, tap Display and you can either turn on Auto Brightness or use the slider to adjust the brightness manually. To turn off Wi-Fi, go to Settings, tap on Connection, find Wi-Fi, and slide the toggle to off. On the same page, you can also turn off your Bluetooth and GPS.

If your Android supports this function, you can go to your home screen and swipe down to see the Status Bar. From there you can click off the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS simply by tapping the appropriate icons. You can also adjust the brightness of your screen.

7. Save Your Juice

Every time you charge, you’re getting closer to your battery’s eventual demise. More importantly, a dead battery can ruin your day when you don’t have any means to charge it. Here are a few things you can do to stop your battery from draining faster than necessary.

Close background apps

Just because it’s not open on your screen, doesn’t mean it’s not passively running waiting for you to switch back to it. This also causes your phone to slow down, as it takes up valuable RAM to keep those apps running in the background.

Check your settings

Some settings (such as Bluetooth, app notifications, mobile data, and location services) chew through the battery just by being active. Unless you need to use them, keep them switched off. Even when you’re using Wi-Fi, just keeping mobile data active does use up some battery, so when you’re at home you can switch your cellular data connection off.

Battery saver mode

Switching on battery saver mode automatically deactivates a lot of these battery-draining activities except when they’re being directly used. You can also check in settings under the battery options to see what’s using up the most of your battery power at any given moment.

8.  Clean Out The Junk

 There’s lots of stuff clogging up your phone and slowing it down. Digital storage isn’t passive; it takes up processing power which, when it’s near capacity, can take away a lot of the energy that you’d prefer to be focussed on what you want your phone to be doing at any given moment. Prevent overexertion from your phone by regularly checking through and clearing out unnecessary files. You can check what’s using up your storage in settings.

Places to look for unnecessary stuff chewing up your storage and RAM include:

  • Photos & videos
  • Downloads
  • Apps

For long-term storage, move your photos, videos, and other files off your phone’s hard storage and into cloud-based storage – so you can still access it but it isn’t using up phone storage space. Delete anything you don’t want to keep. Likewise with apps, there’s no point keeping around apps you don’t use. Simply deleting the icon won’t remove it from your phone; instead, go into settings and uninstall the app.

It’s also not a bad idea to clear the cache every now and then. You can go into settings to clear all cache data, or go into storage settings to clear the cache only for specific apps.

If you do this regularly every time you have a spare moment doing nothing, e.g. when you’re waiting for the bus, it’s quite a manageable task.

What is cached data?

When you use an application, it stores certain types of files (e.g. images) so you don’ have to reload them each time you go back into the app, to save data and time. However, if there’s a bug or your storage space is getting clogged up, clearing your cache can help clear up the issue. Clearing your cache doesn’t clear other types of data, such as saved login details or game progress – just background stuff kept on file to make loading faster.

What is app data?

App data is all data generated and stored as a result of using an app. If you clear your app data, it’s basically starting the app over from scratch. It returns to the way it was when you first installed it. That means you’ll need to log back in and won’t have your game progress if it was only saved locally (just on your device). If your game saves progress to the cloud, however, you should get your saves back when you log in.

9. Uninstall Redundant Apps Or Programs 

Not every app or program on your phone is helpful. Some end up slowing down performance because they are always running in the background. Clean up your phone by removing apps that you don’t use, even proprietary apps or programs. Doing this frees up RAM space and also boosts your battery performance.

Considering how fluid mobile usage is, it is important to do this as regularly as possible. Some apps that were useful three months ago might have become redundant. As a result, they’re just taking up space on your phone.

10.  Back It Up

You never know if something is going to happen to your phone – it could break, or malfunction so badly that you need to do a factory reset. When it does, you don’t want to lose your saved data, especially all of your contacts and the precious memories saved with your photos. It’s also pretty annoying to have to individually reinstall everything. Your phone should be backed up to your Google or Apple account, depending on whether you’re using an Android or iOS phone – so if you need to suddenly get a new phone, you can restore your previous phone’s entire setup to your new device with just the touch of a button. Super handy!

Sometimes, you don’t need to do anything to have your data backed up, while other apps or files need to be backed up manually. For instance, Android phones require a Google account to log in – this functions to save all of your data to the cloud under your Google account. You can do the same with an Apple phone and your Apple account. Many apps downloaded from the Google Play or App store link to your Google or Apple account and so also save your game data to the account; others use their own logins while others only save progress to your device.

You may need to tweak a few settings to automate backups. For example, you may need to enable automatic syncing between your phone’s photo folder and your Google Photos, iPhoto or other storage account. Google Drive and Dropbox are both widely used cloud storage apps that can be easily used to store your files.

11. Stay Vigilant On Security

Smartphones can get viruses and malware. Here, an iPhone out-performs Android. Apple does not give its source code to developers, and consumers cannot easily modify the code on their own. That keeps hackers at bay.

Androids use open-source code that app developers can use, and hackers can misuse. If you own an Android and think you might have a virus, look for signs such as you’re blasted with pop-up ads, your battery is draining too quickly, you see spikes in data usage, and unexpected apps appear on your phone.

To get rid of a bad Android app, put your phone into Safe Mode. This step disables third-party apps. The method for doing this may vary depending on your phone, but for most, it involves holding down the Power key and then tapping and holding Power off. Tap OK when prompted to reboot into Safe Mode.

To remove the offending app, open Settings, tap on Apps, go through your list of apps, and tap on Uninstall. You can then restart your phone to get out of Safe Mode.

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