Search Results for "water damage"

Best Ways to Backup Your Smartphone

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With Smartphones having become a tech necessity in today’s world we are going to outline the best ways to backup your smartphone. They contain our personal information such as phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, pictures, and work files; all of which is often stored only on our smartphone. Simple disasters like water damage and lost or stolen phones are painfully common experiences that can render this information inaccessible, and without information back-up, it can be lost permanently. Here are a few easy ways to backup your smartphone so that you can be sure phone accidents don’t leave you helpless.

iCloud. Your iPhone can be backed up onto Apple’s cloud-based system simply through WiFi in just a few minutes. Apple users get up to 5 GB for free, but if your back-up requires more space you’ll have to pay for the extra storage. The iCloud backup can be turned on for each individual app, allowing you to save precious cloud space for apps not currently backed up on another cloud system, such as Google apps. With this feature activated, your iPhone will back-up automatically each time it’s plugged in to a power source and the WiFi is turned on.

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iTunes. Your iPhone can also be backed up to your computer’s hard drive through iTunes backup. It can be done over a wireless connection provided your phone is connected to the same WiFi network as your computer, and offers more free space usage than the iCloud system. Keep in mind that your computer may be susceptible to major dangers like fire or theft and it should be backed up to another source for maximum security.

Google Sync. Google provides superior information storage for Android users, and all the information is stored in Google’s cloud under the chosen Google account. With user permission, phone sync is automatic and happens quickly once the initial back-up occurs. Google sync protects you from loss even if your computer and phone both happen to fail at the same time.

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Cell Company backup Services. Some cell phone companies provide backup services for their customers. For instance, T-Mobile offers Mobile Backup which provides storage for contacts making the transition to a new phone easier, even if your previous phone is lost or damaged. This storage system is not as comprehensive as Google’s backup, but if contacts and photos are your main concern, contact your cell phone provider to find out if they offer any type of mobile backup.

Hardware Backup. Any Android or iPhone can be manually backed up to an external hardware device, such as your PC/Mac, laptop, or external hard drive. This involves connecting the phone via its USB cable to the device and transferring the content. Android users with Mac computers will need to download the Android File Transfer freeware. Just like the iTunes back-up, your hardware can be susceptible to the same damage or theft as your smartphone if they’re both commonly stored in the same place, so it’s always a good idea to also keep your hardware devices backed up for extra security.
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Phones meet all kinds of fates, from being lost or stolen to being dropped into the toilet or the Chesapeake Bay (seriously, that’s happened). For this reason, it’s always best to ensure your data is safely stored in a secondary place. Cloud based storage offers simple retrieval regardless of device damage, while hardware storage is a tangible system that doesn’t require any internet connection for retrieval. Whichever storage system you choose, by backing up your information you’ll never have to endure that unmistakable sinking feeling that comes with smartphone demise.

Philadelphia…Has Your Cell Phone Taken a Bath?

You’re holding your phone, maybe near a sink full of dishes, maybe it isn’t such a sunny day in Philadelphia, maybe you are walking along the banks of the Schuylkill River and your phone decides it’s warm enough to go for a quick dip- suddenly, your phone is dripping wet and your in panic mode. It happens to the best of us, and if your one of the many whose phone is now a little soggy, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, don’t let your panic take over and drop your phone in water again! Just kidding! But seriously, try not to let that happen. Once in the water is bad enough!

Drop your cell phone in water?
Drop your cell phone in water?

After removing your phone from the water, take a look at it to see if it is still powered on, if it is NOT, leave it powered off and do not attempt to power back on as this could lead to further damage. If it is on, make sure to power it off as soon as possible. Electrical current running through the phone when it is wet and cause fatal short circuits and damage that can not be repaired. For this reason, it is important to also remove the battery as soon as possible, and do not attempt to put it back in the phone until you are sure it is completely dry. Though it may be tempting to try to plug your phone in or power it on to check and see if it or is not working, this is something you should absolutely NOT do. It is important to seek repair as soon as possible in the event of a water damaged phone, but if for some reason this is not possible, try setting your phone in rice. This method will not reverse any damage that has already been done, however, it will begin the process of drying the phone out, and will certainly not harm it any further.

Dry rice- not only for throwing on people who were just married.
Dry rice- not only for throwing on people who were just married.

Philadelphia, don’t let a wet cell phone, ruin your day. We here at uBreakiFix are dedicated to doing everything we can to make your water damaged phone as good as new, often in the same day! Come and let us take a look, we are located at 157 E. Swedesford Rd. Wayne, PA 19087.

iPhone Repair Location Opens in Boulder, Co

uBreakiFix Boulder Smartphone Repair

Do you live in the greater Boulder area and have a broken iPhone? If so uBreakiFix is here to save the day! uBreakiFix is the nations #1 source for iPhone repair with the most affordable prices and fastest repair times in the industry. Regardless of the issue; cracked glass water damage, charge port not working, weak battery, stuck power button, and many more uBreakiFix is here to help! Plus if you just have no idea what is wrong with your phone diagnostics are always FREE, so let the experts let you know what kind of issues your iPhone is having.

uBreakiFix is staffed with the industry’s most knowledgeable friendly technicians that are ready and willing to help you with all of you iPhone related issues. With locations nationwide we take great pride in our top notch customer service and attention to detail. No smartphone issue is too big or too small for uBreakiFix to handle. Don’t believe us? Check out or Google reviews online from other satisfied customers, or even better yet just stop by and find out for yourself! uBreakiFix is conveniently located on the corner of Broadway and Spruce st right next to the parking garage entrance.

We exclusively do repairs on a walk in first come first serve basis so, so don’t be shy just come stop by. Most iPhone repairs take as little as 20-30 minutes so we can fix your phone before you can even finish eating your lunch! If all that wasn’t enough good news, we also have a low price guarantee so if a competitor does happen to beat our already low prices we promise to not only match but beat their price by 5 dollars GUARANTEED! So what are you waiting for? Come by and check out the new local business in Boulder, uBreakiFix for all of your professional electronics repair needs.

How To Fix Jammed Game Controller Buttons on Xbox

Do I have to take apart my Xbox one controller?

For gamers, a common problem that they face while using a gaming controller is stuck or sticky buttons. It’s hard to play games to their full extent when crucial buttons on the controller won’t respond quickly enough. Luckily, this is an easy fix that any techie can complete with a few tools and some patience. Take our word for it,  it’ll be much more convenient and affordable than going out and buying a brand new controller.

 

Why are my buttons sticky?

The most common reason for sticky gaming controller buttons is a build-up of dirt and dust mixed with hand oils. Crumbs from game-time snacks and liquids that have come in contact with the controller, that can contribute as well. Not a pretty mental image, we know, but there are ways that you can clean out this gunk so that your buttons are working like new again.

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How to fix it?

If you’re wondering how to fix sticky controller buttons, there are several tried and true ways. Which one to use, totally depends on how bad the sticking on your controller is and your comfort level.

Clean around buttons with Q-tips and alcohol

If you have only just noticed some stickiness or you’ve just spilled something on your controller, you only need a minor cleaning around your buttons. Grab some Q-tips and some rubbing alcohol for this quick cleaning tutorial.

  1. First, unplug the controller.
  2. Dip the Q-tip into the rubbing alcohol, dabbing off any excess.
  3. Rub the Q-tip around the button that is sticking several times, getting as far into the crevices as you can.
  4. Once you think you’ve cleaned out as much as you can, press the button a few dozen times to work the rubbing alcohol into the crevice and loosening any debris left behind.
  5. If the button still sticks, repeat this process or try another method lower on this list.

Rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly and you shouldn’t be using enough to do any damage to the circuitry inside the controller. Never clean a controller with water as it can get inside and cause corrosion and circuitry damage to the controller.

Take apart Xbox One controller and clean

Your second option is to solve a sticking gaming controller button is to take the device apart. You should only attempt this if you have some experience in tearing down electronics, as this process requires removing the motherboard of the controller. If you’re interested in learning how to take apart Xbox one controller or how to take apart PS4 controller, use these extremely thorough teardown instructions from iFixit. You’ll need several different sized screwdrivers and a few other tools that you can also buy through iFixit.

Xbox Controller Repair

The last way to fix a truly jammed controller is to bring it to a repair professional and get a free diagnostic on it. A technician will take apart Xbox one controller can let you know what the problem is and if they can fix it. So if you’re at your wit’s end with a sticky game controller, find your local uBreakiFix location and stop by.

 

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How to prevent it?

If you’ve solved your sticky controller problem, you’re probably looking for advice on keeping them feeling new. Here are the best ways to keep your controller buttons responding well:

Don’t eat and play: Keep food and drinks away from your controller. You’ll be less likely to make crumbs or spills that will gunk up your controller.

Keep your hands clean: Oils from your hands can cause stickiness on your controller as well, so make sure your hands are clean between gaming sessions.

Keep your storage area dust-free: Keeping your gaming area and the place that you store your gaming system free of dust is really important for the health of your device.

With these practices, you can keep your Xbox One and PS4 chargers from getting stuck. If you need help after trying to take apart xbox one controller, visit your local uBreakiFix location.

 

 

Essential E-Reader Accessories For The Biggest Bookworms

If you’re an avid reader who uses a Kindle or other e-reader, you can improve your entire literary experience with a few e-reader accessories. Even the biggest bookworm could do with a few simple additions to their e-reader.

Ozeri Kandle

It’s a kandle for your Kindle, get it?! Jokes aside, this e-reader accessory is great for nocturnal book lovers. Simply clip this little light onto your e-reader to illuminate its surface for easier reading in a darkened environment. The Ozeri Kandle is powered by 3 LEDs with adjustable brightness. Its intelligent design powers down automatically when the lid is closed to preserve battery power. The Kandle also easily pivots for optimal lighting.

BeachBuoy Waterproof Case

The BeachBuoy by Proporta protects your e-book reader from all kinds of damage, including water. It also comes with a lanyard so you can wear it around your neck or attach it to your floatie if you’re lounging in the pool or ocean and want to be able to read. It’s 100% waterproof up to 5 meters, so if you accidentally drop it in the pool, you don’t have to worry.

Stylefolio Flex Universal Tablet Case

Speck’s Stylefolio Case fits a variety of e-readers and offers durable protection and flexibility. It’s fixed with a two piece chassis and raised corner walls so that your device can endure drops, bumps, and fumbles. A magnetic strip with a locking clasp offers simple and secure closure. You can also fold the case to achieve the perfect viewing angle.

Anker PowerCore 13000 Portable Charger

If you travel a lot with your e-reader, you never want to run out of battery power mid-flight. That’s why you should check out Anker’s portable charger. It even has 2 high speed charging ports so you can juice up multiple devices simultaneously. Plus, it comes with a micro USB cable, travel pouch, and 18-month warranty.

Omoton Case Cover

This Kindle Paperwhite cover by Omoton is reasonably priced and durable. It’s only 3.2 ounces in weight so you don’t have to worry about lugging your e-reader around. With a magnetic clasp, anti-scratch microfiber interior, and waterproof PU leather exterior, these e-reader accessories will keep your Kindle protected and maintain its brand new condition

The Repairability of the iPhone 7

With every new gadget release, our first priority is to discover the similarities, differences and potential complications that we might find when trying to repair the new product. Apple is particularly secretive about their tech, so we often don’t know what we’re working with until we take it apart on the table. We sat down with our Director of Training Josh Galindo to ask him about the repairability of Apple’s newest release.

Before opening up the phone, what were you expecting to see?
Honestly, nothing that we don’t see in all other devices other than maybe more water resistance measures such as additional gaskets, screens and adhesives.
Did any rumors have you concerned?
Only the potential that the home button would be built in to the display, which would make screen repairs more complicated.  That being said the home button is still a removable and separate component from the screen.
What was the biggest difference you saw between the past iPhone models and this one?
From a build standpoint there are two. One is the fact that the display cables are now located on the bottom of the screen, meaning that the screen is no longer able to be completely opened from bottom to top. Because of the cable locations, it now opens like a book, from left to right. Two, the use of more and stronger adhesives. This includes the adhesive used to hold the display in place as well as the adhesives used on the components located near openings, such as speakers and mics. Again this is due to Apple making the iPhone 7 water resistant.
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Were you able to make any observations about the glass quality?
It appears to scratch easier than previous generations and will still crack. There were no other perceivable glass quality differences between a 6s and 7 screen.
Is there any aspect of the 7 that will make it more difficult to repair?
I think the only aspect of iPhone 7 repairs that will increase the repair difficulty level is the use of the stronger display adhesive Apple now uses. This is almost definitely due to their water resistance efforts. That being said it’s nothing that a little know how and proper tool usage won’t be able to easily overcome.
What do you expect the most common repair will be?
Glass is still the component with the highest probability of sustaining damage during a drop so it will likely continue to be the most popular repair we see.
Does the dual camera or headphone jack complicate anything?
From a repair standpoint, no. For end users, though, the removal of the headphone jack will potentially be a sore point. For anyone that uses Apple’s included EarPods they can just use the lightning based version that ships with the iPhone 7. For anyone who doesn’t generally use the included EarPods they will have to either use the lightning/stereo adapter included with every iPhone 7, which means they have to keep track of that extra adapter or they will have to purchase new lightning based headphones which are now starting to hit the market.
iPhone 7 Plus Teardown
One of the responsibilities of the UBIF training team is to do device teardowns. Basically device dissections, teardowns allow us to learn everything we can about how a device works and how to repair it. Here’s our teardown of the much-anticipated iPhone 7 Plus.

 

 

Take a Dip For #TechTortureTuesday

Summer is unofficially over, but in some places the mercury is still rising and the only way to cool off from the heat is to take a dip in a body of water of some kind. While some folks like to head to the beach, we decided to hit the pool deck to see if Wendy Peffercorn is there.

Sadly, she wasn’t. Then we realized Wendy Peffercorn doesn’t exist and we were really bummed, but not all was lost. Well, except maybe all of the data that was on this smartphone that somehow avoided the kiddie pool and “slipped” into the deep end without a waterproof case or arm floaties.  Yeah, it slipped, who said anything about it being pushed?

 

Maybe smartphones should avoid the deep end…or the kiddie pool. #techtorturetuesday #ubreakifix #waterdamage

A video posted by uBreakiFix (@ubreakifix) on

Bursting Balloons for #TechTortureTuesday

TLC may have said to not chase waterfalls, but in the case of this iPad the waterfall just happened to appear out of nowhere. When torturing a device with liquid, you have to take a page out of Bobby Boucher’s playbook and use only “high quality H20”.

We’re not sure if the water used to fill this massive balloon was Evian or Fiji, but it certainly didn’t matter for this poor iPad getting drenched. This tablet went from sending SpongeBob memes to actually becoming a sponge. Not even a 50 pound bag of rice would save this iPad who didn’t live to see a battery replacement let alone a software update.

How a Lithium Ion Battery Works

Lithium ion batteries were conceptualized back in the 1970s by chemists who were hard at work to find a rechargeable chemistry that was more powerful and more environmentally friendly than the era’s nickel cadmium and lead-acid mainstays.

But unlike other outcrops from the late 1960s and 1970s, lithium ion batteries weren’t introduced until the early 1990s and weren’t popularly used until the 2000s. Nowadays, they’re found in anything from alarm clocks to smart phones and electric cars. The reason is simple, they pack the most punch. For every kilogram (or pound) of battery weight, you get a lot more energy than other batteries’ chemical compounds, as shown in the graph (below).

 

So if lithium can store so much more than its predecessor, why aren’t batteries getting a lot smaller? Well, they are shrinking, but they are fighting an uphill battle as phones require more and more power for advanced processors, features, and larger, brighter displays (see Battery Drains below).

For everyone who dozed through their high school chemistry, lithium ion batteries are first and foremost, well, batteries. Which means they share several aspects with all other batteries. The heart of the battery is the positively charged ion of lithium (the lithium ion) that moves around and creates the current. But first, lets discuss voltage and current.What is voltage and current? If you know this, skip to the next section, if not read on and you will probably know more than the “smart” guy who just skipped this section.

What is voltage and current? If you know this, skip to the next section, if not read on and you will probably know more than the “smart” guy who just skipped this section.

Voltage is the electrical driving force, or potential between two points. Voltage is simply the potential of electricity to flow, while current is the actual flow of electricity. Think of a bird standing on a 10,000 V power line. The bird  is completely fine, but only because each foot is at the same voltage (there is no pressure difference to cause current to flow). If the bird keeps one foot on the wire and steps onto a nearby tree branch at zero volts, fireworks begin as current flies through the bird. In this case, the current does the damage (or work), but the voltage difference causes the current to flow.  In a battery, the voltage is created by the atomic charge from the chemicals in the battery. Different batteries (and their respective chemical compounds) have different voltage. Li-on produces 3.7V per cell, alkaline cells composed of zinc and carbon generate 1.5V, where Ni-Cad and NiMH produce 1.2V per cell. Voltage, is measured in volts, named for the Italian Physicist Alessandro Volta who was credited with inventing the battery.

Current (or amps) describes the flow of electricity and is caused by electrons flowing from one point to another. Without a voltage difference, there will be no current flow. There also has to be a connection to carry the current.  In the bird example above, the tree and power wire are happy to coexist at different voltages when they are not connected. But when the branch touches the wire, or you turn on your phone, current will flow. Current does the work, but voltage causes current to flow. Current is measured in amps, short for ampere from André-Marie Ampère, a French physicist and mathematician.

Fortunately, volts and amps are standard nomenclature throughout the world. A volt is a volt in Germany, China, Swaziland, and Kentucky. Of course, they come in millivolts (mV) and kilovolts (kV), as do amps, but that is common too. A battery capacity is measured in milliamp hours (mAh) and is the number of milliamps that a battery can supply for one hour (at its rated voltage).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_toggle title=”Did you know?” open=”true”]By convention, we define current as flowing from positive to negative (or less positive) voltage. But it is really negatively charged electrons that are moving, they flow from negative to positive (opposites attract). So why do we show current flowing toward the negative terminal? Well, it’s convenient, and we can because we are bigger than the electrons! Now, lets talk about how the battery works: The main functional parts of the Li-ion battery are shown (right).

The Anode: The positive half of the whole, the anode is any conductive material that stores the positive charge. Lithium ions are driven to the anode during charging. Currently, the anode is composed of lithium cobalt oxide (or LiCo02 to impress your friends). Why do we care? Because this material may be changing in future Li-ion batteries to improve capacity (see What is coming next).

The Cathode: The negative half, cathodes are any conductive material that collect positive ions during discharge to complete the circuit. The cathode is commonly composed of graphite (or carbon).

The Electrolyte: Not a mere marketing gimmick of Gatorade, the electrolyte is an organic solvent that submerges the anodes and cathodes, but allows the ions to move from one to the other.

The Separator: This is a porous plastic sheet that keeps the anode and cathode from touching and shorting, but allows ions to pass.

We will go into a bit of a deep dive here because charging significantly influences the capacity (run time) of the battery and the life (how many times you can charge the battery before it croaks).

Charging essentially occurs in two stages. Each stage lasts about one hour, so total charging takes about two hours. The stages are illustrated in the graph below which shows the relationship between charge current, voltage and resulting battery capacity (charge). While it is a complicated process, your phone controls the voltage and current so your battery is protected and not overcharged.

Li-ion batteries can be charged hundreds of times, but they last longest when they are not deeply discharged. Ideally, the battery should be operated between 40 and 80 percent charge. Leaving your phone plugged in overnight, while not a best practice, is better than letting the battery deeply discharge. The phone has protection circuitry to prevent the battery from discharging completely. However, if it does discharge because of a short (water intrusion, damage etc), the last ions through the separator blow up the tunnel because they don’t come back; the battery is toes up (dead) and must be replaced.

Stage 1:  The first stage is a constant current, increasing voltage process where the bulk of the charging takes place. The initial charge rate of a typical Li-ion battery is between 0.5 and 1C, where C is the battery capacity in mAh. So with a typical 1100 mAh phone battery, you are talking about up to 1.1 amps, which is more current than some chargers can produce (see section on chargers below). While most of the charging is done in the first hour (longer if your charger can’t supply the amperage), it is only about 70% of the capacity. It is interesting to note that even though you are dumping a lot of energy into the battery during charging, it remains cool (the battery guts that is). The phone may heat up because some circuitry is working during the charge cycle, but it is not coming from the battery itself. If the battery is getting hot, you have charging problems and may have a grenade.

Stage 2:  The second stage is a constant voltage decreasing current phase and takes the battery to full charge. It is interesting that you cannot fool nature here by increasing the charge current. Doing so does not hasten the full-charge state by much. Although the battery reaches the voltage peak quicker with a fast charge, the saturation charge will take longer accordingly. The amount of charge current applied simply alters the time required for each stage; Stage 1 will be shorter but the saturation Stage 2 will take longer. A high current charge will, however, quickly fill the battery to about 70 percent. It is not harmful to pull the charger before reaching full charge, in fact, it may be beneficial to the battery, though not your talk time.

There is no third stage, other than you unplugging the phone and texting your friends. Lithium ion batteries cannot be trickle charged like Ni Cad or Lead Acid batteries. If left in the charger for long periods, the charger will turn back on periodically to top off the battery.As mentioned earlier, all chargers are not created equal. While all USB chargers supply 5 volts, they differ in the amount of current, or amps they produce. Computer USB ports typically supply 0.5A (one half amp), which is sufficient to slow charge a phone, or power a tablet (but not charge it). To rapid charge a phone can require 1A and up to 2A for a tablet. If your charger cannot supply the maximum current, charging can take longer. So, if your phone is dead, and you only have a little time to charge it, find a wall charger, rather than your computer USB for the biggest bang for your charging minutes.

As mentioned earlier, all chargers are not created equal. While all USB chargers supply 5 volts, they differ in the amount of current, or amps they produce. Computer USB ports typically supply 0.5A (one half amp), which is sufficient to slow charge a phone, or power a tablet (but not charge it). To rapid charge a phone can require 1A and up to 2A for a tablet. If your charger cannot supply the maximum current, charging can take longer. So, if your phone is dead, and you only have a little time to charge it, find a wall charger, rather than your computer USB for the biggest bang for your charging minutes.

Multi-port charger are one of the greatest achievement of the 21st century to deal with the one-outlet provision of hotels designed in the 20th century. But beware, not all ports put out the same current. If it is a good charger, it will tell you the output power. For example 5V1A means that port can put out 1 amp and can rapid charge your phone. 5V2A means it could rapid charge your phone or tablets. Don’t worry, you will not overdrive your phone with a high current port, the phone regulates the current. Some multi-port chargers share the current between ports. So one device may get 2 amps, but plug in more and the current is divided… not good for rapidly charging all parties.

Li-ion batteries don’t like heat. Their self discharge rate increases with temperature as shown below.  In fact, Li-ion batteries age even when not being used.  But they age at a much faster rate when it’s hot, so avoid leaving your phone in a hot car all the time. It is also important when replacing a battery to make sure you are getting fresh cells. A new cell pack sitting in a hot warehouse for a couple of years could have lost half of its capacity.

Lithium-ion operates safely within the designated operating voltages; however, the battery becomes unstable if inadvertently charged to a higher than specified voltage. Li-ion is especially exciting because the electrolyte is flammable (that’s why the airlines and postal service like them so much… not!). When overcharged, they can explode or burn, or both.

When trying to maximize battery life, it is important to know what feature consumes the most current. While it is not possible to avoid all these suckers (and still have a working phone), it is good to know what are the things that take the most juice from your battery.  Below is a list in approximate order of battery drainers:

  1.  Display backlight – minimize display brightness
  2.  GPS – turn off when not using
  3. Bluetooth – turn off when not using
  4. Wi-Fi – turn off when out of range, but turn on when in a hot spot (it reduces transmitter power draw)
  5. Out of cell range – consider turning off phone when you know you are out of coverage
  6. Skype
  7. Talking – give your friends a rest and send ’em a text instead
  8. Push Notifications and Data-Fetching
  9. Speaker phone
  10. Mobile data (Android)
  11. Apps (especially free, ad-powered)
  12. Music player – just hum to yourself

 

Lithium ion technology might be over its infancy, but it’s still wobbling around. Batteries with a cathode of vanadium phosphate appeared in 2013  and offer more voltage and longevity than those using cobalt oxide.

Iron phosphate has also been proven a far more stable, less dense, and more conductive cathode than lithium cobalt oxide, particularly when “doped” with impurities of elements like aluminum, niobium, and zirconium.

Said research means more power, less space, and better longevity. From the local dump to the Nigerian coast, that means less technological waste hazards. More importantly, it also means more capable phones.

Quantum processors are expected to require significant charge, as are other innovations like holograms, smart apparel, and bio-manufacturing plants.  More power means more processing, and the more condensed, the more portable.

In the meantime, a basic knowledge of lithium ion technology can help us make good choices. An old battery may be less of a steal than you think, so be smart when browsing your local parts store, flee market, or black market-esque van.

Leave Smartphone Repair to the Professionals

It generally happens before you can comprehend it- the moment your smartphone is damaged. Dropped in water, caught in a rain storm, dropped on concrete, a socket that short circuited your charger- the possibilities are both many and varied. One thing that is always a constant- unless you are a trained professional, it is never a good idea to attempt to fix your smartphone– no matter how simple or straightforward the repair seems.

Let’s start with the following concept: smartphone damage, and their seemingly apparent origins, are not always what they seem. Smartphones are complicated and tricky things to the untrained eye. Components that seem like they have nothing in common are more attached than you think. Issues with your phone can be more complex or much simpler than you would think. Is your LCD out? It does not always mean the LCD is the inherent problem- something else could be causing chaos in your phone- sometimes things simply become detached on the inside of your phone. The possibilities are too numerous to discuss- but do not try and take the problems with your smartphone at face value- always let a professional do that for you.

Cell Phone Glass Replacement

Many people are shocked by what the average smartphone can tolerate- and not tolerate. Not all falls from your hands or pocket are created equal- it’s all about the angle at which something is dropped, the height, the surface it lands on- it’s nearly impossible to gauge until the deed is done.

Cell phone innards are not for the faint of heart- taking a cell phone apart (or attempting to) can cause nothing short of an anxiety attack in most. Then on top of realizing what a bad idea that was, you have to wonder how many screws rolled off of your table, forever relegated to the depths of your carpet or the black holes that lie in hardwood floors. Much like socks in the dryer, cell phone parts and screws have a tendency to just vaporize into thin air, never to be seen again. The insides of phones are fragile, delicate pieces of technology that, at certain points have not yet been touched by human hands. The wrong amount or pressure, or even the oil on your fingertips can decimate a smartphone’s components. Many average cleaning tools and supplies can strip and fry various components as well as leaving traces of lint and dust in their wake. Something as simple as using the wrong strength of rubbing alcohol could be disastrous- costing you a lot more pain and money than you had anticipated.

Those screws you just lost will not rain down into open hands from the heavens.
Those screws you just lost will not rain down into open hands from the heavens.

There are many people/companies who claim top sell legitimate cell phone parts online. This is convenient in theory, but most of the parts you will find online are knockoffs that are nowhere near manufacturer standards and will damage your phone even further, or possibly ruin it beyond repair. There are many sad stories of people buying random parts online, to open their mail and have a totally different part that is impossible to return- and even worse- the people who pay for parts and never receive them, the seller mysteriously vanished without a trace.

Parts are not the only thing that can be knockoffs, or very far off from industry standards. Not all tools are created equal, either. Low quality tools can strip and damage screws and various components of your smartphone. If you are especially brave and make the attempt to solder anything without being properly educated, you will not only damage your device further, but also pose a safety risk to yourself.

Speaking of safety, smartphones are electronics, they give off electric and static discharge just like any other electronic in your home. You wouldn’t just start poking around the back of your refrigerator without being properly trained, would you? Sure a smartphone is smaller, but you can still be injured, and let’s face it, paying full cost for a replacement phone over repair is often more expensive then the refrigerators most have in our homes.

iPhone 4 Broken Back Glass

The bottom line is, if your smartphone is damaged, or just not working properly, bring it in to the professionals. The best part about trusting your phone to the professionals at uBreakiFix is that we offer free diagnostics to everyone, no matter what. We will let you know just what is ailing your phone, the repairs it needs, and give you the reins from there. You’re a busy person with a damaged smartphone on top of it- don’t make twice the work for yourself by playing at home repair- come visit us at uBreakiFix for all your smartphone repair needs!

Keeping Your Laptop in Good Condition!

You’d be surprised at how many of us break the cardinal rules of keeping your laptop in good condition- all of the time. From letting it overheat, to letting crumbs and dust accumulate, to leaving your last DVD in the disk drive for the last month and a half. So many problems can be eliminated with some basic steps and regular care and maintenance.

Keep it Cool:

While it can be pretty relaxing to curl up with your laptop and catch up on Homelandit puts your laptop through horrifying stress and an overheating process that could leave without a laptop- wondering what Carrie Mathison will be up on this week’s episode. If you insist on watching your laptop as a TV when you go to bed, take some basic precautions! There are many laptop pads available on the market today- many with built in fans, as well. These are a smart investment- great for at home use or for when traveling. Try to keep your laptop out of the bed if at all possible- or if for some reason you can not invest in a proper laptop pad- think a side table or dresser that is free from clutter and debris.

Another great tip for keeping your computer cool is to always take discs out of the disc drive when they are not in use- you burned the new Kings of Leon CD three weeks ago- why is still in your drive, anyways? When you leave a disc in the drive- your computer will want to run it each time your computer is up and running- which causes undue stress and heating problems to your dear laptop.

When you are not using your computer, and especially when you are not home, unplug and shut down your computer! Your computer’s fan and battery will thank you later, when it does not throw a random shutdown tantrum from being left on for weeks at a time.

Make sure you check your power setting too! Though it is tempting to have everything set to the highest power, it is recommended to switch your setting over to “power saver mode” or “balanced mode”- you will not believe what this can do for both the short term and long term life of your computer’s battery.

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Keep it Clean:

One of the first tips to keeping your laptop clean is to make sure to never eat or drink over it or near it- accidents do happen! Again, it’s something we all do from time to time- especially when binge watching episodes of House of Cards on Netflix. Keeping a bottle of compressed air is always smart when you own any kind of electronics, or if you live in any type of house, really. If you see last night’s cookie crumbs in-between your “y” and “t” keys- use that air! Simply follow the directions on the can you have purchased, and go between the keys, and over nooks and crevices to clear out any kind of crumbs or dust bunnies.

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Always keep at least one microfiber cloth at your disposal, as it is not advisable to clean any kind of electronics with regular cloths or paper towels. These other materials will leave a lovely streak of lint on your screen, as well as potentially compromising the strength and quality of your laptop. When you want to wipe down the outside and edges of your computer- make a solution using mild dish soap and distilled tap water in a 5:1 ratio (that’s five for water, and one for mild soap). It is important not to use tap water on your laptop’s screen, as mineral deposits can form and damage your screen. Remember, even if you buy a specialty cleaning solution from the store (formulated for LCDs), always spray it on to the cloth, never directly on to the laptop or any other electronic device being cleaned!

If you have tried cleaning your own laptop to no avail, or you have made a bigger mess when trying to clean your laptop, don’t hesitate to come on down to uBreakiFix! We would love to help you with any computer needs- even if it is routine maintenance. Visit uBreakiFix.com to find the location nearest you!

Are Smart Watches Really that Smart?

With the tablet market starting to mature and smart glasses still in their infancy, were is a hungry tech connoisseur to turn for the latest hot new product on the market? The answer may be the smart watch. After the Pebble smart watch was a smash hit on the crowd funding site kick starter, several small and large players are now clamoring to create their own watch and jump into the fledgling industry. One of the more notable recent device launches is the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch which is a companion device currently exclusive to the Galaxy Note III. The rumor mill is already swirling around Apple and Google as well after Apple recently trademarked the phrase “iwatch” in China and Google admitted to purchasing small Android watch maker WIMM Labs.

Smart WatchesOnce you look past all of the flashy features and sleek designs there is one big question still remaining, do I really need to own a smart watch? Determining the real life value of owning a brand new tech device like a smart watch is hard without giving it a test run, but understanding what its role is meant to be is a good place to start. So that being said, the first thing you need to know is that smart watches are NOT meant to replace your phone but merely work as an accessory in conjunction with it. Think of them as the worlds most advanced Bluetooth headset that you wear on your wrist. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is great example of what to expect from future smart watches; it sports a 800MHz single core processor, a 1.9MP camera, a beautiful stainless steel build, and about a 25 hour battery life. With no data or Wi-Fi capabilities of its own and a bare bones processor, the Galaxy Gear is completely dependent on the real brains of the operation which is still going to be your smartphone. It is important to note that smart watches are currently not universal; Pebble works with Android 4.0 or later as well as iOS but Galaxy Gear however is exclusive to the Note III with future compatibly updates promised. The real value in these devices are their ability stay close at hand (no pun intended) and keep you up to date with all your notifications, social media happenings, and incoming calls without having to pull out your big bulky smartphone. Now your friends can ignore you while staring at a watch instead of being rude and pulling out their phone every five seconds. With so many people hooked on their smartphone like a bad habit it is no surprise that the industry is taking a turn towards convenience and keeping you plugged into what is happening in the world. Having a quick access camera attached to your wrist is an interesting and slightly creepy feature as well, being able to discretely snap photos and record 15 second videos from your wrist should prove to create some interesting fodder for Vine and Instagram.

Since smart watches are destined to be subjected to rain and shock damage while dangling out on a user’s wrist, durability is sure to be an issue. Luckily most smart watches created so far are at least water resistant and some are even touted to survive a brisk ocean swim. Pebble and Samsung claim that the displays of their devices won’t scratch easy and are resistant to shattering, but with the smartphone and tablet repair industries booming the jury is still out on that one. With the Pebble watch and Galaxy Gear setting you back roughly $250 and $350 respectively, durability is definitely something that needs to be addressed. After taking everything into consideration it is safe to say that nobody really “needs” a smart watch because they don’t really offer any new features that you can’t already do with your smartphone. However, if you’re in the mood to show off the newest flashiest tech on the market to make your friends drool than a smart watch may be just the product for you!

   @uBreakiFix