It’s August and there’s a certain crispness to the morning air. It’s the first sign that school is just around the bend.
We’re starting to take inventory of what we have as well as making lists of what the kids needs as they prepare to head back into the classroom.
Aside from the usual binders and fresh lunch bags, we’re also assessing our mobile devices ensuring they will be operating efficiently for the year to come. Why do we need to do this?
Mobile phones are incredible tools to help manage our lives but sometimes our mobile habits can bog us down.
Not just kids, we can all relate. Us “WiFi Moochers” who run to the nearest coffee shop for data so we don’t max out our own limits each month or those of us who squander our storage filling it with photos only to get those threatening notices that we’re near capacity so we either have to delete saved photos or suck it up and get more storage. What can we do to ease up?
I checked in with tech expert Winston Sih for his tips and hacks on how to get our phones ready for the coming Fall months.
On managing data, what are some things we should be taking a look at/changing to help lower data usage? The kids, especially, are constantly on social media – Snapchat, Instagram, Telegram, Discord, TikTok, etc.
Winston: Your phone may be eating data in lots of less obvious ways, making it hard to notice how your monthly allowance is draining quickly. WiFi Assist, Smart Network Switch and Background App Refresh are functions that require a lot of unnecessary data, so it’s best to turn those off in your phone’s settings. If you’re not sure how to tackle these things on your own, I’d recommend stopping by The Mobile Shop at your local Loblaws Company Ltd. location, and their mobile experts, AKA Mobilists, will be happy to help.
Also, look at which apps you have enabled to use data – you can also find this in your phone’s settings. This will show you how much data each app is using, and help you decide if TikTok is really worth another overage charge.
What kind of cleaning hacks have been useful for you?
Winston: It’s important to review your apps. Just as an organization expert tells you to donate a piece of clothing you haven’t worn in the last six months, you should also delete any app on your phone you haven’t used in the last 4-6 weeks. By organizing the remaining ones into folders by function, the key ones are more accessible. Another hack is cleaning out “Recently Deleted” folders to ensure you’re not hanging onto old photos or notes you don’t need anymore.
If you’re someone who takes a lot of pictures, it’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with Cloud storage. By moving your photos to the Cloud, you can clear up room on your phone so it’s less cluttered, and then even if you lose or break your phone, your photos are safe.
Our devices need to last longer for us so, overall maintenance advice to prolong the life of a phone?
Winston: Be mindful of how you’re charging your phone – phone batteries get stressed when they’re completely drained or completely charged. Keeping your phone battery above 20% and below 90% will help extend its lifespan.
It’s also worth investing in a good case for your phone. When you pay lots of money for the device itself, a little more spend on an impact-resistant phone case will make the difference between a brand-new looking device and one aged by cracks or dents.
If you’re someone whose job or hobbies are particularly active or outdoorsy, it may be worth considering which smartphone is best suited for you, as some phones are more durable or water resistant than others.
Cracks on screen – NBD? Can we live with them or if not, why?
Winston: It really depends on the person and the crack. Some people are chronic phone droppers, so they may just get used to having a cracked screen. For the rest of us, a large enough crack may be grounds for getting a new phone or replacing the screen.
The good news is, cracks are highly preventable. As mentioned, having a solid phone case is key. It should have a bit of a lip that rises above your screen, so that even if it falls face-down, there’s something cushioning the impact. Tempered glass screen protectors can also help. The screen protector may still crack, but it’s a lot easier to replace than your device!
When is it time to bring to a professional service and what can we expect?
Winston: It’s never a bad idea to have a professional take a look at your phone. There are always ways to improve how you use it, and an expert will have tips and tricks you may not know about. I love The Mobile Shop because its employees deliver unbiased expertise, and they also carry mobile devices and plans from a variety of providers, making highly tailored solutions easy. The other bonus is that they’re located at your local LCL grocery store, so you’re not going out of your way. Whether you’re a Phone Buster or a Storage Squanderer – they’ll be happy to help.