Category: Mac tips

Ways to improve your iPhone’s battery life..

iPhone

While the iPhone is booming in popularity, its battery still isn’t that good. But by applying a few system tweaks, you can improve your iPhone’s battery life considerably.

Enterprises and business users love the iPhone because of its back-end management and security features that allow employees to bring their own from home (BYOD) and use it in the workplace. The one thing that lets the device down from full marks is its battery life. Compared to the old business favorite BlackBerry, the iPhone’s battery life is far from comparable.

Here are 15 simple things you can do to make your iPhone run that little bit longer.

1. Turn off auto-brightness: The best practice seems to point to disabling the auto-brightness. Go to Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper > then reduce the brightness to 10-25 percent, or whatever feels comfortable. It may not be easy to read your iPhone’s screen in direct sunlight, and you may not get the most out of your high-resolution display, but this is about conserving your battery rather than anything else.

2. Disable system Location services: Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. When On, scroll down to System Services, then uncheck all of these items. When you’re not using Location Services, such as GPS, then simply turn it Off. Location services use GPS for location-aware apps and services. While it’s useful knowing where you are on Google Maps, what you don’t see is what is going on behind the scenes.

Ads are being displayed based on your location, traffic data is being downloaded, and your iPhone is always pinging out to see where you are to keep an eye on which time zone you’re in. All of these things are unnecessary and churn up your battery life.

3. Disable push email: Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > under Fetch New Data set Push to Off — then scroll down and set the ‘fetch’ schedule to Every 15 minutes so that it runs the ‘send and receive’ schedule every quarter-hour. Push email is very useful for when you’re running against the clock. Emails are downloaded automatically and instantly from the server when they arrive, rather than waiting for you to ‘send and receive.’

If you need certain email accounts to push email to your device, select Advanced and confirm the setting for each separate account.

4. Disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth when you’re out and about: Go to Settings > Wi-Fi > set to Off. Also, go to Settings > Bluetooth > set this to Off.

Wi-Fi and other wireless radios should be disabled when they’re not being used as they use a significant amount of battery life. If you are not near or not using a Wi-Fi hotspot, or sending items to other devices using Bluetooth, these can and should be turned off.

5. Enable Wi-Fi while you’re at work: Go to Settings > Wi-Fi > and set to On. Also, set Ask to Join Networks to Off to keep that Wi-Fi hotspot connected.

However, if you are at work or at home, and you’re in a building where cellular signal is weak — such as a thick-walled house or a city apartment — you might find it helps your iPhone’s battery life by actually leaving Wi-Fi turned on. Anecdotal reports suggest that when your iPhone has good cellular signal, the device’s battery will remain at a relatively stable discharge rate.

6. Disable unnecessary push notifications: Go to Settings > Notifications.  Applications use notifications to inform you of what’s going on in the world, such as new email, text messages, reminders and who is responding to you on social networks. But these notifications turn the iPhone’s display on, and often include audio and vibrations.

But these can still be included in the Notification Center so these can be checked when you periodically check your phone.

7. Reduce auto-lock period: Go to Settings > General > Auto-Lock > set this to 1 Minute or 2 Minutes. Reducing how long it takes for your iPhone to turn its display off helps conserve the battery life. This means the display can quietly chip away at the device’s battery life while it’s not actively being used.

8. Disable vibrations: Go to Settings > Sounds and select whether or not you want to enable vibration when your phone rings, or if you want it enabled while it is set to silent.

Vibrations are useful to enable, particularly when you’re working in loud environments or even very quiet ones, so you can leave your iPhone on silent and receive a buzz in your pocket when a new message or notification has come through. A physical motor spinning in your device causes these vibrations, but this uses precious battery life. These can be limited or disabled altogether.

9. Disable 4G (and LTE) connectivity: Go to Settings > General > Cellular > Set Enable 4G (or Enable LTE) to Off. While 4G is much faster than 3G cellular connectivity, it uses a lot more battery power.

10. Close unused or dormant apps regularly: On your iPhone in an unlocked state, double-press the Home button > touch and hold any open app until it enters a ‘wiggly’ state > then tap the red close button on each app that you no longer need. You can then return to your device by pressing the Home button again. When using memory or battery intensive applications, these are still churning up power in the background.

11. Install a battery-monitoring app: There are plenty of applications in the App Store that monitor battery usage, but install only one. iPhones do not contain this feature, leading many to third-party apps to monitor device usage in order to extend the battery life.

12. Be aware of where you put your iPhone: An iPhone will generate heat depending on what it is being used for, so keeping it at a level temperature is important. The warmer your iPhone gets, the faster the battery will deplete. Sometimes it’s better to keep your iPhone out of your pocket and carry it in your bag — carefully to ensure the screen or case doesn’t get knocked about or damaged — or even clipped to your belt.

13. Check for iOS updates regularly for unfixable bugs: In some cases, software bugs have led to complaints that battery life decreases quicker than normal.

14. Pick up your phone less: While it is often tempting to pick up your phone and check to see if there are any messages, notifications, or missed calls, one of the easiest ways of keeping your battery ticking over is to stop picking it up every few minutes. Putting your phone to ‘sleep’ and ‘waking’ it up will drain battery life.

15. Cheat, and buy an external battery: If all else fails and battery life continues to be a problem, consider an external battery pack. Some external batteries will extend the battery life of your iPhone for twice the ordinary length, if not longer.

Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to like this post.

Source: Associated Press

How to improve Mac Speed?

Despite your best efforts, your Mac is running a bit slow. A slow working computer is a problem faced by almost all of us at some point of time or the other, and can really be very frustrating when you’re trying to do some important work. Hard disk space is filling up fast and applications are getting sluggish. Don’t worry too much, it happens to everyone. There are some basic things you can do that might help reclaim disk space, remove some clutter and generally speed up your Mac.

 One of the best ways to speed up any aging computer is upgrade the hardware, so invest in a larger hard drive or more RAM if you want to make an old machine feel younger and more agile. Some machines, such as the Mac Mini, adding memory or a new hard drive amounts to performing the equivalent of open-heart surgery. Best to have a pro do it. Following are a few easy things which you can do on your end and can see some improvement.

1. Hard Disk space: Sometimes when your hard drive gets too full drive it can slow down your Mac considerably. But don’t start deleting your important data yet – here are a few things you may not know about that eat up space on your Mac drive.

  • Take a hard look at your applications folder– you can always free up a little space by delete some of  those unused shareware apps.
  • Delete unused language packs– You probably aren’t using the Farsi language localization on your machine. Even if you are, then you can probably still get rid of French or German.
  • Know what you’re storing– Download Disk Inventory X (alternatives: Grand Perspective or Where’s The Free Space), which will give you a nice graphical overview of what is using space on your drive. If it is indeed those precious family photos, consider moving them off to a USB or Firewire external drive. Or burn them to DVDs.

2. Speed Up Slow Applications:  Biggest reason for mac being slow is the applications running on their Mac. Here are a few common culprits.

  • Safari — Safari is fast and lightweight, but it can get bogged down if your browsing history is excessively large or if Safari is storing a ton of Autofill entries. One easy way to reset nearly everything at once is to select Safari > Reset Safari in the application menu, which will clear all your caches.
  • DashboardDashboard widgets are handy tools, but they eat up RAM — sometimes even when you aren’t using them. This leaves less RAM available for the applications you actually are using. Head into your Applications Folder, select the Utilities Folder and look for Activity Monitor. Activity monitor is a great way to see what applications are using the most memory. If you see a lot of Dashboard widgets high up on the list, consider disabling them.
  • Firefox — If you’re using versions 2.x or 1.x of Mozilla Firefox, you’ve probably noticed that the browser tends to take it’s sweet time after it’s been running for a while. Try uninstalling any unnecessary extensions. Reducing the add-ons you’re running to about 3 or 4 will speed up most installations. Your best bet is switching to the latest version of Firefox 3.5, which shows substantial speed improvements over its predecessors.
  • Universal binaries — If you’re using an Intel Mac, make sure that all your applications are universal binaries. Older software compiled to run on PowerPC machines will be noticeably slower on Intel machines. If there’s an upgrade available, download it and run it instead.

Now a few more General System Tips to improve system’s speed

  • Restart your Mac very oftenA Mac running OS X can go on for a good long time. If you enter ‘uptime’ in launch terminal, you can see how long it has been since the last reboot. When you restart, a lot of useless stuff will be flushed out and will increase speed.
  • Reset PRAM: After shutting down the computer, wait for 30 seconds before turning it on. Immediately after that, hold down Control + Option + P + R, instead of the usual boot, you can see the screen light up, and play the Mac chime. When this is done thrice, release the keys. The computer will boot up.
  • Clean Out Your Start-up Items — If your Mac is slow starting up, open your System Preferences and click accounts. Select your username and see what’s listed in the start-up items. Sometime applications will inject themselves here without asking (or even if they asked, you may not want them anymore). Getting rid of some start-up items can speed up your boot time.
  • Clean Up Your Desktop — If your desktop is covered with dozens or even hundreds of icons, you may see your performance suffer. Mac OS X treats each desktop icon as its own window, which incurs a small memory hit. For most people this won’t be an issue, but if you have hundreds of icons, it might help to move them off to another location.
  • Fonts — although they won’t produce a huge performance gain, getting rid of any corrupt fonts will make your Mac more stable. Open up Font Book, select all the fonts in the Font list and choose File >> Validate Fonts. Font Book will open a new window with icons to show font’s status. If a font is corrupt, select it and click on the Remove Checked button. Font Book can’t actually repair corrupt fonts, for that you’ll need a commercial utility like FontAgent Pro ($100).
  • MacKeeper’s Wise Uninstaller: Most of us do not use at least 30% of apps installed on our Macs. However, even if you drag these apps to the Trash, their add-ons widgets, preference panes, and plug-ins will remain on your hard drive. Unlike the Trash, MacKeeper’s Wise Uninstaller will completely remove your applications together with their components which you can view separately for each app.
  • Check your Activity Monitor: From Applications/Utilities, launch Activity Monitor, select My Processes, and click on % CPU. The items at the top of your list (say the first 10) are the ones taking up your CPU time and effort. If they are not urgent, you can close them and direct the CPU’s attention to what you need to do. Again, you can close down the applications which are not required for the work you are doing at the moment and are running in the background.

but sometimes your computer is taking longer to boot because your hard drive is about to crash to always run a hard drive health check first and When in doubt contact Stellar Phoenix Solutions.

  • Call us at 1 855 BY STELLAR (297 8355) or click here to complete a service request form.
  • You may also visit their website directly to learn more about our capabilities