5 Tips on Making Your Phone Faster

The adage “nothing lasts forever” applies to many things, especially to today’s smartphones. 

Drops in performance are typically direct results of how you’re using and maintaining your phone. While we all know it’s completely natural for our smartphones’ battery health to degrade over time, we’re still pretty much puzzled about performance drops — especially dramatic ones.

What makes a phone “slow”?

While the answers to what makes a phone slow are subjective based on the user experiencing the phone’s performance, we all have a few answers that resonate with us all. From animation delays to app launching, here are the things that scream your phone’s performance level is going down:

Animation delays

Without being a smartphone expert, you’ll notice delays in visual movements and seconds of waiting time before one movement, such as swiping to the next page of apps.

Time delays in opening apps

We all know this — we bought our phones and were very impressed by how it opens and closes different applications. Months or years after, we’re starting to get annoyed by the seconds we have to wait just to open our Instagram app.

In the ideal world, launching any type of application should take you less than a second. If you still have the time to get a bag of chips after tapping on your Netflix app and turning back to your phone while it struggles to load stuff up, you’re bound to give it a good reset or get a new one.

You’re starting to get storage warnings

One of the main culprits of decreasing smartphone performance is storage. Many users tend to unknowingly fill their phones up with storage-hogging files, such as high-quality videos and photos, big applications, and many others.

You don’t have to be a tech expert to know that when your phone’s storage is full, your phone slows down and you won’t be able to miss the performance drop. Some users are probably used to the wait, but for ones who aren’t these signs can be annoying.

How do I make a smartphone faster?

Some people would say the solution is to drop that slow phone and buy a new one, but not everyone can do that at a moment’s notice. That’s why we compiled a list of useful tips that’ll help you improve your phone’s performance. Yes, this applies to both Android and iOS phones.

1. Restart

In almost every gadget out there, the first order of business when things aren’t going right is to restart. This applies to your phone as well. If you’re experiencing performance issues such as lagging or getting stuck somewhere, restart your phone. This should fix temporary performance issues.

2. Update

Some people might say you shouldn’t download and install updates right away when they come out, but that should be taken with a grain of salt. Updates come with bug fixes and security enhancements that keep your phone running and your information protected.

If you go through update notes like no one ever does, you’ll find fixes to issues reported by users. These fixes could mend the performance drop you’re experiencing. Take it from us and keep your smartphone updated.

3. Uninstall apps you don’t need

Applications take storage space and take a chunk off your memory — giving your phone less juice to work with. Less juice means it’ll struggle to perform other tasks. Remember that when an app isn’t useful to you, get rid of it. Completely. Do this to all apps you don’t use anymore and you’ll be surprised by how much it helps your phone’s speed.

4. Reduce animations

Remember when we said delays in animation mean your phone is slow? We’ve got a direct solution for that. In most smartphones, users are given the option to reduce animations. The reduction will result in less than pleasing movements on your screen, but you get a little performance boost in return. You can find this under the “settings” option.

5. Factory Reset

Factory resetting your phone is a great way to clear everything and boot your phone up as if it were brand new. Different phones have different factory reset options. Some allow you to select what you want to reset — which beats the purpose — while some only let you do a 100 percent reset. Meaning everything goes.

A factory reset can make all the changes you need or not at all. This should be your last resort, especially when you’re at risk of losing important data you don’t have backups for.

What if I need help?

If you are experiencing a slow phone and none of the above tips are helping, give us a call. There could be another issue that a professional can diagnose and fix at a fraction of the cost of buying a new phone. We will give you a free quote, so don’t hesitate to give us a call, visit us directly, or fill out an instant quote form by clicking here.

Top 3 Tips to Enjoy Working Outside

We’ve been working within the confines of our humble abodes for over a year now. Even if you don’t notice or admit it, it’s kind of draining when the line between personal and work time gets blurry. With an identical place for both work and play, getting a break can be quite a task. A year into working from home isn’t enough to adjust to, coming from years with a dedicated place, such as office buildings for work.

As we teach ourselves to work outside our homes again, it’s essential to take things one step at a time. You can start working on your porch, garden, or any other part of your home that isn’t indoors. But how can you make sure you enjoy and get things done while working outdoors?

We’ve got you covered with three tips:

1. Optimize Your Laptop’s Battery Life

With a portable computer coming hand in hand with working from home or outside of it, you know how essential it is to keep your laptop charged all the time. But the traditional way we all go is staying plugged into a wall socket. You can’t just find wall sockets anywhere you go, right? A short laptop battery life will keep you indoors.

That’s why you must know the necessary system tweaks that will make your laptop’s battery last longer when you’re headed outside for a change of scenery. 

Turn On Battery Saving Mode

Laptops powered by macOS and Windows come with their battery saver modes. You can hover over the battery icon in the taskbar and just turn on battery saver mode. There might be a slight performance loss, but it’s worth it considering the extended battery juice.

Lower Your Brightness

Your display brightness is one of your laptop’s biggest battery drainers. The bigger and brighter your screen is, the heavier work it puts on your battery, making it last for less than the ideal time.

Turn Off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth When Not Needed

If you’re just typing down a few things without online reference, help your battery by turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You’ll be surprised by how much battery life you’ll save by making this a habit.

2. Get A Portable Laptop Charger

When system tweaks don’t make the cut because your laptop’s battery isn’t as good as it used to be, you’re left with one choice. That’s to get yourself a portable laptop charger. They aren’t as handy as the power banks we use for our phones, but they function the same way.

You can charge your smartphone and other work devices along with your laptop! Since you won’t always have a wall socket near you, it’s good to have one of these portable chargers handy.

Such chargers are powerful and pack a lot of juice. They can be heavy, so prepare to carry them to your new outdoor working spot. Here’s a list of portable laptop chargers you should check out.

3. Avoid Crowds

Certain places  just aren’t made for productivity. The beach, a restaurant, and the likes are places where you should expect flower productivity due to the number of people and commotion. Moreover, these places are designed for recreational activities, not preparing for your next managerial meeting.

Your home’s outdoor areas are good examples of productive spaces. If you live alone, you might more easily find new outdoor working spaces for getting things done. And if your laptop or phone does drop on the cement or get splashed by a sprinkler, don’t hesitate to call us! We’ll have you back to typing speed in no time.

iPad Pro vs iPad Air: Which Is the Best Graduation Gift?

Today’s students rely on technology for all things related to their work. Some students prefer to use computers, some prefer tablets, and some prefer a good mix of both. But if you’re someone looking to add a gadget to a student’s mix of equipment, a good pick that’d touch on both convenience and performance would be Apple’s iPad models. With flexible usability and a multifunctional setup, the iPad models are the perfect gift for a graduate just starting into their post-school career.

What are the hottest iPads right now?

iPad Pro

The California tech giant’s April 2021 event gave Apple fans a peek into what’s in store for them. Apple announced new upgrades for their iPad Pros, amping processing performance up by using M1 chips and better touchscreen technology in the recently announced models. 

These two upgrades made the iPad Pro look more appetizing to both casual and avid users – more powerful processors would mean increased productivity, and that increased productivity would be accommodated perfectly by the touchscreen technology upgrade.

Aside from new chips and better screens, Apple finally gave in to the consumer demand, which is the release of 5G-capable iPad Pros. Although Apple fans are aware of the implications of this upgrade on their carrier plans, who wouldn’t want a faster connection paired with a powerful processor?

iPad Air

A relatively cheaper and lighter alternative to the iPad Pro is the iPad Air. They come with A14 chips as the new iPhones do, but function relatively similar to the iPad Pro. The Airs, however, didn’t get the same M1 chip and 5G capability upgrade. This is a good thing for people who are comfortable with the Air’s current capabilities relative to its affordable price.

Which one would be better for students?

Picking the right one for a student finishing up school and heading into a new career would require you to answer some questions related to usage and preference. What kind of activities will the graduate use the iPad Pro or Air for? How long would they use the iPad? Lastly, what’s your ideal price range?

If you’re aware of your grad’s device and gadget usage (favorite device? Favorite apps?), you’ll have an idea of which iPad model to buy them. If they’re finishing up high school using Microsoft Office for school work and communicating with their peers, you’re better off going with the iPad Air, both price- and comfort-wise.

But if the student is wrapping up a Bachelor’s degree – and perhaps playing with upper-level hobbies like graphic design or coding – they’re better off with the iPad Pro for its processing power and bigger screen size options. They can still work just fine with an iPad Air, but if they have application needs that are more than the power Microsoft Office requires, the iPad Pro is the ideal choice. For instance, most companies use a combination of office and productivity tools that do require a bit more juice – apps like Slack, Teams, Zoom, and Airtable come to mind.

Battery Life

We know battery life is a concern, so let’s jump in. All iPad Pro models can last up to 10 hours while a user surfs the web or streams videos on Wi-Fi, and up to 9 hours on a cellular data network. 

The iPad Air doesn’t sit far away from that range, lasting the same hours on both Wi-Fi and cellular data network for the same activities.

Apple Pencil Compatibility

While both the Pro and Air work with the Apple Pencil, the Pro fares better in terms of use. The iPad Pro allows the Pencil to charge by connecting to the iPad Pro. The same feature is non-existent in the iPad Air.

If your future graphic designer or product manager won’t be using the Apple Pencil enough to need it to remain juiced up, this isn’t much of an issue. But if they use apps that benefit from sustained Apple Pencil use, such as drawing and note-taking applications like Procreate, the iPad Pro’s compatibility with the Pencil is a good feature to consider.

Display Size

In terms of display sizes, the iPad Pro wins with its 12.9-inch model. This is also one of the good points about the Pro you should consider. Everyone would benefit from a bigger screen, but that would mean a heavier work unit to lug around on a work commute. If your grad is now in a #WFH career, this may be irrelevant!

If the person who’ll be using the iPad doesn’t mind the weight, they can go with the Pro, but if weight is a concern, the Air is a good choice in terms of mobility.

Final Thoughts

Both models are perfect for basic productivity needs for recent graduates in a variety of fields of work, but if you’re looking to use either model as a computer, be prepared to lower your expectations. Why? Because neither model is specifically engineered to be used as a computer. 

There’s just so much computers can do that iPads can’t. The closest iPad model to computers is the iPad Pro, but why not just get yourself a computer if that’s what you’re looking for in terms of performance? Considering the cost of Apple products, this may indeed be a better option.

The iPad Pro is the more powerful model, but that comes with a hefty price tag for some buyers. Consider your gift recipient – what will they be doing with it in their new career? You may just arrive with the Air as your pick. In terms of maximum productivity through the power of Apple’s iPads, the Pro is always the better choice. It’s the bulkier one in terms of processing power, screen size, and compatibility. The iPad Air comes at a cheaper price tag, but you shouldn’t expect the same features you’d get from the Pro.

So what’ll it be? That’s for you to decide – but we hope this breakdown helps you shop for your recent college graduate. And from us at Genius Repair to them, congratulations on making it through!

Your Next Laptop: Our Latest Roundup

With your stimulus check in hand (or “in the mail), you might be tempted to shop laptop upgrades. Purchasing a new MacBook cover sleeve or buying a USB C converter for your laptop may both be good “upgrade” options, but you should consider buying a completely different laptop. Whether it’s outdated, has run out of storage, or simply no longer fits your pace, your laptop might be ready to throw in the towel. We took a look at some of the most recent laptop models, and each of the four contestants comes ready to impress us with their different specs. Maybe you’re debating between the MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Air, or you’re ready to go beyond Apple products. We could compare every little detail of the computers we’ll be looking at, but today we’ll stick with the basics: price, portability, screen size, and battery life. 

Apple MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020)

First up we have the Apple MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020).

Price: $999.99. Of the Apple and Lenovo computers we will be looking at, the Macbook Air takes the cake with the best price. For $1000 you buy yourself a long lasting, high performing laptop. Plus, you don’t have to worry about making ends meet after purchasing it. 

Portability: 2.8 pounds. Very portable. Coming at only 2.8 pounds, the Apple MacBook Air is ideal for anyone looking for an easily portable, lightweight laptop. Take it on a trip or, if you’re working in the office, take it with you to work. 

Screen size: 13.3 inches. You want a laptop you can work on easily, not one that either requires a magnifying glass or takes up too much space in your bag. The 13.3 inch screen is the perfect size to work on, watch a movie, and fit in your bag. 

Battery life: about 29 hours. You read that right. The Macbook Air beats our other three laptops by several hours when it comes to battery life. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 (2020)

Our next contestant is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8. Coming in as the lightest computer in our group, this laptop is here to make a statement. 

Price: $1,184.99 

Be ready to spend “a few” more dollars with this one than with the Apple MacBook Air, but again, you won’t have to break the bank to afford it. 

Portability: 2.4 pounds

Here is where the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 comes in on top. Weighing in at only 2.4 pounds, this laptop takes the cake for the lightest laptop. You can certainly take this laptop wherever you go without breaking your back. 

Screen Size: 14 inches

The laptop screen here is a tad larger than that MacBook Air. You may have to be a little more clever fitting this laptop in your backpack or bag, so keep that in mind.

Battery life: about 13 hours 49 minutes. Battery life is admittedly the biggest dropoff here. Now will you be on your computer for 13 straight hours? Maybe not, but you will have to make sure your charger is on hand for any road trips or plane rides you may be taking this year.

Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch

Next up we have the Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch. This laptop comes in swinging with a larger screen that many love. 

Price: $2,399.00. You may read that price and be a little shocked. While this Apple laptop is more expensive (even compared to other Apple products), it will last you for many years. If you’re looking for a long term investment, this is the laptop to consider. You get what you pay for, and this MacBook agrees.

Portability: 4.3 pounds. The MacBook Pro is on the heavier end for laptops. You won’t want to walk very far with this in your bag, but it will be a trusty pal for work and travel. 

Screen Size:16 inches. Here we have the biggest screen in our roundup. If you’re doing any type of design or just want a nice screen for movies, this should be one of your top choices. This will require a spacious bag if you plan to take this laptop with you to work or on vacation. 

Battery life: about 18 hours 40 minutes. This laptop beats the Lenovo for battery life but cannot quite compete with the MacBook Air. You’ll be able to get a lot of work done without having to be plugged in 24/7. 

Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch (M1, Late 2020)

Last but not least we have the MacBook Pro 13-Inch (M1, Late 2020). If you’re looking for a computer between the MacBook Pro 16-inch and the Macbook Air, this or the Lenovo should be your choice. 

Price: $1,199.00. A little more expensive than the MacBook Air but not quite as expensive as the MacBook Pro 16-inch, this computer is a great price. A little clever budgeting and you can get this great laptop.

Portability: 3 pounds. This MacBook Pro is a nice middleweight in our laptop lineup. You can take it with you and not have to worry about an aching back or sore arms. 

Screen Size: 13.3 inches. Same screen size as the MacBook Air, the screen is large enough for movies, designing, and more while also being small enough to stick into your backpack. 

Battery life: about 22 hours 27 minutes. This laptop comes the closest to matching up with the MacBook Air. A long battery life that won’t have you attached to a plug all day long and is dependable. 

Whatever laptop you go with, hopefully the above breakdown provided some insightful reference points in your search. If you’re still struggling to narrow down your options, don’t worry – Genius Repair has a convenient location near you and is ready to offer tech advice! You may also decide to stick with the laptop you currently have. We can offer expert, professional repairs for that as well. Whether it’s a keyboard repair or a new screen, our quality repair services have you covered.

Water Damage

Content: Water Damage Blog

Water damage is one of the most dreaded of technology incidents. Unlike cracking a screen, water gets into devices and disrupts them from the inside out. If that happens, don’t panic, come see the experts. The key to fighting water damage is time, so don’t delay - come save your device today