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How to Get the Most Out Of Your Battery

One of the biggest concerns for people buying new phones and laptops is the device’s battery life. New devices are batterysporting longer and longer battery life. Apple even claims that their 13-inch Macbook Air can last for up to 12 hours! You need to be able to rely on your device when you’re on the go, so here are a few tips to make the most out of your battery life.

1. Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

If you don’t need them at the time, try turning off your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are usually set to be looking for potential networks or connections, so by stopping them from doing that, you’re limiting a whole lot of background activity. They both also use a lot of energy while connected. So if you’re not browsing the web or using your bluetooth mouse, for example, try switching them off to see some extended usage time

2. Turn off Location Tracking

The same thing goes for GPS and Location Services. These are constantly tracking your location in case an app requires it. Making sure these are switched off should see a big drop in background activity and battery drain.

3. Lower Screen Brightness or Keyboard Backlight

This one’s probably pretty obvious. The brighter your screen and keyboard light need to shine, the more power they’re going to use. It may be hard to drop the brightness sometimes, especially if you’re outside. However this is one of the biggest power consumers your device has. So drop the brightness as low as you can, and you should see a much longer battery life. Also be sure to switch off any auto brightness settings, as these will keep trying to make your screen brighter, even though you’re trying to save battery

4. Enable Battery Saver Mode

Look for your devices battery saver mode, most devices have one. This may seem like a bit of a no brainer, but can sometimes be overlooked. Battery saver modes are absolutely essentially if you’re taking your device off charge for a long period of time. You may see a slight decrease in the performance of your machine, but the extended battery life will almost surely make it worth while.

5. Look for Battery Draining Applications

Most phones or laptops give you a way to check what’s using the bulk of your device’s power. Accessing ‘Battery’ from your iPhone settings for example, will tell you exactly what is draining your battery. It can show you as a percentage, what has used the most power in the last 24 hours or the last week. By analysing these lists, you can try to cut down on certain applications or programs in order to give you the most out of your charge.

6. Look for Background Battery Drainers

These same lists will also often show you how much of that power drain was while on screen, and how much was in the background. This is also important to make note of when trying to cut down on app usage. You may have to restrict apps from using your location while outside the app, sending push notifications or whether it can use your cellular connection. Background battery drain is usually the most overlooked when trying to save battery life, so make sure you look into it.

7. Service Battery

Finally, if you’re still noticing low battery life after all these steps, there could be an issue with your battery. If you take your device to an Authorised Service Provider, they are able to run the necessary tests to find out if there really is something wrong with your battery. If there is an issue, you can then take the necessary steps to have your battery serviced and get it back up and running.

Running out of charge while out and about can cause any number of issues like being out of contact with family or missing out on catching a rare Pokemon. You need to be sure that when you need it, your phone or laptop is going to be there for you. So by following these steps, your faithful mobile companion should be with you the whole entire day.

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My phone got wet! What will I do?

Liquid damage is something we see come through the store incredibly often. It can cause extremely widespread damage throughout a device, sometimes ending its life.

What to do if your phone gets wet
What can you do if your phone gets wet?

But should the worst happen, with a couple of easy steps, you can try to stop the damage from spreading.

  1. The first most obvious step is to remove it from the source of liquid. If it is sitting in a pool of water be sure to move it to a dry area to begin trying to save the device.
  2. Allow the liquid to drain from anywhere that it can. If it’s a phone, try standing it up and leaning it against something so that the liquid can hopefully drain from the bottom. If it’s a laptop, try laying a towel on the side of a table, placing the laptop keyboard down onto the towel and letting the screen hang off the edge. This will allow the liquid to drain out through the keyboard and away from the main components.
  3. If you are able to, set up a small fan to blow air onto the device. You can use things like a hair dryer to try to evaporate the liquid, but extended heat on the device can cause issues, so be sure to not use it for too long.
  4. Leave the device be. It can be tempting to start up the device to check if it’s working, but starting up the device while it is still wet can cause it to short out. To be safe, if it’s best to leave the device to dry out for 2-4 days.
  5. After that time has passed, see if the device works. If the unit does boot up, then you may be in luck. However, even if the device is working now, liquid damage can present issues later down the track. Corrosion on the internal components can mean that the device may stop working weeks or months down the track. Be sure that your data is backed up, because it could die at any time.
  6. Lastly, get the machine looked at. If you bring the machine to us for diagnosis, we can assess if liquid has damaged your machine and if so, how badly. We are able to provide an in depth diagnosis and even an insurance report if you’re looking to claim with your home and contents insurance. Unfortunately, liquid damage does void most warranties, but diagnosis fees are often reimbursed by your insurance company.

Liquid and your electronic devices are definitely not friends. The best thing to do is to prevent liquid damage before it happens. Keep liquids away from your machines, or use a bottle with a seal if you need some water nearby.

But if your devices do come in contact with liquid, remember these steps, and you can hopefully save their lives.

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What you need to know about Apple repair 

1. Warranty

All new Apple devices have a one year warranty which covers any hardware fault.  Software issues and accidental damage are not covered.  If you have home contents insurance, some incidents of accidental damage may be covered. Australian Consumer Law also applies.

2. AppleCare and AppleCare+

Apple offers extended warranty plans for all devices.  These plans vary in length and price depending on the device.  They include expert telephone technical support, additional hardware service options, software support.  Some plans also cover accidental damage although an excess may be required.  AppleCare products need to be purchased within 60 days of purchasing your new device.  Talk to our staff about the AppleCare options available for your new device.

3. In warranty repairs

You can take your device to any Authorised Service Provider.  It doesn’t have to go to the Apple Retail Store.  Our technicians are required to have the same certifications as those who work at the Apple Store, we run the same diagnosis tools and access the same source for parts and replacements. The good things about many ASP locations like us is that we don’t need you to make an appointment and you are supporting local, Australian, family owned businesses.

4. Out of warranty repairs

We are able to diagnose your problem using the same diagnostic tools mentioned above and can access genuine Apple parts for your repair.  These are usually ordered from Sydney.

5. Extra services

In addition to Apple repair, we are also able to offer storage and memory upgrades, health checks and virus removal.

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6 Tips to Keeping Your Mac Running Fast

Why is my computer running slow?

It’s a question we’re often asked.

Making sure your machine stays running fast can sometimes be hard to keep on top of, but with a few simple fixes, you’re able to keep OSX running smoothly, even if your machine is a few years old.

 

 

  • Removing Malware

The first step is to make sure there is no malicious software slowing down your machine. There are some great pieces of software that can help you make sure your machine is virus free. Malwarebytes helps to remove anything that is slowing down your machine or potentially poses a threat to your machine. It also claims to “protect you from dangerous threats that antivirus doesn’t.” You can try Malwarebytes for free for 14 days, after that licenses start at $34.95 for 1 year.

  • Removing Mackeeper or similar software

You’ll find a lot of software out there that will claim to clean up your machine, when really, it’s doing quite the opposite. Mackeeper is the most notorious of these but certainly not the only one. Mackeeper, by definition, is malware. Malware being “a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software”. Mackeeper can be very difficult to uninstall at times, especially if you want to make sure it hasn’t left any lingering files. A great guide to uninstalling Mackeeper can be found here.

  • Repair Disk Permissions

When you install programs on your Mac, each comes with permission files. These files basically tell your Mac which users can do what with specific files. Over time these permissions get changed by other software and can cause lots of issues with the speed and running of your Mac. Luckily, it’s quite easy to fix this using Disk Utility. Spotlight search for Disk Utility, click on your hard drive (usually called Macintosh HD), and then click Verify Permissions or First Aid on newer versions of OSX. This will scan for any issues. If it does find any issues, you will either be prompted to Repair Permissions or it will begin automatically.

  • Remove Login Items

Too many programs trying to start up when you log in to your computer can result in a very, very slow log in time. If you open System Preferences, click on Users & Groups, then your user account, and then click on Login Items. From there, anything that you don’t require immediately on start up can be removed, hopefully resulting in a fast log in time.

  • Activity Monitor

Spotlight search for Activity Monitor and you will easily be able to see what is using the bulk of your processing power or memory at any given time. By checking what’s using the most of your CPU and Memory, you can decide whether those programs are worth keeping, worth shutting down or whether you might require an upgrade to your RAM.

  • Delete Old Programs and Large Unused Files

It’s also always important to go through your machine every so often and look for old programs or large files that you’re not using. A quick check through your Applications folder, or Control Clicking on folders to Get Info and find out how much space they’re taking up, can be incredibly beneficial in freeing up space on your hard drive and decluttering your machine.

A slow computer is one of the most frustrating things in the world these days, but by following these simple steps, you should be able to keep your machine running like it’s brand new. For more tips and news, check out our other blog posts, or sign up to our newsletter.


Patrick Kirkman
Technician

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Have you upgraded your Mac to OS X Yosemite yet?

The team at Mac and PC Doctors were busy over the weekend upgrading the Macs in our showroom to OS X Yosemite. How many others spent some time over the weekend doing the same thing? At just over 5GB, it’s a big update.

If you haven’t upgraded, feel free to drop in to the store next week to take a look. It’s running on our range of MacBooks and iMac.

Whether you’ve upgraded or not check out this article that provides a good run down of the new features:

http://www.lifehacker.co.uk/2014/10/17/20-os-x-yosemite-tips-get-apples-new-os