Best Apple iPhones

Admin Note: This article was written by Kyle Schurman and is posted here for your information only.

Smartphones have become a modern necessity.

One of the most popular smartphones is Apple’s iPhone. In the U.S., roughly 45% of all smartphone owners own iPhones. Some people enjoy having the latest iPhone, regardless of expense. Others are happy to keep using the same iPhone for years.

If you like the idea of owning an iPhone, but you don’t want to overspend for features you may not use, you can purchase older versions of unlocked iPhones and take them to your cellular service provider to have them activated. Or if you like the idea of owning the latest iPhone, unlocked versions of these phones can be purchased, too.

There are a number of factors to consider when shopping for an iPhone, including storage capacity, screen size, battery life, and even color. This buying guide outlines everything you need to know to select the right iPhone for your smartphone needs. For the fastest shopping, browse our five favorite iPhones in the matrix above.

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KEY CONSIDERATIONS

When searching for the right iPhone, the most important thing to consider is which model is best for you. You can save quite a bit of money by buying an older iPhone model. Or you can pick up a new model if you don’t mind paying a premium price.

iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 generation includes the 6 and 6S. Both phones have a 4.7-inch screen. The 6S is more durably constructed to resist damage from drops, though. The iPhone SE, with a 4-inch screen, is also in this generation of iPhones.

iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 generation consists of the 7 and 7 Plus. The iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch screen, while the iPhone 7 Plus has a full HD screen, measuring 5.5 inches.

iPhone 8

Like the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 generation consists of the 8 and 8 Plus. These models also have screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches. The iPhone 8 generation’s improvements over the iPhone 7 generation are a longer battery life, a faster processor, and more storage.

iPhone X

The iPhone X offers a high-quality, 5.8-inch OLED screen with greater than HD resolution, which is a significant advantage over past iPhones. It also offers up to 256 GB of storage. It has the same processor and dual rear camera of the iPhone 8 Plus.

iPhone XS

Two iPhone models are in this generation: the iPhone XS and the XS Max. The XS has a 5.8-inch screen, while the XS Max has a 6.5-inch screen. Both phones feature OLED displays with greater than HD resolution. Maximum storage capacity is 512 GB with the XS generation.

iPhone XR

The iPhone XR features a 6.1-inch screen, but it doesn’t quite have full HD resolution. It has a slightly faster processor than what’s found in the iPhone 8 generation. The XR also comes in unique colors versus other iPhones, including red, coral, and yellow.

FEATURES

Screen size

Some people prefer a larger screen, especially if they use their iPhone for watching movies or streaming TV. However, a larger screen equals a larger unit, which makes it more difficult to carry your phone in a pocket.

Storage capacity

The built-in storage capacity of an iPhone plays a big role in its price. iPhone models are offered with two or three storage options. Older iPhone models are offered with either 32 GB or 128 GB of storage. With newer iPhones, you can choose between 64 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB.

Camera

All newer iPhone models have both a front camera and a rear camera. The rear camera has 12 megapixels of resolution, and the front camera has 7 megapixels. The advanced models in each iPhone generation offer dual rear cameras. A dual camera setup offers better angles and better image quality than a single camera design.

Battery life

All iPhone models have a strong battery life when new. But maximum battery life naturally shortens as the smartphone ages. You can expect between nine and 11 hours of battery life with a new iPhone.

Color

For iPhone fans, the range of colors available is a big draw. Gold, silver, and space gray are common across all models. However, some iPhones also come in black, white, and rose gold.

TIPS

An iPhone is an expensive and important piece of equipment, and you’ll want to keep it in top working condition. Cleaning it regularly and protecting it from drops is key. Here are a few other tips to protect your iPhone.

  • Clean the screen of your iPhone with water. Never use solvents or cleaning solutions to wipe down the screen on an iPhone. Instead, use clean water and a lint-free, scratch-resistant cloth. Dip the cloth into the water to avoid using too much water.
  • Add a case to protect against drops. There are a plethora of iPhone cases on the market for every model. Some cases have thick corner guards that provide maximum protection if dropped.
  • Screen protectors are important, too. A glass screen protector provides the highest level of protection for an iPhone’s screen. Plastic screen protectors can protect the screen, but they smudge more easily than glass.
  • Protect against thieves by using a six-digit passcode or Face ID. Should someone grab your iPhone, you can protect the data by enabling Face ID or a six-digit passcode. These log-ins are more secure than a four-digit passcode.

The Best Phones for 2021

For most of us, mobile phones are at the center of our universe. The typical feature set of these palm-size marvels is astounding. It’s your phone, your messaging device, your web browser, your camera, your music player, your GPS, and more. The phone you choose will affect your life in a multitude of ways. That’s why we’re here to help you pick exactly the right one.

Dial Up the Perfect Phone

We’re a smartphone-dominated nation, with 4G LTE networks serving data faster than many home internet connections, and 5G spreading across the country. Though we’re now down to three major wireless carriers, virtual carriers such as Google Fi, US Mobile, and Visible keep competition alive and push prices down. But some of our choices have constricted a bit: The smartphone OS marketplace is basically down to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, and it’s hard to find a really good simple voice phone nowadays.

Here at PCMag, we review almost every smartphone released on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, and many of their sub-brands such as Boost, Cricket, Metro, and Visible.

Rather than purely choosing the phones with the highest ratings here, we’re trying to deliver a list of phones that are spread broadly across different price points. This list is focused on the hottest, newest devices, but you can also find great value in slightly older phones, so be sure to shop around.

What should you be looking for when buying a cell phone? Here are some key points to consider.

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Which Cell Phone Carrier Should You Choose?

Despite all the recent hardware and mobile software innovation, your wireless service provider remains your most important decision. No matter what device you buy, it’s a doorstop unless you have solid wireless coverage. Maybe you have friends and family on the same carrier that you talk to for free, and you don’t want that to change with your next phone. Maybe you’re lusting after a certain device—say, an unlocked smartphone for international travel. And of course, you want to choose a carrier that offers fair prices, and provides the best coverage in your area. These are all good reasons to put the carrier decision first.

We’re in a weird moment right now. All of the carriers are winning “fastest” or “best” awards based on different testing methodologies. They’re making broad claims about coverage that often aren’t borne out by users on the ground. We will do our annual drive tests this summer to help you make your decision, but until then, rely on the word of your friends and family regarding the best network near you.

AT&T has a very fast 4G network, and a nationwide “5G” network with similar performance to 4G. In our tests, AT&T has historically been strong in the southeast of the US, upstate New York and northern New England, and Texas. AT&T appears to be slower and less aggressive at rolling out 5G improvements than the other two carriers are, but that hasn’t hurt its reliable 4G performance in much of the country.

Verizon Wireless is famed for its top-notch network quality and good customer service. Its super-speedy millimeter-wave 5G network helped make it our Fastest Mobile Network last year, and its 4G network is also excellent. But its “nationwide” 5G network can be slower than 4G. Verizon is fixing that issue with new airwaves called the C-band. By March 2022, it says it will cover 100 million people in 46 metro areas with C-band 5G, which will be considerably faster than its current nationwide 5G. The iPhone 12 series and the Samsung Galaxy S21 series both support the technology, and more C-band phones will come out throughout 2021.

T-Mobile absorbed Sprint in 2020. The “new T-Mobile” is in transition, incorporating Sprint’s network and airwaves to potentially offer a speedy mid-band 5G network in most major cities across the country. Over the fall of 2020, it became considerably faster as it expanded its mid-band Ultra Capacity network.

US Cellular is only available in about half the country. It has a reputation for good customer service, but has been suffering recently in our surveys as readers have said its prices and LTE network quality don’t match up to some of the alternatives.

There are also plenty of virtual operators that use the big three networks, but offer lower monthly rates, cheaper international calls, or other benefits. They’re usually better for lighter users and most don’t have family plans. 

AT&T owns Cricket, T-Mobile owns Metro by T-Mobile, Verizon owns Visible, and Google owns Google Fi. Last September, Verizon made a bid for Tracfone and its spin-off brands, but the acquisition is under scrutiny from the FCC. We spotlight some of our favorite virtual operators in our roundup of the best cheap phone plans.

Do You Need a 5G Phone?

5G arrived in 2019, and most new smartphones now support some form of 5G. But though 5G may change everything in the future, it’s not going to happen immediately. Currently, all three carriers rely on “nationwide” 5G systems that largely use 4G-sized channels at 4G-like speeds. We’ll have a detailed picture of the current state of 5G when the 2021 edition of our Fastest Mobile Networks feature comes out in August.

If you are looking for a future-proof 5G phone, look for one that supports the new C-band, which will come into play on AT&T and Verizon in late 2021 and beyond. You can find more 5G recommendations on our list of the best 5G phones.

(One note: you may see a “5G E” icon on your existing AT&T phone. That isn’t 5G; it is a marketing ploy. Your phone is still running on 4G.)

Locked vs. Unlocked Phones

As carriers have moved to increasingly more confusing service and pricing plans, the value of unlocked phones has been rising accordingly.

Unlocked phones are bought from a third-party store or directly from the manufacturer, and aren’t tied to a specific carrier. Usually, you can use them with AT&T or T-Mobile. But some popular unlocked phones work on all three major carriers. If you want the best flexibility, look for a recent Apple iPhone, Google Pixel, Samsung flagship, or Motorola phone.

In the past, unlocked phones typically worked on all the major carriers, but 5G phones are a different story. Apple, Google, and Samsung’s 5G phones will work every US carrier, but many other brands either have limited band support or are only certified for specific carriers. AT&T customers should take extra caution before buying an unlocked 5G phone, since many phones that will theoretically work on its network have yet to be certified by the carrier.

What Is the Best Smartphone?

As more people become accustomed to instant email, web, music, and messaging access at all times of the day, regardless of where they are, smartphones have become almost indispensable. That said, there’s plenty of variety out there—not to mention devotees of specific OS platforms. Sometimes, a platform’s user interface or app selection just speaks to you, and that’s all there is to it. With that in mind, and at the risk of attracting flames, let’s break it down as well as we can for those who aren’t so fully vested.

There’s actually less diversity in smartphone platforms and designs than there was a few years ago. Right now, Android and iOS are the two top smartphone platforms, both in US sales and in the availability of third-party apps. The iPhone has the best app store and the best media features. But Apple’s tightly controlled ecosystem can feel stifling to some, and iOS isn’t easy to customize or modify. There’s far more variety among Android handsets, and Android’s open-source nature makes it a tweaker’s dream. But it also means fragmented third-party app compatibility, occasional bugs, carrier-installed bloatware you can’t remove, and scattered, often sporadic OS updates.

Admin Note: This article is from PC Magazine.

Does It Matter if Your Laptop or Cell Phone Is Always Plugged In?

Dino the Dinosaur says “Yippee a Laptop and Cell Phone battery lesson”. Yahoo let’s get started. But don’t forget your Coffee, Wine or Beer and Snacks before you start reading this. So let’s get started LOL

Since the the dawn of the Dinosaur era and the inventions of laptops, Cell Phones, Batteries and the Internet it’s their apple and convenience, which makes them ideal for working on the go and business trips. Laptops and Cell Phones are only as good as their batteries, however, and proper care of your battery is essential to making sure they retain a long life and charge. Leaving your laptop or Cell Phone plugged in constantly is not bad for your battery, but you will need to be careful of other factors, such as heat, to prevent your battery from damage.

Admin Note: Before you get started reading this Grab a cup of Coffee, a glass of Wine or some Beers and some snacks and sit down in a comfortable chair and put your reading glasses on as this Post is quite long. It’s going to cover everything you ever wanted to know about Laptop and Cell Phone Batteries from A to Z. So let’s get start on this long trek by staring with Laptop Batteries. Ready set GO to start this long adventure down battery row about Laptop and Cell Phone Batteries. Boy that was a mouth full, but yet the best is to come. So enjoy and if you make it to the end then you where very curious about this subject.

Laptop Batteries

Most laptops use lithium-ion batteries. What? Lithium-ion batteries? We don meed no Stinking Lithium-ion batteries! Yes we do. Enough of the funny stuff and lets get down to the facts. Unlike nickel-based batteries, lithium-ion batteries don’t suffer from the “memory effect,” meaning that discharging and recharging them will not have an effect on long-term battery life. Once your battery is charged to full capacity, it will simply stop charging, so keeping your laptop plugged in will not cause any issues to your battery.

Okay lets see what MR. SPOCK has to say about this subject.

With lithium-ion batteries, it is better to avoid discharging them completely then recharging them to full capacity — this is called a “deep cycle,” and this process is only useful for nickel–cadmium and nickel–metal hydride batteries. However, you should perform a deep cycle once a month or so to recalibrate the battery. This allows the battery monitoring mechanics to remain accurate when displaying battery life and charge.

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Heat

While leaving your laptop plugged in constantly is not detrimental to its health, excess heat will definitely damage a battery over time. Higher levels of heat are most commonly produced when you are running processor-intensive applications like games or when you have many programs open simultaneously. When your computer is running hot and it is plugged in, disconnect the battery and keep it somewhere cool to prevent heat damage.

Battery Care

To perform a deep cycle, first charge your battery to full capacity, then let it sit for about two hours to cool from the charging process. Unplug your power cord, then set your computer’s power save settings to hibernate once your battery reaches five percent. Once your computer starts hibernating, leave it for about five hours, then plug in the power cable and let it charge to full capacity again uninterrupted.

Do Laptop Batteries Stop Taking a Charge?

A laptop’s battery lifespan will depend on a few factors, including the power demands of your laptop, how many cells the battery has and the age of the laptop among other variables. While the lifespan will vary, one thing is certain: at some point the battery will stop holding a charge and become little more than a paper weight. At that point, your laptop would need to be plugged in at all times, functionally rendering it a desktop PC.

Charge and Discharge Cycles

As with any rechargeable battery, your laptop can be charged and depleted so many times before it can no longer be charged. Manufacturers refer to this as the “charge and discharge” cycle. Every laptop will be different, but the average charge and discharge cycle per battery will generally run 18 to 24 months, after which the battery will no longer hold a full charge. Because you typically charge your laptop before the battery fully discharges, many manufacturers will count any discharge of 70 percent or greater as a discharge cycle.

Why Batteries Deteriorate

Laptop batteries begin to deteriorate from the moment they leave the assembly line, but the process of decay is slow. Each time you use your battery, it undergoes a chemical change to transfer energy. Because this change isn’t 100-percent efficient, the battery will degrade over time to the point where it will no longer hold a charge at all.

Preserving Your Battery

While battery decay is inevitable, you can prolong your battery. In general, you want to avoid heat and power surges. Keeping your battery charged between 20 and 80 percent will maximize its lifespan as this will prevent the battery from overheating. Likewise, keeping the battery in a moderate temperature environment will be beneficial. Optimal storing conditions for your batter are at 40-percent charge in a cool environment. Leaving your laptop plugged in during use will create a “trickle-effect” where the battery continually receives small amounts of charges. This can decrease the lifespan of your battery.

Charging Myths

One of the most popular myths about battery charging says that you should completely deplete your battery before recharging. This worked better with older batteries, but lithium-ion batteries do not benefit from this strategy. Instead, these batteries should be partially depleted and partially recharged to prolong functional life. Another myth to prolong battery life involves placing the battery in the freezer, but this will not preserve the charge capacity of a lithium-ion laptop battery.

Does Leaving Your Computer on Ruin the Battery?

Modern batteries are designed to work for as long as possible. Although eventual power loss is inevitable, many lithium-ion batteries can last for over 1,000 cycles, while maintaining high performance levels. Despite this, there are some practices you should avoid in order to maintain your batteries’ performance, including overheating your laptop and draining your battery unnecessarily.

Overcharging

Modern lithium-ion batteries do not suffer from overcharging, as the battery stops receiving charge energy as soon as 100 percent capacity is reached. Once this happens, the excess energy is sent directly to the power supply system of the laptop. Batteries are also designed to trickle their charge energy once the battery reaches a certain capacity. Once the battery reaches a near-full charge, the charge current of the battery drops significantly, ensuring the battery is not overexposed.

Overheating

Overheating your battery can cause it to degrade faster than when it is kept within normal temperature levels. Apple recommends that laptops should be kept as close to room temperature as possible when in use and identifies 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit as optimal levels. To keep your battery cool, you should ensure the vents are clear and that the airflow is unobstructed. If your battery is getting too hot, you should stop using your computer and let it cool down before continuing.

Draining the Battery

Battery life is often referred to in “cycles.” Modern laptops run on lithium-ion batteries, which have a limited number of cycles before the life of the battery begins to wane. One cycle is used when you drain and recharge 100 percent of your battery capacity. The more cycles your battery experiences, the weaker it becomes. Modern batteries are designed to last a large number of cycles before their power begins to diminish, but you can extend the life of your battery further by keeping your cycle count low.

Battery Care

Apple recommends that you charge and discharge your battery fully at least once a month, in order to keep the electrons inside it flowing. This is especially true for people that leave their computer charging most of the time. You can also optimize the performance of your battery by altering some of the settings on your computer. Both Microsoft and Apple recommend turning off unnecessary devices and features that you aren’t using, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. You should also ensure that your screen brightness is dimmed to a comfortable level when using your computer.

Does It Affect an iPhone to Unplug It When It’s Not Fully Charged?

As useful as it can be, an Apple iPhone represents a serious investment for most small businesses, meaning most people want to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Since the iPhone’s release, there has been a lot of speculation about the best way to care for an iPhone’s battery, including the rumour that it needs a full charge before you should unplug it. This is actually false and is based on old technologies that were never a part of the iPhone’s design. While you should fully charge and discharge the battery once a month, there should be no reason to worry about its charge the rest of the time.

Understanding the iPhone’s Battery

A couple of decades ago, when cell phones and laptops used nickel-based batteries, it was important to fully drain the battery before charging it. The iPhone uses a lithium-based battery, which doesn’t have this requirement. Apple states that the most important thing to do if you want to preserve the iPhone’s battery life is to go through a full charge once a month and to use it on a daily basis without turning it off for extended periods of time. Daily use keeps the electrons in the battery active, extending its lifespan.

Charge Cycles and Life Expectancy

The iPhone’s battery has a life expectancy of 400 charge cycles. After 400 charge cycles, the battery’s capacity drops by about 20 percent from when it was brand new. A charge cycle, however, means a full charge. Each partial charge only counts toward a portion of a charge cycle. So, for example, if the battery is only at 50 percent and you plug it in to charge it, that counts as only one-half of a charge cycle. If the battery was 90 percent charged and you plug it in, that counts only toward 10 percent of a charge cycle. During normal usage, the battery should last the lifetime of the iPhone.

Charging at 100 Percent

Even when the battery indicator states that the iPhone is 100 percent charged, you may notice that the battery is continuing to charge. This is part of the iPhone’s design to prevent the battery from being damaged by leaving it plugged in after a full charge. Once the battery is full, the iPhone begins releasing a minute amount of its charge so it can continue receiving a charge without being damaged. Once the indicator says 100 percent, you can unplug it at any time.

Monthly Charge Cycle

Apple recommends going through one full charge cycle once a month to extend the life of your battery. A full charge cycle means charging the battery to 100 percent and then letting it run all the way down until the iPhone shuts off. If you do this once a month, you won’t have to worry about using partial charges during the rest of the month. Going through a full charge cycle may not always fit into your schedule. One way to do it is to charge the battery overnight, use it throughout the day and then in the evening stream video on the iPhone from YouTube or iTunes until the iPhone shuts down. Streaming video quickly eats away at the iPhone’s power without needing you to constantly interact with it.

How to Charge an Apple Laptop.

An Apple laptop lets you connect with your business clients and work on projects whenever you’re on the go. Apple designed its laptops, such as the MacBook or MacBook Pro, to have a battery lifespan of approximately five years. The laptop can fully charge and discharge 1,000 times before losing 20 percent of its original capacity. The MacBook series of laptops comes with a MagSafe Power Adapter that lets you charge the computer’s battery by connecting to an electrical outlet. This cable enables you to charge the laptop at your workplace, in a meeting or at the airport when traveling for business. Apple recommends that you calibrate your laptop’s battery as often as once per month for optimal efficiency.

Basic Charging

  1. Remove the protective plastic covering the end of the MagSafe Power Adapter if this is your first time charging the laptop.

2. Insert the AC plug into the MagSafe Power Adapter and fully extend the electrical prongs. Insert the AC plug into an electrical outlet.

3. Attach the MagSafe connector to the MagSafe power port on the side of the computer. The cable attaches to the port magnetically.

4. Look at the indicator light on the MagSafe connector to determine when the laptop has finished charging. When the light is amber, the laptop is charging. A green light indicates that the laptop has a full charge.

Charging for Calibration

  1. Connect the MagSafe Power Adapter to your Apple laptop. Charge the laptop until the LED turns green.

2. Let the battery rest for at least two hours while still connected to the MagSafe Power Adapter.

3. Disconnect the MagSafe Power Adapter while the computer is running. The computer will continue to run on battery power. Continue to use the computer until the low battery indicator appears on the screen.

4. Save your work and allow the computer to go to sleep when the battery runs out. When the computer goes to sleep, turn it off for at least five hours.

5. Reconnect the MagSafe Power Adapter to the laptop and charge it fully to complete the calibration.

How to Restore and Charge MacBook Batteries.

MacBook batteries require a process called calibration to restore and charge the lithium-ion battery inside. All batteries eventually need replacing. Provided your MacBook battery indicator doesn’t tell you the battery needs to be replaced immediately, calibration can help you get the most out of your battery. Small business owners that use Macbooks on-the-go need to ensure that the computer lasts as long as possible. Recharging isn’t always possible if you’re conducting business on the go, so making sure your battery holds the greatest charge possible ensures your business can continue uninterrupted, even without an external power source.

  1. Click on the battery icon in the top right portion of the screen. The battery should state “Normal” when functioning correctly. If the battery states “Replace Soon,” “Replace Now” or “Service Battery,” then take the battery in to the local Apple Store for replacement or repair.

2. Plug the power adapter into the MacBook and charge the computer until the green light on the cord turns green, or the power indicator on the taskbar shows a battery charge of 100 percent.

3. Keep the MacBook plugged in and running for two hours after the charge has completed.

4. Select the Apple icon from the top left corner of the screen. Click “System Preferences” then “Energy Saver.” Set the “Sleep” slider so that it indicates “Never” under the sleep setting.

5. Disconnect the power adapter from the MacBook. Let the computer completely run down and turn off by itself. You may use your MacBook during this time. Shut down all applications before the battery dies to ensure that you don’t lose any data.

6. Turn off the MacBook by holding down the “Power” button for 10 seconds after the battery has died. Leave it off for at least five hours.

7. Reconnect the charger to your MacBook and start your computer. Keep the computer charging until the green light comes on, or the battery indicator shows a battery charge of 100 percent.

How to Efficiently Keep an iPhone Battery Charged.

The iPhone battery typically offers hours of usage without a charge. Some iPhone devices, however, may experience longer battery life than other iPhones. Although different people use iPhones differently, certain techniques can prolong the life of the iPhone’s battery.

Battery Life

An iPhone’s battery life is its approximate run time between charges. Battery lifespan, on the other hand, is the time before a battery needs replacement. You can view the usage statistics on an iPhone to determine the last time your iPhone’s battery received a full charge. (Tap the Settings icon and then choose General followed by Usage.) This information will help you determine the degradation of your iPhone’s battery between charges. Additionally, Apple warns customers not to place the iPhone in the sun or a hot car because heat degrades the performance of the battery. According to Apple, the iPhone’s lithium-ion battery can perform approximately 300 to 500 charge-discharge cycles before requiring replacement.

Settings

The iPhone has several features that rapidly discharge the battery. If you configure your iPhone to use only necessary features, you may improve its battery life. Every time you use any of the iPhone’s functions you drain power from the battery, so turning off automatic notifications on your device, for example, will help prevent the discharge of your iPhone’s battery. Additionally, location services is an active application that uses the GPS chip in your iPhone to continuously pinpoint your location. By default, the location services setting is active and will consume your iPhone’s battery. You can also turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to conserve battery on your iPhone. Further, reducing the brightness of your iPhone’s screen will help to prevent iPhone battery drain.

Lock the Phone

When the display of your iPhone is not set to the locked position, you can inadvertently activate and turn on your iPhone from your pocket or purse. By manually changing your iPhone’s settings you can program your iPhone to lock automatically after a specified period of inactivity. Additionally, batteries that contain lithium require the electrons in the battery to move from time to time. Apple, therefore, recommends completely draining your iPhone’s battery at least once per month after a full charge.

Software Updates

Apple periodically releases updates for the various components of the iPhone, including the battery. These updates can help to optimize the performance of your iPhone’s battery. You can download the latest updates for your iPhone’s battery directly from iTunes using the iPhone sync process.

How to Charge a Dell Latitude Battery.

Dell’s line of Latitude laptops features removable lithium-ion batteries that, when properly charged, can give you hundreds of hours of portable power. With a fully charged battery on hand, you never need to worry about running out of power during a presentation, trip or business meeting. Some Dell Latitudes offer ExpressCharge, a feature that charges your battery twice as fast as normal.

  1. Check the battery’s remaining charge by double-clicking the battery icon in the Windows taskbar. If the Dell QuickSet feature is installed on the laptop, press the “F3” and “Fn” keys together to see the battery meter.

2. Save your work if the Latitude gives you a low battery warning message, which appears when 10 percent battery power remains. If you do not charge it at this point, the laptop will soon enter hibernate mode.

3. Power off the laptop if it or the battery feels hot to the touch. The laptop may not charge the battery if it is too hot. When you try to charge the battery, an onscreen indicator alerts you if the temperature is too high. This icon alternately flashes orange and green.

4. Connect an AC adapter to the AC port on the side of the Latitude. If you have a 9-cell battery and you want to charge it using the ExpressCharge feature, use a 90-W AC adapter.

5. Connect the other end of the AC adapter to an electrical outlet. The laptop starts to charge. With ExpressCharge, the battery takes two hours to charge fully; without this feature, it takes about four hours.

Why Can’t You Leave a Laptop Plugged in and Sitting on the Bed or a Carpet?

The vents on a laptop are usually located on the side or bottom of the computer. Leaving your laptop plugged in and turned on sitting on your bed or carpet could cause the computer’s vents to become blocked. Hot air generated by the computer can build up and damage the internal components, leading to costly repairs and replacements. If you plan to leave your laptop plugged in and turned on or charging, place it on a hard surface that allows the vents of the computer to displace the hot air.

You’ll Damage the Computer

Leaving your laptop on fabrics, pillows and even carpeting can prevent your computer from venting heat properly. Heat trapped inside the laptop can cause damage to internal components like the CPU, hard drive, video card and battery. If the laptop is exposed to high temperatures for too long, you could end up having to replace damaged components.

Know the Symptoms

Your laptop has a fan that is used to remove hot air that is generated during use. A fan that is consistently running at high speeds could be an indication that it’s not venting air properly, especially if the laptop is regularly hot to the touch. Laptops are designed to shut down when exposed to extreme temperatures, so if your laptop has been turning off unexpectedly, check that the vents aren’t blocked. Dust and debris can accumulate over time and clog your laptop’s vents. Use a compressed-air canister to clean any vents that have become clogged.

You’ll Kill the Battery

Keeping a laptop plugged in for an extended amount of time or when you’re not charging the computer can damage the battery. The CEO of Cadex Electronics, Isidor Buchmann, recommends charging the battery to 80 percent capacity and then unplugging it. Run the computer off the battery until you reach 40 percent and then plug the computer back in to repeat the process. Following these guidelines can prolong the life of your laptop’s battery and allow for 1,200 to 2,000 discharge cycles. Excessive heat caused by keeping your laptop plugged in can damage the battery, placing the battery’s cells under stress at a higher voltage.

Be Smart

If you’re actively using the computer on the bed or floor, be conscious of how hot the laptop is and if it’s displacing the heat correctly. If you leave the computer unattended and plugged in for any period of time, make sure you move it to a hard surface like a table or desk, or purchase a laptop cooler. To reduce the risk of fire, never leave the computer plugged in, charging or turned on sitting on flammable material. If you have nowhere else to leave the laptop, unplug the power cord from both the computer and the outlet and turn the computer off completely. A computer that’s not powered on or charging shouldn’t create any heat at all.

Do I Need to Plug My Laptop in the AC Power All the Time?

Laptops do not need to be plugged in to AC power all the time, unless they are running without a battery. Keeping a laptop plugged in all the time with the battery installed can actually be bad for the battery and chip away at the battery’s energy capacity. However, leaving a laptop plugged in most of the time is safe for the device.

The No Battery Situation

A laptop must run on AC power if the battery has failed or is missing. Batteries can fail over time: the devices have a finite number of chargers before the power capacity drops below practical capabilities. If you’re running a laptop only on AC power for an extended period of time, HP recommends removing the battery from the device to prolong the battery’s life. PCWorld recommends removing the battery and running on AC power only when leaving the laptop plugged in for a week or more at a time; the battery can be returned to the laptop when needed.

AC Adapter Energy Efficiency

Laptops offer energy-use savings over similarly capable desktop computers; laptops use 80 percent less energy than desktops. Laptops can extend potential up-time when away from electrical sockets by either equipping larger batteries or more efficiently using existing battery power. An always plugged in laptop benefits from the energy-efficient design by needing less power to operate. On top of already being designed to get the most out of an existing power source, laptops are even more energy efficient when running on AC power because the devices don’t lose energy in the less-efficient battery charging process.

Periodic Battery Cycling

While a laptop can feasibly run perpetually while plugged in to AC power, it’s bad for the laptop and lithium-based battery in the long run. It’s a case of “if you don’t use it, you lose it” with battery capacity: power cycling, or draining the battery from full to empty, helps prevent long-term damage to an always charged battery. HP and Apple recommend power cycling the laptop’s battery at least once per month to keep it from losing capacity. Leaving a battery discharged or fully charged for long periods of time can be bad for the device. If you’re storing a laptop for long periods of time — like six months or more — you can preserve the battery by charging it to 50 percent before placing the device in storage.

Plugged in Problems

The nature of micro-charging the battery after minuscule power drain and constantly running the battery charger can actually damage the battery over long periods of time. Keeping the AC power plugged in for prolonged periods exposes the battery to more heat and a higher operating voltage from the charger, both pick away at the battery. The battery actually can handle more charges if it is constantly floating between 40 and 80 percent capacity between recharges.

Why Isn’t My Laptop Holding a Charge?

If your job frequently takes you on the road, a laptop without a working battery can impede your work. Several factors can cause laptop batteries to not charge, drain quickly or otherwise fail, including old age, a broken power cord or damaged charging circuitry. You can solve most battery problems by buying replacement parts, but some problems will require professional repair.

Old Batteries

All rechargeable batteries lose capacity over time. Laptop batteries experience noticeable loss of longevity after only a few years. If you continue to use an old battery, its run time will shrink further until the battery can only last a matter of minutes before dying. To regain the lost power, you need to order a new battery from the computer’s manufacturer. Most laptops have user-replaceable batteries, though some may require professional disassembly.

Bad Power Cord

A defective power cord can make it seem like your battery won’t charge – if the cord shifts between working and not working, the battery will lose its power as fast as it can charge. You can test your power cord by trying to run the laptop on AC power after removing the battery. If it works intermittently, it may have a loose connection. You can order a replacement power cord from the computer’s manufacturer if needed.

Charging Circuitry

If your laptop continues to malfunction even with a new battery or power cord, it may have broken internal charging circuitry. If the wires inside the laptop that lead from the power cord to the battery are damaged, the battery won’t charge properly. Fixing broken charging circuitry requires professional repair from the manufacturer or a repair shop.

Battery Use

Laptop batteries do not require special treatment like some older rechargeable batteries. They will not “overcharge,” nor do they require full drains before every charge. If your laptop shuts off while you seem to have power left, you can try a single full drain to reset the battery’s calibration. This process will not actually repair a damaged battery, however. If your computer gets very hot during use, you may want to remove the battery while using the laptop on AC power, since heat can reduce a battery’s lifespan.

How Long Is the Battery Life for the iPhone 5?

Ideal for checking your company email on the go as well as for viewing business presentations, the iPhone 5 also enables you to keep up with stock reports and news. The smartphone’s battery life is eight hours of talk time, 10 hours of Internet use via its built-in Wi-Fi component and eight hours of Internet use via a cellular provider. Recharging the iPhone 5 is done through its AC adapter, a car adapter or a USB connection.

Additional Battery Life

The iPhone 5’s video playback battery life is 10 hours and its audio playback is 40 hours. The smartphone’s standby time battery life is 225 hours. The battery life estimates are based on a fully charged battery at its original capacity. If playing videos and audio files and accessing the Internet all at the same time, your iPhone 5’s battery depletes faster than the estimates, as it does if your smartphone’s battery is not fully charged.

Recharging

In addition to recharging using the phone’s AC or car adapter, you can also recharge the iPhone 5 using one of your computer’s USB ports and the phone’s USB cable. Your computer must not be in standby or sleep mode — these modes can drain the battery on the iPhone 5 instead of charging it. If a USB port is not available, you can connect your iPhone 5 to a USB hub that is connected to your computer and charge the phone. Disconnect any other devices connected to the hub before connecting your iPhone 5 to the device.

Time

Over time, the iPhone 5 battery loses its charge and ability to recharge fully. As the battery ages, its maximum battery life is reduced, and you must recharge the battery more frequently. Replace the iPhone 5 battery when it is no longer able to hold a charge. Consult an authorized Apple repair service to replace the battery.

Battery Maintenance

Use your iPhone 5 on a regular basis and at least once a month deplete the phone’s battery, recharge the battery to 100 percent and let the battery deplete again. This process is known as a charge cycle and keeps the electrons in the iPhone 5 battery flowing properly. After you deplete the battery a second time, recharge it to 100 percent and use your iPhone normally — connecting the phone to its charger nightly or whenever the battery is depleted — until the next month; then repeat the charge cycle process.

How to Take Care of a Laptop Battery.

Anyone who owns a laptop computer knows that the battery is essentially the heart of the device. Without a well cared-for battery, a laptop computer cannot function without being plugged into an outlet – which, in many ways, defeats the purpose of owning a laptop. There are a number of steps you can take to properly care for a laptop battery and maximize the device’s lifespan.

  1. Remove the battery from your laptop after it has been fully charged if the laptop is still plugged into an electrical outlet. Leaving a battery attached to a plugged-in laptop for an extensive length of time is liable to cause the battery to overheat, thus shortening its lifespan.

2. Abstain from charging your laptop battery until it is absolutely necessary. Since any type of battery can only handle a limited number of charges, you can prolong the life of your laptop battery by avoiding unnecessary charges.

3. Enable one of the battery power plans found on Windows-based laptops. Simply click on the convenient battery meter icon to be presented with the “Select a power plan” menu. Selecting the “Balanced” power plan will keep your laptop running at peak performance when you are actively using the device and decrease the computer’s brightness and speed during periods of inactivity. Alternatively, the “Power Saver” option will decrease the laptop’s brightness and speed even when it is in use.

4. Place your laptop on top of a hard surface, such as a table, desk or lap desk, whenever the device is turned on and in use. Setting your laptop atop a carpeted or cushioned service will cause the computer – and, by extension, the battery – to overheat since the device’s fan(s) will not be able to properly circulate air.

5. Put your laptop in sleep mode during extended periods of inactivity. If you don’t feel like shutting the computer down, ensure that minimal battery power is used by clicking on the “Turn Off Computer” icon and selecting the “Hibernate” option.

6. Store your laptop battery in a relatively cool area. Keeping the battery – or any other piece of computer equipment – in a heavily heated area can give way to overheating, so whenever the battery is not in use, place it in a cool drawer, cupboard or closet.

Do Cell Phones Pose a Health Hazard?

Some people are concerned that radio frequency energy from cell phones will cause cancer or other serious health hazards. Based on the evaluation of the currently available information, the FDA believes that the weight of scientific evidence has not linked exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phone use with any health problems at or below the radio frequency exposure limits set by the FCC.

Key points:

  • Cell phones emit low levels of radio frequency energy, a type of non-ionizing radiation.
  • The available scientific data on exposure to radio frequency energy show no categorical proof of any adverse biological effects other than tissue heating.
  • Public health data show no association between exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phone use and health problems.

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Cell Phones and Radio Frequency Energy

Cell phones emit low levels of non-ionizing radiation when in use. The type of radiation emitted by cell phones is also referred to as radio frequency (RF) energy. As stated by the National Cancer Institute, “there is currently no consistent evidence that non-ionizing radiation increases cancer risk in humans. The only consistently recognized biological effect of radiofrequency radiation in humans is heating.”

See Radio Frequency Energy and Cell Phones for the basics on radio frequency energy and non-ionizing radiation.

Scientific Consensus on Cell Phone Safety

Scientific studies: The FDA’s physicians, scientists, and engineers regularly analyze scientific studies and publications for evidence of health effects of exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phones. The weight of nearly 30 years of scientific evidence has not linked exposure to radio frequency energy from use of cell phones to health problems, such as cancer.

Public health data: The FDA also monitors and analyzes public health data on cancer rates in the U.S. population. The data clearly demonstrate no widespread rise in brain and other nervous system cancers in the last 30 years despite the enormous increase in cell phone use during this period. In fact, the rate of brain and other nervous system cancers diagnosed in United States has decreased for the last 15 years or so.

See Scientific Evidence for Cell Phone Safety for details on the scientific studies and public health data.

Determinations by other organizations: Many national and international organizations also monitor radio frequency research. This section highlights some of these agencies’ considerations.

See Scientific Evidence for Cell Phone Safety for more details.

Admin Note: This article is from the U.S. FDA and is posted here fro you’re information.

Gas vs. Electric Stoves: Which is really more efficient?

By: Stephanie Watson

When you’re whipping up your famous beef Bourguignon or paella, the thought of saving money and energy probably isn’t at the front of your mind. Yet you could be saving money every single time you cook these recipes–or any other dish–if you have an energy-efficient stove.

You may have comparison shopped for the least expensive stove at your local appliance store, but looking at the purchase price alone won’t tell you how much you’ll end up paying in the long run.

Both gas and electric stoves are in essentially the same price range, depending on the brand and model. Generally, you’ll spend $650 to $2,800 for an electric stove, and $800 to $2,300 for a gas stove, according to Consumer Reports. If you buy a lower-end electric stove, you may save money upfront, but the costs of operating that stove will start to add up the more you cook.

According to the California Energy Commission, most Americans currently cook on an electric stove, and they may not be taking advantage of the greatest energy savings. Click on the next page to learn why switching to gas could save you money on your annual energy bills.

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How do they Work?

To understand why gas stoves will save you money, you first need to know how both gas and electric stoves use energy.

When you use a gas stove, natural gas enters your stove from the main gas supply to your house. It’s carried to the burner, where it combines with air inside a mixer tube. As that gas-air mixture is released through holes in the burner, it mixes with even more air. The ignition system lights the gas-air mixture, creating a blue flame. As you turn the burner control knob, you control exactly how much gas reaches the burner. The higher you turn it, the more gas is released.

How Gas and Electric Stoves Get Hot 

Gas stoves contain one of two types of ignition systems: a pilot light or an electronic ignition system. A pilot light is a constantly burning blue flame near the burner. Because it’s always on, a pilot light uses a lot more gas than an electronic ignition system. An electronic ignition system creates a spark (you’ll hear this as a clicking noise) only when you turn the burner on. 

When you use an electric stove, electricity runs to a wire inside the coils on the cook top. Smooth top stoves have an internal coil that sits underneath the cooking surface. When you turn the dial on the stove, the electricity flows to the coil and heats up the metal. You can tell that electricity is flowing to the cook top when it turns a bright orange color. The more you turn the dial, the more electricity flows to the burner and the hotter it gets — but the control isn’t as precise as it is with a gas stove.

The Winner in Efficiency

The clear winner in the energy efficiency battle between gas and electric is gas. It takes about three times as much energy to produce and deliver electricity to your stove. According to the California Energy Commission, a gas stove will cost you less than half as much to operate (provided that you have an electronic ignition–not a pilot light).

Although the government’s Energy Star program, which rates home appliances for energy efficiency, doesn’t rate ranges, buying a gas stove and then following our energy-saving tips (see sidebar) can help you spend less each year. The final figure on your annual energy bill will depend on how much time you spend cooking on your stove, but energy company MGE asserts that you can expect to pay an average of $2.34 per month to run a gas range without a pilot light (based on a gas rate of $1 per therm, or 100,000 BTU), compared to $5.94 per month to run an electric range (based on an electric rate of $.14 per kilowatt hour).

Gas Stoves Are Easy to Use, Too

Gas stoves may also be the clear winner when it comes to ease of use. Although electric stoves sometimes heat up more quickly than gas, cooks can control the level of heat more quickly and easily with a gas stove by turning the flame up or down. Also, electric stove burners tend to hold heat longer, so if you leave a pot on the stove it may keep cooking and eventually burn — even if you’ve turned off the heat.

Getting More Energy Savings From Your Gas Stove

Gas and electric stoves may be relatively similar in price, but the energy efficiency of the typical gas stove will save consumers money in the long run. So, feel free to go wild in the kitchen as you go green!

You can trim your energy bill even further by following these cost-saving tips: Keep the flame as low as possible to use less gas. If the flame turns yellow (instead of blue), your stove isn’t operating as efficiently as it could be. Make a service appointment with the manufacturer to have the stove adjusted. Also, use the right sized pot for your burner: Putting a small pot on a large burner can waste 40 percent of the burner’s heat.