Monthly Archives: July 2015

Storage Scarcity – How Much Space Do You REALLY Have Left?

Ugh….is this message a familiar and regular face on your iPhone?

iPhone users who are gluttons with their data have again faced that familiar problem of an iOS update requiring more storage space. More storage space?! “I’m filled to the brim as it is!”  You don’t want to end up deleting something you’ll regret just to get the latest updates on your phone.

As smartphones continue to rise in eminence and become part of our daily lives, there is an increasing need to be informed about the storage space you have available. That space dictates all of the things you can hold on your phone, after all – everything from apps to movies. It’s easy not to think about the space, but we’ve all had a moment of, “I thought I had more space than this.” Why is that?

Unless you’re one of the few who sprung for the 128GB iPhone 6 or purchased a likewise massive SD card for your Android phone, this situation is probably familiar to you. It is no secret in the tech world that the listed space of a product is approximate; in other words, that your 16GB phone assuredly doesn’t have 16 gigs of available space on it. In fact, depending on the model of your phone and the amount of pre-installed apps, your 16GB phone might have as little as 8GB to work with! We’ll tell you a few ways to skirt this annoying issue, whether or not you prefer the iOS or Android ecosystem.

1. BE CONSCIOUS OF FILE SIZE

Strange though it might seem to say, files of the same type can vary greatly in size. The more file-savvy among you might already know what it’s like: you have an album that takes up 50MB, and right next to it, you’ve got another album that’s taking up 150MB. They have a similar amount of tracks with similar lengths, so why is one so much bigger? To spare a lot of technical talk about loss-less compression, the simple explanation is “sometimes they’re just bigger for arbitrary reasons.” This applies to movies, audiobooks, and images as well; always double-check the sizes of your files if you’re looking to make space.

2. BACKUP YOUR STORAGE

Backing up your storage is but one tech-related activity we all know we should be doing but rarely do. Much like defragging was to computing in the 90s, the 21st century is all about retaining your data. Since our phones are a mainstay in our daily lives, we end up collecting a lot of stuff on them. 30 pictures from a day at the park? 12 different takes of trying to record a cover of “Blank Space?” It’s easy for things like this to go unnoticed at the time, but it’ll eat up your storage space in a hurry. Make sure to periodically come back through and delete/backup these unruly files if it’s not necessary to keep them on the device itself.

If you have a consistent Wi-Fi or data connection, utilizing streaming or syncing services can clear up loads of space. Apple Radio, Spotify, Netflix, and Audible can cover most of your media needs via data or Wi-Fi connections, freeing much needed space on your device for things like apps. Dropbox, Google Docs, and iCloud are all great cloud-based option for storage of a variety of file-types.

The iPhone 6 in particular has taken huge strides in the realm of syncing and cloud storage, eliminating lots of problems with storage from older models, although even the Huffington Post is publishing content on ways to mitigate remaining storage problems that confound the iPhone. While the iPhone does not allow for external physical storage, other smartphones do offer replacement internal and external memory augmentation and addition.

3. MIND THE CACHE

While this does apply to iPhone users, for Android users on the other hand, it is very much the crux of the matter. You may have encountered the infamous “insufficient storage space available” error, seemingly in spite of however much space you feel you should have available. There’s a reason for this, and it’s relevant to things behind the scenes.

Simply put, caching is the indexing of information for later use. It’s a vital function for lots of technical things, and it helps you as a user, as well (notice how your YouTube app remembers your previous searches?). The issue comes in with the long-term storage of cached information. Imagine you’ve made thousands of searches on your YouTube app and your browser. Well, the phone kept all that information around, and it might be consuming huge amounts of storage, up to the hundreds of megabytes.

What to do? If your phone doesn’t provide a simple option for clearing the cache, there’s almost certainly an app for that. Keeping a cleaner app for your android is an advisable, well-reviewed option for the less diligent data-consuming user.

4. DON’T DOWNLOAD EVERYTHING; EMBRACE THE CLOUD

iTunes music cloud-based options and new Apple Music features encouraging you to offload your storage into the cloud seems an almost fair compromise in exchange for their severely gimping the storage of the cheapest model of the newer iPhones. From Microsoft Drive to the constant updates of Google Drive, this seems to be the trend of every high-end smartphone manufacturer—to provide at least the option of cloud storage.

Both local and remote storage have their benefits, so to have the best smartphone experience, ask yourself when you would be most likely to need to have access to certain types of data and also be without an Internet connection.

Questions? Comments? We’d love to hear from you.

Kids and iPads

When it comes to technology and kids, there are positives and negatives. After many years and millions of dollars spent, it has been found that with the proper guidance, education, and rules, technology is absolutely a benefit for children. If you have been deciding if you should buy your kid an iPad or not, then read on to find out why the iPad is a great investment in the growth and development of your child.

Benefits of iPads to Kids

Girl-iPadKids of this generation are already hooked on the television. Would you rather have your kid learning on an iPad or learning from a TV? By getting an iPad for your kids thus replacing their TV hours as a parent you can dramatically improve upon what they are learning and who they’re learning it from.

Inappropriate Channels/TV Shows

From the perspective of a parent, TV has many ads that are considered inappropriate, yet the iPad has parental restrictions that can be set most times to not have any ads. That’s right, the iPad can be set for your kids to run commercial free.

Interactive Screen Time

The television is a passive device, if you are looking for something more interactive for your kids, get them the iPad. Now, instead of your kids sitting motionless on the couch in front of the television all evening, your kids can be playing games, drawing, solving puzzles, typing, and watching educational videos. The Apple iTunes Store has a ginormous selection of educational books, games, apps, and videos for your children. iPad content can be controlled by parents. As long as the password is controlled only by the parents and unknown to the kids, parents maintain complete control over the content reviewed and played on the iPad.

Easier Customization

When you purchase an iPad, you can customize it for the age of the child that is going to be using it. Let’s be honest…do you really know what kids are watching on the television in their bedrooms at night? It is all too common for kids to be watching programming that is not age appropriate.

Portability

In addition,  the iPad has one very distinct feature the TV does not have: portability.  Your kids can go outside and sit under a tree. They can leave the house and read a book with a friend on their iPad.  And they can take it in the car with them on those long trips.

Keeping It Functional for Longer

There is a proactive approach to this problem by ensuring you buy an iPad protector to keep it safe in the little one’s hands. If the screen is broken or cracked,  Oops Repair can have your screen replaced and back in your kid’s hands in no time at all…typically less than 2 hours.

Take control of your kid’s downtime by getting them an iPad. If anything ever happens to it, know that we are here to take care of any problems that may happen to it.

 

Oops of the Week: July 4, 2015

After a thorough investigation for this week’s ‘Oops-of-the-Week’, we discovered how to tap into the iPhone’s internal history log of events…here’s what we discovered:

Date: Thursday, July 2, 2015

6:55am – Alarm. Slapped frantically by human operator’s hand repeatedly until alarm was cancelled.

7:00 am – Text messaging, email, Facebook, Snapchat, weather app, traffic app engaged.

7:08 am – Sensors indicate steam from the shower is making our circuits damp but nothing we can’t handle.

7:30 am – Dropped. Hit bed frame and came to rest under edge of bed, stepped on during search, retrieved. Systems shaken but all still functioning properly.

7:45 am – Stuffed into pocket, impact with door on the way out, sat on in the vehicle and finally retrieved only to be dropped into a cup holder. Sensors indicate a possibly harmful moisture level but so far the water level has not breached the back case seam. With all the movement from this vehicle, the situation could become critical any moment. System on high alert.

7:58am – Selfie taken and shared before leaving vehicle. Stuffed into pocket again.

8:02am – Landed on desk unit. Downgraded to normal alert levels. Text messaging, email, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram engaged. Twelve more selfies taken, one shared.

8:15 am – 11:00 am Text messaging, email, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, checked, posts shared, responses given, periodically throughout the morning. One impact with desk top upon appearance of stout human with stern face. Systems mildly shaken, no harm done.

11:15am – Forced again into pocket, moved with human operator to another location. Sensors indicate increased noise level and multiple humans in close proximity. Return to high alert.

11:21am – Impact with table top. Sensors indicate multiple humans near our operator and innumerable potential hazards: moisture, heated sticky substances, instability of table. We have already experienced multiple bumps and one incident of a fall that was too close for comfort. Our sensors tell us we are too near the edge. All indicators point to a solid, firm ground surface. All circuits stay alert! What is our operator thinking?

11:22am – Red alert! Red alert! All circuits and systems – brace for impact!

11:23 am – Came to rest on ground and metal leg. Possibly support for table from which we fell. All systems report no damage. That was a close call – too close. Awaiting retrieval from our operator.

11:28am –  Sensors indicate operator is completely unaware of our demise. Systems remain on high alert.

11:31am – Operator begins frantic movement of all extremities. Brace for possible impact or force!

11:32am – Operator’s foot presses down, effectively bending unit. Systems indicate frame is bent, screen is cracked. Operator finally retrieves unit and returns to office. Operator repeatedly picks up unit and  returns to desk, almost as if human has forgotten damage to unit and has some level of dependency. Sensors indicate operator is becoming more agitated. All systems still on high alert.

2:35pm – Operator engages Siri. “Call Oops Repair.” Duration of call: 1minute, 47 seconds. Operator slides unit gently into pocket and is promptly on the move.

2:51pm – Sensors indicate we have arrived at Oops Repair’s address. Operator has turned unit over to another human. Unit powered down.

3:11pm – Unit powered on. Sensors indicate a repositioned frame and a new front screen have been installed. Even minor harm done from previous impacts seems to be eradicated. Unit returned to operator.

3:12pm – Apple pay engaged. Payment processed.

3:13pm – Human operator has returned to car. Protective barrier has been placed around unit. All systems have returned to normal alert levels.

oops of the week July 4