Treat yo'self...to a software update!

  • By cpratlantasales
  • 19 Sep, 2016

Everything you need to know about updating your device's software!

The age old question: should i update my smartphone software? With all of the spyware going around, the obvious answer would be yes, but with all of the bugs in software updates, the obvious answer becomes no. So what should you do? It depends.

Apple

With the iPhone's software updates comes potential for bugs. However, we have been shown that their security measures are beyond reprieve, so are their updates really worth the hassle? First, you need to check Apple's schedule. Are they releasing a new phone in the next month? Then hold off. Don't get the new update until at least 2-4 weeks after that phone has been released. There's a trend to these updates: they mess up your phone. E.G. A client updated to 9.3.4 and it wiped their entire phone and put it in bootloop. Another updated to 9.3.5 and everything except their antenna worked and they had no physical damage to the prestine device. Both of the updates came out roughly 1 month before the iPhone 7 was supposed to drop. The same happened with many consumers between the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6. Second, never do an update without backing up your phone first. God forbid you do an update and suddenly lose all your data due to that update.

Samsung 

Updates on Samsungs seem to have been pretty innocuous. As with most updates, make sure to back up your device. Most updates are meant to help  with security measures this day in age. That being said, avoid downloading too many third party applications on your Samsung, given their pension for being virus back doors. Other than that, no bad words have been spoken on Samsung on their updates.

Most other manufacturers 

As with Samsung, most other competitors, HTC, Nokia, Blackberry, etc., have all seemed to work well with their updates. None of them have the same security as Apple, however, they have fewer bugs in their updates. One caveat manufacturer is LG, though. Recent updates have rendered entire phones useless, banishing them to the isle of expensive paper weights. A friend recently did an update and ended up having his whole phone fried, with no liquid or physical damage to it. Exercise caution with this manufacturer (and all of them, really) and do your due diligence. If you find reports of bad updates and software issues, avoid that download. Maybe even speak to your provider about the situation if your phone really needs the update.

All in all, we propose doing the research first, backing up your phone, and being aware of manufacturer timelines. 9 times out of 10, if a new phone is being released, most other devices won't support that device. Stay tuned for next time when we discuss saving your battery from an untimely death.

Saving Your Smartphone!

By cpratlantasales 14 Oct, 2016
With the exit of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, many people are left wondering what to do next. While Apple will be handing out new wired headphones with their devices, they still might not be their cup of tea. If you're planning on throwing down some big bucks on a good pair of headphones, here are our top picks.

Bose SoundSport Wireless (Pictured above)

Bose has a tendency to make AMAZING sound quality speakers and headphones. Their latest, the SoundSport, does NOT fall flat in this department. With a wing tipped design, these in ear (not in canal) design helps secure these earbuds so they don't fall out of your ear as easily when you're moving. Sporting multiple colors (although I'm a sucker for anything blue), you can find the right pair for your fashion statement. The cable contains volume and call answering controls with a clear microphone to help people hear your huffing and puffing. Boasting a 6 hour battery life, these headphones will be there for every step of your workout. And no worries while you sweat, since Bose took the extra step to ensure these headphones are water and sweat resistant. At $149, these headphones may be your best choice!

JayBird X2

These headphones are endorsed by multiple Olympic athletes, so we know they've gotta be great. With the same idea with the wing tip design, the structure of these headphones helps ensure a no slip grip in your ear as the speakers sit in your ear canal. Going above and beyond, the company actually created a no skip signal enhancer that helps ensure your music doesn't falter when you're outside. There's nothing worse than going for a run and your wireless headphones disconnect and reconnect when you're in your flow. They even have a lifetime sweat proof warranty to back their sweat resistant technology. At an 8 hour battery life, these headphones appear to be living up to their hype. And to just get fancy, on top of the cable controls for volume and answering calls, there's even a voice prompt (name Jenna, oOo) to help you navigate your phone without having to stop and fiddle with it. Price point starts at $116 in multiple colors.

JBL Reflect Mini

JBL is a world renowned brand and had always delivered on its creations. Their newest wireless headphones come in 4 colors and each one has a reflective coating and a magnetic length control for easy adjusting behind your head. With their own type of rubber wing tip design, they claim to be able to withstand all movement types, including CrossFit, without falling out. They also have in stream volume and call control paired with amazing audio. The design sits in the ear canal and comes with multiple sizing options for the right fit. They even boast having the same sweat proof technology as other brands. Showing up to the party with 8 hours of playback time, these headphones help soften the blow to your wallet at only $97.

Plantronics BackBeat FIT

Plantronics has decided to come back into the bluetooth world strong! Being known for their ability to make great bluetooth headsets for the average business man was one thing, but now they have stepped into the realm of bluetooth headphones and know what they're doing. The BackBeat FIT is an awesome alternative to regular headsets. Not only do they boast an  8 hour  battery life, but they also have a reflective, flexible cord that shapes and molds to your head. Waterproof and amazing speaker quality isn't all it has either. These headphones went outside the mold and placed their volume and call controls on the earbuds instead of on the cord, preventing unnecessary weight on the cord and ensuring their stability in your ears. Definitely my top pick, rolling in at $129.99.

These are just a few of our favorites. Do you have a pair you love? Let us know in the comments so we can test them out too! And remember to join us next week when we do our first review of the iPhone 7 and all of its glory.



By cpratlantasales 03 Oct, 2016
The problem with devices now-a-days is that they all use lithium ion batteries, but they're usually being imprisoned inside of a device that warrants taking it apart to replace. While Li-Ion batteries are beyond a doubt your best option when it comes to battery life, they still pose a potential threat to your smartphone...and you. Here's how to avoid a quite disastrous tango with your device.

  1. Always,  always  use a dealer manufactured charger and charging cable. If it came from a gas station, WalMart, or the like, it's not a good idea to use it. Here's why: Your charging block translates the amount of energy that comes out of your wall socket (which is a heck of a lot more than what your phone needs voltage-wise) and your charging cable translates that wattage into a specific ohm frequency to your phone where it charges your battery. Aftermarket chargers and charging blocks don't have this restraint and can over charge your battery. The result? Swollen or  EXPLODING  batteries. Dead serious. Had a Florida store go up in flames when a Li-Ion battery exploded. We got the footage.
  2. Allow your battery to die completely the first time you use it. Then charge it completely to 100%. This allows every single ion inside of your battery to acquire a full charge. This also extends the life of your battery.
  3. Stop half charging your battery. Just as before, don't charge your battery up halfway and then a little more after you use it. It sucks the life out of those little ion guys and prevents them from operating at full capacity.
  4. Don't use your phone while it's on a charger. Doing so changes the electrical current going into and out of the battery. This multi-flow on the battery can cause a confusion of electrical flow that can lead to swollen or...yes, exploding batteries.
  5. Don't buy aftermarket replacements. If your battery doesn't say the manufacturer designations for wattage or ohms on it, then you shouldn't be using it. Here's the thing, each battery is designed specifically for the processor and mainboard it's a part of. Can't fit a square peg in a round hole, can ya?

Exercise caution with these batteries. They're great for our everyday needs, but can be dangerous to be around if we don't take care of them. Like cats. Come back next week when we do our review of the best wireless headphones, since headphone jacks are  so  2015.
By cpratlantasales 19 Sep, 2016
The age old question: should i update my smartphone software? With all of the spyware going around, the obvious answer would be yes, but with all of the bugs in software updates, the obvious answer becomes no. So what should you do? It depends.

Apple

With the iPhone's software updates comes potential for bugs. However, we have been shown that their security measures are beyond reprieve, so are their updates really worth the hassle? First, you need to check Apple's schedule. Are they releasing a new phone in the next month? Then hold off. Don't get the new update until at least 2-4 weeks after that phone has been released. There's a trend to these updates: they mess up your phone. E.G. A client updated to 9.3.4 and it wiped their entire phone and put it in bootloop. Another updated to 9.3.5 and everything except their antenna worked and they had no physical damage to the prestine device. Both of the updates came out roughly 1 month before the iPhone 7 was supposed to drop. The same happened with many consumers between the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6. Second, never do an update without backing up your phone first. God forbid you do an update and suddenly lose all your data due to that update.

Samsung 

Updates on Samsungs seem to have been pretty innocuous. As with most updates, make sure to back up your device. Most updates are meant to help  with security measures this day in age. That being said, avoid downloading too many third party applications on your Samsung, given their pension for being virus back doors. Other than that, no bad words have been spoken on Samsung on their updates.

Most other manufacturers 

As with Samsung, most other competitors, HTC, Nokia, Blackberry, etc., have all seemed to work well with their updates. None of them have the same security as Apple, however, they have fewer bugs in their updates. One caveat manufacturer is LG, though. Recent updates have rendered entire phones useless, banishing them to the isle of expensive paper weights. A friend recently did an update and ended up having his whole phone fried, with no liquid or physical damage to it. Exercise caution with this manufacturer (and all of them, really) and do your due diligence. If you find reports of bad updates and software issues, avoid that download. Maybe even speak to your provider about the situation if your phone really needs the update.

All in all, we propose doing the research first, backing up your phone, and being aware of manufacturer timelines. 9 times out of 10, if a new phone is being released, most other devices won't support that device. Stay tuned for next time when we discuss saving your battery from an untimely death.
By cpratlantasales 13 Sep, 2016
Water, the ultimate villain of anything electronic. It surrounds us, we drink, heck, we're made of it, and yet it still rears its ugly head and punishes us by knocking out our beloved smartphones and tablets. So, what can we do to help rein in the absolute demise of our devices? Follow these steps and increase your ability to save your device.

  1. Do  NOT turn your phone on. Don't check it to see if it still works. Don't flash the screen on. Nothing. If you can remove your battery, do it. If you can't, then try to turn your phone off normally, immediately. Here's why: Water carries electrical currents. Your phone is a tiny computer full of electrical circuitry constantly communicating functions. If the wrong circuitry gets an electrical current, BOOM, microexplosion (probably being dramatic, but still) and that part of your board is fried. The faster you take away the source of power for your mainboard, the better off you are that you won't harm your phone further.
  2. Scrub your phone's edges and ports with 91% rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol will help evaporate the water through CHEMISTRY! Yay! (Stay in school, kids.)
  3. Pat dry the entire phone with a nice, fluffy towel. The less that gets in, the less damage there is.
  4. Whatever you do, do  NOT put the device in a bag of rice. Clever as it is, think about this: yeah, okay, the rice absorbs the water, but while the bag is closed, if it gets warm in transit or anything else, that water can be released, condense inside the bag, then re-enter your device. No bueno. Also, rice can slide into your charger port, expand with water, and break the charger port. Now you're looking at an even bigger bill!
  5. Bring it to a repair shop immediately. The process is 12-24 hours, but the sooner a technician can open your device, do the water damage cleanup, and get your phone back to normal, the faster you'll be reconnected with your world.

Hopefully this helps many of you save your devices and we hope to see you back next week when we discuss software updates and our caveats.

Do you have a water damaged device? Make sure to look for Our Locations tab up top and find which one is closest for you!
By cpratlantasales 06 Sep, 2016
One of the WORST things is when you plug in your iPhone or Samsung and the charger isn't connecting. How could this have happened? What can you do to fix it? How much will it cost? Have no fear, CPR Atlanta is here!

It's not working, now what? 

9 times out of 10, the reason for a charger port not working is that there is lint or dirt or other icky things from our pockets and purses jammed up inside of it. Especially with iPhones. Don't worry, our techs have a way to fix that!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Needle nose tweezers or a pin
  • A toothbrush you won't miss
  • 91% rubbing alcohol
  • Patience
Taking the tweezers/pin in hand, tilt the charger port into your view and gingerly sweep from one side of the port to the other to dislodge any lint or dirt trapped inside of it. Turn the charger port to the floor and tap the edge of the phone on your palm to try and shake out anything else that's not come out. Take a small amount of rubbing alcohol and pour it on the tooth brush (see why you want one you won't miss?). Scrub the tooth brush across the charger port for a few seconds. Allow the phone to air dry. This is where patience comes in handy. While rubbing alcohol won't liquid damage your phone, it's still a bad idea to plug it in while it's still wet. Water + Electricity = Having a bad time. Once dry, try plugging it in. Does it work? Yay!

It doesn't work? Try plugging in the charger and gently moving it up and down. If it moves freely, then unfortunately your charger port needs a little more than just TLC. This is often the same for Samsung, and most other Android based phones. They solder their charger ports to the mainboard, but if you rip out your charger port, it can also rip the leads off the mainboard and that's no good.

A few things to avoid doing :

  • Never rip your charging cable out of your phone. It snaps into place for most phones which means it needs to be gently unplugged. As mentioned above, if it's hooked into the charger port and then ripped, the subsequent issue will be that it's torn off the mainboard and you'll be coming to see us.
  • Every couple of weeks, consider doing the charger port clean up we walked you through. it'll help keep the dirt and lint from gathering in your charger port.
  • Make sure you keep your phone out of the bathroom. Steam from showers can settle and condensate on your smartphone's openings, causing corrosion and ultimately sending you packing our way.
  • Avoid using aftermarket chargers. These are the chargers you find at places like WalMart and gas stations. Stick to manufacturer branded chargers. Amazon.com should have them at affordable prices compared to in store purchases.

As always, we are happy to help you and hope this little article keeps your life a little less hectic. Join us next week as we discuss how to manage water damage and preserve your data!
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