iPhone Settings Changes That Will Help Your Battery Life Last Longer

Our iPhone batteries never last long enough because we rely on it for nearly everything. From searching up places to eat, to ordering an Uber, to relying on our device for hours of scrolling through social media – we never have enough battery life that lasts for an entire day. To combat quick battery drainage, there are small adjustments you can make to your phone just from a few Settings adjustments! Switching to Low Power Mode, turning off your location services, turning off automatic downloads, lowering your screen brightness and disabling push notifications all help you save more power to get the most use out of your phone. 

Another modification you can make to your iPhone is limiting the Background Refresh feature. With this feature you have the option to turn it off or only use Wi-Fi. To do this you would first go into your Settings, and then tap on General, and click on Background App Refresh. You could also pick and choose which apps you want to refresh instead of having all of them refresh automatically. To do this, just follow the same steps as above, but instead of clicking the Background App Refresh, start scrolling down to see the apps that are on your iPhone and turn off/on the ones you want!

To check which apps take up most of your battery life, you would go to your Settings app, then click on Battery, and then scroll down to the subsection where it states Battery usage by app. This shows you the percentage of the apps you use and how much of your battery life each app is eating up.

A few other small tips to help with your phone’s battery are: 

  • Enabling airplane mode in areas with poor reception
  • Using Wi-Fi instead of cellular internet when you have access to it (However, be wary of Unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Avoid conducting online business that involves inputting personal or sensitive information when on public Wi-Fi).
  • Turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you are not using it 
  • Turning off your Location Services

Wi-Fi 6 is Here, But It May Take a While Before You Can Actually Use It

Wireless connectivity is going through a big change as the time has come for an upgrade. This year’s CES Convention held in Las Vegas showcased routers with the newly implemented Wi-Fi 6 generation; however, devices including our laptops and smartphones have yet to support the new upgrade.

As of now, Wi-Fi 6 can only be used by a few devices, as other gadgets cannot yet reap the benefits of its faster speeds. The new generation of Wi-Fi has promised an improved connectivity to multiple devices that occupy one household, as well as better battery performance and endurance for routers under strenuous conditions.

It’s been a couple years since Wi-Fi 6 was announced, and the upgraded version is set to take off this year. The Wi-Fi Alliance is to certify devices in 2019, making sure the “technology meets industry agreed standards for interoperability and security.”

The CES Convention allowed for HP and Dell to announce their new laptops that will support Wi-Fi 6 in the coming year. Intel also spoke about its redesigned Thunderbolt 3 Wi-Fi 6 DL Boost chips to be used in laptops and PCs in 2019. Assuming all goes according to scheduled plan, the move to Wi-Fi 6 is expected to follow through in 2019 and 2020 when devices have incorporated upgraded chips to support the next generation Wi-Fi; however, the release of such devices could still take a while before you can take advantage of Wi-Fi 6’s benefits.

Google & Asus Release Newest Version of OnHub Router

Normally, we put our routers in a corner. It’s not that they’re ugly, but they’re ridden with tangled cables and obnoxious blinking lights! Yellow cables here, blue cables there, flashing lights everywhere…they really can turn into an eyesore. Google created a router to combat the tangled mess, leaving you with a clean, sleek looking router and called it the OnHub. Two months after releasing the first router, Google announces that they have created a new OnHub with help from Asus.

Original OnHub Router on left, Asus Router on right
Original OnHub Router on left, Asus Router on right

With most of the same features and similar design, the new Asus OnHub is supposed deliver all of the quality that the last one has, with a few new major features. Asus OnHub introduces a Wave Control feature, which “lets you boost the Wi-Fi speed for a particular device by simply waving your hand over the top of the Asus OnHub.”

We are still unsure how the router is going to know which device it supposed to boost the signal to, especially if there are multiple devices in the same direction. But on a similar note, if you are using the app on your iOS or Android phone, you can prioritize Wi-Fi for a specific device over a span of one, two, or four hours. Since there are no desktop or web options, you must be able to operate it on a mobile device (If you’re planning on using this router, chances are you’ve got a smartphone in your pocket, too).

You can also see how many devices are on your network, making it easy to monitor how much data each device is using. And with the app, the days of pointing your guests to a worn piece of paper with a username and password are long gone – Everything is already displayed on the app.

Google also mentioned its first round of firmware updates for the OnHub, set to roll out in the next week. One improvement comes in a new feature called the Smart Antenna, which enables OnHub to “intelligently select the best combination of antennas to send Wi-Fi to your devices, based on their location and orientation.” With these improvements, OnHub will be able to “deliver faster and more reliable Wi-Fi.”

The design is very similar to the last, with only a few key differences. The previous OnHub displayed brighter lights than the Asus OnHub, which only lights up when it needs to tell you something. The cylindrical design has a few differences, namely being that the top is narrower than the original. Since it has maintained its sleek design, you probably won’t be ashamed to leave it out in the open, where routers technically do work best. It can’t do much about the Ethernet and power cords which discreetly slip out from the very bottom

At $219, the price is a pretty lofty one to pay, but the benefits may be worth it. The Asus OnHub is set to ship sometime in November, but you can pre-order it now.

9 Smart Home Gadgets for 2013

Guest blogger, David Glenn weighs in on the coolest tech for the home. David Glenn is a home improvement expert of over 20 years.  He occasionally freelance writes about home automation and making your home more green. 

We are still only at the beginning of 2013, but already we have seen a glimpse into the future of technology for our homes. There are a few new gadgets that have either been released recently, or will be released this year, most of which were on display at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Showcase in Las Vegas. If you are looking for cool gadgets to add to your home, here are nine of the best for 2013.

Curved Screen TV

samsung curved tvNow that flat screens are the norm, television companies are looking for ways to change things up once more. One way that they have come up with, is to create a curved television. A couple of these are slated for release this year.

WiFi Fridge

wifi fridgeWhy would you need to connect your fridge to the internet? Well, with this new WiFi fridge,
complete with a touch-screen, you can create things like shopping lists, and access them on your smartphone, from anywhere you like.

Smart Fork

smart forksThe smart fork records the speed at which you are eating, and lets you know if it is too fast. It is design to slow you down and help you to better monitor your food intake.

Automatic Thermostat/Energy Monitor

There are a couple of new smart thermostats or energy monitors coming out this year. One is a “learning” thermostat that will remember your habits, and adjust the temperature automatically in the future. Another kind turns off when you aren’t home, and turns back on when you get home. You can also hook it up to your smartphone and play music through the device.

Washable Keyboard

DSC_0008Perhaps the best water-related electronic invention since the windshield wiper, there is now a washable keyboard. No longer will you have to worry about spilling food or soda on your keyboard, and the good news is that it is affordable for most people.

Wireless Door Lock

door lockA wireless door lock allows you to lock and unlock your door through an app on your
smartphone. There are also versions with manual keypad entry and even a key lock, in case you want the option of an old-fashioned override.

Wireless Doorbell Camera

doorbell cameraThere are a few different variations of this gadget, but most allow you to view and speak to the people at your door, even if you are not at home, and unlock or lock the door remotely.

Smart Vacuum Cleaner

samsung tango

Although these have been around for a few years, the newest designs are even more advanced than ever before. Some of them even have special sensors that can detect dirt, and help the vacuum to know where to go to clean the floor.