High megapixel cameras, big touchscreens, thumping loudspeakers, and the likes aren’t just enough to satisfy the needs of today’s phone users. Some want more battery juice without the need for a wall socket, some need extra protection for their phones, while some love the convenience of wireless earphones and headphones.
There are so many phone accessories available in the market that it’s getting harder to pick the ones that we want and the ones that are of high quality. Feel the same? You can use our list of hand-picked phone accessories you should get:
1. Phone Cases
More often than not, when we get a new phone, the store selling it to us offers us a selection of phone cases. Some are fancy and over the top, while some are humble and do what they're supposed to without being loud. If you’re prone to accidentally losing your grip on your phone, you know the necessity of having a sturdy phone case.
When in the market for a phone case or two, make sure to pick according to how you handle your phone. Is it always in your hand? Get a thick one that’ll protect its housing from falls. Always in your bag? Get a phone case that also covers the screen. The number of choices can be overwhelming, so make sure to gather a quick list of what you want your phone case to do for you.
2. Apple AirTags
In addition to the benefits of a phone case to protect your smartphone’s body, you have Apple’s new AirTags that help you keep track of your other personal property. Just like an iPhone, the tracking is done in the Find My app, but in the case of AirTags, they’re attached to things that aren’t iPhones. Those things can be your wallet, your car keys, and other items that are prone to be misplaced. Simply add an AirTag to your personal item, and let Apple keep track of its location for you.
AirTags lets you know about the last location of your AirTagged items through the Find My app. Misplaced the keys to your house? With the AirTag as a keychain, you won’t have to scramble through every place you’ve been in the last 24 hours to find your keys.
3. Wireless Earphones and Headphones
In the era of wireless tech, tangle-free earphones and headphones are seen as basics. Having them handy means you get more freedom when it comes to movement, especially when you listen to music, podcasts, or talk to people while on the move.
Fortunately, most smartphone manufacturers produce wireless earphones and headphones dedicated to maximize Bluetooth technology and make our lives more convenient. Depending on your phone, you can choose between Apple’s AirPods, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, and other brands. You can use each with any phone, which is a good thing considering the price tag of some of the best wireless earphones and headphones in the market today.
4. External Storage
Most of today’s phones come with at least 32 gigabytes of storage. But to most people, that amount of storage isn’t enough. With high-quality media in their phones, it’s hard to contain one’s files in 32 gigabytes. That’s why external storage devices and cards are necessary.
Most Android phones allow users to purchase additional storage through memory cards, but this isn’t the case for iPhones. iPhone fans will need to purchase the storage they want right off the bat because they won’t have the chance to expand unless they buy another unit. However, you generally can purchase more iCloud storage, so consider this option.
5. Fast Charging Cables
Some cables that come with our phones upon purchase usually don’t last long and don’t cover enough distance. Thankfully, we’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to third-party charging cables that span up to at least 3 meters. That should be enough to let you comfortably use your phone away from the wall.
Finding cables with varying lengths isn’t a difficult search, but make sure you search different brands and test the cable on your unit before making the purchase. Some cheap ones heat up easily, or break, and some don’t even work as they should. As with most purchases, shop around on the reviews page to see how others rate the product.
While we hope this is helpful for your next device shopping trip, we understand it’s not an exhaustive list. If you’ve got a tech question or need help searching for the next best gear for your device, stop by our shop today and get some expert advice! We’re happy to talk through some good options for you and point you in the right direction. And as always, don’t hesitate to call Mr. Telephone Man if that device is in need of a repair!
From unlocking your iPhone with a face mask on to having more control in terms of app tracking, here’s everything you should know about the iOS 14.5 .
The 3rd of May 2021 saw Apple iPhone users scrambling to update their iOS versions to the tech giant’s newest firmware release. Regarded as the manufacturer’s most controversial iPhone operating system update yet, 14.5 packs new updates in user privacy, Face ID unlocking, the beloved emojis, Music app, and other security enhancements.
Why is it “controversial”?
Even before iOS 14.5 arrived on our iPhones, tabloids and news outlets left and right were already rushing to release pieces on how the new iOS firmware update will affect Facebook and other applications that rely on ads for revenue.
The part of the feature-packed update that made it controversial was the app tracking transparency (ATT) feature that gives iOS device users the option to allow or disallow applications from tracking their activities in exchange for more relevant advertisements.
Before the new Apple update, users weren’t explicitly informed about app tracking and how applications such as Facebook use their data. Most were unaware that applications can track their movements in other, non-relevant ways on their iPhone or smartphone.
The controversial part of this was Facebook and others using these divergent methods as a way to jack up their revenue. They don’t earn on subscriptions, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had already expressed (when he appeared before Congress in 2018) that Facebook relies on ads to make money.
For other applications that make money the same way, iOS 14.5 can cost these companies a vast amount of money. The update even led to a publicized fallout between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Users disabling apps from tracking means these applications won’t be able to get their usage data from the date on other applications, such as shopping apps. Advertisers, frustrated, know they wouldn’t pay the same price for less, or no data. Before the new iOS 14 update, users would generally notice that products they’d been eyeing on other applications show up on Facebook Ads - this is a specific product of app tracking.
More on the big features
Unlocking iPhone With Face Mask On
Another iOS 14.5 feature that made headlines was that users can now unlock their iPhones even with a face mask. This feature came to the rescue, albeit a bit late, of iPhone users struggling to put their masks down to unlock their iPhone using Face ID.
Some headlines, however, can be a tad misleading. What Apple might not tell you from the start is that this feature requires one to have an Apple Watch. The Apple Watch will let you bypass Face ID and unlock your phone. This requires both the iPhone and Watch to be close to each other, or else you’d have to put your mask down for a Face ID unlock or type your PIN.
Apple Maps crowdsourcing
iOS 14.5’s new Apple Maps adapts a key feature from Waze. The latter is the most popular one of its kind to allow real drivers to crowdsource accidents, speed traps, and other hazards on the road. The new iOS update saw Apple’s native map app allowing users to do the same.
You can now report accidents, hazards, and speed traps you encounter yourself with your voice and Siri, allowing you to report these things without having to take your eyes off the road.
Other feature updates
A lot came with the new iPhone update. Aside from the ATT updates and face mask unlocks, none of the updates were landscape-changing. But iPhone users did receive 200 new emojis, Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, new Siri voices, battery health calibration, PS5 and Xbox controller support, dual-sim 5G support, and many others.
What do these features mean for consumers like me?
The ATT update would change your experience on the internet by a lot, and you probably won’t even notice it. You’ll see fewer ads that seem all too familiar, and if you’re one of those users who are heavily aware and conscious about their data, you’re probably happy about this ATT update.
Another thing, the face mask unlock feature would only benefit you if you own an Apple Watch and have it paired with your iPhone, which isn’t the case for every iPhone user enjoying the new update.
As for maintaining your iPhone’s performance, you can rely on this iOS update to patch a few things up for you software-wise, but if you have problems with your hardware, you’re better off reaching out to repair stores that specialize in iPhone repair. If this is where you’re at, call or visit us at Mr. Telephone Man today!
Thanks to COVID-19, kids are spending a lot more time on their devices. Whether it’s a MacBook Air for school, the iPad for music lessons, or just an iPhone 8 for regular screen time, kids are in front of screens more than ever before. Let’s use that time wisely! We’ve done our research and have found some of the top education apps for children. Check out a few of the options we’ve come up with:
Age Range. 3-6
If you’re a parent of a 3-6 year old, you know that they can be handful sometimes (did we sometimes? We meant always). You always have to keep your eyes peeled, waiting for them to run towards your freshly painted wall with an uncapped Sharpie. And let’s not get started with entertaining them on road trips or doctors visits. The simple solution is to give your toddler a phone or tablet, enjoy a little peace and quiet, and try not to think about how much screen time they’ve already had. Take away some of that guilt and try out the Goodness Shapes app! They are never too young to learn their shapes, so take that screen time and let the learning begin.
Take some time to sit with them as they play - several studies have shown that co-playing with your children leads to faster development and better engagement.
Age Range. 2-8
Want to take learning to the next level? Try ABCmouse. Covering topics like math and reading while also including music and art, this app really has it all. Depending on your child’s age, you can purchase different bundles that increase with difficulty. Get started with a 30-day trial and see how your kids like it. With ABCmouse, you can ensure your child’s time spent on the iPad or Galaxy tablet is enjoyable, but still educational.
Quick Math Jr.
Age Range. 4-8
Time for some honesty - who still counts with their fingers? Well, you’re not alone. We all know we should have taken our math classes more seriously in school, but sometimes it was just plain boring. Luckily for your children, they live in an age booming with exciting - and helpful! - math apps. Quick Math Jr. is a great outlet for some of that loose energy, keeping kids engaged with math problems and puzzles. This simple app makes math an enjoyable experience with challenges and games designed for kids ages 4-8.
Age Range. 10+
The younger you start learning a language the better. To reach a high language proficiency, it’s best to start learning at around 10 years old, according to a Scientific American article. While Duolinguo can’t necessarily ensure total language proficiency, the app will help them build the foundation that will serve them well in future language courses. Another great part of Duolingo is that your child can complete English grammar lessons as well! Get your kids started early with the Duolingo app so they can take their language learning to the next level.
Age Range. 9+
We all know that learning how to code is a great advantage, but like math, learning to code sounds incredibly dull. That’s where Swift Playground comes in! This genius app allows your kid to start learning to code in a fun and engaging environment. While you child may not become the next big tech giant, giving them that extra coding skill will be a great help. From website building to video game creation, coding is a vital tool that your kid can use for years to come.
We’ve all been there before — taking multiple photos from different angles just to make sure you get the best shot possible (even though most of them aren’t worth sharing). Or taking a hundred selfies with a hundred different faces only to just post one on Instagram. And if you’ve really gotten into phone photography, you probably have a camera roll full of test shots that you’ll never edit or upload. And remember adding that one “friend” into your contacts but then never messaging them? So what should you do with all of those photos and contacts you no longer need?
In this blog, we’ll cover a couple of reasons why you should consider sorting through your old photos and contacts. After all, 2021 could be your year of productivity and efficiency (check out our 2 cents on that topic)!
How Should You Clean Out Your Photos and Contacts?
If you’re anything like us, your phone’s camera roll is probably anything but organized. And you probably don’t want to waste a ton of space on photos and videos you will never use or upload to social media. But with our tips in hand, you’ll have an organized camera roll before you know it!
For your first step in the organization process, we recommend creating albums for your photos and categorizing them that way. You can organize by timeline, by people, by events, or any category you want! That way, the next time you’re looking for a specific photo, it will be at the tip of your fingers.
And if you’re overwhelmed by the mass of photos in your camera roll, you can select photos in bulk and transfer them to a specific album as well. It’s quick and organized!
2. Save on the Cloud
Not quite sure if you’re ready to part with all of those photos just yet? Upload them to the Cloud! This option is for iPhone users only, of course, but it allows you to store your images elsewhere and free up some space on your phone in the process. As long as you have internet access, you’ll be able to transfer your photos from your phone to the Cloud.
3. Delete, Delete!
This is the not-so-fun part — we know. But just remember that the best part of a moment captured in a photo is the moment itself. Just think about how many duplicate, blurry, and screenshotted images are just sitting on your phone! Delete any photos that just don’t stand out to you, because that probably means you’ll never use them for anything. And in the end, decluttering will feel good — trust us.
4. Establish a “Cleaning Out Routine”
Get into the habit of cleaning out your photos by setting a weekly or monthly reminder to do so. Or you could even set a weekly reminder to organize them and a monthly reminder to delete the ones you no longer need/want!
Don’t put it off any longer; now that you have the tips and tricks to sort through your phone’s photos and contacts, go ahead and go for it! And if you need any assistance along the way, don’t hesitate to give Mr. Telephone Man a call.
At Mr. Telephone Man, our mission is to show people how to use their phones in ways that make their lives infinitely easier. That’s why our Owner and Lead Tech, D McKinney, loves sharing his expert iPhone knowledge with others.
In this blog, we’ll cover some of D McKinney’s top tips on how to use your iPhone more efficiently. Chances are you’ll walk away feeling like an iPhone pro!
1. Know Your Apple ID
Do you actually know your Apple ID and password? Most people dismiss this information, thinking they will never have to use it. But it is actually your key to the Apple world!
2. iCloud Tips
iCloud is yet another feature that many iPhone users are unaware of. So what is iCloud? iCloud saves all of your photos, videos, documents, and other data in the Cloud. If you lose your device, you can log into iCloud.com and view all of your data.
To access iCloud, go into your Settings and click on your name at the top. In the middle of the screen, click iCloud. Then you’re all set!
iCloud Storage: There are limits to the amount of iCloud Storage that you can have. McKinney recommends that you have at least 50GB, which will only cost you $1 a month. Your memories and data are priceless, so it is worth the money!
Keychain: Most users have the Keychain feature turned off because they’re uncertain what it is. Keychain is a feature that saves all of your passwords, which is incredibly convenient for those of us who don’t keep our passwords logged and saved somewhere! Keychain also populates your credit card number for smoother online purchases.
iCloud Backup: We highly recommend that you turn on iCloud Backup as well. It will automatically backup your data anytime, anywhere.
3. Emergency Situations
That’s right—your iPhone can even help you in an emergency situation. Here’s how:
Medical ID: By enabling this feature, first responders will be able to access your medical information upon arrival (allergies, illnesses, emergency contact, etc.).
To enable/edit your Medical ID, pull down from the middle of your Home screen and find the search area. Type “health” and click on the health app. Click on your picture in the top right corner, hit Get Started, and put in all of your medical information.
Emergency SOS: The Emergency SOS feature will automatically call emergency services and give them your location. Go into Settings and scroll down to Emergency SOS. There will be two boxes; if you select the first box, Emergency SOS will turn on when you hold the side button and one of the Volume buttons and press them 5 times. If you select the second box (auto call) by holding the home button and the bottom button, it will immediately call emergency services for you. Additionally, If you have your emergency contact in there, it automatically sends a text message to your emergency contact and sends them your location. As you move (in an ambulance, for example), it will update your emergency contact with your location.
4. Two Factor Authentication
Two factor authentication prevents your accounts from being hacked. Whenever you log into your Apple ID, it will send an alert to your phone, and you must enter the code to continue.
In case you lose your phone: Go to appleid.apple.com. Log in with your Apple ID and password and scroll down to the section “trusted phone number.” Here, you can enter someone else’s phone number, so if you lose your phone or if your screen is broken, you can send the code to that number instead.
Not everyone is a fan of Siri. We know. But Siri can make your day to day activities a lot easier! For example, you can enter your home address or work address in your contact card so Siri knows where you live/work. This feature is helpful when you need to tell Siri to remind you to do something when you leave your home, workplace, etc., and she will notify you as soon as you leave that specific location.
6. Do Not Disturb
Do Not Disturb is another helpful feature, especially during work hours. You can set a specific amount of time when your phone will be on silent. But you can also allow calls from certain people should an emergency take place.
To enable Do Not Disturb, go to the Home screen and pull down from the right hand side. The crescent moon icon is the Do Not Disturb icon.
Fun fact: You can hard press on the crescent moon icon and turn on the Do Not Disturb feature until you leave a specific location, as well.
These tips are just a handful of many. If you want to learn even more, D McKinney offers private training for only $75/hr. Contact us today to learn more!
Oh, and just remember to “Never despair, because Mr. Telephone Man is there.”
Need to boost your productivity this year, but you’re not sure what tools to start with? We understand! There are seemingly endless productivity apps available, with almost all of them offering you the latest and greatest tools. If you’re already struggling with getting all of your work done, you definitely don’t have time to sift through each and every productivity app and find one that suits you.
Luckily, in this blog, we will cover what we consider to be some of the best workplace productivity apps out there! We’ll discuss the benefits of each app so you can quickly and efficiently decide which app(s) will assist you the most.
Function: Slack is a communication and messaging tool that allows both in-office teams and global, remote teams to communicate, collaborate, share files, and more all in one place. Slack is a wonderful alternative to emails because it allows real-time responses and conversations. If you’re looking for a productivity app that will bring your team together and produce successful outcomes more efficiently, then Slack is the way to go!
Benefits: Perhaps the largest benefit Slack offers is streamlined, simplified lines of communication. It offers three basic communication features: open channels (visible to everyone), private channels (visible to select team members), and direct messages (visible to one coworker). Another benefit is Slack’s ability to easily integrate with other apps (Google Drive, MailChimp, the list goes on). When you keep everything in sync with Slack, it becomes a one-stop platform for all of your productivity, communication, and sharing needs. You can also drop and share all kinds of files within your Slack conversations (images, PDFs, Word Docs, Google Docs, etc.).
Mobile vs. PC: Slack has released updated versions of both its desktop and mobile apps this year, and the apps complement each other quite well. The mobile app is simple, organized, and easy to navigate. It can also be downloaded on both iPhones and Androids. Like the desktop app, it offers a “Mentions & reactions” screen, where users can quickly find Slack messages that mention them and/or reactions to their messages.
Function: Airtable is a platform that allows you and your team to create and share databases. You don’t have to be a database expert to use it, either! Other than creating databases, the platform also lets you store, organize, and collaborate/communicate on tasks within the database.
Benefits: Airtable is a lot like a spreadsheet, except simpler and more user-friendly. With Airtable, you can organize a large amount of information as well as the relationships between that information, which means you can better categorize your information as well. Additionally, Airtable has an Import feature, which allows you to upload existing data from other apps. The true beauty of Airtable lies in its flexibility—it will adapt to whatever organizational tasks you need it to.
Mobile vs. PC: Airtable’s mobile app has a few functionality limits. For example, you cannot create new fields in mobile; you can only view existing fields. You also can’t create or view Forms or Apps in mobile. That being said, navigating Airtable is equally as simple in mobile as it is in desktop.
3. Microsoft Teams
Function: Microsoft Teams is another collaboration platform that offers chat channels, document storage and sharing, online meetings and video calling, and more. These features make it quite similar to Slack, except Microsoft Teams is free with Microsoft365 and Office365.
Benefits: Because of its integration with Office365, Microsoft Teams makes it incredibly easy to collaborate on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. You can create the document in Microsoft Teams rather than having to open up a separate app. Another excellent feature is the user’s ability to follow channels that they are interested in/a participant in and hide whatever channels they do not what to see. This makes Microsoft Teams more customizable than other collaboration platforms.
Mobile vs. PC: With Microsoft Teams, you can stay connected anytime and anywhere by using the mobile smartphone app. With the app, you not only have access to all of your conversations and documents, but you can also respond to channels and join meetings as you would via desktop, PC, or laptop web browser.
There are many other productivity apps out there, of course. But we believe our top three choices will improve your overall workflow, help you get more done, and keep you self-motivated to accomplish more!
You’ve probably noticed that your phone battery begins to drain more quickly as your phone ages. When you first purchase the phone, you hardly ever have to hook it up to its charger. But the more you use it and the older it gets, the shorter its battery lifespan becomes. As soon as this happens, many people choose to purchase a new phone without considering other options like phone battery replacement. At the right local cell phone repair shop, replacing the phone’s battery is a much cheaper solution than dumping your old phone and buying a new one. Stay tuned to learn why!
Fortunately, if you’re noticing any issues with your phone battery, we can quickly and affordably replace it for you here at Mr. Telephone Man. Our technicians will have your phone running optimally again in no time!
Here are a few reasons you should consider phone battery replacement:
1. Cost Efficiency
Smartphones are more expensive than ever, and as tempting as it is to simply purchase a new phone when your old phone’s battery is giving out, it will likely be a far more expensive purchase than a basic battery replacement. Plus, your phone’s battery life may start to give out before the performance of the phone itself slows down. This means everything except your battery is functioning perfectly, and it would be a bit of a waste to throw out a phone that is only experiencing one particular problem.
2. Time Efficiency
Another benefit to getting your phone battery replaced (especially at a local repair shop like ours) is the fact that it will save you a significant amount of time. Most local cell phone repair shops can replace your phone battery the same day you bring it in, or they can even replace the battery within the hour. So getting your phone battery replaced is both cheaper and faster than buying a new phone!
Most cell phone repair shops offer some kind of warranty on their work as well. This means that if they replace your battery and it fails only weeks or months later, you’ll be covered. No time or money wasted!
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Hey, I can replace my battery myself and save even more money!” Although you might be a smartphone expert and capable of replacing the battery on your own, we highly recommend taking it to a professional. It’s the safest, easiest, and most reliable way to replace your phone’s battery. Here are a few things that could go wrong with DIY phone battery replacement:
Your smartphone will be in good hands with the help of a local cell phone repair shop technician.
Perhaps the largest benefit of having your phone battery replaced by a professional repair shop is the comforting knowledge that it will be replaced with a battery of the highest quality, and it will be installed efficiently and correctly. So count on us for all of your smartphone or iPhone battery repair and replacement needs!
It’s official! The iPhone 12 is here, and it has some incredible features for both Apple lovers and Apple newbies alike. Launched on October 23, the iPhone 12 has a family of four models: the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Mini, the iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. In this blog, we’ll cover the need-to-knows of each model. By the end of the blog, you’ll want to get your hands on one of these—trust us!
(Quick reminder before we get started: Our technicians are continuously trained on new Apple models as they are released. So if you ever experience any issues with your iPhone 12 or any other iPhone model, we’ve got you covered with our Apple iPhone repair experts!)
The iPhone 12The iPhone 12 is a huge technological success, boasting a new design, exceptional dual-lens cameras, 5G connectivity, and a solid battery life. As far as iPhones go, it is the future! Its exciting new features include:
Design - Unlike the rounded edges of previous iPhones, the iPhone 12’s edges are flat, making it more comfortable to grip and hold. Perhaps the most exciting design aspect of the iPhone 12, however, is its color options—black, white, deep blue, light green, and red.
Display - The iPhone 12’s Super Retina XDR display makes colors intense and lifelike, transforming the viewing experience into something truly incomparable.
The iPhone 12 MiniThe iPhone 12 Mini is almost identical to the iPhone 12, holding all of the same features in a smaller, sleeker package. The iPhone 12 features a 6.1 inch display, while the Mini features a 5.4 inch display, making it the smallest iPhone since the iPhone SE. Its compact size is perfect for those who have been looking for a phone they can use one-handed. A couple of other features of the iPhone 12 Mini include:
Water Resistance - Less graceful iPhone users will be happy to discover that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini can withstand up to six meters of water for up to thirty minutes. This means they can withstand rain, spills, and other common accidents with no problem! No one likes needing iPhone water damage repair, so this feature is a gamechanger.
Drop Protection - The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini have four times stronger drop protection than other iPhone models due to the “ceramic shield” material protecting them. Ceramic shield is known as one of the toughest, most durable smartphone glasses. With a ceramic shield, you will rarely be in need of iPhone screen repair!
The iPhone 12 ProPhotographer lovers, this one is for you! The iPhone 12 Pro offers advanced triple-camera setups and other photography features such as:
Telephoto Lens - This third telephoto lens is only a feature of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max models. This lens is designed for taking accurate, precise images of distant objects.
Night Mode - Although the Night Mode feature is on the iPhone 11, Night Mode on the iPhone 12 Pro is a part of the ultra-wide camera, standard wide camera, and the front camera. This allows you to take low-light photos that are crisper without having to use the flash.
The iPhone 12 Pro MaxThe iPhone 12 Pro Max offers almost all of the same features as the iPhone 12 Pro, except it boasts a larger and better display, battery, and camera system. Other features include:
A Wider Wide Camera - You read that right! The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s wide camera is even more improved with a 47% larger sensor and pixels.
Sensor-Shift Stabilization - Yet another incredible camera feature, sensor-shift stabilization makes your pictures and videos steadier. Say goodbye to blurry photos!
Convinced yet that you want to upgrade to one of these beauties? Whether you’re looking for a new iPhone, looking for iPhone repair help, or just looking to learn more, Mr. Telephone Man is here to help!