How to clean your PC

How to clean your keyboard

PC keyboards are relatively easy to clean. Disconnect yours and turn it upside down over a bin or a surface that’s easy to wipe clean. Give it a few taps and be prepared for biscuit crumbs, eye lashes and other undesirable things to fall out.

As with the PC base unit, use a damp cloth to wipe dust and dirt off. Anti-bacterial sprays shouldn’t damage plastic keys, but always test on a small area first. Don’t drench the keyboard with liquid or you risk destroying it. Instead, spray the cleaner onto your cloth – not directly onto the keyboard.

Laptop keyboards aren’t quite as simple to clean as PC versions. First, turn the computer off, and remove the battery if possible. With the screen fully open, turn the laptop upside down and gently tap the dust and dirt into a bin or onto a surface.

If there’s a problem with an individual key, perhaps because a large crumb is under it, you might be able to carefully prise off the key with your fingernail. Most laptop keys simply clip on, but never force a key or you risk breaking the clips or scissor mechanism.

How to clean your computer mouse

Gone are the days of the ball-mouse – all use an optical sensor of some description now. Dust and dirt can easily build up over the sensor and cause tracking problems, so use a damp cloth to clean the entire bottom surface of your mouse.

The top is where you’ll leave grease and germs, so it’s wise to use an anti-bacterial spray. As before, check on an inconspicuous area first and spray onto the cloth, not the mouse.

If you don’t want to risk any damage to your PC, keyboard or mouse, use a cleaner designed for electronic equipment.

How to clean your screen

You can use Muc-off, or simply a damp cloth, to clean most PC screens (and TVs too), whether they have a matt or glossy finish. You can spray directly on to a screen, but don’t let drops run down into the casing at the bottom.

A micro-fibre cloth is ideal for cleaning a screen as it helps to avoid streaks and is effective at removing dust and fingerprints. Use a damp micro-fibre cloth if marks are hard to shift, but be careful not to press hard on a PC screen as you can easily damage the LCD panel.

The rest of the monitor can be cleaned the same way as a PC tower or mouse, using an anti-bacterial spray if you prefer. As ever, don’t spray any liquids directly onto the casing, as it could damage the electronics inside.

How to clean a smartphone or tablet

Touchscreens tend to be the most frequently cleaned component, since an accumulation of fingerprints obscures the image and feels nasty. However, it’s crucial to use the correct cleaning products in order to avoid damaging your delicate electronics.

Most touchscreens these days have an oleophobic coating – literally ‘oil fear’ – which allows them to repel fingerprints. Such coatings aren’t amazingly successful, but they are easily damaged by harsh cleaning agents such as ammonia, alcohol and other solvents.

For this reason, all you need to remove grease and dirt from your screen is a micro-fibre cloth. You can pick these up in a supermarket or online for next to nothing. Micro-fibre cloths are better than other material because the tiny, split fibres lift the dirt and retain it, as well as absorbing liquid. This means they don’t leave lint on your screen, or simply spread the dirt around. You can dampen a micro-fibre cloth with water if the screen is particularly dirty.

When cleaning, use a circular motion rather than linear to a give an even finish and avoid the risk of long scratches if a large piece of dirt gets caught up in the cloth. You’ll find that a micro-fibre cloth will also effectively clean the rest of your device, including metal and plastic parts.

For ports and connectors, use a dry brush – a small paint brush is ideal – to gently remove dirt. Don’t use a can of compressed air, as the force is likely to damage the delicate components.

If grime is stuck in the speaker or microphone grilles, it can be tricky to remove. You could try using your vacuum cleaner, but use caution. Another technique is to use a pin to clear individual holes in the grille.

How to change Windows 10 startup programs

Viewing startup programs using Task Manager

You can change startup programs in Task Manager. To launch it, simultaneously press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Or, right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of the desktop and choose Task Manager from the menu that appears.

Another way in Windows 10 is to right-click the Start Menu icon and choose Task Manager.

When the utility is first launched it will default to the programs that are currently running on your system. To access the information you need move the cursor down to the bottom left corner where it says More details. Click on this.

Now you’ll see a wealth of information displayed, including background processes and the resources that they are currently using.

To find the startup items click on the tab along the top that is marked Start-up.

This displays a list of everything that can load when you turn on your machine.

It’s important to note the Status column, as not everything on the list is actually enabled. If an item it marked as Disabled then you can ignore it as it will not load in the startup sequence.

To simplify matters click on the Status column so that it sorts the items into groups of enabled and disabled apps.

Removing startup programs using Task Manager

If you see any apps that you don’t want as part of your startup sequence then it is very easy to remove them.

Simply right click on the relevant app, then select the Disable option from the pop up menu.

The app will remain in the list, but will no longer launch automatically when you turn on your machine. To enable it again just right click on it and select Enable.

Remember that you’ll need to reboot your machine for these processes to take effect.


Power saving thanks to Android O

To protect users’ battery life and performance, Google has put automatic limits on app background activities in Android O. These background limits will specifically include implicit broadcasts, background services and location updates. For users, this means less energy consumption, and ultimately, longer battery life.

Android O makes it easier to find the apps that consume the most battery power. Usually Facebook or WhatsApp end up in the list. But only with Android O can you see if the apps have been draining your battery with background activities, or whether they are only using battery life when you’re in the app.

Earlier updates thanks to Project Treble

With Project Treble, Android O will get a vendor interface. This means that Android will be more modular so that manufacturers can use the vendor interface to access the implementations from internal component vendors, such as Qualcomm and MediaTek, for example. This will allow Android updates to happen more easily, because the whole process can be done independently of these vendor implementations. The idea is to speed up updates from manufacturers by making the process more streamlined.

Apps and reboots are faster with Android O

Optimizations in the system should cut device restart time in half and dramatically increase app performance. This is evident from independent reports from XDA and Android Police.

Apps are better thanks to Google Play Protect and tougher enforcement of criteria

Google Play Protect is a background service that will optimize security on Android by analyzing the behavior of apps to detect malware, and remove it from your phone and from the Play Store.

Google is also increasing pressure on app developers to increase the performance and stability of their apps. If they fall in the bottom 25 percent, they are warned and then removed from the Play Store if there’s no improvement.

Wi-Fi Aware (also known as Neighbor Awareness Networking or NAN)

Wi-Fi Aware (also known as Neighbor Awareness Networking or NAN): This function basically works so that devices with compatible hardware can communicate when they are close, via Wi-Fi Aware, without necessarily having to use the internet connection.

Autofill revolutionizes password management

Google is bringing a system-wide Autofill API to Android O, allowing all of your passwords to be managed in a central place. This will mean convenience and security when logging into apps and filling out forms, since there won’t be any need to copy/paste usernames and passwords anymore.

Rescue Party

Another new Android 8.0 feature has been announced. Rescue Party will help prevent bootloops, one of the most dreaded mobile phone issues. When core system components are crashing over and over again, Android will notice and take steps to recover the device. As a final resort, it will reboot into Recovery Mode and give the option to factory reset the device. This feature will be enabled by default and doesn’t require any special hardware, though it’s only for phones running Android Oreo.

Laptop won’t turn on? How to fix a computer that won’t boot

Expert tips on how to fix a PC or laptop that won’t start up and boot into Windows.

If your laptop or PC won’t turn on, don’t panic. You might be able to fix it yourself for free by trying these five methods.

Here we’ll explain the possible causes and how to try and fix a PC or laptop that won’t boot up.

  1. Check the power supply


This is one of the most common problems. There are various things that can go wrong, from using the wrong laptop power supply (delivering the wrong voltage) to a blown fuse in the plug.

It might be that your power supply has simply failed. First, make sure the battery has some charge. If you’re not sure, and there’s no power indicator on the battery itself, then remove it entirely and just use the mains charger.

Double-check, too, that the charger is the right one for your laptop. Many laptops – especially from the same manufacturer – use the same size plug, and if you own more than one, it’s not too difficult to plug in the wrong power supply, which might provide a different voltage or not enough current.

Other gadgets may also use the same tips, such as a battery powered speaker, and are unlikely to use the same voltage as your laptop, which typically requires 16-20V.

Second, check the fuse in the plug. Use a screwdriver to remove the fuse and install one that’s known to be good. If you have a spare power cable that will plug into your power supply, this is a much quicker swap to test that it isn’t the fuse at fault.

Check over the wire itself, as power supplies get beaten up, especially if you carry them everywhere. Weak points are at the ends where it joins the black brick and at the plug which connects to the laptop. If you can see the coloured wires inside the black outer protection, it could be time to buy a new PSU.


PC power supplies can also be problematic. Few people have a spare they can install and test, so the first check is the fuse in the plug. There’s also a fuse inside the PSU itself, but it will require you to remove it from your PC and then remove the metal case to check if that’s the problem.

One of the most common PC power supply issues is that the PC will turn off unexpectedly rather than fail to boot up at all.

If the LED is on showing that power is reaching it, make sure your power button is properly connected and working.

You can short the appropriate motherboard pins together (check which ones in your motherboard manual) to eliminate the power button from the equation.

  1. Check the screen


Try disconnecting any external displays including projectors and monitors to make sure they’re not stopping your laptop from booting into Windows.

If your computer’s power LED lights up and you can hear the hard disk or fan(s) whirring, but there’s no image on the screen, then make the room dark and check that there isn’t a very faint image on the screen.

It’s easy to think a laptop isn’t booting when in fact, it’s the screen that’s the problem.

If there is a faint image – maybe the Windows logon screen – then it’s likely that your screen’s inverter has failed. This component changes the direct current (DC) coming from the battery or power supply to an alternating current required by the screen.

Replacing an inverter isn’t too difficult if you’re handy with a screwdriver, but it’s crucial you buy the right replacement part. As inverters aren’t exactly cheap, you can’t afford to get it wrong.

If your laptop appears to be booting fine, but there’s no image at all, the LCD panel could be at fault. Replacing a laptop screen is possible, but difficult, and screens can also be costly. If it’s an older laptop, it’s worth considering buying a new one.


There isn’t much you can do to fix a broken PC monitor, but it’s easy – or easier – to swap the power lead and video cable or even the whole monitor to see if that’s the reason your PC won’t boot.

  1. Boot into Safe Mode

Even if you can’t boot into Windows, you might be able to get into safe mode. Press F8 as your laptop is starting up and you’ll get a menu offering to boot into Safe Mode.

If you can enter safe mode, you might be able to undo any changes that caused your laptop or PC to stop booting. You could try uninstalling any new programs that you recently installed, uninstall a driver that was recently updated, or create a new user account if the account is corrupt.

If you see an option to repair your computer, try this, but you will almost certainly need your Windows CD for this to work.

If you can’t get the drive going again, it’s time to start afresh with a new hard drive. Let’s hope that you have a recent backup of your important files!

What to do with an old PC

You can do plenty of things with an old PC besides sending it to the recycling centre. Let’s take a look at a few ways you might reuse an old PC.

  1. Convert it into a NAS or Home Server

If you’re running a home network and have multiple users – you, your spouse, your kids – reuse as network-attached storage or even as an actual server may be just the ticket for an old system.

However, it’s not just a matter of plugging an old PC into a network connection and starting it up. Most desktop systems aren’t configured to be effective servers or storage systems. For one thing, they probably use too much power. You’ll want to set BIOS power management to run cooling fans in quiet mode, if that option exists. You’ll also need to set up the operating system so that it doesn’t shut down at inconvenient times, yet run in a low-power state when it’s not being actively used.

Bear in mind that you’ll probably want to run your server ‘headless’ (that is, without a monitor), and sans keyboard and mouse as well. While you’ll need a display and input devices for the initial setup, make sure the system will work properly without them. Having a scheduled reboot hang because the system halted during startup (it couldn’t find a keyboard, perhaps) is annoying, to say the least.

Also, the operating system is likely not well suited for storage applications, particularly for multiple users. While Windows can function well as a storage repository for a couple of users, you’ll want to take the time to create user accounts for each person who might need access. In some cases, you may want to set storage quotas.

  1. Donate it to a local school

If your PC isn’t too archaic, consider donating it to a local school or hospital. Even if it is way beyond its sell-by date it could go to a local school’s computer lab (most schools have one) and be used as a test bed, to take apart and reassemble. Alternatively, local schools might use it for parts, although they may shy away from used gear, given the unknown pedigree or wear of older hardware.

If you donate it to a hospital or daycare centre, consider buying some low-cost educational software packages and preinstalling them before handing the system over. Also, as with selling a system, you’ll want to remove all software that you’ve reinstalled on your new PC. And make sure to include all licence information for the software you’re preinstalling on the old system.

  1. Turn it into an experimental box

You’ve heard about this Linux thing, and maybe you’d like to give it a whirl. But the thought of trying to create a dual-boot system on your primary PC leaves you a little green around the gills. Now you can experiment to your heart’s content on your old box.

Check out Ubuntu, the sexy Linux distro that geeks love to, well, love. The neat thing about Linux is all the built-in support for older hardware, so installation is usually easy. In fact, installing Ubuntu is sometimes simpler than installing Windows. And there’s a wealth of free software for Linux just waiting to be tried out.

If you think you’ve got the tech savvy and a bent for tinkering, you might try creating a Hackintosh – a PC that can run MacOS. It can be done, but it does take a fair amount of effort. The main hackintosh site is a good place to start, but expect a long and somewhat bumpy trip. Oh, and you’ll have to fork out for a legal copy of MacOS.

In addition, a number of true UNIX-based operating systems are available, ranging from FreeBSD or PC-BSD (based on the Berkeley UNIX version) to OpenSolaris, based on the Sun Microsystems version of UNIX.

  1. Give it to a relative

I do this all the time. My brother-in-law has modest computing needs. So I’ll often just hand over one of my two-year old PCs, though I’ll usually drop in a mid-range or entry-level graphics card.

I don’t generally recommend doing this with your kids, though – at least, not if your kids are like mine. They often need as much or more PC horsepower than I use on a regular basis (outside of gaming and photography, anyway). My older daughter is a dedicated photographer, and makes heavy use of Photoshop, while my younger daughter has become a pretty hardcore gamer.

Giving a system to family members can be fraught with peril, though. That’s because you are now the go-to person for tech support. So you’ve been warned: Give a PC to a friend or relative, and you’re now on call.

One thing you’ll definitely want to do is completely erase the hard drive and reinstall the OS from scratch. If it’s an off-the-shelf system from a major manufacturer, restoring it to its original condition from the restore partition or restore disc accomplishes the same thing.

  1. Use it as a dedicated game server

Do you have a favourite multiplayer game? If so, check and see whether it’s a game where you can host a server on a local computer – you might consider making your old system a dedicated game server. Most multiplayer games capable of playing online often support dedicated servers.

The great thing about many of these dedicated game servers is how little system horsepower they actually need.


Your Android phone was probably fast when you first bought it, right? Then over time it began running more slowly. This is a common problem and nothing to worry about. Below is our guide to getting your phone fast again. Read on for our best tips to speed up your phone.

  1. Identify the problem

The first thing to do is find out what is causing the problem: an app, multiple apps, the system itself? Trepn Profiler by Qualcomm will show you the real-time CPU load for individual cores, an overview of network traffic for both data and Wi-Fi, GPU loads and RAM usage and more.

Trepn can also produce app-specific or system-wide profiles and contains various methods for displaying accumulated data. You can save your profiled data for offline viewing and analysis and even have performance overlays on running apps. Once you’ve figured out your specific issue, you can move on to the solutions below.

  1. Free up some space

All those photos you’ve taken and all of those apps you’ve installed can take their toll on your phone. It needs a little breathing room to run smoothly and if it’s running low on space, it can start to slow down.

You can check how much space you have left by heading to the Storage section of Settings. One of the easiest ways to free up space is to tap Applications and see which apps you can uninstall.

Tap the entry for an app you no longer need and then tap Uninstall. You can repeat this process as many times as necessary for any apps you feel you can live without.

There are other ways you can free up space. The files you have downloaded are probably still sitting in storage wasting space and can be removed. In Storage, tap Downloads, select the files you want to remove and then tap the Bin button.

Many of the apps you have installed use data caches in an attempt to speed up operations. This is effective up to a point, but if you are running short of space, it can actually be counter-productive. To free up this space, hit the Clear cached data option and then tap OK to confirm.

More files ripe for deletion can be found in the Miscellaneous files section. Tick the boxes next to any types of file you’d like to remove – backups, files received via Bluetooth, playlist files, and so on – and then tap the bin button. You can keep an eye on how much space you have freed up when you look at the Available space section.

You can also disable any apps that came pre-loaded on your phone but you don’t use. If you have rooted your Android, you can actually get rid of these apps, but if not, you can go to the app properties and disable it to prevent it from running and using up your phone’s resources.

  1. Cut back on the widgets

All those widgets you have running on your home screen may be useful, but they also take up their fair share of resources.

If you have any widgets running that you don’t really need, consider disabling them. There’s no harm in having some active, but you will notice an element of slow-down if you have too many running at the same time, so just be a little selective.

  1. Disable unnecessary animations and extras

Depending on the launcher you are using, you may find that there are various animations and special effects in place. These may look great, but they can also slow things down.

Check in your launcher’s settings to see if there is a way to disable any of these unnecessary extras, and you could earn yourself a speed boost.

  1. Close down apps and free up RAM

Multi-tasking several apps makes it easy to switch between different tools, but there can also be an impact on performance. You can quickly close down any apps you are no longer using by calling up the running apps list – press and hold the home key and then swipe away any apps you want to exit.

While you are at this screen, tap the pie chart button to the lower right of the screen and then move to the RAM section. Tap the Clear memory button and any background processes that are running unnecessarily will be closed down.

  1. Restart your device

A quick and simple fix for a slow device is to simply restart it. This can clear out the cache, stop unnecessary tasks from running, and get things running smoothly again.

Just hold down the power button, select the Restart option, and then tap OK to confirm.

  1. Dig deeper

You can also keep tabs on the apps that are using lots of battery by going to Settings > Battery. You can also monitor RAM usage in Settings > Apps (or App Manager, depending on your brand of phone) and there’s even more nerdy goodies in Process Stats in Developer Options – if you don’t have this setting enabled, go to Settings > About Phone and tap Build Number seven times until a notification pops up.

These 5 Things Are Killing Your Smartphone’s Battery Life

Battery life is an aspect of smartphones that hasn’t improved as much as other technology. If you’re a user that depends on your smartphone throughout your day, getting through a full day on a single charge can be a struggle. While there are battery packs and USB batteries that you can pick up, as well as phones specifically designed for their big batteries, sometimes that isn’t enough.

However, there are also things you can change about the way you use you your phone that can help save you some battery life. There are obvious battery-killers such as playing games or watching videos, but some factors are lesser known.

Here are five things that are killing your smartphone’s battery life that you may not have known about:

  1. Screen brightness

As smartphone displays get bigger, brighter and more resolution, the effect it has on battery life can be severe. While you can’t really do much with your phone without using your display, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the damage it’s having on your battery life.

On Android devices, the first thing you should do is turn on Adaptive Brightness so that your smartphone automatically adapts to the lowest amount of brightness that you really need. It’s much smarter than the “Auto-Brightness” feature of Android past. There are number of third-party Android apps that do this, but I’ve found the Adaptive Brightness feature to be fairly effective. If you want to save extra battery life, you can also toggle off the “Ambient display” setting, which will make sure your display isn’t activated every time you receive a notification. iOS has an Auto Brightness setting as well that you’ll want to toggle on.

But even with these features, it’s always important to keep the brightness of your display in mind when in use. The last thing you can do to help is change your Sleep settings so that your phone automatically turns off the display after a set amount of time. On iOS, you’ve got the Auto-Lock setting that performs the same function.

  1. Background App Refresh

The background app refresh feature in iOS can be a helpful way of letting your apps smartly update their save states while on WiFi or cell service. However, they can also suck the life out of your battery.

You can toggle it off completely to ensure that you’re always getting the most out of your battery. However, you can also go through your app list and toggle them on or off so that you can pick and choose the apps you want to be refreshing in the background. If you’re curious about which apps are using up your battery, head over to your Battery settings where you can easily see which apps are using the most juice.

On Android, you’ll find the option to restrict data usage on specific apps in Settings > Data usage > Data usage control. From there, you can choose which apps are allowed to use WiFi or Data or none at all. You also may want to disable auto-updating of apps, which happens in the background if it is toggled on.

  1. Streaming audio

If you’re someone who streams music or podcasts all day at work via services like Apple Music or Spotify, you may notice that your battery life isn’t lasting as long as it did with your collection of locally-stored music.

There’s not much you can do about this (other than just plug in your phone), but you can certainly try to download songs to your phone using Offline Mode on Spotify (and download podcasts ahead of time), which will sidestep having to stream all of this audio.

  1. Using Bluetooth

Speaking of streaming music, you may also have it connected to a Bluetooth speaker or pair of wireless headphones for extended amounts of time. Unfortunately, having your Bluetooth turned on all day is pulls extra juice out of your phone’s battery. In fact, it’s one of the worst things about not having a headphone jack anymore and switching over to wireless headphones.

There’s no way around this one, but it’s definitely something to be aware of as you are attempting to save juice for later in the day.

  1. GPS

Lastly, apps that use GPS or location services can be big battery-suckers. As you’ve got Google Maps or Apple Maps running, you’ll be putting a serious dent in your battery life. It’s not necessary to turn off Location Services altogether, but apps like Google Maps should be manually shut down when you arrive at your destination.

Manually closing down apps is easy in both iOS and Android. In iOS, just double-click the Home button and swipe away the app. In Android, hit the App Switcher button and swipe it away.

10 tips to better your smartphone battery life

Smartphones have come a long way over the last few years when it comes to design, camera, or even processing power. However, we have not seen much breakthroughs when it comes to battery technology –which is critical today given that handsets come packed with mammoth sized displays, multiple sensors, and faster processors that take a toll on battery life.

While a number of smartphone makers offer ‘Fast charging’ and ‘Power modes’ to deal with the situation, a concrete solution is still nowhere to be seen.

That said, here we have listed out some lesser known tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your smartphone battery.

1/10 Turn off Vibration and Haptic feedback

We all like that mild vibrations while typing on the smartphone keyboard or while tapping the capacitive buttons, however they absorb a good amount of juice. Turning off the ‘Haptic feedback’ will help you save a good amount of battery because we spend a lot of time on typing throughout a day.

Besides, if you don’t really need to get notified by vibration, then turn it off as It actually takes more battery power to vibrate your phone than it does to ring it.

2/10 Turn off “Always on” Google Hotword detection

Turning off Google’s Hotword detection will also improve your Android smartphone’s battery life. This prevents your phone from always ready to listen to your command to perform a search function. Below are the steps to turn it off.

  • Go to Apps > Settings > Google Services > Search & Now > Voice.
  • Click on ‘OK Google detection’
  • Turn Off Always on

3/10 Reduce the screen brightness

If your smartphone boasts an AMOLED display, then applying Black coloured wallpapers will help you save battery life. This is because pixels that make the AMOLED displays only utlise battery power to illuminate light colours and don’t need any energy to show black colour. To simply put, the more dark or black pixels you have on your AMOLED display, the less power it consumes to illuminate them, thus saves the battery.

4/10 Customise which apps can use Location

Most of the apps that are installed on your smartphone (Android/iOS) constantly track your location. You might not want to turn it off while using Google Maps, Uber, sending location on WhatsApp, Tinder, etc. however keeping it on throughout the day while you don’t need location tracking will simply kill your smartphone battery. Turn it off while you are just using your handset for watching videos, sending e-mails, and apps where you don’t need location tracking.

5/10 Don’t miss on Android updates

Updating apps might seem to be a cumbersome task, but it actually helps in improving the overall smartphone performance and battery life. This is because developers keep updating apps to improve on battery and memory optimization. SO make sure your smartphone has the latest version of apps installed.

6/10 Turn on Airplane mode

This is not an everyday solution but can really help you cut battery usage. Turning on Airplane mode will cut you from the outside world but will allow your smartphone to last longer for multimedia apps such as videos, music player or games that don’t need any connectivity.

It can do wonders if you are travelling in a poor network zone where your smartphone antennas consume a lot of power to register on the available networks. Simply turn on the Airplane mode if you don’t want to receive any calls, messages or use internet.

7/10 Remove On-screen Widgets

Android operating system is all about widgets that offer tons of information on your smartphone displays. It is indeed a good thing to have everything on screen, however proves havoc for your smartphone battery. The battery has to supply continues power to make those widgets deliver latest updates from backend servers.

Delete the widgets that are placed to offer information not required throughout the day and still fetch data from internet such as weather apps, stock apps, scoreboards etc.

8/10Turn off Auto-sync

Apps such as Gmail, Twitter, calendar, etc. constantly refresh themselves to offer latest information. This is required if you just cannot afford to miss an important information but also takes a toll on battery life.

Go to Settings > Google account and turn off auto-sync for apps you don’t need constantly updated.

9/10 Doze mode (Android Marshmallow users)

Doze mode is the latest addition to Android OS and works on devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. You don’t need to do anything to use the new Doze feature and basically there are no switches or settings to activate or deactivate it. However you can edit the apps that utilise the battery optimization feature from Settings menu. Doze mode simply works in background on Marshmallow devices and puts your phone in hibernation mode whenever it lies unused for a longer duration.

10/10 Check on GPS, Bluetooth, NFC

Last but not the least; check on Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC and mobile data if you are not using them. Switch off the Wi-Fi if you are connected on Mobile data and vice versa. The NFC feature might get turn on if you restart your NFC enabled handset, s keep a check on it.

Besides, activate the low power mode on your smartphone if you are running low on battery.

Google Is Doubling Down on Building Its Own Phones

By buying up HTC, Google is committing to the Pixel, and forging ahead into its past.

Google officially announced that it would buy HTC. For $1.1 billion, the search giant will be acquiring only only the Taiwan-based tech company, but also the engineering team that designed the terrific Google Pixel. That’s right: Google is buying up the very folks who made its flagship phone.

This isn’t a total surprise, since the Pixel went over quite well. But it is a little strange because, well, Google’s been down this road of buying a company that makes Android phones before, and it changed its mind. Buying up HTC means Google’s flagship Pixel phone is here to stay—and the decision might shake up the future of Android.

Unlike iPhones—which are pure Apple phones, designed chips-to-software by Tim Cook and company—the lineage of an Android phone is more complex. Google makes the Android software (to which your carrier adds its extra bloatware), but companies like Samsung and LG make the actual hardware and, accordingly, put their names on the phones. It’s the Samsung Galaxy S8, after all.

This approach has its pros and cons. Google gets its software (apps and services it uses to sell ads) in front of hundreds of millions of people without having to worry about hardware. And there are hundreds of Android phones: big, small, cheap, expensive, good, bad, something for every conceivable taste. This distribution of labor and flexibility lead to an Android explosion, and Google’s domination of the global market share.

It also means that Google doesn’t have the soup-to-nuts control of its product. That power is part of the reason that for years now iPhones have been undeniably more polished than their Android competitors, and why now, even though Android is slicker than ever, it is woefully vulnerable to security problems. Apple can just send out iOS updates, but Google needs to work with is many hardware partners and phone carriers to make that happen. As a result, woefully few Android phones run the latest, safest version of the software. A truly Google phone, like the Pixel, can fix that.

Google has toyed with the premise before, having purchased Motorola in 2012. But difficult relationships with hardware partners prevented Google from doing anything too wild. It released only two (terrific) Google-backed Motorola phones before selling off the company (though hanging onto some extremely valuable patents) and returning to its “Nexus” program—a partnership between Google and rotating hardware partners to create an “ideal” Android phone.

Google’s latest move to hire the HTC team responsible for the Pixel represents a renewed, serious push at creating the mythical “iPhone of Android.” But such a project will now encounter world that’s totally changed. With its voice-assistant “Bixby” and a growing suite of exclusive apps, Google’s most formidable hardware partner, Samsung, is increasingly striking it out on its own, shifting users away from the Google services the search giant uses to make money even while it sticks with Android at the core. Meanwhile, the Pixel will push its users deeper and deeper into Google’s web, offering things like limitless Google Photos storage, and all-important security updates that come as quickly as possible.

Practically, Google’s purchase of the HTC doesn’t mean a whole lot in the short term. Those folks have been working on Google hardware exclusively for years. But it does mean that the Pixel is likely here to stay as just one of the many arms of Google’s growing hardware Kraken.

8 Essential Tips To Keep Your Phone’s Battery Healthy

  1. Yes, you can leave your phone plugged in overnight.

It is not the end of the world if you don’t unplug your phone the second that it is charged. That charger is smarter than you give it credit for. Leaving your phone on the charger all night (or all day) is far better for your battery than running it down and charging it up.

  1. Charge a little bit whenever you can.

Lithium-ion batteries don’t respond well to being charged all the way up and then run all the way down. They take much better to little bits of charge here and there.

  1. Yes, you can leave your laptop plugged in all the time.

Don’t worry about overcharging the batteries in your gadgets, and especially don’t worry about overcharging your laptop. What we just said about phones applies here, too. And on and on top of that, many laptops (most, in fact) are smart enough to cut the battery out of the charging equation entirely once it’s full. The battery just sits there patiently until you need it or until it needs another little shock to top it off.

  1. But maybe pop out your laptop battery while it’s on the charger, if you can.

The biggest danger to your laptop battery—and your phone battery and your tablet battery—isn’t overcharging, but heat. And with that in mind, it might be wise to pop out your laptop battery while you’re plugged into the wall, if you can.

  1. Keep your batteries cool.

Speaking of temperature, make sure you don’t leave your phone in a hot car all day. Or place it on top of your gaming PC. Or use it in a sauna. Try to avoid wireless charging if you can, because the waste-heat those chargers generate will also bake your battery. Also, beware of quick chargers. While your phone and charger are generally smart enough to minimize damage from high-voltage chargers, a lot of power super fast can generate extra heat. And if you have to store a gadget or its battery for a while, do it in a cool dry place.

  1. Store batteries with a little bit of charge.

If you’re storing batteries, you give them about a half a charge first. They’ll slowly lose their charge over time, and if it drops into the true-zero danger zone, your battery will automatically trip its safety circuit and kill itself for real before it can become unstable.

  1. Maybe go replaceable if you can.

If you’re borderline insane about your battery life, consider opting for gadgets that have removable batteries when you can. For one thing, there’s no faster way to “charge” a gadget than by swapping in a fully charged battery. And if you can’t avoid these bad battery practices, at least you can start fresh by buying a fresh battery.

  1. Don’t let your battery rule your life.

If you follow the most basic rules of thumb—don’t go all the way from full to empty if you can avoid it and minimize the exposure to heat as best you can—you’ll be fine. It’s easy to obsess over battery care, to let charging superstitions metastasize into obsessive ritual. But just remember two things:

  1. Your gadgets and their batteries are designed to keep you from ruining them. Lithium-ion batteries today are better, smarter, and more resilient than the nickel-metal hydrides of yesteryear.
  2. Your batteries are going to die. No amount of obsessive care will save you from having to deal with a less capable battery a few years from now.