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Windows Phone 8: Pros and Cons

Choosing a smartphone is complicated, not only because there is a whole bunch of parameters to look out for but also because once you’ve made your choice,you’ve made a commitment to the particular OS as well. Unlike computers which for the most part, allow you to install whichever operating system you want or even install several and switch between them whenever you want the latest generation of smartphones is built to run one OS in particular.
This is apparent every time you hear the words “Android phone” or “Windows phone”, indicating that the device in question will only work with that particular OS. Although Android is by far the most popular OS as far mobile devices are concerned, Windows Phone 8 is hanging in there, with the number of new users and new apps steadily growing. For those considering to switch to Windows Phone, here are some bits of advice.

Why You Should Choose Windows Phone 8:

As opposed to Android, Windows Phone 8 user experience doesn’t vary depending on the device, or third-party accessories and device. Microsoft makes sure from the get-go that there are no compatibility issues and that everything works as it should, which makes Windows Phone experience more similar to that of iOS. This is evident on Nokia Lumia phones, where both hardware and software are made by Microsoft, which is the ideal approach. Also, speaking of Lumia, you get a lot of phone for the money, no matter which model you decide to get.windows8 pros and cons

As for security issues, there are virtually none. While you may have to consider getting some sort of security app if you are an Android user, with Windows Phone, you can set your mind at ease. For business-oriented users, a Windows Phone device is an absolute dream when it comes to security. For example, your company’s admin can monitor a number of Windows Phones from the servers room and makes that there are no security issues whatsoever. This is good to know, since most companies often exchange confidential and valuable data.

Why You Should Not Choose Windows Phone 8:

The first issue does not apply Windows Phone 8. At least not yet. We’re talking about the issue regarding the updating of Windows Phone devices. Those users which are using Windows Phone 7.8 will not be able to keep their phones up to date, which means no support or compatibility with all the new apps that will come out eventually. If course, like we pointed out, this doesn’t concern you, since you will be getting a Windows Phone 8 device, and Microsoft promised that it would keep those up to date. The question is: until when? One day they may decide to pull the plug on it, and you will find yourself in a position we’ve just described.

The most glaring downside of having a Windows Phone 8 device is the relatively small number of apps for you to choose from. Although Microsoft says that all the essential apps are out there, that is highly unlikely, since each one of us has their own idea of an essential app. Yes, most apps are available, but they failed to mention that a large number of those is made by third-party developers. Last, but not least, even though Windows Phone users swear by it, they rarely mention that this OS takes some time getting used to.

 

Conclusion

Now you have some more information you can make a decision about which phone and OS is right for you.

Effectively Test Your Efficiency Of Your Android’s Charging Peripherals

Your Android device can more than likely make use of a few different chargers. However, these chargers are going to probably charge your device at different rates and likewise, chargers that are damaged will be inefficient. In this article we will take a look at how you can effectively find out just how much amperage your charger is supplying to your device (smartphone or tablet).

The Best App For The Job: Ampere

The first thing that you need to do is head on over to the Play Store and download the Ampere app – don’t worry, it’s free. The Ampere app is what you’re going to use to evaluate your charger, it is compatible with Android 4.0 and any version that is newer (however, a few models, such as the HTC M8, are somewhat unresponsive). Now that we have the app, let’s get started!

Using Ampere To Test Your Charger

 

For this, all you’re going to need is your charger and a place to plug it in — either a wall outlet, a computer or a portable battery .

Now it goes without saying that you are going to need a charger and a location to plug it in (electrical outlet, portable battery, computer, etc.). If you are truly trying to get the most efficient and most accurate readings then you should evidently be using an electrical outlet with your official peripherals (further on you’ll see why using a computer might not be the best idea). The app provides you with a few superfluous settings that don’t really need to be altered and all in all it takes approximately 10 seconds to measure the charge rate of your device and give you the results.

You also have the option of choosing to purchase the Pro version of Ampere for $1.13 android -charging-advice-01(price when this article was published). In my opinion the Pro versions is not really worth it, granted it does give you an icon in your notification tray that shows your battery info and it does remove the ads that appear at the bottom of the screen. However, it is really not that necessary.

The Ampere app utilizes color coded prompts for simple usability. When your device is plugged in the app will use blue text, conversely the app uses orange text whenever your device isn’t plugged in. As an added plus, the Ampere app will also show you the energy usage of your device when it isn’t plugged in – factors, such as the amount of apps that you have running; the brightness of your screen; Wi-Fi activity; and Bluetooth settings , will affect this reading.

The app is very sleek, simplistic, and contemporary in regards to its design – this makes it easy to look at and navigate as well. You can view a full list of your battery stats by pressing the circular icon on the left side of the screen. Numbers that are marked as positive show just how much charge your device is gaining, while numbers that are marked as negative signify the amount of charge that you phone is losing.

If your device is performing several functions (background et al.) then the reading that you obtain while testing your charger will be significantly lower (meaning that your charger won’t be at fault). For example, if your charger is supplying your device with 500mA but your device is subsequently utilizing an average of -200mA, you will essentially be charging your device with only 300mA.

What You Need To Know

Each and every type and model of charger is different. If you are looking for a benchmark to measure your charging cable against then you should look no further than the charger itself. Virtually all adapters should have some sort of inscription or sticker that lists the specifications of said adapter. The section marked “Output” is what you should be interested in – this number is a literal annotation of the charging power that you should expect from the adapter. So, if for example you have a charger that is marked with an 800mA output value, then you should expect to get a charging value of 800mA minus your device’s usage value (e.g. 800mA – 200mA = 600mA)

Your readings will vary depending on the device that you are using and the charging adapter that you are utilizing. If for some reason you are dissatisfied with the results that Ampere has given you and you want to improve the charge rate for your device, here are some tips that you can make use of.

Alter Your Charging Habits

If your device isn’t charging as efficiently or as fast as you would like, you don’t have to worry there are steps that you can take to improve your charging rate.

A simple but effective tip that you can utilize is to not only turn your device’s screen off while it is charging, you should also toggle the airplane mode feature on as well. This should effectively maximize your charging gain. If this seems too extreme there are other minor things that you can do as well. One major error that people always make is that they assume that their device charges at the same rate when plugged into a computer or an electrical outlet. In reality this is extremely wrong – a computer will never give you the amperage output that you can get from an electrical outlet. You should only use your computer to charge your device in dire situations.

Likewise, if you have a choice you should always utilize the charging cable and adapter that were packaged with your device. While third party peripherals can be useful if your original peripherals are lost or damaged, the original ones have usually been thoroughly tested with your specific device and they are almost always the safest and most efficient.

Another thing that is worth mentioning is wireless charging. While wireless charging is undoubtedly exceptionally convenient, it is also exceptionally slow when compared to charging your device from an electrical outlet – it’s even slower than charging your device with your computer!

Lastly, you should always try to keep your device and its battery cool at all times. Excess heat can significantly diminish the overall health of your device’s battery, so whenever you are charging it you should remove its case and place it in a relatively cool area.

Did Your Charger Live Up To The Hype?

So how did you Ampere test turn out? Is your device’s charger as efficient as you expected? Sadly, all chargers are not one and the same. Do you have any other helpful advice on how to make charging more efficient? Share your stories and tips with us!

Top Android Security Apps You Should Check Out

Though you may be tempted to use your Android phone without any security software, it’s always a good idea to have that extra level of protection, because you never know when you might run into a virus or malware. PC users would cringe at the thought of going online without a firewall, an anti-virus, and a whole suite of different security programs. While your phone may be safer, for the time being, it’s still far from being an impenetrable fortress, so we have decided to take a look at some essential Android security apps for you.

Avast! Mobile Security & Antivirus

Those who spent a lot of time on their computer will recognize Avast! As of one the household names when it comes to security. But, the company also does security apps for Android based devices, such as smartphone and tablets. The mobile version allows you to tweak and set a whole bunch of parameters, which should help you achieve the android security 03right balance between security and performance. In fact, Avast! Mobile Security & Antivirus may even surpass the effectiveness of its PC cousin, because it cleverly takes advantage of some of the smartphone-only abilities.

For example, besides protecting your phone in a virtual world, it actually has some real-life theft protection. In case your phone gets stolen, Avast! can locate it via GPS, or let you wipe the data, and even control the phone’s camera and take snapshots, which might help you locate it. It has a Geofencing feature, which automatically warns you if the phone has left the area. The best part of all: it’s free. There is, however, a premium version, which provides with some additional features, such as ad and pop-up blocking.

Kaspersky Internet Security

Another PC security giant, Kaspersky are also present on the Android market. Kaspersky Internet Security suite, apart from protecting your phone from malware, also adds a layer of phishing protection, which will prevent you from giving out confidential info to an intruder pretending to be a trusted source. Much like Avast!, Kaspersky has anti-theft features like data wiping, or phone locking, so it can’t be used in case it gets stolen. It doesn’t have Avast!’s flexibility, and its user interface is a bit complicated, but it’s very effective nonetheless. The basic version is free, and it allows you do to manual scans. For automated scanning of your phone, call filtering and numerous other features, you will need to cough up some cash, but Kaspersky is well-worth the money.

Avira Antivirus Security

Avira boasts a 100 percent detection rate without zero false positives registered. Despite its top-notch performance, it will go easy on your phone’s resources. We also love the design of its user interface, which fits in exceptionally with the sleek overall look of Android. It offers similar anti-theft measures like its competitors do, which include data wiping, locking the phone and triggering the alarm. Avira also lets you know when your email account has been hacked, and tells you what to do in case that happens. Of course, it also allows you to blacklist callers or spammers. If you want more, you can pay for a premium version that adds anti-phishing protection, more frequent updates, and some other less essential features.

Ways To Detect a Tapped Phone

Smartphones, to some extent, can be an extension of our own lives. For instance, you never leave home without it, unless you forgot it accidentally. People use their phones a bit too much, and have so much of their lives trapped in there. Which can be a disaster if someone taps into your phone. People can read your texts, listen to your conversation, look at your precious documents, and even monitor your location. With privacy concerns being on the rise, you better believe that you need to make sure that your phone is protected.

You may think that a phone tap is something that only happens in cop movies, but it can happen to you. While it’s illegal and you have a low chance of it happening unless you are important, it won’t hurt to know the signs of a possibly tapped phone.

With that said, even if you aren’t rich, there can be people out there who want to tap your phone. For instance, maybe you have a jealous ex who is trying to spy on you. Maybe it’s your boss, wanting to be extra nosy. Whatever the case, you deserve privacy. In this article, we’ll list the signs that your phone is possibly tapped. These aren’t foolproof, but these will increase the chances of your phone being stepped. Included in this article as well are ways that you can keep your privacy.

Is Your Phone Hot?

If you use a cell phone a lot, your battery will become warm. If you have not used your phone in a bit, and the battery is somehow warm, it could be a sign that someone else is using it. Then again, it could mean you overused your phone. If your phone has been off for a good while, then it’s suspicious.

Is Your Phone Able to Hold a Charge?

Have you been having to charge your phone multiple times every day, but you haven’t used it that much? Well, if your phone is tapped, it can use a lot more battery life than usual. Sure, it can be a defective battery, and if your phone is older, it may lose charge. But if nothing is wrong with your battery, it could be sign. Use apps such as Battery LED and Battery life to see the history of your battery usages.

Trouble Shutting Down?

If your phone has a delay when shutting down, such as the backlight staying lit after shut down, or it won’t shut off altogether, it might be a sign of a phone tap. However, it could also mean that a glitch happened, or something’s wrong internally.

Weird Behavior

If your phone lights up, turns on, turns off, or installs a program without you knowing, it could mean that the phone is tapped. However, it could be because of interference during data transmission.

Noisy?

When you talk to someone on the phone, hearing strange noises in the background is a sign of a tapped phone. If you hear static, clicking, or echoing, it could mean that it’s someone listening to your conversation. Of course, it could be from a bad signal or some other sort of interference. However, if you hear static when you’re not using your phone, it’s a problem.

Distorted Phone?

If you use your phone close to another electronic device such as a TV, it could be a sign phone tapped 02that something is installed on the cell phone you don’t want. Sometimes, devices do distort when you’re on call, but if you’re not, it could be a sign.

If you have one of these signs, you should not panic immediately, because once again, these are all common problems a phone can have. However, if your phone is experiencing most or all of these signs, it could mean your phone is being tapped.

So What to Do?

There are a few things you can do that can help you out if you suspect your phone is being tapped. For instance, if you suspect someone you know tapping your phone, you can use disinformation at your disposal. Tell someone who you don’t suspect via phone call personal info about you. It can be made up, if you don’t feel like leaking personal details. If the suspect knows about this, it could be a sign that they have been listening in on your conversation.

If you think your phone is tapped, you should take it to your carrier and see what you can do. The police can also test your phone to see if it’s bugged, but only do that if you are almost 100 percent sure that your phone is being tapped.

Overall

Don’t get paranoid that you’re being tapped. The chances of it happening to you are slim, and many signs are commonly explained by hardware failure, signal interference, or overuse of your phone. If you do experience multiple signs, you may want to check to be on the safe side. Also, make sure your phone is password protected and has its battery removed at all times when you’re not using it. This way, people can’t listen in.

How To Set Your Phone for Privacy

The default factory settings on your phone are a double-edged sword. On one hand, they’re the best way to see what the creator recommends for you, and it makes it easy to get started. But sometimes, these features can have problems. They can be reducing your battery life, or share things you don’t want them to. So no matter what phone you use, you should change a few options around if you want to have the most security. And this guide will help you to find those.

For Any Device

We’ll get to the specifics in a minute, but first we should look at things that all devices have that you should turn on.

Lock Your Screenphone-lock-55

Screen locking is the best way to protect your phone from nosy peers or people who may be able to access it if you lose your device. It may be a bit annoying to type those digits every time you use your phone, but if someone tries accessing, you’ll be glad you secured it. While different devices have different locks, this guide will cover the PIN, which is the most secure and easy to recall.

Locking an Android

Go to Settings, Security, and then Screen Lock. This will allow you to choose your own PIN.

Locking an iOS

Just go to Settings and then Passcode.

Lock a Windows Phone

If you have a Windows phone, go to Settings and then Lock Screen. This will allow you to choose a password option.

Stopping Ad Tracking

We all know how intrusive online ads can be. They track and target you, especially via social media. While it’s par for the course in the world of the Internet, there are ways to make sure that less info is gathered to use against you.

Stop Ads With Windows Phone

Go to Settings and click on Advertising ID. After that, all you need to do is turn it off. Meanwhile, on iOS, you can go to Settings, Privacy, and then Advertising to reduce the amount of tracking you have. Just make sure to enable Limited Tracking afterwards.
For your Android, you need an app called Google Settings. This app can also be used to turn off services that may drain your battery, but it can be used to turn off your ad preference. Go to Ads and then Opt Out of Interest Based Ads. This will shut off a lot of data that Google collects about you.

Turning On Find Your Phone

Back in the day, if you lost your phone, you were out of luck, or you had to download a separate app. However, this is all changed. The smartphones today have their own methods to find your phone if you lost it. However, you have to turn them on, or you may have few options in finding your phone.

For iOS

Go to Settings, iCloud, and then Find My iPad/iPod/iPhone. And that’s that. To see where phone-locate-32your device is, just install the Find My iPhone app on another device, or go to the web version that’s viewable with any desktop.

For Windows Phone

Go to Settings and then Find My Phone. You can then turn it on, and use a website to look at your phone’s location, as well as a few other features.

For Android

Go to Google Settings and head to Android Device Manager. The top box will allow you to find your phone, and the bottom is something you should enable as a last effort if you can’t find your device. You can either download an app or use a site to see where your phone is.

Do Not Allow Browsers to Save Your Password

Many browsers allow you to remember a password, which allows you to conveniently log in without having to input a password. However, if you have this on, anyone who finds your phone can use this to their advantage and see what site’s you’re visiting. So when it asks to remember your password, it would be wise to say no.
If you have already saved passwords, don’t worry. You can turn them off.

Turning Off iOS Passwords

Simply go to Settings, Safari, and then click on Passwords & AutoFill. Look at your saved passwords and remove them if you can, as well as other things that may intrude on your privacy.

Turning Off Windows Phone Passwords

Go to Settings, Applications, and then Internet Explorer. Afterwards, go to Advanced Settings. Select Don’t Remember under Website Passwords. Go to IE’s settings and choose Delete History if you have passwords that are already saved.

Turning Off Android Passwords

Open up Chrome and select the menu bar on the top right, which should have three dots. Click on Settings and then Save Passwords. You can turn off passwords it’s saved, as well as turning off the feature altogether.

So what if you want the convenience of stored passwords without having to risk security? Try checking out the app LastPass, which you can get for twelve bucks a year. This encrypts your passwords behind a master one instead of all being stored on your phone.

Always Back Up

Backing up your phone is a great idea, and each phone has their own little way of doing a backup. However, they will not back up everything on your phone, so it’s just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to backing up properly.

Backing Up Android

Go to Settings and Backup &Reset. Go through the boxes and check them, and when you turn on your new phone, you’ll have all your app data and Wi-Fi passwords.

Backing Up iOS

Go to Settings and then iCloud. You can select what data it backs up. It’s a good idea to choose as much as possible unless you are out of space. Regardless, make sure the option is enabled.

Backing Up Windows

Go to Settings and Backup, and then make sure that you select it. You can click on it for more options as to what you can backup as well.

Individual Privacy Settings

iOS

Many apps you download will ask you for permissions, such as accessing your photos. Sometimes, you need this on if you want the app to work properly, but many apps, such as phone-privacy-settings-43Facebook Messenger, you might need to be wary of. So go to Settings and then Privacy to view what apps you granted permission to. If it needs to have permission to work, turn it on. If not, maybe you’re best to turn it off.

If you want to adjust your location sharing, go to Settings, Privacy, Location Services, and then scroll down to System Services. You turn off location-based ads and sharing if you don’t feel like it’s necessary. However, your location for such things as changing time zones and finding your devices is ideal.

Android

Android is more prone to viruses, so you need to make sure to be educated and try to take preventative measures if you want your phone to be safe. You should first disallow your phone to install apps that aren’t from Google Play. While there are good apps from other sources, you should keep it off until you’re ready to install those apps.

Go to Settings, Security, and Unknown Sources. Uncheck the box and then make sure that Verify Apps is enabled. This will look at apps that are installed and see if there are any legitimate concerns.

In the Security menu is also the Device Administration. These contain apps that require a great amount of permission to use. Look and see if any of those apps you use or if they’re enabled. Research to see if the app is good.

If you don’t know too much about permissions, you should. They work differently than iOS, so be sure to look up on them.

Windows Phone

Windows Phone surprisingly doesn’t have many settings that need to be tweaked, but you should look at the Kid’s Corner. The Kid’s Corner will allow you to put apps on your kids to use and nothing else. To do this, go to Settings and then Kid’s Corner. Enable a PIN so that your kids will not be able to see everything on your phone.

And with that, your device should be secured and good to go. While it’s no fun tweaking all these settings, it will pay off. While default settings can be good, sometimes the manufacturer will consider convenience over your own personal privacy. So feel free to tweak the settings to your preferred privacy level.

Boost Your Android Phone Performance with These Simple Tricks!

Android has a whole slew of hidden features which, once accessed, can greatly improve you user experience, and allow you a greater degree of control over other features and apps. While these may be aimed at more advanced users, casual users can be also benefit from them, in more ways than one.

I have personally tried out each of these features I am about to list here, and I can honestly say that I cannot imagine not using them every day. If you would like to join me, keep on reading as I go into a bit more detail about some useful, yet often overlooked Android features.

GPS vs. Power Saving

This feature is useful if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t need GPS. In case you didn’t know, GPS is one of “thirstiest” features on your cell phone, and you can save a lot of power by sacrificing some of its accuracy.tricks for android Starting with Android 4.4 KitKat, your GPS location can be determined by taking advantage of the local Wi-Fi networks, or cell phone towers in near proximity, which can extend your battery life significantly. In order to switch back and forth between this mode and the fully functional GPS mode, go to Settings – > Location.

Gain Access to Developer Mode

Many users were outraged when they realized there was no Develop Mode on devices running KitKat. If you were using stuff like USB debugging, and some of the options which allowed you to limit the activity of the processes that were going on in the background, as well as advanced options like CPU usage overlay, you can take a deep breath and relax, because all of it still there. To access it again, go to Settings – > About Device/Phone, and locate the Build number at the bottom. Once you’re there, tap it seven times in order to re-add Developer features to your phone.

Manage Your Memory

After you’ve done all the stuff I’ve just described, you will find yourself gaining access to Developer options, which means you can also get an insight into how your memory is used by all the different apps you have on your phone. Go to Settings – > Developer Options – > Process Stats to see a visual representation of how your memory is being used up. That way, you can determine why your phone is a bit lazy on occasion and which app is causing it to slow down.

I hope there is something there that you have not heard before. Keep reading to find some great tips and guides.

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