How To – Review Tech http://reviewtech.info Best Product Reviews Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:04:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 How Long Should a Laptop Last? http://reviewtech.info/long-laptop-last/ http://reviewtech.info/long-laptop-last/#respond Tue, 20 Dec 2016 07:42:52 +0000 http://reviewtech.info/?p=3137 One thing you may be wondering before shopping for your new laptop is How long will this thing last me? Obviously there’s no way to know exactly, but given past examples of the longevity of similar models, you can get an idea of how long your machine will be capable and useful before it’s either ...

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One thing you may be wondering before shopping for your new laptop is How long will this thing last me? Obviously there’s no way to know exactly, but given past examples of the longevity of similar models, you can get an idea of how long your machine will be capable and useful before it’s either phased out of broken altogether. Let’s take a closer look at what makes a laptop go the long haul.

What Damages a Laptop Over Time?

Aside from the most obvious accidents that would destroy your laptop such as dropping it on the floor or getting it wet, here are some factors that affect laptop longevity:

  • Temperature
  • Moisture and humidity
  • Vibrations and frequent bumps and dings
  • Prolonged overheating

Always Keep Your Laptop Clean

Keep Your Laptop CleanYou should clean your laptop often and keep it dust free if possible. You don’t want anything making its way into your laptop as it will obviously run better without dirt, dust, crumbs, sand, or anything else affecting any of the components.

How Long Will My Processor Last?

Processor
Processors

It’s understandable to be concerned about how long your laptop’s specs will hold up, but the truth is that you will most likely want to get a new laptop anyway before its processor becomes too slow to keep up with the pack—that is, unless you’re into cutting edge gaming. There are also several other ways you can speed up performance that don’t involve replacing the processor or buying a whole new laptop.

If you’re shopping for a new laptop, the minimum specs your laptop should have in order to still be useful in a few years are 4 GB of RAM (though 8 would be better for the long run) and an Intel core i3 6th gen or equivalent. You should also keep in mind that the amount of high definition content online is increasing every day. A 720p screen is the least you ought to get, with 1080p or even 4K being ideal.

Gaming Laptops are a Whole Different Beast

Gaming Laptops
Gaming Laptops

If you want cutting edge performance, your laptop will not be able to keep up for very long compared to the basic longevity offered by laptops for common use. You do have the option of spending a lot more to get something with enough power to stay relevant for a few good years though. Otherwise you’ll have to put in a new graphics card and possibly add more RAM or even replace the processor with a faster one to keep your machine competitive.

How Can I Make My Everyday Laptop Last Longer?

RAM
RAM

The two easiest ways to extend the life of a laptop by increasing its performance down the stretch is to replace the HDD with an SSD and add more RAM. If you take a slow old laptop and do those two relatively inexpensive things to it, it will run like new again, or probably even better than it did when you first got it. Buying a protective case for your laptop is a good idea too to help make sure it gets that far.

Generally, a midrange laptop should run well for at least three years. If you take good care of it, it will most likely run for significantly longer than that. It’s not unusual for a laptop to last five years if it doesn’t get damaged at some point during that time. With the tips we’ve given you here, you’ll be able to ensure you get the most out of your laptop.

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mSATA vs SATA: What’s the Difference? http://reviewtech.info/msata-vs-sata-whats-the-difference/ http://reviewtech.info/msata-vs-sata-whats-the-difference/#respond Mon, 12 Dec 2016 15:40:43 +0000 http://reviewtech.info/?p=3126 mSATA and SATA are both solid state drives (SSD) that can be used in place of a traditional hard disc drive (HDD) in your laptop or PC. SATA type SSD memory is much more commonly used, as mSATA was usually only used as a 16 GB or 32 GB cache drive due to its very ...

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SATA
SATA
mSATA
mSATA

mSATA and SATA are both solid state drives (SSD) that can be used in place of a traditional hard disc drive (HDD) in your laptop or PC. SATA type SSD memory is much more commonly used, as mSATA was usually only used as a 16 GB or 32 GB cache drive due to its very compact size. This smaller capacity mSATA would cache files for your most used programs and system files to speed up performance. It would be paired with an HDD as 32 GB is obviously not enough to serve as a primary drive.

Unlike the additional memory of your mother board’s ROM chip for BIOS menu purposes, a secondary mSATA can be used as the owner pleases. Only recently has memory storage technology advanced to allow enough space on an mSATA for an operating system to run off of and for common use to replace an HDD. Capacities for mSATA now range all the way up to 1 TB.




mSATA connects differently than an HDD or SATA SSD does. It doesn’t have the 2.5” housing that a SATA SSD has either. It looks similar to an integrated circuit and usually comes without any outer casing around it at all. Both mSATA and SATA usually operate at SATA III speed. If you want a faster read/write speed, then you have to buy one that runs at m.2.

What is eSATA?

eSATA is electronic serial ATA, which means that it is an external drive connected through a wire. Several years ago, this was the fastest and best way to transfer files. But now that USB 3.0 is out and included with most notebooks, eSATA is not really necessary anymore. A basic external USB 3.0 HDD will perform just as fast.

Which is Better, mSATA or SATA?

SATA
SATA
mSATA
mSATA

Neither of them is necessarily better than the other, because they function in virtually the same way. mSATA is small enough to fit in very slim devices, so it has the edge in terms of compatibility with a variety of modern devices. On the other hand, not all older laptops and PCs support mSATA. For performance, the type of either one you get, SATA III or m.2 ,is what matters.

Some people claim SATA is still faster than mSATA even when they are the same speed rating. These claims are false when the two are manufactured to be equally fast if they are in the same speed class, SATA III or m.2.

If you’re shopping for new and faster memory for your computer, be sure to check if your machine is compatible with mSATA. If it isn’t, than SATA SSD will be just as good and you can still get it at the highest available speed.




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How To Get The Best Out Of Your Camera http://reviewtech.info/how-to-get-the-best-out-of-your-camera/ http://reviewtech.info/how-to-get-the-best-out-of-your-camera/#respond Tue, 15 Nov 2016 21:11:11 +0000 http://reviewtech.info/?p=3009 Whether you’re using a simple point-and-shoot to take everyday pictures or you’ve just got your first DSLR, getting to completely know all there is about your camera and the equipment that comes with it may seem a bit intimidating. That said, knowing how to use each setting and when is crucial for making those professional-looking, ...

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Whether you’re using a simple point-and-shoot to take everyday pictures or you’ve just got your first DSLR, getting to completely know all there is about your camera and the equipment that comes with it may seem a bit intimidating. That said, knowing how to use each setting and when is crucial for making those professional-looking, breath-taking shots. Fortunately, here are some tips that will help you up your photography game to a new level and make sure you’re taking amazing photos.

Go through the manual

A lot of people actually never read the manuals, but they can tell you a lot about your camera’s strengths and weaknesses. Finding out all there is about your camera, including what all the buttons do and what every option means is what separates the amateurs from those with a more serious approach to photography. The manual contains everything, ranging from presets information to disabling the sound which notifies you every time something’s in focus. You don’t need to know it by heart, but make sure you’ve at least read it once and you’d be surprised what you might learn about your particular camera model.

Let go of the auto mode

Camera ControlsUsing your camera on automatic mode can not only make you lazy by doing everything for you, but it also prevents you from actually learning how to use your camera. Try switching to a different mode, such as shutter priority and aperture priority or you can go full manual. This puts you in direct control over the process of making photographs, but you’ll have to learn what each dial or button does. This allows you to make the proper settings before each shot, guaranteeing you’ll make an excellent photo each time you shoot.

Enable taking raw pictures

Most people don’t actually need to shoot in RAW format. JPEGs are the norm these days and most of the time they get the work done. However, RAW is an uncompressed format, unlike JPEG. What this means is that you have more freedom to play around with different aspects of the picture in post-processing. You can also enable the camera to take both formats at the same time, so you can share the JPEGS with your friends while having RAW files to work on later. Just make sure you get a big enough memory card, as RAW files tend to take a lot of storage space.

Get your hands on a good prime lens

LensThese days, most DSLRs come equipped with a medium zoom lens out of the box. This is called a kit lens and it comes bundled with the camera. It’s useful in most situations, such as outdoor photography, however, it does behave rather poorly in a low light situation. This is where prime lenses come into play. They shoot at a fixed focal length, as opposed to kit lenses which shoot at a number of different lengths. They also use fast shutter speeds in conditions with low light and give you a narrower depth of field, allowing you to make better quality pictures then you would with a regular zoom.

Don’t use the on-camera flash

Camera with flashThe main issue with an on-camera flash is that it’s sitting right next to the lens. And it shoots light parallel to the lens, which leads to awkward, almost shadowless images. Either invest in a flash that attaches to your camera or try increasing the ISO. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, or else you’ll end up noise, which is a fancy term for grainy photos. Play around with different lighting conditions until you’ve figured out the exact ISO setting for any situation. If you’re unsure what type of flash you should get, you can always check for gear and digital cameras online, or at your local camera store.

Just because you have a relatively inexpensive point-and-shoot camera and not the latest model worth several hundreds of dollars does not mean that you can’t shoot amazing photos. Even if you do own a top of the line DSLR with all the necessary equipment money can offer that does not make you a professional photographer. Get to know your camera and the equipment that comes with it. And shoot a lot of pictures in as many different situations to get first-hand practical experience on which setting works the best.

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When is the Best Time to Buy a Laptop? http://reviewtech.info/best-time-to-buy-laptop/ http://reviewtech.info/best-time-to-buy-laptop/#respond Sun, 07 Aug 2016 22:25:17 +0000 http://reviewtech.info/?p=2913 Waiting for the right time of year to buy your laptop is a wise decision. If you’re not in a hurry to get a replacement, you can get a significant discount by simply waiting for the right time to buy one. Prices for retail electronics often fluctuate, and sales are common. Depending on how long ...

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Waiting for the right time of year to buy your laptop is a wise decision. If you’re not in a hurry to get a replacement, you can get a significant discount by simply waiting for the right time to buy one. Prices for retail electronics often fluctuate, and sales are common. Depending on how long you’re willing to wait, it might pay off to hold out on your purchase for a few months and wait for a really big shopping day to come.

How to Know if You Need a Replacement

If your computer is having any malfunctions that interrupt your daily usage, consider how much time you are spending fiddling with your machine to get it to work right. Is it really worth it to keep hanging on to it if it actively wastes your time? Investing in something new will save you time because the performance of your new machine will be significantly faster.

If your laptop isn’t malfunctioning, but is hindered by its outdated processor, lack of sufficient RAM, or low screen resolution, you will eventually have to buy a new one outright to keep up with the available media online, updates to programs you may currently use, and video games (if you play any). It’s generally recommended you upgrade or replace your computer once every three years to stay up to pace.

What is the Best Time of Year to Purchase a New Laptop?

Black Friday is when most of the biggest sales are, but there are also several other big shopping days to choose from.  Back to school sales happen every summer, usually beginning in June and ending in August. Price tracking tools such as Price Zombie or Slick Deals Price Tracker can give you a look at how the price of a particular product has fluctuated over time. That will give you a good idea of how much it’s really worth and whether or now you’re getting a good price.

When are the New Releases?

New processors being released usually guide the releases of new laptops as well as they are widely considered the most key component to an update. For PC’s, new releases most often come with the big sale seasons, back to school and the holiday season. Aside from the holiday season and back to school, spring usually also sees some new releases happening in February, March and April. Mac on the other hand operates on a different schedule. Apple typically releases new computers once annually during summer, although not necessarily at that same time every year. Waiting for them to release a new product before buying is the best way to avoid paying top dollar for a model that’s soon to be obsolete.

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Are Streaming Media Players Your Best Option For Internet TV? http://reviewtech.info/streaming-media-players/ http://reviewtech.info/streaming-media-players/#respond Fri, 17 Jun 2016 12:51:56 +0000 http://reviewtech.info/?p=2870 Although it may not have quite the same live TV options, or the universal search and content discovery options that satellite and digital packages have to offer, Internet TV still provides a mass of content for those that are willing to put in a little extra effort. What’s more, many of the catch-up services and ...

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Although it may not have quite the same live TV options, or the universal search and content discovery options that satellite and digital packages have to offer, Internet TV still provides a mass of content for those that are willing to put in a little extra effort. What’s more, many of the catch-up services and most subscription services like Netflix are available too.

If you’re a heavy TV viewer, then you may want to wait before ditching your satellite subscription. Otherwise, there are plenty of options to enjoy streaming Internet TV and catch-up services. But, which one is the best for you and your requirements?

Smart TV

Smart TVThe Smart TV should be the perfect solution for those wanting Internet TV. Access to the Internet, typically via a choice of wireless or wired connection, directly from your TV means that you don’t need additional wires, you don’t need an extra, obtrusive box, and you can enjoy content on your big TV in the lounge. However, if you have any but some of the latest and best models, the user interface can prove clunky, while many TV manufacturers haven’t managed to secure apps for all of the biggest services so you could end up missing out on some high quality programming.

If you’re upgrading your TV anyway, and you do enjoy services like Netflix and Amazon, as well as catch up or on-demand TV, then invest in a decent Smart TV – one that has a dedicated processor and one that includes access to the channels and apps that you want.

Laptops And Computers

Dell XPS13 UltrabookLaptops and computers are an obvious choice and, for many people, they will provide all of the features that they need in order to enjoy Internet TV services. Laptops, in particular, are portable so can be used wherever you go, while HD monitors for desktop computers are inexpensive when compared to TVs. And, obviously, you can access every Internet TV service going.

However, you don’t enjoy the same viewing quality as you would through your TV. The screen is typically smaller, audio options are limited, and if you do plug your laptop in through the aux or HDMI port on your TV, it means additional wires and it means that nobody else can use the computer while you’re watching TV. Good if you’re the sole viewer, are comfortable sat in a PC chair, or are looking for an affordable option and already have a laptop.

If you buy a premium laptop then you should find that viewing quality and audio are greatly improved; after all, these devices are made for playing the very latest games.

Mobile Devices

Samsung Galaxy ViewMobile or cell phones, tablets, netbooks, and chromebooks offer at least some access to Internet TV. Ideally, you will be able to download apps for the channels that interest you most, because some services may not be convenient or comfortable for use on mobile browsers.

Using a mobile device is only really an option when you have no other option. Screens are small, audio is poor quality except through headphones, and you will need to have your phone plugged in or risk using your battery up before your favourite show has finished. It can also quickly use up your monthly data allowance unless you’re on WiFi. Devices like Samsung’s Galaxy View, which offers a larger than normal tablet screen and improved viewing experience, could change things, but expect to pay a premium for this type of device.

If you’re buying a cell phone with the intention of watching Internet TV, then make sure that you get high quality audio output, such as the audio on the HTC One M9 to enjoy the best experience.

Streaming Media Players

Streaming Media PlayersStreaming media players are designed specifically for the very purpose of enabling you to watch Internet TV services on your TV. They are available as dongles or small set top boxes, they cost next to nothing in most cases, and if you buy an independent device like the Roku it means that you can install apps and channels for just about every service that is available in your area. However, streaming media players are not without their faults.

The greatest bugbear with this type of device is that every app and channel works independently. Some devices have introduced universal search features, and even some universal content discovery, but these are still severely limited. What’s more, they can be troublesome to work with at times, with dropped Internet connections and other niggling problems. Arguably the best option, along with a capable Smart TV, but still not really a viable alternative to satellite TV. At least, not yet.

Games Consoles

Games ConsoleIt is also worth mentioning games consoles in this discussion. Sony and Microsoft both bill their latest console iterations as being more than games consoles, and one of the features that they offer is the ability to install and use apps. Apps include many on-demand and streaming TV services, as well as film and TV rental services. They also include subscription packages like Netflix and Amazon.

However, the choice of channels remains limited, while the manufacturers’ own content channels are both expensive and lacking in high quality content. Things are likely to improve, and if you already have a console in your home then this could certainly be the most convenient and affordable option, but Internet TV is not a justifiable reason to part with the kind of money it costs to buy the latest Xbox or Playstation (unfortunately).

The Verdict

For the most part, if you want regular and high quality content, and you want to watch the latest shows and movies, then a satellite package remains your best option. However, Internet TV is more affordable and you can access a host of catch-up, on-demand, and subscription based packages.

A top notch Smart TV is probably your best bet, but if you don’t want to part with hundreds to buy one, then the streaming media player is probably your best bet, unless you’re happy to make do with a laptop or computer, or if you have a games console and only really watch content from a single service.

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Windows 10 Troubleshooting http://reviewtech.info/windows-10-troubleshooting/ http://reviewtech.info/windows-10-troubleshooting/#respond Thu, 02 Jun 2016 14:48:48 +0000 http://reviewtech.info/?p=2864 Every few years, windows releases new updates that overhauls the existing operating system. Their latest release, Windows 10 is no different. Like all operating systems, the Windows 10 is no stranger to common issues and problems. If you are a Windows 10 user and you’ve encountered a few kinks along the way, read on for ...

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Every few years, windows releases new updates that overhauls the existing operating system. Their latest release, Windows 10 is no different. Like all operating systems, the Windows 10 is no stranger to common issues and problems.

If you are a Windows 10 user and you’ve encountered a few kinks along the way, read on for solutions to the most common Windows 10 problems.

Issue: Installation and Update Problems

Solution: One of the top issues with the new Windows 10 is being unable to install the operating system. Some users who are updating from previous Windows versions like Windows 7 and 8 have also been having difficulty installing the new platform. The first step is to always check if your component is even compatible with the new update. Check system requirements and ensure that your computer meets all requirements. Next is to check if you have available memory. The Windows 10 needs at least 16GB-20GB of memory. If issues and errors are still encountered, Simon Handy and Rene Millman of I.T. Pro says here is what you should do:

Open Control Panel, run Windows Update and ensure that the PC is fully up to date. If updates fail, run the Windows Update Troubleshooter (see below, number 3)

Use the Media Creation Tool. Don’t rely on GWX: visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10, click Download tool now, save the tool and run it on the PC you want to upgrade. If this didn’t work for you back when Windows 10 launched, try it again now – the tool has been improved.

Make sure that hardware Disable Execution Prevention (DEP) is switched on in the BIOS, referring to your motherboard manual for help if you need it. If you still have problems, use the Start Menu to search for ‘performance’, run Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows, click the Data Execution Prevention tab and turn DEP on for all programs and services, then reboot and try again.

Issue: Google Chrome and Windows 10 Compatibility

Solution: For Chrome users, some have reported that upon updating or installing the new platform, their Google Chrome browser would freeze and crash. This was never a problem in previous operating systems. Some have even noted that upon launching Chrome, error notifications would appear saying that plugins are no longer working.

Users have made sure to amend the issue by making sure that their Chrome is up to date. Run an update check on your browser so that your Chrome is finally compatible with Windows 10. Some users suggest to use Incognito mode as a short term fix for the issue.

Issue: Wi-Fi Connectivity

Solution: After installation and update to the latest Windows operating system, some users have been riddled with error notifications such as “No Internet Connection” or upon turning on their Wi-Fi, no signal is detected even if a stable and nearby connection is present. A cause of this is that the drivers and components of the wireless adapter is still not compatible with the latest Windows 10. The best solution is to reinstall and update your Wi-Fi drivers and ensure that you have the supported VPN software.

Issue: Slow rebooting

Solution: Have you found yourself waiting countless minutes for your Windows 10 to reboot? Worried that your computer may be sluggish due to the lack of space and ram? Worry not because that isn’t the problem. A simple reason as to why rebooting can be slow us because of your computer’s startup settings. You may have too many programs that are enabled to run upon startup. This causes your system to take more time to reboot. Another reason is the presence of malware in your computer. A simple virus scan and clean up can solve this. To disable programs that run during startup, select the startup tab in your task manager and disable all programs that have high impact in your startup.

Issue: Playing DVDs

Solution: Upon the release of the Windows 10, some users have had difficulty in playing DVDs or Blu-ray. Some says this is because Windows 10 does not include any application to play DVDs. A quick solution is to download a third-part app that enables the support of DVDs and Blu-ray. There are paid apps that you may download but the best in the market is the free app called VLC.

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How to Decide Which Mobile OS is Right for You http://reviewtech.info/ios-vs-android/ http://reviewtech.info/ios-vs-android/#respond Tue, 01 Dec 2015 04:21:08 +0000 http://reviewtech.info/?p=2104 Android vs. iOS, iOS vs. Android. It’s a battle that seems almost as old as time itself by this point, fought on both sides by clutches of feverishly passionate fanboys with only one goal in mind: total mobile market domination. But is either one truly any “better” than the other, and if so, by how ...

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Apple vs AndroidAndroid vs. iOS, iOS vs. Android. It’s a battle that seems almost as old as time itself by this point, fought on both sides by clutches of feverishly passionate fanboys with only one goal in mind: total mobile market domination. But is either one truly any “better” than the other, and if so, by how much?

In the war of mobile OS vs. mobile OS there’s many different factors that you should consider before making your final purchase, so read on in our guide to find out which overall experience is going to be right for you.

Usability

It’s hard to split hairs in this department particularly because over the years and throughout hundreds of revisions, both operating systems have borrowed many of the same tricks from one another’s toolbox.

The notification center in iOS 2.0, which started as a fleeting, jumbled mess of text that was impossible to manage soon morphed into a bastardized version of what Android users already had in 3.0 Honeycomb. Android’s widgets were a wreck, so they looked at how Apple condensed the noise on the user’s home screen and quickly followed suit.

By Android’s latest 6.0 Marshmallow rollout and the arrival of iOS 9, both platforms excel in the category of general usability. Installed on a bleeding-edge device like a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Marshmallow 6.0 makes it easy for users to acutely customize their experience for everything from the notification center to their home screen with ease, as apps open, close, and swap back and forth with lightning speed.

On the other side of the ring, we have iOS 9. While the OS doesn’t make too many revolutionary improvements to many of the aesthetic changes brought about in its predecessor, this latest version does still take the already-pleasurable operating system to an elevated level of elegance that’s unmatched in the space.

Round One: Draw

Security

Right off the bat, you should know that the iPhone takes this category across the board, and the second place finisher isn’t even close.

These days, the mere mention of Android is enough to get internet security specialists quivering in their boots. It doesn’t seem like a week goes by where we don’t hear about some new attack or root vulnerability in the operating system’s architecture that leaves millions, or even billions of users open to having their personal information hacked.

iOS on the other hand has only experienced two very minor security holes throughout its entire lifecycle, both of which needed a very specific set of steps to happen one after the other to even be effective in the first place. With iOS, Apple has somehow managed to achieve the impossible by creating a nearly 100% virus-free experience, something that not even the most popular desktop-based OS’ like Windows 10 or OSX can claim.

The Cupertino company’s stalwart dedication to keeping its users safe has become the gold-standard, in an industry that has struggled for decades to create a system that was completely and totally hacker-proof. Conversely, the ball that Google has dropped with their own offering has made the threat landscape more dangerous than ever, linking people’s photos, credit card information, and even their fingerprints up to the worst parts of the underground web.

Round Two: iOS

Notifications

Although Apple has made many much-needed and well-received updates to its notification center over the years, this is one area where the company has always lagged just a little bit further behind its Mountain View counterpart.

One of the greatest motivators for early adopters of Android was its clear and obvious superiority in the space of notifications, with the ability to customize nearly every aspect of the experience down to the nose.

Even now, while the iOS 9 Notification Center is more than well-equipped enough to handle the job it’s been tasked with, Marshmallow’s mastery of notifications is simply unmatched. The double-edged nature of iOS is the same barrier that prevents it from getting infected by just any old app is also what keeps it from being able to reach the bar that’s been set by Android’s own team of engineers working on perfecting how your phone or tablet handles its alerts.

Apps

This is a hard one to call, simply for the fact that the lion’s share of apps that are actually any good or worth a user’s time support both Apple’s iTunes App Store as well as Google Play. Sure, it could be said that the App Store gets a few extra points for its market-leading dedication to vetting any and all apps that make it onto the charts for viruses or malware, the sheer volume of apps that are available on Google Play is usually enough to shut anyone on that side of the aisle down in an instant.

Both have their benefits and drawbacks for the same reasons that make the other look worse or better. While Apple’s stringent rules and regulations for entry into their Store make it difficult for indie developers to get their apps featured, Google’s laissez-faire approach to their Wild West-esque marketplace makes it easy for any developer (nefarious or otherwise) to get their apps through the front gates.

For this reason alone, we’re going to call this round as a draw.

Round Four: Draw

Final Score: iOS 2, Android 2

Results

And with that last round in this bout between the two titans of mobile, we come to the conclusion of our OS contest: Both have their merits, and it’s all about what kind of mobile experience you think would fit your lifestyle best.

For smartphone users who prefer to have most of the hard stuff figured out for them ahead of time and a secure place to store your prized photos and contacts, iOS offers a streamlined, one-size-fits-all experience that even the most technologically challenged customer can dive into without reading a training manual first.

For the power-user who prefers to maintain absolute control over their mobile device and use it however they please as soon as it’s out of the box, Android’s endlessly customizable mix of apps and UI tweaks can satisfy any ultra-nerd’s wildest fantasy. That’s what’s great about competition, is that when it comes down to it: it’s all about what you love the most, and who gives it to you for the best possible price, right?

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How to Smarten Up Your Home with IoT Devices http://reviewtech.info/how-to-smarten-up-your-home/ http://reviewtech.info/how-to-smarten-up-your-home/#respond Mon, 16 Nov 2015 14:18:08 +0000 http://reviewtech.info/?p=2026 Ever since the 1950’s, advertisers and inventors alike have dreamed of the perfect “smart home” solution, where a family can walk in the door, kick off their shoes, and let their house do the rest of the heavy lifting. Even though we might still be a few years away from a kitchen that cooks your ...

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Ever since the 1950’s, advertisers and inventors alike have dreamed of the perfect “smart home” solution, where a family can walk in the door, kick off their shoes, and let their house do the rest of the heavy lifting.

Even though we might still be a few years away from a kitchen that cooks your food or a washing machine that does your laundry for you, Internet of Things devices are taking the hassle out of everyday tasks like setting the thermostat, turning on your oven, or letting you know when you’re running low on milk.

But what is the Internet of Things, and why should you care? Read on to find out?

Smart Thermostats

Nest ThermostatFirst up, we’re going to start with smart thermostats like Google’s Nest.

Introduced a few years ago, the Nest was the first device to really introduce the average consumer to the idea of the Internet of Things. By linking your thermostat to your smartphone, the Nest works to carefully control the climate of your home by monitoring when you’re home, when you’re away, and even who’s in each individual room.

This sort of customization adds up to a unique experience, wherein each room in the house can be set to the personal preferences of whoever the Nest sees in that room at any given moment. You like things a bit warmer, but your daughter runs cold? No problem, crank the heat in your bedroom, and take that extra energy out of hers.

Nest coordinates with dozens of other IoT devices as well, including smart locks, smart lights, and smart fire alarms like the Nest Protect, which can alert you if smoke is detected even when you’re miles away from base camp.

Smart Bulbs

Hue smart light systemNext are smart bulbs, which are pretty much exactly what their name implies. Lightbulb manufacturers like Phillips and LG have both dipped their hats into the ring of smart bulbs, introducing the Hue smart light system that like the Nest, can be controlled through an app on your iOS or Android device.

Smart bulbs are great if you find yourself falling asleep while reading with the lights still on (Hue will detect when you’re no longer active and turn off the lights accordingly), or just want a way to tell your 10 year old it’s bed time without her being able to sneak in an extra 10 minutes that night.

Smart Locks

August Smart LocksNext up are smart locks.

Of all the devices we’ve mentioned here, smart locks are the one that consumers are still the most (understandably) cautious of running off to install in their home.

The locks work via a Bluetooth signal sent from your phone to their deadbolt, and will unlock anytime they detect your phone is near. The current problem with this system is that Bluetooth isn’t impossible to hack like WPA2 wireless connections, which means that if a burglar really wanted to break in, they wouldn’t even need a lockpicking kit. With laptops at the ready, all it would take is a little bit of creative code for the robbers to walk right in the front door of your home like they owned the place and clean it out dry.

As it stands, the biggest player in the space is August Smart Locks, who say they still don’t have any plans on the horizon to release a biometrically-linked lock that can take advantage of fingerprint scanners on smartphones anytime in the near future.

Smart Appliances

Smart FridgeLast up, we have smart appliances. These are the various fridges, dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers that have been slowly creeping onto the IoT scene as of late, and only making a splash with the most IoT obsessed consumers out there.

Due to their limited functionality and difficult setup, most buyers are still cautious of technology that does things like scan your groceries to alert you when you’re running low on something, or keep your wet clothes on tumble dry if it detects you aren’t home.
These are highly personal details that not many people are comfortable sharing with the internet just yet. Both router security and the security of the devices themselves will need to be proven over the next few years if people are going to be expected to buy the next smart toaster that’s released in the next half decade.

Wrap Up

So, is it only a few years before the dream of the 1950’s housewife and the automated home come true?

Well, kind of. Yes, many of the devices that our grandmothers wished they had in their time are available, but the market is still cautious to accept it unequivocally until we as the general public can be 100% assured of its security measures. The kind of data these devices rely on to function could be very dangerous in the wrong hands, which is why the industry will need to step up its protective game before you see the Average Joe rushing out to pick one up for his place.

While we keep many of our secrets online, people are still cautious of IoT devices because of the deeply personal data they can reveal if a hacker happened to get their hands on it. Everything from what you eat to when you fall asleep could become a part of the information docket that puts you at risk for having your privacy violated in all new and inventive ways, which means that if we want to take the Internet of Things seriously in the next few years, the security will have to past muster before everyone starts jumping on board.

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6 Tips to Improve The Performance of Your Android Smartphone http://reviewtech.info/6-tips-to-improve-the-performance-of-your-android-smartphone/ http://reviewtech.info/6-tips-to-improve-the-performance-of-your-android-smartphone/#respond Sat, 23 May 2015 06:11:34 +0000 http://reviewtech.info/?p=899 Here are 6 useful tips which can help you improve the performance of your android device

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It is not a secret that Android is the most popular and used OS for mobile devices. In this article I decided to share some useful tips, how you can improve the performance of your Android device.

Wearing the crown has it’s disadvantages and one of them is the big amount of scam applications. The Android Play Store has much less control when comparing to the Apple’s one and it allows people to publish almost all kind of apps, which in a lot of cases harms your devices. But this is also what made Play Store grow fast and even break all mobile market records. There are apps that steal your contact, mail or other personal info and do not harm your smartphone, other apps just start a service, which is running every time your phone is turned on, which is the main cause your phone is becoming slower. Therefore I think the first tip might be the most important one.

Use your brain when installing apps

Use Your Brain

People see different interesting apps in the store and start installing them immediately, which is often a big mistake causing harm on your device. Pick the apps you install, verify the author and read the permissions required by the app. Downloading an antivirus software for your will not help you, it will make your smartphone even slower, because of the background service it starts.

Read the reviews of an app, downloads number and author, because this information is the first indicator if an app is not trustworthy. After checking out this info, permissions are really important, you don’t want a “snake” game to access your contacts and personal info, right?

Forget the clearing memory apps

The clearing memory apps

As already mentioned, background services started from not used apps slow down the performance, that’s why RAM is always full or almost full. Guess what – I don’t use the memory cleaners, just because they do nothing. Honestly, apps do not have that deep access to clean your memory like a real task manager would (except if your phone is rooted), so what they mostly do is to stop inactive activities from running, therefore the RAM usage drops. But you don’t wanna press a button every time to clean the memory, right? Most androids have the task manager and even the Samsung TouchWiz has built-in RAM cleaner, so it makes no sense to install an additional app for this.

Discover developer options

Discover developer options

Though you are not a developer, using some settings in this menu, allow you to improve the performance in some aspects. Usually the menu is hidden, but you can unlock it by tapping several times on the build information in the About section.

What could be really useful are the options to limit background running apps or use gpu for 2D rendering. There are some more tweaks, but since most of you are not developers, I will write an additional article mentioning and explaining more about these options.

Power saving reduces performance a lot

Power saver turned on will reduce the performance of your smartphone

Having power saver turned on will reduce the performance of your smartphone so much that you will wonder if it is working normally at all. Power saving is cool, but you don’t need it turned on all the time. Instead decrease brightness and analyse battery usage.

Another thing I would like to mention here is again about the apps. Downloading apps for power saving, really? You know that this kind of apps need to run always in background, which will require even more usage of RAM or CPU performance. This makes no sense, just use the built-in power saver only in emergency cases, otherwise just decrease brightness as the display uses most from the battery.

Update your phone frequently

Android Update

This is another important tip – you should update the software on your smartphone often. Having a Galaxy S3 with stock software is slower than updating it to the latest firmware. There are a lot of updates in Android (especially Lollipop) which improve performance and battery life, that’s why you need to have them.

Also do not forget to update your apps frequently. Most of the time, bugs are fixed and performance issues are solved.

Root it, it doesn’t hurt

Android Root

Rooting and Android is not like jailbreaking an iPhone, mainly because the OS is free and some companies even recommend it. Rooting your phone means you gain admin access and you can do whatever you want.

Here I would like to mention the harmful apps again. If you have a rooted phone, installing a harmful app which is a scam, it can either steal all your personal info or permanently damage your phone. The best antivirus is in your head, use it, do not download it from the store.

Conclusion

So in order to conclude, I would say that the most important thing for you to do is to really use your head when installing apps. Actually it is similar with PCs, if you know what you are doing, you will never need an Antivirus software. Android gives you a lot of opportunities and obviously has a reason to be #1 mobile OS.

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7 Tips and Tricks – Apple Watch http://reviewtech.info/7-tips-and-tricks-apple-watch/ http://reviewtech.info/7-tips-and-tricks-apple-watch/#respond Tue, 19 May 2015 15:50:39 +0000 http://reviewtech.info/?p=870 The Apple Watch may look seriously cool on your wrist, but a lot of you don’t know all software features. The learning curve is massive. So this are my 7 tips and tricks for you to be a champ while using the Apple Watch and still looking really cool. Tip №1 – Siri This feature ...

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The Apple Watch may look seriously cool on your wrist, but a lot of you don’t know all software features. The learning curve is massive. So this are my 7 tips and tricks for you to be a champ while using the Apple Watch and still looking really cool.

Tip №1 – Siri

This feature was first introduced in the iOS devices while they are plugged in, but now it’s here on the Apple Watch. To activate just raise your wrist and say “Hey Siri”. From there you can ask for directions, call people, text people and even launch and even launch Apple Watch applications. I found this really helpful while driving.

Apple Watch "Hey Siri"

Tip №2 – Force Touch

Apple want to simplify the button layout on the watch, so they limit you to three types input, the screen, the digital crown and the side button. So Apple added an extra option called the force touch. On some applications it allows you to open up a menu for that application. But it is annoying to keep track of what works on what.

Apple Watch Force Touch

Tip №3 – Clearing Notifications

On Apple Watch you have the notification center, very similar to iOS, and you if you are a person getting tons of notifications, you may love this tip. So instead of swiping them away one by one – force touch on the screen and hit clear all.

Apple Watch Clearing Notifications

Tip №4 – Dismissing Long Notifications

For example if you got an e-mail and you choose to open it, and you may have to do some serious scrolling. You can just swipe down and away, and the notification goes away.

Tip №5 – Managing Your Applications

You can manage your apps right on the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. But if you want to do the old fashioned way, long press on the icons and wait until they dance. Then move them around to the preferred position.

Apple Watch Managing Applications

Tip №6 – Get Back to Previously Opened Applications

If you accidently open another app or just want to go back to the app you were just in, just double click the digital crown and it will send you over to the last app it was opened. This is extremely useful while driving.

Apple Watch Crown

Tip №7 – How to Take a Screenshot

On the Apple Watch all you have to do is press the digital crown and the side button all together and there we go. The photo will be saved onto your iPhone, not you Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Screenshot Animation

Now once you are on to these tips, you will be using the Apple Watch like a champ.

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