Turn Your Smartphone Upside Down

Even with today’s advanced batteries, the quest for better battery life rages on. With the bigger screens of modern devices, you might have trouble getting through half a day with your battery.

Developers have come up with all sorts of tricks to squeeze a bit more life out of device batteries. Here is one tip for saving battery life that you may not be aware of.

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Turn Your Smartphone Upside Down

The secret is that when your iPhone is face down, incoming notifications don’t turn on the screen. This means that when you’re sitting at your desk for hours not looking at your phone anyway, setting it face-down can be a big battery booster. Of course, there are times when you want to glance at notifications, and can certainly keep your phone face-up when that’s the case.

Screens are one of the biggest battery drainers, so you should see an improvement in battery life when practicing this nifty little tip. It does require motion sensing to be turned on in your Settings. Browse to Settings > Privacy > Motion & Fitness and make sure Fitness Tracking is enabled. If it’s turned off, your iPhone will turn the screen on no matter if it’s face-down or not.

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Halloween Marks the End of Windows 7 Sales

Image result for goodbye windows 7Soon, Windows 10 will be the only Windows operating system (OS) you can officially buy.

Come the end of this month, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) like Dell or HP will no longer be able to create and sell new computers with Windows 7 or 8.1 pre-installed. Instead, they will all have to use Windows 10.

End of Sales

Every version of Windows has a lifecycle, which begins with the release of the product and ends when Microsoft no longer officially supports it. One milestone within the product lifecycle is called end of sales. This refers to the date when a version of Windows is no longer provided to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Toshiba, Dell, or HP. This means that they won’t be able to pre-install the OS on any new systems they produce.

Windows End of Sales

The end of sales date for Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate was back in 2014. For Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1, the cut off point is at the end of this month: October 31, 2016. Microsoft gave their customary one year announcement for this, so it won’t come as a surprise to the OEMs. In fact, Microsoft extended the date for Windows 7 Professional because of the general public’s disliking for Windows 8.

However, that end date is now fast approaching. From November 2016, every new Windows system that an OEM produces will run Windows 10.

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End of Windows 7 – Really?

Don’t panic. This doesn’t mean that you suddenly won’t be able to buy new systems with Windows 7 installed, though that will eventually be the case. Although OEMs can’t produce new computers with 7 or 8.1 come Halloween, there’s nothing to stop them from selling Windows 7 and 8.1 systems still in stock.

Buying Windows 7

You’ll probably be able to find some decent discounts on older systems that have Windows 7 and 8.1 installed. OEMs will be trying to clear out their inventories. If you’re in the market for a new computer, then it might be worth waiting a couple of weeks for any price drops. Windows 7 Professional laptops are still available to buy and many of those same OEMs are still stocking similar products.

Supporting Windows 7

Windows 10 is obviously Microsoft’s priority, but many people simply prefer Windows 7 and have blocked the upgrade to Windows 10. If you buy a system with Windows 7 Professional, you don’t need to worry about being left in the dark. Though Microsoft won’t be developing any new features for the OS, they are still offering what they call “extended support” until January 14, 2020. This basically means that any major security flaws will be fixed, but nothing else will change.

Don’t get too worried about Windows 7 Professional no longer being installed by OEMs. You could always buy a separate copy of Windows 7 Professional from a retailer like Amazon, while they continue to have them in stock, even if your system doesn’t come with it.

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My iPhone 7 Review

Apple’s new iPhone has a couple of differences from the 6s. It has a faster CPU, no headphone jack, improved camera, and no home button. Only Apple can remove so much and call it innovation. Is there truth here? Is there innovation with removing all of these things we have become so used to? At the end of the day is the iPhone 7 a worthy smartphone and is it superior to the iPhone 6s?

I upgraded from an iPhone 6s which means I am getting almost two years of refinement with the device and the processor. The good news is that the speed improvements are noticeable. On my 6s, apps were starting to feel a bit sluggish and opening the camera and switching between the camera modes highlighted this issue.

With the 7 everything is a bit snappier but at the same time, it also heats up more. The 6s would get hot under load too but it feels like the 7 reaches higher temperatures faster than the older phone. I will see if this continues to happen over time.

Goodbye Phone Jack

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The big controversy with this phone is that there is no headphone jack. Apple suggests that they removed the headphone jack for the sake of innovation. If Apple really wanted to push everyone forward, they would have dropped the headphone jack and their proprietary connector and gone with USB-C for both headphone and charging; this is a change I would fully support. Instead, we have Apple pushing headphones that are either wireless or use their own adapter which is convenient since they recently bought a headphone company.

Camera

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Apple has made a big deal about its cameras over the past few generations of devices and the 7 is no different. While the 7 Plus gets the better update with two cameras, the 7 gets optical stabilization and a larger sensor. The ability to take photos in low light is easily accomplished with the 7 and pictures in broad daylight look great. At the end of the day this is a very good camera and it certainly does what it needs to do but I can’t tell a huge difference between my old phone.

Home Button

I was a concerned when I saw the changes to the home button. Switching to the taptic engine instead of an actual button is actually a risk for Apple. However I am glad to report it’s not really an issue and actually it feels quite natural. Apple did a good job with this change and for anyone who was holding off on purchasing this phone because of the home button changes, go ahead and buy the phone as you won’t regret it.

Battery Life

Battery life with the phone is average and it can easily last a workday but I would happily take a slightly thicker phone for significantly longer battery life. On a long day at a the office the battery can come up a little short. If you run up against battery issues regularly with your iPhone7 I recommend giving this a try. It is worth the $99.

Waterproof, Sort of

Here is another improvement over the previous iPhones.

If you happen to fall in the pool, or spill coffee over your phone, this iPhone will survive. However don’t take it for a swim on purpose.  Apple says it’s not designed for that sort of water exposure. And keep it away from salt water.

If it does get wet, Apple advises wiping it with a dry cloth and ensuring it is totally dry before opening the SIM tray and leaving it at least five hours before charging it. Don’t try to blow dry it because it won’t like the heat. And don’t shove something into the Lightning port to dry it because the folk at the Apple Genius Bar won’t like that if something goes wrong.

Upgrade Worthy?

The iPhone 7 is a very good phone but if you have a 6s, it may not be worth upgrading. But if you have a iphone 6 (not the S) or earlier and you want to stick with Apple the upgrade is a good deal.

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Facebook Responds to Hurricane Matthews

Social media is here to stay friends and it actually can play an important part in our lives. As Hurricane Matthews barrels it’s way across the eastern seaboard of the U.S. Facebook is making it easier to keep track of friends and family in it’s path.

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To make it easier to check on your friends and loved ones, Facebook has activated Safety Check. Inside the application, Facebook users can click a single button to let everyone know they’re safe, or out of the area during the time the disaster strikes. Previously, we’ve seen the feature activated after the Paris attacks, a major earthquake in Ecuador, and last year’s Nigerian bombing.

This new service really speaks to the power of social media.

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Amazon Announces “Prime Reading”

About a week ago I wrote about Amazon Prints and now Amazon continues to improve Prime membership with a new exclusive.

Amazon Prime subscribers now have access to more than a thousand free books, comics and magazines

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Prime Reading is the latest addition to Amazon’s premium subscription service adds more than a thousand best-selling books with titles including The Hobbit, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Man In the High Castle, The Millionaire Next Door, Half Way Home and When I’m Gone.

Additionally, users will have access to electronic magazines such as Bon Appétit, National Geographic Traveler, People, Sports Illustrated, HGTV, Popular Mechanics, Golf Digest and Runner’s World. As for comics, subscribers can download the first volumes of Transformers: Robots in Disguise and Complete Peanuts.

Amazon Prime already included one free pre-released book, but Prime Reading provides much more access to reading material for subscribers – putting it on par with Amazon’s unlimited video and music streaming service for select TV shows, movies and songs.

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