By Ethen Kim Lieser
And what we have witnessed in recent years are the sky-high price points of these devices. Just several years ago, spending north of a grand on a smartphone was unthinkable, but now, it’s pretty much commonplace.
If you did splurge on that brand-new device, be sure to protect that investment. To help you achieve that, here are five ways you can extend the life of your smartphone and keep it running in tip-top shape.
No. 1 on the list is the easiest thing that you can do: Get yourself a sturdy case. You might think that you’re always extra cautious when you go out, but your phone will inevitably hit the pavement. And while it may not totally shatter the screen, you may have to look at unsightly dents or scratches for the next year or two. Also, don’t think that you have to run out and get the most expensive case out there—often, spending only $10 or $20 can usually get the job done.
Next up is to always keep the screen and ports clean. It isn’t only about the aesthetics, however, as having dirty or clogged ports can affect connections and data transfers. Every once in a while, take a few minutes to clean out any dirt or gunk that can get lodged in crevices and ports. Q-tips and toothpicks can be great tools for this.
If you’re struggling with a slow phone, make sure to find and delete any apps you no longer use. Unnecessary apps not only eat up precious storage, but they can also even run tasks in the background and tap into system resources—which will only slow down your phone. To really make this an ongoing habit, set yourself a monthly reminder.
No. 4 is to always keep a close eye on your battery—the lifeblood of your smartphone. Although it can be difficult at times, try to avoid overworking and overheating that battery, as this will only age it faster and have you eventually spend more of your hard-earned cash to replace it. For example, if you’re going to spend a day at the park, keep your phone in a bag or in the shade to avoid long hours of direct sunlight that could potentially lead to the battery overheating.
Finally, try not to skip those operating system and app updates. They may not seem very urgent, but these updates do help make your phone run more smoothly. Not only that, they can also fix annoying bugs and resolve any potentially dangerous security issues. If you have an Android smartphone or an iPhone, make sure that automatic app updates are enabled.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.