Sunday, 29 April 2012

Ways To Revive iPhone's Battery

Do you still keep your old iPhone models? Like the 3G and the 3GS? Some of my friends and I still do. And we have a common problem, the battery can no longer hold a charge. The phone can be charged up to 100% but when you start using it the battery drains very quickly. The only sensible solution at this point is to replace it. And it can be done by sending to apple or replacing it yourself. The problem is, it can be expensive and complicated, but can be cheap and easy, as long as you know what to buy! Here's a useful guide, read through and see what's best suited for you.

Replace it yourself with internal battery

This is an option for the brave and with experience. You need to buy the battery which at ebay costs at least £4, plus the opening kit. 

The iPhone's battery is located and kept very securely. It is not straightforward to open the case and change the battery like other mobiles. Opening it up is a problem, if you manage to open it, replacing the battery is an added problem, then putting it back together after replacing it is  another problem! And your warranty becomes void when you open the case yourself.

See guide video on how to open and replace the battery of an iPhone 3G below.

Now you know it is not for the faint heart and needs a bit of an expertise and practicality to do it yourself.

Send it to apple

This is more reliable than doing it yourself. You will not lose your warranty and you can count on the service. The problem here is the costs and the waiting time. Service arranged through apple at the time of this post is £55, plus a shipping cost of £7.44. See link below for more information. While this service is reliable, it may not be sensible because of the cost. Especially when you just want to give away your old device. But if you still want to keep and use it as your main phone then this is the best solution.

Buy external battery case

If you want to revive the power instantly this is the most practical option. Buy a power sleeve, or external battery case for your iPhone. It costs at least £10 from ebay, see related products below, and other sources like at mymemory. You can buy it for £9, delivery included.

The power sleeve is doubled as a case for the iPhone, that's why it is also called a battery case. It is lightweight but a bit bulky. But the bottom line is, it works and it is cheaper and safer than the two other options above.

The unit  is a polymer battery encased in a lightweight material. It has a mini USB port for charging. The battery indicator has 4 lights that lit up during charging to show how much power  the unit been charged and a button to press to know how much power is still left. There's an on and off button as well to turn the sleeve to power up the iphone. The same button doubles up to charge the iphone as well while charging the power sleeve. The unit comes with a mini USB connector but without a power charger. This doesn't matter as you can use the iPhone's original wall charger to plug in the mini USB or any other 5 volts charger that has a mini USB socket.

Front view

Back view while being charged, note the lit up led light indicating the charge

The iPhone within the power sleeve

As simple as it is, it revives iPhone's battery instantly, cheaply and without sweat. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

How To Do More With Mobile Internet Access

Internet access in my birthplace is a pain. There's still no land telephone line available and the only access there is is mobile internet powered by mobile networks! There is HSPDA (enhanced 3G) signal but sometimes it is intermittent. This is due to the location of our family house which is very near the hills and mountains with tall trees around the area.

My sister's experience with mobile internet using a dongle by Globe, a local mobile network, is most of the time disappointing. She explained that the signal is intermittent, it takes a lot of time to load a page and sometimes the "load", data allowance or internet time, is finished even before the webpage is shown! I tried it myself and I've waited infront of her laptop with the hope to check my emails. I gave up after 5 minutes!

My suspects for the let down were the network's signal strength, the network's data bandwidth.and the dongle's capability of detecting data signals.

I remembered my UK phone with UK sim, turned it on and my phone roamed to Globe! Configurations for internet were automatically received and installed them on my phone. Next thing I did was to buy a regular local globe network sim card and tried going into the internet. Surprisingly, the signal is good and the web pages loaded fast, at least in my phone! How about in my sister's laptop?

Luckily, my phone has a hotspot function. It's similar to internet tethering on iPhones. The advantage of hotspot function over iPhone's tethering is it can provide internet for multiple devices instead of just one.

My sister's laptop was connected into the internet for the first time without much waiting. But still, there are sites that the laptop struggled to load and showed error in loading web pages. This might be because the mobile internet allowance was not enough and that other web pages has a lot of components that drain fast the total amount of data purchased. Then I thought of ways on how to save mobile data allowance and on how to stretch the time online while using a laptop. 

1. Access wap or mobile version  of a web page. 

This makes really a difference when you are using a laptop using a mobile internet access. You can just type in the wap page address and the wap page appears faster than the normal web page. This version of a website is like a "mini" version of the full sites. It is trimmed in a way that unnecessary web page elements are not shown. This saves data allowance therefore stretching your time online.

Below are samples of web pages accessed using their wap addresses and full web versions

Yahoo log in wap version

Yahoo log in full version

Yahoo home wap version

Yahoo home full web

Most websites has wap versions, just google wap or mobile versions of websites you usually access. You can also use the wap version of google to search.

2. Choose data limit over time limit.

When purchasing mobile internet using globe network, it is wiser to choose the amount of data limit rather than time limit. When you choose time limit, your internet access will then be cut off once you've reached your time without any regards of the data you have used, while in data limit, your internet will not cut off until all your data allowance is finished.

Here's how to set up using globe network's POWERSURF50. This tariff will give you 100MB of data or 5 hours surfing the net valid for 3 days.

Text POWERSURF50 to 8888. A confirmation message will be texted back to you and an instruction for you whether you like 5 hours of internet or 100MB of internet data over 3 days. Text TIME50 (time limit) if you choose 5 hours or MB50 (data limit) to get 100MB of internet valid for 3 days.

3. You can also save data by compressing or resizing your photo if you want to upload them.

4. Viewing videos and listening to streaming radio or music can drain up fast your mobile internet allowance.

5. Avoid viewing high definition images.

6. As much as possible, use mobile devices when using mobile internet specially when your data allowance is  limited.

Remember that accessing mobile internet using your laptop is much different from accessing from full broadband access. The key to enjoy it is to make your data use into minimum as much as possible.


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