Tuesday, February 17, 2015

8 Common Misconceptions About Smartphone Battery

  Smartphones have become an important part of our lives. Getting the most out of smartphone battery is a myth. Smartphone users are often found complaining this only irritating part of smartphone. There are some smartphones that promise the battery life of couple of days. 
Users go overboard to get maximum out of their smartphone battery. There are lot of wrong things, rumors that we hear about mobile batteries. Many users are seen following misconceptions about batteries. Today we have listed eight such misconceptions about mobile batteries. 

1. Batteries have ‘memory’

Some people think that you have to train your battery to behave in proper manner. They follow charge-discharge cycle for smartphone battery. They regularly drain the battery and charge it. They don’t plug in the smartphone to power source unless the battery is below 10 per cent. This is totally wrong concept. Frequent charges do not damage the battery. Batteries do not have memory.

2. Off-brand Chargers

This is one of the most common misconception in smartphone users. They think that off-brand chargers will harm the battery. That is not true, it will not harm the battery or the device as long as the charger is working properly. However, most of off-brand chargers aren't optimal and thus, they take longer time to charge the battery. 

3. Overnight Charging

You must have heard someone talking how charging the phone overnight damages battery. This is completely false, most smartphones are smart enough to understand when the battery is at capacity and it should stop charging it. There is one trick though, if you can keep your phone’s battery between 40 per cent to 80 per cent, it will ensure long life.

4. Using Phone While Charging

People think that using a phone while it is being charged has negative impact on the quality of charge that battery gets. This is completely false concept. Irrespective of you use the device or not, the battery will charge as expected. The smartphone will get charged at usual rate unless you are using some cheap charger.

5. Turning Off The Phone

Users have this big misconcept that turning the phone off while it is being charged will damage the battery. It is completely fine to shut the device off while charging. In fact, in some devices, a simple reboot can restore the battery functionality. In case of Android, it is recommended to reboot the device once in a while to restore the battery functionality.

6. Charge Your New Phone Full Before Using

Many users think that they should full charge the new phone before using it for the first time. This is a big myth. The fact is, smartphone batteries work best between 40 to 80 per cent. Most smartphone batteries are at half capacity when they are shipped. There is no harm in using your new smartphone immediately.

7. Putting Battery In Freezer

We are not in 80s anymore. People used this method a lot few decades ago to get most of their AA batteries in torch. Li-ion batteries used in smartphone get negatively affected by heat and cold. Smartphone batteries are designed to work best at room temperature. 

8. Using Task Managers

Third party task managers have nothing to do with the battery life. Some users think whitelist/backlist of tasks can help to get most out of the battery but this is completely false. Task managers can certainly help in better control and management of apps and background tasks but, they have nothing to do with the battery. It is wrong to assume that third party task of battery manager apps will extend the life of battery any better than the default. 

Now Zoom In And Out With A New Version Of Telescopic Contact Lens!

 The latest version of telescopic contact lens has been unveiled by researchers that allows the user to zoom in and out with a wink of an eye. To avail the special function, the contact lenses need to be paired with smart glasses that can recognise winks and ignore blinks so that wearers can switch between normal and magnified vision.
telescopic contact lens,  smart glasses, age-related macular degeneration (AMD),  scleral lens, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

According to Optics specialist Eric Tremblay from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, these lenses are promising enough for low vision and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Glasses with mounted telescopes are already available in the market for people suffering from AMD but these glasses look too heavy and social interaction also faces challenges. They are also incapable of tracking eye movement and users need to specially position their eyes and head to use the glasses.

The first version of telescopic contact lenses was announced in 2013. Since then work has been going on to fine-tune the lens membranes and develop accessories so that the eye-wear becomes smarter and more comfortable too. The new version is more useful in daily life. The lenses incorporate a thin reflective telescope inside a 1.55mm thick lens. Its small mirrors help expand the size of objects and it feels to be looking through low magnification binoculars. Right now, the telescopic contacts are made through scleral lens which are large in diameter and are valuable for special cases like people who have ill-shaped corneas.

Scleral lens are safe and comfortable and are an attractive platform to be used in optics, sensors and telescopic contact lens. The final lenses have been made out of assembled pieces of plastics, aluminium mirrors and polarising thin films, along with safe glues. The lenses are more breathable too as eyes need steady supply of oxygen. The lens have tiny air channels to allow oxygen and it can get into the cornea through some impermeable optical structures. The electronic glasses, paired with lenses, use a small light source and light detector to recognise winks and ignore blinks. The lens prototype has been unveiled at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Jose, California. 

New rules: How to unlock your smartphone

Carriers must now allow consumers to unlock their phones -- but different carriers have different processes. Here’s what you need to know.

Until recently, if you wanted to unlock your phone in order to switch carriers, there was a good chance that you'd have to do it without the cooperation of the carrier you were with. You could search online for the codes that might unlock your device -- or try to hack it in other ways. But what you usually couldn't do was call your carrier and ask how to do it.
As of February 11, 2015, that's all changed. Back in December of 2013, the major U.S. carriers set a voluntary deadline for a date by which consumers would be able to unlock their phones -- provided they met certain criteria. (By the way, tablets can be unlocked as well, and the rules for unlocking are the same as for phones.)
So what are the new rules? Computerworld has put together everything you need to know about unlocking your phone, including how to find out if your phone is eligible for unlocking, how to unlock it with the major carriers, and how to move your phone from one carrier to another.

Check whether your phone is eligible for unlocking

Before getting started, you first need to know whether your phone is eligible to be unlocked. Yours might not be. If you bought your phone via a two-year contract from a mobile carrier, your phone is considered a "postpaid" device. You'll have to wait until your contract is up before you can unlock your phone. There's an exception, however -- if you're willing to pay an early termination fee on your contract, you'll then be eligible.
If you bought your phone outright, it's considered a "prepaid" device and can be unlocked one year after its initial activation. There's one caveat, however: Your bill from your carrier has to be paid. So if you owe money, your carrier doesn't have to unlock your phone.
In either case, if your phone is eligible for unlocking, your carrier has to notify you. Typically, it will be shown on your bill.

Your phone needs to work with your new carrier

Presumably, you're unlocking your phone because you want to use it with a new carrier. Keep in mind that not all phones work on all networks, because some networks use different cellular technologies than others do.
U.S. cell phone networks use either CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) or GSM (Global System for Mobiles) radio systems. Sprint and Verizon use CDMA, while AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM. Theoretically, a CDMA phone shouldn't work on a GSM network, and vice versa. But real life is more complicated than that. Phones that use the high-speed 4G LTE wireless standard should be able to work on any network, whether they are GSM or CDMA. However, not all 4G LTE phones work on all LTE bands, and so it's possible that a 4G LTE phone will not work on a specific network.
So before unlocking, check with your new carrier and make sure your phone will work with it.

You won't pay a cent for the service...

How much will this cost you? Nothing -- you should pay zilch. The FCC has banned service providers from charging for unlocking your phone.

...although there are exceptions

If you're not a customer of the carrier that the phone is locked to, you might be charged a fee. You'll have to check with the carrier for details. Also, if you use a third-party unlocking service such as a kiosk, it might charge you a fee.

Make sure you understand how to unlock your phone

The exact process of unlocking phones can vary from carrier to carrier. In some instances, you may be provided with an unlock code, or it can be done with a software update. Some providers might require that you come to a store to unlock your phone, while others will do it remotely.
Here are the specifics for the four major carriers:


With AT&T, you fill out a Web form on the company's Consumer Device Unlock Portal to ask that your phone be unlocked. Make sure that you have your phone's IMEI number (a 15-digit number). How you find that number can vary from model to model, but on just about any phone, you can find it by typing in this sequence: *#06#. You probably won't have to tap the Send or Call button. The number will likely simply appear.
If you want more information about how to unlock your phone with AT&T,head here.


You can unlock your device from Sprint either by calling 888-211-4727 or via aWeb chat. In some instances, for "devices launched after February 2015," in Sprint's words, your phone will be automatically unlocked as soon as it's eligible. Check out Sprint's general information about its unlocking policy andFAQ for more details.


Call 877-746-0909 or launch a Web chat to do it. For more information about unlocking your phone on T-Mobile, check out its unlock policy and details about how to go about unlocking.

Verizon Wireless

If you have a Verizon phone, it may already be unlocked. Verizon's online documentation for unlocking says that it doesn't lock most of its phones or tablets. It notes, "We do not lock our 4G LTE devices, and no code is needed to program them for use with another carrier. We do not lock our 3G devices, other than our non-iPhone Global Ready 3G phones." If you do have a Verizon phone that's locked, call 800-711-8300 and ask for a SIM unlock.

Your new carrier may require some steps as well

In some instances, you may need to program your phone to work with another carrier after you unlock it. For example, to program a Verizon non-iPhone Global Ready 3G phone to work with a different carrier, you'll need to use either the code 000000 or the code 123456. Check with the carrier you're leaving and the carrier you're moving to for details.

For more information

There's plenty of information online about the ins and outs of unlocking your phone. The FCC's page Cell Phone Unlocking FAQs is a great place to start. Also worthwhile is the FCC's encyclopedia entry for cell phone unlocking.
If you enjoy weeding through legalese and want the full story on unlocking, head to the unlocking guidelines set by CTIA - The Wireless Association for the guidelines that service providers follow.

This story, "New rules: How to unlock your smartphone"  was originally published by Computerworld.

Apple offers free iWork for iCloud to all Windows users

Too little, too late, as Microsoft has solidified Office's position since 2013, when Apple introduced its browser-based apps

Apple has opened the beta of its iWork for iCloud application suite to Windows-only users, letting people without an iOS device or OS X-powered Mac create an Apple ID needed to access the Web apps.
Apple in mid-2013 launched iWork for iCloud -- the browser-based versions of its productivity apps Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- requiring an Apple ID for access. Apple IDs are normally associated with an Apple-made device, such as an iPhone, iPad or Mac. Consumers who owned a Windows PC but also, say, an iPhone, had an Apple ID and thus were able to access iWork for iCloud.
Yesterday's change gave anyone, including those without a stake in the Apple ecosystem, access to iWork for iCloud.
iWork for iCloud, which has been in beta for more than a year and a half, is Apple's productivity answer to Microsoft's Office. Starting in the fall of 2013, Apple began giving away the iOS and OS X iWork apps to new buyers of iPhones, iPads and Macs; iWork for iCloud is the browser-based side of those apps.
The availability of iWork for iCloud will tempt few if any Windows-only consumers: They have free access to Microsoft's own Web apps, dubbed Office Online.
Although analysts thought that Apple's move might draw some Windows userswhen the Cupertino, Calif. company launched the free iWork and iWork for iCloud, that was before Microsoft started giving away its Office iOS apps to consumers. Since 2013, Microsoft has not only handed out Excel, PowerPoint and Word apps to iPad- and iPhone-owning consumers -- albeit with some advanced features requiring an Office 365 subscription -- but the Redmond, Wash. developer hassignificantly improved Office Online in the interim.
Office, for all the potential for problems down the line, remains the standard productivity suite in both commercial and consumer markets.
The sole advantage that iWork for iCloud holds is that it can be used free of charge for work-related tasks. Legally, users of Office Online must have a business-grade subscription to Office 365 to use the apps for commercial purposes.
Unlike iWork for iCloud when associated with an Apple ID linked to an Apple device, the Web apps for Windows-only customers come with just 1GB of online storage space. More iCloud capacity can be purchased for 99 cents per month for 20GB, $3.99 for 200GB, $9.99 for 500GB or $19.99 for 1TB.
Interested Windows users can create an Apple ID from the banner notification on the iCloud beta website.
This story, "Apple offers free iWork for iCloud to all Windows users" was originally published by Computerworld.