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How to Take Care of Your Smartphone

Choosing, maintaining, and backing up your smartphone smartly will help insure that it serves you faithfully throughout the years. Get-It-Done Guy has the tips to take care of your beloved mobile device.

By
Stever Robbins,
January 19, 2015
Episode #345

Page 1 of 2

Bernice loves her smartphone. Europa loves her smartphone. Melvin loves his smartphone. Thomas loves his smartphone. And I love my smartphone. Smartphones may actually be more popular than Kim Kardashian. Who'd have thought?

But unlike Kim K., smartphones have become essential to life as we know it.

Recently my iPhone speaker broke. I dropped it at the Apple Store for repairs and discovered much to my horror that my entire life screeched to a halt. After exiting the store, I didn't even know which way to turn. The map to my next meeting was on my smartphone. I couldn't even call Bernice for directions because even if payphones still existed (which they don't), I don't know her number. The last time I memorized a phone number there were only 150 Pokemon.

Most ironically, the Genius Bar notifies you that your repairs are done by sending you email. If the device being repaired is the one you read email on—like my iPhone is for me—you're outta luck. It makes one wonder how they define "Genius."

If smartphones are so central to our lives, it's time to get smart about buying and caring for them.

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Get a Clue (I Mean, a Productivity Tool)

Melvin compares smartphones as if he were placing an online personal ad. "Mine has more pixels." "Mine is faster than yours!" "My screen is bigger than yours!" Sadly, Melvin, I hate to break it to you, but it's not how big it is, it's what you do with it.

If you're making your phone decisions based on the hardware specs, that means you don't actually do enough with it to justify buying a smartphone at all.

Decide if your smartphone is a toy or a tool. If you decide it's a toy, bravo! Go play Monument Valley, especially the add-on levels. But if you think of it as a productivity tool, choose your phone based on its capability:

  1. What software does it run? Choose a smartphone that has software that is robust, secure, and integrates with your workflow, including any apps you may use on your desktop.

  2. What support is available if things break? When my iPhone got damaged, it was like hitting a brick wall in my business until I got it back. Saving on a smartphone today, only to lose lots of work if it breaks, is a bad choice.

  3. Can you configure it to back up automatically, so if something bad does happen, you can recover? When someone says "I had to replace my phone so please resend me your information," they're admitting that they trusted their entire life to a device without understanding the need to back it up. Don't make that mistake! Check out Tech Talker's episode How to Back Up Your Computer Data.

My phone is an iPhone. It integrates with all my desktop and web. The Apple Care service contract is expensive, but I live near an Apple Store and they've given me service light years better than anything I ever got from Dell or Microsoft. Plus, Apple's business model doesn't depend on stealing your data and selling it to marketers and the NSA - another plus in my book.

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