Summer is almost over. Time to get your smartphone ready for fall.

Summer 2016 is quickly wrapping up. Hopefully your phone survived in one piece and was able to experience many memorable moments with you. With September looming on the horizon, now is a good time to do some regular maintenance on your phone to get prepared for fall.

  1. The most important thing to do is to make sure that all of your photos have been backed up. This is probably the most important because you can always buy another phone if something happens to yours, but you can not retake the photos once the moment is gone. There are many ways to do this. The easiest is to download a cloud program like Dropbox, One Drive or Google Drive and after going through the installation/signup process, turn on “camera upload”. Fortunately they usually make this easy for you by asking you if you would like to do this when you are just getting started. Also, double check, but usually they are set to only use wifi only to upload the photos so you will not have to worry about burning up your data plan. Once you have completed this, using your desktop or laptop, log in using your web browser to the corresponding site (i.e. www.dropbox.com) and download the syncing program that will allow you to access all of the files on your computer. Once you do this you will then have all of your photos saved and accessible on your computer. The photos and videos will show up as a separate folder in your operating system that will be easy to access. You can even copy all of the photos and save them somewhere else (including an external hard drive) to make sure that your photos will forever be safe or easily shared with friends or family.
  2. Once you have saved all of your photos and double checked to make sure that they are safe in the cloud, it is time to look at the storage space on your phone and see if you can clear some things out. Photos and videos usually take the majority of available memory space on a phone, but there are many other things that can and do add up. If you are looking for a quick fix, delete some of the videos that you have backed up. While a great way to capture an event, videos take up much more space than most people realize and should be deleted. The next thing to look at are text messages. Most people have hundreds, if not thousands of texts on their phone and many of the texts have pictures attached. These all add up and can sometimes gobble multiple gigabytes of space. Look through the text threads of people that are important to you, save the photos that you want to keep to your device and then delete the entire thread. It may seem traumatic at first, but once you see the space that gets cleared up, you’ll be glad that you did. Note-if you are using an iPhone, click on your Photos icon and then select the Albums tab. If you scroll down you will see a “Recently Deleted” folder. Open this up, select all of the photos and then hit delete. This will erase them from your phone, otherwise they will remain there for 30 days and continue to take up space.
  3. Check out the apps that you have on your phone and see which ones you are still using. Unused apps have a sneaky tendency to not only take up space, but also use phone resources like battery life and data even when you do not use them for months at a time. A good rule of thumb is that if you have not used an app in two months or more then you should delete it. You can always download it again. Even if it is a paid app you can download it again for free (as long as you are logged in with the same account on the app store that you are using).
  4. Going through the Settings option, using Android look for “Application Manager” or on iPhone go to General-Usage and see how much data each app is using on your phone. On Android it is easy to clear the application memory that usually takes up a lot more space than the app itself. This is usually photo cache or other no longer important data. Sometimes you have to relog in to the app next time you use it though. So make sure you can remember or have the ability to reset your password. On iPhone it can be easier to just delete the app completely and then redownload it. This is especially true for Facebook.
  5. Download a phone cleaner program that can scan your device and find unneeded files that are clogging your device. Type ‘Memory cleaner” into your app store search bar. Clean Master is a good program for Android. For an iPhone there are some available, but it usually works better to connect your phone to your computer using iTunes and use the cleaning options that are available there.

After you complete these tasks, make sure to completely power off your device, let it sit for at least 15 seconds and then reboot it. Actually, it is a good idea to power your phone on and off at least once a week. Now that you have more free space and the junk files cleaned off of your device it should run much smoother. Also, feel free to use some of the new space available to find some new apps that will help you with some of your needs in life. There are lots of them out there and we will cover some of the good apps for business in the next blog post.

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