Blogs – January 2018

MMR January Blog: The iPhone X Edition

The Apple iPhone X is arguably the most cutting edge mobile phone created to date. With so many nuances, options and features, it can be very easy to get lost in what can and cannot be done with this remarkable piece of technology. For the month of January, Mobile Matrix Repair will be offering iPhone X tips and tricks intended to help our patrons navigate the remarkable abilities of the newest iPhone, and to get the most out of their investment.

1/31/18 – The Next Big Thing: iPhone Edition

So the iPhone X has been released and reviewed and tested and poked and prodded, and while it’s the newest iPhone on the market, it’s just not new anymore. So what’s coming down the line for users loyal to the brand and who have to have the very latest tech? According to a trio of reports that have come down the line from securities expert Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is working on not one, not two, but three new iPhone models slated for release in 2018.

The 6.1 inch iPhone SE will be the most affordable of the three new releases. The trade off will come in the form of a single lens rear camera, an LCD display as opposed to an OLED, no pressure sensitive 3D touch technology, and a body made of aluminum instead of glass. There will also be a conventional battery under the hood as opposed to the more efficient and design friendly L-shaped batteries found in their more cutting edge models.

The 5.8 inch second gen iPhone X and the supersized 6.5 inch OLED iPhone X Plus will feature all of the aforementioned perks and have thinner edges as well. Prices will move solidly into the four figure range, as opposed to the SE, which will price at roughly $700 USD. Kuo believes a full 50% of Apple’s manufacturing efforts will be devoted to producing the affordable LCD driven model, after having learned their lesson from the weak sales generated by the iPhone X’s thousand dollar price tag.

Look for all of the devices to double down on Apples 3D laser driven augmented reality technology, too. The laser will take minutely detailed pictures of the entire room, then track how long it takes for the laser signal to bounce back to the phone. This will allow for much more accurate scanning of the environment thus making it easier to build virtual constructs that fully integrate into the world around them.

Expect all these devices to be announced in late September, and to hit shelves shortly afterward.

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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1/26/18 Your iPhone X Battery: Already Living On Borrowed Time

Owners of the iPhone X and iPhone 8 have been mighty smug while the rest of the iPhone demographic struggled with dying batteries and throttled late model iPhones. But the truth is that while their phones may be operating at peak efficiency now, there is every reason to believe they will soon follow that same path. Apple batteries are designed to function at about 80% of their initial capacity through 500 complete charge cycles. What this means is that those first 500 charges will get you most of the charge the battery could take out of its original box, but after that it’s a slow slide to Duds-ville. These aren’t hard and fast rules, but generally that is how it plays out. Logically, rationing those 500 charges so that they lasted as long as possible was a solid plan, but given the prevalence of advanced charging methods, that game has changed.

Advances in charging technology like wireless charging and fast charging has made it possible for phone charging on the fly without worrying if battery percentage dipped during the day. More frequent charging also makes it possible to burn through those 500 charges decidedly faster than it might otherwise have been. Also don’t lose sight of the fact that these more frequent, more efficient charging methods are needed because of the greater demands being placed on these devices due to more graphics and processor intensive apps. This places a greater drain on the battery, and results in needing to top of the charge more often.

If you’re an iPhone user who upgrades to the newest version at the earliest possible opportunity, this probably won’t impact your life overly much. If, however you prefer to get a little more use out of your wireless mobile device before upgrading, you might want to factor this in when deciding how often to charge your phone. Or just add the cost of the eventual need to replace a depleted battery into your budget.

MMR can replace exhausted iPhone batteries with a turnaround of fifteen minutes or less, thus circumventing the late model iPhone throttling issue. Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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1/22/18 iPhone Addiction Pt 2: What’s Being Done About It

In MMR’s last blog, we discussed the growing problem of iPhone addiction, and how its destructive effects are inflicting increasing amounts of damage to people, and to young people in particular. In an effort to combat this unsettling trend, Apple has said it plans to implement “more robust” parental controls. Many feel that children and teenagers, who are still developing in so many ways, may not only develop an unhealthy fixation with their devices, but may also miss out on what’s happening in the world around them.

“Apple has always looked out for kids, and we work hard to create powerful products that inspire, entertain, and educate children while also helping parents protect them online,” read a statement from the tech giant in response to a letter directed to it from two of its biggest investors. “We lead the industry by offering intuitive parental controls built right into the operating system.” While Apple has been somewhat vague about exactly what those more robust parental controls will be, input from the initial authors of the letter, along with an expert committee of professionals are hard at work creating them.

While we wait, here are a few ways for parents to take action to protect their children and manage their online experiences right now.

Know What They’re Downloading

Keep abreast of what your kids are apps your kids are downloading by way of their app download history through the App Store. Consider having a shared account where any apps downloaded will pop up across all accounts, and where younger kids can use apps from their parents’ accounts.

Establish Boundaries

Create a four digit PIN on devices used by children by going to Settings, then General then Restrictions to set limits the ability to download or delete apps, the ability to make purchases inside and outside of apps, and to restrict the types of movies, music and other content they are able to access.

Talk To Your Kids

Be involved with their online lives and make sure they not feeling the need to hide anything from you. The stronger your relationship with your child, the easier it will be to monitor their time online.

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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1/18/18 iPhone Addiction: How Much Information Is Too Much?

Are you addicted to your iPhone? How many times a day do you find yourself scrolling through your apps and messages? The answer may surprise you. Studies have shown that Americans check their phones upwards of eighty times a day, and often as high as 150 times a day or more. How many people check their phones first thing in the morning? Statistics indicate almost half of all Americans do, and that number climbs to almost seventy percent among Millennials and younger Americans. Symptoms have ranged from distraction and lack of focus, to depression and even suicide. The idea that millions of people may be literally addicted to their mobile phone is one that is quickly gaining a foothold in the media landscape. It has gotten to the point that two of Apple’s largest investors have actually gone so far as to pen an open letter to the iPhone maker demanding that action be taken to stem what appears to be a rapidly growing tide of dependency on WMDs or wireless mobile devices.

So how does one become addicted their phone? Tony Fadell, one of the creators of the original iPod and part of the team that worked on the original iPhone, has described it as not unlike the buzz derived from narcotics. “Apple Watches, Google Phones, Facebook, Twitter,” he tweets, “they’ve gotten so good at getting us to go for another click, another dopamine hit.” Tristan Harris, a former product philosopher for Google, has described the addictive nature of the iPhone as akin to “having a slot machine in my pocket.” Some consider the compulsion to check messages, social media and apps a moral failing; a weakness of character. But Harris points out the pervasiveness of apps and websites that are specifically engineered to draw us in and get us scrolling as much and as often as possible. Referring to the “attention economy,” which rewards companies that manage to seize and hold our attention, Harris equates this convention to “a race to the bottom of the brain stem.” Simply put, our technology is now controlling us in many cases, as opposed to the other way around.

To combat this phenomenon, Fadell is advocating a “Hippocratic Oath” for software design that would curtail the practice of exposing people’s psychological vulnerabilities, and put control back in the hands of users. “There needs to be new ratings, new criteria, new design standards, new certification standards,” he says. “There is a way to design based not on addiction.”

Watch this space for the second part of this blog and find out how to avoid an unhealthy fixation on social media and other WMD cues.

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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1/14/18 More iPhone X Tips And Tricks

Use The iPhone X With One Hand

The iPhone X is a big phone. Full range from the top of the screen to the bottom is a fairly long stretch for most normal thumbs. This isn’t a problem when both hands are free, but when one hand is engaged navigating phone menus and apps with the other may be a real challenge. Apple realized this and has included a “Reachability” feature for its Plus sized phones for years. All one needed to do, was lightly double click the home button, and the top half of the screen would slide down to allow access. The feature remains a part of iOS11, but has to now be accessed a little differently. First, enable the Reachability feature via Settings – General – Accessibility then toggle the Reachability switch. While the original movement was a subtle double-tap, when enabled Reachability becomes a matter of a downward gesture from the bottom of the screen. Once executed the top of the screen will drop dutifully down and within reach of the average thumb.

See The Contents Of Your Notifications On The Lock Screen

Typically, iPhone notifications have come with small previews that filtered through the lock screen and allowed users to get an idea of who was messaging them and what the messages were about. With the advent of the iPhone X’s FaceID technology, it is now necessary to allow the camera to scan your face before it will allow previews. Without the visual authorization, users will see that they have a message, and who sent it. To have the full preview in locked mode, go to Settings – Notifications – Show Previews, and select Always instead of When Unlocked. Selecting Never will cause the notifications to not show up at all.

I Want My Home Button!

Some people just can’t handle change, and a departure as radical as the complete removal of the home button is a little too much for some to bear. There is a small but vocal contingent of people who are vehemently opposed to the idea of phone without their home button. For those folks, Apple has expanded the powers of their AssistiveTouch feature to allow for a virtual home button that can be placed anywhere on the screen, including where the home button used to be. AssistiveTouch is also nothing new to the iPhone, but when combined with the removal of the aforementioned button, it becomes a mercy for some. For those who may have need of it, the adaptation allows movement or motor skill impaired people to enjoy use of the device. Doing so allows use of Siri, shortcuts, notifications, and a few other neat settings.

I Want My Home Button! Pt II

To set up a virtual home button via Assistive Touch: Settings – General – Accessibility. Selecting AssistiveTouch and toggle to ON. Select “Customize Top Level Menu” and tap the minus sign until only one icon is left. Tap that icon to pull up a list of options, and select “Home.” Go back to AssistiveTouch settings, and hit “Idle Opacity.” You’ll want to set this to about 20-30% opacity to allow the virtual button to hang out unobtrusively when not being used.

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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1/12/18: iPhone X – The Thrill Is Gone. The Top Three iPhone X Issues And How To Fix Them

So the iPhone X has dropped, and consumers are on it like zombies on brains. The mobile device has been flying off of shelves, and reviews have been pretty good so far. But like any piece of newly released technology, it hasn’t all been wine and roses. There have been some issues with the cutting edge phone and some folks aren’t happy. These are the top three iPhone X issues, and what you can do about them.

Unresponsive Screens: It appears that the iPhone X has had a tendency to become unresponsive in very hot or very cold weather. Reddit boards were humming from the time of its release that when going from inside to outside in extreme climates, the phone would rapidly stop functioning, fail to recognize the user’s face for FaceID and also miss finger swipes and punches. The glitch would only last a few moments and Apple was quick to respond, since the last thing they need is more bad press. Apple pointed out that the iPhone is designed to function optimally in temperatures ranging from 32 degrees to 95 degrees. Exceeding those temps in either direction will cause the device to act independently to regulate its internal components, such as the battery and CPU. To that end, it may become unresponsive or even shut down if need be. It also acknowledged the perceived problem and released an update to correct the issue. If your iPhone X is suffering from an unresponsive screen, first try updating the iOS. If this fails, try restarting, or even restoring your phone. Make sure you back up your information first. If all else fails, come see us at Mobile Matrix Repair, and let us take a look at your phone.

Hackable FaceID: Apple has hung a very great deal of its authority on its FaceID camera technology. It has even allowed its supposed cutting edge cameras to drive its Apple Pay technology, secure in the knowledge that its 30,000 points of reference couldn’t possibly be fooled. Meanwhile, it has been established that the tech most certainly can be fooled, such as in the instance of one twin being able to unlock another twins’ phone. A quick YouTube search will show multiple cases of twins, and even family members being able to unlock someone’s phone. Once again, Apple is quick to point out that the probability for a false match is noticeably higher in identical twins, children, whose facial features to not have fully developed yet and people who have family members that closely resemble them. Their advice is to always back up FaceID authentication by way of a strong password. You might also want to keep your brand new cutting edge phone away from your shady ass relatives.

Pulled hair: Perhaps the most amusing complaint to come down the pipe is people getting facial hair and/or long hair caught in the minute gap between the bezel of the phone and the glass of the display screen. People say it can grow to become a painfully deal breaking experience, though it has been a problem for several successful generations of the iPhone to date. The advice in this case is simple – put a case on your iPhone X, or just cut your hair and get a job, ya filthy hippie.

What issues are you driving you crazy about your iPhone X? Sound off on our Mobile Matrix Repair Facebook page, and find us on Instagram!

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

1/7/18: Goodbye Home Button, Part II: Where’s Siri?

In MMR’s last blog, we talked about Apple’s decision to phase out the home button in the design and functionality of their new iPhone. The iPhone X features not only a complete retooling of its gestural interface to do what the home button did, but Apple also overhauled its side button command configuration to pick up the inevitable slack. This means that once again, everything you thought you knew about the iPhone’s interface is now worth squat.

The first casualty on the list is manual access to Siri, Apple’s digital helper program. Previously engaged by a sustained press of the home button, Siri can now be accessed by a sustained press on the right side button; this also happens to be the same button that puts the phone to sleep and/or wakes it up. The inherently creepy verbal command “Hey Siri” retains its ability to wake up the virtual assistant, of course.

Screenshots are no longer taken by a simultaneous press of home and side buttons. Instead, images of your screen are taken by pressing the side button along with the volume up button on the left side of the phone.

Apple Pay is now powered by the iPhone’s FaceID technology, as we discussed last month. Accessing the feature is now a two part process: first double tap the side button to activate FaceID, then you have to allow it to scan and verify your face. This takes the place of fingerprint scanning for purchases from the App Store, as well. It also brings to mind images of a gun to your head as someone forces you to unlock your phone by making you stare at it.

Thankfully, the same buttons used to snap a screenshot; left side volume up and the right side button – will also disable the FaceID feature. Just hold the two buttons a bit longer, until you feel the small vibration telling you that your password is now required to gain access to your phone.

It should be noted that this same button combination is ALSO used to turn off the iPhone X. Pressing the buttons will bring up the “slide to power off” option. This is a pretty big load for single button combination to bear, but welcome to the new normal just the same. Thankfully, you can use either volume button for this procedure.

Forcing a hard reset or a shutdown of your iPhone X is another exercise in metacarpal dexterity. To force your phone to shut off or reset, press the volume up button, then press the volume down button, then press and hold the side button. You know you’ve done it right when you see the Apple logo.

Good luck.

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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1/5/18: The Great Apple Battery Panic

Rumors had been circulating for some time on message boards and in chat rooms. Some said it was paranoia, others had overarching techno-babble explanations, and some just ranted, but everyone agreed…iOS upgrades from Apple had been slowing down all but the most recent iPhones as far back as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If Apple didn’t exactly deny it, they certainly refused to address it, and the gossip continued. Then in late December, a Reddit thread went viral, and suddenly Apple found itself unable to duck the rumors any longer. The tech giant went into PR mode in the form of spin control, but when lawsuits started being filed; they were forced to face the issue head on.

Simply put, it was true. Apple had been intentionally slowing down older phones with each release of a new iPhone, and subsequent iOS operating system upgrade. In an attempt to get ahead of the scandal, Apple released a statement, claiming that the deliberate slowdown had been a benevolent act; that the intention was to prevent unexpected shutdowns as older phones tried to accommodate the increased power demands of apps intended for more up to date phones.

Surely, the idea that people might abandon their now slower technology in favor of opening their wallets for the new, obviously faster tech never entered their minds.

To sweeten the deal, Apple has followed up with an offer that they hope will mitigate some of the bad taste this revelation has left in the mouths of consumers. For a limited time, now through December of 2018, Apple will replace the batteries of older phones, older being defined as anything before the iPhone 8, for the reduced price of $29 USD which could have run as high as $79 USD. This is a move expected to cost Apple in the tens of millions, and that’s before the cost of the sixteen million iPhone 8’s and iPhone X’s that won’t be purchased in favor of a vastly cheaper battery upgrade are factored in. But it is still preferable to the amount of bad press Apple is catching just as they try to drive sales for their cutting edge iPhone X. Users have only to get down to their nearest Apple Store for a battery replacement. Of course, the waiting list is now weeks long and growing as people move to take advantage of Apple’s completely sudden and unexpected altruism. Also, the nearest Apple Store to Winston-Salem happens to be in Greensboro.

Luckily for our customers, Mobile Matrix Repair specializes in mobile phone battery repair, and have OEM batteries with the three year warranty up to iPhone 7’s and 7 Plus in stock and can provide battery replacement a reduced price as well!

MMR is not affiliated with Apple, and cannot match their generous rate, but we CAN offer the repair of iPhone batteries up to the iPhone 7 Plus at the limited time low price of $50 USD with a turnaround averaging about fifteen minutes!

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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1/3/18: Goodbye Home Button, Hello Enhanced Gestures!

With the iPhone button now a fading memory, gesture has become the coin of the realm for navigating the new iPhone X. Because of the near infinity screen design of the iPhone X, swiping from any area of the screen’s edge will activate some aspect of the phone’s functionality. For instance, swiping up from the bottom of the screen has been used to bring up the Control Center for years; the same gesture will now take the phone back to the home screen.

“But if the home screen is now accessed by the “up swipe” gesture, where’s the Control Center,” you ask? Why, by swiping down from the right edge of the screen just below the notch at the top of the screen, of course. Those two notches on either side of the iPhone X will now function as access points for the gestures you’ll use to navigate the phone. The same gesture from the left side of the phone will now bring down the Notification center, which used to be accessible from swiping down from the top of the screen.

Another feature that was always popular on the iPhone was the ability to double click the home button and bring up a list of the apps currently active. With the demise of the home button, this feature is now accessed by the “swipe up” gesture, with a slight pause at the top of the movement. This was intended to be as closely aligned to the previous movement as possible, but will obviously take a few tries for users to perfect. For those who may not be able to master the subtleties of the new app switcher, there’s also a simplified version that consists of swiping along the bottom of the screen as if there were a slider in place.

While there are other variations on these gestures involving combinations of gestures, side buttons and slight differentiations in timing, it is clear that the removal of the home button from the iPhone’s design is a game changer for Apple. Watch this space for more iPhone X tips and tricks throughout the month of January.

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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