Why is My iPhone Battery Draining so Quickly?

A common question I hear is "Why is my iPhone battery draining so quickly?".  There many different factors and reasons for this and there is no single easy answer. However, there are a simple thing you can do to help figure out what the issue might be.

Background Apps Running

The first (and best) thing to do is check the battery usage screen that Apple provides.

Open the Settings app.

Scroll down a little ways and find the Battery setting.

Tap it and wait for the screen to load completely. It will take 10-30 secs (depending on your type of phone) for the app to show the battery usages stats. Once it is open you will see a list of apps and the percentage of battery that it used in the last 24 hours sorted from highest usage to lowest. This list should give you a good indication as to what is draining your battery.

For more details, tap the little clock icon to switch the display to show how much time the app used the battery. It also shows details like screen time and background time.

Age of Phone

Keep in mind, an iPhone that is more then 2 years old will probably start to show signs of quick battery drain. You may start to notice that your battery jumps from 30% to 5% in the matter of minutes or after you open an app. At this point, your only option is to have the battery replaced.

You can try to replace it yourself. There are a few sites that show you how to do this and allow you to buy the new battery. I like iFixit's website. Or, you can have Apple replace it. 

App Pick: Star Wars Card Trader

In my childhood I loved to collect baseball and football cards. Fast forward to present day and now I can do the same thing electronically, and free! The Topps Company has come out with a few apps for collecting and trading cards electronically. Specifically, they have a Baseball, Football, Soccer and Star Wars trading card game.

The focus of this App Pick is on the Star Wars Trading Card game. You collect cards from all sorts of Star Wars universes. There are cards from the movies, TV shows, characters, and vehicles. Some cards are more rare than others and they have exclusives that you can only get at certain occasions. Just like the old days you "buy" a pack and open it and the cards get added to you library.

You can also trade cards with other people. So, if you have 3 of the same rare card you can offer 1 up to someone else to get a rare that you don't already have.

It's a lot of fun and has been consuming a little bit of my time each day. Check it out!

Source: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/star-wars-...

Spend $85 and Apple Gives You $100 Back

I came across of pretty good deal from Sam's Club. You can buy a pack of (4) $25 gift cards (that's a total of $100 for you math impaired people) for $85! You need to be a Sam's Club member and the deal ends on April 4th, 2015.

Obviously these are Apple gift cards so the money will being going back to Apple. But hey, they are spotting you $15 and you can use them for iTunes (movies, music, apps, etc.) or in stores or on Apple.com towards hardware.

Source: http://www.samsclub.com/sams/itunes-100-mu...

How to protect your family and kids from dangers on the internet

As kids grow older they begin to adventure out on the wide open, unprotected internet, and you start to wonder how to protect them from harmful sites. If fact, you may be wondering how to protect yourself from harmful and malicious web sites. A service called OpenDNS is a great tool to help protect you and your family from the unknowns of the internet and to block certain categories of sites from the prying eyes of your adventurous children.

What is OpenDNS

OpenDNS is a service that handles your networks DNS (Domain Name System). Basically, DNS is responsible for taking a web sites friendly name, like google.com, and converts it to the actual address for the web server, or servers, that are hosting the site. By default, your ISP provides DNS to your home network and you have no control over what addresses it translates. OpenDNS on the other hand gives you the ability to block specific URL's, like facebook.com, or complete categories of websites, like Social Networks, which would include facebook.com, instagram.com and many others. In addition, OpenDNS can protect your computers by blocking known sites that contain viruses and malware.

Now, you can buy applications like Norton 360 but these applications only work on the computers that you install it on. Rarely do they work on other devices in the house, like iPads, Kindles, Nintendo DS's, Xbox's, etc. OpenDNS is not an application that is installed. Instead, you configure your home router to use OpenDNS as it's DNS and the beauty is that the whole network and every device on it is now protected and filtered.

Limitations

As good as OpenDNS is, there are a few limitations that must be brought to your attention.

Sophisticated users can bypass the protection by changing the devices DNS manually. When you connect a device to your network, your router automatically tells it what to use for DNS. However, you can manually change this to another DNS address which bypasses the protections OpenDNS is providing for you. There are ways to prevent someone from doing this on your network, but that is another topic.

OpenDNS is not a replacement for Anti-virus/Anti-malware software. While it is capable of preventing you from opening web sites with known viruses and malware, it can’t prevent what it doesn’t know about and it cannot scan your PC’s files to look for infections. Always use a good Anti-virus application. I likeMicrosoft Security Essentials because it is free, light weight, and does a great job.

Great Solution

So, if you are interested in protecting your kids from seeing undesirable web sites, interested in protecting yourself from maleware, botnets, phishing attacks, and don't want to buy expensive software to install on all of you devices, check out OpenDNS. I use this on my home network and could not be happier.
I recommend the free version to start with and it gives you access to most features. Later, if you are interested in more bells and whistles then $20 a year is well worth it.

Check out OpenDNS

Change the location of the MobileSync Folder on a Mac

The MobileSync folder is used by iTunes to backup your iOS devices (iPod, iPhone, IPad, etc.) and, if you are like me and have a couple of these devices, it can grow to a very large size and take up a good amount of disk space on your harddrive. For me, it was taking up about 15GB of disk space. Which doesn't seem like a lot but when you only have a 120GB harddrive that has only 10% free space on it 15GB is a nice savings.

My solution for this problem was to move the MobileSync folder to an external harddrive (the same drive that happens to hold my iTunes library). The problem though is that iTunes doesn't give you a Preference setting with which to move it. So, here is how to move it.

  1. Copy or move your ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync folder to your external harddrive. I typically copy a folder first incase there are errors and then delete the source folder. If an error happens while you are moving a folder you end up with some files in one place and some still in the original and it can be a mess to clean up.
  2. Now open terminal and run the following command, replacing <Your External HDD> with the name of your actual external harddrive:
    ln -s /Volumes/<Your External HDD>/MobileSync ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync

Essentially what this does it create a symbolic link for the ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync folder that points to the external harrdrive MobileSync folder and from iTunes point of view, nothing has changed and it works as normal.

On a Windows PC, here are some procedures that you can follow: how to move MobileSync backup folder?