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Is It Bad to Leave Your Laptop Plugged In All the Time?

A weak battery can make a perfectly good laptop unusable. This is a common problem for laptop owners, and there are plenty of tips out there for how to prevent it. If you want to extend your computer battery’s life as long as possible, just be careful about which advice you follow. The old idea that leaving a laptop plugged in for too long will hurt it is simply not the case.

According to Windows Central, this myth comes from the idea that laptops can be overcharged. Modern laptops use one of two battery types: lithium-polymer battery or lithium-ion battery. Both devices are designed to stop charging the moment they hit 100 percent power. Instead of passing through the full battery first, the power from the charging cord will be diverted directly into the computer. This means that keeping a fully charged laptop plugged in all day won’t damage the power unit.

As Protect Your Gadget points out, this does come with a caveat. A laptop battery is healthiest when it maintains a charge of roughly 70 to 80 percent. If the charge is kept too low or too high on a consistent basis, your laptop battery won’t last as long. Of course, keeping your charge hovering around 75 percent throughout the workday isn’t always practical. Instead of obsessing over the specific number, try to unplug your device periodically once it’s fully charged and plug it back in once it dips below 50 percent power.

Though the technology has improved significantly in recent years, the death of your laptop battery is still inevitable. The moment you power up your new computer for the first time, the lithium inside starts to degrade. The best way to extend its longevity is to make sure your laptop isn’t consuming more power than necessary. Do this by closing any unused apps that are running in the background and adjusting the battery settings on your device. Heat is another major factor when it comes to battery life. Too much of it can damage your lithium battery, so make sure the bottom of your computer is always properly ventilated.

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How to Charge Lithium Ion Batteries

Devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets all have lithium-ion batteries. Properly charging and taking care of these means that you can preserve the battery health and help it to last for as long as possible. To charge your device, check the battery level, plug it into a charger, and disconnect it when the charge is below 100%. Take simple measures to preserve your lithium-ion battery such as practicing shallow discharge, not letting it continuously charge, and storing it at the correct temperature.

1.Charging Your Device
1-1.Check that the battery has 50% remaining or less before charging it. You only need to charge the battery of your device once the charge is low enough, as always having a fully charged battery will not improve the functioning of your device. To check the battery of your device, look for a small battery icon in the menu bar. If you are on a laptop, hover over the icon to see the percentage. If you are on a smartphone or a tablet, either click on the icon or expand the menu to see the percentage reading.

· Many devices will also be able to tell you how much operating time the current battery percentage will give you. This can be helpful if you are planning when you need to charge your device.

1-2.Turn off your device before you charge it if possible. Once you have determined that your device needs to charge, shut it down completely with the power switch or button if you don’t need to use it. This allows the lithium-ion battery to charge more effectively.

· When your device is turned off during charging, the lithium-ion battery is able to reach the set voltage threshold without being hindered. Overall, if the device is still left on, the lithium-ion battery is prevented from charging as it should.
· Don’t worry too much if you cannot have your device switched off while it is charging. Although turning the device off is ideal, it won’t have a significant, negative affect on the battery if it is left on.

1-3.Connect your device to the charger and a power outlet. Connect your device to its charger before connecting the charger to a power outlet. Make sure that the power outlet is switched on.

1-4.Disconnect your device from the charger when the battery reaches 85%. Keep an eye on your device as it is charging and try to avoid letting it charge to 100%. This is because constantly charging the lithium-ion battery to 100% and leaving it plugged in can damage the battery health.

· Sometimes letting your device charge fully is unavoidable. Don’t worry about it if it does happen, but try to reduce how often it does and get into a routine of not letting it charge fully.
· You can also download apps which will set a charging limit on your device. These are particularly useful for smartphones and tablets.

2.Increasing the Lifespan of the Battery
2-1.Practice shallow discharges with your device. Lithium-ion batteries operate best when they are charged off and on throughout the day. Try to charge your device in bursts from approximately 40% up to approximately 80% at a time. Limit the number of times that you charge your device to 100% or let the battery drop down to 0%.

· Shallow discharges are better for the long-term health of the lithium-ion battery. This is because it helps to maximize the finite number of charge/discharge cycles that the battery has. This means that shallow discharges will help to maintain the lifespan of the battery.

2-2.Unplug your device once it has charged. When the battery reaches a charge of approximately 80% or higher, disconnect your device from the charger. This prevents the battery from fully charging. It also stops the battery from entering a state of high-stress if it does remain plugged in after the battery has reached 100%.

· Lithium-ion batteries do not tolerate overcharging well. Keeping your device charging once the battery has reached 100% degrades its lifespan.

2-3.Discharge the battery completely once per month. There is a benefit to letting the battery reach 0% occasionally. Some devices have a “smart battery” that tells you how much longer you can use the device for at the current battery rate. Shallow discharging can cause the smart battery to become de-calibrated and to give inaccurate readings. Discharging the battery completely recalibrates the smart battery.

· If the smart battery is giving inaccurate readings, this means that it will be more difficult for you to plan when to next charge your device. This can have a greater negative impact on the lifespan of your lithium-ion battery than letting it drop to 0% once per month.

2-4.Charge the battery when the temperature is 50–86 °F (10–30 °C). Lithium-ion batteries run the most effective within the recommended temperature range. However, lithium-ion batteries can be charged at temperatures between 32–113 °F (0–45 °C) if necessary.

· It is possible to charge a lithium-ion battery at below freezing temperatures, however, due to the nature of the battery it takes a long time to do so.

2-5.Charge lithium-ion batteries to 40-50% before they are stored. If you are going to be not using your device and will be storing it away for some time, let it discharge to this level before you store it. This is the most effective level to store the lithium-ion battery at because it allows the battery to self-discharge slightly, remain operational, and minimize capacity loss.

· The best temperature for storing the battery and maintaining its lifespan is at 59 °F (15 °C). However, technically lithium-ion batteries can be stored at −40–122 °F (−40–50 °C).

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How to Fix a Laptop That Is Not Charging

Charging issues are most often the result of faulty power adapters, non-working power outlets, or bad batteries. If everything checks out okay with the hardware, you can usually fix power issues by updating your laptop’s power or battery management settings.

1.Troubleshooting the Hardware
1-1:Plug the laptop into a different power outlet. Unplug the laptop, wait a few minutes, and then plug it into an outlet on a different wall or room. If the laptop charges when connected elsewhere, the problem is not your computer or charger.

· To confirm whether the laptop is charging, check for charging lights. Many laptops have a light somewhere on the machine that indicates whether it’s receiving power. Sometimes it’ll be above the keyboard, other times it’ll be on the side or back of the unit. If you’re using a Mac laptop with a magnetic charging cable, you’ll see a light on the end of the cable where it connects to your computer (orange = charging, green = fully charged). Other times you’ll find lights on the power cord, especially if there’s a “brick” aspect of the cable.
· If the power adapter works for a little while but then turns off, there may be interference with the outlet. Unplug the power adapter for about 30 seconds and then try again.
· If the adapter or the computer itself feels unusually warm, wait until the surface has cooled completely before plugging it into a power source.

1-2:Inspect the power adapter. Examine the entire length of the power cord for tears, dents, and worn-down insulation. If you notice any flaws, or if the power brick is warped or smells like burnt plastic, the cord is probably faulty. Try bringing the laptop to a local repair shop and ask to try one of their working power adapters. If a verified-to-be-working adapter charges your laptop, order a replacement adapter.

· If you’re using a newer PC model that supports USB-C charging (such as the Huawei MateBook X), make sure your power adapter is plugged into the correct port on the laptop.[3] Usually only one of the USB-C ports on such models support charging, while the other is used only for data transfer.
· If you’re using a newer PC model that supports USB-C charging (such as the Huawei MateBook X), make sure your power adapter is plugged into the correct port on the laptop. Usually only one of the USB-C ports on such models support charging, while the other is used only for data transfer.
· Check your warranty before replacing any parts, as the cost of the adapter may be covered.

1-3:Check the power jack on the laptop. When the adapter is connected to your laptop properly, it should not jiggle or fall out of the jack. If the connection feels loose, there could be a bent pin inside the power jack. It’s also possible that the entire jack has loosened from the motherboard. Take the laptop to a repair shop for a proper diagnosis.
· Bent pins and other power jack issues are model-specific. You can look up your model online for repair instructions, but the repair usually requires purchasing a new power jack and soldering it onto the motherboard. This could void your warranty.

1-4:Start up your laptop without a battery. Shut down the computer, remove the battery, and plug the computer in. If the laptop wasn’t powering on before but works without the battery, you may need a new battery. Another method may fix the problem, or your battery may be dead and require replacement.

· If your laptop battery is not removable, skip this step and try the methods below before taking your laptop to a computer repair store.

2.Checking Windows Power Settings
2-1:Open your Windows Settings
You can get there by right-clicking the Start menu and selecting Settings.

2-2.Click Power and Sleep in the left panel. Windows allows you to customize certain power and battery settings on your laptop. There may be a low-battery level alert that’s too sensitive causing your PC to shut down when the battery is low.

2-3.Check the values in the “Screen” and “Sleep” menus. In particular, make sure the values of both “When plugged in” menus aren’t set too low.

· For example, under the Sleep header, if 10 minutes is selected from the “When plugged in” menu, the PC will turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity when plugged in. Raise that amount to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

2-4.Scroll down and click Additional power settings. A list of your power plans will appear.

2-5.Click Change plan settings on your current plan. Just as you did in the last area, make sure none of your settings are configured to shut down your PC unexpectedly.

2-6.Click Change advanced power settings. It’s near the bottom of the power plan.
· Once quick way to fix any missteps in this section is to click Restore plan defaults at the bottom-right corner of the dialog, but this will erase any power customizations you’ve added.

2-7.Check the values of the “Battery” section. If you clicked Restore plan defaults in the previous step, just skip to the next step. Otherwise, verify that the following settings are correct:
· Under “Critical Battery Action,” make sure Do nothing is selected for “Plugged in.” Otherwise, your computer will shut down at a certain battery level if it it’s plugged in to a power source.
· Under “Low battery action,” also select Do nothing for “Plugged in.”

2-8.Click OK to save your changes. Now that you’ve updated your power settings, reboot your PC to see if the issue is resolved. If you’re still having trouble, move to the next step.

2-9.Open the Device Manager. You can do this by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Device Manager from the menu.

2-10.Click Batteries. A list of all battery-related drivers will appear. You’ll usually see one entry for your AC adapter and another for the battery itself.

2-11.Right-click the driver(s) and select Update driver. If you see two different entries under Batteries, do one after the other. Follow any on-screen instructions that appear to update drivers if necessary.

2-12.Restart the computer. Shut down the computer and start it up again, so the driver will take effect.

2-13.Uninstall and reinstall the driver. If you still cannot charge your laptop, return to the Batteries section of Device Manager, right-click Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery, and then select Uninstall. When the process is finished, click the Action menu and select Scan for hardware changes. Restart your computer once the driver is reinstalled.
· This step requires an internet connection on your laptop.

3.Checking Mac Power Settings
3-1.Check for software updates. Sometimes Apple releases new updates that can help your computer work well with the power adapter.[4] To check for updates, click the Apple menu, select System Preferences, and then choose Update Now if an update is available.

3-2.View your battery health status. To find out the condition of your battery, hold the ⌥ Option key as you click the battery icon in the menu bar. This displays the Battery Status menu, which will display one of the following status indicators:
· Normal: The battery is working properly.
· Replace soon: The battery is working normally, but is no longer at full capacity. This is not time to panic, but you should definitely check the status frequently to make sure it doesn’t get worse.
· Replace now: The battery works normally but its capacity is significantly lower than it was when brand new. You can still use the laptop, just make sure you always have a power cable handy until you can replace the battery.
· Service Battery: The battery is not working properly. You should still be able to use the computer with a power cord connected, but the battery will likely not work on its own. Bring the computer to the Apple-authorized service provider as soon as possible.

3-3.Check your Energy Saver settings. If your computer is turning off unexpectedly, it may be related to incorrectly-set power settings.[6] In the Apple menu, click System Preferences, select Energy Saver, and then click Power Adapter to see check out what your computer’s set to do when plugged in. Make sure the “Turn display off after” slider is not set to sleep after a brief period of inactive time.

3-4.Shut down your Mac. If you’re still having trouble, the remaining steps will help you reset the System Management Controller (SMC), which can help resolve power problems. Begin by making sure the computer is turned off and not plugged into a power source.

3-5.Plug the power adapter into the Mac. Don’t turn the computer on, just plug it in for now.

3-6.Press and hold Control+⇧ Shift+⌥ Option and the Power button. After holding the buttons down for about 4 seconds, lift your fingers from the keyboard.

3-7.Press the Power button once. This will power your Mac back on. Once it comes back up, the SMC will be reset, hopefully clearing up any residual power issues.

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3 Steps to Set Up Your Honor Router 3 | Get Big Discount

There are two easy methods to configure your Honor router 3, or even other Honor/ Huawei routers. Here we go~

Method one: Use app to configure router (Recommended)

Step 1: Connect the mobile phone to the router’s Wi-Fi network by using the SSID (Network Name) labeled on the bottom of the router. There is no WiFi password by default.

Step 2: Open HUAWEI AI Life app, click “CONFIGURE”. If the prompt box does not pop-up, click “+” to add a device. Then click “GET STARTED”.

Step 3:Customize your Wi-Fi name (SSID), Wi-Fi password, set the Wi-Fi password as the login password of the router if you need. And click “NEXT”.

Method two: Using web page to Configure router

Step 1: Same as the first step of the method one. Connect your mobile phone or your computer to the new router’s Wi-Fi network by using the SSID labeled on the bottom of the router. There is no Wi-Fi password by default.

Step 2: Launch a web browser, the web page will automatically pop-up (If not, enter 192.168.3.1), then complete the configuration according to the page prompted.

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How to Set Up an Apple Watch for Your Kid

Normally, Apple Watch owners need to pair their device with an iPhone during the setup process. However, thanks to the iOS 14 and watchOS 7 releases, there’s now a way around that requirement via a new feature called Family Setup.

Through Family Setup, one family member can set up an Apple Watch for a child or another family member who doesn’t own an iPhone. There is no limit to the number of family members you can add here. For school-age children, you can also enable an option called Schooltime to set limits on how long and when a child can use their watch.

Any Apple Watch set up through this process can make and receive calls, send and receive messages, and use a variety of watch features, including Health, Activity, App Store, Emergency SOS, Fall Detection, and Noise Notifications.

Even though an iPhone isn’t necessary for everyone involved, there are still certain conditions everyone must meet. You will need an iPhone 6s or later with iOS 14 or later for the initial setup process. Each person will need an Apple Watch Series 4 or later with cellular or an Apple Watch SE with cellular and watchOS 7 or later.

Update to iOS 14 and watchOS 7
First, you’ll need to update your iPhone to iOS 14 or higher if you haven’t already done so. On your phone, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Your phone will indicate that your software is up to date or prompt you to download and install the latest update.

Next, you’ll have to update your Apple Watch to watchOS 7 or higher. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and go to General > Software Update. Your iPhone will either indicate that you have the latest update for your watch or it will prompt you to download and install it.

Pair iPhone to Apple Watch
Power up the watch you want to set up and place it near your iPhone. Wait until you see Use your iPhone to set up this Apple Watch on your iPhone and then tap Continue. If this message doesn’t appear, open the Watch app on your phone, tap the All Watches link at the top, then tap the Add Watch link. Tap Set Up for a Family Member. At the next screen, tap Continue.

Read the Data & Privacy screen. You can tap Learn More to read additional information about Apple’s data and privacy. If you’re comfortable continuing, tap Continue and read the screen on “How Family Setup Works,” then tap Continue.

On the Apple Watch, select the options for language and region and tap the Start Pairing button if necessary. Move your phone above the watch until the swirling circle is captured through the camera. You should then receive a message that the Apple Watch is paired. Tap the Set Up Apple Watch button.

Set Up Apple Watch
You then choose the orientation of the Digital Crown and whether the watch will be on the left or right wrist. Tap Continue and agree to the Terms and Conditions.

Move the slider to select the size of the text and decide if you want to turn on the switch for Bold Text. Tap Continue, then tap Create a Passcode and type a passcode on the watch.

You must then choose the family member for whom you’re setting up this watch. Here, you can also opt to add a new family member. At the next screen, have the family member sign in with their Apple ID password, then tap Next.

If the family member is already using an Apple device such as an iPad, a temporary verification code is sent to that device. Type that code to continue. If the person has set up iCloud, another screen pops up titled Continue Setup on Apple Watch to deal with backups and encryption. Click the Learn More link to find out more about restoring personal data in iCloud.

Continue the setup on the watch by entering the passcode the person uses for their Apple device. This action will sign into their Apple account and restore all of the saved passwords and other encrypted data stored in iCloud.

The screen for Cellular Setup explains that if the watch is not connected to a Wi-Fi network, the user can still make and receive calls and use cellular data for apps such as Siri, Messages, and Mail. To skip the cellular setup, tap Not Now. Otherwise, tap Set Up Cellular. Sign into the person’s cellular account with their carrier.

Next, tap the Share button to share the Wi-Fi password for your local network with the watch. You can then enable or disable location services and opt to use Siri.

You can also choose to share analytics with Apple and enable or disable Messages in iCloud. At the next screen, tap the Request Health Data button to let the family member view their health information on the watch. Tap Continue at the Emergency SOS screen.

Tap Choose Photo Album to set up a photo album to use as a watch face. Tap Continue to allow the person to add and manage contacts via iCloud. Finally, click OK at the Welcome to Apple Watch screen. The watch is now ready and accessible for the family member.

Customize Watch
After the setup, you can customize, control, and manage the watch through the Watch app on your iPhone. To do this, open the Watch app. The All Watches screen may automatically pop up. If not, tap All Watches.

You should see both your own watch and your family member’s watch. Tap the one for your family member, then tap Done.

You’ll now see the full screen for managing your family member’s watch. The General screen takes you to the About screen with info about the watch and to the Software Update screen to update the watch.

From the settings screen, you can also tweak the options for Activity, App Store, Contacts, Handwashing, Health, Messages, Workout, and other apps and features.

Schooltime
Back at the settings screen, tap the option for Schooltime. This feature eliminates distractions on the person’s watch by enabling Do Not Disturb mode and displaying a watch face that can’t be changed. Turn on the switch and tap the entry for Edit Schedule.

Here, you can enable the Schooltime schedule for every day, every weekday, or on a customized basis. Then choose the From and To times to set when Schooltime takes effect.

Unpair Apple Watch
Finally, if the family member ever does get an iPhone and wants to use their own phone with their watch, you can unpair it from your own iPhone. To do this from the Watch app on your phone, go to All Watches and tap the Info icon next to the other person’s phone. Tap the entry for Unpair Apple Watch.

Enter the person’s Apple ID password. Wait for the watch to be unpaired, and the other person can then set up the watch with their own iPhone.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Smart Watch Battery

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20 Android Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most From Your Phone

Android is a remarkably powerful, innovative mobile operating system that frequently leapfrogs Apple’s iOS in new technology support. 5G, NFC payment, custom keyboards…the list goes on. All of that state-of-the-art functionality makes for a complex, sprawling OS, though. At the surface level, the interface is simple enough for casual users—who just want to text, make calls, and use their apps—but hidden a layer or two deep in the interface are all sorts of power-user settings and tools. You just have to know where to look.

We want you to be able to use Google’s mobile OS like a boss, and our list of suggestions and shortcuts can help you do just that. These are only some of the ways you can take advantage of the Google’s OS—there’s such a deep list of features that you’ll no doubt find more. Be sure to check out our list of the best Android apps, too, and feel free to chime in on our comments section at the bottom of the article. We may add them to future updates of this story!

1. Uninstall Apps You Don’t Need
Most Android phones come with a healthy helping of preinstalled apps. Many will be welcomed by nearly everyone—maps, email, browser, and so on—but there are undoubtedly some you don’t want or need. If you’re just not a podcast person, you don’t need a podcast app. And phone vendors tend to include a bunch of their own apps that you may never need to use. Simply long-press an app’s icon and then select the i entry to get to its detail page where you can uninstall it.

Unfortunately, there are some stock apps you cannot uninstall. For example, if you only use Firefox or Edge as your web browser, you still can’t uninstall Google’s Chrome browser. For those apps, you can at least choose Disable, which will hide them from the interface and free up system resources.

2. Use Digital Wellbeing Features
It’s not the healthiest thing in the world to stay up all night texting and doomscrolling. Android 11’s Bedtime mode is part of the Digital Wellbeing feature. Not only does it silence your phone at a set time, it also changes the screen to black-and-white, in case you do have to look at the screen after hours. There’s a Pause option in the dropdown menu if you need more time before retiring. If you’re looking for more sleep tips, you should read our feature on how tech can help (and hurt) your sleep.

Another recommended Wellbeing feature is Focus mode, which silences noisy apps’ notifications. Some phones, including recent Pixels and Motorolas, turn on Do Not Disturb mode when you set them down with the screen facing down—a quick and easy way to get relief from disturbances. Finally, using Work Profile hides all those productivity apps when it’s time to relax.

3. Set Up the Your Phone App in Windows
I suspect that most people who use Mac desktops or laptops are also most likely using an iPhone, which offers terrific integration with macOS. But with the Your Phone desktop app for Windows 10, Android users can get just as much continuity with their desktop computer—perhaps even more. It’s easiest to start setup from your PC. Go to the Setting’s app’s Phone section, choose Add a Phone, and you’re off and running. You’ll be able to make calls, send texts, and instantly see and use photos from the phone on your PC.

Recent Samsung devices and the Surface Duo phone get even more possibilities with the Link to Windows option, including running multiple Android apps on the desktop in the Your Phone app. If you’re not running Windows, you can get Android messages on the web—another capability annoyingly not offered by Apple’s mobile OS. You can also run Android apps in an emulator on either Windows or macOS, but that route is not as convenient as Windows 10’s Your Phone.

4. Edit Quick Settings
One thing I’m not crazy about in Android is that the Quick Settings require two swipes to show more than one row—and even after you do that, you still have two pages of them. You can make sure that the settings you need most often are there in the first swipe-down row. Just hit the pencil icon, and you can add useful tools like Focus mode or Dark mode switches.

5. Install Apps From the Web
For me, this is one of the coolest advantages of Android over iOS: You don’t have to have your phone in your hand to install an app on it. Just go to the Google Play store in your web browser and you can remotely install any app or game, as long as you’re signed in to the same Google account the phone uses. If you have multiple Android devices under your account, you’ll see them listed when you go to install. It’s a great convenience for when you discover an app at your computer and don’t want to fumble with your phone to get the app on it.

6. Install Apps From Other Sources
One of Android’s distinctly open features is that, unlike on iOS, you’re not restricted to using one company’s app store. Most users will find every app they want on Google’s Play store—and there are worthwhile protections that come along with that. If, however, you need something that’s not in there, nothing is stopping you from heading to Amazon’s app store, your phone maker’s app store, or even downloading the app and installing it as an APK (the extension for an Android Application Package file).

One important note: If you do go this route, be absolutely sure that you’re getting the app from a reliable source, since third-party app stores are the number-one source of Android malware. Do some research first! Also be sure to turn off the Install Unknown Apps setting for the source after you install the app you want, just in case.

One example of why you might want to sideload (that is, install outside of the official app store) an app is the mega-popular game Fortnite. Android users can go to the game maker’s site to get the APK, while iPhone users who want to install the game for the first time are simply out of luck. You can read about the process in PCMag’s article about how to play Fortnite on Android.

7. Install a Launcher App
This is one customization type iPhone users don’t get: You can change the basic start screen on your phone by installing a third-party launcher app from the Play Store. A couple noteworthy launchers are Action Launcher, Apex, the cleverly named Lawn Chair, Lightning, the Microsoft Launcher, Nova, Niagara, and Smart Launcher.

You can even make your Android look like an iPhone with the iOS 14 launcher, which includes Siri shortcuts and an App Store icon in place of the Play icon. Want to go back to the days of Windows Phone? There are launchers that emulate that OS’s design, too.

8. Customize Message Notifications
Android 11 lets you choose message notifications so that some contacts are more prominent, and conversations stay together. You can now set messages to appear on top of any other running apps as bubbles. You simply turn them on in Settings and set the contact to Priority. Within a notification there’s another setting for Bubbles with three options: All Conversations Can Bubble, Selected Conversations Can Bubble, and Nothing Can Bubble.

9. Add Widgets and Customize Home
iOS just got the ability to add widgets to the home screen with version 14. Android users have been able to do this for ages, but not everyone knows how. All you have to do is simply long-press on the home screen, choose Widgets, and then pick from the selection made available by any apps installed on their phones. Long-pressing on the Home screen also gives you other customization options, such as removing the Google feed page to the left of the Home screen or to disabling screen rotation for the Home screen—which we would never do, because it’s cool to see your home screen in landscape.

10. Beef Up Storage
A major advantage of Android over iPhones is that some phone models allow you to increase storage with a microSD card. Not only does this let you store more media and apps on your phone, but it also offers a way to transfer large amounts of file data between your phone and other devices. Another advantage is that you can plug some Android phones into an external USB storage drive and browse its files. If your phone has a USB-C port, you can simply plug in a USB flash memory drive with a Type-C connection.

11. Install Antivirus
Since Android is far more open than iOS—that is, more like Windows than macOS—it’s also more open to malware attacks. Google has built in a lot of strong protections, but we recommend you run an antivirus app on Android. PCMag security guru Neil Rubenking recommends four PCMag Editors’ Choice options: Bitdefender Total Security, Kaspersky Security Cloud, Norton 360 Deluxe, and McAfee AntiVirus Plus. Most of these also cover your desktop devices. They make sure you’re not installing bad apps and run regular malware scans. They also prevent thieves from simply swapping your phone’s SIM card to gain access. Some also include VPN protection.

12. Double-Tap the Power Button to Open the Camera
Unlike the iPhone—which does, however, includes a camera icon on the lock screen—most Android phones let you double tap the power button to turn on the camera. Quick camera access is essential for capturing those fleeing moments. You can also use volume keys to focus and take the shot. Long-press on either to start a video recording.

This is a great tip from our friends at ExtremeTech.com: If you need to hand your phone to someone else and don’t want them snooping around in other apps, just pin the screen. If this isn’t enabled by default, you can turn it on in the Security menu. Tap the app icon on any app in the multitasking interface and select “Pin” to prevent them from switching apps. You can protect switching apps by requiring your phone PIN. Note that the app icon in app switching view also lets you split the screen, pause the app’s notifications, and see its info.

14. Set Up Guest Access
If you want to give someone else a little more access than screen-pinning allows, you can. To let someone borrow your phone, but not access your apps, data, or settings, or send text messages, head to Settings > System > Advanced > Multiple Users and enable it. You can optionally enable the slider for Add Users from Lock Screen. You can now swipe down twice from the top of your phone to get to Quick Settings. Tap on your user icon in the lower right and choose Add Guest. The phone takes a little while to switch to the mode, which removes any personal accounts (such as email) but allows things like phone calling, maps, and web browsing. Only default Android apps appear, so you don’t have to worry about your guest sending a Facebook post or tweet for your account.

15. Record Screen Activity
With Android 11, Google added built-in screen-recording capability right into the OS. Previously, Samsung, LG, and OnePlus owners had the capability, but now any phone running Android 11 gets it. It’s simple to use: You just pull down the top shade and choose Screen Record > Start Recording. You get choices for showing touch points and recording audio or not. To stop recording, pull down the shade again and tap the big red bar. It worked like a charm in our testing, producing a standard MP4 file in the photo gallery.

16. Use Developer Options
This one comes via PCMag’s Ben Moore. To turn this on, head to the Settings app’s About Phone section, go down to the Build number and tap on it seven times. Then head to Settings > System > Advanced > Developer Options. From here, you can show screen taps, change Bluetooth device options, and set USB connection preferences, along with many other settings only of interest to developers. This one is definitely only for the extreme tinkerer, and not for the technophobe.

17. Turn on Find My Device
If you misplace your phone or it gets stolen, both mobile OSes have features that help you locate it on a map. Not only that, but these also Find My services let you disable the phone, wipe it, and play a sound on it. Apple’s mobile operating system goes a little further by letting you display your number or another message on the screen of the lost device, something we don’t see why Google hasn’t added.

18. Use Battery Saver Mode
Android offers a lot more control over battery saving options than the iPhone does. Not only can you enable Battery Saver mode and have it automatically turn off when the phone is charged, but you can also use the Adaptive Battery feature, which extends battery life based on your usage patterns. You can also set a schedule for Battery Saver mode and have that automatically chosen based on your usage or when you hit a specified percentage of charge.

19. Control Your Smart Home With Your Android Phone
With version 11, Android made controlling smart home devices easier. If you long-press the power button, a screen with big buttons for controlling your light bulbs and other devices appears. For this to work, you need to set up the devices in the Google home app and—optionally—create a room for the devices.

20. Update Frequently
As we were working on this story, our test Pixel’s security settings page informed us that there was a security update available. By all means, you want to install these as soon as possible. Updating Android is quicker and simpler than ever, and you never know what new features an update might enable. Rest assured that, as we spot new hacks and shortcuts, we’ll add them to future updates of this story.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of Li-ion batteries?

Li-ion batteries are a fragile technology requiring protector circuit; the Li-ion is used where very high energy density is needed and cost is secondary.

Advantages of today’s Li-ion batteries
The energy density of the Li-ion is at least twice that of the NiCad and its load current rating is reasonably high. In fact, the Li-ion behaves similarly to the NiCad in terms of discharge characteristics. The Li-ion also has a relatively low self-discharge.

No memory effect
500 to 800 charging cycles

Disadvantages of today’s Li-ion batteries
Susceptible to damage from overcharge and over discharge.

Charging: Only use battery chargers especially designed for the Li-ion battery.

Caution: Li-ion batteries have a very high energy density. Exercise precaution when handling and testing. Do not short circuit, overcharge, crush, mutilate, nail penetrate, apply reverse polarity, expose to high temperature or disassemble. High case temperature resulting from abuse of the cell could cause physical injury. Never try to charge a non-rechargeable lithium battery. Attempting to charge these batteries can cause explosion and fire, which spreads toxic material that inflicts injury and damage equipment.

Important: In case of rupture, leaking electrolyte or any other cause of skin or eye exposure to the electrolyte, immediately flush with water. If eye exposure, flush with water for 15 minutes and consult physician.

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What Do TV Model Numbers and SKUs Actually Mean? How to Know If You’re Getting a Good Deal

When you’re shopping for a TV, the brand name can be a factor in features, design, and general quality. It’s far from the biggest factor, however, because every TV manufacturer makes multiple lines of products.

This is where stock keeping units, or SKUs, come in. In retail, SKUs are identifiers for specific versions of products. They identify the individual model of a given item, like a TV. Think of them as labels that let you figure out exactly what you’re buying when an ad or even the product box isn’t completely clear on it.

With that in mind, here’s a handy guide to decoding the SKUs of different TV manufacturers. It’s a complicated system, but once you break down each label to its parts, it becomes much easier to navigate.

The Parts of the Number
Every television SKU can be broken down into individual components. Once you can identify these components, you can figure out things like screen size, tier/quality level, and even retailer exclusivity. Depending on the manufacturer, TV SKUs have three to five parts, including:

Screen Size: A number indicating how big the TV is.
Product Line: A set of letters or numbers indicating what product series the model is in.
Generation: A set of letters or numbers indicating what year the TV was made.
Retailer Sub-Model: A number indicating a specific model is intended to be sold at a specific retailer.
Other Variations: A set of letters or numbers indicating the TV is of a specific variety outside of its product series. This is most commonly seen in Hisense and LG TVs. Hisense designates Android TVs with an H and Roku TVs with an R, and LG specifically calls out OLED TVs with the OLED designation.
Fluff: Additional numbers or letters that indicate the sales region or other broad categorizations that are similar or identical across all TVs available from the manufacturer in your market.

Now that you know the basics, let’s break it down by specific manufacturers.

Hisense
Example: Hisense 65H9F, the 65-inch version of Hisense’s 2019 flagship line.
The 65 at the beginning shows that Hisense puts screen sizes at the start of the product number.
The H means it’s an Android TV. If it was a Roku TV, it would have an R instead.
The 9 after the H means it’s Hisense’s flagship line. Lower-end TVs include the H8 and H6.
The F means it’s a 2019 model. 2020 TVs have a G at the end, while 2018 TVs have an E.

LG (LED)
Example: LG 75SM9970PUA, the 75-inch model of LG’s 8K LED TV line from 2019.
The 75 at the beginning indicates the screen size.
The SM is the generational designation, showing that it’s a 2019 model. As part of a minor format change, 2020 models have NANO, while SK indicates a 2018 model.
The 9970 indicates that it’s LG’s most advanced LCD TV. 2019 and earlier LG TVs have four digits, with numbers in the 9000s indicating flagship status, 8000 numbers indicating midrange and mid-high models, and lower numbers indicating lower tiers. 2020 LG TVs have two digits, but the number logic is the same; 90-plus is flagship (99 and 97 are the 8K tiers), and 80-plus is midrange, with higher numbers indicating higher level models.
The PUA is fluff for 2019 and earlier models. 2020 fluff can be UNA or ANA; they don’t mean anything significant.
The 2020 equivalent of the 75SM9970PUA is the 75NANO99UNA.

LG (OLED)
Example: LG OLED65C9PUA, the 65-inch model of LG’s 2019 midrange 4K OLED TV. LG’s OLED name structures are significantly different.
The OLED at the beginning shows it’s an OLED TV.
The 65 indicates the screen size.
The C shows the product line, with higher letters indicating higher-tier versions with sleeker designs or more features.
The 9 is the generational designation for LG’s OLED TVs. An X (as in 10) indicates a 2020 OLED TV, while an 8 indicates that the TV is from 2018.
The PUA is fluff, and can be ignored.

Samsung (QLED)
Example: Samsung QN65Q90RAFXZA, the 65-inch version of Samsung’s 2019 top-of-the-line 4K QLED TV.
The QN indicates it’s a QLED TV, a higher-end LED TV compared with Samsung’s broader range of LED-backlit LCD TVs (which are identified with a UN).
The 65 is screen size.
The Q90 shows it’s Samsung’s most advanced QLED TV. Q80, Q70, and Q60 are all steps down in quality, design, or feature set.
The R indicates that it’s a 2019 model. 2020 models have T (as in Q90T), while 2018 models are indicated with an N or NU.
The AFXZA is fluff, and can be ignored.

Samsung (Non-QLED)
Example: Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA, the 65-inch version of Samsung’s 2019 high-end-but-below-QLED LED TV.
The UN indicates it’s a non-QLED TV.
The 65 is screen size.
2019 TVs have an RU and 2020 TVs have a TU, with one slightly confusing exception. The RU9000 is a 2020 TV, while lower-tier non-QLED TVs are TU. If it says RU but isn’t followed by a 9000, it’s a 2019 model.
The four-digit number is the product series. The first digit indicates the tier, with higher numbers meaning higher-end models. The last three digits usually indicate retailer-specific models and other variations; an RU8000 might be stock for Samsung, while RU8150 could be a Best Buy-specific version that’s extremely similar in performance and build quality, with a few small differences.
The FXZA, like AFXZA, is fluff and can be ignored.

Sony
Example: Sony XBR-65A9G, Sony’s 2019 flagship 4K OLED TV.
The XBR used to indicates that the TV is one of Sony’s higher-end models, but it doesn’t show the specific product line. KD and KDL indicate lower-end Sony TVs.
The 65 once again shows screen size.
The A shows that the TV is an OLED. Sony A-series TVs are OLED, while its X- and Z-series TVs are LED.
The 9 indicates the position of the TV at the top of Sony’s product lines. A lower number indicates a TV that isn’t part of Sony’s Master Series flagships, like the A8G. Single numbers show high-end Sony models, while three-digit numbers sit below them, again counting down; the X950G is higher end than the X800G, and so on.
The G at the end indicates that the TV is a 2019 model. An H indicates a 2020 TV (with the exception of the A9S Master Series OLED TV, also a 2020 model), while an F indicates a 2018 TV.

TCL
Example: TCL 65R625, the 65-inch model in TCL’s 2019 6-series of mid-high-end budget TVs.
The 65, again, is screen size.
The R625 is confusing and complicated. The R6 indicates that the TV is part of the 6-series. The flagship 8-series is denoted by Q8, while the lower-end 4- and 5-series are denoted by S4 and S5.
The 25 shows that the TV is the 2019 version of the 6-series. A 35 indicates a 2020 model, which applies to the 4-, 5-, and 6- series. The 8-series hasn’t been updated since 2019, so there’s only Q825. If that isn’t confusing enough, the last digit can also vary slightly.
Basically, pay close attention to TCL product numbers.

Vizio
Example: Vizio M657-G0, the 65-inch model of Vizio’s 2019 midrange M-series. Or rather, one of the 65-inch models in Vizio’s midrange M-series, because this gets a bit complicated.
The M indicates the overall product line. M is Vizio’s midrange line, V is the less expensive value line, P is the higher-end premium line. Above that are Vizio’s OLED TVs, which are represented by OLED instead of one or two letters.
The 65 once again shows the screen size.
A Q following the screen size number (but before the 7) indicates a TV uses Vizio’s Quantum Color feature, which means its a higher tier than this specific model. An X after the Q indicates a step-up for the P series of Vizio TVs, making it a P-series Quantum X model rather than a standard P-series (which also has Quantum Color).
The 7-G0 gets complicated, because Vizio has several different combinations of letters and numbers to indicate both years and quality tiers within the overall product line. For brevity, just ignore the last number and know that H1 means a 2020 model, while G0 means a 2019 model.

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How To Dispose Of A Bloated Puffed Up LiPO

A swollen battery can occur due to a variety of reasons. If you notice a swollen battery it is safest to stop using it and throw it away, LiPo batteries can be safely disposed of with your local battery disposal service or can even be thrown in the normal rubbish provided they are fully discharged.

Easy Method
Check the yellow pages and see if there is a local battery disposal service if so it is the easiest way to get it done.

Homemade battery disposal
The first task is to drain the battery to 0V as Lithium polymer batteries are safe if carrying no voltage then you need to ensure no more charge can build up, the following will guide you through it.

1.Grab a bucket of sand and place it outside with the battery inside.
2.Connect an led or small lamp to the battery and drain it completely, leave connected for 1 day after the led stops glowing.
3.Cut the connectors off the battery.
4.Strip the wires
5.Join the red and black wires to create a short circuit and prevent any build up of voltage.
6.LiPo Battery successfully stabilized, and you can safely put it in the regular trash.

A slow discharge produces less heat and is much safer then draining the battery fast with a motor or high load connection.

Some people shoot or nail their battery, although that is exciting and is an excellent way to learn how much power really is inside it is also very dangerous, so I will not outline how to do it. For any method of destruction you choose, be safe and always do it outside.

For a range of quality Lipo batteries for your helicopter or quadcopter check out our battery and charger section and remember to always inspect all batteries regularly and never charge when you are not at home.

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Should You Upgrade to Wi-Fi 6?

Though it’s been a fully approved standard for some time, actually seeing or buying a Wi-Fi 6 router has been both rare and expensive until recently. Now that we’ve passed the mid-point of 2020, however, routers supporting Wi-Fi 6 are starting to appear en masse, which not only gives you a wider selection, it’s also driving down prices.

Wi-Fi 6, or as it’s otherwise known, 802.11ax, offers significant improvements over the current 802.11ac standard (now dubbed Wi-Fi 5 by the Wi-Fi Alliance). Faster throughput speeds, better battery life for clients, and less bandwidth congestion are some of the most obvious reasons for upgrading to the new standard, but there are some important things to consider before you run out and buy a Wi-Fi 6 router.

What Is Wi-Fi 6?
A lot has been written about Wi-Fi 6 up to this point, but here’s a brief rundown on what to expect from the newest wireless standard. (For more history, check out our explainer.) Wi-Fi 6 routers employ several new technologies that are designed to boost overall performance by offering increased throughput speeds (nearing 10Gbps, theoretically, compared with max speeds of around 3Gbps for 802.11ac).

In addition, Wi-Fi 6 aims to relieve network congestion, provide greater client capacity, and reduce client power consumption. For example, Wi-Fi 6 uses Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) modulation, which allows up to 30 clients to share a channel at the same time, thereby improving efficiency by boosting overall capacity while reducing latency. Long story short, OFDMA assigns time intervals to clients that allows them to better parse out available network channels. For example, if one person in your home is streaming a movie and another is checking social media on a phone, OFDMA allows a router to assign channels to each device based on when it needs it most.

Wi-Fi 6 also uses Target Wake Time (TWT), which allows devices to determine when they will normally wake up to begin sending and receiving data. This extends the battery life of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, as well as battery-powered smart home devices such as security cameras and video doorbells. The new standard also takes advantage of previously unused radio frequencies to provide faster 2.4GHz performance, and it uses refined bandwidth management to provide enhanced Quality of Service (QoS) options. Additionally, Wi-Fi 6 offers eight-stream uplink and downlink Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), which streams data simultaneously rather than sequentially, allowing a more equitable sharing of bandwidth among connected MU-MIMO enabled clients. Wi-Fi 5 MU-MIMO topped out at four streams.

So Should You Upgrade Now?
The short answer is likely “yes” if your current router is more than three years old. Notebooks that support Wi-Fi 6 are becoming more common, including both higher-end models, like the Editors’ Choice-winning HP Omen 15, as well as lower-priced units such as the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go. The same goes for newer tablets and smartphones, like the Amazon Fire HD 8 and the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G.

Even if your devices are still operating on 802.11ac, it’s still worth the trouble to consider a Wi-Fi 6 router upgrade now. Prices are coming down on both standalone Wi-Fi 6 routers as well as Wi-Fi-6-compatible wireless mesh systems. Among mesh systems, the most recent and notable examples include the Amazon Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6. Both these platforms support Wi-Fi 6, though the Eero Pro 6 is a tri-band system that supports faster throughput and speedier Internet connections.

Both platforms also have a Zigbee smart home hub built into the core router and both are being offered at between $100 and $200 less than most of the current Wi-Fi 6 mesh competition, which almost lets them qualify as budget routers. With prices dropping this steeply 2021 id more likely to produce new Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems than third-party, Wi-Fi 6 range extenders.

Is Wi-Fi 6 Finalized?
The Wi-Fi Alliance started certifying devices in mid-September 2019, so we’re over a full year into the process, which is why devices and routers are starting to become cheaper and more common. The advanced connectivity features delivered in these devices make them significantly superior to Wi-Fi 5, so if an upgrade is in your budget, now is definitely a good time to pull the trigger.

Aside from the capabilities mentioned above, Wi-Fi 6 also offers features like beamforming, which transmits Wi-Fi signals directly to clients rather than over a broad spectrum. All Wi-Fi 6 devices can also handle WPA3 encryption, which is the newest iteration of Wi-Fi security that’ll use features like robust password protection and 256-bit encryption algorithms to make it harder for people to hack into your network. Your network will also run faster due to background networking improvements, like support for 1,024-QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), a method that allows more data to be packed into each signal for increased throughput. This can deliver up to 25 percent more capacity than the 256-QAM method used in most Wi-Fi 5 routers.

All this jargon is a lot to unpack, but rest assured that any device you get that supports the final Wi-Fi 6 standard will have all these features in place.

Upgrade One Step at a Time
If you’re panicking at the number of network and client devices you need to upgrade, relax. There’s no need to replace every Wi-Fi 5 device and network component simultaneously. Wi-Fi 6 routers will support Wi-Fi 5 devices just fine, though the latter will run at their rated 802.11ac speeds. Similarly, Wi-Fi 6 devices can still talk to a Wi-Fi 5 router, though again, their throughput will be constrained and most of the advanced features mentioned above will be disabled until they can find supporting devices. If you’re a gamer, you might start with a Wi-Fi 6 gaming router and then move on out to supporting devices. If, perhaps, work dictates certain high-performance clients, you can start there and work inward.

Bottom line: you can upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 one step at a time, which will definitely make things easier. You’ll not only save your wallet from a sudden pummeling, you’ll also be able to configure and master one device at a time instead of finding yourself frustrated with a slew of new features and documentation.

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