Yearly Archives

2017

Should I Jailbreak my Phone?

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For a lot of people, an Apple device is pretty much perfect just the way it is. After all, they’re sleek, easy to use and there are plenty of apps to keep us happy on the App Store. However, if you have an iDevice, such as an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch then you may have heard of the term “jailbreaking”.

Jailbreaking your phone allows you to break free of the limitations that are imposed by Apple, giving you full control of your device. Apple’s iOS is designed to be one of the most stable and secure operating systems around, which many people find makes it too restrictive. When you jailbreak your device you bypass these restrictions, allowing you to fully customise your iPhone or iPad to suit you.

If you want to take full advantage of the device that’s at your fingertips then jailbreaking is the answer.  But, be warned, it doesn’t come without its risks. Here we weight up the pros and cons of jailbreaking to help you decide what’s right for you.

Benefits

Access a whole host of new Apps

By jailbreaking your phone you open it up to a whole new world of apps. The closed nature of the iOS system is designed to secure your phone from unauthorised, harmful applications that can leave you with viruses and malware.  Naturally, this limits the amount of perfectly good apps available in the App Store. After jailbreaking however you can install a plethora of unauthorised apps that allow you to customise your phone exactly how you wish.

Free up space

Apple is notorious for its number of pre-installed apps on any new iDevice. What is particularly annoying is the fact that you can’t delete these apps either. That is unless your device has an active jailbreak. After jailbreaking, you can remove Apple’s default Apps and use third-party apps as defaults, creating much more memory space in the process.

Customise your phone to suit you

The default iOS is renowned for its sleek appearance and ease of use. However, there’s much more you can do to the operating system, once jailbroken, to make it suit your needs. Once you jailbreak your device you can install apps that allow you to change your icons, wallpaper, control centre and much more.

Improved security features

There are now much better security options on jailbroken phones (although, be warned- not all are 100% reliable!) Most iPhone users are aware of the Find My iPhone app, which tracks and locates your phone. However, once the phone is on airplane mode, turned off or offline, this app no longer works.

Jailbreaking gives you the option of installing key loggers, lock down individual apps and media files, remotely track and wipe your iPhone making it more difficult to access the device, and encrypt messages. There are even security apps similar to Find My iPhone that takes a picture of whoever is trying to guess your passcode and then notifies you by email.

Risks

Jailbreaking voids your warranty

In a bid to deter jailbreakers, Apple has the power to invalidate all warranties on jailbroken phones. In other words, if you damage your phone after jailbreaking, Apple won’t cover the service repairs. It is wise to take this into account, and the fact that iPhone’s are not cheap, before you make any irreversible changes to your device.

You might ‘brick’ your phone

Although the chances are low, it is possible to brick your phone through jailbreaking. ‘Bricking’ refers to a software error that renders your phone completely unrecoverable without changing the hardware. If this happens, it can be time-consuming and costly.

Limitations to software updates

A phone with an active jailbreak might have some permanent software damage, which might make future iOS updates inoperable on the device.  However, if you do manage to update the operating system, it is usually the case that the new version will not support jailbroken apps. Effectively, by updating the iOS you will erase the jailbreak and the customised features you have installed.

Weakened security

Apple’s iOS is one of the most secure operating systems available and is specifically designed to protect your personal information and the system itself. Once you jailbreak the device you are defeating the phone’s security, putting yourself at risk of hackers, spyware or viruses. You will have to put trust in the people who create the apps you download.

The verdict

Jailbreaking iOS certainly comes with its fair share of benefits. There are so many options out there for us to take our hand held devices to a new level. However, Apple is a leading brand for a reason. Our iDevices can pretty much do everything we want from a pocket computer.

Jailbreaking is not for anyone, and comes with some serious risks. If you’re not confident jailbreaking your phone, or you don’t necessarily need the added features of a jailbroken device, then there’s simply no need to tamper with it. It’s up to you to weight up the pros and cons and decide what best suits you.

We’re here to help

At MyTechy we can help you with all your home technology. Whether you need advice on jailbreaking your apple device or you want help fixing a bricked phone, then you can count on us. For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Call us on 01483 808008
or email info@mytechy.com.

Should I Root my Android?

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Android is one of the most customisable operating systems around. When you buy a new android device the default settings limit what you can and can’t do. Now this is perfectly fine for most people, after all smartphones even on their factory settings are incredibly powerful.  However, rooting your device allows you complete access to everything in the operating system, and lets you customise your software to suit your needs.

In the past, Android phones didn’t live up to their potential, so many people found rooting their phone was the answer. Yet, the Androids on the market today are a lot more advanced, particularly in their default setting, and eclipse even the best devices that were available just a few years ago. So why do some people still want to root their androids?

Here we weigh up some advantages and disadvantages of rooting your android phone.

Benefits

Install incompatible apps

As an android user you’ll find that some apps just aren’t available on your device. This is often because your phone carrier will block these apps because they are competing with their own ones. Rooting your phone lets you get around this block, allowing you to install any app you like.

Increase your phone’s speed and battery life

You can improve performance speed and battery life without rooting your phone, however rooting gives you even more power.  There are a number of apps out there (only available after rooting) which allow you to control these features to suit you and how you use your phone.

Custom ROMs

You can truly change how you use phone with a custom ROM. This is basically a customised version of Android and there are many out there to choose from. Some have new features that just enhance your OS slightly, and others completely revamp the OS. You can completely change the entire look of your phone so that it suits your needs.

Free internal storage

After rooting your phone you then have the ability to transfer any app from the internal memory to an SD card, freeing up plenty of lost space. You can also uninstall the battery-draining, space-wasting software that comes preinstalled on your device. Make sure to freeze the apps first to check the phone still operates as it should, then delete.

Risks

Rooting voids your warranty

As soon as you root your phone, you immediately void the warranty. With some devices it’s possible to restore to factory settings, but with most phones there’s no going back. If you damage your rooted phone, even during the warranty period, you will have to pay for it to be fixed.

You might ‘brick’ your phone

Although there are many tutorials out there, rooting your phone can be challenging. One wrong step and you could end up bricking your phone. If this happens, you will have to take it back to the manufacturer to be fixed, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Worsened performance

Rooting is intended to improve the performance of your device, however many people have found there phone has lost both performance speed and features after rooting. The stock operating system is often the most stable because it won’t allow you to accidentally change a setting leading to errors. Modified versions of the OS may lack stability and are often not thoroughly tested, so you may find errors or bugs. In these cases you may be left with old software while you wait for a modified OS update.

To root or not to root?

Rooting lets you experience the full potential your phone has to offer by allowing you to browse your root folder and make changes to the system files on your phone. You can install powerful apps, increase the performance, create a customisable interface and make all kinds of changes you can’t do on a non-rooted phone.

Yet, if none of these rooted features take your fancy, or you’re not confident rooting your device, then there’s simply no need. Even the latest androids with restricted root access offer just about everything we could want from a pocket computer. After all, why fix something that isn’t broken.

We’re here to help

At MyTechy we can help you with all your home technology. Whether you want advice on rooting your android device or you need help fixing a bricked phone, then you can count on us. For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Call us on 01483 808008 or email info@mytechy.com.

Is Android better than iOS?

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Android and iOS are the two most popular mobile operating systems around, and they’ve long been battling it out to take the top spot. Every new release seems to add fuel to the fire of the seemingly unanswerable question: which is better?

We’re big believers in using whatever operating system fits your needs. Whether you own an android phone, as well as an iPad, a Windows based desktop and a MacBook Pro, it’s all just down to personal preference and which features and functions work best for you.

However, in light of the big Android vs. iPhone debate, if you’re struggling to choose your next smartphone, we’ve got a few tips that may help. Here are 6 reasons why we think android tops iOS.

There’s a device for everyone

Whatever you’re looking for you can find it on the Android platform. With over 1,300 brands offering android phones, you really can find one to suit you. Whether you’re looking for a no-frills phone, one that’s compact, or has a large touchscreen, or maybe you want a camera with the highest specs, Android has you covered. You can even find a phone that offers features such as a removable battery- that’s something you definitely won’t find with Apple.

Offering this operating system up to a multitude of manufactures has resulted in array of smartphones to suit all needs. Plus it’s the same for the tablet market too.

Apple on the other hand, only has a select few smartphone devices to choose from. Even though you have the option of the ‘Plus’ on the iPhone 6S and 7 models, the phones have mostly the same specs.

As you’d expect, with such a wide variety of androids, you’ll be able to find a phone to suit all budgets.

More apps available

Android takes the lead with the most available games and apps. Where once this was one of Android’s biggest weaknesses, it now runs the show with over 2.5 million apps available in the Google Play Store, compared to the App Stores 2 million. On top of this, Android boasts a greater number of free apps too.

However, poor quality and piracy concerns remains one of Androids biggest challenges, where iOS reigns supreme with premium apps and first-releases.

Custom fit your phone to your needs

Android offers far more in customisation that Apple ever will. The level of customisation Android offers knows no bounds. Whether you just want to scratch the surface and adopt a new home screen, keyboard or even include a live wallpaper, or whether you want to delve deeper and completely replace the software, then that’s all perfectly doable with an Android. Apple on the other hand, likes to maintain a homogenous software and hardware user experience by limiting this flexibility.

Android’s ahead of the game with new tech

With a great number of manufacturers producing Android phones it’s only natural that you’re going to see advancement in innovative tech. Over the last few years we’ve seen Android continually bringing the latest features to the market first, leaving iOS in the dust. For example, Sony was the first to release a waterproof smartphone, almost two years before Apple.

If you’re looking for new innovations then the array of Android phones will offer something to whet your appetite. Apple on the other hand will neatly package up last years innovations and market these technologies as ‘new’.

Google integration

With an Android smartphone you are seamlessly connected to Google’s array of services. Google drives the development of the Android platform with the AOSP (Android Open Source Project), but doesn’t own it. As other manufactures use Google’s version of Android, Google services are already integrated into the operating system.

We all use services such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Drive and Google Chrome on a regular basis. Having them neatly incorporated into our phones is an added bonus, one that Apple just seemingly can’t keep up with.

Plenty more storage

One of the biggest downfalls for iOS is storage. When you inevitably run out of internal storage on your iPhone, your only options are to get deleting or buy a new phone. Android however, offers expandable memory meaning it comes equipped with microSD card access.

Still undecided? We’re here to help

Choosing a new smartphone can be overwhelming, after all there are so many on the market.  At MyTechy we can talk you through the latest technologies, and help you find a smartphone that will suit your lifestyle and budget. For further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Call us on 01483 808008 or email info@mytechy.com.

 

Why does my PC keep disconnecting from Wifi?

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Can’t seem to maintain a stable Wi-Fi connection on your PC? We’ve all been there. If your computer seems to connect to a Wi-Fi network and then consistently disconnects, then you are likely to have a problem with your tech or the network itself.

Unfortunately there are a number of reasons why your wireless network connection might drop, however here we’ve listed a few common causes and how you might fix them.

To begin with, you can use other devices such as another PC, smartphone or tablet to connect to the same network and test whether the issue lies with the network or the computer itself. If all your devices are experiencing the same problem, then you have a router or ISP issue, whereas if the other devices are connecting to the Internet without any problems, the issue is with your computer.

Weak wireless signal

One of the most common reasons for disconnecting from a network is due to a weak signal. Wireless networks have a limited range so if you are too far from the router your connection may drop or the Internet may appear slow. Try moving closer to the router or invest in a Wi-Fi extender.

You can also try forcing your computer to forget the network, then connect to the network again re-entering the password when requested. If you are using a Mac, a common solution has been to disconnect Bluetooth as well.

Unreliable hardware

Sometimes your router or computer can run into minor problems and cause the connection to drop. It’s a good idea to powercycle your router- turning if off for 30 seconds before turning it back on again. You can also try restarting your PC. More often than not this will fix your connection issues.

It could be that the network card on your computer is experiencing issues with keeping a stable Internet connection. In this case you can restart the network card or reinstall the software, if you feel comfortable doing so.

Software issues

It may be the case that your computers’ software is out-dated or there was a fault in the recent update. In the past, Mac users have updated their computers to find their Macs could no longer connect to the Wi-Fi. To fix this you can restore the software to an earlier version  or look for any recent patches that may have been issued to fix the problem.

Issues with the ISP

It may be that your problem is down to your broadband provider, in which case there isn’t much you can do. The ISP’s technical support can run system checks and line checks to determine if there are any issues between them and your computer that might be causing the issue

Overheated Router

If you still can’t track down the issue, check that the router isn’t overheating. If it’s covered or hidden away then the device can over heat causing it to lose efficiency.

Busy Wireless Networks

You may be experiencing a weak Wi-Fi connection because of other Wi-Fi networks nearby. In particularly busy, built-up areas it is likely that there are other networks sharing the same radio waves with you. Start by making sure you configure your Wi-Fi network with a unique name, and then you can change the channel you are on. Find out what channel your neighbours’ use and pick a different channel to connect to. Your router will usually select a good channel automatically but it is possible to change it manually.

We’re here to help

If you’re PC is still continuously disconnecting from the Wi-Fi then we are on hand to help. At MyTechy our Microsoft certified team have many years experience providing home tech support, including solutions to Wi-Fi issues and PC repair. For more information or to see how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 01483 808008 or email info@mytechy.com.

How do I connect my PC to my Mac?

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Sharing files between a Windows PC and a Mac can be more complex than you would imagine. With Mac’s you can easily locate other nearby Macs or use AirDrop, and with Windows you can use Workgroups to network devices together. But surprisingly, it’s actually a bit more complicated to share between a Windows PC and a Mac over a network.

Here we give you a step-by-step guide on how to connect your Windows PC to your Mac and share files over a network.

  1. To get started you’ll need to find out what IP address your Windows PC has been assigned. The easiest way to do this is to click on Cortana and enter “Command Prompt”

Open the command prompt app and enter “ipconfig”, then press Return. You can then locate the IP address labelled ‘IPv4 Address’. The IP Address is 4 sets of numbers separated by decimal points.

To complete the Windows PC setup, make sure file and printer sharing is enabled and your Windows account has a password on it. You can set a password on a Windows account through the Control Panel.

  1. Now over on your Mac, press “Command + K” and enter “smb://” and the IP address of the Windows PC. For example “smb://XXX. XX. X. XXX” and press Return.

You will then be prompted for an action. Click ‘Registered User’ and enter the user name and password for your Windows account.  Press Connect. If you are connecting over Wi-Fi then this could take a few minutes.

  1. A popup window should appear marked “Select the volumes you want to mount”. Click “Users” then “OK”

Still on your Mac, open the Finder window. Under ‘Shared’ in the sidebar you will see the SMB share folder marked as the IP address. If you click it, then click Users > Your account name, you will find all the files on your Windows PC.  You will be able to copy files to and from your Mac and Windows computer from here.

We’re here to help

If you are still having problems connecting to your PC to your Mac then we are on hand to provide home technology support. With years of experience in the industry, our Microsoft certified engineers will take care of your device issues and provide cost-effective solutions for all your home tech.

For further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 01483 808008 or email info@mytechy.com.