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Category Archives: Apple

How To: Back Up and Clear Data before Selling Cell Phones and Tablets

Here at GadgetRx, we are in the business of recycling old phone, laptops, tablets, iPads, and game systems. When we buy our customers old phones, we get a lot of questions about about privacy and security concerns. Because we use technology for just about everything, most of us have quite a bit of personal information on our phones – address, credit card information, passwords, dirty pictures…the list goes on.

Though we always respect the privacy of all our customers, we understand why people are concerned. So before you come sell your old gadget to us, here are a few tips

Back up and Clear Your Data

If your gadget works, it’s very easy to erase all your history and personal information before you sell/trade/recycle. But before you go erasing everything, you want to make sure you data is backed up. While we are happy to help you with this, below are two links that will walk you through it:

iPhone and iPad Back Up

Android Back Up

Now that everything is backed up (we can double check this if you’d like) you want to start getting rid of your personal history.

iPhone Users

For you Iphone users, clearing your data is pretty simple. Once you have backed up your phone, follow these simple steps to erase everything on your phone:

> Click Settings on your home screen 
> General
> Scroll down and click Reset
> Click Erase All Content and Settings and enter password

Once you confirm, your iPhone will show the Apple logo and a progress bar. It can take a few minutes to several hours based on the version of your iPhone and the amount of data you have on it. Make sure you phone is fully charged before you begin this process 

 

Unlink/Unregister your iPhone:

To be on the safe side, you should unlink and unregister your phone. Programs like Pandora and dropbox are notorious for staying linked even after a users erase all contents and settings.

>Go to: https://supportprofile.apple.com/MySupportProfile.do and log in

>Click Edit Products

>Click on the “X” to the right of any products

>Click Unregister

Android Users

For android users, there is an extra step in the erasing process that many don’t due. Sure, maybe it’s a little overcautious, but the two extra minuets is worth the extra peace of mind. To make sure EVERYTHING is safe, we suggest customers encrypt all of their data. That means that if someone wants to see something that was left on your phone, they will  need your password to access it (iPhones do this automatically)

To encrypt your data, go to:

>Click Settings on your home screen

> Click Security

 >Click Encrypt Device 

 > You also have the option to encrypt your the SD card. Only do this if you plan on selling your sim card along with your phone

android encrypt

*Note* some androids might be a little different. If so, go to youtube and enter: “[phone type] Encrypt data”

Once you have successfully encrypted your phone, perform a factory data reset. This will erase all the data in your phone.

>Click Settings

>Click Back up and Reset

 > Click Factory Data Reset

 >Click Reset Phone

factory data reset

New Technology Philosophy – Wait!

Tech, Electronics,Gadgets, Games and MoreSOuthpark

Here at GadgetRx we are all about technology. And while we stay up to date on all the latest phones, iPads, tablets, and game systems that are released, we don’t always advocate buying them immediately. The truth is, many new products are put on the market before thorough testing and research is completed. This reality often leaves consumers with glitchy, malfunctioning, or overall obsolete products. Even though we are as excited as the next tech geek for new and updated products, we highly recommend waiting a few months before going out to get it. There are many reasons why we stand by this philosophy, below are 5 examples:

 

 

Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death (RROD)

RRODDeemed a “general hardware failure” by Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, the problem is still plaguing Xbox owners everywhere. Attributed to inadequate testing prior to the console’s releases, three flashing lights on the power button leave the game system unusable. This problem was so wide spread that in 2007, Microsoft announced a three-year warranty for customers experiencing any “general hardware failure”. Every day we see a steady stream of people coming into our store to repair the RROD and other hardware problems. While we inform all customers of this warranty through Microsoft, most report that jumping through all the hoops required to redeem it is too much of a hassle – if just impossible.

3D TVs

3D-TV Remember when in home 3D TVs were advertised as the coolest new piece of technology in the history of the world? Yeah, we almost forgot about that too. Although the fad was  short lived, hundreds of thousands of people rushed out to buy the new (and expensive) TVs and glasses. After purchasing it, however, most customers reported that they rarely (if ever) using the the 3D feature. While some of this was a result of eye strain, headaches, and nausea caused by the glasses, most of it was due to the fact that there was not a demand for the technology in the first place. Despite all this, however, companies continued to push 3D TVs though deals, discounts, and marketing campaigns before the technology finally diapered from commercials and headlines.

 

Nintendo Wii controllers

wiifail

In 2006, gamers were smashing TVs, windows, and everything in between when straps on the Wii remote suddenly snapped on players in mid game (YOUTUBE EXAMPLE HERE).  In addition to a number of assaults on innocent bystanders, a few different lawsuits were filled against the company for the faulty product. These issues lead the makers of Nintendo  Wii to come up with a thicker and sturdier wrist strap for later controllers, and provided free upgrades to those who already purchased the system. And while the game system itself proved to be a success, many could have avoided these problems by waiting a few months for the initial kinks to be worked.

 

NetBooks and Smartbooks.netbook

Never heard of them? That’s not surprising. Introduced in 2007, the Netbook offered a brand new ideal: a lightweight portable gadget that connected to the Internet and could do just about anything a real laptop could! And while this technology was praised for it’s abilities and conveniences, it was knocked out of the market in 2010 when iPads were introduced.

 

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plusbendgate

Ignoring all the software and functioning glitches associated with the release of the new iPhone 6, the basic structure of the phone created a lot of buzz all over social media. Many new iPhone customers reported bent, curved, and all together broken phones . While Apple insists that this problem is “extremely rare”, the popular hashtag #bendgate (and numerous people who’ve come into GadgetRx with the issue) lead us to believe that Apple is grossly under exaggerating the phenomenon. If Apple’s history has shown us anything, we foresee updated casing for the iPhone 6 in the the next few months or so.

 

In Summary

Progress and innovation in the technology world is always fun and exciting. However, jumping on the latest gadget bandwagon too soon sometimes leaves consumers with glitchy and obsolete products. It is because of this, we strongly suggest waiting a bit before buying the latest gadget. And while we standby this philosophy, we continue to stay up-to-date on the latest issues and solutions for those who do not subscribe to it. Because in the end, we all know how exciting the latest phone or game system release can be, and how hard it is not stop yourself from getting it immediately.cartman

 

 

Apps for Musicians

Thanks to technology, there is no better time to be (or become) a musician. Whether you’ve been playing the guitar for years, or are just learning to how to hold a violin, the internet has an endless amount of information to help you improve upon your skills.  And now with smartphones, tablets, and Ipads, you have access to these resources wherever you go. Add a few apps on to these gadgets, and you can have (just about) any tool you want at your finger tips…literally.

Though apps are great, the sheer amount of them can be overwhelming. Because there is an app for everything, it can get a little confusing when you’re looking for the right one – especially for musicians. Depending on your instrument, skill level, training, and a million other factors, picking the right app can be time consuming. To help you save some time, we’ve complied a list of our 10 favorites to help you narrow your search. From beginner to advanced, one or more of the apps below will be a perfect fit for you.

 ClearTune -Chromatic Tuner

(iPhone, Android, iPad) ($3.99)

cleartuneUsing the mic on your cellphone, this app works as a chromatic instrument tuner and pitch pipe. Though it works best for acoustic guitars, it can also be used for just about any instrument that can sustain a tone. And for all of you bowed instrument players out there, (i.e violin, viola, cello ect.) this is the best $3.99 you will ever spend. Thanks a built in temperament, this app will help you get an accurate and consistent pitch for your instrument.

Xpiano

(Android) (Free)

xpianoA 4 octave, 12 instrument, adjustable piano keyboard, Xpiano is great for trying out ideas,  messing around, ear training, and more. But the feature that sets this apart for other piano apps is it’s ability to hold notes like a real piano. Unlike most apps, Xpiano keys are NOT set on a predetermined time. Because of this feature, users of Xpiano are able to hold a not for as long (or a little) as they want. It also allows you to record ideas and offers a few other cool features as well

 

Drum Beats+

(iPhone, Android, iPad) ($3.99)

drumbeatsDeemed “A proper replacement for your deadbeat drummer” by Rolling Stone, this app is is rated highly for musicians in need of a drum beat. Programmed with over 100 beats, the app can work for just about every style you can think of.  With drum loops ranging from 1 to 4 bars, the app is great for jam sessions, skill building, and songwriting.

 

HearEQ

(iPhone, Android, iPad) ($.99)

HENamed one of the “best iPhone and iPad apps for musicians” by AppPicker, this app is a learning tool to help users improve equalizing (EQ) skills. With a 10 band equalizer, the app helps musicians and sound engineers train their ear for sound frequency. Set with a playlist, users can use the “learn” button to manually adjust the equalizers to help them become familiar with frequency sounds.  When you’re ready to test your skills, the “begin” button provides exercises and tests . Able to pick however many (or few) frequencies to test with, users can learn based on their own pace and skill level.

 

TablEdit

(iPhone, Android, iPad) (Free)

TEFview

If you are looking for a free app that allows you to create, edit, print and listen to tablature and sheet music for guitar, this is a good app for you. Offering both tablature and standard notation, it is a great tool for those who are just learning guitar and/or anyone who wants to become more familiar with sheet music. Slow down the tempo or alter the tuning to make this app work for you! Plus, with the free music downloads you can even use this app without any internet connection

 

Tempo – Metronome with Setlists

(iPhone, Android, iPad) ($2.99)

tempoThis is the bestselling metronome app for a reason. With tempos ranging from 10 to 800, this app allows you to create subdivisions, accent patterns, save setlists and more. Having the most accuracy of all the metronome apps, it offers 35 different time signatures including compound and complex meters. While all different musicians and composers rave about this app, drummers are by far its biggest fan.

 

NanoStudio

(iPhone, Ipad) ($13.99)

nanostudio-logo

If you know a little (or a lot) about a soundboard, this is a great app for you. With a virtual analogue synthesizer , sample trigger pads, comprehensive sequencer,, sample editor, mixer, and multiple effects, this app is a great tool for anyone who is serious about music. NanoStudio has so many features that you can’t help but learn something new every time you use it. It also syncs up with Soundcloud making it even more convenient. If your’re a little weary about spending $13.99 on this app, you can download a free sample to try it out first.

 

 Music Tutor Sight Read Lite

(Android)  (Free)

liteDesigned for music students, the Music Tutor Sight Read Lite app helps users learn to read and write music on treble clef. The app is great for someone who is just learning an instrument, or seasoned musicians who want to learn to read sheet music. What makes this app great how simple and user friendly it is! Notes appear on the staff and you tap the corresponding keyboard (labeled with the note) for the note you think it is. Once you’ve mastered this app, paid upgrades are available to help you continue to build your skills.

 

 Vocal Warm Up

(iPhone and iPad) ($4.99)

vocalwarmup

A great app for vocal warm ups, work outs, and cool downs. Adjust the vocal range (for both bass and soprano) and tempo to make the exercises work for you. Plus, all the exercises have a few tips and tricks which can change help you get the most out of your practice. Once you get use to the app, create a custom playlists for yourself.

 

 Songsterr Guitar Tabs & Chords

(iPhone, Android, Ipad) (Free – $4.99)

lasyWith access to 500,000 tabs and chords for guitar, bass,and drums, it’s not surprising that the Wall Street Journal picked this as one of the “Best Apps for Learning to Play Music”. Although the free version only allows for 15 second previews of songs, most report that the 5 dollars a months to upgrade is worth it. The app allows you to play along at half speed, slow on individual tabs, and use the playback feature to help you learn difficult parts. With the loop option, you can even play back specific measures again and again until you get it down!

 

h2o water damage phone

Wet Cell Phone? 7 Steps To Minimize Water Damage

 

At some point or another we’ve all ended up with a wet cell phone. Whether it was left out in the rain or dropped in the sink, few things will make your heart sink faster than realizing your phone, and all its valuable contents, just got drenched. Since we work on these types of problems all the time, here are 7 steps for minimizing the damage to your wet cell phone.

 

drop-iphone-water

1. Remove the device from the water immediately. Even though most modern smart phones only have small accessible ports (headphone jack, charging port, mic…etc) it is still possible for water to get inside the device. Removing it from water as soon as possible is going to prevent as much water as possible from reaching the inner workings of the phone/device.

 

Google Nexus S Cell Phone Disassembly 9

2. Remove the battery from the device (if applicable). If you have access to the battery of the device remove it as soon as you get it out of the water. This will prevent electricity from surging through the board and possibly causing more damage to the device. If you do not have access to the battery make sure the device is immediately turn off and DO NOT connect it to a charger AT ALL. Some devices will all have water damage stickers located near the battery, you can check those to see how deep the water has penetrated.

 

sd card and sim card removal

3. Take out all accessories (SD Card, SIM Card..etc). To ensure that there is no damage to sensitive data it is a good idea to remove items such as the SIM Card and SD card from the device. This will at the very least prevent the water from corroding the contacts on the cards preventing them from being sued again or from extracting data if the phone is not repaired.

 

dry_phone_water_damage

4. Dry any visible water from the phone (Do not tilt or shake device). Using a paper towel or soft cloth try and remove the remaining water that is still on the surface of the phone. This will prevent any of the water from seeping deeper into the device and causing further damage. Even though it is likely that a submerged device is full of water it is still best to try and remove as much as possible.

 

do_not_use_hairdryer_on_phone

5. DO NOT try and use a hairdryer to dry off the phone. It may seem like a good idea to try and dry off some of the water inside the phone. However, this could lead to water being driven further into the device and causing it to dry on the board and components. When the water dries it can create minerals from the water to deposit on the board or other components corroding them and creating more problems.

 

silicia_gel_dessicant_phone_dry

6. Submerge device or phone into water absorbent material (at least overnight). While most people use rice as an absorbent, the recommended solution for absorbing as much out of the device is silica gel (yes those little beads that come inside new shoes). The silica  will absorb as much water as it will come in contact with, it is recommended to rotate or move the device into different positions to try and draw as much water from the phone.

 

7. Let the phone sit on absorbent towels or cloth. After you have let the phone sit in the drying material overnight it is still advised to let the device sit on an absorbent material to see if all the water has been removed. Check the towel periodically to ensure that there is no water present on the towel and replace it accordingly. Time can vary but 4-6 hours should usually be enough, remember to rotate the device during the period as well.

 

This drying process may work for light water damage (partially submerged or a spill) but for anything that has been fully submerged we recommend following the steps 1-4 and bringing the phone to a professional repair facility where they will be able to properly diagnose and repair the device.

 

What we recommend:

A professional repair facility will be able to fully disassemble the unit and take the necessary steps to ensure that all of the moisture has been completely removed. This includes under the board, chips on the board and any possible corrosion present on the components. While there is no guarantee when it comes to repairing a water damaged device the success rate is much higher when these steps are taken in conjunction with the use of a professional shop to perform the proper water damage repair.

 

Let's get your device healthy and happy again