If you either were nice enough to buy yourself a swanky new smartphone or tablet, or maybe someone special picked you up a little something gadgetesque, there are a few things you'll want to be sure you do with it to extend the life of the device and make sure you are happy together for years to come.
1. Slap a screen saver on it.
Whether your intention is to protect the surface from scratches or breakage if the device should experience impact, a screen saver is a MUST. They are pretty cheap and much cheaper than replacing the screen or buying a new device. I'll use an iPhone5C for example. The cost to replace the front screen is $279. Even the back cost $229 to fix.
There are many types of screen savers. The best one is the one you actually buy and apply to the device. The most important thing is getting it on the device ASAP. Nothing is more frustrating than dropping a brand new device.
Here is my latest non protected device dropped...and it was brand new with no screensaver or case on it yet.
2. Get a Case
There are so many case solutions out there now that there is no excuse for not having a case to protect your device. Whether you are an early adopter of gadgets and plan to trade/sell it or keep your devices forever, you'll want to protect it.
I always talk about Otterbox because they have many tiers of protection and almost all of them come with screen savers. You can get something that merely protects the edges and hopefully screen if dropped or go completely rugged and waterproof it.
Another great brand is Lifeproof. These are waterproof cases that will protect your device from all of the elements whether you work in them or simply hang around swimming pools a lot!
3. Install or Activate a Device Locator
iPhones and iPads have Find my iPhone or Find my iPad pre-installed. You have to activate them and turn on location however. Here's how
- First, you'll need to go into the iPhone/iPad settings.
- Select "Privacy" from the list of settings.
- Select "Location Services" from the list of Privacy settings.
- Turn Location Services on by moving the On/Off switch to the right.
- Select "Find My iPhone/iPad" at the bottom of the list. From there you can activate it.
If you don't have the opportunity to activate it on the device, you can turn Find My iPhone/iPad on or off through the iCloud settings, however, if your Location Services are not turned on, Find My iPhone/iPad will not work.
I won't mince words, this is by far my favorite app (I used it to have the police to retrieve a stolen device for me once) so this app never gets old for me! Anyway, it's a simple download. There are several great things about it.
If you neglect to do install it on an Android before the device goes missing, you can always send it to the device because with Androids you can install apps over the air (OTA).
It is much more than a device locator, it has anti-virus software built in.
- Protect your device from malware, phishing scams
- Scan every app to ensure it's safe
- See which apps access your private info
- Block malicious websites
- Wipe your data so no one can access it
- Backs Up your contacts etc.
- Free and Premium versions available
4. Insure it
If you don't understand why phones are so expensive to replace after the initial activation READ THIS...
Cell phones, on their own, are not big money makers, it's the service that puts the retailer's kids through college. When you buy a cell phone and you activate it on a two year plan the retailer makes his/her money on that 2 years of service. Let's use an iphone 5s as an example. If you buy it with a contract, the retailer sells it to you for $199. It cost them $649.99. They don't make all their money back until you complete the two year contract. Therefore, if you lose or break that device and go back to buy a replacement, they can't sell it to you for $199. It cost them $649 so that is what it is going to cost you to replace it. Insurance is the way to avoid this.
5. Trade In Your Old Device
Instead of throwing your old smartphone, eReader, iPad or tablet in a drawer, resell it. Many of these devices have a second life. You can get back a few hundred dollars for an iPad (obviously depending on the model). An iPhone 4S will fetch you at least $100. Why not make a few bucks and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time? This is a win/win/win for you, the environment and the next person getting your device at an affordable price. Also, this drives home why I am always suggesting that you protect your device.
Above all, have fun with the new device!