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iOS vs Android OS

by LaptopMD Posted June 1, 2017 in FAQs, Newsletter, TechBuzz

During the age of the smartphone, users have continued to debate between Apple and Android as to which service is superior. While you may have heard several arguments as to which is better, it is time to settle the dispute once and for all. The iOS and Android OS have several differences between them. For starters, iOS encourages people to buy multiple devices and have them all connected to each other. That way, the iOS is similar on iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. In contrast, Android is more contained directly within the phone. Androids are very useful for multi-tasking on the phone, but its services aren’t as useful for multi-tasking across different devices. In terms of visual preference, both phones have supporters and detractors, but that is mostly a subjective opinion.  Instead of going back and forth on the advantages of both, let us get to the actual answer of this question, and that is that iOS is probably the superior system. Yes, Android has its advantages and it certainly has its fair share of fans, but for the majority of users, the iPhone is going to have the operating system that you want.  It’s the driving force behind the iPhone becoming so widespread over the last few years.

To start, iOS is more secure. When it comes to choosing a smartphone or other type of device, security should be a top concern – which is something people may forget about their phone. Android OS is far more susceptible to malware threats, this could be because Apple provides its users with updates at a more frequent rate. This continues to add security, which Android is falling behind in. Apple also has stricter privphone securityacy policies, preventing unwanted threats from breaking into the operating system; Android is less strict about their apps and uses, which could be seen as a positive for some users because you have a little more freedom. While the iOS is far from impenetrable, it is still superior to Android OS in terms of safety.

Another important function for users when it comes to operating systems is the applications. Whether it be social media,phone apps gaming, or travel information, people have become heavily reliant on apps. In this case, Apple is also ahead. Apple and Android both have streamlined ways for you to find apps through either the App Store or Google Play, but Apple is more likely to get certain apps faster than their Android counterparts because it is more efficient for developers to optimize for iPhones rather than all types of Androids.  Some apps will be limited to iOS, some others will be limited to Android, but the scale is in favor of Apple for now.

 

Lastly, the iOS is easier and simpler to use.  Android phones are more customized and you can tailor it to specifically what you want, but that can also be annoying to set up and whenever updates arrive, they do get somewhat reverted.  There is probably a work-around for this for very tech-savvy consumers, but in general, the iPhone interface is very easy to use and consumer-friendly.  Not only that, but iOS is also constantly updating to try to be more intuitive, clean, and iconic.  iPhones also work very well in conjunction with other iPhones – which is a big deal now that they are so popular.  iMessage is a very clear example of this, because texting iPhone to iPhone is now more reliable and faster than typical SMS messages.  If you are in a group text as the only Android user, you may get messages a little out-of-order or slower than the rest of the group which can be frustrating.

imessage

While security, applications, and user interfaces are important functions when deciding between iOS and Android OS, the most important debate is often the price. In general, Android phones can be cheaper, because they have a wider range of selections. While their most expensive phones reach prices comparable to the iPhone, Android has a wide selection of cheaper phones. However, if we’re talking about picking a phone for the next few years, it is more useful to pay the slightly extra price for the technology that fits you best. When comparing the most expensive Android systems to the iOS, the price is relatively similar, which makes the choice of choosing Apple an easier one for most consumers. The bottom line is, Android is still very popular and provides a customizable experience with a wide range of options, and Apple still continues to make fine-tuned systems that provide the user with easy, efficient operating systems that work very well with other iPhones, as well as other Apple products.


Digital Currency and Bitcoin

by LaptopMD Posted in Blog Categories, News, Newsletter, TechBuzz

One of the newer trends in the technology world that has caught everyone’s eye is digital currency. Digital currency, or “the currency of the Internet”, is a new way for people to make transactions without having to go through a central authority such as a bank. Digital currency has become very popular for a number of reasons, and not having to go through a financial regulator seems to be the main reason that people prefer to use it. The industry of digital currency is continuing to grow, and the amount of trade that occurs using digital currency is at an all-time high.

Before going in-depth on how digital currency has become so popular, it is important to first understand exactly what digital currency is. As mentioned previously, digital currency allows for instantaneous transactions without any borders. In certain instances, it can still be centralized (such as PayPal or eMoney), but those services are still separate from the control of governments or banks.

            There are two main types of Digital Currency: Virtual Currency and Cryptocurrency

Virtual currency can be explained as a type of unregulated currency that is managed by the developer, and it is often specific to a certain group of people. Virtual currency is the form of digital currency that most often utilizes centralized platforms to control the exchanges. This means that the virtual currency that is being used is only accessible for that certain group. For example, currency that you have on PayPal is not able to be used on another platform such as eMoney. Virtual currencies can also include currency used in widespread online gaming services, such as World of Warcraft. Yes, even money used in RPGs is considered virtual currency. However, these services are categorized as “closed virtual currencies”, because they do not involve the exchange of tangible assets. As you can see, there are a number of limits to the use of virtual currency. If you are someone looking for a more flexible way of utilizing digital currency, then cryptocurrency may be more reasonable.

Cryptocurrency is similar to virtual currency, but it is not as limited. It uses cryptography to make sure transactions are secure, and it also prevents people from making additional units of the currency themselves. Unlike virtual currencies, which use centralized platforms to regulate trade, cryptocurrency is decentralized. This means that without having to be regulated by a bank or another type of central authority, cryptocurrency is much less susceptible to inflation and corruption. It allows the user to basically be their “own bank”, so you are able to have much more control. This also lowers the risk of having your assets seized by the government. Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly valuable, and this is because unlike centralized banking, most of  the platforms that use cryptocurrencies have put a cap on the amount of units that will be produced. This means that the units that are currently in circulation are continuing to gain value, because there will only be a finite amount of units produced.

Now, when it comes to digital currency, there is one platform that has risen above the rest, and that is Bitcoin. Bitcoin was the first ever form of cryptocurrency, and its popularity has continued to increase as digital currency is becoming more mainstream. Bitcoin was created as a way to make peer-to-peer transactions without an intermediary involved. The reason it is more popular than forms of virtual currency, is that it can be used to make transactions that are not limited to a closed-group environment.

Also, Bitcoin does not require you to submit your actual information, so people prefer to use if because of the privacy it provides. Bitcoin only asks you to have a Bitcoin address, and the owners of the addresses are never identified. Of course, like anything else in the technological world, Bitcoins do have disadvantages. The size of Bitcoins are finite, so that means it can be difficult to make large transactions, and often times transactions can be delayed for long periods of time. Also, Bitcoins tend to be more volatile compared to other forms of currency. In other words, the price of Bitcoins tend to fluctuate much more frequently. Currently, the price is near an all-time high, but prices have also dropped steeply in past years before rising again.

bitcoinEven with the disadvantages that come with it, Bitcoin has continued to surge in popularity. Just recently, the price of a Bitcoin shot to an all-time high of $2,200, which is double than what it was more than two months ago. For comparison, the price of a Bitcoin was just $224 at the start of 2015.With the uncertainty that is surrounding global currencies, the demand for alternative forms of currency, such as cryptocurrency, has continued to rise. Other forms of cryptocurrency that are competing with Bitcoin, such as Ethereum are also rising in popularity. The frequency of daily trades using digital currency is also at an all-time high. Just to show how much more frequent, in 2013 Bitcoin saw an average of 40,000 trades per day, and that number has now been raised to 330,000. Large corporations are also trying to become more mainstream by incorporating Bitcoin into their transaction services. By doing this, they will gain the attention of those who prefer to use digital currency as their means of making financial transactions.

 

The popularity of digital currencies, both virtual currencies and cryptocurrencies, is currently at the highest it has ever been. If you are someone looking into potentially using digital currencies, the advantages and disadvantages listed for both types should help you in making your decision. To recap, virtual currencies can be effective, but they are more limited because they are still often controlled by a centralized figure. Cryptocurrencies allow for more control and privacy, but they do have a downside as well. The fluctuation in the price of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, has caused some people to become wary of them. At this point, the value of cryptocurrencies is very high, so it is better to capitalize on the industry while it is successful. The fluctuation in value can be off-putting, but as technology continues to create an increasingly paperless world, it also makes cryptocurrencies more intriguing as a potential investment.


7 Common Problems With The IPhone 7

by Vladimir Sobur Posted February 24, 2017 in Apple Devices, Newsletter

We love our iPhones, but even the most ardent owner knows these devices are far from impervious. The latest iteration continues the tradition of impressing critics and audiences with Apple innovation but leaving end users with annoying issues.

7 Common Problems With The IPhone 7 and sollutios from LaptopMD

In fact, here are seven common problems with the iPhone 7.

  • Issues with Activation
    Before activating your new phone, make sure you have a reliable WiFi connection. You need to make sure your version of iTunes is up to date as the phone’s activation is processed through your iTunes account. USB the iPhone to your computer and turn on the phone.
  • Freezing in the Cloud
    During updates, the iCloud has been known to freeze. When this happens, reboot the phone by holding the down volume and power buttons. If the restoration still doesn’t follow through, download a backup file to your computer and upload it to the iPhone.
  • No Headphone Jack
    That there would be no jack on the iPhone 7 set the Internet on fire. Still, Apple did offer an adapter to give users options. Most owners have turned to one of the many wireless headsets.

7 Common Problems With The IPhone 7 and sollutios from LaptopMD

  • WiFi Won’t Stay Connected
    One of the most common problems with the newest iPhone is an unreliable WiFi connection. Make sure the router doesn’t need rebooting and that there’s proper range for the signal. Check the settings on your phone to ensure the connection is there. Rebooting the modem may help. If that doesn’t work, Apple has its own support page about how to deal with Wi-Fi issues.
  • Poor Quality Audio
    This is probably the result of your sound being set too low. Check Settings/Sounds to see where the volume ringer is. Turn it all the way up. Check to see if mute is on or for debris in the speaker.
  • Touchscreen is Unresponsive
    The 3D touch feature really upped the phone game, but many user were disappointed to discover the screen’s functionality could fail. When this happens, adjust the screen’s sensitivity. The feature can be found in Settings/General/Accessibility.  and scroll down to 3D touch and tap to change it from light to firm.

7 Common Problems With The IPhone 7 and sollutios from LaptopMD

  • Random Rebooting
    Many owners have reported random reboots on their iPhone 7. A good way to correct this is to restart the phone. Press the home and volume down buttons together and let the phone reboot. This is only a temporary fix, but it does work.

One more
At LaptopMD, we hope that your device will last forever without giving you problems. However, if anything ever happens to it, we’re here to help you.


The Tax Season Has Arrived

by Vladimir Sobur Posted February 17, 2017 in Computer Advice, Computer Maintenance, Customer Care, Newsletter

Tax season is almost here, and it’s time for you to start thinking about how you will be submitting your income tax declaration. There are several ways for you to prepare and give your documents to the IRS, from having a professional accountant do it for you to completing and submitting the documents yourself or using special software.

Help with Tax Season from LaptopMD

Before you choose this route, you need to consider the security status of your computer system. How do you know if it’s safe to share your private and sensitive financial information with a software program? Let us help educate you on the signs of a compromised computer.

Check your device
Firstly, before you install any tax software on your computer, you need to make sure that the computer is not infected with viruses, malware or spyware. Here is a list of behaviors that may indicate your computer is compromised with spyware:

Help with Tax Season from LaptopMD

  • Your computer suddenly operates very slowly when opening applications;
  •  Random pop-up messages appear while you are on the Internet. No matter what you do, the messages continue to pop-up;
  • An unknown toolbar suddenly populates your web browser;
  • The homepage on your web browser now directs you to a completely different website;
  • The search engine in your web browser has switched to a different service;
  •  Odd error messages pop-up unexpectedly and do not make any sense at all.
What to do?
How do you prevent becoming a victim of Spyware? Here are a few security tips for you to keep in mind:
  • Do not click on any suspicious links within unsolicited emails from people you do not know. If you receive an email that looks like it originated from a legit source (like your bank) but you still find suspicious; do not click the link. Instead, access the site from a bookmark or through a web address that you know is valid. Another trick is to hover your mouse pointer over the web link and if the highlighted link is different from the one within the email body, something is wrong!
  •  Do not input any information into any unexpected pop-up windows. Close these windows and move on.

Help with Tax Season from LaptopMD

  • Only download programs on the Internet from reputable sources. Sometimes ‘free’ software comes with a spyware price tag.
  • One last suggestion is to create a separate user profile on your computer that doesn’t have administrative rights to install software or make any system changes. This way, when you use this profile to visit the Internet, it’s incapable of installing malicious software in the event that it gets compromised.

And the last one
Now that you’re alert to what kind of suspicious activities can affect your laptop during tax season, let us know if you’re experiencing any of these issues. We here at LaptopMD are happy to help you safely submit your taxes this tax season.


5 Common Reasons Why Your Laptop Works Slowly

by Vladimir Sobur Posted January 28, 2017 in Computer Advice, Newsletter

The 21st century is a busy, modern age when time seems at a premium. There are few things more frustrating than having to sit and look at your laptop how it -so-slowly loads a program or webpage.

5 Common Reasons Why Your Laptop Works Slowly from LaptopMD

There are numbers of reasons, however, why your laptop may be running slowly and some of them can be simple, easy or quick fixes. Here are 5 reasons why your laptop may run slowly.

Hardware
Upgrading your hardware can be a relatively inexpensive way to create an enormous boost in horsepower. Switching to a Solid State Drive (SSD) from a spinning hard drive can give your aging machine a major performance boost. As an added bonus, by changing out your hard drive you might gain extra storage in addition to the extra performance.

Random Access Memory (RAM)
Another cheap and easy solution for laptop laze is to upgrade your RAM. Your laptop’s CPU accesses data faster from its RAM than its hard drive or SSD.

5 Common Reasons Why Your Laptop Works Slowly from LaptopMD

The more more RAM your laptop has available, the more data it can store there for quick and easy access, which speeds up performance.

Your laptop is not designed for what you want to use it for!
Laptops in general are not the best for gaming, as they require such high CPU and GPU loads. Other laptops don’t have the performance requirements to do high load tasks like video editing. Not only will your laptop slow down while attempting to perform these tasks, but it may even overheat and shut down.

Viruses, Spyware and Malware
These days there are all kinds of viruses, spyware and other malware running amok on the internet that you can pick up almost anywhere. They also perform a wide variety of tasks, such as pushing advertising or phishing sites.

5 Common Reasons Why Your Laptop Works Slowly from LaptopMD

All of these can slow down your computer and create a number of other problems ranging from hijacking your browser to crashing your computer.

Multi-tasking
Sometimes, your performance issues have nothing to do with hardware, spyware or a lack of available RAM, but are just a matter of asking your laptop to do too much at once. Every app and every browser tab you have open decreases the functionality of your laptop. If you have a dozen or more apps running and browser tabs open, try shutting down the ones you are not currently using.

Save your precious time
Now that you have some idea of the issues that can be causing major delays on your device, we’d love to help you get it running up to speed. You can try solving an issue on your own, but why not let us give you a free estimate on the spot?

5 Common Reasons Why Your Laptop Works Slowly from LaptopMD

In addition, if you print this newsletter and bring it in with your laptop or any other devices you will get 10% off (excluding parts).