Mobile devices are surprisingly self-maintaining these days but there are a few issues that come up occasionally. A big part of this is understanding the names and functions of certain settings unique to smartphones.
Well, what do you do to actually maintain this device? Well, the answer is, actually, if you have an Apple device, not much. Apples are pretty good at maintaining themselves. If you have an Android, there's a few things you need to take care of. But whether you have an Apple or an Android, there is one thing that's always going to be the same, It's really easy to tell the difference. GSM phones come with a little SIM card, and if you get a GSM phone, you usually got to get a little SIM card and they have to put that in, and then you can actually use the phone. With the CDMAs, they didn't come with a SIM card. Now, if you're watching me in Europe or in Africa or in Asia, you're looking at me going, Mike, what is, CDMA, what are you speaking? That's because if you're other than the North America and some of South America, you'll never, ever, ever see CDMA phones. However, stuff about CDMA is mentioned on the exam, so I'm going to cover that in here as well. The big challenge you have with CDMA phones is that there's lots of stuff that needs to be updated, and the big magic word here is firmware. Now, there's no hard drive in here, so there's no place to store our operating system and our drivers and all that stuff, so we store it on ROM, and that's firmware, and sometimes it has to be updated. There's all kinds of updates that take place. You've got what we call baseband updates, which is going to be some of your cellular stuff, we've got broadband updates, we've got radio updates for Wi-Fi and all these things, and the exam seems to treat these separately when they really don't. In the real world, this is handled for you pretty much magically with a few exceptions that we're not going to worry about. One issue that you do see with CDMA phones is something called the PRL. The PRL is your Preferred Roaming List, and if you have an CDMA phone, if you're suddenly noticing that your texting is running slow or your phone calls are taking forever to connect, you might want to consider updating your PRL. Now, how that's done depends on your carrier, but it usually consists of getting on the phone and dialing something like *228 or something like that, and the updates will be taken care of for you automagically. PRL is a part of what we call the product release information, or PRI. This is a big chunk of updates that hit all at once on CDMA phones, and the only time you have to worry about this if things are going slow, or if you're in a new place of connection. Usually just updating your PRL will take care of that for you. But when it comes to all of this updating that comes in, you really, if you're in the world of GSM phones, that doesn't happen because pretty much all phones are designed to have updates sent to you. Now, the one choice you can make is whether you want to have it automatically update or not, and you're going to have to go in, Android and iOS are different on this, but they still will have something that says, do you want to update automatically or do you want to have an update come in and then you manually go through the updating process? On desktop operating systems, I'm a little bit nervous about updates, but when it comes to my phones, I update like crazy. I don't even think about it. And I'm not saying I've never had problems, but it's been a extremely rare issue. So, update like crazy. So, if you're taking about OS updates, if you're talking about patching, if you're talking about firmware, when it comes to smart devices, it's all the same thing. It's just an update, and go for it. Now, there's a couple of other numbers that you run into on phones, and I want to make mention of them. One of them is called the IMSI, the International Mobile Subscriber Identity, and the other one is IMEI, International Mobile Equipment Identity. I want to show you both of these settings on a phone. So, when you active a phone, that's really all you're doing to get it up and cooking, and then that way, as you're going around, people can charge you, you pay your bill every month. Okay. So, that's one feature that you might run into. Now, the other one, interestingly enough, I'm throwing this in here 'cause CompTIA did, and that's the idea of VPNs. Now, we have an entire episode that talks about VPNs, but VPNs work perfectly well on phones just as well. So, if you want to set up a VPN, you're going to have to go into your settings, and here on this Android, it's under Advanced, and you'll see, here's a VPN. Now, as I click on this, I'm going to hit a plus sign, Mike's VPN, and I can set the VPN type I want. You can see that Android has a fairly limited number of different types of VPN, but here's the important one. Make sure you know the IP address of your server. Now, I'm making these numbers up, so don't try to use them. But without knowing your server's IP address, you're never going to get VPN to work. Also keep in mind that pretty much all of the better quality VPNs, they're not going to use the built-in VPN client that comes with your phone. They're going to go ahead and install their own VPN client that has a lot more flexibility for it. But the important thing is, even those clients are still going to have, give it some kind of name, set up what type of VPN it is, and make sure you have the server's IP address. no problem at all. Okay, the next thing I want to talk about is the idea of remote backups. Now, we did kind of touch that in other episodes, but let me at least make quick mention of it. Both Android and iOS are amazingly good at doing backups. They're either going to back it up to Google Drive if it's Android, or iCloud if it's iOS. The only thing I need to remind you is this one thing, turn it on. If you turn it on, it's going to work beautifully, and the level of automagicness is absolutely impressive. Alright, so now I'm going to split things up a little bit between iOS and Android, and the term I'm going to use is antivirus. You can have antivirus or anti-malware installed on both iOS and on Android devices, however, the general consensus is, is because of Apple's tight control on their stores, it's not really necessary, and to be honest with you, I'm unaware of any Apple person who has installed an anti-malware on their phone. And if you go on the store, you can see there's plenty to install and I'm not sure exactly why. I think it's mainly for developers and people who like to play dangerously. Now, that's different on the Android devices. Android devices change things a lot, in particular, the idea of the store is going to be a trusted source of software. So, whether you're on iOS going into that store or you're in Android going into the other store, you have a high degree of confidence that you can go on, install these without fear of malware and that type of thing. However, with Android devices, you don't have to use the store if you don't want to. Let me give you an example. So, here's some program that I want to install. Now, notice, I'm just on a website right here, okay? So, if I hit Download, notice that I'm going to get this big warning. What it's trying to install are these files. If you look very closely, you see .apk, that's just an Android installation file. I'm not in the store here, folks. I'm just grabbing some arbitrary website, and because Android is all about freedom, you don't necessarily have to install from untrusted sources. However, by the way, most Android devices can be configured in such a way where you would prevent them from doing this. Mine's wide open because I like showing you guys cool stuff. So, make sure you're aware of the idea that inside the store versus outside the store, inside is trusted, outside is untrusted. So, if you're going to be dealing with untrustworthy things, that brings up the last issue, and that are firewalls. Host-based firewalls are as important on a smart device as they are on a desktop system, however, again, because of Apple's strong control of their store, it's less of an issue on a Apple device as it is on an Android device. Android devices provide a broad cross-section of third-party firewalls that can do an excellent job. But even then, if you're the type of person who sticks to the store on Android, the chances of you needing anti-malware or a firewall, it's pretty slim. (upbeat music)
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