Mobile devices can encounter problems ranging from unresponsive touchscreens to complete system lockout. This episode explores common symptoms of problems and their solutions, such as slow performance (caused by excessive apps running) to overheating.
(laughing) You lucky people. That's exactly what it is. Let's call this the great Mike-stron-ah-me part deux. Anyway in this episode what I want to be talking about is not really security errors but just generic problems that we run into with our smart devices. So we've got a big list to go through so let's knock these puppies out. A lot of times if the system is heavily overloaded, your touch screen moving really slowly and jaggedly is a sign not that there's anything wrong with the touch screen but because your system is just too full of stuff. What I would recommend is restarting the system, seeing if that makes it go away and if it comes right back, you've probably just installed too many apps. Smart devices are still computers. They have RAM, they have hard drives and you can overtax them with putting too many things on there. So if you do by any chance have a smart device that has calibration capability which isn't very common, you can try to recalibrate but in my experience going through, rebooting the system, have you tried turning it off and turning it back on again as well as removing applications, should get you out of trouble there. Okay the other one is a dim display. Not a black display but a dim display. The first thing I'm going to say is, well turn up the brightness. You know a lot of these devices will actually have a manual slider to set the brightness on the device or maybe there'll be a little switch on it. Make sure you're turned up all the way and also make sure that you're, if you're using the auto-brightness make sure that that's turned on and you should be okay. If you're still dim, remember that it's still a smart device, it's still a computer. These devices go away after a while. You can actually on some devices actually repair dim displays by replacing back lights although it's pretty rare and on today's system unless you've got a real high end system, the answer is you throw it away and replace it. I currently have a stack of about 20 different smart phones that I've used over the years and that they just have a limited lifetime on them. Can not broadcast to an external monitor. Okay I've run into this one a few times. Number one are you on the same wireless network as whatever this other monitor is? So if you're going to be doing some kind of broadcast, you've got a say a Roku device or something like that. Number one make sure you're on the same wireless network. And number two and this is a big one that gets people in trouble, make sure that you're actually trying to talk to the right external monitor. This can be a real challenge when you're broadcasting and you can literally find yourself trying to talk to your next-door neighbor's device and then you get that phone call that happens. And also do keep in mind that you can't instantly assume that all external monitors will instantly work with your device so check with the manufacturer and make sure that it'll work with your device. No sound from speakers. Oh man that happens to me all the time, especially when I forgot that I had already paired my headset to it and I left the headset on my bed stand and now I'm over at my desk and I'm trying to play a YouTube video and it's working just fine but unfortunately it's going out to a different set of speakers. Number one make sure volume isn't catching you on these particular things and then also de-pair any Bluetooth devices. Okay intermittent wireless or no wireless connectivity. To me those are almost the exact same thing. Intermittent wireless, we have other episodes that cover this in great detail. We're talking about the same type of problems you'll run into, any other place. With any other, a desktop or a laptop or anything. We're talking about interference issues, more than anything else and if it keeps up going for a while you might want to consider a site survey because your office next door just put in a huge ole 802.11ac system and they're eating up all of the band spectrum and you're going to have to move. That might get rid of that. or something like that. You also might want to keep in mind that someones else isn't already paired to that device which will keep you from connecting to it. And last make sure your Bluetooth is turned on. I can't tell you how many times I've made that mistake. Okay app errors, so we got apps not loading and app log errors. All right, apps have their own way of doing things, particularly in iOS and Android. Most apps will have some feature that can cause this problem. A big classic problem is many apps use caching. And in order to clear the cache, you're going to have to look at how you clear the cache for any one particular app, clear it out and try again. You can do a forced stop to shut the application down and to start it back up and if that doesn't work, shut down the entire phone and try logging back in again. At the very worst you can always uninstall the app and then try reloading and then double check on Google. On these types of issues invariably you're not the only person having that problem and you can figure out what's going on at that case. All right, slow performance that one's easy. You're running too many apps, you're running too many apps. I know so many people they buy a phone and they run too many apps. So stop running so many apps because that's exactly what it is. It's not like you can upgrade the RAM in your smartphone so stop running so many apps, got it? Okay what else, extremely short battery life. Extremely short battery life always points to you're burning too much battery. Things like GPS for example is a big eater of battery life. Anything that's running real time in the background, constantly syncing or something like that is going to be burning CPU cycles and it's going to drop your battery life considerably. What you need to do is take advantage of tools that are built into both iOS and Android which will literally say list all my applications by how much electricity they're eating and find the bad guys at top and knock those out. What else, overheating. Overheating is incredibly dangerous. All smart devices have thermal trip switches built into them that should prevent a device from getting too hot. They will fail sometimes number one, if you don't provide any form of ventilation. Putting a device in a place between two books for example, I've seen that happen, where it can overheat. Also unfortunately lithium batteries are dangerous in and of themselves. Did you know every jet airliner, every commercial jet airliner in the world actually has a big metal tin that is on the plane that's designed for one reason and that is to drop a laptop or a phone or anything that's on fire so that it can be contained and not make the airplane crash. These are real problems, they're workin' it all the time, batteries have never been safer than ever, just so many of them. What else we got, frozen system. Frozen system, invariably can be pointed either to a problem with an app. A lot of individual apps because they're streaming apps or somethin, they're actually end up stealing a lot of CPU cycles because they're waiting for something to happen, to come in from the network. And a network stall and this is where things like wireless connectivity issues can also manifest is that suddenly you have, it's really not the whole system locking up, it's just that app. But it can cause trouble and it can often lead to what we call the black screen of death which is the kernel panic for Android devices. And the answer once again is, you're going to have to trace it down to whatever particular application is causing the problem and delete the application and wait for them to come up with a patch so that, that problem won't continue. And the last one and this is a bad one, and to me this is almost more of a security problem than anything else and that's system lockout. If you've been locked out of a system, something bad has probably happened. Let's assume that it's not evil, let's assume that you've typed in a password too many times. If you've got that kind of system lockout, for pretty much all operating systems the answer is, is a factory reset and then a reinstall. And to be honest with yah, I don't think that that's necessarily a bad idea because often a system lockout simply points to somebody else was trying to do something evil. Especially you got that good deal, it's those guys trying to sell you a $1,000 dollar phone for $200 bucks and it's got a system lockout, it was probably stolen. (acoustic guitar theme)
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