iPhone

  • RepairLabs Tests Liquipel's Watersafe Treatment

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on January 17, 2014

    RepairLabs, Water Damage, and Liquipel!

    Here at RepairLabs, we deal with water damaged smart phones and tablets on a daily basis, and get asked quite often by the poor victims of water damage what they can do to help protect their phone. Besides the obvious advice to not get your phone wet, there really isn't much we can offer them in the way of protecting it after we've gone in and fixed it.

    With that in mind, we were approached by Liquipel not too long ago after doing our Guide to Dealing with a Water Damaged Phone. Liquipel was interested in showcasing their product to us, so that we could do some unbiased testing on the effectiveness of their coating, and to be able to effectively tell if it is indeed a good investment for those of you who are prone to soaking your favorite portable device. To help keep the testing relevant to most readers, we sent Liquipel one of the most common devices on the market, the iPhone 4.

    First off, to talk about the process as a whole, we'd just like to state that the folks at Liquipel have been great to work with, always being prompt in response to any questions we've had about the process, and having a quick turnaround rate for a primarily mail-in based company. (which we know a little something about!)

    The Liquipel-Coated iPhone Returns

    Upon getting the iPhone 4 back from Liquipel, we were greeted by this awesome Liquipel tin case. From there the experience only got better, with there being a large foam cover directly below the top of the case.

     

    Liquipel Shipping Case

    Underneath that, the phone was stored in a little shipping bag and encased in foam, making sure that your precious device doesn't get damaged during the return shipping. Nice touch, Liquipel!

    As for the iPhone 4 itself, you can see that it came back a bit dirty, but other than that, in perfect working condition!

    Liquipel vs. Pool Water

    A little bit of information on the Liquipel process: Liquipel is a nano coating that surrounds all the tiny little electrical parts in and around your device. It’s completely invisible to the human eye and will not void your warranty. While we can’t say your device is waterproof, we can proudly stand by our hydrophobic technology and say it’s great for accidental occurrences.

    Both us here at RepairLabs and Liquipel agreed that we should keep the testing simple to help avoid any confusions on what the Liquipel coating actually protects you from, so with that in mind, we agreed upon a test that involved three inches of pool water, which is a combination of chlorine and typical tap water, with the Liquipel-coated iPhone 4 and the uncoated iPhone 4 going in horizontally for 60 seconds, then removed and sat out to dry for a full 24 hours before opening the phones up.

    As you'd expect from testing as simple as this, the testing went perfectly, with both iPhones getting a nice soak in the pool water for an entire minute before being removed. After we removed them from the water, we sat them aside on a microfiber cloth to air dry without being touched for the next 24 hours.

    24 Hours Later

    After sitting out for the next 24 hours, we carefully removed the back covers from both iPhones, and were greeted with not-so-surprising results. Liquipel claims that their coating will protect you from your average accident involving liquids, not a coating that would survive a couple days in the Ocean, and the results show just that, with the Liquipel-coated phone being completely dry.

    Both phones side-by-side show very different results, with the uncoated phone still having expected water residue on the battery, even though the outside of the phone has almost completely dried-up, whereas the Liquipel phone looked as if it hadn't even been in the water at all.

    What does all this mean for you, the consumer? It means that if you're accident prone around water, Liquipel is not just a worthy investment, but an investment that we here at RepairLabs absolutely recommend!

    You're not paying for a super-fancy coating, (well you are) you're paying for the peace-of-mind in knowing that your phone can withstand just a little bit more punishment from you before it croaks. And if you have a device that has already taken a spill, call the experts here at RepairLabs, we'll get you fixed up and running like new in no time.

    Note that both RepairLabs and Liquipel do not recommend getting your device wet on purpose, and that the Liquipel Watersafe Treatment is only meant for accidental exposure.

    We'd like to thank Liquipel for working with us on this article, and hope that you've found the information presented helpful in making an informed-decision on whether Liquipel is a good investment for you.

    This post was posted in Tech, Geek, What We Do, iPhone and was tagged with iphone 4, iphone 4 water treatment, liquipel, geek, what we do, repairlabs, Tech

  • Common Phone Etiquette Around The World

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on August 12, 2013

    What Is 'Proper' Phone Etiquette?

    Be honest, how many times have you taken your phone into the bathroom with you, whether to check your email, play Candy Crush, or do something else. We’ve all done it, and it’s not a big deal for the most part, but one of the unspoken rules of phone etiquette is that you don’t take an important call while you’re on the toilet – it’s only common courtesy.

    Knowing that this is common knowledge here in the United States, we here at RepairLabs became curious on what the spoken and unspoken rules of phone courtesy and etiquette were in other countries. Initially we were thinking small, such as Canada and Mexico, but then we realized that we had the opportunity to learn about the culture of so many other great countries that we had to be as diverse as possible.

    With that said, we set out to learn all we could about countries that have had cell phones since the beginning, such as China, Japan, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom, while also looking at countries that are newer to the whole cell phone shtick; Brazil, Egypt, India, Russia, and Thailand. We gathered so much great information in fact, that we decided we should put together an infographic to help the information be more easily digested!

    Click the image below to open the Infographic! 

    Phone Etiquette Infographic by RepairLabs

    A common trend seen across almost all countries, including the U.S., that have had cell phones for quite a while is that we have unspoken understandings when it comes to when it is polite and not polite to talk on our mobile device. Some of the most common places that we understand it’s rude to talk on our cell phone include at a restaurant, the movies or a play, and most definitely during a meeting or interview!

    We also have a much larger attraction to texting over talking on the phone, not only is it more convenient, it’s also silent, for the most part. If you were to go to any of the countries that are newer to the cell phone market, it’s not uncommon to see people talking on their phones pretty much anywhere they want, while also usually having no thought towards their volume level in public. This isn’t to say that the people in these countries are rude or thoughtless; it’s simply that they haven’t been trained properly in the ways of cell phone etiquette, yet.

    Phone Etiquette, And Where We All Currently Stand

    Not all countries are the same when it comes to the proper etiquette of when and how to use a phone. Though it’s considered rude in the U.S. or U.K to answer your phone during a face-to-face conversation with somebody else, in certain parts of the world it’s considered rude not to answer your phone, no matter what you’re doing, there is also no guarantee that if you ignore it, the person won’t just keep calling.

    And while no country is perfect when it comes to phone etiquette, we could all learn something from each other. It’s completely common in Egypt to exchange pleasantries over the phone for up to five minutes before beginning the actual conversation, even if talking to a complete stranger. While five minutes may be a bit excessive it does go to show that we all have room to grow when it comes to being polite and respectful.

    Even through all of our research on phone etiquette, we didn't find a single country that finds it acceptable to take an important call on the toilet. This journey taught us all a lot about common phone etiquette in many different countries, but proved that no matter where you are, dropping a log and speaking to your boss at the same time is a no-go!

    We may be considered more polite than some when it comes to our usages of our cell phones, but on the phone we can be some of the most inconsiderate people. With room for all of us to expand and grow, this infographic will, hopefully, be the first step towards a more connected and unified cellular Phone world.

    This post was posted in Tech, Geek, iPhone and was tagged with phone etiquette, proper phone etiquette, repairlabs

  • A Guide To Dealing With A Water Damaged Phone

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on August 5, 2013

    And Other Myths Associated With Water Damage

    We here at RepairLabs spend a lot of time fixing water damaged devices. Now, most of the time, these devices require our specially-designed RepairLabs' Cleaning Process to get back into working order, still we decided it was time to answer the question we get asked all the time: “I got my phone wet, what can I do to fix it?

    To do this test properly, we had to document each step of the process so that you guys can see exactly why one option is better than another. The most common thing people do when they get their device wet, is stick it in rice... That’s the worst thing you can do. Yes, rice will eventually absorb the water, what it will also do is cause massive corrosion build-up inside your device, which is the reason it isn’t working in the first place.

    Rice has always been considered by many to be the top option for drying out a water damaged device, but the truth is that rice doesn’t absorb liquid out of your device very well, increasing the risk of a part shorting out inside the phone due to water, and an increased build-up of corrosion from the chlorine in the water.

    What’s Up With Corrosion?

    Though the general idea behind corrosion is that it makes your phone go from working to not working, which is true, but there is more to it than that. It’s time for a RepairLabs’ Super Awesome Scientific Moment!!

    Corrosion is the result of an undisturbed chlorinated-liquid sitting inside your device for an extended period of time. What this chlorine does is cause corrosion, which eats away lead-free solder, causing your device to have cold joints which is a bad connection between two connectors where the solder use to be. Another issue with corrosion is that it’s conductive, which can cause parts inside your device to short out, such as the battery and LCD, etc...

    Any website or person that has told you to stick your phone in rice after suffering water damage is setting you up for failure. Luckily your friends at RepairLabs are here to help you get things back in working order.

    Getting Our Hands Wet With Water Damage

    We used the five most common drying methods, which are; rice, an alcohol bath, desiccant crystals, a blow dryer, and running a device through RepairLabs' own Cleaning Process. For the sake of consistency, we used five iPhones that have been submerged in a bucket full of pool water, which consists of water and chlorine, since the water will be more corrosive than tap water, but not quite as bad as salt water.

    Each device was submerged for five minutes, removed from the water and shaken out, then put into whatever water drying method it was selected for. After their allotted time, they were all removed and disassembled to get pictures of the rust accumulation inside and the corrosion build up on the LCD connection.

    Desiccant Crystals (48hrs) – The trusty 48 hour emergency water kit. All these are is a little bag full of desiccant crystals, which are used to absorb moisture. We followed the directions on the packaging to the letter, getting the phone into the bag as quickly as possible and then sealing it for 48 hours before re-opening it.

    Results – The rust build-up was pretty severe on the screws inside the phone, along with most of the back housing and metal internal components. There was also a bit of moisture still on the battery, leaving it moist in areas.

    The LCD connection was surprisingly relatively clean of any corrosion, raising the chances that we would be able to fix this particular phone.

    Alcohol (24hrs) – Considered by some our Certified Technicians to be the best way to save your phone after a dip in some liquid. The alcohol will help break down the water while working as a non-conductive liquid to keep your device from shorting out. Note that five to ten minutes is all that is needed in the alcohol. We let it sit in the alcohol for five minutes before removing the phone and letting it air dry for another 24 hours.

    Interesting to see that the phone worked the moment we put it in the alcohol, even after sitting in the pool water for five whole minutes.

    Results – Not nearly as much rust inside the phone as the crystal phone. The screws are rusted and of course the water sensor has been tripped on the phone, which is a given. There is no standing water on the battery or within the device itself, being completely dry, but you can clearly see the water damage to the battery.

    Underneath the cables is the LCD connection, which is almost spotless except for the bit of corrosion on the connector itself, you can tell the corrosion by its teal color.

    Blow Dryer (48hrs) – This is probably your second best bet when it comes to getting your phone working again after dropping it in water. Using a blow dryer on low heat and low speed will gently push the water molecules out of the phone from the open areas. Do this for roughly five minutes, and you’ve raised the chances of getting your phone back in working condition exponentially. After blow drying it, we let it sit for an additional 48 hours to let it completely dry out.

    We used the blow dryer for five minutes on the phone, constantly turning and flipping the phone to help evaporate as much water as we could.

    Results – Similar results to that of the alcohol bath phone. There is minor rust damage inside the phone besides the screws. Again the battery is pretty thrashed, which is why we call it water damage.

    Not surprising, since the rest of the internals look similar, the LCD connection is roughly the same as well (in comparison to the alcohol phone), with there only being minor corrosion damage on the connector cable itself.

    RepairLabs’ Cleaning Process (24hrs) – The idea here is to let the phone sit powered down for 24 hours, the average amount of time a water damaged phone sits before it is normally taken/shipped to a repair center for water damage repairs. After 24 hours, we ran the phone through our RepairLabs’ Cleaning Process to break away the corrosion.

    Results – After getting the 24 hour treatment, this phone was torn apart and cleaned of all corrosion, and the results are pretty amazing, with the phone showing next to no signs of water damage after having been submerged in pool water for five minutes.

    The LCD connection is spotless, with not an ounce of corrosion to be found.

    Rice (72hrs) – The most misleading myth when it comes to phone repair probably ever. Putting your phone in rice is a terrible idea. The moisture absorbed is minimal at best compared to the amount of corrosion you will build in return. We let the iPhone sit inside a full bag of rice for 72 hours before opening it to check for corrosion.

    Results – Wow... There really is not a better word to explain the phone after sitting in the rice for three whole days. The rust build-up is intense and there is still water on the battery itself, leading me to conclusion that the rice did an absolutely porous job of absorbing the water. In the battle between rice and water damage, water damage won hands down!

    Gross, that corrosion means this phone is basically shot. Yes, it could be put through our water damage cleaning process, but there is no guarantee this phone could be saved with this much damage to the internals.

    For reference, this is what an iPhone looks like after getting wet in pool water and sitting for eight whole days. The corrosion inside is so bad that this phone has probably seen its last days. Though we clean all phones that come through, not every phone can be saved.

    Conclusion

    The results speak for themselves. If there is no way for you to get your phone to us right away, either put your phone in a quick alcohol bath or run a blow dryer over it on low for a bit. The 48 hour emergency kits aren’t a bad idea if you’re out and about when this happens, but the two previously stated methods are cheaper and you normally have both in-house.

    Putting your phone in rice doesn’t help, so don’t bother. The standing water on the battery and corrosion build-up makes it pretty clear that you’re much better off doing something else with your phone if you get it wet.

    We personally recommend the blow dryer or alcohol, whichever is more convenient for you, but the reality of the situation is that choosing a repair center to handle repairing your water damaged device is your absolute best option!

    This post was posted in Geek, How To, What We Do, iPhone and was tagged with water damage 101, how to repair water damage, water damage repair, water damage, geek, what we do, repairlabs, iPhone

  • What The iPhone 5S Would Look Like With A 4.3” Screen

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on July 18, 2013

    Is Apple Gearing Up For A 4.3” iPhone 5S?

    Will the iPhone 5S finally be the true innovation on an “S” model iPhone? Blasphemy! Apple has set themselves up on a pretty linear path when it comes to the launching of their iPhones. Every year somewhere between mid-summer and October they release their latest iteration in the line, starting with a whole number, such as the iPhone 5, then releasing the “S” iteration the next year, in this case being the iPhone 5S.

    Now normally these “S” models offer only minor improvements over their predecessor, such as speed bumps for the CPU and minor adjustments to iOS. This year looked to be no different, until the rumors started floating around earlier this week about the delay for the iPhone 5S, due to Apple wanting to put 4.3” Displays on the device. Normally we don’t report on rumors without hard evidence, but the fact that Bloomberg felt it was worthy of being picked up intrigued us.

    iPhone 5S, Made Possible By Samsung?

    There are also talks that Apple is working with Samsung to get these new displays, but there is no concrete evidence that either of these rumors are true. Still, in the spirit of being geeks, we here at RepairLabs thought it would be fun to work up a mock image of what a 4.3” iPhone5S would look like in comparison to the last iPhone model, the iPhone 5.

    RepairLabs' Comparison iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5 Screen Size

    One of the biggest complaints about the iPhone 5 was that, yes, they made the screen bigger, but the shape of the phone was just off. Some people loved it, but just as many disliked it. If Apple really is set on moving up to a 4.3” Display, their best bet would be to expand out at an angle, making the phone wider, and less oblong shaped.

    Will The iPhone 5S Change The Repair Field?

    Whether the resolution would increase or not, is still up for debate. With the iPhone line already boasting the extremely sharp Retina Displays, Apple may be able to get away from boosting up the pixel count, while still offering a beautiful display. Ideally they would offer us a true HD screen this time around, possibly at 720P or even 1080P, but that’s not likely to happen, and if it will, it will most likely be on the iPhone 6 that will undoubtedly be out next year.

    With RepairLabs already boasting the wholly unique Ecto-Dynamic System for fixing the current screens used on the iPhone 5, it will be interesting from a repair standpoint to see if our system will still be viable on the new iPhone 5S screens.

    This post was posted in Tech, iPhone Rumors, iPhone and was tagged with iphone 5s screen 4.3", iphone 5s, iphone 5s 4.3" screen image, iphone rumors, repairlabs, Tech, iPhone

  • RepairLabs Makes iPhone 5 Screen Repair Affordable For All

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on June 14, 2013

    Where the Phone Repair Industry Is

    RepairLabs Talking Media Heads About Repairs

    Those quotes above are from some of the most well-respected technical news sites around today. What they were saying was true, but it’s not anymore. With costs for iPhone 5 glass replacements ranging anywhere from $199 for a cheap repair to over $300 for a repair by a quality, trusted repair shop – the idea of fixing a broken iPhone 5 was ludicrous.

    What does MarketWatch, BGR and Geek all have in common? They all agree that the cost of parts is why the iPhone 5 costs so much to get it fixed. It’s quite simple really; the OEM screens are sold at a premium, with the number available being low, which causes the repair shops to drive the price up to actually make any profit.

    Almost one out of every three iPhone users will damage their phone this year... You read that right, think of how many people you know that have an iPhone. It’s an epidemic, and Repair Shops are beginning to refuse iPhone 5’s for repair because they’re not profitable for them.

    What is the point of dropping that much money, when you could go out and practically buy a replacement phone for that? In the ideal world, you could have your cake, and eat it too, but that’s not the case, until now.

    Is The Price Right For Repairs?

    Look around the web; you’ll still see prices varying wildly, with a lot of the cheaper options being from repair shops that don’t have a solid, credible reputation. The cheapest option available to the public right now is through Apple themselves, who recently announced that they will be repairing iPhone 5 glass for $150 per unit, which is substantially less than the 3rd party shops.

    The problem with going through Apple is the hassle of finding an Apple Store, scheduling an appointment to get the phone in, and then having to wait even longer while they do a full system quality check before fixing the screen. Is the price great? Sure, but it doesn’t make it any more convenient.

    Try, Try, Again

    Seeing how the Industry was taking such a large hit from the cost of parts with this new generation of phones, the Research and Development Department here at RepairLabs began work on a new, revolutionary process that would completely change the repair business as we know it. To this point, they’ve put over 100 hours into this new process.

    RepairLabs Top Secret Work

    Most companies are willing to stand idly by and only replace a handful of iPhone 5 screens each month because of the cost of the parts alone, but we weren’t satisfied with just replacing the part at a huge premium to the customer. Instead, we took the time to learn the ins and outs of the iPhone 5, what makes it such an expensive device to repair, what the common issues were, and how we could work to bring the best service available to you at a more manageable price.

    Where We Are Now

    It’s with great joy that I bring to you today the news that not only has our R&D Department figured out what is needed to fix the iPhone 5 instead of replace the broken screen, but also a way to do it at a price that our competitors just cannot match.

    With our new specially designed RepairLabs process, we’re able to fix your iPhone 5 glass for a fraction of the cost of our competitors, while bringing you the highest quality repair possible, which is what RepairLabs has always been known for.

    Our process we call the RepairLabs Ecto-Dynamic System makes it possible for us to bring you iPhone 5 glass repairs for $139, with quality that will rival any Companies replacement screens or repairs.

    This post was posted in Geek, What We Do, iPhone and was tagged with marketwatch, geek, bgr, iphone 5 glass repair, glass, 139 glass repair, ecto-dynamic system, replace, iphone 5 screen replace, iphone 5 screen repair, what we do, repairlabs, screen, repair, iPhone 5

  • iOS 7 - What Was Apple Thinking?!

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on June 11, 2013

    Enter iOS 7

    Please note people that the version of iOS 7 used within this post is the beta developer’s version, and that the final product may differ from what you’re about to see.

    Ok for those of you didn’t hear or are living under a rock with poor internet reception, yesterday Apple announced the new iOS 7, among many other things. iOS has been criticized for a long time now for being the same with every “new” iteration. What was Apple’s answer to this? Why to pretty much blow up the look of the operating system and rebuild it.

    We here at RepairLabs have gotten our hands on the new beta version of iOS 7, and are here to give you a full rundown of our thoughts and opinions on it up to this point.

    The results are mixed, at best. I personally dislike the whole look. It’s like Apple thought to themselves “WWAHD?” or “What would a hipster do?” This was the result. Now for the sake of being fair, I got past my initial disgust of the design and utilized the new features to test out the actual functionality of the new iOS.

    iOS 7 Design

    From a design standpoint, my feelings are pretty clear. I don’t like the new look at all. The icons all have a bright, colorful vector feel to them that I feel is far too hipster for the phone’s own good. Nothing else really changed when it comes to design for the icons. You still have the standard layout with the app rows and the main functions at the bottom.

    RepairLabs & iOS 7

    The lock screen is one of those interesting changes. It’s essentially identical to its predecessor in how it functions, but it now looks nearly identical to a handful of Android phones.. Very interesting.

    When it comes to additions to the design, this is where Apple has made improvements. With the new slide down menus on the top and bottom, which are called the Control Center and the Navigation Center, along with the redesigned unlock screen, we get the feeling that Apple has been watching the competition closely while working on this latest version.

    The slide down from the top gives you access to the Navigation Center, which houses your calendar and the stock market widget. I find them to be an odd combination, but having instant access to your calendar is a handy feature.

    Sliding the screen from the bottom up gives you the Control Center, much like the top bar of an Android phone. From here you can change your general settings such as WiFi and whatnot, below that is the media player, brightness, and a few of the essential apps; flashlight, (handy) stopwatch, calculator, and camera.

    You may have noticed that the search page is now gone. Replacing it is this new frustrating feature where you have to do an angled swipe down to pull down the search. It feels silly and they should have left it be. You know that they say, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

    Also note that you can now voice search, much like Android phones.

    iOS 7 Functionality

    This is where Apple impressed me. The aesthetic changes were an extremely mixed bag, but the functionality changes were across the board positives. The speed to open apps is unrivaled at this point, and the way it pulls you into the app instead of simply opening it is a nice touch.

    I felt that in general the phone was a lot more snappy and quick while moving from app to app. The only issue I’ve had functionality wise is that Siri is currently broken. Now I don’t know if this is because of the phone or the update, and am not going to hold it against Apple right this very moment, but it is an issue that is apparent as this time.

    iOS 7 Apps

    While I’ll show you the difference in design for a lot of the apps, the only two apps that seem to function differently are the camera and the music player.

    iTunes Radio – This is the music player that iPhone users have deserved for a long time. It’s clean and simple and runs really well. I love the design of it, and found navigating through it was a breeze.

    Camera – The camera is essentially the same, Apple just made a handful of thoughtful additions to it, including the ability to add filters on the fly, like Instagram, but not… Instagram..

    iOS 7 New Features

    Parallax effects and a new App Cleaning function are really the highlights of the new features at this time. I’m sure as we get further into development Apple will add more new features, including access to Airdrop, which I couldn’t use at this time.

    Parallax Effects – Ok, these are silly and unnecessary, but dang-it they look cool! With the parallax, you get the effect of depth with your screen, which is compounded by the fact that the background shifts and skews as you twist and turn the phone, really adding to the depth effect.

    App Cleaning – Goodness, I honestly can’t believe it has taken Apple this long to implement a quality app cleaning function. The App Cleaning function that Android and Windows use are extremely intuitive; and the Apple version is no different. Flinging apps up causes them to close-out, helping to conserve your battery life and improve overall performance.

    Conclusion

    The GoodSpeedy, Intuitive and finally adding features that the other OS’s have had for a long time now. New iTunes Radio and App Cleaning functions are handy and feel like they should have been introduced a few iterations ago.

    The BadVector.. Really, Apple? The feel of the new colors and icons is extremely hipster and may turn off more serious or mature users. I still would like to see widgets instead of just little app bubble icons.

    The UglyWhy is Siri broken?? On top of that the phone runs extremely hot with this new update. We’re not talking thermal meltdown, but rather uncomfortable in the hand after 30-45 minutes of use.

    Other ThoughtsI feel that Apple really hasn’t take a huge leap forward with this new “revolutionary” iOS 7 update. Yes, it’s an upgrade on iOS 6, I’m not denying that – BUT where is the features that have become common-place with the competition that Apple still lacks?

    The design is silly in my opinion, but the speed and functionality increases make this a worthwhile upgrade. We can only hope that it gets better as it gets closer to release.

    How varying are opinions on the new iOS so far? Well check out some thoughts from the RepairLabs staff. And remember, the next time you break your iPhone or need to get your iPad repaired, to think of your friends here at RepairLabs! 

    Taylor ~ Lead Repair Technician - It's ugly.. The flat bright colors for the icons just looks flat out stupid. I'm definitely going to Android. 

    Jason ~ I.T. Manager - I don't understand why they went away from the old icons, there was nothing wrong with them. The new parallax effects are cool, but the icons are bad. 

    Brittany ~ Nobody Knows What Brittany Does - I love it! Granted, I understand why guys who aren't hipsters may not like it, but it's so bright and happy! 

    Michelle ~ Graphic Designer - The vector design is really eye-catching, and I like it. It definitely has a hipster feel to it, but I still like iOS 7. 

    Overall, Yes, I would recommend upgrading your iPhone to iOS 7 when it becomes available to the public.

    This post was posted in What We Do, iPhone Rumors, iPhone and was tagged with what we do, iphone rumors, ios 7 vs ios 6, ios 7 in-depth look, ios 7, ios, iphone repair, repairlabs, iPhone

  • Are Traditional Phone Batteries Still Viable?

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on April 23, 2013

    Phone Batteries... Is It Time For Change?

    Tell me if you’ve ever been in this situation. You’re at work, right in the middle of a business call and bam your phone dies. Has this ever happened to you? Well, even if it hasn’t, it’s happening to plenty of people around the globe on a daily basis.

    As I’m sure you are well aware, there have been quite a few solid guides and how-to videos made over the past couple years that go into the general questions as to why your phone is always dead, and things you can do to help prevent the battery from draining so quickly. (Close some apps people) That’s all fine and dandy, and most definitely not the reason we are here today.

    Today RepairLabs is going to present the technical reasoning behind your phone always being dead. We’re going to cover the different types of batteries on the market today and how they compare, then we’ll have a throw down between three of the hottest phones on the market, with each one having a specific role to play in the testing of the batteries held within. Last but not least we’ll talk about the future of batteries; what’s out there, what’s the next logical step, things of that nature.

    Strap yourselves in, because you’re about to get a crash course in phone batteries!

    Lithium What?

    Most of you probably don’t know what type of battery is in your phone. Perhaps you know the mAh of it, (that’s milliamps per hour) but don’t actually know what type of battery you have. Don’t worry; it’s not relevant knowledge to a large percentage of people. But for those of you who have wondered into my little slice of Tech paradise, you’re about to get the deluxe package when it comes to batteries.

    What types of batteries are prevalent on the market today?

    There are truly only two options when it comes to batteries in your phone today. Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polymer.

    Lithium-Ion: Li-Ion batteries are the most commonly found type of battery in phones today. They’re older technology than Li-Po batteries, but have also proven themselves to be reliable. Though they may be phased out eventually -- the fact that we’re able to stretch them up to 3,500mAh at this point in time, while still being slim enough to fit in a phone gives credence to the fact that Li-Ion isn’t going down without a fight.

    Li-Ion offers the most convenient product to cell phone manufacturers, with its average 5-10% self-[i]discharge rate a month, and components that are environmentally safe. It also doesn’t hurt that they are readily available, and lighter than equivalent batteries.

    If these batteries are so great, then why is my phone always dead is what most of you are probably thinking. This is because there are some caveats to Li-Ion batteries, mainly being that the [ii]cell capacity diminishes with use, causing the battery to hold less and less of a charge. This is made even worse when you factor in high [iii]charge levels and elevated temperatures, both of which cause hastened degradation of the battery.

    They are also flammable, which is most definitely a con for any product that you hold near your face.

    Lithium Ion Phone Batteries Charging

    http://repairlabs.com

    Key Interior Difference Between Li-Ion & Li-Po - “The primary difference is that the lithium-salt electrolyte is not held in an organic solvent but in a solid polymer composite such as polyethylene or polyacrylonitrile”  Wikipedia - Lithium-Polymer Batteries

    Lithium-Polymer: Li-Po is the younger, more advanced brother to Li-Ion batteries. In theory they are nearly identical in design, as can be seen in the diagram above, but there are some key differences between the two.

    For starters, the Li-Po offers a more predictable self-discharge rate, which also happens to be lower than that offered on the Li-Ion batteries in general, clocking in at 5% a month. They also are more adaptable than Li-Ion, offering up the ability to use them in a wide variety of packing and shapes. And I can’t forget to mention that they are more reliable and rugged than the Li-Ion they hope to fully phase-out.

    The downside to the Li-Po is that it holds less of a charge than that offered on your standard Li-Ion battery. This reason alone is why they haven’t fully phased out the Li-Ion. Though the technology used is newer and more advanced, it just doesn’t offer the power necessary to reliably power these crazy big devices hitting the market today in its current form.

    One of the biggest backers of Li-Po batteries is Apple, including the Li-Po in each iPhone dating back to the iPhone 4. Though the mAh (1440mAh on the iPhone 5) numbers are far below that of the competition, we still see the power necessary to competently power the device for a full day of usage. That may lead you to believe that the battery is indeed in a position to compete with the Li-Ion, but the numbers can be misleading. Though the specs on the iPhone 5 are similar to that of the competition – the biggest deciding factor in battery drain is pixel density and resolution. The pixel density and resolution on the iPhone clock in at 640x1136, giving us a pixel density of 326ppi across its 4” screen. This here is a huge difference from what you get from the Android offerings, which come in at 1280x720 or 1920x1080, stretched across 4.7”+ displays.

    Putting the Phone Batteries to the Test

    Now that you’ve heard about the types of batteries we utilize on a daily basis, let’s get into something a bit more useful to those of you who are visual learners. Below you will find a video that I put together showcasing three of the most popular phones on the market; the Verizon exclusive Droid DNA, the iPhone 5, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

    Each phone is popular for different reasons, and each one has its faults. One thing that sets them all apart though is the battery within. For the Droid DNA you have a 2020mAh Li-Ion battery, while the iPhone 5 has the previously mentioned 1440mAh Li-Po battery. Bringing up the rear of the pack is the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with its massive 3100mAh Li-Ion battery.

    As you can tell, the Note 2’s battery is loaded with power, but is running on the older Li-Ion technology. Will this make a difference when going head-to-head with the iPhone 5’s newer but smaller 1440mAh Li-Po battery? Spec-wise the Droid DNA is the one most set up to fail, and that’s thanks to the design choices made by HTC. They took a beautiful 5” 1080p display, with a quad-core processor and 2 GB’s of RAM and stuck it in into a casing that houses a measly 2020mAh Li-Ion battery. Why HTC wouldn’t spend the extra $$ needed to go with either a 2020mAh Li-Po or a more powerful Li-Ion, I don’t know.

    Droid DNA

    • 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.0 inches (~441 ppi pixel density)
    • Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait
    • 2 GB RAM
    • Adreno 320 GPU
    • Lithium-Ion 2020mAh Battery

    iPhone 5

    • 640 x 1136 pixels, 4.0 inches (~326 ppi pixel density)
    • Dual-core 1.2 GHz
    • 1 GB RAM
    • PowerVR SGX 543MP3 (triple-core graphics)
    • Lithium-Polymer 1440mAh Battery

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2

    • 720 x 1280 pixels, 5.5 inches (~267 ppi pixel density)
    • Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9
    • 2 GB RAM
    • Mali-400MP GPU
    • Lithium-Ion 3100mAh Battery

    Without further ado, let’s get to the video showcasing each phone running the RepairLabs video on loop until they die a horrible death.. You know, by running out of battery life. The test is to simulate a full-day of usage in the span of a few minutes once sped up. Obviously to record actually utilizing the phone all day would be unfeasible, so I went with the next best thing. Will the small Li-Po be able to keep pace with the big and bigger dogs?

    Let’s find out!

    The results are exactly what I predicted they would be. Coming in at four hours, the Droid DNA finally saw itself to the afterlife. An hour later and we see the iPhone 5 finally crash out. In a position to either succeed, or crash and burn, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was most definitely the phone hardest to predict. With that huge battery, I expected it to last the longest, but you also have to factor in the lighting needed to properly light such a large display. In the end, it didn’t matter, with the Note 2 going for a whole nine hours! Surprisingly if you watch the screens once the warning battery indicator pops up, we see that both the iPhone 5 and Droid DNA last roughly one hour before completely shutting down, while the Galaxy Note 2 goes for an additional two hours after we get the low battery warning screen.

    The test proved exactly what it is I was trying to show you guys. Even though the Li-Ion is older tech, size does indeed still matter when it comes to phone batteries, but only to a certain extent. The Li-Po showed that even though it was almost 600mAh weaker than the Li-Ion in the Droid DNA, it could outpace it. You can’t do a direct apples-to-apples comparison due to the massive screen differences, but you still get the idea here.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that these phones last four, five, and nine hours respectively – but if you used the phones daily for another year and ran this test again, you would be lucky to get even 75% of the performance you got from them when they were brand new, luckily if your battery ever gets to the point where it doesn't hold enough of a charge to get you through the day, we here at RepairLabs can swap the crummy old battery out for a shiny new battery.

    The diagram above showcases how the ions inside your battery slowly but surely lose their ability to hold a quality charge. This is why with all phone batteries, they eventually need replaced. The constant charging, discharging, and usage are what cause the breakdown inside the phone. At this point, there is no way to get around this with liquid-based batteries in the state they’re currently in.

    What Does The Future Hold?

    Alright so now that you’re a bit more comfortable with where we sit right now when it comes to batteries, let’s move into where we’re headed.

    Li-Ion and Li-Po can only carry us so far. Eventually here soon we’re going to have to mix up what it is that we use, then we’ll have to either advance the technologies that we use, or start utilizing something completely new.

    Updating Preexisting Liquid-Batteries

    This is where some of the brightest minds in the field are hard at work. Some of the most feasible ideas that have been floated around include enhancing preexisting batteries with silicone nanoparticles as well as using new types of conversion alloys – both of which could dramatically improve the viability of Li-Ion and Li-Po batteries.

    There have even been recent developments regarding Lithium-Ion batteries by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. These new batteries have the power density to charge your phone 1000x faster than standard batteries, the only issue is that what the battery offers in power density, it lacks in energy density, so until they make more progress on these inventive new Lithium-Ion batteries, I will have to hold them off the list of the most promising – for now.

    Even if we extend the life of current batteries another four or five years, we’re eventually going to need new types of batteries to further the advancement of smartphones. When it comes to future options, there are two that truly stick out in mind as being extremely strong options; Lithium Sulfide based batteries and Solid-State batteries. There are some less exciting options like Lithium-Air and Lithium-Imide batteries, but until there is better information on them, I don’t feel them relevant enough to be included in this section.

    Future Options For Batteries

    Lithium-Sulfide is one of the many options that have presented itself as a solid alternative to the Li-Ion and Li-Po batteries we use now.  Li-S not only offers a higher energy density than Li-Ion, but also has reduced production costs due to using sulfur.

    Though Li-S batteries are a definite option that we could explore sometime in the near future, like say 2014, there isn’t enough data on the capabilities of Li-S to think that it is the logical next step in batteries. As it stands right now, the engineers who are working on this are still dealing with the fact that sulfur on its own isn’t conductive, which is a massive issue in a product that relies 100% on conductivity!

    Solid-State Batteries are definitely the brightest option when it comes to future batteries. Instead of being liquid-based like the batteries on the market these days, Solid-State batteries offer us batteries that are solid inside, much like what you would find inside a solid-state drive for the PC.

    Though engineers would love to have these solid-state batteries in our phones right now due to their greatly increased life cycle over legacy batteries, plus they also happen to be safer with a better energy density to that of other options. The reason that we don’t have these already is because of the massive cost of production, with the price soaring up to as high as a $1,500 for a single phone battery.

    Engineers are also still trying to work out a solution to their sensitivity to low temperatures. Recently I spoke with Professor Kevin S. Jones from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Florida, about this very subject; this is what he had to say.

    ”I do believe solid-state batteries have tremendous potential but there are significant research challenges that need to be addressed. Because you replace the liquid electrolyte with a solid that is much thinner you can achieve a significant weight saving, as well as being much safer. However it remains a challenge to develop an inexpensive manufacturing method that overcomes the challenges of joining solid layers together. In addition, there is a new class of materials called conversion alloys that are being explored for liquid batteries. These materials have the potential to significantly increase the capacity of liquid batteries. Research is necessary to prove if these materials will work with solid state batteries. So the potential is there to revolutionize the cell phone battery, but we have work to do before it becomes a reality.” 

    Professor Jones statement holds true to what I’ve been saying all along. There is still potential for liquid-based batteries, but the future is moving more and more towards solid-state batteries. For those of you who have not read his excellent piece on the state of solid-state batteries, I highly recommend it.

    The End to a Long Journey

    What a ride. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried. Had epiphanies, revelations and probably even a few eye-opening moments.. Ok, perhaps we didn’t quite cover that wide of a spectrum, but we did take a long look at where we’re at with batteries and where we hope to be as soon as possible.

    The Li-Ion and Li-Po batteries we use today still prove to be viable options for the time being, but as was made apparent in the time lapse, the more powerful the phone, the less amount of time you will have to enjoy it without a charger. Sure, you can carry around a charger with you, have one at your desk, house, and in your car, but that’s not the point. Phones are portable devices – attaching cables to them defeats the entire purpose of a portable phone.

    Though the near future is a bit cloudy on what we’ll do next, with there being a few interesting options floating around. None of them are ready for primetime, that much is apparent, but possibly by mid-2014 we can begin phasing out the old and start ushering in the new.

    The future begins to look much brighter 2014+ thanks to the advancements we’ll be making in solid-state technology. As soon as it becomes viable from a price-standpoint, I have no doubt all of the major phone manufacturer’s will begin to use them in their newest devices. (Can anyone say iPhone 9?)

    As it stands right now, the degradation rate on batteries is sitting at a manageable but unacceptable one to two years. (If you’re really lucky) With newer and better technologies, hopefully we can extrapolate that number into the double digits, making the need to buy new phone batteries or even phones less of necessity and more of a commodity.

    Curtis Taylor, "RepairGenius" Blogger
    Visit me here:

    [i] Discharge RateThe rate, usually expressed in amperes or time, at which electrical current is taken from the battery.

    [ii] Cell CapacityThe maximum total electrical charge, expressed in ampere-hours, which a battery can deliver to a load under a specific set of conditions...

    [iii] Charge LevelsThe percentage of power in phone batteries at any one point in time.

     

    This post was posted in Tech, Geek, What We Do, iPhone and was tagged with Li-Po, Solid-State Batteries, Li-Air, Li-S, Li-Ion, Testing Phone Batteries, Phone Batteries, Droid DNA, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, iPhone 5

  • The Apple iWatch: Learning Cool from The Fresh Prince?

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on February 25, 2013

     

    Apple iWatch Artist's Concept Design based on Snap Bracelet from RepairLabs.com

    The new iWatch should have a continuous wrap-around display and work like a snap bracelet.

    The Internets have been abuzz recently with chatter of a possible Apple iWatch.  Misleading pictures abound of a wristwatch-like monstrosity resembling an all-screen iPod Nano attached to a velco strap. Sometimes, for fun, artists portray this as a round traditional wristwatch with iOS apps. However, here at RepairLabs, we think Apple has something much, much cooler in store for us.

    We’re talking early 90s cool. Perhaps you’ve seen the patent filing from Apple as reported by PatentlyApple, where the iWatch will work just like a snap bracelet.  That’s right, the era that brought us Ace of Base and Right Said Fred just keeps on giving.  And Apple has adopted one of the coolest trends of the early 90s: the snap bracelet. We’ve created our own rendering of the awesome cool that, if we’re good, will descend on us like so many Pogs. (Remember those?)

    Based on the patent filing, here’s what we think the new iWatch will feature.

    • The device will have a bi-stable spring, meaning just like the snap bracelet, it will live in two states: rigid flat, and curved (to fit a wrist). It will bend and flex just like a snap bracelet. It will utilize flexible glass to make this work.
    • The screen will be a continuous display, circular. (This is trickier than it seems at first glance. How will Apple know the size of an individual’s wrist? We think the device will have a male and female end with a sensor that detects the amount of overlap.)

     

    Here’s a list of our best guesses for the features of the iWatch:

    • The iWatch won’t charge the traditional way. It just doesn’t make sense for the device to have something as unwieldy as a charging port with all of the recent technological advances. The watch could charge from kinetic energy (your own motion), or may have the new solar touch panel charge that Apple has recently received a patent on.  Or it could charge remotely with a plate or mat that could be put anywhere around your house.
    • The LCD screen will have the touch feature.
    • The device will likely will have no buttons, but would be awakened by the onboard gyrometer. The gyrometer will also be able to tell witch way your hand is facing so it will always show a correct display – even at weird angles.
    • The iWatch will connect to your iPhone iPod or iPad via Bluetooth. It will feature two-way transmission.

     

    The 90s gave us lots of cultural and technological gifts (the Internet itself, anybody? The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?) It’s fitting we should borrow from those awesome concepts to create more awesome. So until the iWatch finally comes out, we’ll be digging out our old snap bracelets and pretending that they’re touch screen wonders of a future day. And slapping them on unsuspecting coworkers.

     

    Apple iWatch Diagram Artist's Concept from RepairLabs.com.

    Based on patent filings, this is how we assume the sizing mechanism and continuous screen will work.

    by , Tech Expert, Freelance Writer.

    This post was posted in Opinion, Tech, iPhone Rumors, iPhone and was tagged with snap bracelet, bracelet, touchscreen, Artist's rendition, Fresh Prince, ninties, 90s, concept, iWatch

  • The Top 10 Tech Events of 2012 that WILL Change your 2013

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on December 31, 2012

     The top ten (10) tech events of 2012 that WILL change your 2013 from RepairLabs.com.

    Here at RepairLabs, we like to lean back and take stock of everything that we do throughout the year and our analysis of tech innovations has abounded.. We thought there would be no better time than the last day of the year to remember the most influential tech events of the year, and to think about what they may mean for us next year. Here is the list of our top 10 favorite  tech events of the year.

     

     

    10.) Apple Breaks the Mold with the iPhone 5: Tech Innovation.

     

    iPhone 5 sizing change, vs iPhone 4. Top 10 Tech Events of 2012 from RepairLabs.com

    Apple abandons their near-religious devotion to the 4-inch iPhone screen format in favor of a 5-inch screen. Apple chose to go with totally expanded device (pictured on the right) rather than just expanding the screen.  Ahhhhhh real –estate.

     

    What this means for 2013: With Apple finally willing to innovate again, rather than rigidly sticking to a (now) arbitrary design, we can expect great changes to come: NFC chips, wireless charging, waterproofing, and better cameras could all be in the works.

    9.) The Second Screen Experience Emerges, Read: the Will U. Tech changes again.

     

    Wii U: Second Screen Interaction. Top 10 Tech Events of 2012 from RepairLabs.com

     

    The way that we interact with technology is changing, now we’re more likely than ever to be multi-tasking and using multiple screens.  We’ll watch TV and surf the web, or play a game on our smartphone and keep one eye on social media on a tablet as well. Enter new devices such as the Wii U, a tablet/remote control to augment what’s happening on our screens. This  screen device can be used as a controller or as a supplementary piece, think DVD on TV, except all the extra info is on your Will U.

    What this means for 2013: Your tablet is gonna become the supplementary device to your TV.  Conan’s doing it already with Team Coco for the iPhone, and there are just going to be more and more shows, movies and games jumping on the bandwagon. Expect a mild case of information overload around June.

     

    8.) Lytro Camera Innovation, Will Change the Way your Mobile Takes Photos

     

    Lytro Camera Top 10 Tech Events of 2012 from RepairLabs.com

     

    So what is a light field camera? Lytro is.  And? It lets you focus anywhere, even after the picture has been taken. It’s essentially a camera that focuses on everything.  Word is that Toshiba is now developing a lens with this capacity that’s approaching being able to fit into the slim profile of the iPhone. So between Toshiba and Apple, Lytro may be able to put this technology into your smartphone.  Though the technology is not perfect just yet, it has endless potential to change the way we photograph with our phones.

    What this means for 2013: Expect the camera phone competition to get HOT. Really really hot. And the democratization of photography: everybody will be able to take beautiful photos, with just your phone.

     

    7.) Square Makes It Possible for Anyone to Accept Credit Card Payments.

     

    Square Credit Card Reader, Top10 Tech Events of 2012 from RepairLabs.com

     

    How about a nifty little attachment for your iPhone or iPad that allows you to accept credit cards? How about doing business anywhere you can get a WiFi signal or cellular connection? Though introduced in 2010, the Square card reader has grown in 2012 and allowed businesses to take their credit card payments anywhere. And it’s not just for craft fairs any more. Think food trucks and mobile diagnostic centers, just to name a couple.  Square brings payments to the common folk with a 2.75% charge per swipe with no additional fees or prohibitive overhead in costs or setup.  Business owners can simply sign up and the Square Reader is free.

    What this means for 2013: Maybe your barber will come to you, or you can have your Thin Mints the second the Girl Scouts come around, if their Scout Mom happens to have a Square reader on her phone.  Square giftcards are also up and coming in the future, along with Square Wallet,  an app which purports to replace and upgrade your traditional physical wallet, cash, and credit card system.

    6.)Microsoft Debuts the Surface—the Next Game Changer?

     

    Microsoft Surface Tablet Top 10 Tech Events of 2012 from RepairLabs.com

    The Microsoft Surface was what the world was waiting for: a PC/ Windows compatible tablet. It also fused the purposes of the laptop computer (mostly work) and the touch tablet (mostly play) into one neat, clicky, keyboardy, kickstandy little package.   Offering  a competitive price point, size, weight, portability, hard drives, keyboard AND touch screens,  and Wifi connectivity, it seems to beautifully marry purposes of the ultrabook and the tablet.

    What this means for 2013:  Though the Surface’s OS, Windows 8, has debuted to much criticism, expect this device to only grow in popularty as it will feature full Office functionality.  Business travelers, rejoice!

    5.) Instagram and Facebook Decide to Drive off the Cliff—Together.

     

    Facebook plus Instragram Top 10 Tech Events of 2012 from RepairLabs.com

    image from http://www.techzek.com/facebook-acquires-instagram-for-1b-cash-stocks/

     

    Just like Thelma and Louise.  We guess they’ve never heard the expression “Dance with the one one that brought you,” because both organizations seem to be forgetting the root cause of their success: their users.  Both have disregarded the needs and wants of their users in favor of seemingly endless tweaks and policy changes designed to enhance profitability. We have no beef with making a profit (we all aspire to be profitable) – but not at the expense of the users.  Every little tweak seems to a little piece of the joy out of using the thing and adds to the complexity of life. Take FB’s IPO and Timeline updates, and Instagram’s disasterously bad (in the PR world at least) acquisition by Facebook: neither designed to enhance user experience.

    What to expect in 2013: Users are a fickle bunch, who won’t fail to punish hubris in companies.  We wouldn’t be surprised if the new MySpace experienced a resurgence, along with social aggregator services that blend all of your profiles into one feed.  Also Facebook might just shock us all and revolutionize web advertising and develop its own  Pandora-like add free subscription option.  What we hope this means: social will pivot back to focusing on the users and take a tip or two from Twitter, who manages not to ruin the user experience with ads, and still runs promoted stories.

     

    4.) SOPA and PIPA are stopped.

     

    Stop SOPA Stop PIPA, Top 10 Tech Events of 2012 from RepairLabs.com

    image from (http://pocketfullofapps.com/2012/01/18/sopa-and-pocketfullofapps.html)

     

    By angry kids with internet connections, and Vendetta masks.  And hundreds of legit site owners who took their sites dark in protest.   SOPA,  Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA, Protect IP Act, would have served to censor the internet, under vague pretenses of preventing intellectual theft.

    The public spoke out, and refused to allow media companies to use legislation to cudgel their way out of what really amounts to a business model problem, that can be addressed through innovations like Spotify and Netflix. Though hardly innocuous, Anonymous does use their network to preserve online freedom, and the bills are stopped, for now.

    What this means for 2013: With acts such as these being stopped, and innovations like the $40 Aakash tablet, information becomes more free. Affordable tablets being air- dropped over no-no zones like North Korea and Kenya in much the same way as the  Allied Berlin chocolate bar drop. Education expands exponentially, people solve their own problems, and the world becomes a better place. Censorship is dying. Also: You can’t beat the Geeks. Ever.

     

    3.) 7-inch Tablets Take Over.

     

     

    7 inch tablets, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, iPad Mini; Top 10 Tech Events of 2012 from RepairLabs.com

     

    Steve Jobs (the apotheosis of geek and ultimate arbiter of things tech, in the eyes of many) was wrong.  He believed that the 7-inch tablet size was the red-headed step child of the tablet market, too small to be really useful, and too large to be really portable. However with the advent of the Kindle Fire, the Nexus 7, and now, in the absence of Jobs, the iPad mini, this sizing format has experienced a remarkable boom.  Portability plus phenomenal pixel displays plus affordability make these the personal devices to have.

    What this means for 2013: Everybody and their grandma is going to have one of these cute little tablets, in a pocket, a purse, or on the plane, and companies will find more and more uses for them.  Expect to be able to use tablets for anything you can dream up.

     

     

     

    2.) 3D Printers Become a Real Thing.

    Gone are the days of Star Trek Replicators (“Tea, Earl Grey, hot”) being sheer science fiction. Though a 3D printer can’t make you a cup of tea from thin air (YET), they can carve objects from Styrofoam and plastics.  The products are usually smaller than a breadbox, but they’re only limited by your imagination and by your 3D computer modeling skills.  Commonly printed items now include jewelry, sculpture and even working  guns (though they tend to only be good for a few shots, dangerous and inaccurate.)  Heck, now you can even build your own 3D printer out of Leggos.

    What this means for 2013: your imagination is the only limit. Do-it-yourselfers will reign supreme, and will be making startups, innovations, and all the money, IF they can keep the lawyers out of their hair.

     

    1.)    NASA Lands the Rover on Mars.

     

    Mars Rover Curiosity Landing Top 10 Tech Events of 2012 from RepairLabs.com

     

    On August 5, 2012 NASA did the impossible and safely landed an exploration vehicle, the Curiosity, on Mars to cheers of triumph at Mission Control.  Despite budget slashes, and Space Shuttle retirements, NASA still managed to triumph over adversity and innovate a one-in-a-million safe landing on a planet millions of miles away from our own.  It would have taken a person over a year to get to the Red Planet, and once there, ostensibly, he would have no way to return.  But our virtual presence there has already even uncovered evidence of organic matter.

    What this means for 2013: things are going to start happening virtually. Patients will be able to make a virtual visit to their doctor’s office, Skyping with the doc, or IMing him photos of that spider bite.  Unmanned vehicles and even tiny drones will be taking care of our recon for us.  We’ll send image-transmitting submarines into heretofore unknown depths of the oceans! We may finally get that elusive photo of Bigfoot!  More people will work from home!  The possibilities are endless.

     

     

    So what have we garnered from all of these events combined for 2012? The internet, and the way we use it is changing. The more personally we can use our devices, the more we can connect with others, and the more we can learn.  The more we share and learn, the greater the trend of democratization around the globe.  We can reach heights never before imagined, through collaboration, as we did with Rover. Then we can tweet about it sarcastically!  2012 was one heckuva year for tech events and innovations, and 2013 is likely to send our heads spinning even more.

    Also. Higgs boson was pretty cool.

     

     

     

    by , Tech Expert, Freelance Writer.

    This post was posted in Opinion, Tablets, Tech, What We Do, iPhone, iPad, Uncategorized and was tagged with Curiosity, Rover, Mars, NASA, legos, 3D printers, Kindle Fire, 7-inch tablets, PIPA, SOPA, facebook, instagram, surface, credit card, card reader, square, lytro camera, lytro, second screen, Wii U, 2013, change, 2012, events, Nexus 7, Apple, iPad mini, Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, Tech, iPhone 5

  • The Best Tech Gifts for Cyber Monday 2012

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on November 23, 2012

    The Top Tech Gifts for Every Type

     

    Ultimate Tech Gift Guide for 2012

    There are great tech gifts out there for every type of person you can imagine.  Here at RepairLabs.com, we thought we’d make out a list of our favorites for your approval just in time for Cyber Monday. If you're sick of the same old gift ideas, you've come to the right place. Everybody knows an iPad mini or a Nexus 7 tablet would be an awesome gift. But sometimes that's just not the right gift, the perfect gift, the magical rainbow unicorn of gifts.  Actually a tablet is a pretty personal choice. Instead give them a tech gift that they're certain to love, no matter what type of person they are. Here's where you can get your creative juices revving:  you’ll find gifts from $8.00 - $800, and something that certain to tickle the techie fancy of someone you love. We’re sure you’ll find an idea that you love.

    Dad:

    inflatable universal car rack from RepairLabs.com Tech Gifts Guide 2012

    • If the car doesn’t have luggage racks, this is an ingenious solution. Inflatables! Now dad can haul nearly anything up top.  Universal roof rack $89.99. Buy it here.
    golf swing analysis tool  from RepairLabs.com Tech Gifts Guide 2012

    Mom

    kalediscope  from RepairLabs.com Tech Gifts Guide 2012

    EyeVac Crumb vac from RepairLabs.com Tech Gifts Guide 2012
    • Eye Vac, just sweep the crumbs in its direction and it sucks them right up.  $99 Buy it here.
    Towel warmer  from RepairLabs.com Tech Gifts Guide 2012
    • Towel warmer for her spa day, or to warm the kids’ hats, mittens and gloves:  $89.99

    Boyfriend:

    Tankbot smartphone cubicle toys from RepairLabs.com Tech Gifts Guide 2012

    • Smartphone controlled tankbot for his cubicle; he’ll entertain his office buddies for hours.  Buy it here  for  $24.99

     

    Girlfriend

    Teen

    Portable Bluetooth Speaker from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

     

    Kid

    Bike Wheel Lights from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • Bike wheel lights, graphics synthesizer, generates thousands of changing colors and patterns. Kids will ADORE this gizmo. And extra safety and visibility for parents’ peace of mind. A perfect tech gift! $50

    New Parents

    Self-folding Origami Stroller  from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • This stroller folds itself. FOLDS ITSELF. It also is lighted and charges your iPhone. Is there a tech gift new parents could love any more?  Oragami Stroller http://www.4moms.com/origami  $849.99

    Baby

    HTML for Babies Book from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    Gentleman

    Gentleman's Travel Charger Kit from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    Geek

    Ultimate Charging Stationfrom RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • Get them the ultimate recharge station, the Kaynex Sydnee Smart Charging Station $149. It holds everything.

    Potterhead

    Team Don't Read Crappy Books Sweatshirt from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    Hipster

    Instant Digital Polaroid from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • It’s instant! It’s digital! It’s awwwesome!  $159. Your own personal hipster WILL want this instant digital camera.

    It Girl

    Subtle Sparkle iPhone Decoration oid from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • For the girl who has everything? Give her something no one else has. Custom Cemented iPhone Jewels in Subtle Sparkle.  $103 US dollars, but she’s gotta send in her phone across the pond, for this perfect tech gift. http://www.crystalskins.co.uk/atelier.html

    Motorhead

    Slime Flat Tire Emergency Repair Kit from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • The easy answer  when your favorite gearhead and motor-er gets a flat: Slime Safety Spair:$38 this special sealant will get them safely to somewhere they can replace a flat tire, in only 7 minutes!

    Caffeine Junkie

    8 Bit Heart Mug from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    Prepper/outdoorsman/Camper:

    Kinetic Power Charger for Devices from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • Whether he’s getting ready for the zombie apocalypse, or just likes to keep his device with him out in the wild, this kinetic device charger: http://www.npowerpeg.com/ is the perfect find. $199.95

    Health Nut :

    My Blend Bottle Blenders  from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • They need to blend up their smoothie on the run? This blender actually attaches to the bottle, so they can grab and go.  My Blend Bottle Blender.  http://www.oster.com/myblend/  $29.99

    Foodie

    Digital Measuring Spoon from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • Save time and energy measuring and weighing with this little doodad. Digital Spoon Measure - the  link to buy is  at the bottom - $25.85

    Pet

    Sensor Pet Water Fountain  from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • Let your lil sweetie get a cool drink whenever he wants with a Doggie water fountain: $79.50. It senses when your pet comes up to it, so he can always have fresh water. Really great for labs who love to drink from the hose!

    Jock

    • Jawbone UP activity tracking wristband. Works with your smartphone to track sleep cycles and activity levels and goals 129.99 https://jawbone.com/up

    Belieber

    Heart Headphone Splitter from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • Heart iPhone earbud splitter. Because where there’s one Belieber there is always another.  And they need to be able to share the beats too. $18

    Designer/Artist

    Inkling digital sketch pen from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    Gamer

    iPhone Joystick from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • For all of the retro joy of 8bit games! A guaranteed hit.  iPhone Joystick  $13.49

    Mr./Miss OCD

    Neatdesk description from RepairLabs.com 2012 Tech Gifts Guide

    • Neatdesk  $349.88 Scans business cards, receipts and full sized sheets of paper, and then instantly organizes them! SWEET.

     

    *All prices are accurate at the time of publishing, but we can’t guarantee that they won’t change. Good Luck, and Happy Shopping for great tech gifts that they will LOVE!

    by , Tech Expert, Freelance Writer.

    This post was posted in Opinion, Tablets, Gifts, Tech, Blog Candy, Geek, What We Do, iPhone, iPad, Uncategorized and was tagged with every, person, type, gizmos, gadgets, Cyber Monday, gift, tech gifts, guide, Gifts

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