Slow wifi, saving batteries and more on smartphones…

By | November 14, 2016
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I’ve got a couple of tips for you today – and a bit more information about what’s coming later.

First of all, something I discovered the other day.

I was using my laptop to write something at home and felt like listening to some music – so I popped a CD into the laptop. The speakers on this laptop aren’t very good so it was coming out all distorted.

I could have gone and got a proper CD player from the other room but it’s a big heavy clumsy thing – our CD player is an old one my wife had when she was at University – err, not long ago (he hastily adds before getting into trouble).

But I had some bluetooth speakers on the desk next to me. So I thought, I’m supposed to be technical, so why not use them instead. It didn’t take long to “pair” them with the laptop and music was playing through them and sounding great.

But I noticed that the wifi connection on the laptop was now really slow. And after some experimenting I discovered that on my laptop, if you are using Bluetooth for anything, the wifi slows right down. Turn bluetooth off and it’s fine again.

I suspect that means that inside the case the bluetooth and wifi adaptors are right next to each other, so they interfere.

It’s not a problem on most laptops, so don’t worry, it probably won’t happen to you. And as far as I know, there aren’t any tablets or phones with the same issue. But if you are using bluetooth for anything on your laptop and find the internet goes really slow, just try turning bluetooth off again and see if that helps.

A battery saving tip
If you use a laptop and you ever use it on the battery (not plugged into the mains), you want the battery to last as long as possible before it runs out and needs charging again.

One very simple tip is to check the brightness on the screen isn’t turned up too high – it really saps the battery if it is.

I’m not saying turn it right down so you can’t see the screen – but if it’s too bright it can actually be uncomfortable on your eyes anyway. And most people have the screen set however it came from the shop!

On most laptops there are two buttons near the top with symbols of a little sun – either one big and one small (the big one is brighter, the small turns it down) or one with a + and one with a -.

Usually you just tap them to turn the brightness up and down. Sometimes you need to hold the Fn key down while you do it – give it a try without holding the key down and see if it works, if not, look for the Fn key (usually at the bottom left, between ctrl and the windows key).

Turning the brightness down also helps the battery life on tablets and phones, though as the screen is usually smaller is doesn’t always make as big a difference.

More on the smartphones books
I mentioned recently about smartphones and how popular they’re becoming. But it can be confusing how many different versions there are.

Nearly all smartphones are one of two types

  • iPhones, made by Apple
  • Ones made by all sorts of different companies but using Google’s Android system (the Samsung phones, Google’s own range, various other makers like Alcatel and so on)

They all do similar things but you control the two different types in different ways.

And we’re bringing out a One Step at a Time book for iPhones and one for Android phones, so you can have one that’s relevant to your type of phone.

But there’s also one more book, that isn’t quite as obvious (but I think will prove even more popular)… I’ll tell you about that in the full information, out at 11am today, along with info about what the books cover, what they’re like and so on.

Watch this space at 11am!

4 thoughts on “Slow wifi, saving batteries and more on smartphones…

  1. Mr Brian Tyte

    Hello, I am in Australia at present, visiting family, I will take up offer on smartphones on my return in two weeks time,
    Regards Brian Tyte

  2. David Platt

    I’ve got a current interest in battery life on my Kindle Fire HD.
    The problem is in explaining that it’s not really to do with the frequency of having to recharge the battery – I know that if I don’t play silly games (or let the Grandson!) and turn off wi-fi then I won’t have to recharge it very often.
    The problem is that I’ve had the Kindle for some time now and I suspect that the need to recharge is getting more frequent inspite of low usage. I’ve even come to it and found that it’s shut itself down when I only recharged it yesterday.
    So, is it possible to replace the battery in these things and, if so, can I do it myself? Going through the Amazon Forum seems to give conflicting advice (assuming the reply isn’t “it lasts that long! lucky you!”), from yes you can change the battery but its tricky to no, throw it away and buy a new one.
    So, Tim, do you have any ideas, advice, anything??
    Many thanks.

    1. Tim Post author

      Hmm – in general I wouldn’t recommend trying to replace the battery on one of these – it’s possible but they’re not designed to be done at home. You could try taking it to a mobile phone repair shop (most of them can do tablets as well) and they might do it.
      Something I’d try first is putting it through a full “charge cycle”.
      Basically you let the battery completely run down, then (usually with the device turned off) charge it again until it’s completely charged.
      Sometimes you need to go through the process a couple of times.
      That can often “reset” the battery and you then find it works much better again.
      It doesn’t always help – it depends what the issue it. But since it’s free and fairly easy to do, it’s worth a try!


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