Common Myths About Cell Phones Busted

Following are some of the most common myths revolving around the technology we use every day. From battery draining to mega pixels, our friends at Yahoo have explained and debunked some of these popular beliefs.

 

1. Jailbreaking is illegal

It’s important to note that “jailbreaking” and “unlocking” a device mean different things. Unlocking a device means you’ve freed your device to work on any carrier, not just the one you bought it from, while jailbreaking refers to bypassing Apple’s security to install modifications that are not allowed in the App store.

The U.S. Library of Congress deemed it illegal to unlock any phone purchased after January 26, 2013 using a third-party vendor, but jailbreaking your iPhone is still legal until at least 2015 under an exemption in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Note that jailbreaking your iPad is illegal. Some catch, right?

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2. You should let your phone’s battery drain before recharging.

A common myth surrounding phone and laptop batteries is that it’s always best for the life of the battery to let it drain fully before charging it again.

This is true in some cases. When a device uses a Nickel-Cadmium battery, for example, you’d want to let your phone fully drain before charging it again. Why? Nickel-Cadmium batteries, unlike Lithium-Ion batteries, suffer from what’s known as “memory effect.” When they are charged and discharged hundreds of times, they start to lose the ability to charge up to 100%, draining your battery life significantly over time.

There was a time when most electronics ran on Nickel-Cadmium batteries. Cordless telephones and answering machines all ran on Nickel-Cadmium. In 2006, most NiCd batteries were replaced with technology that used Lithium-ion batteries. These can be found in all Apple devices and do not suffer from “memory effect” the way NiCd batteries do.

“Lithium-ion polymer batteries have a high power density,” Apple says on its website, “and you can recharge a lithium-ion polymer battery whenever convenient, without requiring a full charge or discharge cycle.”

Apple does advise, however, that you should let the device go through at least one charge cycle each month to help keep the electrons moving (as opposed to a NiCd battery which needs to go through a full charge cycle every few days). Letting the device drain from 100% to fully shutting off at 0% helps to maintain the life of the battery.

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3. More bars means more service.

Bars on your smartphone actually indicate your signal strength to the cell phone tower closest to you. Your service depends on how many devices those towers are serving at a given time.

Metropolitan areas are equipped to handle the dense population of people trying to use their phones in one confined space. In unexpected situations (say, a music festival where there are a lot of people in a small area), your phone can be showing lots of bars, but service will be impossible to find; everyone’s trying to tap into that one cell tower.

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4. The higher the megapixels, the better the camera.

Every year, the number of megapixels on the latest digital cameras seems to increase, with ad campaigns sending the frantic message that you need to be upgrading for the bigger and better version of your perfectly functional camera.

More megapixels mean clearer photos to a certain extent, but there is often a misconception of just how many megapixels are needed to produce a quality photo you can enjoy on your phone or computer screen. For those, just three megapixels will do the trick, and even allow room for cropping. With seven megapixels, you can blow a photo up to the size of a poster with no issue.

For the amateur photographer using a point-and-shoot device to capture casual moments, more megapixels does not translate into a better camera, or better photos.

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