February 7, 2023

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Avoid these tech mistakes, plus a big announcement: Talking Tech podcast

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

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Hey there listeners. It’s Brett Molina. Welcome back to Talking Tech. Well, if you noticed the title of this episode, I mentioned that there is a big announcement. So, let’s get to it. Nothing lasts forever, as I’m sure you’re all well aware. And that, unfortunately, includes this podcast. We’re going to be winding down the Talking Tech Podcast. The last episode, you can listen to on April 3rd. It’s been fun doing this. I’ve been doing this now, taking over for Jeff Graham. For those of you who have been listening to this pod for a really long time, I took over for him last year, and I’ve been doing this now for just over a year. It’s been a lot of fun. I hope you’ve been able to learn a lot about tech and how to incorporate tech in your life, and just keeping up with all the news and updates surrounding all the tech that you use. I want to thank you for listening. It’s been an honor to be able to do this and to, hopefully, be able to help you navigate all these different tech questions and gadgets and what have you.

So, if you want to reach out, I’m on Twitter, I’m @brettmolina23. I’ll share this again at the end of the pod. And if you have any thoughts, feedback, I am more than happy to hear it. Although Talking Tech, the podcast, will be going away, there is still Talking Tech, the newsletter. If you still want that dose of tech news in a weekly newsletter, you can subscribe to newsletters.usatoday.com. It’s out every Thursday, and you can get all the latest tech news delivered right to your inbox. So, don’t hesitate to sign up, but, of course, this podcast is about learning about tech and just getting a peek into the world of tech, and that’s what we’re going to do because we have an episode to record.

So for today, there’s nothing worse than when you buy a new device, a smartphone, a laptop, whatever it is, and you do something that kind of messes it up, and especially if you go high end. If you buy a really nice TV or a really nice phone, the last thing you want to do is crack your screen or just do something to make a mess of it, mess up the battery, whatever ailment you have. My colleague, Kim Komando writes about this in a column that you can read on tech.usatoday.com. It’s called Five Ways You’re Ruining Your Expensive Phone, Laptop, Tablet and TV. We’ll share a couple right here and you can catch the rest in Kim’s column.

The first one, and this is a common one is you’re charging too much, especially with phones, you always worry you’re going to run out of battery and you want to make sure that you’re always at the highest level battery possible. So that way when you’re out and about, you’re not worried about my phone going to die. If you’re working, the last thing you want is your laptop to die on an important project. And so you’re just keeping it in charged constantly. That is not good because that basically burns out your battery a lot more quickly. Batteries only have so many charge cycles built within it. And the more that you fully charge it, the more of that cycle, more of those cycles you repeat and then your battery starts to degrade more over time.

So for a lot of smart phone makers, they talk about you want to keep your battery on your smartphone as close to the middle as you can. So between the 30 to 70% range, according to Kim. You can even go maybe a little bit as high as 80, but you don’t want to go to 100% and you don’t want to go to 0 too much. There are are some exceptions about you let your phone completely charge down and then you charge it back up again. You don’t want to do that all the time though, once in a while. Same thing with your laptop, you don’t want to let your battery completely run out and then fully charge it and then keep doing that over and over again. Same thing. Take it off the charger, use it for a little when it gets to about halfway full, maybe pop it back on, let it charge a little bit more. And then you’re good.

Battery health is probably one of the most common ways I think that you can potentially ruin your tech because it affects the shelf life. Also, it ends up costing you more because say the fix is replacing the battery, you’ve got to spend money to replace the battery now. So that’s another reason why you want to be really careful on that front.

The other thing too that Kim mentions is going with the cheapest option. Now this applies more to things like charging your phone. It is so tempting to go to the store and you see like a $5 charger and you’re like, oh, that’s great. What a deal. They’re not all built the same. Sometimes they’re actually not going to work as well. They’re not as quality. You don’t have to go buy like the brand charger. Like if you have an iPhone, you don’t need to buy an Apple cord or an Apple plug. You can buy something third party that’s kind of in that middle where it’s cheaper than Apple, but maybe it’s a little more than the very, very cheap options. Right in that sweet spot where you’re saving money but you also get a substitute that is going to do the job and be effective. So that’s something to keep in mind. Sometimes going cheap is nice, you want to save money, but there are cases where you spend maybe a couple dollars more and it actually works out long term as far as keeping your devices running smoothly.

You can read more of Kim’s tips by going to tech.usatoday.com. Listeners, let’s hear from you. Do you have any comments, questions, show ideas, any tech problems you want us to try to address? You can find me on Twitter @brettmolina23. Please don’t forget to subscribe and rate us, and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, anywhere you get your podcasts. You’ve been listening to Talking Tech. We’ll be back tomorrow with another quick hit from the world of tech.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Avoid these tech mistakes, plus a big announcement: Talking Tech podcast

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