10 smartphone myths some people still believe

Monday, 31st January, 2022 - 15:48

10 smartphone myths people still believe

It’s amazing how long a repeatedly debunked myth continues to stick in our minds. This is especially true of the smartphone in your pocket. Whether it’s saving battery life, or saving the phone after dropping it in water, we all think we know the life hacks and tips that will help our mobile phone. But do we really? Let’s dive into ten famous phone myths that people still actually believe. Some might surprise you…

Smartphone myth no.1: Closing background apps will speed up your phone and save battery

We’ve all heard this one haven’t we? But does closing background apps really speed up your phone and save battery? Quick answer is no. This is because the apps in the background are not using up processing power, RAM, or memory. There’s a difference between an app being “open” and actually “running”. The myth most likely comes from the habit we had of closing computer programs down, which actually did help. But smartphones don’t work like that. Ironically, closing background apps actually uses more battery. When you force quit an app, it uses a bit of battery to close it and clearing it from RAM.

Smartphone myth no.2: You can dry a phone with a bag of rice

Many modern smartphones are highly water resistant, and can handle getting wet or even being dropped in shallow water. But others are not, and it’s understandable to hit the panic button when it gets a soaking. We all know the first thing we do: type “how to dry a phone” into Google. The myth about using rice to save a waterlogged device has been around for decades. So there must be some truth in it then, right? Well, no. Extensive rice research has shown that if someone did find their phone worked after leaving it in a bowl of rice, it’s probably because it had a chance to dry out. Sorry.

Smartphone myth no.3: Smartphones emit harmful radiation

If everyone still believed this was really true, we would all throw our phones in the nearest bin and have a long decontamination shower. But the worry that phones were emitting harmful radiation was such a big concern back in the day; it continues to linger in the back of some people’s minds. You may even still see some people holding their phone a “safe distance” when using it. But huge research has been done and we now know for sure that phones only emit electromagnetic waves. This makes them no more harmful than listening to a radio. If people still do that sort of thing.

Smartphone myth no.4: Don’t use your phone on a plane, in a hospital, or at a petrol station

We all remember being told to turn off our phones by the stewardess don’t we? And surely there were signs around hospitals telling us all to put them away? Well it turns out that was only a concern right at the advent of the smartphone boom, when we just weren’t sure what might happen. When you’re in a plane travelling at scary heights surrounded by people who may be a touch nervous as it is or dispensing fuel in a potentially explosive area, it’s understandable that no-one wants to take any risks. So even though you know it’s safe, don’t be upset if you are told to put it away.

Smartphone myth no.5: More megapixels means a better camera

Another myth that likely originated from the early days of point-and-shoot digital cameras, when everyone became obsessed with megapixels. But the truth is the number of megapixels a camera has only tells you how big a picture you can take with it. Not the quality of the picture itself. Even the manufacturers still shout about the number of megapixels their camera has (maybe because we still believe the myth). But you’re actually far better off looking instead towards the quality of the sensor, the lens, and the image processor. And doing a bit of review searching won’t do any harm either.

Smartphone myth no.6: You should drain your battery before charging it

Everyone know this, right? And we bet some of you still do it out of habit. But alas, it’s another myth that has its roots in the time when mobile phones were using NiCAD and NiMH batteries. These lasted longer if you drained them before charging them back up again. But most modern phones use Lithium-ion batteries. These don’t have what is called “cell memory” like the older type of batteries. This means it makes no difference at all whether you charge it at 1% or 99%. With newer batteries there’s even a limit to how many times it can be fully drained and re-charged.

Smartphone myth no.7: 4G uses more data than 3G

This is a tricky one. On one hand we know that using 4G speeds up the download times for all your streaming and videos. We also know that the amount of data that is used to do this doesn’t change whether your phone is using 3G, 4G, or even 5G. On the other hand, studies have found that people who consistently use 4G get through their data more quickly than someone who is using 3G. But the reason for this is the amount of content and videos they can consume in the same period goes up due to the faster speeds of 4G, not that it uses more data.

Smartphone myth no.8: You should keep phones away from credit cards

You may have been told at some point to keep your phone in a different pocket to your wallet that’s packed full of credit cards, loyalty cards, and other cards with magnetic strips. The idea is that your phone has the power to demagnetize the card and render it useless. This is a similar myth to using your phone near electronic devices on planes and in hospitals. Yes, your phone does give off a magnetic field, but you can be rest assured it’s nowhere near strong enough to affect a credit card or other cards with magnetic strips. So stuff your pockets to your heart’s content!

Smartphone myth no.9: Charging your phone overnight is bad for it

This is a common myth today, but was actually true many years ago. In much older phone models continuing to charge your phone past 100% would damage the battery. But modern smartphones know how to handle their batteries and when to stop charging, so this is no longer the case. The only problem that can be caused by charging a phone overnight is overheating, as your phone warms up when it’s plugged in. To avoid this happening, remove any cases that are on your phone, and leave it on a flat, hard surface so the heat can dissipate easily.

Smartphone myth no.10: You can wipe your phone with a magnet

It might be something people do in movies to get out of trouble, but it won’t work in real life. You would need a super powerful magnet to have any effect, and even if you found one in your tool box, the hard drives and solid state drives in modern smartphones work very differently to previous phone models. A magnet would affect your phone’s compass app though because of the magnetic field it generates. If you really want to wipe your phone, instead of using a magnet you would be much better off deleting data manually, logging out of accounts, and performing a good old fashioned factory reset.

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