Touch Screen Maintenance & Cleaning Tips

Touch screens are everywhere these days – Not just on your Smart phones, MP3 player and Tablets but also on new generation All-in-One PCs, information consoles and many other devices.

However, improperly maintained touch screens result in scratches and other damages which in turn cause lack of response or total dysfunction. Here are some tips to maintain your touch screen devices using the right screen cleaning method.

How to take care of your Touch Screen devices?

If you are using your touch screen phones or gadgets under normal weather conditions, it would be good enough if you keep your nails trimmed and palms cleaned. However, if you happened to live in extreme cold conditions, you may have to use touch screen gloves.

While keeping the device down: Needless to say, one shouldn’t keep a touchscreen phone or gadget with its screen facing the surface. Moreover, it’s not advisable to keep touch screen gadget on potentially wet surfaces such as dining tables, kitchen counter or near a bathroom sink where water, soap form, acidic liquids such as vinegar or even your hand sanitizer drops could spoil the device screen.

While using the device: It’s better to avoid using touch phones while eating or doing chores. Also, if you have just washed your hands or sanitized, let it dry before you use your expensive smart phone or tablet PC.

Usage of screen guards: Screen guards, though slows phone response a bit, improves the lifespan of touch phones greatly. However, the proper sized guards may not be available for all models of phones.

Cleaning Touch Screens

You should not use paper towels or tissues to clean your touch screen phones as some paper types can cause permanent scratches on your phone or gadget screens. Also, never use your dry hand to clean or scratch a visible dirt piece out.

Here’s the right way of cleaning your expensive touch screen devices.

  1. Use a clean and dry microfiber cloth to gently dust the device including the screen
  2. Wet the microfiber cloth with a few drops of distilled water – Never wet the cloth too much or completely
  3. Gently wipe the screen with the wet cloth without putting any pressure on the screen
  4. Using a dry part of the microfiber cloth, gently clean the touch surface in a circular motion
  5. Dust off any remaining part of the fiber with the same cloth for super clean and responsive touch screen

Please note that you may also buy recommended touch screen cleaners for better finish.

If you don’t have access to any distilled water or any approved cleaning agent, you may also go by the proven method of breathing into the screen and wiping off the breath moisture with the microfiber cloth. And if microfiber cloth is not available, just use a clean part of the poly-fiber or light cotton shirt that you are wearing.

Which is the Best eBook Reader for You?

Before answering this question you should understand What is an eBook reader?

An eBook reader is an electronic gadget that is designed to read electronic books or digital books. A lot of people confuse between an eBook reader and a tablet PC but both have different uses, though tablets can still support reading while promising more power and features.

To help with comfortable reading as well as to support the publishing standards, an eBook reader should have the following characteristics.

  • Light weight and thin for easy handheld reading
  • e-Paper technology for crispy readable text even in bright sunlight
  • Very long battery life to help with travel requirements
  • Support for common library formats such as PDF and EPUB
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection to fight piracy

So, Which is The Best eBook Reader for You?

It depends on a few parameters such as the size that is comfortable for you, your internet connection priorities (Wifi, 3G etc) along with the parameters mentioned above. Of course, price is a big concern as well because some of the eBooks that have come to the market are priced pretty high boasting new technologies. However, at the end it all boils down to the ease and comfort of reading and how easily you can download the books.

The eBook readers were initially devised and promoted mainly by the online book stores and by the same reason I personally like the Amazon Kindle Readers that are now available for prices as low as $75. Barnes & Noble NOOK is another competitive product from another book vendor.

Personally, I avoid high end and fancy looking eBook readers. If you are looking for eBook readers for old people, then you need to consider the simplicity of its user interface and controls more than the pricing part. Of course, it has to be a light weight one as well (Also read: Best tablet PCs for old people)

If you are interested in knowing the current technologies around eBook readers, please read this Wikipedia link on eBooks

Happy reading!

How to Transfer music from iPod to New Computer?

Copying or transferring music files from your iPod to a computer or laptop usually involves paid third party software or tools.

Here is how you can do the same without having to install any other programs.

1. Connect your iPod to your computer or laptop via USB cable and wait for the PC to recognize the player. You have to ‘disk use‘ is enabled in iTunes.

2. Open your ‘Windows Explorer‘, locate your iPod icon at the left pane and click on it (Alternatively, you could open ‘My Computer’ and click ‘Devices with Removable Storage’ to locate your iPod)

3. Click on ‘Tools’ -> ‘Folder Options’ menu in the Windows Explorer. Under the ‘View’ tab, find the sub-folder called ‘Hidden files and folders‘.

4. Check or Select the option ‘Show hidden files, folders and drives‘ and click ‘OK’. On completion of this step, a new folder named ‘iPod_Control’ shows up.

5. Double click on the ‘iPod_Control‘ folder and open the folder under it called ‘Music‘.

6. Select all the folders there and copy them to a folder of your choice on your computer hard drive. You have now completed copying all your iPod music files to your computer. At this point you may disconnect your iPod if you wish to do so.

7. Open up iTunes. In the hard drive folder you copied the songs, open up each of the folders labeled ‘F##‘, then mark all files in that folder. Copy these files to another folder on your computer from where you can play them.

Please note that this method works only with iPod Classic or iPod Nano. For iPod touch you may have to use some software.

Also, for transferring music from an iPod to a new computer (than the computer from through which you purchased the songs) involves authorizing the new computer via iTunes Store -> Authorize Computer option.

Enjoy your music from your computer now!

Best Tablet for Older People

Don’t get me wrong here. Normal computers are still the best option – healthwise, pricewise and from upgradability point of view – for older people provided there is a very good workstation available with good chair and lighting support. However, the tablet PC trend is catching up so fast and they make case for the elderly as well because of the following advantages that they offer.

Tablet PC’s benefits and suitability

Tablet PCs are very lightweight and hence it is so easy for the old people to carry them around. Hence from the mobility point of view they are the best.

Laptops or netbooks can be bigger, heavier and unwieldy and not as comfortable as a tablet to use on a couch or breakfast table.

Tablets are totally wireless in the most literal sense and hence very easy for the old people to handle them. Other options are not totally wirefree yet.

Ease of use due to touch screen is another major benefit and hence it can be used even by people with partial disabilities.

Finally, one doesn’t need to be technically strong to use modern tablet PCs and probably they are much easier to use than many smart phones.

However, please note that PC Tablets are mainly content consumption devices rather than content creation stations. This simply means that, if you want to type in a lot of text, it may not be the right device for you.

Best Tablets for the Elderly

Having talked about the benefits of tablet PCs for older people, here are some of the best tablet PC options for the old people (as of 10th August 2012).

1. Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon Kindle Fire is the latest entrant into the tablet market and probably the first of its kind from Amazon (who otherwise manufacture some good ebook readers). With its $199 price tag, it has to be one of the cheapest tablet PCs running on the Google Android platform. It has a 7″ screen, has Wi-fi support for connectivity, has USB ports and is extremely light (413 grams or 14.5 ounces) to handle. The battery life is around 8 hours. It supports numerous free and paid add on apps that you can download from the Amazon appstore, needless to mention that it’s an excellent ebook reader too.

This would be my recommended tablet PC for the older people for its crisp multi-touch color display with a good resolution and light weight body. However, this doesn’t come with a camera or 3G connectivity option. So if price is a major concern, this is the tablet for you.

amazon kindle fire

Learn more about Amazon Kindle Fire on the Amazon website

2. Apple iPad 2

An iPad is the best option for those who do not like to know the technical intricacies involved in doing day to day computer usage. If your online activities are restricted to browsing, emailing, capturing pictures, sharing, video chatting, facebook use etc then iPad is the best option for you. iPad cannot render Flash based websites but good enough to watch Youtube online.

Apple iPad

iPad 2 boasts great battery life (up to 10 hours), 9.7” screen, very thin body and weighs just 600 grams. Like most of the tablets in the market these days, iPad2 has two cameras as well.

This is my recommendation if you are looking for simplicity and ease of use and can afford to pay $500 upwards with wifi options and based on the memory.

Checkout Apple iPad MC705LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) NEWEST MODEL

3. Asus Eee Pad Transformer

asus-eee-pad-transformer

What if you want to use the hardware keyboard once in a while just like a netbook or latop while being good at the touch screen as well? If that’s a major feature you are looking for then the Asus Eee Pad Transformer is the best option for you. Moreover, this comes at a reasonable price of around $350.

Asues EeePad is an Android operating system based tablet and hence you may have to get used to it a bit initially. The learning curve is not significantly steep though.

Asus Eee Pad weighs just 680 grams and has a dual cameras (5MP on back and 1.2MP on the front for video calls). The screen is slightly bigger than an iPad’s.

It is the tablet for people who don’t want to spend as much as an iPad but are willing to learn a trick or two about Android. Primary reasons to go for an Asus Eee Pad would be the keyboard support though.

Find deals on ASUS TF700T 10.1-Inch Tablet

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4G

samsung-galaxy-tab

Samsung Galaxy Tab is another strong contender which has seen its prices falling after the steep launch price. Like Asus Eee Pad, it is running on Android operating system as well and hence the usability and performance are similar.

The specifications are pretty much the same as the Asus tablet but without a similar hardware keyboard. There are 7” and 10” screen variations available off which the bigger one is priced similar to an iPad.

Check out the BEST ONLINE PRICE of Samsung Galaxy Tab (7-inch, 16GB, Wi-Fi)

5. Google Nexus 7

Google nexus 7

With a beautiful screen, superb performance and a comfortable to handle design, the Nexus 7 (preferably 16GB) is our latest pick amongst the 7-inch tablets available in the market today.

The Nexus 7’s boast a faster processor and an excellent responsive screen. It’s very comfortable to hold for the elderly as it weighs hardly 0.7 lbs (315 grams). At only $200 to $250, the Nexus 7 is a great deal.

The only flip side probably is the lack of expandable storage and HDMI port (and of course no 3G at this price)

Check out the best prices on Google Nexus 7 Tablet (16 GB)

Note: All Android based tablet can run flash based websites though with some performance loss.

Picking a tablet for older people at the end is a function of price, mobility (battery life, weight, 3G network) requirements and keyboard preference. If you give similar weightage to all the above requirements, I would recommend the ASUS Eee Pad for your old men. Well, there are many other Android based tablets out there but I am particularly attracted to the Eee Pad for the ease of use with the dock. However, if style, brand image and build quality is added to your requirement, then go for the iPad 2 for the pride factor (if budget is not a concern that is). If you are constrained by budget and can live without a camera and 3G connectivity, then Amazon Kindle Fire is the budget option for you. However, if you are looking for a 7-inch screen tablet, need a basic camera for video calling and you need a fast processor to work from home on Wifi then Google Nexus 7 is my top pick. Within the $250 budget, it is the best tablet that you can buy and a highly responsive screen with a light weight body makes it our best pick for the elderly user (As of August 2012).