Tip of the Week: Use Android Doze to Help Save Battery Power

How often have you grumbled as you’ve reached for a charger at 2 in the afternoon as your smartphone clings to its last moments of life? If you’re anything like the typical user, quite often, but Android has attempted to reduce that number with the Android Doze feature.

Doze accomplishes this by disabling an application feature known as a wakelock. These wakelocks keep the device from entering its energy-conserving deep sleep mode, as deep sleep can interfere with some applications and functions.

While wakelock was originally intended to allow fitness trackers and similar applications to continue functioning with the screen deactivated, app developers began to apply wakelock to all of their applications, whether they needed it or not. This is precisely the reason that many apps are notorious for being battery-killers--we’re looking at you, Facebook.

So, the useful functionality of wakelock was spoiled by these app developers, essentially eliminating the power-saving capabilities of deep sleep mode. However, the implementation of Doze looks to fix all of that. By disabling wakelocks and network access after the phone hasn’t been used in a while, Doze prevents applications from pointlessly draining energy while still allowing these apps to update during periodic “maintenance windows.”

Android has even enabled users to customize their Doze settings, so that a user can dictate which apps are affected by the feature. To access this customization:

  • Open Settings.
  • Navigate to Battery.
  • Select Battery optimization from the Menu button.
  • Select All apps from the top-of-screen drop-down menu.

Doze will automatically set almost all of your applications to optimize your battery by default. If there is an app, however, that you need to have connected, you can always switch the setting to Don’t optimize for that app in particular.

Doze even has third-party apps designed to customize its functionality even further. With apps like Doze Settings Editor, a user is able to set Doze to turn off when a phone moves a certain distance--but only if the phone is running Android Marshmallow.

With all of this additional battery life available, do you think you’ll ever have to worry about missing an important call or notification? Let us know in the comments.

Tip of the Week: 3 Expert-Level Search Tips to Help You Find Exactly What You’re Looking For

These days, being able to find the exact information you need online is a valuable skill. However, sometimes a website’s search capabilities aren’t robust enough to be of much use. For this week’s tip, we’ll show you how to combine a website search feature with your browser’s search tool so you can easily find exactly what you’re looking for.

To begin, let’s go over one of the most valuable tools for online searching, quotation marks. If you need to locate a specific phrase, then enter it into a search engine like Google Search and bookend the phrase with quotation marks. Google will then show you results meeting your criteria exactly, word for word, instead of giving you a bunch of random results pertaining to each individual word of the phrase (which would be the case if you didn’t use quotation marks).

While using a major search engine like Google Search to find what you’re looking for is one thing, using the search feature of an individual website is completely another. For example, not every website allows you to use quotation marks to narrow down a search within its pages.

If you run into this problem, try instead using the website’s search feature to look for one of the two keywords, like “email,” and then use your browser’s search function to search for a second keyword, “hosting.”

To access your browser’s search function, simply select Ctrl+F. A drop down menu will then appear where you can enter the second word you're looking for. Next, hit Enter and the browser will automatically highlight every instance of the second word you’re looking for that’s located on the open webpage.

When these two searches combine, you’ll essentially be able to weed through all the irrelevant search results provided by the website and use your browser to find exactly what it is you’re looking for.

Another Way to Search: One way that you can skip having to use a website’s search tool altogether (and keep in mind that not every website offers a search tool) is to search the content of an individual website using Google Search.

To do this, type into the Google Search form “site:” followed by the website URL, minus the “http://” and the “www.” Following this entry, add what it is you’re searching for. So the form should read something like this:

site:website.com email hosting

Add Quotation Marks: To help narrow down your search even further, Google allows you to search individual websites this way and use quotation marks so you can find an exact phrase. For example, site:website.com “email hosting” will provide much more specific results than site:website.com email hosting.

Ultimately, utilizing Google this way may be more effective than combining the website search and your browser search as previously suggested. Although, you’ll still want to keep this double search tip in mind for when you do use a website’s search tool and find that it’s not working for you. Also, keep in mind that not every website makes its content available to Google Search; using a website’s search tool for a site like this will yield results that Google won’t.

If you’ve found this tip helpful, let us know in the comments and check back with Amaxx’s blog every week for more great tips!

Tip of the Week: How Tracking Your Net Worth Can Benefit Your Long-Term Goals

Tracking your net worth might not be the same as tracking how many much money you have in your account, but it’s a good start. By tracking your net worth, you’ll have a good idea of how your finances fare in the big picture of things. Doing this may even help you worry less so that you can focus more on improving your situation.

Finding Your Net Worth
To many people’s relief, their net worth takes into account much more than just their paycheck. You can basically think of your net worth as the grand total of all of your assets, minus your liabilities; or, rather, what you have minus what you owe. It’s actually quite easy for your net worth to increase over time, since you’ll owe less and obtain more.

Therefore, the first step toward determining your net worth is putting together a list of what you currently own, versus what you currently owe.

What You Own

  • Home (its current value)
  • Other real estate
  • Automobiles and other vehicles like RVs and ATVs (leased vehicles don’t count)
  • Jewelry and collectibles
  • Household items, like furniture, appliances, etc.
  • Retirement accounts, bonds, stocks, mutual funds
  • Cash value of life insurance
  • The balance of checking and savings accounts
  • Cash

What You Owe

  • Home mortgage principal
  • Other mortgage principal
  • Auto loans
  • Student loans
  • Credit card debt
  • Other loans

Once all of these items are in order, you need to plug this information into an online net worth calculator:

http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/networth/networth.html

http://www.creditcardfinder.com.au/net-worth

Tracking Your Net Worth
Now that you’ve attained your net worth, you can use a spreadsheet to track the growth--or (gasp) decline--of your net worth. Here are four ways that focusing on your net worth can be beneficial.

  • Financial progress: It’s in our human nature to evolve and make progress, and keeping track of your net worth gives you some solid statistics that you can focus on. It’s always great to look back on the previous month and see how much your financial situation has improved.
  • Confidence building: Keeping track of your net worth can be empowering. For example, saving an extra $1,000 in your emergency fund, or increasing your 401K with a bigger contribution can make you feel proud of yourself, and can help you stay focused on accomplishments rather than your debts.
  • Keeps you from focusing on assets: On the other hand, you need to keep yourself aware of more than just how much you currently have. Having $200k in assets is great, but you should also keep your $100k of debt at the top of your mind.
  • Acquiring loans: Your net worth could become a major factor when you apply for a loan in the near future. You want to ensure that you keep track of your net worth so that you aren’t unpleasantly surprised in the event that you need a cosigner for a loan.

Can tracking your net worth be help achieve your financial goals? Try it out and let us know in the comments how it goes.

Resource: Windows 10 Productivity Guides

These guides from Microsoft are from 2015 but they do a very good job of exposing many elements of Windows 10 and how they impact productivity on the year old operating system. These can also be good sources for training your users if you are planning a migration to Windows 10 in the near future.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Easy Ways to Move Several Files at Once

File storage is a staple in the office, and chances are that even your work desktop is jam-packed with files and folders that could use a bit of sorting. This might include moving all of your files to different locations, but you don’t have to move each one individually. We’ll go over the many different ways that you can move files, many of which can save you considerable time and effort.

Click and Drag
If your files are located in one location, like your desktop, you can simply click and drag your mouse to display an area-of-effect box. Any files within this box will be selected. You can then drag any individual file to the desired location and you’ll move all selected files there. This is helpful if you have several files jumbled together on your desktop, and you want to move them all in one go.

Select the Checkboxes
In Windows 10, a little checkbox will appear when you hover over a file on the desktop or within a folder. If your files are scattered all over your desktop, you can simply check each of the boxes for the files that you want to move, then drag and drop any of them into the folder where you want them to be located. This will move every single item you checked to the designated location, saving you considerable time and effort.

Click and Shift
You can easily select files that are stored horizontally and adjacent to each other by using the Click and Shift method. First, select the first file that you want to move. Then, hold down the Shift key, and select the last one that you want to move. Anything stored in between the two will be selected. After that, it’s just a matter of dragging one of them to the desired folder or location.

Hold Ctrl
If you hold down the Ctrl key, you can click on files that you want to move, and they’ll be selected. Then, all you have to do is move your files to the appropriate folder.

Select Them All
If you decide that you really need to clean up your desktop, or move all of your files to a new location, you can use the Select All keyboard shortcut to do so. It’s the same as it is in any word processor: Ctrl + A. You’ll see all of your files in the current window, or your desktop, selected. Just drag them where you want and you’re all set.

Keep in mind that many of the same keyboard shortcuts will also work with Mac OS X as well. Just substitute the Command key for the Ctrl key and many of them will provide the same experience.

Fun Fact: You know how Windows is bundled with Solitaire? No, we aren’t assuming that you are playing it at work. Microsoft decided to bundle their OS with Solitaire as a way to get users more accustomed to dragging and double-clicking objects with their mouse.

For more great tips, reach out to Amaxx at 614-923-6700; or, subscribe to our blog to receive new tricks straight to your email inbox.