Smartphones are awesome. I think we can all agree on that, right? Well, pair this beast with an Internet connection and we get a device where we can access all of the knowledge humanity has to offer. Yet, we still use it to watch cat videos. Lots of them.
But, hey, that’s one side of the story. Even though the internet gives you access to all kinds of knowledge, it also facilitates the convenient sharing of false information as well.
I mean, how can you know that putting your iPhone in the microwave for 5 minutes will charge the battery completely? well, you can’t. Unless you’ve tried it out yourself, in which case, congratulations! You sir, are a legend!
Anyway, the Internet has given rise to some pretty incredible tech myths of which I’m going to debunk 5. Since most of these claims seem to involve the battery, let’s kick things off there.
“Overcharging” your battery
This seems to be quite popular in our day and age. You know that feeling when you get back home late at night and you plug your phone in before going to bed knowing that you’ll wake up in the morning with a full battery.
But people are constantly paranoid thinking that their smartphone would hit 100% in the middle of the night, so that they keep an alarm for 2 in the morning just to wake up and unplug their smartphone before it consumes so much charge that it explodes.
And then there’re people like me, who don’t even plug the smartphone into the darn socket and wake up in the morning to find an almost dead smartphone. Priorities.
So, what’s going to happen if you’re going to plug in your phone all night? Will it explode? Will it have a miraculous 110% of charge? Will it lead to the coming back of Tupac?
As far as we know, no. Why?
Because the lithium ion batteries that we use in our smartphones are smart. Smart in the sense that it actually knows when to stop accepting charge from the power supply once it hits a 100%. Now you can sleep like a baby at night.
But, there’s also another thing of major concern. Heat.
You see, if your smartphone is packed in a tight place with no outlet for the heat to escape comfortably, then, the battery would probably expand, which would damage it permanently. So do watch out for that.
The megapixel myth
Basically, people think that when purchasing a smartphone, the more megapixels a camera has, the better it is at capturing pictures. The bottom line?
That’s not entirely true. You see, a megapixel is commonly used to measure the resolution of a camera, so, it was not long before people started using it as a standard for all cameras, everywhere.
In this case, the more is not necessarily the merrier.
Now, don’t get me wrong: megapixels are extremely useful in one and only one aspect. Cropping. You see, if you take a picture with a higher amount of pixels in it, you can crop said image and not be left with an overly pixelated mess.
But there are various other components that play a more important role in snapping a great picture which I explained in length here.
Smartphones are an indispensable part of our lives in the 21st century and this myth has existed since forever. It is also a very likely candidate for your mum to use as an excuse for your headache, bad grades, and whatnot.
So, the inevitable question arises. Do smartphones give off radiation, and if so, does it affect us in any way?
Long story short, smartphones do give off radiation. But, don’t chuck your smartphones out the window yet!
Smartphones emit only a really small amount of radiation, and not more than your microwave or X-ray machines and such. Unless you’re planning to chuck them out as well, in which case, go right on ahead.
So, why do smartphones give off radiation? Well, it has to do with the radio antennae which are integrated with our smartphones which help us stay connected all the time. Mainly, the 3G, LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth and FM radio antennas.
The second part of the question is where it gets a tad bit tricky. Does smartphone radiation affect us?
Well, not in the range that X-rays or Gamma rays affect us. If you combine all the radiation produced by the various antennae, it wouldn’t even constitute a mere hair of what X-rays could do to our body. As all the radiation is absorbed by our skin tissue, it wouldn’t get hot enough to affect us in any manner.
But, there’s no solid evidence to support this either, so the jury is still out.
Task killers improve “performance”
Task killers are pretty infamous for allegedly claiming to drastically improve your smartphone’s performance with a mere click of a button. But do they actually work?
cough, Clean Master, cough
Short answer, it does jack squat. Furthermore, it can ironically decrease your smartphone’s performance. How?
Well, force closing applications which are running in the background of Android and effectively deleting them from RAM means that you get more ram which equals to faster performance, right?
Not really. You see, if you take Windows, for example, closing an application can do wonders for performance and that’s the usual gist of things. But, Android and Windows are functionally different.
Basically, when you move from an application onto the home screen, Android technically freezes the application and it just sits there using no resources, unless it’s an application which needs to work in the background, like Facebook or downloads.
When you use an app killer to delete that application from memory, it actually reduces its loading times and uses more battery life to re-open that application once again. And what’s more hilarious is that the RAM that you just cleared is just sitting there unused.
Android is an operating system that is fast and efficient. If it needs RAM, it will automatically close the least used applications from background. You don’t need a manual application to do Android’s work for it.
But, they’re not completely useless if a misbehaving application is using up precious resources and battery life, but, you can still disable it through settings, which on second thought, makes it completely useless.
iPhones can get viruses
That’s right, folks. You heard me. iPhones can indeed get viruses. But, let me clear this misconception up.
Before, it was (and still is) thought that OS X cannot actually get infected, when in reality it can. But, people think so because Windows is a platform where most of the viruses are born, and therefore hackers target Windows more for their nefarious purposes
Same goes with iOS and Android. Android probably has more viruses, but, that doesn’t automatically mean iPhones can’t get any.
But, there’s a catch, though. Unless your iPhone is jailbroken, it probably can’t get any viruses (note that I used the word ‘probably’).
Props to Apple for creating a super secure operating system. If your iPhone is acting weirdly or is misbehaving, it probably might be a software or hardware bug.
So now you know. Hopefully, you are now smarter than most of your friends. And finally, please don’t fall for everything on the internet. Frankly, it’s a weirdly beautiful place.