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This story has been updated. It was first published on June 16, 2023.
Soon after you bring a shiny new smartphone home, you’ll start receiving a continuous stream of software updates from app makers, as well as operating system upgrades from Apple and Google.
It may seem simple, but you probably have questions. Maybe you’re wondering how to find out what version of Android or iOS your phone is running, and why it matters. Or perhaps you’re not sure what you have to do to get the new iOS on your iPhone, or why your Android phone has to wait so long to get the latest software. We’ve got those answers.
And let’s be clear: operating system updates are not to be neglected. Not only do they bring new features to your handset, like better battery management and new notification options, but they carry critical security and stability improvements each time.Android
Android is actually made up of several different pieces of software that are all referred to as “Android” for convenience’s sake. At the most fundamental level is the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), developed by Google but released as open-source software with publicly available code, and free for anyone to use.
Then you have the Google Mobile Services (GMS) bundle. It’s not open source, but Google licenses it for free to its hardware partners in return for all the extra users Google gets in return. GMS includes Google Search, Gmail, the Chrome browser, YouTube, and—crucially—the Google Play Store.
[Related: Google’s new data guidance takes a page from Apple’s privacy playbook]
When you buy an Android phone, you’re usually getting AOSP and GMS, plus whatever extra apps and flourishes the manufacturer has chosen to add—so Android looks slightly different on phones from Samsung, LG, OnePlus, Sony, and others.
If you want to know what a device looks like without GMS, the best examples are Amazon Fire tablets. Instead, these come with Amazon’s own app store, and you can’t officially run Google apps on them (though there are ways around this).
With Android catering to so many different shapes and sizes of devices, and with phone makers adding their own code on top of the AOSP framework, the platform has had fragmentation problems—the latest version of Android doesn’t always arrive on each manufacturer’s device at the same time.
To combat fragmentation, Google has tried various ways to make it easier for hardware partners to update different bits of Android at a time. It has also shifted more responsibility to the Google Play Store, so phones can get the latest security scanning updates and the newest versions of Google’s apps and services, even if they’re not running the freshest version of Android.
What all that means is your Android phone will be running a particular version of Android with a specific iteration of the phone manufacturer’s software on top. On Samsung phones that’d be the Samsung One UI, for example, while OnePlus calls their software OxygenOS.
To check what version of Android you’re running, open up Settings, then tap About Phone and look under Android version to see how up-to-date your phone is. You’ll handle updates in a separate screen: from Settings tap System, System update, and Check for update to see if new software is available, but you should get an alert when an update has arrived and is ready to install.
We can’t take you through the process for every Android phone out there, but it should be similar for whatever model you’re using. On Samsung phones, for instance, head to Settings, then tap About phone, followed by Software information, to see which versions of One UI and Android you’re We can’t take you through the process for every Android phone out there, but it should be similar for whatever model you’re using. On Samsung phones, for instance, head to Settings, then swipe and tap Software update (or System update, depending on the model you have) to see which versions of One UI and Android you’re running. Again, update prompts should appear automatically, but you can run a manual check for a newer Android iteration by tapping Check for system updates, and then Download and install if a new software version is available for your device.
Some phone makers deliver Android updates faster than others, so if you really want to know how long you’ll be waiting, your best bet is to contact the company directly, or at least browse its support forums. The Pixel phones, developed by Google itself, are typically first in line for the major Android update that happens every year.iOS
Apple has an easier time pushing iOS updates out into the world because it doesn’t have multiple hardware partners to worry about, and it simultaneously develops both the software and the hardware it’s going to run.
For that reason, iOS always beats Android when it comes to quickly getting more users on the latest version. In fact, Apple regularly deauthorizes older versions of iOS so that once you’ve upgraded, you can’t hack your iPhone or iPad to go back to an earlier iteration.
As well as refreshing iOS every year, Apple also updates all of its built-in apps—including Mail, Safari, and Apple Maps—at the same time. So, when a new version of iOS arrives, you’ll see a host of updates to the Apple apps on your phone, too.
[Related: Make your Android and Apple devices work together]
With each new version, Apple sometimes leaves behind some of its older devices, which remain on the previous version for the rest of their digital lives. This wasn’t the case with iOS 12, which ran on every device iOS 11 could run on, but it’s something to watch out for.
To see if you’re up-to-date on iOS, open up Settings, then tap General and About. The current iOS version number will be listed under Software Version. You will get a notification when a new version of iOS is available, but if you want to check manually, tap General, then Software Update inside Settings. If you want iOS to automate the update process, tap Automatic Updates and make sure the Download iOS Updates toggle switch is on. When it is, you’ll also get the option to automatically Install iOS Updates. Activate this toggle switch and your phone will install updates overnight on its own, though it’ll still notify you before it installs them.
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As an increasing number organizations look to mobile solutions for long-term success, many have made embracing digital business a top priority. By offering services via a mobile platform or application, businesses are able to capture larger market shares, increase revenues and exceed customer expectations. In fact, according to a 2014 article in Forbes, organizations that optimize their mobile app strategy will engender customer loyalty by providing greater visibility and value to customers, improve customer engagement and will be better placed to stand out from the competition. At the same time, organizations that utilize mobile apps internally will be able to increase employee satisfaction and productivity.Evaluate Your Mobile App Strategy
Examine seven steps for developing a secure enterprise app portfolio. Download Now
Assessing a Mobile App Strategy
Businesses should first determine what the need is among its employees and customers. What common complaints or issues is the app going to address? If there’s not a glaring issue, there may be something that either employees or customers need to do that can be made easier by using an app. Ultimately, the mobile app strategy should be designed to mobilize employees’ job functions and not simply to replace a desktop application that already works well. The mobile strategy should make employees more productive by enabling them to easily access, input and make sense of company data.
As the app market grows, part of a company’s mobile app strategy should involve protecting its data and ramping up security measures. According to the Frost & Sullivan report, more than 35 percent of organizations already consider employee use of unauthorized apps to be a problem. Employees without app offerings from their employers may look at third-party, unapproved apps to meet their needs, opening the door for hackers to gain access to sensitive information. According to a 2014 report from Gartner, this is a serious problem, as more than 75 percent of mobile apps will fail security tests this year. Organizations that create their own apps can manage the security of their devices and better safeguard against data breaches.
At this stage, organizations should undertake an audit of their data security mechanisms and policies that they have in place to ensure that security concerns are not introduced. Any organization deploying mobile apps should include their use in its mobile security policy, which must be clearly communicated to users and should ensure that one person has overall accountability in this area. As part of the mobile security policy, businesses should stress that it is required to use highly secure mobile devices that support a mobile security platform.
Once mobile app requirements have been established, the next step is to develop, purchase or customize apps to meet the needs of the business. Not only is ease-of-use important, but those in charge should determine what devices and operating systems the apps need to run on and what back-end integration is required. Additionally, it is important to develop a strategy to manage the life cycle of all mobile apps, including ongoing maintenance to ensure that they remain current, effective and secure.
Consider External Assistance
Few organizations that do not have some level of mobile device usage will be able to keep up with competition. With this in mind, all companies would benefit from assessing their mobile app strategies sooner rather than later, especially as the range of mobile devices grows and wearables become commonplace.
Looking for a roadmap for your mobile app strategy? Consider the application support services offered by Samsung Business.
There are a number of reasons why you might want an unlocked phone or tablet if it has cellular connectivity. Maybe you want to use a different SIM card when abroad for cheaper calls, texts or web browsing, or want to simply switch mobile networks. Perhaps you’ve purchased a phone online and want to know if it’s locked to a particular network, or want to make sure it’s unlocked in order to sell it.
If your phone or tablet is locked, you will only be able to use a SIM card from the mobile network it’s locked to. This can be very frustrating if you need to use a SIM from a different network, only to find that your phone (or tablet) won’t let you.
If you purchased your phone SIM-free (and you’ve purchased it brand new, rather than second-hand), it’s almost definitely going to be unlocked to allow you to decide which SIM you want to put in it. However, buying one on contract from a phone retailer or a network might mean that it’s locked from the get-go.
Locked phones are much less common now than they used to be, and it’s much easier to unlock them than it once was, so there’s no need to worry if you do discover that your phone won’t accept SIM cards from other networks out the gate. It might cost you a small fee, and sometimes you’ll need to wait until your contract is up to unlock your phone, but these factors really hinge on the network your phone is locked to.How to check if your phone is unlocked
If you have the phone on your person – whether it’s an iPhone, Android phone or something else – then the easiest thing to do to check whether your phone is unlocked is by trying different SIM cards from other networks/carriers in it.
Borrow a SIM card from a friend or family member that’s from a different network to the one you’ve been using, and pop it into your phone to check whether you have any signal. If not, it’s likely that your phone is indeed locked. You might also be greeted with a message asking for a SIM unlock code, which is also proof of a carrier-locked phone.
We’d also recommend restarting the phone before checking, as it sometimes takes a restart for the SIM card to be picked up by the device itself.
If you can’t readily tell whether the newly inserted SIM card is working or not, try making a phone call. If the call doesn’t connect, it’s likely that your phone is locked.
If you don’t have the phone yet because you’re the one buying it, you’ll have to ask and trust the seller to find out. Even if it does turn out to be locked, however, there’s an easy fix in most cases, so it’s unlikely to render your new phone useless.
Note: You may find apps claiming to be able to tell you if your phone is unlocked but we would avoid using this method, as they can’t necessarily be trusted. Simply trying different SIM cards is your best option.
If you find that your phone is indeed locked, follow the links below to go to the unlock page for your network.
Alternatively, use a third-party unlocking app like DoctorSIM. We would recommend being careful to only use an unlocking service you trust. We have tested DoctorSIM and found it to be successful and fairly priced, but other similar services will charge significantly more and not all services are legitimate, so research is recommended before you part with any cash if you decide to go this route.
We have more information about how to do this in our article how to unlock a phone to use any SIM.
The shutter is one of the priciest components on a camera to fix, so knowing where your shutter count is can be pretty important. Moving components like your shutter aren’t built to last indefinitely (even though it may seem like it). Like maintenance on a car, doing proper checks on your equipment mitigates the chance of something going wrong during an important photo shoot!
As much as we all wish it was streamlined, each camera has a different way of checking the shutter count. Some can be deduced from the image file number, and others require a third-party program to access this information. Let’s get started!What Is Shutter Count On A Camera?
In the most layman’s terms possible, the shutter count on a camera is the number of times the camera has taken a photograph. This counts the amount of time the shutter has opened and closed its “door.” The shutter opening and closing are known as a shutter actuation, so shutter counts are listed in terms of shutter actuations.
The shutter is a moving component, and like most moving components, it can be prone to wear and tear over time. Whether you’re simply trying to maintain your own equipment or you’re purchasing used gear, being aware of the camera’s shutter count will provide a lot of useful information about its life expectancy.Average Shutter Count Life Expectancy
Very similar to hitting a specific mileage on a car until the maintenance light turns on. After you’ve reached a certain number of photographs, it’s a good idea to do a wellness check on your camera. The shutter count life expectancy is, essentially, when your camera is due for an “oil change.” This helps remedy any potential issues you may encounter and keeps your gear in tip-top shape for future photo shoots.
As a very general statement, shutter count life expectancy on DSLR cameras can range from 50,000 to 350,000 shutter actuations. This is a big range difference, so we can break it down further.
Every camera has its own specific shutter life expectancy, but we can generalize it based on camera tier. Introductory or consumer cameras will have the lowest shutter count life expectancy (in the 50,000 range), mid-level will play around in the 150,000 range, and high-end professional equipment will have significantly more.
Mirrorless systems will last a bit longer than DSLRs with the shutter because it doesn’t always open and close, as these systems have both a mechanical shutter and an electronic shutter. As well as this, the design is far more upgraded and efficient. Mirrorless systems have ratings ranging from 200,000 to 500,000 shutter actuations on average.What Is A “Good” Shutter Count?
On average, a “good” shutter count on mid-level to professional gear is around 30,000 to 50,000. Take this with a grain of salt because, generally speaking, the best shutter counts are the lowest numbers, and each camera has its own relative “good” count.
When it concerns one’s own personal camera, a good shutter count doesn’t really matter (all that matters is how close you are to the shutter count life expectancy). However, the shutter count becomes very important if you’re dipping your toes into the used camera marketplace (whether as a buyer or as a seller).
The mileage on a vehicle determines its resale value, and a camera’s shutter count is comparable to this. A good shutter count will yield the highest value on used gear for the seller and becomes the better option for a buyer.
Keep in mind that just like a car, just because the shutter count is “good” doesn’t mean that the camera has been well maintained. A car with a low mileage count may have other things wrong with it due to not having its other components well cared for. A camera can also, so the shutter count is only one factor in the camera’s value – make sure that the other components are well cared for too.
This being said, a low shutter count expresses that the camera hasn’t been used a lot (or may have been used casually), which is more likely to be in a better condition.What Does A High Shutter Count Mean?
A high shutter count refers to the camera being close to its shutter count life expectancy. Cameras with 100,000+ shutter actuations express that the camera had been heavily used, so you can expect some wear on the gear.How To Check Your Shutter Count For Free
Checking the shutter count is where things get a little bit tricky. Each brand and each camera has its own way of checking the shutter count, and not all of them are easy to access. If you happen to live near a repair center for Canon, Nikon, or Sony, you can just walk in and ask an employee to check the shutter count on your camera. But if you do not… Here are the ways to check the shutter count (for free) of the three top camera brands.Canon Shutter Count
For Canon cameras (both the DSLR models and mirrorless models), you will need to use third-party software to figure out the shutter count if you aren’t able to access a repair shop in person. Canon is the hardest to find the shutter count for because it is not stored in readable EXIF data.
For these, you just upload the last image you took or plug your camera into the computer.
If you don’t mind doing a bit of hacking on your camera, the software Magic Lantern can help. This program completely reconfigures how your Canon camera works, and viewing the shutter actuations is just one of the many features Magic Lantern adds. Remember that adding Magic Lantern may void your warranty, so do so carefully.Nikon Shutter Count
Nikon adds the shutter count information into a photograph’s EXIF data, so all you have to do is read the information.
For Windows users, you may need third-party software to access the full EXIF data. Programs like ExifTool are good options for this.Sony Shutter Count
Sony is similar to Canon regarding hiding the shutter count. However, most Sony Alpha mirrorless systems can have their shutter actuations viewed by uploading the last photograph you took to various free shutter check websites. Shuttertool and CameraShutterCount are the most commonly used options.What Happens When Shutter Count Is Reached?
When the camera reaches its shutter count, your camera won’t immediately implode and stop working. Exactly like the maintenance light on a car, after a certain amount of miles, your car won’t suddenly stop turning on. The shutter life expectancy is simply a guide to be aware that your equipment needs to be looked at to be potentially repaired or maintained.
You don’t need to rush out immediately to get the camera looked at (life gets busy, and it’s not an emergency), but the sooner you do it, the better it is for you.
That being said, if you ignore the fact that your camera has reached its shutter count expectancy for too long, you’re opening yourself up to trouble. Although some photographers have gotten lucky and had cameras that last 500,000+ actuations, others can die right at the count limit.
The shutter has a higher likelihood of failing after the shutter count is reached, and the last thing you want is for this to happen during an important photo shoot!
DirectX, developed by Microsoft, is a set of application programming interfaces (API) for handling multimedia tasks such as video games. It allows games and software to work with the components such as video and audio hardware in your computer. In other words, DirectX is the middleman between the games and your computer’s hardware, allowing the games to interact with the hardware in order to run it.
Many games require you to have a certain version of DirectX or newer in order for it to run. For example, most modern games require PC to have at least DirectX 11 to run or DirectX 12 for optimal visual experience. If you do not know what DirectX version you have on your Windows, you can easily check it via the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.
This guide will show you how to check the DirectX version in Windows 11 on any laptop or desktop computer via the DirectX Diagnostic Tool – a built-in tool in Microsoft Windows.
Also see: How to check what graphics card you have on Windows 11
The DirectX Diagnostic Tool will display all the information about your system, including the DirectX Version your system is running. To open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool to check your DirectX version in Windows 11, follow the steps below.
Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
In the DirectX Diagnostic window, the current DirectX Version of your system will be shown within the System Information section in the System tab.
Related: How to Force Game to Use Nvidia GPU or Integrated Graphics
If you are in a situation where you only get to execute command in a Command Prompt, you can open the DirectX Diagnostic by simply running the “dxdiag” command. Simply type dxdiag in the Command Prompt and press Enter to open it.
DirectX 12 is the default DirectX version for Windows 11 and Windows 10. It comes preinstalled in Windows. Thus, you don’t need to look for downloading or installing DirectX 12 again if a game asks for it. However, since DirectX would occasionally receive updates and patches, you may need to update your DirectX from time to time.
The best way to update your DirectX in Windows 11 is to simply run Windows Update. All updates related to DirectX are included in Windows Update. When you run Windows Update, Windows 11 will automatically check for new updates including DirectX related updates and patches, and then install them on your computer if there is any new update.
Note that DirectX 12 is backward compatible. This means that DirectX 11, DirectX 9 and other older versions of DirectX are automatically included in DirectX 12. You don’t need to install them separately.
If an old game asks for DirectX 11 or DirectX 9, you should be able to run it successfully on Windows 11 or Windows 10 since DirectX 12 already includes all previous versions of DirectX.
If you are still unable to run some very old games due to missing runtime libraries from legacy DirectX versions, you can try to download and install the DirectX End-User Runtime to install the legacy DirectX runtime libraries.
If Chrome is slow and underperforming, some elements such as the extensions or browsing data might get in the way.
Also, users saw
Chrome lagging even this year because of too many open tabs.
For that, you have plenty of useful plugins, but we recommend only an efficient one.
Try Opera One, a browser with various functionalities already built-in!
A flawless browser like Opera has most functions already under the hood.
Here’s what’s included by default:
Easy and intuitive workspace management
Ad-blocker mode integrated to load pages faster
WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger
Customizable Ul and AI-friendly
⇒ Get Opera One
Is Chrome running slow on your computer? Do you want to speed up this browser? Go through this article to find the most helpful information.
Google Chrome is the browser of choice for many because of its features and compatibility. It is one of the fastest and safest browsers out there for various purposes like casual browsing, news reading, or anything.
However, Chrome is also fairly system resource heavy, which can slow browsing down considerably on more outmoded desktops and laptops.
If you notice that Chrome browser is running slow on Windows 10/11 PC, it can be a very frustrating matter for you. It is because you may be using this browser for professional reasons.Why is Google Chrome so slow all of a sudden?
While surfing the web or doing anything on Chrome, you may suddenly find that it has become very slow and useless. It happens due to the following reasons:
A Chrome tab has crashed
There is been any change in the extensions
Your computer has suddenly launched a service in the background
Chrome is not up to date
You may find some other reasons too. But, these are the most commonly seen things that hurt Chrome user experience more.
Does my Chrome need an update?
Chrome or any web browser should always be up to date. Even though the modern applications update themselves automatically, sometimes, you may need to give manual effort as well. You may find it very slow when there is a pending update and Chrome needs to restart.
If you continue using an outdated version of Chrome, it may run slow and freeze frequently. You will often see that the browser is lagging while surfing usually.
However, if Chrome is off the pace, trying out the methods mentioned below will surely help.Quick Tip:
If you’re tired of Chrome’s lackluster performance, consider switching to Opera One, and enjoy a speedy, lightweight, and secure browsing experience that will make it worth your time.Whether you notice Chrome is running slow on PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone, or even iPad, you can consider using the Opera One browser.
Opera One makes your browsing experience more secure with it’s built-in VPN, Ad blocker and AI. The browser brings features that help you stay organized like workspaces, tab islands and more.
Team up with Opera, the fastest browsing solution that moves at your pace!
Free Download Visit websiteHow do I make Google Chrome faster again? 1. Cut back Chrome extensions
Disabling unnecessary extensions will fix Chrome running slow issue not only on Windows but also on Mac and Linux.2. Clear your browser’s data
You can also perform this task automatically by using specialized optimization and clean-up software.
The PC optimization tools free up space, clear your online tracks, including your browsing history and cache, and speed up your system.
Thus, in case you need to clear up your browser data instantly and even increase your internet speed at its peak, invest your time in the best memory cleaner software on the market.
As one of the best programs for this purpose, we gladly suggest CCleaner, which does complete routine maintenance.
CCleaner can remove any unwanted files left by applications, as well as surfing history, cookies, recycle bin, memory dumps, file fragments, log files, system caches, and application data.
With the ultimate cleaning program for Chrome, you can become the master of your browser and make it perform smoothly and swiftly.
If Chrome is running slow on your Windows 10 or 11 PC like a surface laptop or a desktop computer, this cleaner tool can save your day by doing a lot of things automatically.
⇒ Get CCleaner3. Turn on Chrome’s Prefetch option
Using the Chrome address bar, go to the following location: chrome://settings/cookies
Toggle on the option Preload pages for faster browsing and searching.
Relaunch Chrome.4. Switch to another browser
The majority of us use Chrome. It’s the leading browser in the market provided by the largest tech company in the world.
But, considering the alternatives, you have more than a few reasons to cop out and go for something lighter and more privacy-oriented than Google’s flagship browser.
Our recommendation is Opera which, all things considered, ticks all the boxes.
And that’s merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to accelerating your browsing.
Opera’s fully customizable UI allows you to work with shortcuts, joggle with multiple tabs, and easily find your way through them thanks to the tab previews or tab menu, and of course, access your favorite sites quicker than ever through the Speed Dial feature.
Opera also has a free in-built VPN that keeps your identity private and allows you to access geo-restricted websites and services. Along with that, it supports the picture-in-picture/video pop-out feature that helps you to watch videos from a website on a different tab or application.
Other features of this browser include an integrated snapshot tool, a speed dial separate tab, and support for quick access to instant messaging apps and social media.
⇒ Get Opera5. Remove images from websites
Go to the following location on Google Chrome: chrome://settings/content/images
Check Don’t allow sites to show images.
Relaunch Google Chrome.
Ads are another thing that can considerably slow down browsing. Ads are similar to images as they add lots of extra content to pages.
The uBlock Origin adblocker is one that you can add to Google Chrome. The good thing about the uBlock extension is that it’s more system resource-efficient than other alternatives.
The extension also blocks pop-ups and other media elements on website pages.7. Enable hardware acceleration
Go to the following location: chrome://settings/system
Toggle on Use hardware acceleration when available.
Restart Chrome8. Enable Closed tab cache
Using the address bar, go to the following location: chrome://flags/#closed-tab-cache
Now, enable the Closed Tab Cache.
Relaunch the browser.
Enabling this feature will help, particularly if Chrome becomes very slow after opening a closed tab.9. Don’t open too many tabs
Tab overload can also slow down the Chrome browser. This will usually happen if you open more than 10 pages at a time.
Each of those tabs needs some resources, and Chrome’s Task Manager highlights that open page tabs can hog more RAM than extensions. Thus, Chrome runs faster with fewer tabs open.
There are numerous tab management extensions that minimize the number of tabs open in Google Chrome.
OneTab is an extension that enables you to preserve RAM by moving pages to an inactive tab list from which you can reopen them when required.
Each of those tips should speed up your Chrome browser a little more. Now you can browse through website pages somewhat more quickly than before.What is the Chrome Cleanup Tool?
The Chrome Cleanup Tool is an excellent program from Google that helps to identify the harmful programs that cause various problems to Google Chrome. This program also can remove these programs automatically.
In general, this tool finds potentially unwanted programs (PUP), adware, malware, and many other harmful programs on your PC.
How to use Chrome Cleanup Tool?
Go to the following address on your Chrome: chrome://settings/cleanup
It will automatically start scanning for harmful software and clean them.
Google recommends you to use this tool when you face unwanted problems on Chrome.
This article has featured the best methods to fix the Chrome running slow problem. To further boost Chrome, check out some of these extensions.
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