We all know that the longer we hold onto a device, the greater the chances that it will fail. And for an unlucky few iPhone 6s owners, failure could be right around the corner. Apple last week announced that iPhones manufactured between September and October 2015 may unexpectedly shut down. The company said it will replace the battery in eligible phones, a repair that would typically cost around $49.
If you have an iPhone 6s, you can check whether your phone is in the risky group by going to https://support.apple.com/iphone6s-unexpectedshutdown and typing in your iPhone serial number. You can find the number in several places such as on the original packaging, in iTunes, on the device itself and in your phone’s settings. The easiest way, assuming you didn’t keep what would now be the four-year-old box, is by going into Settings, General, About where you should see the serial number. If you are eligible for a free replacement battery, I suggest you get that done before you are left with a phone that won’t turn on.
This potential calamity got me thinking about older devices and why we hold onto them. You may love the headphone jack on the iPhone 6s, the last iPhone to have it, or perhaps you’d rather not spend $1,000 on a new phone when your current phone is just fine. In my case, my company won’t replace employee phones because they want everyone to use Skype, so I’m going to keep mine as long as it works.
So if you’re with me on holding onto your phone, there are ways to make it feel like a new phone.
The best way to start is with a thorough cleanup by getting rid of any apps you don’t use. You can also move your photos and videos off to a hard drive or into the cloud. Did you know that Amazon Prime includes unlimited photo storage plus 10GB storage for video and other files? And all Amazon customers receive 5GB of photo storage.
To move your photos and video to Amazon, download the Amazon Photos app, which is available for both iPhones and Android phones. Open the Amazon app and then select Upload Photos and Videos. Tap the ones you want to move. Once you’ve finished, you can go back into your camera roll and delete them.
Alternately, you can take the Marie Kondo route and reset your phone to its factory settings (after backing up your phone, of course) and really feel like you have a new phone. To factory reset, go to Settings, General, Reset, Erase All Content and Settings.You will be pleasantly surprised to experience speedier operations. The less you keep on your phone, the more responsive it will be.
You can add wireless charging to your older iPhone (Android models have had this feature for some time, but it was new with the iPhone X series. To do this, buy a wireless charging receiver and attach it to your phone. It will plug into your phone’s charging port and the device itself will be affixed to the back of your phone. You can then set your phone on a charging pad to charge — just make sure these two items are compatible. The cost for both should be under $30.
Now back to your battery. An aging battery can cause your phone to run out of charge very quickly. Remember the $40 replacement we talked about? That’s a reasonable investment to add a couple of years to your phone. You can also protect the battery by keeping your iOS up to date because of power-management improvements, avoid extreme hot or cold temperatures and use low power mode to minimize battery use.
Finally, a new case for your phone will cover any wear and tear and protect your phone from future damage. You might also consider a screen protector. Regardless, keep your phone clean. Apple recommends using a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth, like the ones for cleaning eyeglasses. Never use cleaning products or compressed air, and avoid getting moisture in the phone’s openings. With proper care and a little luck, your phone may last for years.