Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What to Do If You Break Your Samsung Galaxy S8’s Screen

By  Megan Ellis

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a premium smartphone known the world round for its beautiful aesthetics, all-glass body — and, of course, its immense fragility. So what happens when the gorgeous handset hits the floor and a crack spiders across its delicate exterior?
This is the question that many Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners are asking themselves, as reports of this weakness have turned out to be true. There are some great Samsung Galaxy S8 cases out there, but what recourse do owners have when an accidental drop turns out to be an expensive mistake?What's the Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Case? 5 Affordable Ways to Protect Your Investment What's the Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Case? 5 Affordable Ways to Protect Your InvestmentWhat are the best cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8?READ MORE
Let’s take a look at the different options for owners and the likeliness they will need to use them.

Just How Fragile is the S8?

We’ve heard about fragile phones before: the prettier they get, the less durable they often prove to be. In 2016, many consumers wondered about how easily the Galaxy S7 Edge would break and expressed concerns. But little did they know that a more fragile successor was on its way.
Insurance provider SquareTrade conducted their usual drop test with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ this year. Not only did they find out that the devices are very prone to cracks — but they are basically the most fragile handsets the company has ever tested.
The breakability of a device is measured on a scale of 100: the closer to 100 it is, the more fragile the smartphone.

The Galaxy S8 scored 76 on the scale, while the S8+ scored 77. This is classified as a “medium-high risk.” According to the company, the S8 is the first phone they’ve ever tested that has cracked on the first drop on all sides (e.g. front fall, back fall, edge, etc.).
“While the nearly all-glass design of the S8 makes it a beautiful phone, it’s extremely susceptible to cracking when dropped from any angle,” SquareTrade said.
SquareTrade’s tests were done with a six-foot (1.8-meter) drop onto concrete, which is quite the fall. But it doesn’t take much for the S8 to crack under pressure.
Users have reported cracks from falls as small as two feet. Covers don’t necessarily make the device impervious to damage either. A drop of three feet onto a tiled surface is enough to crack the phone with a cover on.
Seeing that the most minor bout of clumsiness can lead to cracks on your S8, what are your options for repair?

1. Samsung Premium Care/Samsung Mobile Care

Accidental damage to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ is not covered by the normal manufacturer’s warranty.
Furthermore, Samsung’s Accidental Damage From Handling (ADH), which gave owners of previous Galaxy models one free screen repair, does not apply to the company’s latest flagships. In fact, there is very little that is free at all with the new plans.
Instead of ADH, Samsung is offering another warranty option for cracked screens and panels for the Galaxy S8. The extended warranty goes by different names depending on the country. The U.S. currently offers Samsung Premium Care, while the U.K., India, and South Africa offer Samsung Mobile Care.The Greatest Smartphone You Shouldn't Buy: Samsung Galaxy S8 Review (and Giveaway!) The Greatest Smartphone You Shouldn't Buy: Samsung Galaxy S8 Review (and Giveaway!)The $800 Samsung Galaxy S8 is, without question, the best smartphone ever made. But you probably shouldn't buy one.READ MORE
They are essentially different versions of a product with a central aim — providing cover for accidental damage.
Another common thread is one that will see many Samsung owners already disqualified. You need to register for the extended warranty within 30 days of buying your phone. After this period passes, you cannot buy the insurance policy.
But if you do sign up in time, what exactly do these warranty plans offer?
Samsung Premium Care is the extended warranty plan that applies to the United States. It comes with some extra benefits that users in other countries won’t be seeing in their policies.
It comes with a monthly fee of $11.99 (with the first month free) and a $99 deductible for each claim.
This allows you to exchange your damaged device for a new one. However, these claims are limited to three per twelve month period. Not handing in your damaged device once receiving your new one can attract an unrecovered equipment fee of up to $1,200.
It also comes with the extra perk of in-person support. Unfortunately, any S8 not bought through an authorized Samsung carrier or retailer cannot be registered for the policy. You also cannot transfer the policy if you sell your device.

Samsung Mobile Care

samsung mobile care
Samsung Mobile Care has the same core inspiration of its premium counterpart (covering accidental coverage), but comes with fewer bells and whistles.
The coverage plan also comes with a monthly fee (with the first month free). It is slightly cheaper though, at around $5.50 per month depending on the country. You can also opt for a bulk payment of around $100 for the full 24-month plan.
The plan has a 24-month limit from date of purchase, after which it will automatically lapse. And no, you can’t extend it past the 24-month period.
For each claim, which is limited to one claim per year for two years, users will have to pay an “incident fee”. During the first month, the fee for a damaged screen is around $115 and the fee for a damaged back cover is around $30. During the rest of the policy period, these fees drop to around $80 for a front repair and around $25 for a back cover repair.

 2. Taking It Into a Samsung Repair Center

If you missed out on Samsung’s extended warranty plans, you can take it into a Samsung repair center for a quote.
Samsung repair centers tend to be more expensive than third-party repair shops, but the warranty of the device is guaranteed by using authorized Samsung services.
We took a cracked Samsung Galaxy S8 into a repair center to see how much it would cost to repair. We were told it would be between $270 and $390.
However, when selling its mobile care plan in South Africa, Samsung has stated that a screen repair could cost up to $780 (more than what the phone is worth in the U.S.). This repair cost is over two thirds the local recommended retail price of the S8, and over half the price of the S8+. It’s uncertain how Samsung estimated the high cost of repair.
The benefits of choosing this option are that you are not limited by how many repairs you can get, and your manufacturer’s warranty will remain intact.

3. Using a Third-Party Repair Center

Image Credit: Negative Space via Pexels.com
The cost of taking your cracked S8 into a Samsung repair center may be a bit more than many consumers are willing to cough up — which is why you might want to turn to a third-party center. Though it should be noted though that this option may affect on your warranty, and Samsung won’t help you out if the repair shop damages your phone further.
On the other hand, third-party repairs are usually cheaper. The key is to first know what the warranty implications are, and then choose a reputable repair company with a track record of good service.
The quote we received from a third-party repair service for the same cracked Galaxy S8 amounted to around $235. However, we also received a quote for approximately $390. Some sites put the estimates for repair as high as $500.
You will have to shop around to see the price range in your area and weigh it up with the other options.

4. Claim From Your Insurance

If you have personal item insurance, or specific insurance for your phone, claiming from these policies could be one of the best options. Of course, your policy will need to cover accidental damage instead of just theft or loss.Should You Buy Smartphone Insurance? Should You Buy Smartphone Insurance?What does smartphone insurance cover? What does it cost? And after all is said and done, is it worth it?READ MORE
Claiming from your insurance though comes with the risk of your monthly premiums increasing. Depending on your insurance provider, this will also likely come with a significant deductible. On the other hand, it comes with the benefit that the number of times you can claim during a given period is higher than Samsung’s available plans.
Fruit Fixed repair shop owner Justin Carrol told Motherboard in a recent interview that the average insurance deductible is $200. However, you need to take into account subscription and policy fees.
SquareTrade, the company that performed the S8 drop test, states that its 24-month smartphone insurance plan costs $149 and their deductible per claim is $99 — which would put the total of a repair at around $248.
Mobile carriers also tend to offer their own insurance plans. So if you opted for one when buying your phone, consider claiming from them.

5. DIY Repair

diy repair replace woman fix tools
Image Credit: Merylin via pixabay.com
This is an option that more consumers are turning to, but it’s definitely not for everyone.
DIY repair allows you to skip the labor fee and only pay for the parts you need. However, this is an option that can put your warranty at risk. While you can find online guides for repairing your S8, the phone is considered moderately difficult to repair and requires a lot of patience, according to iFixit.com.
“While the back glass is tedious to remove because of adhesive, it’s definitely doable for a non-pro to replace,” the company told MakeUseOf. “A screen swap on the S8 is a whole other beast. Just accessing the display requires getting the back cover off, tunneling through the phone, and removing several other components. Then you need to get enough heat on the screen to lift the adhesive. Additionally, the front glass doesn’t use standard adhesive, it uses double-sided tape gunk that is more resistant to heat.”
iFixit adds that technically third-party or DIY repairs shouldn’t actually void the warranty for US consumers unless you damage the device during the process. This is based on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which basically gives consumers the right to repair. Unfortunately, many companies try to ignore this legislation to get out of warranty claims, iFixit says.What Is the Right to Repair and Why Should You Care? What Is the Right to Repair and Why Should You Care?When old technology broke, you could fix yourself. If that failed, you could find a repair shop. With newer products, those options are disappearing. Let's talk about the importance of the Right to Repair.READ MORE
You’ll have to decide whether you want to roll the dice on this. Replacement part prices also depend on the company you buy them from. Again, you’ll want to choose a reputable company with a track record.
We’ve seen front glass replacements for the S8 for as little as $30 to around $60, while full-service screen replacements are hovering around the $280 to $300 range.

Looking to the Future

On the bright side, it is expected that repairing your S8 will get cheaper in the future.
“Most repairs get cheaper over time as parts become more widely available. Once independent repair shops can get a steady supply of parts and more shops start to offer the service, that can help drive the price down as well,” iFixit says.
However the lack of ADH repair services and the fragility of the S8 might drive some consumers away in the meantime.
What would you do if you cracked your Galaxy S8? Would you even buy it at all or just look at S8 alternatives? Let us know in the comments below!Should You Buy a Samsung? 5 Samsung Galaxy S8 Alternatives Soure: www.makeuseof.om
Should You Buy a Samsung? 5 Samsung Galaxy S8 AlternativesLooking for Samsung Galaxy S8 alternatives? We've covered five of the best smartphone options in 2017, ranging in price from the budget to the premium.READ MORE
Source: www.makeuseof.com

How to Enlarge the Mouse Cursor on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS

By Ben Stegner  

Most people can use a computer as it comes, but sometimes you need to make some changes for accessibility. Those with imperfect vision can make their systems easier to see with certain tweaks. One of these is enlarging the mouse cursor so you don’t lose track of it amid other on-screen elements.Are You Nearsighted or Farsighted? Tips to Make Windows More Accessible for Young & Old Are You Nearsighted or Farsighted? Tips to Make Windows More Accessible for Young & OldComputers use print that's too small, your eyesight changes, you get headaches, and the computer gets called a lot of dirty names. Consult this guide to Windows Accessibility tools for some stress relief!READ MORE
Here’s how to enlarge the mouse cursor no matter which OS you’re using.

Windows 10

Open the Start Menu and type Mouse, then choose the Mouse Settings entry. On this menu, click the Additional mouse options text to open the Control Panel Mouse section. Choose the Pointerstab and under the Scheme tab, change the selection to Windows Default (large) or Windows Default (extra large). This preserves the look of the cursor, but makes it much bigger.


Click the Apple Menu and open System Preferences. Then open the Accessibility menu and select the Display tab. Slide the Cursor Size slider to dynamically change the cursor until it’s set somewhere comfortable for you. When you’re done, just close the window.


In Ubuntu, entering the following line into a Terminal window should work for enlarging your cursor. Replace 48 with a different number if you don’t like the resulting size:Save Time in the Linux Terminal with These 20 Shortcuts Save Time in the Linux Terminal with These 20 ShortcutsWhether you're a terminal newbie or someone who got over the fear long ago, here are 20 shortcuts that can help you overcome some of the command line's awkwardness.READ MORE
dconf write /org/gnome/desktop/interface/cursor-size 48
If this doesn’t work for your flavor of Linux, see this Stack Exchange post for more options.

Chrome OS

As you probably know, Chromebooks are already a great machine for the elderly. You can make them better by enlarging the mouse cursor. Visit Settings, then scroll to the bottom and click Show advanced settings. Head to the Accessibility header, then check Show large mouse cursor to greatly enlarge it size.5 Reasons Chromebooks are the Perfect Computer For an Elderly Person 5 Reasons Chromebooks are the Perfect Computer For an Elderly PersonIt's your granddad's birthday — but what should you buy him? You could get him socks (again), some gardening equipment, or perhaps a large bottle of whisky… Or you could buy him a Chromebook.READ MORE
Do you prefer a small or large cursor? Let us know if you made yours bigger by leaving a comment below!
Image Credit: skvoor via Shutterstock  Source: www.makeuseof.com

9 Reasons to Switch From Chrome to Firefox

By  Joel Lee

There was a time when Chrome truly sat atop the throne as Browser King, but those days are long gone. The gap has closed, and depending on who you ask, Chrome has been overtaken. I once believed that Chrome was “the best,” but nowadays you may be happier elsewhere.
According to browser market share, Firefox is Chrome’s biggest contender if we ignore Internet Explorer (mainly used in business environments unwillingly). And over the past year, Firefox usage has risen quite a bit — from 7.7 percent in August 2016 to 12.0 percent in May 2017.
Why are people returning to Firefox? I’ve been using Firefox for the past few months and I’m happy to say that I much prefer it to Chrome. Is it time for you to switch? Here are several reasons that may convince you.

1. Firefox Is Better for Battery Life

A lot of people say that Chrome is faster than Firefox — and that’s actually true. But the main reason for this is that Chrome uses more CPU than Firefox. With greater CPU usage comes faster processing and smoother performance. The trade-off is battery drain. And to be honest, Firefox isn’t that much slower.
According to Microsoft, data gathered from millions of Windows 10 users showed that Firefox uses approximately 31 percent less power than Chrome in real-world usage. If you’re on a laptop, this means significantly longer sessions between needing to recharge.

2. Firefox Is Better for Tab-Heavy Users

How do Firefox and Chrome compare in terms of RAM usage? To test this, I ran both browsers (each one separately with no other apps running) under four test cases: one tab, five tabs, 10 tabs, and 15 tabs. Every one of those tabs pointed to the MakeUseOf homepage for consistency.
RAM Usage for Chrome 58
  • 1 Tab — 49.2 MB
  • 5 Tabs — 265.3 MB
  • 10 Tabs — 533.2 MB
  • 15 Tabs — 748.3 MB
RAM Usage for Firefox 53
  • 1 Tab — 116.3 MB
  • 5 Tabs — 376.6 MB
  • 10 Tabs — 437.0 MB
  • 15 Tabs — 518.4 MB
Two things are immediately obvious. First, Chrome actually uses less RAM than Firefox when you don’t have many tabs open. Second, Firefox scales much better than Chrome once you reach about eight tabs or so. If you’re a power user like me and regularly have 20+ tabs open, Firefox clearly wins.
Want to know why Chrome uses so much RAM? Read our overview on why Chrome needs more RAMand what you can do to reduce its RAM footprint.

3. Firefox Knows It’s Just a Browser

A few months back, I read an interesting post from a longtime Chrome enthusiast who ended up throwing in the towel and switching to Firefox. He had a lot to say, but this particular point stuck out to me:
Today, Chrome is not the speedy beast it was in 2011. Today, Chrome is some sort of weird-ass application platform that just happens to also be a browser.
This sums up a good bit of why I’ve personally fallen out of love with Chrome. What used to be a lightweight, fast, and incredibly minimal web browser has now evolved into a complex beast that no longer remembers what made it so lovable in the first place. A lot of the blame can be assigned to Google’s desire to turn Chrome into Chrome OS.
Firefox, on the other hand, is still just a browser. It isn’t the clean, barebones browser that Chrome was on debut, and some might even say that Firefox is too bloated for its own good, but at least Firefox isn’t trying to be something that it isn’t. It knows what it is.
If you want to read that Chrome enthusiast’s full essay, visit this Quora post and look for Luke Harris’s reply.

4. Firefox Embraces the Open Source Mindset

Technically, one could say that Chrome is somewhat open source since it’s based on the Chromium browser, which itself has spawned many Chrome-like browsers (e.g. Opera, Vivaldi, Slimjet, Brave). But a true “open source” mentality involves more than just letting others use your code.What Is Open Source Software? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is Open Source Software? [MakeUseOf Explains]"Open source" is a term that’s thrown around a lot these days. You may know that certain things are open source, like Linux and Android, but do you know what it entails? What is open...READ MORE
I like how Mohamed Mansour explains it in his Quora reply:
I have contributed code to the Chromium project for over two years . . . but lost motivation because of how closed that platform became. Yes it is open sourced, but it is guarded by a big organization where most of its discussions and future direction are done internally inside their organization.
Google is treating Chrome as a closed competitive product more than an open product. Chrome’s open source model is basically “here is the code for the browser, do whatever you want.” It doesn’t have the same open source culture everyone is used to. Companies these days are abusing the core definition of Open Source, and it is sad.
On the other hand, Firefox has a complete public roadmap that’s influenced by contributors and community members. As of this writing, I can see eight months into the future of Firefox development. That kind of community cooperation is what real open source development should be about.

5. Firefox Actually Cares About Privacy

In 2014, Mozilla released a call-to-arms for users in an effort to promote online privacy, stating that “fighting for data privacy — making sure people know who has access to their data, where it goes or could go, and that they have a choice in all of it — is part of Mozilla’s DNA.”
In 2015, the State of Mozilla report reaffirmed the organization’s beliefs: “There are billions of people online, but not enough transparency and control in the form of security and privacy protections for users from companies, app developers and governments. Mozilla is focused on influencing key internet health issues like privacy and security…”
And if you want nitty-gritty details, consult the Firefox privacy policy to learn more about the browser, any data that may be collected, and what that data is used for.
But even if Mozilla wasn’t so gung-ho about privacy, the real win here is that Mozilla isn’t Google. The one thing we know to be true: Google is a gargantuan data collection company. It already knows too much — do you really want Google to know every aspect of your browsing habits?

6. Firefox Allows More Customization

Degree of customization is the biggest difference between Firefox and Chrome. Every Chrome browser looks nearly identical, even across operating systems and devices. Other than hiding certain toolbars or removing a few icons next to the address bar, the most you can do is skin the title bar and tabs.
Firefox can do more. In addition to moving things around and skinning the general appearance, you can install Complete Themes to completely change the browser’s appearance. You can even emulate the look-and-feel of other browsers with FXChromeFXOpera, and MX4.

7. Firefox Supports Chrome Extensions

Starting with Firefox 48, Mozilla declared stable support for WebExtensions. WebExtensions is a cross-browser API that allows developers to create extensions once and have them work in multiple browsers. With WebExtensions, Firefox can install Chrome extensions.
All you need to do is install Chrome Store Foxified. After that, you can visit any Chrome extension in the Chrome Web Store and the “Add to Chrome” button at the top right will become an “Add to Firefox” button.
Note that WebExtensions support, while stable, is still a work in progress. At the moment, not all Chrome extensions work, even though many do. Complete support is anticipated by the release of Firefox 57.

8. Firefox Boasts Unique Extensions

Chrome has a vastly larger collection of extensions, but Firefox has several unique extensions that aren’t available to Chrome users. And some of these extensions are so good that you won’t want to leave Firefox after having experienced them.
The best example that comes to mind is Tree Style Tab. This extension turns the tab bar into a sidebar and lets you organize tabs into a tree-based hierarchy that can be shifted around at will. It’s amazing and really shows how much a shame it is that no other browser can do this. (Vivaldi supports sidebar tabs, but they can’t be organized hierarchically.)
In fact, I would probably say that Tree Style Tab is the main reason why I love Firefox so much. Check out this roundup of other unique Firefox extensions.7 Extensions Firefox Users Love That No Other Browser Has 7 Extensions Firefox Users Love That No Other Browser HasExtensions aren't always supported across all browsers. Check out these beloved Firefox-only extensions that are so useful that you may be swayed over from whichever other browser you currently use.READ MORE

9. Firefox Can Do What Chrome Can (Mostly)

At the end of the day, the differences between Firefox and Chrome are mostly minor. One might be slightly faster or use less battery, but in terms of usability, they’re both excellent. In other words, anything you can do in Chrome can probably be done in Firefox too.
Want to synchronize tabs, bookmarks, profiles, and more across devices? Need to develop websites with the aid of an element inspector and console? How about sandbox security to prevent malware infections? Or a password manager to make your accounts more secure? Or a task manager to pinpoint performance issues? (Hint: Navigate to about:performance in Firefox.)You Need to Start Using a Password Manager Right Now You Need to Start Using a Password Manager Right NowBy now, everyone should be using a password manager. In fact, not using a password manager put you at greater risk of being hacked!READ MORE
Chrome can do these things, and so can Firefox. If you’re reluctant to leave Chrome, just remember that the two browsers have more in common than not.

When Is Chrome Better Than Firefox?

As much as I love Firefox, I still have Chrome installed as a backup because there are certain situations where Chrome is actually better.
  • Chromecast streaming only works with Chrome.
  • Advanced web development is often easier in Chrome.
  • Chrome prioritizes polish and simplicity over freedom, making it easier to use for those who aren’t as tech-savvy.
  • If you’re deeply integrated with Google services and you don’t care about the privacy implications, then you can use your Google accounts to set up various Chrome profiles.
  • Chrome has more market share than Firefox and Google appears to have significant influence over the direction of web technologies, so websites and web apps tend to work better in Chrome.

Are You Ready to Make the Switch?

The future of Firefox looks good. Give it a shot and have an open mind. To make the transition easier, you may want to consider these tips for switching from Chrome to Firefox. Also, look into our collection of Best Firefox Addons.
Or if you dislike both Chrome and Firefox, Opera might be the better choice.I Switched From Chrome to Opera and I’m Never Going Back I Switched From Chrome to Opera and I’m Never Going BackAny browser works. There's only one reason to pick one over another: it's more in line with how you like to browse the web. And you might prefer Opera, too.READ MORE
How do you like Firefox? If you decided against switching, what are the main reasons why? And if you use neither Firefox nor Chrome, we’d love to hear which browser you do use. Share with us in a comment below!
Source: www.makeuseof.com

What to Do If You Break Your Samsung Galaxy S8’s Screen

By  Megan Ellis The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a premium smartphone known the world round for its beautiful aesthetics, all-glass body — and,...