PSA: Quitting iPhone apps actually kills battery life

The enemy.

The enemy.

Sorry to shatter the illusion. My life, too, now feels like a lie. But, according to a Lifehacker article published yesterday, swiping away Tinder (or any app) when you’re not using it actually doesn’t save battery. In fact, it can hurt your battery life.

As Lifehacker explains, by closing apps, you are taking the app out of the phone’s RAM. For all the non-CS concentrators (myself included), that means that when you open the same app again, your phone is actually using more battery than if you were to just leave it open the entire time. Plus, iOS closes apps automatically when it needs more memory.

But, as Blog gnome overlord tech aficionado Joe Stein ’16 pointed out, if you are opening enough apps that your phone has to place open apps into “cold storage,” quitting apps ahead of time allows new apps to open slightly faster. So, your life is only a half lie (if you use more apps than just Tinder).

This is a great lesson not only in phone maintenance but in “don’t listen to that shmuck who thinks he knows a lot about tech but is actually talking out of his ass.”

For more tips on how to enhance your iPhone’s battery life, check out “The Ultimate Guide to Solving iOS Battery Drain.”

The Digital Campfire: How to make your laptop thief-proof


The Digital Campfire is a collection of stories about technology. The protagonists are (fictional) Brown students. The problems they face, however, are very real— a stolen phone, a hacked account, an accidentally deleted folder. How do our intrepid heroes deal with these digital hiccups? Read the column to find out. 

Josh knew something was wrong the moment he walked into his room. His bag was not where he had left it before lunch. Nothing made Josh more mad then someone messing around with his stuff. “David really should stick to his side of the room,” he muttered under his breath, blaming his affable roommate. He reached out to put his bag in its right place. And that was when it struck him — his laptop was missing.

While other students might have panicked in this situation, Josh knew exactly what to do. He hurriedly locked the door, and ran.

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Alums who do cool things: Susan Bennett ’71, aka the voice of Siri


Earlier this month, the Internet exploded when Susan Bennett ’71 revealed herself to CNN as the voice of Siri. Even if you don’t have an iPhone, you’ve surely heard of Siri, the always helpful and sometimes sassy iPhone application that answers all of your questions, from logistical to philosophical. Bennett, who works as a voice actress based in Atlanta, GA, was approached by a software company called ScanSoft in 2005 to record her voice for a new product. That product would become Siri, and the rest is history. Bennett took time out of Siri’s her busy schedule to answer our burning questions about Siri, her newfound fame, and how she envisions Siri IRL.

BlogDH: When did you record your voice for Siri, and how long did it take? What was the process like?
Susan Bennett: I did the initial recordings for what became the voice of Siri in July 2005 for a text-to-speech company—four hours a day, five days a week. I read hundreds of sentences specifically created to utilize every sound combination in the English language. I don’t remember them specifically, but some were pretty funny.  In addition to the initial recordings, I did some updates for close to four months in 2011-2012. Continue Reading

How creepy is your use of Find My Friends?

Why are you hovering here, you creeper?

It would have been so much easier to find where in the world Carmen San Diego was with this app.

If you’ve never heard of the iPhone app Find My Friends, you clearly haven’t maximized your stalking capabilities. The app lets you track where your friends (or at least their iPhones) are at any given time, if they agree to share their location with you. There a few times when this can come in really handy, but most of the time, it’s just plain creepy. Use the following rankings to see how creepy your use of Find My Friends is, on a scale from Actually Useful to Your Friend Should Get a Restraining Order.

Seeing if your friend is in the Ratty so you’ll have someone to sit with — A little creepy. We all know how awkward it is to wander around the Ratty balancing your loaded tray, hoping you’ll see someone you know so you won’t have to sit alone at one of those awkwardly big tables. Using Find My Friends is a practical way to see if you’ll have friends to sit with, or if you should go eat Chobanis by yourself in your dorm room. But you could also just text your friends to see if they want to grab lunch…

Discovering that two of your friends are secretly hooking up — Stalkward. If you happen to open Find My Friends and see two of your friends right next to each other in one of their dorm rooms all night, it’s pretty clear that something’s going down. This is when stalking gets awkward. Secret lovers, remember to hide your location on “Find My Friends” when sneaking off to one another’s rooms. Actually, this is probably a good thing to do in general if you have stalking-inclined friends (and who doesn’t?).

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Love Me Tinder

New Year’s Resolution 2013: I was not going to be alone on Valentine’s Day. This year, I would open my heart, find love, and live happily ever after. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. A real relationship requires honesty, integrity, and never, ever forgetting to shave your legs. But I knew could do it. And I had discovered just the place to find love: Tinder.

If you haven’t experienced the glory of Tinder, let me spell it out for you. Tinder is an iPhone app that links into your Facebook, takes your profile picture and age, and then creates a profile, which can be viewed by other Tinder users located near you. Those Tinder users can then vote “yes” or “no” to your picture. If a person says yes to your picture, and you say yes to their picture, then Tinder allows you two to talk. It seemed the best way to really get to know my future mate.


Step 1: View Profile. Step 2: Yes or No? Step 3: Match

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Techaccino Tuesdays: Gimme a break

Three. More. Days.

Follow @techaccino for semi-instant updates, and advice on whether to buy a “new” iPad.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s over 70 degrees outside, which means most college students are either already on Spring Break or have mentally checked out in preparation for break (or both?). The point is, when the time comes to pack for your week off, you should make sure you have as few things on your plate as possible because (1) your flight/train/car ride will likely be very early in the morning and (2) you will likely be hungover from partying the night before. So, before you forget, just scroll down to your Spring Break destination below and follow the instructions to download the most important app you will need for your trip.

Mixology: iTunes / Android / Bartender Pro: Blackberry

Aaah, the sandy, fratty beaches, and the loud, pumping house music. If only there were something other than Natty Light to drink around here… Enter Mixology! It’s the best, cheapest, most complete drink recipe app out there; with the ‘Liquor Cabinet’ option, you can enter the liquor and mixer types you have, and it spits out all the possible cocktails you can make.

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