News related to our business with updates on local events, contests and special announcements.

The Trap of Fake Apps

Anyone who’s used Android’s play store has seen them at some point. Applications claiming to improve battery life or “clean up your phone”, or even providing antivirus capabilities when you download them. A recent report from an Australian antivirus testing group, AV-Comparatives, found that of a pool of 250 apps tested, two thirds were ineffective in detecting malware downloaded on to a phone. Only about 10% of all apps had a significant (at or near 100%) detection rate. So, why’re there so many poor quality applications on the play store? The main reason is the relatively lax requirements from google to put an app on the store, but how can you find the right apps for you on the app store? First and foremost, look for applications that are highly rated (at least 4 stars and above) and have a large number of downloads. While this isn’t perfect on its own for learning what apps are good, it’s a start where you can look into information on it and see what people think of the app on the internet.

Antivirus and anti-malware apps aren’t the only “fake” apps on the play store though, many other applications are more or less malicious or are a front for some other aspect of the application. There are flashlight apps that are widely downloaded that operate to harvest the user’s data. An application like this should only be requesting access to your camera, as that’s what’s typically tied into using the built in flash. They could also just make your screen entirely white as well, but any of these applications that also request access to your phone, microphone, calendar, and other personal information. When downloading applications, keep an eye on what it’s asking for access to and decide for yourself if you think the application should have access to that information.

In my history of working on cellular devices, I’ve seen plenty of people come in for battery or storage issues on their phone. Sometimes, it’s a legitimate problem from prolonged use of the phone, a dying battery or a phone filled up with photos. However, I’ll always see what applications the customer has. Fairly often, I’ll see these “battery saving” apps or “phone cleaner” apps as well, and the customer complains of constantly getting ads on their phone. When these applications are removed, these problems can often disappear as well. These applications are more or less doing the opposite of what they intend to do, with the battery apps constantly running in the background and eating up more and more power, and these cleaning apps just taking up more space than they “cleaned up”. All the while, due to how these constantly running apps are working they’re taking user information and constantly showing advertisements to their user.

So, how do you as a user protect yourself? Well, first and foremost is to learn what your phone can actually do. Almost all modern phones have built in flashlight functions, on androids they’re typically found from the pull down menu where you can see your notifications. Often from these same menus you can turn on battery savers. From the settings, you can get a granular look at how much battery your phone is using and what’s taking up the most memory. Using these tips, you can help protect your own information and extend the life of your phone.

This Year’s New iPhone

Last year, Apple released their brand new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max to the public. As with each annual release of the iPhone, a question of “is it worth upgrading?” comes about. In 2017, apple released the iPhone X, with its edge to edge curved screens like those seen on Android devices, even dating back to the Galaxy S6 Edge from 2015. This was the first major device redesign since the iPhone 6 was launched and it appears they’re sticking with it moving forward.

The iPhone XS and XS Max aren’t terribly different from their predecessor in terms of actual technology within the device itself. Of course, there’s the highly boasted A12 Bionic chip, new antenna lines (located towards the bottom of the phone near the charging port), a better camera for the rear facing side of the phone and a few other minor changes here and there. The new iPhone XS has 30 minutes more battery life compared to the previous iPhone X, but actually has a smaller battery than the latter. The iPhone X’s battery clocked in at 2,716 mAh, whereas the iPhone XS’ battery is smaller at 2,649. The new iPhone XS Max’s battery sits at 3,179 mAh, which makes sense given its larger size and larger display. In fact, while Apple is reporting an increase in battery life between the iPhone X and XS specs listed on their website, the iPhone XS has the exact same estimated time for uses such as internet usage, video playback and audio playback. The only exception is the call time which has gone down by one full hour compared (at 20 hours) to the iPhone X (which has a reported 21 hours).

However, it’s not all doom and gloom on the horizon for the newest iPhones. The yet to be released iPhone XR has an increased battery life compared to both as well as a notably cheaper price point. Additionally, newer hardware in the devices mean that they can do more for less energy, new software made for these newer phones allows for more high quality pictures to be taken and edited, better videos to be made and so on. In the end, it’s up to each consumer to make an informed decision on whether they think it’s worth their time and money to upgrade to one of these newer devices.
An iPhone Teardown

Avoiding the Headache: Choosing a Repairable Phone

A lot of people, ourselves included, get swept up in the marketing hype whenever a new phone comes out. New features like beveled glass edges, 4k cameras, and all-glass bodies seem innovative and attractive… until you drop the phone.

Suddenly an all-glass body or a beveled edge is much less appealing when it means spending upwards of $400 or more just to fix the screen! This information isn’t common knowledge for a lot of people until they break the phone and can be quite an unwelcome surprise.

We here at the Fix Hut feel your pain, and want to help you make an educated choice regarding what phone is not only a good blend of features, but also fast and cheap to repair.

Our friends over at iFixit have put together a handy chart to help you choose what phone is the best. Their Smartphone Repairability Scores list a number of popular Apple and Android phones with a 10-point rating system to separate the best and worst. A perfect 10 is always going to be our top recommendation to the consumer, but any device that is a 7 or up, would also stand to be a solid choice.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to give any of our four shops a call. Repairing phones is our passion, and sharing the knowledge of what is possible helps make the world a better place for everyone.

Greener Choices: Ethical Consumer Electronics and You

In 2017, Greenpeace released a report unprecedented in its scope. In Greenpeace’s “Guide to Greener Electronics 2017”, a comprehensive analysis of seventeen of the world’s leading manufacturer’s of consumer electronics was made. Heavy hitters such as Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and Amazon are listed, as well as other brands that have a significant effect on the environment through their choices.

By 2017, the global volume of waste produced in the manufacturing and use of consumer electronics surpassed 65 million metric tons of waste. That’s enough waste to cover the entirety of Manhattan, from street-level to it’s tallest building. That’s a lot of waste. The final results are sobering… but there is a way that you, as a consumer, can affect immediate change:

  • Step One: Research your brand. Check out Greenpeace’s company report card. See what decisions companies are making to fight their environmental impact, and vote with your dollar.
  • Step Two: Push for legislation that holds companies accountable to a better environmental impact in its manufacturing processes, and fight for your Right to Repair.
  • Step Three: Bring your phone in to get repaired by us! Extending the life of your phone by having it repaired in our shop drastically reduces the impact to landfills, and also sends a message to corporations that planned obsolescence is unacceptable. We at The Fix Hut believe in a world where future generations don’t suffer under the weight of a disposable society. Help us change it!
  • Step Four: Let us recycle your old phones. We understand that sometimes a broken phone is a broken phone, but even in the end of your phone’s life, there is a way to decrease the impact of throwing it away. Choosing to let us recycle your old phones not only decreases clutter in your home, but is an ethical way to make sure that impact to the environment is as low as it possibly can get.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to drop by at your local Fix Hut and say hello!

The Fix Hut’s Teal Pumpkin for Trick of Treat Alberta Street!

We’re proud to have our phone and tablet repair shop, The Fix Hut, participate in the second year of Trick of Treat Alberta Street, organized by Alberta Main Street in NE Portland. We will still be open to repair broken iPhone screens, broken glass on iPads, and other devices too while we hand out non-food treats to cool kids in cute costumes. You may notice we’ve painted our pumpkin teal, and it’s not just because it’s our store’s color. It’s because we’re participating again in the Teal Pumpkin Project, creating safe places for kid’s with food allergies to trick or treat as well. Our non-candy treats this year include a fun variety of halloween goodness like tattoos, glow sticks, stickers, and vampire teeth! It’s so much, we hope you stop by to see us later this afternoon or follow along on our Instagram page for The Fix Hut or on Facebook to see all the action! And if you drop your phone in a puddle this Fall, keep in mind we repair water damage too! Happy Halloween, Portland!

Cell Phone Repair In Portland

It sure was a busy summer, but we are proud to now offer 4 locations in Portland for cell phone repair and tablet repair services! Not only did we open our new Milwaukie phone and tablet repair location, but we kicked off the summer by moving our NW Tualatin phone and tablet repair shop from 7010 next door to 7014 SW Nyberg St. in Tualatin. Our new SW Portland shop offers a lot more space and it’s much easier to find, especially thanks to our brand new big light up LED sign! It’s fun to see our original Wired iRepair sign still up to remind us we aren’t tucked down an office hallway anymore, but we sure do prefer our new big THE FIX HUT one! We even have room to keep a fun foosball table up front for you to play while you wait for your repair, and of course we still offer the same cell phone repair services; specializing in iPhones and iPads. This includes broken glass, busted LCD replacements, buttons that aren’t working, battery replacements, water damage and so much more!

Our new cell phone repair store in Tualatin specializes in iPhone and iPad repair

iPhone screen repair and iPad repair shop in SW Portland Tualatin

 

iPad Repair for Broken Glass Here in Portland!

Did you know we work on iPads and other tablets as well as iPhones and smartphones? We can fix cracked glass, broken LCDs, busted buttons, and even often repair water damage. If you’ve broken your iPad, swing by one of our 4 Portland-area shops soon to get it fixed. We are located in NW Portland by the streetcar line by the Pearl, on NE Alberta St., in Tualatin right off the I-5 exit for SW Nyberg, and in downtown Milwaukie at the MAX stop right after the Sellwood neighborhood.

For our most current iPad repair prices, call the shop nearest you or check the “pricing” page on the website. We drop our prices as our part’s costs drop so we can pass the savings on to our customers.

Thanks for supporting local keep being awesome, Portland!

Excited to announce our iPhone repair shop in Milwaukie!

We are thrilled to announce we’ve just opened our 4th phone and tablet repair shop in historic downtown Milwaukie, Oregon. Like our other Portland-area shops, this one in Milwaukie also specializes in iPhone and iPad broken glass repair and water damage services. Located right at the trimet MAX orange line stop for Main St./Milwaukie, we are directly across the street from the new Milwaukie Station food cart pods and beer garden. Next door, we have local Rohst coffee shop, owned by the grandson of the man who built the building (how cool is that?)!

Grand opening of The Fix Hut Milwaukie and Food carts

The iPhone and iPad repair techs at The Fix Hut Milwaukie party

Trimet MAX train stop orange line passing through to Sellwood from Milwaukie

Inside the new Milwaukie iPhone and iPad repair shop for The Fix Hut near Sellwood

MAX train headed for Sellwood from Milwaukie

Milwaukie iPhone repair shop mouse pad in new store

Milwaukie MAX train stop from The Fix Hut window iPhone and iPad repair shop in Milwaukie OR

Milwaukie Water Damage phone repair tablet and smart device information brochure at the new The Fix Hut shop

Our grand opening party was a blast, with lots of balloons, high fives, food cart meals, and little kids passing out free cookies and coloring in broken iPhone glass drawings! It’s always fun to get our team of repair techs together, who all specialize in iPhone and iPad repair!

Coloring in broken iPhone glass coloring pages

The Fix Hut Milwaukie phone and tablet repair shop opening party and balloons

Milwaukie Food Carts and cookies in an iPhone costume!

Passing out cookies at Milwaukie Station food cart and beer garden by the MAX stop from iPhone and iPad repair shop The Fix Hut Milwaukie

We are excited to be in this neighborhood, right by Sellwood Portland, offering iPhone repair Milwaukie!

 

Follow The Fix Hut on Instagram!

We’re excited to announce our new Instagram account for The Fix Hut!

Instagram.com/TheFixHut

The Fix Hut Instagram

We kicked things off with some behind the scenes photos of the team painting our new little mural at the NE store on Alberta St. after hours one night. We’ll be posting photos of iPhone repair, iPad repair, fun promotions, contests, Portland themed goodness, and more! Be sure to follow along for the latest from the Fix Hut family!

New Signs Are Up in the SW Tualatin iPhone Repair Shop!

The Fix Hut Tualatin sign

Changing our name to The Fix Hut from Wired iRepair has been an exciting change, but nothing makes it feel more real then putting up our new signs! Our SW location off Nyberg St. in Tualatin got its make over today and we are excited to share the results.

Tualatin OR iPhone iPad store

This shop is right off the I-5 highway, one stop from Bridgeport Village in SW Portland. It can be a little tricky to find, as it is tucked back in the corner of the Subway shopping plaza near the gas station across from the Tualatin Best Buy plaza. But, it’s always such a fresh surprise to walk in to find our giant windows flooding in the light, even on dreary “Portland weather” days.

Tualatin OR iPhone store front

We made a display in the center of the Tualatin iPhone repair store using broken iPhone and iPad screens. You’ll also find a retail wall where we sell iPhone and iPad cases, as well as charging accessories and other travel supplies. Swing by to update your case or have a device repaired! Or just stop by to enjoy the sun and our great view of the pond behind our shop.