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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.

Win Back 1/2 Your Repair Cost With The “Give Me A Break!” Contest!

It’s broken and we’re here to fix it, but how did it happen? After years of hearing stories ranging from hilarious to pitiful, from unbelievable to mundane, it seems a shame to keep it all to ourselves. Introducing the “Give Me A Break” contest!

Here’s your chance to share what happened to YOU. And if our customers think you deserve a break, we will refund you half the bill from your device repair!

It’s simple: we will collect stories submitted by our customers about what brought them in to see us and then share those stories on our Facebook page. Then, voting will begin and we will let the fine people of Portland and beyond be the judge of who deserves a break!

To Participate:

Email TheFixHut@gmail.com your short story AND a photo. Title your email “Give Me A Break!” The photo can be of your broken device, your shiny, like-new fixed one, a selfie in one of our shops, your cute new kitten, whatever you want. We will post an album of photos with the stories attached and notify you to let you that voting has begun. Please limit story to reasonable length. Whoever clocks in the highest number of “likes” by the end of the voting period will be declared winner and issued a 50% refund on their single device repair!

May the best break win!

Keep being awesome, PDX!

Eligibility: The contest will run every month and is only eligible for the repair cost of one device. To be eligible, you must have had your device fixed in one of our shops in the past 30 days in any of our 3 stores.

Voting: Voting will be based purely on the number of “Likes” associated with your story’s image on our page Facebook.com/TheFixHut. All of the previous month’s entries will be posted together, so there will be no advantage given to some stories having additional “face time”. The voting period will last one week before the winner is announced.

Refund Payment:  If you the contest, you will receive half of your repair cost back as a refund. If you paid with a credit card, you will be credited back to your card and if you paid cash you will receive a check from us in the mail. We will confirm address and payment method after the contest closes.

 

Besides My Broken iPhone Screen, What Repair Services Are Available?

iPhone repair Portland OR iPad fix hut

We offer a huge variety of repairs at all of our Portland locations, specializing in the Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6+, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, and even the classic iPhone 3G and iPhone 3Gs. We also work on iPad Air, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2, and the original iPad. We also enjoy working on iPods, other Apple devices, Android, Samsung, other smart phone models, and tablets. We handle these on a case-by-case basis, so swing by a shop or give us a call for more info.

  • Broken Glass – If you have cracked the front glass, busted the LCD below it, or have problems with the touch screen, this is something we specialize in.
  • Water Damage – Whether you’re blaming a powder day, a river day, or a laundry day, The Fix Hut can save the day with our liquid damage services.
  • Battery – Is your charge just not what it used to be? We can replace that too.
  • Home Button – When there is only one big button on the face of your phone, it’s nice for it to work properly!
  • Buttons – Power buttons, volume buttons, vibrate buttons… well, it’s actually more like a vibrate switch. Sometimes they stop working. We can fix them.
  • Camera – Is your camera out of film again? Or are all the photos fuzzy? We can get you back to capturing those moments!

For questions, directions, current pricing, iDevice advice, or some jammin’ reggae, feel free to call any of our shops.  You don’t need an appointment; we handle customers on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you want to see how busy the shop is before you walk in, feel free to call.

NW Portland, the Pearl/Nob Hill: 503- 317-9977

SW Portland, Tualatin: 503-442-8593

NE Alberta : 502-442-2885