Our devices are indispensable tools for work and play, so when they break (touch wood!) it can be devastating. But, with the right protection, regular updates and some simple habit swaps, it’s possible to keep your phones, tablets and laptops in good working order until you’re ready to upgrade. Just follow these tips for giving your tech a little TLC.

 A picture of a man holding a screen protector in his hands in front of a phone that’s sitting on a table with a black table cloth and a yellow cleaning cloth next to it.

Add a Screen Protector to Avoid Cracked Screens 

Australians destroy 1300 phone screens a day, forking out a staggering $755 million to fix them over a five year period, according to a survey by comparison website Finder. Needless to say, one of the most common tablet and phone repairs carried out on tech is replacing cracked screens. Keep yours in good nick by applying a screen protector from the moment you take your device home to help prevent scratches, especially if your phone is in your pocket or bag up against keys or coins.

A screen protector can also offer edge-to-edge impact protection and prevent screen breakage if you drop the device. Lens and screen protectors come in many durable materials that offer different levels of protection including ceramic, polyurethane, plastic, liquid and tempered glass. 

Did You Know? Officeworks offers a custom screen protector service, with team members expertly cutting and applying on-the-spot invisible purpose-built protection using ZAGG ISOD technology to fit your smart watch, smartphone, tablet and laptop. Applied within minutes, these screen protectors offer an extra strong, super-protective finish, displaying edge-to-edge impact and shatter protection, as well as the same touchscreen sensitivity as glass. However, the beauty of this protector are the scientifically formulated molecules used to make this product means it heals itself from bumps and scrapes, repairing minor scratches. 

What to Try

Use a Phone or Laptop Case from the Get-Go

Laptop, tablet and phone repairs are never cheap. Using a case and a padded laptop sleeve will prevent small bumps turning into big problems. If you’re commuting with your tech, consider pairing a laptop sleeve with a shoulder bag or backpack that has a protected laptop pocket for extra protection. For a smartphone or a tablet, it’s wise to buy a protective case that can absorb and disperse the force of a drop and therefore minimise the chance of a crack. 

Hot tip: Keeping your device in good condition means it may have a higher value if you decide to trade the device in or sell it at a later date. Officeworks Tech Trade-In service allows you to swap your old smartphone, tablet, laptop or smart watch for a gift card to put towards a new device. 

What to Try

SEE ALSO: What Should I Do With My Old Phone?

A woman in a striped brown top sitting on a couch is plugging a charging cable into her smartphone.

How to Increase a Phone or Laptop’s Battery Life

The chemical composition of rechargeable batteries means that they’ll degrade over time, so optimising your device’s battery health will help extend its life. Simply turning down your screen display brightness (you can do this by going into your phone or laptop’s settings) and keeping your operating system up to date can help lengthen how long your device holds its charge. For extended battery health, there are a few additional tips and tricks:

  • You don’t need to charge your device to 100 per cent every day. In fact, keeping the charge between 50 and 80 per cent is the ideal range to put the least strain on your battery
  • For laptop users, avoid the temptation to keep your computer plugged in to power all the time. This will actually weaken your battery over time
  • Avoid overheating your device, which can happen if you leave your tech in direct sunlight or in a hot environment, as it will degrade your battery’s components. 

SEE ALSO: Upgrading 101: Your Guide to Finding a New Phone, Laptop and More

Perform Regular Software Updates

Smartphones, tablets and laptops released within the last few years all have dedicated software updates to help you maintain your device in top condition and protect your battery. Software updates create new efficiencies within your device’s operating system to optimise its performance, including monitoring and controlling apps running in the background that are potentially draining the battery. A growing number of devices also have special tools and apps that manage battery health and offer different settings to help you extend your battery’s lifespan. 

Close-up of a woman’s hands holding a smartphone and using a wipe to clean the screen. ‍

Don’t Forget the Basics

Screen protectors and software updates are important, but don’t forget the everyday hazards, too: food, drink and liquids. Even though the latest smartphones and tablets are mostly water resistant, you don't want to test that resilience by spilling coffee on your precious device. You can also keep tech clean using dedicated cleaning products for the screen that will also work on the rest of the device as well. 

What to Try

SEE ALSO: The Hottest Tech to Try Right Now