Apple-computers krijgen nooit virussen, en zeven andere tech-mythes

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Je telefoon moet je nooit te lang opladen. Apple-computers krijgen geen virussen. De ‘incognito’-modus is anoniem. Business Insider zet acht hardnekkige tech-mythes op een rij.

Is it bad to charge your phone overnight? What about charging an iPhone with an iPad adapter? Despite how often we use devices like smartphones and laptops, we have plenty of questions about how those technologies works. And with so much information out there — not all of it true — it’s hard to know if we’re treating our electronics properly.

We’ve dug into some of the most common myths in consumer tech to debunk some of the biggest misconceptions out there.

1. Mac computers can’t get viruses

Yes, Apple computers are susceptible to malware too. Apple used to brag its computers aren’t vulnerable to PC viruses, but the company quickly changed its marketing page after a Trojan affected thousands of Mac computers in 2012.

2. Private/Incognito browsing keeps you anonymous

There’s a misconception that ‘incognito’ and ‘private’ are synonymous with anonymous. If you’re using Incognito Mode in Google Chrome or Private browsing in Safari, it simply means the browser won’t keep track of your history, import your bookmarks, or automatically log into any of your accounts. It won’t keep your identity anonymous — so keep that in mind if you’re visiting sites you shouldn’t be.

3. Leaving your phone plugged in destroys the battery

If you’re like most people, you probably leave your phone plugged in overnight long after the battery is fully charged. Some used to say this would hurt your phone’s battery life, but in fact, there’s no proof that this damages your phone’s battery in any way. Modern smartphones run on lithium-ion batteries, which are smart enough to stop charging when they’ve reached capacity.

4. More megapixels always means a better camera

What’s the difference between 12 megapixels cameras and 8 megapixel cameras? Not much, as it turns out. The quality of an image is determined by how much light the sensor is able to take in. Typically, bigger sensors come with larger pixels, and the larger the pixel the more light it can absorb. So, it’s really the size of the megapixels that matter more than the sheer number of megapixels.

Here’s how TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino, who also happens to be a professional photographer, describes the role of the megapixel:

“Think of this as holding a thimble in a rain storm to try to catch water. The bigger your thimble, the easier it is to catch more drops in a shorter amount of time.”

The thimble is a metaphor for a megapixel — using a few buckets would be much more efficient than a bunch of thimbles for catching water.

5. Don’t charge your phone unless it’s almost dead

This, too, is a popular myth about lithium-ion batteries. It’s not harmful to plug your phone in before the battery is drained — in fact, it may be better for your battery. Batteries have a limited number of charge cycles before they lose their ability to hold a charge. A charge cycle consists of charging your battery back up to its full capacity when it’s out of juice. The reason your phone’s battery life diminishes as it gets older is because it’s already used up many of its cycles, not because you’re plugging it in when the battery is already half full.

6. Higher display resolution is always better on a smartphone

Some have argued that at a certain point, screen resolution doesn’t matter on a smartphone. Gizmodo cites experts in saying the human eye can’t discern nitty-gritty detail when a display packs more than 300 pixels per inch. Earlier this year, LG unveiled its first quad-HD smartphone, the G3, which has a resolution of 2560 x 1440. That’s much higher than the average high-end smartphone, which usually comes with a 1920 x 1080 resolution display. But it’s unclear if those numbers really matter after a certain point, since the eye can’t discern individual pixels beyond a certain resolution. So when I tested the G3’s display alongside the 1080 Galaxy S5’s display, there was hardly a difference in terms of sharpness — that’s why companies like Apple tend to focus on brightness, more so than ultra-dense displays.

7. It’s bad to use your iPad charger for your iPhone

This one is a little trickier than a standard ‘yes or no’ answer. Apple’s official website says its 12-watt iPad adapter can charge both the iPhone and the iPad. However, Steve Sandler, founder and chief technical officer at electronics analysis company AEi Systems, told Popular Mechanics that this could stress your iPhone’s battery over time if you do it regularly. It would take about a year, however, to notice any changes in battery efficiency.

You shouldn’t shut down your computer every day

While some may believe it’s harmful to shut down your computer every night, the truth is it’s actually good to turn off your computer regularly. It’s easy to get into the habit of putting your laptop in sleep mode so you can easily return to it without having to boot up. But, as Lifehacker points out, shutting it down when not in use conserves power and places less stress on its components, which could enable it to last longer.