Troubleshooting Mobile Apps – CompTIA A+ 220-1002 – 3.4

Our mobile devices are complex computing devices, and they can experience many different technical issues. In this video, you’ll learn how to troubleshoot common mobile app issues.

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If you’re using a mobile device, and it’s difficult to see what’s on the screen because the screen is so dim, then you may be having a problem with the brightness. You might be able to turn the brightness up using the brightness controls on the mobile device itself. In iOS, you’ll find those under Settings and Display in Brightness. And in Android, you commonly find it under Settings, display, and Brightness Level.

If changing those brightness levels doesn’t work, then you might have a problem with the display itself. And you would have to replace that entire display. Most likely, the issue is related to the backlight that is behind the display that shines through and allows you to see everything that is on that LCD display.

Our mobile devices rely on wireless networks to be able to communicate. If you’re getting intermittent connectivity with that wireless network, you might want to try moving closer to an access point, if this is related to 802.11, or try a different access point. If you’re using a mobile device provider’s network, then the same thing applies. You need to move closer to that particular antenna.

If you’re not getting any connectivity to your 802.11 wireless network, you may want to check and make sure that Wi-Fi is enabled on that system, or try disabling and re-enabling the Wi-Fi connection. You might also want to make sure that the security parameters you’ve configured for that wireless network are correct.

Make sure you have the right passphrase or the right username and password to gain access to that wireless network. And if you think the problem may be related to the mobile device itself, you could try a hard reset to see if it regains access to the wireless network.

The same type of troubleshooting applies if you’re having problems connecting to a Bluetooth device. You want to check that Bluetooth is turned on and enabled. Make sure that you do have a proper pairing between your mobile device and the Bluetooth component. And if none of those are working, a hard reset may jumpstart your Bluetooth configuration and get everything working.

Our mobile devices have the ability to stream information to a third-party monitor, or television. Often these devices are running an Apple TV box, a Playstation, or Roku, or some other third-party streaming component. This also means that different mobile devices and different streaming devices will also have different types of software used to be able to perform this broadcast or streaming function. You want to check with the requirements of these different devices and make sure that they are all running compatible software.

Another important consideration is that your mobile device and your smart TV or connected component are all on the same wireless network. You won’t be able to stream between a private network and guest network. Both of those devices have to be connected to the same wireless SSID.

And of course, the signal strength between your device and this television or streaming device is important. You want to be sure you have good signal strength on the network between your phone and television. And you also want to be sure that the television has good signal strength so that it can communicate out to the internet.

A problematic application could cause your system to freeze up so that the screen never turns on. You pick up your phone. You touch the screen. And it doesn’t seem to respond to anything that you’re doing. And it remains black on the screen. At this point, you may not have many options available.

You can try a soft reset by holding down the power button and sliding to power off and then powering back on with the power button. But if it’s completely frozen, you may have to perform a hard reset by holding down the power button and the Home button, or holding down the power button and the volume button for 10 seconds.

Many Android devices allow you to remove the battery and replace it and power back on. You may be able to hold down the power button and the volume button down until the system resets. Some phones have different combinations of keys to perform a reset. And some phones do not have a way to press keys to perform a reset.

Some apps having a problem on a mobile device may have the application not loading at all, or it may be very slow once it finally loads onto the system. One of the things you can do is to restart the phone by holding down the power button and powering off. You can also try just stopping that individual app and restarting it again.

On iOS, you would double tap the Home button, or you would slide up from the bottom, and then you would slide that app up and off of the phone. In Android, you can select Settings, Apps, select the individual app, and choose Force Stop. And if this continues to happen, you can contact the developer of the application, or try downloading the latest version of the app for your mobile device.

We use extensive encryption on our mobile devices because we want to be sure that our information remains safe. If you’re using Microsoft Outlook to send and receive emails, then all of those communications are encrypted by default. This requires that you have a private key on your mobile device that’s able to encrypt and decrypt this information.

You can’t decrypt these emails unless you have that private key installed on your mobile device. Often, a system administrator will use a Mobile Device Manager or an MDM to be able to manage all of these mobile devices and install the individual private keys.

If you’re in an area with very bad reception to a mobile carrier, you may find that you’re losing your battery strength very quickly. Your phone may be trying to reconnect constantly to that mobile network. And all of that communication will quickly eat away at your battery life. One of the things you can do to extend the battery life is to disable anything you might not be using. So if you’re not connecting to 802.11, or Bluetooth, or using GPS functionality, you may want to disable those particular radios.

You might also want to check to see if a particular application may be using more battery than another app. One way to do this on both iOS and Android is check under Settings and Battery. And the problem may be related to the battery itself. The batteries in our mobile devices only can support a certain number of recharge cycles. So you may find that a newer battery works much better than one that is older.

Heat is the enemy of any electronic device. So you want to be sure that you keep your phone from overheating. If your phone does get too hot, it will automatically shut down to prevent any damage of the internal components. This heat can come from many different sources, not just leaving it out in the sun, but simply charging or discharging the battery, or using an application that uses a lot of CPU.

Even using the display light on your phone causes a little bit of heat. To see if this heat is coming from an application, you can check the app usage chart to see if one particular app tends to be using a lot more CPU cycles than another. You also want to be sure to leave your phone out of direct sunlight at the beach, or on the dashboard of your car. It will quickly overheat and cause the system to automatically shut down.

Sometimes, an app will cause an entire mobile device to stop working. Nothing’s changing on the screen. It doesn’t respond to any button presses. And nothing you do seems to make a difference. In those cases, you can try a soft reset to see if you’re able to hold down the power key and power off normally. But often, it may require a hard reset.

In iOS, that’s holding the power button and the Home key, or holding the power button and the volume key for 10 seconds. On Android, there are different combinations for performing a hard reset, including holding down power, home, and volume buttons.

If you find that your mobile device is constantly freezing, you may want to perform a factory reset. This will delete all of the applications and data from your phone and restore everything as if it was fresh from the factory. At that point, you can reinstall the applications and data that you need and see if this freezing problem happens to disappear.

Our mobile devices are also multimedia devices. So the audio from these devices becomes very important. If we’re not getting any sound from a particular app, we may want to check the volume settings for the overall device. But there may also be separate volume settings for the app that’s in use.

You may want to check to see if the app happens to be older, or has a bug. You may want to delete and reload that app. And you may want to try headphones to see if the problem is with the speakers on the mobile device, or if it’s not putting out any audio at all.

If the audio starts, but then it abruptly stops, you may have two applications that are trying to play audio at the same time. You may want to try keeping one of those apps open in the foreground to see if the starting and stopping process continues. And if you’re not getting any sound on the device from any app, you may want to perform a software update and make sure the mobile device is running at the latest version. If none of that is working, it may take a factory reset to see if you’re able to regain audio from that device.

Most of the input on our mobile devices is done through the touch screen digitizer that’s on the front of the device. But occasionally, you may be trying to click one part of the screen, and another part tends to respond, or perhaps nothing is responding on the screen. One of the things you can try is to close some apps and free up some resources. That might help with some of the contention you’re seeing with the digitizer.

It might also require a soft reset or a hard reset of that device to reset the digitizer. And it may be that the problem is with the digitizer itself, which would require a hardware replacement, which usually means you have to replace the entire screen to replace the digitizer.

It’s also possible to lock yourself out of your own mobile device. If you try inputting the same unlock code over and over and over again, you may find that you’ve locked yourself out. On iOS, if you have 10 failed attempts in a row, iOS will erase everything on the phone. To get your data back, you would need to restore from iTunes or restore from an iCloud backup.

You can disable this automatic erasing function. And instead, the mobile device will have delays that increase every time a failed attempt is made at the passcode. The Android operating system can also lock or wipe the entire phone after a number of failed attempts. And you would need to use the Google login to unlock that phone.

Although we as the end users never see it, our mobile devices have extensive logs that are saved on these devices. But you would need the correct software tools to be able to connect to the device and view all of this log information. There are system logs that show you exactly what the phone is doing at any particular time. And there are usually crash logs available that would show you when problems occurred in the past. To be able to view these logs in iOS, you would need the Xcode application. And for Android, you would use Logcat.