Q & Answer

Q & Answer

Q & Answer

Q: Some of us like our older phones and want to keep them as long as possible. For many, just getting a new battery will be enough, so what resources are available for those of us who want to keep our older iPhones, Android phones and other gear going?

If your older smartphone has aged out of getting the latest operating system software from its maker, you can still find sites selling replacement parts and providing online tutorials to help you maintain the hardware. However, if the phone is your sole means of communication and cracking it open to upgrade or fix it makes you nervous, consider finding a local repair shop or mail-in service with a fast turnaround.

If you feel up to the task yourself, iFixit is one good site to visit first. Since it began in 2003, iFixit has grown into a large resource hub that provides free illustrated tutorials for all kinds of gadget repairs, discussion forums and a store for buying tools and replacement parts. The iFixit store sells replacement batteries and other parts for just about every iPhone model ever released; Android phones made by HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung and others; and some Windows Phone models.

Although you may just get brief installation instructions, the web has plenty of other sites selling smartphone replacement parts like cameras, speakers, iPhone Home buttons and more. Repairs Universe and Global Direct Parts are two such sites, and Amazon also sells smartphone parts and repair kits.

Operating system upgrades also bring security updates. If your phone has reached the end of its upgrade life and you are worried about vulnerabilities, check your app store for a compatible third-party security app.

Q: Is it possible to show more than one time zone in Google Calendar to help find workable meeting times with two distant offices?

The desktop version of Google Calendar offers at least two ways to see different time zones at once when you are trying to schedule events. To add a time zone to your calendar alongside the time zone you normally use, click the gear-shaped Settings icon in the top right corner of the Google Calendar window.

On the Settings screen, next to “Your current time zone,” click “Show an additional time zone.” When the Additional Time Zone menu appears, select the time zone you want to use. You can also add a label like “NYC” or “Seoul” to clarify the display on your calendar. Click the Save button when finished. You should now see two columns of times along the left side of your calendar.

If you need to juggle more than two time zones, you can add the optional World Clock widget to your calendar, which is available from Google Labs. Go back to the Settings icon in the upper right corner of the Google Calendar window and choose Labs. On the Labs page, scroll down to World Clock and click the Enable button. Click Save.

When the World Clock widget appears on the side of your Google Calendar window, click the Settings link underneath it and choose the time zones you want. Later, after you add events to the calendar, click an event to see what time it will happen across all your selected time zones in the World Clock widget.

On a smartphone, you can use the world clock function in your phone’s standard clock app to see multiple time zones. You can also add a third-party work clock app or even look up compatible times on sites like World Clock Meeting Planner, World Time Buddy or World Time Server.

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