Business Columns & Blogs

Seeing orange? Time to recharge

Q: Why does the screen border on my Android tablet sometimes turn orange?

A: In Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and later, the top and bottom edges of the screen turn a bright orange when the device’s power ebbs low enough to kick in the Battery Saver mode. Plugging the tablet into its charger returns the screen to its normal color scheme.

When Battery Saver is on, certain functions of your tablet are disabled to conserve energy. Mail, messages and other apps may not sync in the background, Google Maps navigation is turned off and vibrating alerts, location services and some other functions are limited.

In Android 7.0, you can enable (or disable) the Battery Saver function by opening the Settings app, selecting Battery and then Battery Saver. In Android 6.0 and Android 5.0, open the Settings app, choose Battery, tap the More menu in the upper-right corner and select Battery Saver. When you choose to turn the feature on, you can have the Battery Saver kick in automatically when the device’s battery edges down to 5 or 15 percent of the current battery charge.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile software has a Battery Saver option of its own in the settings. The company’s support site has power-saving tips for earlier versions of the Windows Phone software too.

Apple has included a similar Low Power Mode setting in iOS 9 and later; you can switch it on or off by opening the Settings app on the home screen and tapping Battery to get to the Low Power Mode control. When the Low Power Mode is activated, the iOS battery icon at the top of the screen turns yellow and certain functions like the “Hey, Siri” feature and automatic downloads are temporarily shut down. The low-battery setting turns itself off when the device regains at least an 80 percent battery charge.

The Hidden Danger of Unsubscribing

Q: I get around 20 spam advertisement emails daily. I usually submit my address to the “Unsubscribe” option. Yet the number of such emails never decreases. Why is this so?

A: That “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of an unsolicited email advertisement may not be as useful as it seems. Some legitimate marketing or newsletter companies do provide a working Unsubscribe link that removes your address from the company’s bulk mail list. However, less-than-scrupulous senders will add an Unsubscribe link to a message in the hopes that you will click it and verify that you have a working email address – and that you opened the message in the first place.

If the message was sent by an established company with which you have had interactions, the Unsubscribe link is more likely to be genuine, functional and in legal compliance with the federal Can-Spam Act – which lays out clear rules for commercial messages. Professional bulk email services like MailChimp are required to enforce email laws, including the provision to honor Unsubscribe requests. (However, it may take several days to have your name removed from the list.)

Spam from unfamiliar businesses – or those selling products that seem a little too good to be true – may be less honest about the purpose of the Unsubscribe link. Security software makers like Sophos and McAfee suggest just deleting spam from unknown companies, as the Unsubscribe links could be used to verify your address and sell it to other spammers, or even to install malicious software on your computer.

You can buy a spam-filtering program or service, but most modern email programs and services have junk-mail tools you can use to mark unwanted messages as spam. It may take time to catch everything, but most filters get better the more you work with them. Gmail, iCloud, Outlook (and the online and Yahoo Mail all have spam-screening tools available, as do Microsoft and Apple.