A+ Rapid Review

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A+ Rapid Review Released

If you’re preparing for the A+ exam, you might like to know that the new A+ Rapid Review book has been released. This book is a a perfect supplement to one of the larger A+ books such as the CompTIA A+ Training Kit (Exam 220-801 and Exam 220-802).

At only 410 pages, the A+ Rapid Review book is much smaller than the 1024 pages of the A+ Training Kit and it doesn’t go into as much depth in the A+ topics. However, the A+ Rapid Review book is invaluable in helping you understand what you know and what you don’t know prior to walking into the testing center.

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The A+ Rapid Review book covers all of the objectives for the A+ exam and reinforces the key concepts. It includes nine chapters matched to the nine domains in the 220-801 and 220-802 exams.

Exam 220-801

  • Chapter 1 PC Hardware
  • Chapter 2 Networking
  • Chapter 3 Laptops
  • Chapter 4 Printers
  • Chapter 5 Operational Procedures

Exam 220-802

  • Chapter 6 Operating Systems
  • Chapter 7 Security
  • Chapter 8 Mobile Devices
  • Chapter 9 Troubleshooting

As an example of what you’ll see in the A+ Rapid Review book, here’s an excerpt from Chapter 8 Mobile devices.

Chapter 8 Mobile devices

The Mobile Devices domain covers approximately 9 percent of the A+ 220-802 exam. It includes various mobile devices that are commonly used today, such as smartphones and tablets. As a PC technician, you need to be aware of the different types of operating systems used by these devices, how they can connect to a wireless network and the Internet, methods used to secure them, and how they can be synchronized. You also need to be aware of the hardware differences between tablets and laptops, such as what can be serviced or upgraded on each.

This chapter covers the following objectives:

  • Objective 3.1: Explain the basic features of mobile operating systems
  • Objective 3.2: Establish basic network connectivity and configure email
  • Objective 3.3: Compare and contrast methods for securing mobile devices
  • Objective 3.4: Compare and contrast hardware differences in regards to tablets and laptops
  • Objective 3.5: Execute and configure mobile device synchronization

Objective 3.1: Explain the basic features of mobile operating systems

The CompTIA exam focuses on the Android and iOS operating systems used on many mobile devices. You need to know which operating system is used on which devices, and where users can purchase apps for these devices. This objective specifically mentions the accelerometer and gyroscope used in many devices and how they are used by different apps. Touch devices can sometimes require screen calibration, and you should understand what this is and when it is needed. Last, you need to know what is meant by terms global positioning system (GPS) and geotracking, and how they can be used with location services.

Exam need to know…

  • Android vs. iOS
    For example: Which operating system is open source? Where can apps be purchased for devices using the iOS operating system?
  • Screen orientation and calibration
    For example: What determines whether a tablet is moving and how quick it is moving? What hardware is required to maintain screen orientation?
  • GPS and geotracking
    For example: What is geotracking? What is a benefit of location services?

Android vs. iOS

Mobile devices created and sold by Apple use the iOS operating system. Many other mobile devices use the Android operating system, which is closely associated with Google.

NOTE While the Windows 8 phone and Windows 8 tablets are in use, they aren’t currently included in the objectives for the CompTIA exams.

True or false? The Android operating system is an open source operating system.

Answer: True. The Android operating system is a Linux-based operating system, which is open source.

Many different hardware companies use the Android operating system on devices they create and sell. They don’t have to pay Google or anyone else to use the operating system. In contrast, only Apple makes hardware devices using the iOS operating system. No other company is authorized to use it on non-Apple devices. The difference between open source and closed source software is defined as follows:

  • Open source software is freely available to anyone. Developers can modify and redistribute the code without paying anyone else for the license to use it.
  • Closed source software (also called vendor-specific software) is proprietary to a company and not available without a license to use it.

EXAM TIP Ensure that you know the difference between open source and closed source software. Android is open source software, and iOS is closed source or vendor-specific software.

True or false? You can purchase iOS-based applications only from Apple’s App Store.

Answer: True. Apple tightly controls all software used on Apple devices, and this software can be purchased only from Apple’s App Store.

A benefit of the App Store is that the applications are free from viruses. Apple screens all applications before making them available for purchase. If a virus is discovered, it can be immediately removed from the store. Additionally, if a developer does upload a virus, Apple knows the developer’s identity and can take immediate action against the developer.

Android-based apps are available through Google Play (previously called Android Marketplace), and Google controls the apps available here. However, there are additional locations where users can purchase Android apps. For example, Amazon includes a section where you can buy Android-based apps.

EXAM TIP Apps for Apple devices are purchased only through the Apple App store. Users can access the App store directly from any Apple device. Apps for Android-based systems are available through Google Play primarily, but they can also be purchased through other sources.

MORE INFO You can visit the Google Play site here: https://play.google.com/store. Microsoft also has a store where apps can be purchased for mobile devices, which you can view here: http://www.windowsstore.com/.

Screen orientation and calibration

Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones can automatically sense their orientation. They can modify the display for the user, such as change from portrait mode to landscape mode based on how the user is holding the display.

True or false? Tablets use an accelerometer and a gyroscope to determine the position of the device.

Answer: True. Many devices have a single chip with an accelerometer and a gyroscope used to determine the position of the device.

The accelerometer/gyroscope chip sends an output to the operating system and applications. If the feature is enabled in the operating system and supported by the app, the display is automatically adjusted when the user changes the orientation of the device. For example, a user can be reading an eBook in an app using portrait mode, with the device held so that the height is greater than the width. If the user repositions the device so that the width is greater than the height, the device automatically switches to landscape mode.

Optionally, you can disable the feature so that the display remains constant no matter how the device is held. For example, you can enable Rotation Lock on an iPad to lock the display.

True or false? An accelerometer can measure how fast a tablet is moving in a given direction.

Answer: True. The accelerometer measures velocity or speed of the tablet in a given direction. This is often used with games on tablet devices.

EXAM TIP Accelerometers and gyroscopes are embedded into mobile devices to determine the device’s position. The gyroscope detects how the user is holding the device so that the screen orientation can automatically be adjusted to portrait or landscape mode. The accelerometer detects when the device is moved and how fast it is moving, a feature that is used in some games and apps.

True or false? If the device cannot determine its position, you can sometimes recalibrate it by moving the entire device in a figure 8 pattern.

Answer: True. In some cases, the device can no longer determine its position. You can hold the device with both hands in front of you and move it in a figure 8 pattern to recalibrate it.

EXAM TIP Not all mobile devices include a gyroscope. If you find that a device is not automatically switching between landscape and portrait mode, it could be because the device doesn’t have a gyroscope or because the feature is disabled.

Can you answer these questions?

You can find the answers to these questions at the end of this chapter.

1. Is the Android operating system closed source or open source?

2. Where are apps for devices running iOS purchased?

3. What is the purpose of the gyroscope and accelerometer in a mobile device?

Realistic practice test questions for the Network+ exam.
Available through LearnZapp on your mobile phone


This section contains the answers to the “Can you answer these questions?” sections in this chapter.

Objective 3.1: Explain the basic features of mobile operating systems

1. The Android operating system is an open source operating system based on the Linux operating system.

2. iOS is the Apple operating system, and apps can be purchased at Apple’s App store.

3. The gyroscope determines the screen orientation and can be used to modify the display when the user changes the orientation of the device. The accelerometer determines how fast a device is moving.


If you want a quick review of the concepts you’ll be tested on in the A+ exams, check out the A+ Rapid Review book. It provides you with a quick, concise review of the objectives and reminds of the testable concepts.

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