Batteries are the bane of smartphone use. Most of the time a phone can’t go a whole day without a charge if it’s in use much, despite what manufacturers have to say. This is especially true if you’re watching a lot of videos, constantly on Facebook and email, or sending a ton of images across WhatsApp. Many times when you actually need to make a call, your phone dies, and you can’t. So, here are 10 things you can do to improve your smartphone’s battery life, and get more use from it:
1) Adjust your screen timeout: If you set your screen timeout from 5 minutes to 1 minute, you’ll be using 80% less power than you would otherwise be using. If you check your phone often, or leave it sitting on your desk between work tasks, this can be a huge battery saver. If you’re the type that doesn’t even set a time out, then it can be an even bigger battery saver.
2) Steer clear of areas with poor signals: When you are in an area with a poor signal, your phone will boost the reception to try and improve the signal. That means that when you’re in a basement pub or out of town a little ways, you’re burning extra battery just to stay connected. If you don’t need that, then switch off your signal. Turn it on again when you need to use it. That way you’ll still have some battery left, and not be carrying a brick in your pocket.
3) Watch out for third party apps: Some third party apps are battery hogs. Unless you’re using iOS 8 or a third party battery app, you probably aren’t paying attention to just how much battery juice is being sucked up by apps you thought were sleeping. Many users are finding that the new iOS 8 battery app is showing them what to close, and what to keep open. Use that, or find something similar for your Droid or Windows P, and you’ll have more battery to use for the things you actually want to be using.
4) Change your notifications settings: If you don’t need to be instantly notified of every little thing, then turn some notifications off. Constant notifications will chew through your battery, and then you’ll be left with no battery or notifications. If you have a really important app, like a zombie alert notification system, then leave that on, but turn the less important stuff off.
5) Check email less frequently: Some of us check email every minute or every five minutes. Then we spend ten minutes answering a message. If you’re not operating a nuclear sub, or working in the emergency ward of a hospital, you probably don’t need that kind of connectivity. Set it back a bit, and you’ll save on battery use. Plus, you’ll get those important zombie alert notifications.
6) Close apps you aren’t using: Ever check your apps, and then notice that you had about 20 of them open? Close the 18 you aren’t using, and you’ve just cut battery use for keeping those apps open by 90%. That’s a big savings, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Even though these apps aren’t technically using a huge amount of battery power, they each use a little. Like the straw that broke the camel’s back, having too many apps open will drain your battery quickly.
7) Don’t use active themes and wallpapers: While they look nice, they also use some of that precious battery juice you’re trying to save. Disable or turn off such things, and you’ll cut down on the amount of juice your device is using. If you just have to have active wallpapers, then follow some of the other steps here to save on your battery use. Just keep in mind that some third party battery apps will significantly drain your phone battery over time.
8) Don’t use EDGE if you can avoid it: 3G and newer networks use less energy than EDGE networks, which means that any time you’re on an EDGE network, you aren’t going to see the same battery life as you will on more modern and faster networks. If you find tat you’re stuck in an area that only has EDGE, then consider temporarily disabling your mobile signal if your battery is going flat.
9) Lock your phone when you’re done using it: Any time you finish using your phone, press the lock button. This will immediately close it, rather than letting it sit there for a minute or more until it shuts itself off. While you won’t see a huge difference if you only have a one minute lock timer set, if you aren’t using a lock timer, this can significantly increase battery life.
10) Uninstall or disable unused widgets. Some widgets, like weather reports, can be a constant drain on your mobile. If you don’t need to know exactly what the weather is, or other functions that different widgets provide, you should disable them. You can put something else there that doesn’t drain your battery as much or as fast.
While modern batteries are powerful, and getting more powerful all the time, no mobile device on the market can keep up with a power user. By changing some settings, or lowering your overall use profile by closing apps and disabling battery hogs, you can get a lot more life and use out of your phone. Like most things, a little goes a long way. All those the little things can add up to a significantly extended your battery life.