How to make your smartphone battery last longer

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How to make your smartphone battery last longer

Post  westvlane on Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:33 am

Poor battery life has reared its head as the main smartphone bugbear. But don’t bounce it off the wall just yet – here are 17 ways to make your battery last longer.

Turn off in signal black holes

When in an area with poor signal, your phone can use up a lot of battery life trying to locate it. If you are in a part of the country which you know is a bit of a black hole for signal, then it’s a good idea to turn your phone off for a while.

Lower your ring-tone volume

The louder the ring-tone, the more battery life it uses up. Turn it down a tad. And buy a hearing aid if you can’t hear it. We’ll have an article on how to preserve the battery in your hearing aid coming soon.

Use the phone’s settings

All smartphones have energy saving settings, although they are often distributed around different places on the interface. It may take time to find the various settings that will help preserve battery life but once you do, and you get used to using them regularly, you will see a drastic increase in how long you have before your phone dies.

Turn off apps

It’s a bit obvious, but it’s probably worth mentioning anyway. Apps use up battery life so turn them off when not in use, even when it’s only for a couple of minutes.

Screen display

The brighter the display, the more battery it is using up so turn it down a notch. Also, the backlight timer should also be reduced to a minimum as, obviously, the longer the backlight is on, the faster it burns through your power.

Consult the manufacturers

Smartphone users the world over have been whining about battery life issues and the manufacturers have heard. Log on to your phone’s manufacturer’s website – Apple, for instance, has a page dedicated to improving the time you get from the battery of an iPhone 3G. Specific information relating to your particular handset will be helpful.

Disable your camera flash

If your smartphone has a camera flash, turning it off in good lighting conditions is a good idea because they only eat the juice.

Plug in when possible

Never pass up an opportunity to plug in your phone, whether its at home, in the office or in the car. Even if it’s fully charged, having it plugged in while you’re at your desk means it won’t deplete as the day goes on, and will preserve battery life in the long-term.

Sending data through your phone chews through up to four times more battery life than an audio connection, so call (and maybe leave a voicemail) rather than email when possible.

Keep your OS up-to-date

Your phone’s operating system may eat up the lion’s share of battery life, but the good news is that they are improving all the time. So, update when you can.

Stand-by mode

Stand-by mode is a great way of getting your phone to trim down its battery usage. Gett into the habit of using it. Similarly, flight mode, which disables calls but allows you to use other features, is another way of saving battery life.

Stick to basic ringtones

A musical ringtone involves your phone having to access the processor every time you get a call, so cutting back to a basic tone, which doesn’t involve engaging the processor, will mean a significant battery life saving.

Pick and choose your alerts

You can adjust your message settings so that not every text causes your phone to leap into life: firing up its screen, vibrating and blasting out a tone. Get rid of the song and dance for alerts and maybe just retain them for your other half. And your boss. And maybe your bit on the side.

Switch off the excess hardware

You won’t always need Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS switched on and by switching them off when you’re not using them will mean a substantial battery life saving.

Use auto off

Most devices have a setting which will permit you to turn off your phone at certain times of the day before it fires back into life at a scheduled time. Not much point in having your phone eating juice at 4am on a Tuesday.

Know the myths

Back in the olden days, getting the best out of your battery meant letting them run all the way down every now and again before slavishly charging them right to the brim again. That may have been the case in the past, but the lithium ion batteries in modern phones don’t require any of this type of messing.

Instead, you should recharge early and often – letting the phone run all the way down doesn’t do it any favours in terms of battery longevity. However, it is a good idea to let your battery run all the way down maybe once every couple of months – it doesn’t improve your battery life but it does reset the software that tells you how much battery life you have, and in turn gives more accurate readings.

Don’t overheat

Batteries work longer if kept cool. Leaving your phone in warm temperatures diminishes its battery's capacity to hold a charge.

Splash the cash

If you’re so inclined, you can avoid being confronted with a flat phone by spending money. For a start, you can buy a spare battery and carry it with you, or maybe buy an extended-life battery. You can pick one up from most operators or online. The one exception to the rule here is the iPhone, which don’t have replaceable batteries.

Another option is to buy a portable power pack, a wind up battery charger or a solar-powered unit. Thy won’t give you a huge amount of charge, but they could well get you out of a hole. You should also make sure you have a car charger and one for both at home and at your place of work.

Use email sparingly

Try to save your emails for when you’re in front of a computer. Having them constantly arriving and then checking them takes a savage toll on your battery. If that doesn’t sound too dramatic. Also, the fewer email accounts you add the less inboxes your phone has to scan – and the fewer the accounts the fewer battery-eating emails that being delivered to your phone.

westvlane

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