I may have mentioned once or twice (or a million) times that I don’t go anywhere without my phone. Having it with me at all times not only allows me to stay connected to friends and family, but keeps me entertained and updated on current news and events. It even makes me feel safe, knowing that I have it if my car were to break down or (knock on wood) if I ever needed to call 911. Unfortunately, I can’t feel safe if my battery is dead by the end of the day, which happens all too often! So just how do you get that battery to last longer? Well, there are actually quite a few simple tricks you can use to get more juice out of your phone. If you’re wondering why your phone’s battery isn’t lasting as long as it should, check out these 6 tips to help extend it.
1. Reduce screen brightness
If you’ve ever wondered what some of the biggest battery drains on your phone are, you might be surprised to learn that screen brightness is at the top of the list. After all, the screen uses a large portion of your phone’s energy and most people can get by with a diminished level of brightness—even at night. So just how much more will you get out of your battery by adjusting this setting? Wired actually did the math and discovered that an iPhone 4 lasts about 6.5 hours (with continuous use) when set on the dimmest setting and only 3.5 hours on the brightest—a major difference! Even if you can’t bear to set it to the dimmest level, it stands to reason that a setting somewhere in the middle will still add a good amount of life to your battery.
2. Keep Wi-Fi off
Most of us use Wi-Fi to keep connected, but if you’re not in a hotspot or an area where Wi-Fi is available, why keep it on? After all, when Wi-Fi is turned on, your phone is constantly searching for a Wi-Fi network to connect to…and draining your battery while doing so! If you’re not actively using the Wi-Fi, go ahead and turn this service off, which, according to experts, can add as much as 5-10% to the life of your battery.
3. Turn off location services
One of the great features on most smartphones these days is GPS. Frankly, I love being able to view restaurants and coupons—even homes for sale near my location–with just a tap. Unfortunately, because this requires data to be sent continuously over the network, it can be a major battery drain. By turning off your location services, you will likely see a considerable difference in how much longer your battery lasts. However, if you tend to use these services often and are reluctant to turn them off, consider logging into your settings and turning off the location feature on apps where it isn’t necessary. After all, does Etsy or Shazam really need to know where you are?
4. Find the culprit
As an app addict, it seems as though I am downloading and trying out new apps every few days. Some of them I end up loving and using all the time and others, well, not so much. However, whether I love them or hate them, I rarely remember to delete them! And it turns out that some of the apps running on your phone might be seriously draining your battery. Fortunately, there are several apps out there to help you figure out just who the culprits are. If you have an iPhone, check out Normal, a 99-cent app that claims to precisely pinpoint the battery hogs on your device. You can also check out the similar Battery Doctor, which is also available on Android devices. This app, which is free, lists how much of your battery each app is using as well as estimates the time that you have left on your device.
5. Disable Background App Refresh on iPhones
One of the coolest features on the iPhone is the background app refresh tool. This feature, implemented in iOS 7, allows the apps that you utilize the most to run in the background when not being used. This allows those apps to search for new content and update when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. Personally, I think this is a pretty cool and useful feature, but it isn’t without its pitfalls, and battery drain is one of them. If you’re out and about and trying to prolong your battery’s life as long as possible, head over to your settings widget, go to the general tab, and switch this mode off.
6. Charge your phone in airplane mode
Alright, this tip won’t actually extend the battery life of your phone, but it will help you charge your phone a little quicker when you’re pressed for time! If you’re getting ready to leave the house and you notice that your phone is down to 5% or 10%, what do you do? Put it in airplane mode while you charge it for a few! Although you won’t be able to receive any text messages or phone calls while airplane mode is enabled, you may be able to get that phone charged quicker. Because this setting will turn off all incoming and outgoing signals, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cell signals—all of which tend to put a drain on your battery, it has been shown to improve the speed at which cellphones charge—getting you a little more green on that bar before you run out the door!