Improving Your Mobile Battery Life

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on November 17, 2014, How To Guides

There’s nothing worse than going to make that important call and finding out that your mobile is out of battery power. Low battery life is one of the most common complaints that people have about their smart phone. That’s why we’re here to help you out. Whether you’re looking to improve overall battery life, or just looking to eke out that last couple of percent of juice until you get home, we’re telling you our top tips for improving mobile battery life…

WiFi and Bluetooth…

Here’s the deal: if you leave WiFi and/or Bluetooth switched on when you’re not around your personal connections, you’re wasting tons of juice. Why? Because your phone is using up power desperately searching for a connection that just doesn’t exist. Once you’re out of range of your WiFi or Bluetooth signal, switch both of these off. Pro tip: if you have trouble remembering to switch WiFi or Bluetooth on and off try setting up an app like IFTTT to do it for you!

Too Bright…

Huge screens on smart phones are pretty awesome for watching videos, but they’re also the hardware that drains most power. You can lower how much juice your screen uses easily, simply turn down the screen brightness. If your screen is set to automatic, switch it off and then slide the brightness down until your screen is darker but still visible. You can also adjust the brightness if necessary, but there’s no need to have maximum glare when you’re surfing the web in a darkened room, for example.

The App Trick…

This is a tough one. Apps obviously use up your battery power, so you switch them off, right? Yeah, the problem with that is that many apps simply continue running in the background even though you’ve closed them. Check to see what’s running in your phone’s app management centre and you’ll probably find that there are plenty of background processes on the go that you didn’t even know about, so switch them off! Pro tip: download a battery analyser app (or use your phone’s battery analysing function if you have one) to see exactly where that battery juice is going.

Don’t Use It? Don’t Need It…

Smart phones are, well, smart, and they’re loaded down with functions that most of us never even think about using, and some of these can be sucking up juice. If your top of the line smart phone comes with features such as gesture recognition or eye tracking to stop the screen switching off if you’re looking at it, then you can safely turn these off and save power. The same goes for animated wallpapers and screen savers, and home screen animations. If you’re not using them, then get rid of them to save juice.

Do You Know Where You Are?

Most of us have location services on our phones these days, but we don’t always need them. If you know where you are (especially if you’re sitting at home or in an office…) then switch location services off to save your battery. Be aware that this will mean that you don’t get things like Google Now updates for your area, and it may effect some apps, but if you’re not moving around too much this shouldn’t be a big deal.

How Often Do You Need Updating?

Another neat trick for saving your battery is to stop your phone updating apps too often. Email, Facebook and Twitter are the big offenders here, and you can go into each of these apps and change the refresh period. If your phone checks for new emails once every twenty minutes rather than once every five minutes, you’ll be saving power. Simple.

App Updates Are the Exception…

You should update all your apps when your phone tells you too. Why? Because most app developers regularly release updates that will cut down on the amount of power a certain app uses. If you stay on top of updates, you’ll be ensuring that you’re using as little power as possible.

Airplanes…

Getting desperate? Down to that last five percent and not even close to your charger? Switching your phone into airplane mode will seriously decrease the amount of power you’re using, although you won’t be getting any form of internet service (including email and Facebook updates).

Consider Accessories…

If you regularly have a problem with poor battery life, or you’re just a big phone user that uses a lot of juice, then you might want to consider getting an accessory to give you more power. You can purchase a spare battery for your phone, allowing you to switch batteries over when necessary, or you could invest in a battery case which will give you a little more juice for your mobile.

Switch It Off…

Sounds like common sense, but we thought we’d mention it… If you’re running low onĀ  power and you know that you’re going to need your phone later then switch it off for now. You can’t use up battery power if your mobile isn’t on!

Stay Cool…

A weird tip, but we promise it’s true. The lithium-ion batteries used in most smart phones use energy faster when they’re hot. Something as simple as keeping your mobile on your desk rather than in your pocket could mean that you save a percent or two…

Back to Black…

If your phone has an AMOLED screen (tons of them do, particularly Samsung models) then having a black image set as your wallpaper will save your battery. This is because AMOLED displays use less power to display darker colours than lighter tones. Remember that every little bit of power you can save will add up, so this might help.

Getting the most out of your mobile battery basically means staying on top of what’s draining power and making sure you have the correct settings so that you’re not wasting juice. Of course, some phone models get better battery life than others, and it’s worth looking at battery specs before buying, particularly if you use your mobile often. Employ our tips though, and you’ll be sure to see a difference in the amount of use you can get per battery charge!

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