If you’re anything like us your phone is usually more loyal than your shadow. We check it first thing when we wake, read the news, glance through our emails. Then we head to work, drowning out the familiar public transport sounds with music or podcasts, maybe sending a text or two between tunnels. For the next eight hours, its texts, emails and calls, until it’s time to finish when we go to plug our headphones in and… oh… dead battery.
The current generation of mobile phones are improving, but it seems like the more complicated phones get, the quicker the battery dies regardless of updates and whatever else. There’s not much to solve the eventual death of the battery until all phones pack a battery like the Motorola Razr HD (which can almost survive a 12-hour day), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to help get the most out of your smartphone.
The tips below work regardless of what model or age of phone you have. How to implement these changes on your specific phone should be relatively easy to work out (/Google) but if you need any help do not hesitate to contact us and we can even right a blog on it for others.
Your brand new 6-inch, billion pixel screen may let you read the BBC in eye-blistering colour and beauty, but it’s almost certainly the reason that you have to keep a charger nearby at all times. Sift through your display settings for a way to turn it down. If there’s an auto-brightness option it’s worth trialling for a while, but some people find that it actually drains even more battery. Reduce that brightness to the lowest setting when you don’t need to use it or are in a low lit place and then increase it when necessary. Easy solution to a big battery problem.
- Airplane Mode
This mode isn’t just for that annual flight to Italy. Oh no it is not! I use Airplane Mode all the time for those days where I am running low on battery, don’t need my phone currently but will need to make a call later. Many have claimed that actually turning your phone off and then rebooting it wastes more battery than just leaving it on but on airplane mode. Also, if you are anything like me, turning off your phone is a monthly (if that) routine which insights anxiety that you may never see your phone turn on again. The Airplane Mode turns off Bluetooth and WiFi and Cellular Data but if necessary you can turn the WiFi and Bluetooth back on whilst in the mode. However, it is obviously more effective when all settings are off. Most phones have a quick toggle option, so switch it off when you don’t need them.
- Stop Refresh
It’s really tempting with our current level of connectivity to want to be notified the instant someone retweets your company’s latest offer. But do you really need a pop up to tell you it’s currently 2 degrees warmer in London than it was 30 minutes ago? It may not seem like much but every time your phone does that it draws power from all over. If it can wait until you get to your computer, maybe trying letting it. Reducing the updates alters on every phone but have a play around with settings and notifications and I am sure you will swiftly find a way to prevent your phone constantly updating and draining your battery within hours of charging.
- Update, Update and Update?
Perhaps not when your battery is on 5% and you are not sure you can make it home but… update your apps! Applications often get updated to use less battery power, so you should make sure your apps are up to date. Even if you configured the phone for automatic updates, some apps still require that you manually install updates. Check for app updates by going into settings or app store dependent on your phone. These updates may drain your battery but long term will be beneficial.
- Keep it Cool
I know, in the middle of summer that may sound a tad ridiculous (images of a phone ice pack are now floating through the brain). But when your phone gets warm it actually drains the battery a lot faster than it otherwise would. If you have an iPhone your phone actually shuts down when it is too hot, letting it get to the correct temperature before restart. So, when your phone is stuck in your pocket, jammed against your radiating thigh on a crowded greenhouse of a bus it’s going to die a lot sooner than if it was in your bag. Avoid letting it overheat and it might even make it to tea time.
- Battery Saving Mode
Use the extra power saving mode if you have it. This mode is available on many phones such as the iPhone, Andriod phones etc. The type of phone depends on what affect battery saving mode has- on Androids it limits the phone to texting, phone calls, Web browsing, and Facebook. This can squeeze extra hours or even a day of standby time out of just a few remaining percentage points of battery. Limiting activity doesn’t always affect what you can do but also what your phone does behind the scenes without you knowing.
- Reduce Activity
Yes, I know it sounds simple but maybe try using your phone a little bit less when you know you need it to last the whole day. By not checking how many likes you have got on Instagram since you posted it two minutes ago or constantly checking if you have received an email you can dramatically save battery. By locking your phone and leaving it in your bag (especially on some of the modes we have discussed above) you will be amazed how much battery you have by lunchtime. Although it seems annoying that we have advanced so much in technology yet still have to watch how much we use our phone, it does make sense!
- Block Widgets
Dump unnecessary home screen widgets and live wallpaper. Just because they are there and automatically updating in the background without any work from you, it does not mean they are good for you(/your battery). These widgets look pretty and animated but actually all these updates of latest news stories, current temperature, the current stock market and any reminders are just draining your battery faster than anything else. I don’t recommend getting rid of all of them, because it is quite nice to have a background full of things we enjoy knowing. However, block the ones you never look at and customise it, whilst decreasing it, to make your phone battery last longer while making it more personal to you.
- Analysis Battery Usage
See what’s sucking the most juice. Depending on your phone navigate round your settings and normally you should be able to see a breakdown of what is consuming your phones battery. Most of the time the applications using the most battery will be at the top of the list, giving you the percentage of battery they have used up since you last charged your phone. If you see an application you barely use, you should uninstall the app or turn off the feature.
- Auto Lock
Locking your phone pauses a lot of the actions that drain your battery. It solves the whole brightness issue as well by just turning off all the screen light whilst on lock mode. With the majority of phones you can set your phone to automatically lock after a certain period of time. The minimum is normally around 20 seconds with the maximum being around 5 minutes. Obviously the shorter the period to Auto Lock is, the more battery you will save. However, it can get increasingly annoying have to constantly unlock your phone after not using it for 20 seconds. So put your phone to auto lock and watch your screen go to sleep and your battery save!
There you have it. A quick guide to making that battery last that little bit longer. Obviously, there are more specific tips (iOS 10 Battery Saving) for your own phone based on make and age but these are some general ones that should help regardless of the model. Any major ones wish we are missing? Contact us and let us know!
Lucidica is the IT support Team for Small Business