We use our phones for everything these days. From directions to listening to music to playing games to shopping to tracking our workouts, our phones are really our mini computers. It’s no wonder we have high expectations for the life span of their batteries. Here are some things to consider when trying to conserve power.
What You Should NOT Do
Charge Your Battery Overnight
There’s a lot of science behind this. The basic premise is that your phone does not need to charge for nearly as long as you sleep. What happens to your phone once it’s reached 100% battery charge is that it remains constantly running at high voltage to maximize the charge. As your phone gets really hot, sometimes as high as 113°F, when you use it for a long time, your phone’s temp will climb as it continues to try to “top off” the charge.
There have been multiple tests that prove that when a phone gets that hot repeatedly, overnight charging for example. Take a look at this chart, courtesy of Battery University.
Letting Your Battery Completely Drain
I’ve heard conflicting stories about this theory. When I read the scientific explanation, I understand how letting your phone’s battery completely drain could be an easy way to shorten your battery’s life.On average, a standard Lithium-ion battery has 300-600 charge cycles before it will not work. Each time you drain a battery completely, you compromise its ability to store energy. To extend the number of charge cycles, discharge the battery to about 40% and then re-charge it back to 100%. This could increase your cycles to between 600–1,500.
Use Cheap Chargers
All chargers are not created the same. Most of the OEM (original enterprise manufacture) chargers have built-in mechanisms that will keep the battery and the phone from over-heating. The non-OEM chargers have become infamous for catching fire.
Mass Shut Down All of Your Unused Apps
If you have your apps set up properly to only run when using, it has been proven that closing your apps in the “multitasking view” will NOT save your phone any battery charge. This is striking but makes sense. If you view all of your open apps, you will notice that none of them have been refreshed since the last time it was opened. Both Android and iPhones have built-technology to manage memory and power. Actually, when you close them it can inadvertently affect the memory management algorithm.
What You Can Do
Check In to See What’s Draining Your Battery
In your settings, whether on Android or iPhone, you can see a list of all of your apps and how much battery power they are using. If there are any that you do not need, consider uninstalling them. If you don’t want to uninstall them, you can turn off a few other settings to cut back their power usage.
- Background App Refresh is a neat feature if you need data quickly. If you don’t, turn it off in Settings. This will cut back on the apps from constantly checking their servers for updates or notifications to push to your phone.
- Notification Push are real-time alerts from an app. Each time you receive a notification, the battery is being use to light your home screen, a ring tone or vibrate, and a pop up alert. Check out how much power is being used by going to Settings>Battery. This indicates how many times the display is being awakened, either by your turning it on or by notification alerts. If Home and Lock Screen is hovering up far more power than any other app, your battery would probably benefit from disabling push notifications from some apps.
- Location Services are great for apps, such as Google Maps or Yelp, when you are using them. Others, however, are just using your location for advertising purposes. If you go to your Settings > Privacy > Location Services, change most, if not all, to “While Using the App.”
- Push Email allows you to receive notifications when you receive new emails to your account(s). When you first set up your email accounts, you have the ability to set how often you would like your email updated. If you selected “Push” email, your phone checks for email in the background and downloads it for you. This constant polling for emailing can drain your battery. Instead, head to Settings > Accounts & Passwords > Fetch New Data and turn off Push. Then for each account, you can select how often your phone will reach out for updates or whether you’ll need to manually check.
- Enable Airplane Mode when you don’t need to use your phone. For example, when you’re traveling, in a place with poor reception, or in a place where you wouldn’t take a phone call anyway like a library.
- Lower your phone’s Brightness. A dim screen uses less power. On the iPhone, you can adjust the screen brightness on certain times of day and depending on how much power you have left. Go to Settings>General>Accessibility>Magnifier>Auto-Brightness.
- Use Cellular instead of Wi-Fi whenever you can. If you are using Wi-Fi while traveling in and out of different connections, your phone’s battery is working hard to make a connection. If you can use Cellular, use it.
- Turn off wireless connections when you aren’t using them. Bluetooth uses battery power by scanning for nearby Bluetooth devices to connect to. Also true of Wi-Fi and AirDrop. If you’re not using these connections, turn them off.
Keep your phone cool. Your phone should not be hot. Whether it’s from over use or leaving in a hot car or in direct sunlight, the heat will drain your battery quickly. Some phone cases can be made of materials that could actually insulate your phone too much, causing it to overheat.
Make sure you are running the latest version. Androids and iPhones are always innovating new ways to keep your phones safe and battery strong. Make sure you’re running the latest to get all the new features, algorithms, and safety settings.
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