We’ve all been there – expecting an important call and our cell phone battery is in the red zone.  In a world where smartphones are getting thinner and more features and apps are jammed into them, optimizing battery life can be a challenge.

Unfortunately, when you’re busy and on the go, it’s not always convenient to plugin and recharge. Here are some helpful tips on how to extend smart phone battery life.

Consider Modifying Your Usage Habits

The way you use your smart phone determines what services and apps are running on the phone.  Most of the features you are accustomed to are settings that are enabled by default.  The reality is that most of the default settings on our phones are ones we can live without.

Reduce Screen Brightness
The large LCD screens of today’s phones consume a lot of power.  Reducing the brightness will help save the battery.  Also, decrease the screen-timeout so the screen shuts off faster when you are not using the phone.

Avoid Using Vibration
While vibrations were good for Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, the tiny motor that swings the small weight around inside your smartphone uses up a lot of energy.

To Synchronize or Not To Synchronize…?
Sync your data if you must but only for things you really need. Similarly, don’t check email every 5 minutes, and if possible, configure your email settings to connect to your email server at longer intervals.

Minimize Games and Watching Videos
Watching videos and playing games are processor-intensive tasks that use up lots of power. However, if Candy Crush or YouTube videos are your thing then, sadly, this post may not be of much help.


Optimize Your Apps and Settings

Disable Unnecessary Apps
There are a lot of apps on your phone that run as a convenience or were installed by the manufacturer.  Get rid of the apps you don’t use or don’t need.

Turn Off “Location Services”
You don’t need to have the GPS on when the phone is in your pocket, so turn it on only when you need it.

Turn Off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Your phone constantly keeps itself busy looking for wireless/Bluetooth networks and devices to connect to.  Whenever you’re not using these features, turn them off.

Enable “Airplane” Mode
Airplane mode essentially turns off all the radios on the phone so that it doesn’t communicate with any kind of network – ie: Bluetooth, voice, wireless etc.  Using Airplane Mode in places where you don’t need to be connected will help extend smartphone battery life.

Use “Low Power” Mode
Why wait for the phone to be at 30% before saving power, why not do it all the time?

Update Your Apps and Operating Software 
Newer versions of apps are usually more energy efficient.  This also applies to operating systems.  Update your apps and make sure your phone has the latest software version.

Be Nice To Your Battery – Best Practices

Keep Battery at Room Temperature
Keeping the phone in your pocket raises it to body temperature which causes it to drain a little quicker than normal. Put it in a coat pocket or your purse to keep it away from your body. Prolonged exposure to extreme cold or hot temperatures also has an adverse effect on your battery so try to find a happy medium for your smartphone.

Don’t Wait Too Long to Recharge
Charge the battery when it is around 40% rather than waiting for it to get to 10%. Waiting for the battery level to drop too low before a recharge will reduce the overall lifespan of the battery. Similarly too much frequent charging when the battery is almost topped up will reduce the lifespan of the battery.

Get a New Battery
After extended recharge cycles the ability of a battery to hold a charge becomes diminished. Ideally, a battery should last a minimum of 2 years.  If and when you need to replace your battery please dispose of it properly.  Call2Recycle provides drop off locations to dispose of your battery safely.

Hopefully these tips will give you a better idea of the way phones tend to drain the batteries. Just follow this simple rule, the busier you keep your phone’s processor, the more power it will draw, and every function that the phone performs requires processing power. Remember, no matter what you do, the battery will naturally lose its charge over time. Even if you had a fully charged batter sitting on a shelf, it would eventually lose a small amount of its charge – it is normal.

Until next time, we wish you a happy and safe computing experience.

About Infoware
For over 25 years, Infoware has been a leading provider of information technology solutions and consulting services for law firms and professional services organizations across the Greater Toronto Area.

As a trusted advisor, we enable customers to focus on their business and clients while we handle their day-to-day and long-term technology concerns.  If you have questions or are looking for an IT Support company that does more, contact us today.