While we've come to rely on smartphones for much of our daily lives, we often run apps, services, or systems that drain our batteries unnecessarily.
Higher resolution screens and faster processors are certainly appealing features promoted by smartphone manufacturers. However, most users simply want a phone that won't die by the end of the day.
" according to 75% of 1,665 people polled by USA Today/SurveyMonkey last year, was the top feature they wanted in a new iPhone. A Morning Consult poll of over 1,800 people conducted last year found that 95% chose battery life as the most important feature when purchasing a new phone.
Clearly, smartphone users prefer basic features over flashy hi-tech. What is the proof? In the USA Today/SurveyMonkey poll, a shatter-proof glass screen and expandable storage came in second and third place, respectively. (In the Morning Consult poll, memory size and durability came in second and third, respectively.)
Nonetheless, battery power technology isn't progressing at the same rate as processor power.
"Battery life is improving... marginally. However, it is not keeping up with Moore's Law. These are small steps forward "Hoplite Power CTO and co-founder Nikolas Schreiber said. The company creates vending machines that rent out battery chargers in the same way that RedBox rents out movies.
Until someone invents a better battery, smartphone owners should remember that a little power management goes a long way. While some of these tips may seem outdated, they will still help you maximise battery life and go much longer between charges.
Many applications run in the background even after you think you've closed them. GPS-based services that track your location, such as a map app like Waze or a game like Pokémon GO!, place a heavy strain on battery life and can continue to run even after you think you've stopped using them.
Turning off apps on an iPhone is as simple as opening the app manager and swiping the apps off your screen. According to Jack Gold, principal analyst with J. Gold Associates, Android phones have more granular power management settings than iOS, and most Android experts agree it's generally not advisable to manually stop apps on your own.
Instead, as we'll see in step 3, you can limit certain apps' ability to consume power in the background - and if you're using Android 9 or higher, you can use the operating system's Adaptive Battery feature, which is located in the Battery section of the system settings, to automatically limit the amount of power made available to apps you don't use frequently.
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Smartphones include GPS functions, which are useful when you need to know how far you are from a location or need directions to the nearest coffee shop. However, most users do not require location services. Turn it off because it's constantly searching for your location using your smartphone's antennas.
Snapchat, Facebook, WhatsApp Messenger, Netflix, and Amazon Shopping are also among the apps that can drain a battery. Look for any news or weather alert app as a potential power drainer.
Some apps constantly update you with information that you may or may not require.
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"The apps that engage the various radios and do autonomous communication in the background will drain the battery the most," according to Jordan Mayerson, CEO of Hoplite Power.
Open the Battery section of your phone's system settings, then scroll down to find the app-by-app breakdown. Alternatively, press the three-dot menu icon in the upper-right corner and select "Battery usage" (with more recent versions of Android). Tap any app with a high usage percentage to see how frequently it consumes battery power in the background.
Look through the app's settings to see if you can disable some of its background features if it's using a lot of battery power in the background. Many news and social media apps, for example, will connect to the internet and refresh data every hour (or more frequently) even when you aren't actively using them.
If your phone runs Android 9 or higher, you can also restrict an app's ability to use the battery in the background at the system level. Look for the app in the Battery section of system settings, and then for the "Background restriction" option.
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Airplane mode will save some energy, especially if you are on an aeroplane or in an area with no coverage, where the phone will constantly search for connections and waste power.
If you're driving and don't have a Bluetooth connection through your car's infotainment system, it might be a good idea to switch to Airplane mode before you start your journey. Also, if you don't need Bluetooth, turn it off.
Even if you require cellular connectivity, turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will help you save energy.
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When watching movies or other streaming content, this is especially important. You don't want your screen turned up to ten at night. Screen battery consumption is significant, which is why phones turn off the screen so quickly when not in use, according to Gold.
Also, when listening to music, reduce the volume. According to Gold, while this is not a significant power draw, it does help.
The display on your smartphone consumes a lot of power, so leaving it on when you're not even looking at it is pointless. Reduce the time it takes for your phone to enter sleep mode.
When your screen is off or the device hasn't been used in a while, the system will activate Doze mode on any reasonably recent Android phone. This automatically reduces network usage and other resource-intensive services while your phone is idle.
While turning on your phone consumes more power than simply waking it from sleep mode, turning it off when you're not using it for hours at a time saves power in the long run. If you're going to bed and don't have an outlet or a charging cable nearby, simply turn off the device.
This includes any graphics and animations used on the display. The more advanced the graphics (games, videos, photos, animations), the harder your smartphone's processor and graphics chip must work. More activity means more battery consumption.
Smartphones try to save power by going to sleep or into a low-power mode, but if you're constantly receiving notifications from Facebook, Twitter, or Super Mario Run, you're keeping your phone awake - and sucking power.
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When your phone's battery drops to 10% or less while you're out and about, you might stop using social media to save some juice for an Uber, or you might switch to Airplane mode. Whatever strategy you use, it will be inconvenient, but it will be preferable to having no communication at all when your phone dies. To make a call or send a message, simply turn the phone back on.
When you finally find an outlet or charging station, putting your phone in aeroplane mode allows it to charge faster because it is using fewer antennae and other background processes.