Facts and Fiction About Extending Your Smartphone’s Battery Life

February 29, 2016 | Elizabeth Knowles

iPhone charging
Photo credit: Stokpic/Pixabay

Does quitting the apps you aren’t using help or hurt your battery level?

You have likely heard that turning your wifi off or closing all your apps will make your smartphone’s battery last longer, but both of those tips are barely effective.

The Wirecutter, as reported by the New York Times, offers some more successful tips and comments on the validity of some common myths.

Play With Your Screen’s Brightness

Your smartphone’s screen is the component that sucks up the most energy. Dimming it will help, but could make it difficult to see in bright locations. Instead, turn on auto-brightness and let your screen adjust itself to your surroundings.

SEE ALSO: The Battery Bounce Test May Be Leading You Astray

Install an ad blocker

These simple apps will prevent ads from downloading, and thus unnecessarily using up battery power as you surf the net.

Check Your Email Settings

Depending on what settings you have activated, your email app may be constantly checking to see whether you have any new messages. Although this happens in the background, over time it can use up a fair bit of your battery power. Consider choosing a larger interval of time at which it checks for new emails or setting it to check only when you manually request an update.

Don’t Stream Your Music

Streaming your music rather than downloading it uses about twice as much battery power. Try downloading your music directly onto your device and switching it up frequently if necessary.

Turn off wireless when you’re in an area with poor reception

When you’re in a location with poor reception, your phone will use up a lot of power searching for a better wifi network. If you aren’t using your wifi, turn it off and then turn it back on when your reception gets better. This can easily be done using airplane mode.

Find out what’s using up your battery

Everyone uses their phone differently, so why not find out what’s using up your battery. In your settings, you should have a menu that shows you how much battery power each of your apps has been using. Take a look and adjust accordingly.

Don’t leave location tracking on when you don’t need it

Most of the time, you probably don’t need your phone to know exactly where you are. Location tracking is another one of those features that will work in the background and quickly use up battery power.

Disable push notifications

Every time you receive a push notification, you phone has to “wake up” for a few seconds to communicate with you and the app, plus it turns on your screen. Consider turning off any apps that you don’t need up-to-the-second information from.

Power conservation myths

Some tips that you have previously heard can actually do more harm than good. For example, shutting off apps that you aren’t using doesn’t save much battery power because the app’s processes are frozen, but it does mean that it will take more power to turn them back on next time you need them.

Turning your wifi off won’t always help either. If you have good reception, keep it on; it may use less power than connecting to a cellular network.

Lastly, it is a myth that you need to let your smartphone battery completely run out of power before recharging it. This outdated practice dates back to a type of battery we no longer use. With the lithium ion ones currently found in smartphones, it doesn’t make a difference.

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