A dead battery on your smartphone might be the one thing you dread the most, but it happens. Rogue apps eat up power in the background, wi-fi antennas seek out a connection like a long-lost love, or the screen brightness is too high and the battery drains faster than expected. The bad thing about most smartphones is that the batteries are fixed in the cases, meaning that it’s impossible to swap out a dead battery for a fresh one.
That means you’re stuck hoping that you’ll make it to the next outlet, provided you brought your phone charger wit you, or run the gauntlet with the last 5 percent of power until you make it to your home or car. Following are three ways to help you avoid all of the above and make your battery last longer.
Kill Apps Disguised as Energy Vampires
Image via Flickr by Brendan C
Some apps seem to thrive on sucking down as much CPU power as possible, causing the CPU to need more energy from the battery. There are any number of reasons for this, ranging from a poorly written app to a memory leak that takes up all available space for operation. Ask yourself if you really need this app, or if there’s one that has the same features without the side-effect of killing your battery. If you don’t have an alternative, or you want to stand by your app, go into the app menu in your settings and kill the app so it stops running.
Turn off Energy Draining Features
The wi-fi antenna, phone screen, vibrate function, moving wallpapers, and speaker all use up more power. Turn the brightness down on the screen, or use an auto-brightening/darkening feature on the phone that adjusts with ambient light levels. Turn off the wi-fi when in a location where you don’t have wi-fi access and stop it from draining the battery.
If silence isn’t exactly golden, turn the volume down to one notch of audio. It’s soft enough to not be heard easily, but won’t trigger the vibrate function either. The lack of vibrate serves to save battery as the vibrate feature uses power to make itself known.
Don’t use the speaker if you don’t have to. Put on a headset or wired microphone/earphone set to make calls. It maintains privacy while avoiding using the speaker and draining the battery. Energy-saving apps help with these issues, and Android Headlines has more information on the best ones.
Take Advantage of Native Energy-Saving Apps
Android OS comes with its own energy saving features that users can toggle on or off at will. Set the screen to timeout after 30 seconds or use the battery use monitor app to tell you when another app has decided to drain the battery. These features are located in the settings menu and are easy to find.
The ultimate fix is to simply replace the battery with a new one, but that’s easier said than done. When replacement isn’t possible, following the above tips helps extend the battery life so the phone doesn’t die at the worst possible moment.