Battery life is one of the most important parts of a smartphone, tablet, or any device for that matter. However, making sure you keep as much juice inside it for as long as possible isn’t that easy sometimes. Here’s some helpful tips and tricks to keep your battery running for longer. Some may be obvious, but for beginners or even some technology veterans these tips could be vital for a longer battery life!
1. Keep your device away from heat sources!
The last thing your battery needs is a tan… in fact, leaving your device near a heat source or in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time can dramatically reduce its ability to hold charge. So much so that your once perfect all day battery life could soon become a 4 hour battery life! Lesson one, keep your device in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
2. Set up the “Auto-Lock” feature on your device
Some find this feature annoying, but having your device lock automatically could save large chunks of your battery for when you need it most. We’ve all done it; you’ve been using your phone or iPod and then put it in your pocket after use, but you’ve forgotten to lock the device! Uh oh, you might as well have left your phone at home. At least you’d still have battery when you got back to it!
By leaving your device unlocked you’ve basically given it permission to do whatever it likes whilst in your pocket. You could be calling people or loading up battery-eating applications, purely thanks to your screen being unlocked.
To set up the Auto-Lock feature, which you’ll find it in “Settings > General > Auto-Lock”, all you need to do is choose the length of time you want the device to wait before automatically locking itself whilst not being used.
3. Turn off 3G / 4G / Mobile Data if WiFi is available
Whilst being as connected in as many ways as possible to the world is how we’re told to live nowadays, you only need one way to connect to the internet at one time. Disabling Mobile Data is a great way to save battery on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The iPhone 6 has up to 11 hours use on WiFi compared to the 10 hours on 3G / 4G. You can also get up to 10 hours of use on the iPad Air 2 using WiFi compared with 9 hours on mobile data. These savings don’t sound like much, but you’ve got to save where you can and having features enabled when they’re not needed is a big no-no.
4. Screen brightness / Auto-Brightness
Having your screen brightness set to the correct amount is vital, and you need to understand when it should be high and when it should be low. This is where Auto-Brightness can come in to play. Turning Auto-Brightness on enables your device to use the light sensor to determine how low/high the brightness of your screen should be.
You can also adjust this manually as well if you wish. Typically, in a light environment you need the brightness up high and in a dark environment you should have the brightness turned down.
5. Turn off GPS functionality
A cool feature of the iPhone is certainly GPS. It turns your phone in to a sat nav, enabling you to save money instead of having two devices in your car.
However, whilst GPS functionality is good it also sends a lot of data over a network and therefore requires power to work correctly. If you’re not using your iPhone for directions or using the Find My iPhone / iPad feature then you don’t really require GPS to be on. Head over to “Settings > Privacy > Location Services” to turn GPS off.
6. Find the battery-destroying culprits on iOS 8
As of iOS 8, you have the ability to view which applications are using the most battery power. This can help you decide whether you actually need certain applications, or could reduce the amount you use them.
As you can see on my iPhone the main culprit for my ever decreasing battery if Spotify, which I listen to whilst driving. Spotify streams music to your phone via the internet, so obviously this is using a fair amount of battery power (1/3 of it on my phone!). Purchasing Spotify premium and saving music offline can help reduce the amount of power you use, or perhaps consider doing things the old fashioned way and use iTunes to store music on your phone.
7. Force-quitting applications harms your battery more than leaving them in the background
Don’t re-read the heading, you read it correctly. Whilst you might think that having 30 applications open in the background on your phone is killing your battery, don’t be fooled.
On iOS, for instance, the moment an application goes in to the background it gets suspended. This means that it remains in memory to enable you to go back to the exact point you were at previously, but it’s using zero processing cycles which means apps in the background are using essentially no battery power.
Therefore force quitting applications is using more power than if you just left them alone in the background.
8. Don’t charge your battery too often
Whilst some people let there battery drain down completely before charging, the majority of people will plug there device in when they get home. The battery actually remembers the point at which you decide to charge the device, so repeatedly plugging in your device when it’s on 75% battery is only going to make the phone think that 75% is actually 100%. This will obviously lead to your phone’s battery life getting worse and worse over time, compared with a phone that is left to drain to around 10-20% before being fully charged.
9. Use Airplane Mode when you don’t need access to the outside world via your phone
If you’re a gaming addict when using your iPhone or iPod, then you clearly don’t want to be interrupted. By putting your device in to Airplane Mode, to disable all networking features, will vastly increase your battery life.
Turning on Airplane Mode will obviously disable all calls and messaging functionality, so don’t turn it on if you’re expecting an important business call.
10. Disable automatic app, books and software updates
And finally, our last tip on saving battery life is to turn off automatic updates. This includes updates to your applications, books and software updates.
Having your applications update automatically is helpful, don’t get us wrong, but whilst all 71 of your applications are updating this is using an enormous amount of power. Doing this manually is much more battery efficient, and you can choose which apps you actually want to update.
The same goes for software updates as well. If you let your phone download new software updates automatically these files are normally in to the hundreds of megabytes, so as well as using battery power you could also be using data from your data allowance that you can’t afford to lose.
Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful for you or someone else. You can share this article with battery-conscious friends using the social links at the top of the page.