10 Tips to Extend Your Device’s Battery

10 Tips to Extend Your Device’s Battery

Millions of us check email, surf the Web or read Facebook or Instagram posts throughout the day. We use a smartphone, tablet or e-reader almost every day. And all of us have found ourselves in the same situation—staring at our phone or tablet’s battery icon fluttering on the edge of black. Time to recharge – even when it’s not convenient.

If this has happened to you at least once, read on. Below are 10 easy changes you can make to your habits that will extend the battery life of your phone or tablet, empowering you to get through your busy day without interruption.

Customize Your Display

Your smartphone phone and tablet displays are the single largest consumer of battery power on your phone. By making some small adjustments, you can lengthen your battery runtime.

Turn down the screen brightness on your phone or tablet. It’s probably brighter than it needs to be; more light uses more power. If your device has a brightness setting that automatically adjusts to lighting conditions, select that.
Set the sleep mode to kick in after a minute of inactivity. Your screen will lock automatically when it’s not being used. This tip applies especially to tablets, which you might forget to turn off. A dark screen translates to less battery drain.
Get rid of live wallpaper. We all love animation, but those moving jelly beans will use up your battery in no time.

Stay Out of the Heat

A hot battery drains faster than a cool one. So don’t leave your device in a hot place, like a car on a summer day, in your pocket or on top of a laptop. Cold temperatures can also affect batteries, but not like heat. If your phone is hot to the touch, it’s running inefficiently. Keep it cool.

Know Your Device

Smartphones and tablets are pretty energy efficient, so charging them doesn’t cost a lot of money or waste a lot of energy. But this tip can help: Don’t charge your device with a full battery or a completely empty battery; it may shorten the battery’s life. Charging a partially empty battery is preferable. For more charging tips, visit Battery University.

Manage Your Apps We all have apps, whether for the weather, games or sports. First, turn them off when you aren’t using them. Next, keep them updated. Updates often include improvements that use less battery power. Also Apple endorses keeping the manufacturer’s software current to help with performance. And if you really want to analyze your battery usage, consider energy-saving apps like Battery Life Pro (iPhone) or Easy Battery Saver (iPhone, Android) which help you track charging time and monitor system performance.

Turn Off the Big Offenders

Running lots of unnecessary hardware features in the background can be a big drain on your battery. The biggest offenders? Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Turn on Bluetooth when you need it, like during your commute time, and turn it off the rest of the time. If you’re like most people, you probably use Wi-Fi quite a bit. But if your battery is running low, turn on airplane mode (which turns off all the radios, including voice). That will help extend battery life. Also, if you turn off Wi-Fi on your e-reader when you are reading, not surfing the net, you’ll reduce the drain on your battery.

Minimize the Smartphone Gadgets

Who doesn’t love gadgets? Bluetooth-based gadgets for smartphones–like headsets and the new smart watches—may have their own batteries, but they also draw power from your smartphone. It’s helpful to remember your phone’s battery will drain faster when they are in use and plan accordingly. Only connect the gadget as needed and turn off the app the rest of the time.

Location, Location, Location

Your GPS has a huge impact on your battery. So turn off your navigation app unless you’re lost and need directions. In addition, consider your app requirements. Many apps ask permission to detect your location so they can provide more targeted information. While useful, keep in mind that every time an app pings your GPS chip, it uses power. Unless you really need that location function, just say no to location requests.

Turn Off the Notifications

Does your phone or tablet light up every time you receive an email, app update or other communication? These ongoing communications can eat up your power. Both app notifications about updates and smartphone polling (allowing apps to check your device for new data) drain your battery. Turn off these notifications for non-essential applications. Adjust your device’s settings so your apps check for new data less often.

Enter the Settings Zone

Have you opened the settings feature on your smartphone since you bought it? Now’s the time. A few small adjustments to your phone or tablet’s settings can have a big payoff in battery life. One tip–sync your email and apps less frequently. Most smartphones check for e-mail and apps data 10, 15 or 30 minutes. Extend those minutes and you will notice longer battery life. Other tips? Turn down the volume of your phone’s ringer and turn off vibrate mode if you don’t need it. Customize your settings to your daily routine. Then adjust them again when you go on a trip or your routine changes.

Remember Airplane Mode

If you find yourself in an area with no or poor reception, switch to airplane mode. Not only does it prevent your device from constantly searching for a connection (and draining your battery), when you return to a coverage zone you’ll have enough battery left to check your email. Smartphones, tablets and e-readers have changed our lives in so many ways. We can more easily communicate with work, family and friends. And as these devices evolve, it is becoming much easier to tweak your settings to extend battery life and ensure you aren’t left with a blank screen. And always remember the best tip of all—turn it off. When you watch a movie, enter a meeting or go to sleep at night, press the power off button. That will go a long way in making sure your phone’s display lights up when you need it. Got a smartphone or battery that won’t recharge anymore? You can recycle them! Find your nearest location with our drop-off locator.

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