Using our phones, even casually, means they’ll often run at full speed—but they’ll burn out pretty quickly if pushed to their limits. If you put them under constant strain, they’ll burn out quickly. And even the most highly optimized phone can’t run for very long when it’s out of battery life.
If you find yourself reaching for your charger or desperately scanning for a place to plug it in at the end of the day, here are some tips to make sure that your phone always has plenty of battery so that you’re never left without power.
1. Lower the Brightness
One of the easiest ways to maximize your battery life is to reduce the amount of time the screen spends displaying bright information. This is an obvious tip, but it has proven to be effective: reducing your screen’s brightness will prolong its useful life. So whether you just bought a new phone or are still using a three-year-old tablet, head into Settings and change your screen brightness from the default 70% to 50% or even 25%.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that your phone or tablet’s auto-brightness setting is turned on so that the display will automatically dim whenever you’re in a dark place.
2. Disable All Your Unused Apps
Most apps drain battery life. This is especially important to keep in mind when using devices with a single charge, like my iPhone. It’s better to shut down or put away the most power-hungry apps and games, such as the iPhone versions of games like Angry Birds and the Facebook app. I don’t save these for long-term use but only for short bursts of activity where I need them most.
The same goes for other apps that you don’t regularly use, like Pandora, Twitter, etc. Go into the App Store, your app list, and shut down everything you aren’t using. It should significantly reduce the amount of battery your phone uses.
3. Turn on Airplane Mode
Switching to airplane mode may not only be what you do before you fly, but it’s also a great way to conserve your phone’s battery life. When you turn on airplane mode, you won’t be able to make calls, send text messages, or connect to the Internet, but sometimes, that’s useful if you want to return to your phone later and have battery life left over.
During times when you don’t have service (such as while underground in the subway), airplane mode can also be useful, as your phone will stop searching for a signal.
4. Limit the Push Notifications
Instant notifications of new Facebook messages or Twitter mentions can be a great way to stay connected, just make sure you’re not getting notifications for every app, or your battery will pay the price. Limit the notifications to apps that are important to you–like your email app or phone system.
The best thing to do is get rid of the notifications for all the apps that aren’t important or turn them off when you don’t need them.
While older phones may not have the same amount of power as a brand new superphone, you can still save a ton of battery life by following these tips. These are all simple things to do, and every little bit can be the difference between having a phone die at 6:30 pm and making it to 5:00 pm.
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