If you have a smartphone that you use to run your life, no doubt you are familiar with the pitiful battery life that is the price we pay for brilliance. I love everything my phone does, but the battery life has been an ongoing frustration, until the two teenage boys in my life shared their tricks with me. They work! Here’s what to do to use your phone the way you want to and not tear your hair out.
Download the Task Killer
This is especially effective before you take your phone off the charger. As soon as you take your smartphone off the charger, the battery will deplete immediately, so stopping the extra applications running before they start will prolong the battery life. The task killer is an application that allows you to shut off all background tasks that you are not using, sparing the battery. I engage the task killer every time I put my phone away.
Use Airplane Mode when you know you won’t be answering the phone
If your phone is not searching for a signal, it will use less battery. If you are using your phone as a reading device or to listen to music, you don’t need the Internet. This is also very helpful when you are traveling through areas with inconsistent signals. Just turn off airplane mode when you want to place a call. This is not a good strategy if you want people to be able to reach you.
Lock your screen before you put your phone away
My children call it “butt-dialing.” It’s that annoying phone call you make by accident when your phone is in your pocket. Lock your screen and save yourself some battery use and some embarrassment!
Minimize your screen timeout
Long screen timeouts use up the battery. I discovered this when I was using the reading application frequently, and lengthened the screen timeout. Now I just do it when I am going to read and keep it short otherwise.
Take advantage of your car charger every time you get in the car
Just make it a habit, whether you think the battery is low or not. Once it gets low, the remaining battery life seems to dwindle very rapidly! Any time you know you will be away from the charger, be proactive and charge it up.
Lower your light settings if it doesn’t bother your eyes
This does not apply to me, but the boys swear by it. I’ll stick to my other tricks and avoid more squint wrinkles.
Make sure you turn off Wi-Fi when not in use
Again, it’s just a habit, but developing this habit will save a lot of battery life. I put the nifty little Wi-Fi icon on my home screen to remind me, right next to airplane mode.
If none of these tricks is adequate, get an extended life battery
Warning: if you resort to this, your sleek little smart phone will now become a clunky object that no longer fits in your pocket. One thing you can do: buy one, alternate it with your regular battery and keep it handy as a backup. I saw a guy at Verizon doing this and it’s a great trick. Now I keep my backup on hand and I don’t worry.
These are the best tips and tricks from my teenagers, and they keep Mom’s electronic brain running so I can keep up with them!
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