Every year smartphone batteries increase in capacity. Yet, at the same time, it seems new phone models last less and less time before they need to be plugged in. This frustrating cycle leads many smartphone owners to wonder the same thing. Why can’t their latest iPhone or Android device stay on longer than a few hours, despite claims of a much larger battery?
The answer is that newer phones can do more things, beyond streaming cat videos, taking photos, and browsing the web. They also have bigger screens, louder speakers, faster data speeds, more sensors, and so on. These improvements not only take more battery power, but lead to increased usage of smartphones.
So what can you do to increase battery life? While the specifics depend on the exact phone you’re using, here are some things that will help right away:
Turn On Automatic Screen Brightness. Most phones have an option to automate the screen’s brightness based on ambient light levels. This will help keep screen brightness down when it isn’t necessary, and save battery life.
Turn Off GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Other Networks and Sensors. Just having these on is considerably draining to the battery life. Turn them off when not in use to make your phone last longer.
Browse Only on Wi-Fi. When possible, turn off 4G connectivity and use Wi-Fi networks to browse the web. Wi-Fi antennas use less power than 4G, and will extend the life of your phone.
Use a Case That Blocks the Wake Button. Most people don’t realize how often they bump into the unlock button while their phone sits in their pocket. Every time they do, the screen lights up and steals a little bit of battery life. Using a case that secures this button can go a long way for people whose phones live mainly in their pockets.
ANDROID: Turn Off Auto Sync. Unlike iOS, Android apps update and sync individually, and every time they sync they have to power on the phone’s data radio. Turning on the radio takes a lot of power and drains your battery. Instead, keep auto sync turned off and instead, sync your phone manually every half hour or hour.
iOS: Turn Off Active Background, Background Motion, and Background App Refresh. These features, many of them introduced in iOS 7, are visually stunning. They’re also a major drain on battery resources.
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