Ways to Extend Your Phone’s Battery Life
One of the biggest complaints people have about their smartphone is that the battery doesn’t last long enough. For many people, just making it through the day can be a challenge, which is why you see so many “How to make your phone’s battery last longer!” articles in your friends’ Facebook feeds. But many of the claims in those articles are specious at best, and some of the tricks they suggest could actually shorten your battery life. So which ones should you try?
Use the screen less—or at least turn brightness down
The component that uses the most energy on your smartphone, by a considerable margin, is the screen: The more you use it—for checking Facebook, streaming Netflix, texting with friends, whatever—the faster your battery drains. If you’re concerned about running your battery down too quickly, limit the amount of time you’re actively using the phone (that is, with the screen on). The more your phone sits in your pocket or bag, the longer its battery will last.
Use an ad blocker
If you spend much of your smartphone-screen time on the Web, one of the easiest ways to make your battery last longer may surprise you: Install an ad blocker. Much of the debate around using this kind of software, which is designed mainly to prevent certain kinds of ads from loading while you’re browsing websites, focuses on revenue (for publishers) and annoyance (for readers). But ads, just like any other form of online content, use resources: Your phone must download the ad images and video and then display them (often running browser scripts too), and these tasks use energy.
Store music locally
More and more people are using streaming services such as Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify to get their tunes. However, streaming requires your phone to maintain an active wireless connection—Wi-Fi or cellular—to the service you’re using to stream music. This active connection consumes a significant amount of power in comparison with playing that same music if it were stored on your phone.
Disable cellular or Wi-Fi when the signal is bad
You may have noticed that when you’re in a place without good Wi-Fi or cellular coverage (say, when you’re camping in a remote area), your phone’s battery seems to drain much more quickly. Modern smartphones are designed to use the minimum amount of power to get the best connection, so when you’re in a spot with good coverage, such as in an urban area, power usage is much lower—sometimes by factors of ten—than when you’re in a rural area with poor coverage, or where you have no signal and the phone is constantly searching for one.
Consult your phone’s battery-usage screen to find the biggest offenders
Both phone platforms provide a simple way for you to see which apps are using a lot of battery power