Today’s phones can help us do more than ever before. In addition to making phone calls, we use them to send messages, post photos on our favorite apps, watch videos, play games, and endless other activities. Since our phones can accomplish so much, we’re on them often. That means we’re draining a lot of phone battery. In our busy lives, we aren’t always near an outlet and don’t always have a phone charger ready. If our phones die, we risk missing out on important notifications and being unable to easily communicate with others. So what strategies can we use to extend our battery life?
Check Apps’ Battery Usage
When it comes to battery usage, not all apps are created equal. While checking your email uses a small amount of power, any apps that use GPS drain a significant amount of your phone’s battery. This is because they are constantly talking to the GPS satellites. Check to see which of your apps are draining your battery most and limit usage. You can do this by going into your phone's settings and then to the Battery section. Here you should see a list of apps sorted by how much battery each is consuming on average. Keep in mind that with some apps, even if you're not using them they will still keep running in the background and consuming battery. If you are finding apps that you don't use often or can live without in this list, it may be best to uninstall them.
Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
It’s always good to connect to the Wi-Fi wherever you are to reduce your mobile data usage. However, this isn’t always an option. When you’re not able to connect to a strong Wi-Fi signal, you can conserve battery by turning your phone's Wi-Fi off. The same goes for Bluetooth. They drain a large amount of battery because, even when not connected to anything, they are searching for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks. They do this in order to autoconnect when you are within range of a known network (ie: your home Wi-Fi or car's Bluetooth). Turning Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off will prevent them from searching and can save you a lot of battery. Just don't forget to turn them back on when you need them!
Lower your Screen Brightness
One of the easiest ways to save battery is to reduce how bright your phone’s screen is. The brighter your screen is, the more phone life it is using up. This is especially true of phones with larger screens as they require more 'juice' to work. Most phones will automatically adjust the brightness levels based on how light your surroundings are. Sometimes however, this can be less than efficient for your battery. You can override this and turn the level down to save battery from your phone's settings menu or drawdown bar. The more you dim it, the longer your battery will last.
Go on Power Saving Mode
When you put your phone in Power Saving Mode, it stops it from automatically checking to see if there are new emails, powers off your display faster, and reduces screen brightness. It also turns off certain visual effects and some other features which drain a lot of battery. On some phones, it may also make your apps run a little slower. While it may not be ideal to keep power saving mode on all the time, most phones can be set to automatically switch to power saving mode after your battery drops below a certain percentage. This can help save you from scrambling for a charger late in the day.
Buy a Built-in Battery Case or External Battery Pack
Sometimes you just need to use power-draining features often or have phone-heavy lifestyle. If this is you, it may still be a struggle to keep your battery lasting throughout the day. If all of the other options aren’t sufficient, you may be able to buy a phone case with a built-in battery. This extra battery charges your phone while using it making it last longer throughout the day. The downside of this type of case is that it will make your phone a bit bulkier and heavier but the trade-off is often worth it.
If a case isn't an option, you can also look into an external battery pack. These devices are portable batteries that you can plug your phone into to charge without being tied down to a power outlet. These can then be charged overnight along with the phone itself.
While any of these methods will help you extend your phone’s battery, it’s best to combine a few options. Our phones make our lives much easier, but they can’t do anything for us if they’re dead because battery runs out. Even more importantly, we want our phones usable in case of an emergency. Luckily, using these methods will help keep our batteries alive throughout the day. Just remember to charge them again at home.