It’s 2017. We’ve landed a rover on Mars, we’ve flown by Pluto, and McDonald’s is now serving its breakfast menu all day long. For heaven’s sake, can’t we invent a smartphone battery that will last longer than 24 hours?
The short answer is no, we can’t. Better battery technology is still being developed, which means that if you want to use your iPhone all day long, you’ll have to rely on adjusting some settings to do so.
Here are five tips to extend the life of your smartphone’s battery (and lower that spike in blood pressure when you see 2% at the top right):
Dim the screen brightness
Your smartphone’s large, colorful display might be thoroughly enchanting, but it’s your battery’s mortal enemy. More than any other component of your phone, the display consumes battery life at an alarming rate. Which explains why that old Nokia candybar phone with the teeny-tiny monochrome screen stayed charged for weeks.
Most phones have an auto-brightness feature that automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness to suit ambient lighting levels. This mode consumes less power than it would if you constantly ran your screen at full brightness. However, you’ll receive the best results simply by turning your screen’s brightness down to its lowest setting and leaving it there. This means you probably won’t be able to see anything on the screen out in bright lighting, but at least your phone is alive. Use common sense here, people.
If you do nothing else, following this one tip will extend the life of your battery dramatically.
Keep the screen timeout short
Under your phone’s display settings menu, you should find an option labeled ‘Screen Timeout’ or something similar. (On an iPhone, look for Auto-Lock in the General settings menu.) This setting controls how long your phone’s screen stays lit after receiving input, such as a tap.
Every second counts here, so set your timeout to the shortest time available.
Turn off Bluetooth
People love Bluetooth! And for good reason: it’s a hands-free headset, wireless speaker, and activity tracker all in one. Unfortunately, this feature is constantly listening for signals from the outside world.
When you aren’t in your car, or when you aren’t playing music wirelessly, turn off your Bluetooth. By doing so, you can add an hour or more to your phone’s battery life because your phone isn’t wasting power searching for a Bluetooth signal.
Turn off Wi-Fi
As with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi is a serious battery killer. While you might need to use your home or office Wi-Fi connection rather than your personal data for internet access, there’s little point in leaving the Wi-Fi on when you’re out and about.
Toggle it off when you go out the door, and turn it back on when you plan to use data services within range of your Wi-Fi network.
Be cautious of GPS (and other location services)
Additional battery zappers are any apps that use GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile data for monitoring locations. As a user, you can revoke an app’s access to location services, or set levels (in Android) to determine how much power they use.
There are a ton more things you can do to extend your smartphone’s battery life but hopefully these little tips will provide an ample boost in longevity.