Your smartphone is a lifesaver during the hustle-bustle holiday season. The ability to coordinate travel with your loved ones, look up traffic-free routes between shopping destinations, make Black Friday purchases and collect family favorite recipes on the same device makes the holidays easier to handle than ever before. However, having all this functionality at your fingertips won't be terribly convenient if your smartphone battery goes into the red a few hours into your errand runs.
Battery life is an often overlooked feature that has an enormous impact on smartphone and tablet functionality. During the holidays, when your smartphone's apps become extra vital to managing your life, battery life becomes even more important. Applying a few of the following tips can help you get the most out of your smartphone battery over the busy days that are fast approaching.
1. Stop your screen from eating up the phone's charge
The first place to start looking for battery waste is actually staring right back at you whenever you use your smartphone. Making a few adjustment to how your phone's screen performs on a day-to-day basis can have a big impact on how long your device's battery can last.
PC Advisor noted that as displays have become brighter and more colorful, they have also begun to draw a larger share of the phone's battery power. Dimming your phone's brightness and shortening the device's timeout length in the screen settings will help you start to extend the life of your smartphone.
2. Make a habit of quitting apps that run in the background
A smartphone's ability to effectively multi-task and run multiple apps at once is essential. However, this functionality can quickly backfire if users develop bad habits about letting apps run in the background for hours at a time.
Part of the problem for many users is that they have so many apps that it becomes difficult to manage which programs are sending and receiving data behind the scenes. The best first step is to delete all the apps you haven't used in weeks, according to Time. You can always download them again in the future, so don't be shy about eliminating everything but your must-haves.
After you've deleted the fluff, take close look at which of your apps are updating automatically and decide if some of them can't stand to reload whenever you open the app. Limiting the amount of apps running in the background in this way can also go a long way toward extending your phone's battery life.
3. Minimize dependence on map services and other GPS apps
While maps and other locator apps that take advantage of your phone's GPS are extremely convenient for getting around during the holidays, running these apps constantly will put a large strain on your battery and could, ironically, leave you lost or stranded with a dead phone. Consider planning out trips and save the directions to your smartphone's notepad app, then using the phone's GPS as a frame of reference when you lose your way. This approach will minimize the extra drain on your battery that comes with continuous map navigation.
4. Download an app that will assist you in battery management
Though limiting app usage is a big part of saving your smartphone's battery life during the holidays, you can also use apps to make sure you are using your device as efficiently as possible. For example, Battery Doctor, available for iPhone and Android devices, can be used to identify which apps use the most battery life and provides free tips for battery maintenance. Battery saver apps are also useful for providing more accurate estimates of how long your battery will last depending on which apps you need to use. This level of detail information can be extremely useful if you find yourself in a tight spot while checking off the to-do list.
5. Invest in a battery extender or portable charger.
Even the most battery-conscious consumers have experienced the frustration of their smartphone hitting the zero percent mark and shutting down in the middle of a busy day out and about. Having a contingency plan in these unforunate scenerios can save you the greif of being off-the-grid when trying to coordinate plans with friends and family, getting lost without a working smartphone GPS and lacking access to information in your handy apps, email, and memos.
6. Shop around for a device with superior battery life
Sometimes no matter how hard you try to extend your phone's battery life, the device may still come up short. There are a few scenarios that could be responsible for this dwindling performance, including the age of the device and the device's design. Do a little digging online to determine if other users have found consistent battery life issues using the same model as your own device. A visit to your local Wireless Zone will provide insights into battery performance as well.
If it turns out that your smartphone battery life worries aren't solvable, it may be time to purchase yourself an early holiday gift in the form of a new device with a more reliable full charge. The latest devices on the market, like the new iPhone 6s, boast battery lives upwards of 15 to 30 hours of use, depending on how frequently high-intensity apps are used on a daily basis, according to Trusted Reviews.
Visit your local Wireless Zone for more great battery extending tips and all the latest devices.