5 Tips and Tricks for Making Your Smart Phone Battery Last Longer

It’s 2015. We’ve landed a rover on Mars, we’ve flown by Pluto, and McDonald’s is […]

It’s 2015. 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 smart phone battery that will last longer than 24 hours?

Apparently the short answer is – no, we can’t. Better battery technology simply hasn’t been invented yet, which means that if you want to extend your battery’s life, you’ll have to rely on software and settings to do so.

Here are 5 tips to extend the life of your smartphone’s battery (and maybe lower your blood pressure in the process):

Dim the screen brightness

Your smart phone’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.

Most phones include 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 even better results simply by turning your screen’s brightness down to its lowest setting and leaving it there.

Even 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. On most Android phones, the minimum is 15 seconds. On an iPhone, the minimum you can set is 1 minute.

Turn off Bluetooth

People love Bluetooth and for good reason – it’s a hands-free headset, wireless speaker, and activity tracker all in one – but 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 the Bluetooth. By doing so, you can add an hour or more to your phone’s battery life.

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 3G or 4G 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 using 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 more things you can do to extend your smart phone’s battery life but hopefully these tips and tricks will provide an ample boost in its longevity.

Published on November 16, 2015