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How-To · August 7, 2015

Better Battery Life: 10 Ways to Hack Your Smartphone

1. Figure out which apps drain the most juice.

If youre an Apple user, you can use the tool in iOS 8 that gives a percentage breakdown of the biggest drainers. (Go to Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage.) That will help you decide whether to close out those apps or just delete them altogether. Battery Drain Analyzer will help most other smartphone owners figure out which apps are the biggest culprits.

2. Just say "no" to notifications.

Every time your phone buzzes with a notification of a new Snapchat, tweet or Instagram like, it loses a little bit of power. Keep the notification alerts to a minimum to maximize that battery life.

3. Stop making fetch a thing.

We know, you dont want to miss an e-mail. But the fetch functionwhich is always looking for new mail and pings you with inbox updatesis a major battery drainer. Turn the function off on the weekends (at least) to extend the power while youre out and about.

4. Don't hit rock bottom.

Avoid letting your phone's battery run all the way down to zero percent. Most smartphones use lithium-based batteries, which are designed to be charged early and often, and letting them get too low can actually damage the longevity of the battery.

5. Embrace your ringtones.

Keeping your phone on vibrate is the social norm, but that function uses additional battery power. Opt for a ringtoneand just keep it at a low volume.

6. High brightness: a not-so bright idea.

The brighter your screen is, the more battery it uses. Preserve that juice by keeping the brightness display at the lowest setting possible.

7. Disable dynamic backgrounds.

iPhone users have the option to employ animated wallpapers on their screens. Its a cool touch, but also one thatyou guessed itrequires more battery power. Stick with a simple static background in the "Wallpapers & Backgrounds" menu instead.

8. Auto-lock sooner.

If youre not using your phone, let it go to sleep by taking advantage of the auto-lock feature. The sooner is sleeps (think after one or two minutes of inactivity), the less power it uses.

9. Keep it cool.

Ever notice that your battery runs out faster when you spend the whole day at the beach? Batteries function better in a reasonably cool environment (room temperature is fine), so dont leave your smartphones under direct sunlight or in any place that is hot. On the flip-side, sub-zero temps arent great for phones either.

10 FYI: Force-quitting wont really help.

Contrary to popular belief, force-quitting apps does not improve your battery life. Your phone actually requires more battery power to reopen and load apps that have been closed. You should really only force-quit if an app crashes or isnt responding.


Adam Hurly