When you’re traveling or on the go for business, the last thing you need is to see your phone battery hurtling towards empty. It’s easy to do; between calls, checking in on emails and other background activity on your phone, it can undoubtedly disappear quickly without feeling like it has had much use.
The next realization? You’ve forgotten your charger.
Until you can make it to the nearest store or charge point, ensure that you’re maximizing what little battery life your phone has left. When it drops below 20% it is quite easy to panic, but here are some useful tips that will help your phone survive until you reach a charger.
Location services are probably the leading battery drainer on modern day phones. Many apps such as Maps and Facebook use locations to find out where you are and make recommendations based on your position. Settings allow your phone to only use location services when physically using the app itself, but many people are walking around blissfully unaware that their phone is always using their location. Head to the settings on your phone and make sure that location services are off for everything. For iPhones it is in Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and for Android it is Settings > Location Requests Off.
Brightness adjusting may be a useful feature of a phone, but it is a massive battery drainer. It’s tempting to increase it when the natural light is dim or you’re traveling and the train light is reduced, but the second it heads up towards the maximum levels, your battery is heading in the opposite direction. It may be quite hard to see the screen, but if you’re desperate to keep the battery until you reach a charge point, this is one of the best options. To have a consistently longer-life battery, always ensure the brightness is at a level where you can see the screen but it is at a reduced level.
If you’re regularly on the move, you’ll be frequently looking out for Wifi hotspots to log on to via your phone and laptop. Your phone is potentially set up to be consistently scanning for networks that may automatically connect when you’re at a particular location. Useful, yes, but a total battery waster. Completely turn Wifi off, as well as any personal hotspots you might have set up to connect to your laptop when Wifi isn’t available.
You might not be on a plane, but Airplane Mode is a lifesaver when battery levels reach critical. It will shut off any internet connection and your mobile network, essentially preventing any sort of communication from coming to or from your phone. Not ideal if you’re expecting a call, but if your battery is very low, how long is the call really going to last before your battery dies? In turning everything off, your phone is doing absolutely nothing that will drain the battery which will allow it to last until you need to make an important (yet short) call or reach your charger when you get back to your bed for the night.
In hot and cold months over the year, temperature changes can drain the battery on your phone. The cells in your phone don’t react well to temperature excesses; if your phone has ever felt incredibly hot and has crashed, this is usually why. Temperature extremes means that the battery is affected which can lead to a shorter life. If it’s very cold outside or incredibly hot, keep your phone out of sight in a bag or pocket. In doing so, you’ll be protecting its temperature and battery life.
Similar to Location Services, many apps continue to operate even when your phone is locked and you’re not using the app. This means a depleted battery life and a very slow phone overall. Some apps end up being left on for days as users shut one thing down and open something else without even a second thought. The solution – whether for an emergency battery situation or not – is to always shut down apps after using them. Your battery will become stronger and it will increase its longevity. In Android go to Settings > Gear > Data Usage > Restrict Background data. In an iPhone go to General > Background App Refresh.