Smartphones can do just about anything these days, from organising your life with clever apps to taking amazing high-quality photographs and videos. But have you noticed your battery power can't quite keep up? We have! So we've researched and found 19 secret ways to make your phone battery last longer than ever.
1. Keep your phone out of sunlight
According to Mobile Choice Magazine, Lithium-ion phone batteries work best when kept at slightly below room temperature. Make sure your phone isn't heating up by keeping it out of direct sunlight or anywhere that's excessively warm - like in your car on a hot Summer's day.
Your phone battery will love you for it!
2. Turn the brightness level down
Go into your settings and turn the brightness level down. The brighter your screen, the harder your phone battery will have to work to keep it lit. Turning the brightness down really can make a huge difference to your battery life and it's also gentler on your eyes.
iPhones and some Android devices may have an 'Auto-Brightness' mode that will adjust the brightness of your screen based on the light around it. By enabling this function you will save some battery life, for example when your screen needs less power in well-lit areas, but if you're serious about saving your battery it's best to turn it off and set the brightness to continually low. You can always make it brighter at any point if needed.
3. Set your phone to automatic lock
Most phones will stay lit for a specified amount of time after you've used it so don't leave your screen to work unnecessarily. Change the settings on your phone so it either times out or locks itself after 30 seconds. Look for an option called 'screen timeout' on Android devices and 'Auto-lock' on iPhones - you can tweak the times on both to suit your needs.
4. Switch off the vibrate function
Your phone battery uses a lot of power to physically move your phone when it vibrates, especially if it vibrates on notifications as well as messages and phone calls. Conserve your battery by switching off the vibrate function completely.
5. Close all those open apps
The beauty of modern smartphones is that they let you multi-task with your apps and functions. Switching from Facebook to an internet page or WhatsApp conversation within microseconds may be hugely convenient, but being able to open so many things at once means we often forget to close them down. You might clean the outside of your phone, so why not do some housekeeping inside it too?
If you don't close them, your apps will still be 'open' even if you're not using them. This means your phone will be working hard secretly powering all your open apps without you even realising it. Make sure you remember to close them down every time you stop using one and your phone battery will improve considerably.
On iPhone, you can double tap the home button and it will show you what apps are running. Kill them off by swiping upwards and you can even close several at a time using a finger on each app.
While you want to close down un-used apps, you don't want to be continually opening and closing apps as this will also make your phone work harder. If you know you will be using the same app - like WhatsApp messenger - for a while then it's best to keep it open.
6. Choose a dark background
Always remember: phones use up more battery lighting up white and light colours and LESS battery displaying black or dark colours. By selecting a dark background image or screensaver, your phone will save precious battery life.
Never use dynamic - that's animated to you and me - screensavers either. They may look fancy but they're a big waste of power.
7. Switch the volume down
Just turning the volume down a notch can help conserve your phone battery, especially if you're receiving a lot of phone calls during the day.
You can also change the settings on your phone so you don't have any sound alerts for messages or notifications.
8. Disable screen alerts
You may have switched off the sound for notifications but you can go one step further and switch off screen notifications, too.
Your screen wakes up every time you receive a notification, meaning it switches the screen on and stays lit for a certain amount of time. This could be happening frequently throughout the day without you even realising.
Go into your settings and switch off these alerts for anything that isn't essential.
9. Remember: turn off your GPS & Bluetooth
These two may be hugely useful but they're also power-hungry features that will burn through your phone's battery. Whenever you use either, always make sure you switch them off afterward.
If you want to use maps when you're out and about, you could screenshot the map and save it as an image. This will take up far less battery and your phone will love you for it!
10. Turn off social media notifications
Make sure you switch off unnecessary notifications from social media sites and other non-essential apps to help your battery last longer.
If you can live without being immediately notified you've been tagged in a photo then you can save a LOT of battery power throughout the day.
11. Disconnect from the Wi-Fi
It's easy to let your Wi-Fi run in the background, especially when you're connected to your home or work network. You may think you're saving precious mobile data by doing this, but if you're not actually using it for prolonged periods of time then you're best switching it off.
It's also worth disconnecting the Wi-Fi as soon as you leave your Wi-Fi hotspot because while this aerial is still connected, your phone will be frantically working hard searching for other networks to connect to. Remember to disconnect your Wi-Fi when you're on the move and give your poor phone a rest! It could even encourage you to have a digital detox.
12. Say goodbye to voice controls
Voice controls may be useful and fun, but it will also suck the life out of your phone battery. Even when you accidentally activate it, your phone will use up a lot of battery power just for that one mistake.
If you don't need Siri or S Voice then make sure you disable it in your settings.
13. Say no to 4G when you're running low...
Unless you really need a faster connection, switching off the 4G on your phone will help double your remaining battery life. As soon as you see that low battery indicator, switch it off!
14. ...then switch off 3G when you're in the red
Battery power in the red danger zone? Prevent it from draining completely by immediately switching off your 3G function: your mobile data. You won't be able to use your internet based apps but don't worry you'll still be able to make phone calls and send and receive text messages.
15. Opt out of automatic app updates
If you're using an iPhone with iOS7, it will automatically update all your apps whenever there is a new version available - this can be surprisingly often!
While it may be convenient, it will also soak up your phone battery like there's no tomorrow. Only update your apps when you need to by going into:
- iTunes & App Store
- Automatic Downloads
- Move slider to Off/white
16. Swap Google for Black
If you use your smartphone to search and browse the internet, it's well worth switching from Google to Blackl. It's an energy-saving search engine, powered by Google, that features a black background instead of the iconic white. As we've learnt, phones use less power to display dark colours so you'll save a lot of battery if you use this search engine on your phone.
17. Activate flight mode
Flight mode is a setting available on most smartphones and electronic devices. When activated, it suspends the device's signal transmitting functions. When you don't need to use your phone get in the habit of enabling this function. Your phone saves a huge amount of power when in this mode.
18. Turn off background app updates
Some apps on iPhone may refresh in the background, updating themselves for when you next use them. This may be useful for when you want up to date information but you can stop this from happening (and burning your battery power) by going into your settings and switching off 'Background App Refresh'.
19. Forgo the flash photography
Flashes on smartphones are so powerful these days they also double up as a torch! While they may help brighten up a dark photo opportunity, they also consume a lot of phone juice so avoid using the flash unless you really need it. There are lots of clever photo editing apps that will lighten up any dark photos you may take.
Thanks for reading! Do you have any secret ways to conserve battery life?
Let us know in the comments section below.