Thursday, September 4, 2014

How to Make Your Smartphone Run Longer – Software Configuration & Settings

Smartphones are used often because they can perform so many tasks. The problem is that heavy use of a smartphone will drain your battery life. A low battery indicator is something you want to avoid because it means that you will soon be unable to use your smartphone.

While in the long run it may be necessary to get a new smartphone with longer battery life, it may be possible to extend your current battery life by making sure that your smartphone is configured properly for maximum battery life.

Before getting rid of your old smartphone and getting a new one, you may want to check if all your smartphone settings are set correctly. By doing this, you may increase the amount of time that you can use your smartphone and negate the need to buy a new smartphone.

Ensure maximum battery life by enabling all power saving settings

Smartphone manufacturers are aware of how important battery life is. For that reason, they've incorporated a host of features into their smartphones to ensure that people are able to use their smartphone for as long as possible.

If you own a smartphone, the first thing to do is to make sure that all the power saving settings have been enabled, such as:
  • Similar to desktop computers, smartphones will adjust their clock speed depending on the task that needs to be performed. A higher clock speed makes the phone run faster, but requires more power. A lower clock speed needs less power, but makes the phone slower. This dynamic adjusting of clock speed should be turned on if it isn't already.
  • Smartphones will also switch of their screen after a certain amount of time has passed and there has been no input. Since power is required to light a screen, turning the screen off by going to sleep saves power and this setting should also be active.

These settings are usually turned on by default, but you should still check to make sure that is indeed the case. If they have not been enabled for some reason, turn them on as they can make a battery last significantly longer. Once you've done this, you can begin fine tuning and make further adjustments to squeeze as much life out of you smartphone battery as possible.

Adjust screen brightness to extend battery life and go to sleep sooner

The brighter the screen, the more energy is used. By lowering the brightness of the screen, you can make your smartphone last longer by a significant margin. Go for the lowest possible setting that your eyes are still comfortable with.

You may also want to change the default settings and reduce the amount of time before the screen is turned off. For example, instead of three minutes, your smartphone will turn off its display after just one minute. Try to minimize the amount of time the screen needs to be turned on, because the screen is the bigger consumer of power in a smartphone.

Turn off notifications and don't sync as often or not at all

Many apps, especially social media apps such as Whatsapp, WeChat and so on, will notify you of updates. This can be handy to some people, but it does use power as the display needs to be turned on every single time. This can really drain the battery if you have a lot of contacts, which is why you may want to turn off notifications to help your smartphone last longer.

You may also want to extend the amount of time a smartphone needs to wait before looking for available updates. For example, you could set your smartphone to sync every hour instead of every 15 minutes. This may be less convenient for some people as, for example, you will only find out about a new email 45 minutes later than would have been the case otherwise. However, it does help extend battery life.

If possible, don't sync at all. Decide whether a gadget really needs to sync with your smartphone. It's possible that you don't need to connect to every gadget and it can help you save some battery life in the process.

Disable smartphone hardware that you aren't using to save energy

Every hardware component in your smartphone needs power. Therefore, you want to disable the ones that you aren't using to save power. For example:
  • Turn off Wi-Fi if you don't need a wireless connection or if you are not within range of a hot spot to transfer data.
  • Turn off Bluetooth and only turn it on if or when you need to connect to some other device. This is not often, so Bluetooth can be disabled most of the time.
  • Turn off vibrate. Even though vibrating can be a convenient feature, it does consume a lot of power. Turning this feature off can really help make your smartphone last longer.
  • Turn off volume. Sound requires power and turning off or lowering the volume can save battery life.
Whenever possible you may want to turn on Airplane Mode in your smartphone. This turns off radios, which means that they don't use any power.

Limit use of GPS navigation to save power

Some apps want to access the GPS in your smartphone, which requires power. Although detecting your current location using GPS may be very handy, it can use a lot of battery power. Pick wisely whenever you decide to use this feature. For example, not every photo needs information regarding location.

You should also try to minimize the amount of time you use GPS hardware for navigation. Although mapping software can be incredibly useful, the more time you spend using this service, the quicker your battery and smartphone will die. In other words, keep it short.

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Related articles:
  1. How to Make Your Smartphone Battery Last Longer – Hardware Choices
  2. How to Extend Cellphone Battery Life – Accessories & Tips

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