This was my very first cell phone almost 20 years ago. It was great. It had an antenna, a cool wrist strap, and could hold about 30 phone numbers. It was freedom. But, the very best part of my phone was that its battery would last for days. Imagine that. Not hours but DAYS. In 2000-2001, we didn’t use our phones to download apps, watch movies, play games, upload hundreds of photos that we never use, or text with friends. I used it for emergencies and emergencies only. But even if I did use it often, that phone had amazing battery life. Honestly, I think a truck could have run over this phone and it would have survived.
Now it’s 2017 and I have a smartphone with too many apps, several hundred photos, an amazingly colorful backdrop, and access to the Internet, which I use way more than I should. It’s battery….meh. I’m lucky if it lasts through the day. That is partly because I never fully charge my phone, often forget my charger at home, and interact with my phone probably at a higher percentage than I interact with people. Just kidding…but I’m sure it’s close.
So how does one increase the battery life for their phones?? It’s a plight we all face and often lose, but I have faith. Fortunately, I discovered the iTechHacks blog post that outlined 10+ methods to increasing your smartphone’s battery life. While you should definitely read the entire article, I have highlighted a short list of their tech hacks that will add time to your smartphone’s battery life, keep it alive, and reduce the number of meltdowns we have while searching for a charger…
Lower the brightness — High intensity brightness on your phone will exhaust your battery. Make sure to turn off the “Auto-Brightness” option and manually reduce the intensity for a quick and easy battery-saving move.
Cool the Vibrations — Did you know that the vibrations feature is one of the biggest users of battery juice? It drains your battery quicker than most other features on your phone. While you may use the vibration feature because it’s a great way to alert you to a call or text message, consider changing this option to save some battery life.
Un-Sync Your Auto-Sync — Turn off Auto-Sync! If Auto-Sync is left on, accounts, such as Google and Spotify, continuously sync new data throughout the day. This process utilizes A LOT of energy, which silently depletes your battery life. Before you know it, you went from 20% to 1%. Check your settings and make sure to refresh your apps manually.
Manage Your Apps — It is inevitable that you are going to have apps on your phone, but it’s how well you take care of them that matters. Delete apps you don’t use and update ones you do. Why update? Often times, developers create new features for their apps that reduce battery consumption. Older apps may lack these new features and unused apps are simply sucking the life out of your phone without any benefit. If you have certain apps that are used infrequently, you don’t need to delete them, but you can manage their battery use by turning them off in your settings.
Want to create your own technology life hack? Stop by Teen Central during Open Lab time.
“Hack the System!” features examples of technology life hacks created by Ally, the Youth Technology Librarian at Teen Central. Check back on the third Friday of each month for her latest post.