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How to make your smartphone battery last all day

The dreaded empty battery symbol we all dread
The dreaded empty battery symbol we all dread
e2s - Wikimedia Commons

Having a the latest and greatest smartphone is wonderful thing, simply because they can do so many things, but they also have a major downside, and that is poor battery life. While phones have become more powerful over the last few years, battery technology has not improved much at all. Today's big powerful phones can suck a battery dry in a few short hours with all of their options enabled, but there are some things you can do to preserve some precious battery life.

Check email manually

One of the benefits of having a smartphone is having the ability to check email wherever you are. While this feature is nice, if it's not kept in check it can have a serious effect on battery life. When you set up your email accounts they automatically set themselves up to push email to your phone when it arrives at your inbox, this is a great feature, but the with the phone constantly checking for email in the background your battery takes a massive hit.

To really save some battery life simply turn the push feature off for each account you have programmed in to your phone, or just turn off the push feature for accounts that aren't as important as say your work email. If you do not want to turn the feature off completely, you can increase the intervals between each check, with options usually ranging from checking every 15 minutes to only checking once every two hours. If you can live without having your email pushed to your phone automatically, and you do not mind manually checking your email, you can save a lot of battery power.

Kill Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

These two features are great when you need them, chances are though you forget that you have them turned on when you do not need them. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are two of the biggest causes of battery drain on Smartphones. While BTLE (aka Bluetooth 4.0) has come a long way in terms of efficiency, it will still cause pretty significant battery drain. If you do not rely upon a Bluetooth headset, or spend most of your time driving or traveling, turn off both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to reduce the amount of time you spend charging your phone.

Turn off data while you sleep

Night time is when most of us charge our devices, but if you find yourself in a situation where you cannot juice your phone up you might want to consider turning off your data connection. Your smartphones data connection is power hungry, and it is constantly eating away at your battery's reserves. At night time before you go to bed, turn off the phones data connection. You will still be able to receive phone calls, but your phone will not be connected to any data services, which means your battery, will not be attacked needlessly overnight.

Control the brightness

Your phone likely has a beautiful HD screen on it. Smartphones use LCD or Super AMOLED displays these days, and they are monsters when it comes to battery drainage. Your phone probably has a feature called auto brightness, and in the past you have likely read that this feature is the best thing to use if you want to conserve energy, but that is not entirely true.

While the automatic brightness setting is nice, you have to remember that the phone is constantly watching and adjusting to changing light conditions, and this takes its toll on your battery. The best thing to do is manually adjust your screen brightness for the situation your are in. If you find yourself inside and out of direct sunlight, you will be able to turn the screen brightness almost all the way down, only when you plan to use the phone outside in direct sunlight will you need to adjust the screen brightness again. Adjusting the brightness is a very easy way to save power.

Use GPS sparingly

Location services are a great way to connect to the world around you, but as you might have guessed GPS and location services are big battery hogs. Contrary to popular belief these services do not need to be turned on all the time. You can turn these features off in your phones menu and set them to be used when you specify. If you do not specify when the phone can use them, the features will always be on, running in the background like a silent killer. If you do not rely on GPS, or do not want your phone tracking your every move, simply turn these features off and save your battery.

Use battery extending apps

While all of the tips mentioned so far will work with on any smartphone, this next tip will only work on Android based devices. There is a application called Tasker that is available in the Google Play Store for $2.99, and it is one of the best ways to save both battery power and time.

Tasker is an app that you can use to set up individual tasks for your phone to complete based off of time of day, location, or calender entries. You can make Tasker control any of the functions listed above based on what you are doing or where you are located. When you get home you might want Tasker to turn on Wi-Fi so that you can connect to your home network, and disable data so that you don't exceed your data cap and so on.

Tasker can bring full automation to your phone, and it can really make huge difference to the life of your battery. Tasker can adjust your phones volume based on whether you are at home or at work, it can turn on GPS when it senses you are moving, and then turn it off again when it realizes you stop, it can also setup reminders for you to send or check email at certain times of the day, and in the process of reminding you it will turn on your Wi-Fi or data connection, send your email and then turn off your data connection off again. Do you go to bed at a certain time? If so set Tasker to place your phone into Airplane Mode at the specified time so that battery drainage is minimal overnight. The possibilities with Tasker are limitless, and if you can think of a action you need to perform to save battery life, or simply make your life easier, you can program Tasker to do it for you.

These are just a few ways to conserve your smartphones battery life. There are many other ways you can do this, but if you follow this guide and attack the biggest battery monsters out there, you and your smartphone will easily make it through the day (or more) on a single charge.

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