As our smartphones become more capable than ever, we’re also using them more than ever, and battery drain is a frustrating side-effect of elevated mobile use.
While streaming videos, playing games or using GPS navigation tend are the obvious culprits, there are other less common causes of dreaded battery drain. Here’s some that you may not have thought of, and what you can do to prevent them.
1. Your phone is too bright.
For both Android and iPhone handsets, you can save a considerable amount of your battery’s charge by dimming the screen brightness, or enabling the auto-brightness setting. These are usually found in your phone’s display settings, and can be easily adjusted if you are having issues with visibility.
2. Your apps’ background activities are chewing through your charge.
Apps are amazingly addictive but, in some instances, their background activity can also be responsible for draining your battery even when you aren’t actively using them. You can check which apps are using the most battery by going to Settings > Battery.
On an iPhone, click the little clock at the top right hand side, and this will tell you how much battery is being used when you are using the app and when it is simply on in the background. On an Android, just tap the name of the app in the list to see similar information.
If you find a big offender in the background app battery usage stakes, you can disable it, if it’s not that important to you.
On an iPhone, this is found in Settings > General > Background App Refresh. On an Android device, go to Settings > Data Usage and, after you select the app, select Restrict Background Data.
3. You keep Bluetooth on when you don’t need it.
Bluetooth is great when you are in your car, or streaming music wirelessly, but when you aren’t using it, it is still searching for active signals and can cost you valuable battery charge. A handy tip is to make sure you disable your Bluetooth radio when you park your car.
For your iPhone, simply go to Settings > Bluetooth. For your Android handset, go to Settings > Wireless and Networks to find your Bluetooth toggle switch.
4. Your phone’s Wi-Fi settings are draining your juice.
If you’re at home or have the password to a network within range, connecting to your broadband service via Wi-Fi makes sense. Most people don’t realise that if you are out and about and using your 3G or 4G networks, your phone’s Wi-Fi service is still scanning for networks to connect to, and uses battery in the process.
You can easily switch off your Wi-Fi service on your iPhone by toggling the Wi-Fi switch in Settings. For your Android phone, go to Settings > Wi-Fi > Advanced and make sure Scanning Always Available is off.
5. Your screen’s timeout time is too long.
What difference can a minute or so before your screen turns off make? A lot, experts say. If you add up all the times you use your phone throughout the day, or a push notification causes the screen to turn back on, you end up with a considerable amount of time you are using your screen when you don’t need to be.
Change your timeout setting to your device’s minimum on your iPhone by going to Settings > Display/Brightness and then adjusting the time interval under Auto-Lock. For your Android device, this setting should be under Settings > Sound & Display > Screen Timeout.
With all of these instructions, if they do not apply to your particular handset, please consult your device’s instructions for details on how to adjust these settings.