Happy Social Media Day!
We’ve come a long way since the days of playing Snake on Nokia phones. Our smartphones are practically a necessity, not just to let our partners know we’re alive whenever we’re not home by midnight, but also to surf every possible social media platform out there on the go.
But the more our smartphones can do, the more quickly battery is sapped. (And it always happens at the most untimely of moments, like when we really need to book an Uber.)
Here are 10 hacks to prolong your smartphone battery life. (And no, “turn on airplane mode” isn’t one of them – the whole point of saving battery is so we can actually, you know, use our phones.)
Smartphone engineers are always tweaking the software to improve power management (bless them), so don’t put off software updates or you’ll be missing out!
Turning down the brightness of your screen can help to preserve tons of battery life.
It might take a little getting used to, but you’ll get there eventually!
Each pixel on your screen takes power to light up, so having a black or dark-coloured wallpaper will put less of a strain on your battery.
Your phone needs to poll the server to send you updated data each time; and let’s not forget how your screen lights up and your phone vibrates each time a notification pops up.
Turn off superfluous notifications that you don’t need, like (debatably) each time someone sends you a new life on Candy Crush. It helps to eliminate distractions too.
If you’re in an area with free Wi-Fi (which is really half of Singapore, so you have no excuse), connect to the local Wi-Fi network to access online content or surf your social media channels. It’s less taxing on your battery than using the 3G/4G service.
But turn off your Wi-Fi when you don’t intend to use it – it’ll keep trying to scan for Wi-Fi as long as it’s on, draining your battery for no useful reason.
Battery Doctor (Apple/ Android): this app provides real-time power consumption rankings and instructions on how to suspend these battery-sapping apps, as well as accurate available time estimations to eliminate the uncertainty of when your phone will die on you.
SnapDragon Battery Guru (Android): this app intelligently adjust your phone settings based on your habits such as automatically turning off your Wi-Fi and radios when not in use, toggling apps and managing the time and frequency they refresh, and more. A good alternative for iPhone users: Battery Life Pro.
Even if you’re out of your app on your phone, it might still be running in the background, eating away at your battery.
For iPhone users: push the home button twice consecutively to bring up the apps currently open on your smartphone, then swipe up to close them.
For Android users: open Settings > Applications > Manage Applications (or Application Manager) and close the apps you don’t want to keep open from there.
Alternatively, reboot your phone once in a while to start your phone on a clean slate with as little apps running as possible.
GPS is a great battery sucker, and we have no use for it most of the time, too. (It’s also scary to think about how your phone logs everywhere you go – privacy, dude!)
Disable non-essential apps’ access to location services. Alternatively, Android users can set levels to determine how much power locations services are allowed to use.
Leaving your phone in hot or cold temperatures (like on your car’s toasty dashboard) can heat up your battery and cause it to discharge its energy faster, draining it prematurely.
Believe it or not, it actually matters!
The way each carrier transmits data, the frequency bands they use, and other such details have an impact on the longevity of your battery life.
You might be locked in a two-year contract, but the next time it’s time to renew it, it might be worth doing some research to find out what carrier works best for you not only in terms of the perks they offer, but how it works out in terms of your smartphone’s battery life.
By Pinky Chng, June 2016