Useful, addictive, wonderful – we can use many adjectives to describe modern day smartphones. It can mean different things for different people. We all, however, have to face one common annoyance when it comes to indulging ourselves with this wonderful innovation of modern science. You guessed it – it’s the battery life! The battery drains too fast which is a real problem. Even if you leave your home in the morning with that beautiful 100% battery charge sign, you have to live in constant fear of losing it pretty damn quickly.
Many people have suggestions regarding this issue. But what really solves it? Turning wifi off? Turning everything useful off? Well, sometimes those solutions kind of defeat the purpose of having your phone in the first place.
You don’t have to panic anymore. Here’s how you finally can solve your battery wars:
1. Your Own Battery Test
The only time your battery should be working hard is when you’re actually using your iPhone and shouldn’t be working hard or working at all, the rest of the time. More often than not, an app will prevent your phone from going into standby and bring mayhem to your battery life.
Here we’ll basically be testing whether your phone battery is actually sitting idle when it is supposed to or not. This is how you test it:
On the iPhone go to Settings -> Battery. Allow the phone a few seconds to load the data and then scroll all the way to the bottom. You’ll find two numbers there – Usage and Standby.
Your Usage number should be a lot lower than your Standby number. You might need to take care of a few things if it’s not. You can test this one too. Lock the phone for 5 minutes and then check the numbers again. If your Standby time has jumped up by 5 minutes, everything is normal. However, if your Usage time has raised by more than 1 minute, it tells you your phone is not quite being as idle as it should.
On Android, go to Settings > Device > Battery. On a newer version of Android, go to Settings > Battery. The information will be listed under “Device Idle” which is practically the same as standby mode.
If you find that your phone isn’t really in Standby mode when you’re not using it, there should be a reason. It’s time we moved on to #2.
2. Pushing it too far
Consider the following scenario. There’s an app and it is doing something when you are not using the phone. It has had a malfunction and now it is stuck in an endless loop. That endless loop is draining all the power of your phone.
That happens more often than you think. The push email service is most likely the culprit here. Here’s how you can try an easy fix to this problem:
Go to Settings > Mail > Accounts> Fetch New Data. If it is set to “Push”, turn that off and set it to Fetch every 30 minutes. Even better, use the Manual mode which only scans for new emails when you actually open the app.
Tweaking the settings for fetching new emails every two hours or so is also a good idea. You don’t miss the timely email updates and also save a lot of power by disabling push emails.
On an Android phone, the push notification settings are in Settings > Applications. You’ll have to pick and app and change it’s setting individually.
3. Killer Background Apps
There are some apps that keep working in the background even when you are not using it. It’s called “Background App Refresh”. Facebook might update your social feeds, Uber might update your location, Music apps might fetch new playlists – there are numerous reasons the apps might be working in the background. It might be convenient but it also drains a lot of battery.
If you got to Settings -> Battery, you can find out which apps are eating up most of the power. The ones at the top battery hogs. If an app is listed with “Background Activity” below it, it is using power even when your phone is idle. Head over to Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh and switch off any apps that you think is not worth the battery drain.
4. Multitasking is Not Evil
You double tap the home button. You find a lot of apps in the background just sitting idle and you close them out instinctively. Somehow we have this idea that those apps must be eating a lot of battery power. This, however, is a myth and let me explain why.
Those apps sitting in the background are paused. The iOS handles them in such a way that they don’t consume any power while they are in the background. The taking up the power issue lies with something you inadvertently do, which is to close out those apps. When you do that, the data associated with the apps gets erased from the temporary memory. When you open those apps again, the system has to load the data again and that uses some amount of power. Just leave the apps alone and the battery will be fine.
Pulling the top menu down on Android phones will reveal the list of apps that are either running or paused. Do not close them as the idea is to save more power by leaving them as they are.
5. Low Power Mode can be the saviour
Low Power feature is available both on Android and iOS. It turns off everything except the most necessary things and hence minimises the battery usage to the lowest level. We recommend you keep the Low Power Mode on as much as you can. Head over to Settings -> Battery -> Low Power Mode on iOS and to Settings -> Battery -> Menu Icon – Battery Saver on Android to use this feature.
It can be really useful and you can almost double the battery life by using it as much as you can.
Of course there are other small things you can do which have been mentioned by other people on the web. However, fixing the email and background activity issues can give you at least FOUR HOURS of extra battery life to your phone. And as far as smartphones are concerned, adding that much battery life can easily be seen as a miracle.