By Reid Goldsborough
your smartphone. According to a new survey by ReportLinker, 75 percent of Americans keep
their smartphones active all day and night and 46 percent check their phones as
soon as they wake up.
your phone, you need it to be charged. There's little more mundane or important
with an iPhone, Android, or other smartphone than figuring out ways to keep its
battery charged as long as you need it.
today's smartphones and other portable devices, it's a misconception that you
should always let a battery drain completely before recharging for maximum
battery life. This was true with nickel-cadmium batteries, but the lithium-ion
batteries of today’s devices don't need this.
should do is drain the battery periodically. Advice differs, from once a month
to once a year. Just run your smartphone — watch a YouTube video, for instance
— until it shuts itself off. Then recharge it as usual.
your smartphone plugged in won't overcharge it. Most devices are designed to
stop charging once the battery is fully charged.
rechargeable batteries have a finite life before they have to be replaced.
Lithium-ion batteries can be recharged about 500 times before their maximum
charge begins to decline. You'll notice this when you begin having to recharge
sooner and sooner. Replacing the battery can cost as little as $10 if you do it
yourself or about $80 if you use a repair shop.
to extend your battery charge include:
your software up-to-date to gain access to the latest operating system, which
will include tricks to conserve battery power.
extreme temperatures. The ideal range is 62 to 72 degrees F, though devices
generally can be used safely in temperatures from 32 to 95 degrees. Heat above
95 degrees can be outright harmful, so avoid car trunks in summer.
down your screen brightness — experiment with 50 percent — and set it to black
and white if this is an option. Of course, brightness and color can be useful.
off wireless connections such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi if you're not using them.
mindful of the number of apps you have, especially battery-hogging ones such as
Facebook and Instagram. The iPhone's iOS operating system lets you see which
apps use the most juice. Press Settings then Battery and wait for Battery Usage
to load. You might be better off accessing some services through a web browser
such as Safari or Google Chrome rather than through a specialized app.
off background data use with apps that don't need to be continually downloading
data. Press Settings, General, and Background App Refresh. Android's
Marshmallow operating system has its built-in Doze feature that conserves power
by pausing resource-draining processes when you're not actively using your
phone. There also are optional Android apps designed to automate the process of
conserving power. Greenify, Go Battery Saver & Power Widget, and Avast
Battery Saver are three recommended ones.
new email manually. Auto-fetching email just drains battery power. With an
iPhone, press Settings, Mail, and Accounts and turn off Fetch New Data.
disable location services and notifications. Not every app has to know where
you are. With an iPhone, press Settings, Privacy, and Location Services. To
turn off app notifications, press Settings and Notifications then scroll
— Reid Goldsborough
is a syndicated columnist and author of the book
Straight Talk About the Information Superhighway. He can be reached at