Improving Your Android Smartphone Battery Life
Android is a mobile operating system based on the Linux kernel and is being developed by Google in Mountain View, California, USA. This mobile phone software stack comes installed on a variety of smartphones and tablet computers from a host of manufacturers such Samsung’s Galaxy, Google’s Nexus One and Motorola’s Droid. Android phones come with several built-in applications and support third-party programs which can be downloaded from the online Android Market on Google play.
These phones and phablets are getting bigger and better, processors are more powerful and data networks are getting faster and faster and therefore the need for more battery life is more than ever. The tips below can help you help you to extend your handset’s battery life. To write this article, I am using Samsung Galaxy Note 3 running Android 4.4.2 KitKat though these tips should apply across all Android phones.
1. Keep the screen timeout short
On your phone’s settings, navigate to your phone’s display settings menu and you should find “Screen timeout” option. Set your timeout to the shortest available time which is usually 5 seconds on Android phones.
2. Turn off unnecessary hardware radios such as Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi
If you’re not using your Bluetooth headset to receive calls, you’re not using your GPS or location services to triangulate your phone’s location on the Earth’s surface and you’re not using your smartphone to connect to wireless internet, then turn these radio buttons off. This can save you a lot of battery life.
3. Use Airplane/Flight Mode
If you’re in an area with limited or poor cellular coverage, your phone will always be searching around for a signal which can cause a serious drain on your battery. The best thing you can do is switching your phone into Airplane or Flight mode. This mode however will not allow you to make or receive calls but will allow you to save on battery life.
4. Use your power saving mode
Power saver modes are usually provided by the manufacturers to increase your battery life. Battery saving modes allow you to turn off vibration, lowers the screen brightness, reduce screen timeout, prevent apps from updating in the background and disabling on-screen animations. Always turn on this feature to enable the battery last long.
5. Kill apps running in the background
Android Smartphones have the ability to multitask i.e. the ability to run more than one app at a time. This can lead to a lot of battery drainage. To clear out these apps that you are not using go to Settings then Application Manager. Here you’ll be able to see a list of apps that are currently running. Stop all apps that you aren’t actually using to remarkably reduce your processor’s workload and hence lead to reduced battery consumption.
“The depressing thing about battery technology is that it gets better, but it gets better slowly. There are a whole bunch of problems in materials science and chemistry that come in trying to make existing batteries better.” – Nathan Myhrvold
Manually turn your screen’s brightness down to the lowest setting that is still comfortable and adjust it when necessary. The auto-brightness feature that comes with android phones is way brighter than you may really need. By doing this you may greatly extend the life of your battery.
7. Don’t use vibrate
Vibrating your phone takes more power than playing a ringtone. The best thing to do is to turn off vibration and use your ringtone. You may even consider to use mute mode and keep your phone in sight so as to see an incoming call or message. This is not only courteous but you can add some time on your battery life.
8. Turn off non-essential notifications
Enable only the most important messaging apps for refresh frequency to conserve energy. As much as you may want to get breaking news as soon as they happen, keep up with Facebook comments and Twitter mentions as soon as they are posted but they consume a lot of power. Turning off nonessential notifications will help your battery last a little longer.
Updated applications are often optimized to use less battery power and hence a good reason for you to ensure that your apps are always up to date. Apps can be set to update automatically or can updated manually in Google play. Check for app updates in Google Play by hitting the menu key and going to My Apps and ensure all of them updated.
Your phone’s Lithium-ion battery capacity is going to reduce faster in places where the temperature is above 35 degrees Celsius or below 0 degrees Celsius. Avoid exposing your phone or tablet to direct sunlight or below freezing temperatures as this could have effect on the batteries lifetime.
You can visit Battery University for more information on how to prolong Lithium-based batteries. I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below.