Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Emmanuel Akor

How to increase the working time of a smartphone or smart-clock?

How to increase the working time of a smartphone or smart-clock?

If mobile devices have long become a part of your life, you have probably faced the fact that the message about low battery level appears long before the end of the day. This is frightening - especially if you are far from home and do not have the opportunity to put a smartphone or smart watch on charging. What should I do to maximize the remaining interest and how to avoid such situations in the future?
To begin with, the energy-saving mode helps, but do not rely solely on it. We have collected in this article a few tricks that will help extend the life of a smartphone or smart-clock - and not all of them are obvious. 

Let's start with the hardware settings 

Regardless of which smartphone or clock you have, it's best to start with basic display settings, GPS and wireless connections. It's quite easy, but it affects power for a long time, and it's possible that you will not need other tips.
We note at once that sound and tactile response usually do not have much influence on autonomy, so there is no point in turning off vibration if you are more comfortable with it. The same goes for the silent mode.


Screen brightness is one of the most important factors. At full brightness, you will, of course, see the image from any angle, but this will shorten the running time by several hours. Turn the brightness to minimum and gradually increase until you feel comfortable reading what's on the screen. As a rule, this is not the maximum brightness. Not a bad idea - to enable automatic adjustment of brightness, it is in most smartphones. As a rule, the system quite correctly analyzes what brightness is needed in the current conditions. Also it is worth to reduce the time of automatic shutdown of the screen, so that it does not lie for a few minutes in vain.
Some manufacturers equip their devices with additional display settings, allowing you to extend battery life. For example, in Galaxy S8 and Note 8 you can lower the screen resolution, and in Razer Phone you can reduce the refresh rate of the display. Also, many Android devices have the function of a permanently active display (including a clock) - turn it off if you understand that it is of little use to you.

GPS and wireless connections

GPS easily kills batteries, and manufacturers are well aware of this - in smartphones, you can easily limit geolocation or completely turn it off. On Android, you can limit the accuracy of the definition (using only Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but not GPS). On iOS, you can completely disable geolocation or allow some applications to use it only when the application is active. If your smart clock has a GPS module, sometimes it makes sense to turn it off. For example, in the case of Apple Watch, you can turn off GPS for the duration of the workout via the application on the iPhone.
Wireless connections also consume much energy, but it is not always possible to disconnect them - after all, they are used by both clock and smartphone. Bluetooth, as a rule, is the easiest to sacrifice: leave it only if you use wireless accessories. But the next is more difficult. Yes, you can turn off Wi-Fi when not at home, but it spends traffic and worsens the accuracy of geolocation. There is also the mode "In the plane", but this is an extreme case - for example, if you need a smartphone after half an hour, you can not charge it, but only 5% is left. In general, smartphones and smart watches are designed for constant connection to the Internet, so disabling all networks is not suitable for everyday ways of saving battery.
However, you can reconfigure the cellular connection. If you are connected to a stable Wi-Fi and do not wait for calls, you can disconnect the transfer of cellular data. Also disable features that use the Internet in the background - for example, Wi-Fi Assist in iOS (a function that automatically switches the smartphone to LTE, if the Wi-Fi signal is weak or unstable) and limit the use of mobile Internet for specific applications. But reducing the speed (say, with LTE on 3G) is unlikely to work. The whole saving is eaten by the fact that the download will take more time than usual.

Limit the background activity

If the previous methods did not give the desired result, the next step is to configure the operation of applications. Some programs are continuously updated in the background, and this can be a problem if they are on your smartphone with a dozen.
First of all, ask yourself if you need this application at all. We often download something "just in case" or use it once, when it's necessary, and we do not go there any more. Get rid of applications that you do not go into for months, and those that are easily replaced by the site. This, incidentally, applies to social networks, which pretty much spend the charge of smartphones. 
After deleting unnecessary, think about notifications. Yes, they may not be so much during the day, but each of them includes a screen for a few seconds. In the settings you can choose which applications can notify you, and also configure their type. As a result, a smartphone or clock will stop distracting you with unnecessary notifications, and the battery life will increase. Some applications have their own notification settings - they should also be noted. So is it important for you to everyone who lyched your photo in Instagram? Maybe you should shorten notifications to those you are subscribed to? It's the same with Twitter. Leave only important - like mentions and personal messages. And the energy will save, and do not miss the important in the flow of likes.
There are other background actions that you can limit. Are you using Hello, Siri or Hay, Google ? If not, disable this feature. This will not save the situation, but will remove one unnecessary background process. Applications that regularly update information (such as email collectors and weather forecasts) often allow you to configure how often they request new data. If you do not need to receive such data every minute, increase the scan interval.
However, do not close the application if you do not use it. We talked about this more than once - including in the article about RAM. Modern systems are designed in such a way that the application in the open list stops updating almost immediately and does not waste energy.

Limit use

Yes, we know: it is extremely difficult to change your habits, especially if you are used to constantly correspond with friends and document every 10 minutes of your life in the photo. However, it is always useful to pay attention to how you use a smartphone or a clock, if changes to settings have not helped and you still lack one charge for the whole day of work. Fortunately, this does not always mean that the device will have to use less.
 To begin it is necessary with reduction of video streaming. Constant downloading from the Internet and playback kills the battery no matter which application you use. If possible, play the files offline. Services like Apple Music, Spotify Premium, Netflix and Hulu allow you to download content directly to your device. If you prefer to buy content and own it regardless of whether you continue to subscribe or not, there are always iTunes and similar stores of digital movies and music. In many smart watches, you can also directly download music, and not broadcast from your smartphone.
It also makes sense to update the cloud storage settings. iCloud Photo Library and Google Photos allow you to synchronize only when you are connected to Wi-Fi, or if the smartphone is charging. As a rule, backup of photos can wait until you return home - and this is already saving both the charge and traffic. This is especially true for large files - for example, a video from a concert.
And yes, there are times when it's better to refrain from using a smartphone. Heavy games (especially with 3D graphics), constant GPS navigation and video calls significantly deplete the battery, and with this, almost nothing can be done. This is not a complete refusal, but try to intelligently distribute time, so as not to remain without communication at the wrong time. This is easy: for example, turn off the navigator, if it has already almost arrived in place and you do not need it anymore.

If nothing helps ...

Tried to extend the life of your device with all the methods described, but it did not get better? There are a couple of solutions "in case of emergency". First, check the status of your battery through the application (iOS 11.3 and later has a built-in indicator) or contact the service. If you have a device for a long time and you use it often, it is possible that the battery is worn down to a level where its real capacity has decreased. Yes, a new battery is not cheap, but if it saves you from having to charge your smartphone several times a day, the game is worth the candle.
Is the battery OK? If you are happy with your device and are not ready to change it, or it is discharged ahead of time it is rare, consider buying an external battery (Anker, Belkin, Xiaomi and Mophie are the most popular and proven manufacturers). Although they are not very cheap and can sometimes seem cumbersome, their benefits are obvious. The main thing is to find a balance between the capacity of the battery and the extra weight that you are ready to carry in your bag every day. Of course, there are batteries for 10,000 mAh and more, but do you really need these giants if your smartphone lacks just a couple of hours of work per day?

Emmanuel Akor

About Emmanuel Akor -

Martins is a passionate blogger who enjoys writing articles on techs, blogging tips and reviews. He is a "Gold Star" contributor to many top blogs and also a freelance writer.

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