You go to send a text or check a movie listing and discover your smartphone battery has completely drained. Or perhaps you’re visiting the folks and forgot your charger, and every minute of usage on your tablet brings you another minute closer to being disconnected from the virtual world.
Everybody has been there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take some additional steps to make those days with a low charge a little more manageable.
For starters, don’t forget about the most basic rules of battery conservation. It’s easy to hear these suggestions, roll your eyes and nod along sarcastically, but a refresher never hurts anyone.
Sometimes the easiest solution is the one you most easily overlook, so remember on those days when your iPhone 4 is running low on juice or your Nexus 7 charger is forgotten at home, that moderation is key. Stay away from gaming, turn off Twitter/Facebook auto updates for the time being, refuse the urge to surf the net and only use your device when it’s actually necessary.
Don’t forget that a lot of those alterations can be easily accomplished by switching your phone to airplane mode, basically turning the device into a pocket watch until you’re ready to make a call.
Kill the Apps
Sometimes the best way to police your apps is to get another app that does the legwork for you. You’d be surprised how many of your apps keep right on running in the background of your phone whether you want them to or not.
Apps like the Advanced Task Killer will keep these apps in line and make sure only the necessary functionality is running when your phone isn’t being used.
Adjust Those Settings
It’s no surprise that folks like their phones to be bright, vibrant and loud. Those screens look gorgeous nowadays and, especially when gaming, you want your mobile device to look its best. But all of that energy consumption comes at a cost to your dwindling battery life.
If you’re going to be without a charge solution for an extended period of time but still need to use your device, set it up so that you’re using the lowest possible settings.
Turn down the brightness, silence your phone and, unless you’re expecting an important call, consider even disabling the vibration function until you can find a charger and an outlet.
Keep it Cool
Here’s an interesting tidbit about batteries many overlook: They can be ruined in excessive heat, according to How To Geek. Going to the beach? Keep it out of direct sunlight in order to maximize the battery’s life.
Not only will it affect your battery’s functionality, you may find yourself in need of a brand new battery altogether after yours suffers heat stroke.
Check the Stats
Finally, Digital Trends recommends that you find out what applications are using up the most energy and, if you aren’t using them, disable them.
Android phones already come with a handy widget that lets you know which parts of your phone are using up the most energy, and apps can be downloaded for other devices that serve the same purpose. You may have forgotten to turn off GPS or Bluetooth. Or maybe you forgot to disable a particularly energy-hungry game.
These kinds of tools will show you exactly what is using how much energy, making it easier to optimize your device for low-charge days without overlooking any of the biggies.