How to Increase Battery Life on your Android
With the amount of usability we demand from our phones, it’s no wonder that people experience battery issues with their phone all the time. While occasionally someone may get a bad battery or perhaps a certain model of phone really sucks up battery fast, many battery issues are solved easily in how we use them.
Across all phones, display is the primary source of battery drainage. There are a couple ways to limit the amount of battery your display consumes, but each comes with its own set of limitations.
The simplest solution that works best for me is using the auto-brightness control. It dims the screen in dark settings and raises the brightness of the screen when competing with other light sources (like the sun).
If you’re really concerned with preserving your battery, you can always turn off auto-brightness and set the brightness to an extremely low setting (around 25%). This will preserve more battery power than auto-brightness but will also be a pain when using your phone outdoors in the sun.
Also remember to turn your screen off when not using it. You can set a screen timeout (turns off the screen after a certain period of inactivity) to do this or just power it off yourself with the power button. I prefer turning my screen off with the power button, so that the phone doesn’t timeout when I’m reading something on it.
One of the best android widgets I’ve seen for helping preserve battery it the “Power control” widget, which should be available on any remotely new phone (Android 2.1 or higher). The Power control widget allows me to enable and disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Auto-sync, and brightness levels (cycling between low, medium, high, and auto).
I use most options on the Power control widget on an as-needed basis. For example, I only use Bluetooth when I want to use a Bluetooth device, and I only use GPS when I want to use a directional service. I only use Wi-Fi when I know I can connect to a wireless network (otherwise your phone will spend battery trying to find and connect to one).
As for Auto-sync, I tend to turn it on and off periodically to update my phone with new emails and social media notifications. I find that, if I keep Auto-sync on constantly, it does take a toll on my battery, so I consider it better just to run it when I want updates from my social media and email. That way I’m also not bombarded all the time with updates.
Usually I don’t have to be too much of a stickler on turning off Wi-Fi and my 4G network when I’m not running Auto-sync or any app requiring the internet. However, if my battery is on the verge of dying, I will definitely disable both Wi-Fi and my mobile network when I’m not surfing on my phone. While the Power control widget doesn’t have a control to turn off “Mobile data,” you can get a free app from the Android Market called “Quick settings” which can achieve this (plus many more) function quickly.
This guest post is contributed by Patricia Garza, who writes about gadget, technology, design, social media, e-learning related articles at online university rankings.