How to make your battery last longer and improve battery life on your iPhone or Android device

Add hours to your battery life with a few simple tweaks

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The Independent Tech

Whether you're stuck in the middle of nowhere without a charger, or your phone battery has been slowly getting too short, there is a range of ways to ensure that your phone lasts a little bit longer.

Airplane mode

Airplane mode will stop the phone connecting to the internet, which is perhaps an obvious way of keeping the battery going longer.

That’s extra important when signal is either non-existent or patchy. If the phone can’t connect, it’ll keep trying to do so, using up battery as it does. So if you know that it’s not going to have any luck — because you’re on a flight or in the middle of nowhere, for instance — it’s best to save the bother, and the battery.

Shut down unnecessary apps

This is a lot more important on Android than iOS, where background apps are really just frozen in time until you next use them. But either way, it’s worth shutting down everything you’re not using at any time, just to be sure.

Stop other processes

Even if apps are shut, some services will continue to keep connecting the internet to sync. So turn off syncing and updating — either through Google’s “stop auto-sync” option on Android, or by clicking through each specific service in the settings app.

Keep your apps up to date

Bugs in code can leave phones doing unnecessary work, and updates can optimise apps for working with new devices. So it’s important to ensure that your apps are up to date — though if you’re already behind, it’s probably best not to spend valuable battery time updating apps.

No flash photography

Sending out that quick burst of light from the flash takes up a lot of battery, so is best avoided. The same goes for using it as a torch.

Vibrate mode

Keeping sound and vibrations on use up battery every time your phone wants to tell you anything. Turning off notifications entirely might be extreme, but turning off vibration and turning the sound down will help. (Though it might do the opposite if you feel compelled to keep checking whether you’ve missed anything.)

This is extra important on Android, some versions of which vibrate on every key press.

 

Turn down the backlight

Lighting up the screen drains charge. So it’s a good idea to do it as little as you can. You can do this from the swipeable control panel on both iOS and Android.

Turn off location services

Modern phones are using the GPS all of the time — telling the internet where you are so that it can use the data later on. That might sound a little worrying at the best of times, but when you’re running low on battery it’s doubly problematic.

Turning off both GPS and the services that use it will preserve valuable battery life. But if you still need to use maps, you can actually just turn the GPS off — it will limit the accuracy of your phone a little, but the feature will continue to work.

Speed up the screen timeout

Keeping the screen on unnecessarily uses up charge, so turn it down as short as you can. But most phones don’t let you set it very short — so it’s a good idea to make sure you lock the phone whenever you can, even still.

Turn off unnecessary connections

That includes: Bluetooth, 3G and wifi, as well as anything else like infrared or NFC.

Though Bluetooth and wifi feel like power drains, they’re actually much less than other . Bluetooth is especially economical when it’s not actually connected anything, so it’s not worth worrying about too much. But if you’re looking to keep every last bit of battery life, it might be worth shutting them all off anyway.

Do as little as you can with the phone

Playing games, watching videos, relying on the internet and so on all use up power. Texts don’t, so much, and phone calls are still fairly economical.

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