10 ways to extend your cell phone’s battery life

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Smartphones have become an extension of ourselves, storing calendars and contacts, and sharing messages and pictures. That makes it aggravating when this important piece of yourself runs out of juice.

Best Buy Geek Squad member Alexandra Inman shared some top ways to conserve your smartphone’s battery.

1. Remember to end route

Remember to tap “End Route” when you’re done using Google Maps, or else your phone will continue to use GPS to seek your location, draining your battery quickly.

“I know in particular my mother when she gets to where she is going, she closes down the app, she minimizes it, she locks her phone and then doesn’t even realize it’s still going for maybe an hour,” said Inman. “It’s really easy to forget that it is doing that.”

2. Use low power mode

The low power mode feature can be found in your phone settings. Inman says it will prompt you when you reach 20 percent battery to go into low power mode.This temporarily reduces power consumption until you can fully charge your phone.

This temporarily reduces power consumption until you can fully charge your phone. When this is on, mail fetch, Hey Siri, background app refresh, automatic downloads, and some visual effects are reduced or turned off.

“Those apps that stay up to date like your email will not update in the background until you open the app or turn low power mode off,” said Inman.

3. Check apps that are draining your battery life

While you’re in settings, you can also check to see which apps use the most battery life.

If you start seeing an app showing up there consistently, you’ll know that running the app is costing you battery life. You may want to consider deleting the app or adjusting some of the settings.

“On Android devices, you have some apps that will run in the background even without your permission and if you get up to 50 percent of your battery life, then I would be worried,” said Inman.

4. Stay away from apps that promise to save your battery

Inman says some of the worst offenders for apps that drain battery life are apps that claim they will save your battery.

“Some apps say they are saving your battery, but really they are running in the background using your battery and running adware,” said Inman. “So they give you ad pop-ups, they ask you if you want to buy a certain product and really they are just using you for a way to make money.”

5. Pay attention to sleep mode and brightness

Inman says the less amount of time your screen is on, the longer your battery will last.

“So you can turn your brightness up or down, and the lower it is, actually the longer your battery is going to last,” she said.

Also considering changing how long your screen stays on before it auto-locks.

6. Stay away from trendy cases

Inman says to stay away from those trendy smartphone cases that plug into your phone.

“Looking at those pretty selfie cases and things like that, it’s really good to make sure the cases charge separately,” she said.

The ones with extra camera lenses or lights can greatly impact the life of your battery.

7. Consider getting a portable charger

If you can remember to charge them, battery power banks are a great way to charge your phone if you’re on the go. Inman recommends finding a portable charger that will charge your device multiple times.

“We actually sell one in the store that will charge even a laptop up to twelve times,” said Inman. “It is about the size of your phone so it would fit in your purse, possibly in a pocket and they’re a little easier to keep because you don’t have to charge them every time you use them.”

Look for charging devices that have charging cables built in. Also, pay particularly close attention to the number of milliamps on the device. vFor example, Inman says an iPhone 7 has 3,000 milliamp battery, so if a charger has a 3,350 milliamp battery it will likely charge your phone around one and a half to two times.

8. Consider getting a case that charges your phone

If you don’t want to lug around extra cords or devices to charge your phone, Inman recommends getting a charging case.

“My favorite is the LifeProof series,” said Inman. “It’s also waterproof, dustproof, snowproof and shockproof, so it is going to give you the protection you need for your phone and it also going to give you two full charges safely.”

Inman says many cases, like the LifeProof case, actually charge while you charge your phone, so you don’t have to worry about charging something separately.

9. Notifications, vibrate mode

Turning off notifications and sound can also provide big battery savings.

Switch off notifications you don’t need to see every five minutes or at least switch your settings so your phone doesn’t vibrate or flat with every notification. Believe it or not, setting your phone to vibrate for every text drains more battery than when it’s on silent or loud mode.

10. Keep your operating system up to date

Inman says many people hold off on updating their phone, but that could impact your battery life.

“The newest updates they’re sending out are going to be the ones that are going for efficiency or optimization,” said Inman. “The newest update they’re sending out are going to be going for efficiency and optimization, so if you’re holding back on that update because you’re afraid it is going to change things too much, I would go ahead and push it through because that is going to give you those new settings that iPhone and Android are coming up with.”

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