Smartphones are miraculous devices – powerful, pocket-size computers that have reshaped modern life so completely it's hard to imagine a time when you unfurled a paper map, popped a CD into the car stereo, or wondered what a friend's new baby might look like (spoiler alert: like a baby). There's a price, though, for all that personal digital empowerment: actual power, sucked from your phone's battery by new apps and features, at a rate that seems to outpace the device-makers' ability to build more energy-dense batteries.
There is a relatively simple solution to energy hemorrhage. You can familiarize yourself with what's arguably the most-used gadget in your life, and plug the leaks by toggling settings, getting new apps, and knowing what's going on now on your phone. Here are ten tips to help eke more electrons out of your smartphone.
Turn Down Brightness
Smartphone screens are, with few exceptions, high-def stunners, trumping laptops and TVs in terms of pixel density (making video and images seem crisper). But nothing kills your battery quicker than that bright, beautiful screen. So drop your brightness whenever its feasible, which depends on what apps you're using, and where you are.
If you're skimming blogs in bed or in an otherwise unlit room, the bare minimum brightness will likely be fine. If you're outdoors in the sun, don't bother squinting at a darkened screen – use the quick-access settings to temporarily crank the brightness. But in general, you should be able to see the screen perfectly well at brightness levels far below what the automatic brightness feature selects.
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