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 off Background App Refresh
Another example of phones trying to be helpful at the cost of battery power is when apps run or regularly refresh their data, even when you aren't actively using them. Disabling this feature is complex to the point of being pointless in Android – as of right now you have to either install a Task Manager app, which are of dubious function and value, or else find the list of currently running apps in your settings, and quit the ones that appear to be using battery life. But you'll have to return to that menu again and again.
iOS happens to make this process easier, with a Background App Refresh screen (under the General menu in Settings) that lets you turn off background refreshing for all apps, or individual ones. As with location services, you'll likely find only a few apps that should be updating their data on a constant basis.
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