How to: Improve battery life on your smartphone
The majority of smartphones are powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and this is because lithium-based technology currently provides the best performance
The majority of smartphones are powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and this is because lithium-based technology currently provides the best performance. The key to the popularity of lithium-based power sources is down to the fact that they pack a higher energy density than nickel-based batteries and this gives longer battery life in the lightest possible package.
Unlike nickel-based batteries, you can also charge a lithium-ion battery whenever it is convenient, and without the need to perform constant charge and discharge cycles.
The most important thing to remember is that your battery is extremely sensitive to high temperatures. Keep your smartphone out of the sun or the heat will degrade its power source very quickly.
Apple recommends an ‘iPhone Temperate Zone’ of between 0°C and 35°C and suggests that keeping an iPhone as near to room temperature as possible (22°C) is the ideal solution Because the iPhone uses a lithium-based battery, this advice is also relevant to users of BlackBerry, Android, Palm OS, Windows Mobile and Symbian handsets.
The key to extending the life of your battery is to minimise power consumption and following some simple common sense guidelines can help maximise the time between charges on those days when you really need to eke out every last bit of power from your battery. Optimising your settings so that you minimise power consumption is an obvious way to help extend the life of your battery.
Take the iPhone 3GS for example. When it was launched, Apple claimed that not only was it faster than the 3G version, but also that the battery would last longer. However, users were quick to point out that their handset’s battery life fell short of expectations and this can almost certainly be attributed (at least in part) to a feature of OS 3.0 called ‘push notifications’.
This feature maintains a constant connection to the Internet and several apps (such as instant messaging clients and some third-party programs) rely on it so that they can push update notifications to an iPhone. Turning off push notifications will certainly help enhance the life of an iPhone battery and this can quickly be achieved by navigating to Settings>Notifications. Don’t worry – turning off push notifications does not prevent new data being received when the application is open.
iPhone users can also extend the life of their power source by minimising the use of location services. Applications such as Maps and Compass actively use location services and can significantly drain power. If battery life is important to you, disable location services when they are not required by tapping Settings>General>Location Services.
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