Dave Basulto puts his iPhone XS through quite a workout every day, with a combination of video shoots, social postings, app downloads, oh, and the occasional phone call.
His battery gets him to dinner time without exhausting, which is more than many, who only last until around mid-afternoon.
He has a variety of techniques at his disposal to extend the day, starting by closing down the most data-heavy app in the world – Facebook.
The social network is “always using GPS to see where I am,” he says. “I don’t need them to know this, so I turn it off. That makes a huge difference.”
Close up man hands using smart phone battery low charged battery screen (Photo: juststock, Getty Images/iStockphoto)
We have several other tips as well, but first, a little more color on how to tame Facebook.
The social network is “the No. 1 battery hog on your phone,” says Michael Walker, a technical designer at Asurion, a firm that offers tech support for companies. “They sell ads and need to figure out who you are and what you’re interested in. That takes a lot of juice.”
Start by going to the Settings section of your smartphone and look for Location Services. For iPhones, go to General/Location Services. Click NEVER for Facebook. On Android phones, go to Settings for this feature.
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We took a look at our battery settings this week and saw that Facebook, even with Location Services turned to NEVER, was operating in the background for two hours and six minutes, compared to 15 minutes for Twitter, six minutes for YouTube and three minutes for Google.
So closing Location Services is a start. Facebook can also tap into your Wi-Fi to figure out where you are. So if you’re out and about, turn Wi-Fi off. That could save some battery drain.
And turn off Background Refresh, too. It usually runs, even if you have the app closed, eating away at your battery. Again, check settings to do this.
If none of those work, delete the app altogether and just use Facebook on the mobile web. (Walker recommends having an ad blocker app installed to stop Facebook from sending you endless pitches.)
Facebook will be a little harder to use – answering direct messages will take several clicks instead of one, but at least your phone won’t be dead.
Beyond Facebook, Google has identified three culprits as massive battery drains: Google Maps, Netflix and all those video games.
Or, in other words, letting the navigation continue for long periods, watching videos and playing graphics-heavy video games.
Close all the apps.
Swipe and close your apps when not plugged in. If you need to say, get driving directions from Waze or Google Maps, use them, but make sure to close the apps immediately, or they’ll continue eating at your battery. (We like to have the phone plugged into power while driving to save the battery during trips. Chargers are cheap–Anker’s 12W USB charger is $14.99.)
Apple’s support website suggests dimming the auto-brightness by going into General settings and adjusting the slider. Just be sure not to go too far. Don’t make the screen so dim that you can’t find your way back in to boost the brightness once the battery comes back to life.
According to Apple, a Wi-Fi connection takes less power than a cellular network, so switch on go to Wi-Fi whenever you can.
Turn off Bluetooth
This is another notorious battery hog. Do you need the Bluetooth for the car running even if you’re not in the car? For most, that’s a big no. An exception: Those who use the phone as a car or house key. Unless it’s your key, let’s say, turn it off.
Buy external power
The Mophie company sells several popular external batteries. The Powerstation, ($49.00) will give you two extra chargers, the company says. Belkin has an even cheaper model, the $29.99 Pocket Power 5K, which the company says will give you an additional 35 hours of charge on your phone.
Last tip: urn it off
Lower the brightness, watch no video, don’t listen to music, take no photos or videos, skip out on phone calls and have no apps running, and your battery could last even longer than a day. But what’s the fun of that, right?
Readers: have questions about battery life? We’d love to hear from you. Look for me on Twitter, where I’m @jeffersongraham
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