With smartphones evolving at an obscene rate- Android being at the forefront of this evolution- they can turn into battery-sucking monsters in an instant; and yet battery technology seems to be lagging behind. At least enough to keep us pressed up against plug sockets all day, and against our will. It is therefore imperative (especially if you lead an active life) to turn your phone into a power-sipping gentleman when the situation calls for it. Here's how:
- Keep An Eye On Everything (The Easy Way)
First thing's first, you'll need to check how much battery is being sapped by the phone's various components. This can be done without downloading anything, just go to: Settings -> About Phone -> Battery Use. Chances are your screen's brightness could be turned down a smidge and you may want to turn off your GPS antennae. The easiest way to toggle these battery-sapping components is by using the pre-installed 'Power Control' widget which displays a panel of simple, customisable on/off switches such as brightness, GPS and data synchronisation. In order to add any widget to your desktop simply long-tap on the home screen and select 'Widgets'.
- Use a Task Killer
Although most applications will not drain your battery whilst running in the background, if you use 'connected' apps such as Facebook, Spotify or Skype; you may find your battery is being drained even when these applications aren't being used. I would recommend downloading a task killer such as 'Advanced Task Killer' from the android marketplace. This has a handy widget which shuts down all desired services with a single tap (but you'll have to remember to keep doing it!).
- Clean Up Your Phone
Whilst the android marketplace has a humongous number of cool and fun apps to play around with, having too many unused apps on your phone may cause a noticeable drop in battery life. Just head over to Settings -> Applications -> Manage Applications. Here you'll find a list of installed applications which can be removed from your phone with a couple of taps. Simply select the application you wish to remove and then hit 'Uninstall'. Consider what it is that you can't live without and then ditch the rest!
- Disable Live Wallpapers
Animated backgrounds are undeniably attractive, but your battery will take a hit every time you unlock your phone since the processor has to work a little harder to keep the animations running smoothly. If you value battery life, try switching to a static background or a photo you've taken instead.
- Keep It Cool
Having your phone in your pocket is often unavoidable, but try and keep your phone on a desk or nearby surface when you're in a secure location, and don't leave it out in the Sun! This probably won't make a noticeable difference in the short-term, but a hot phone is a sure-fire way to kill your battery over time.
- Avoid Media Applications
As a final word of advice, it would be best to avoid 'heavy duty' apps such as video and music players. Video will slay your battery in no time and music will also cut things short (but not quite as much). Combining either of these with data usage (e.g. Grooveshark, Spotify, SPB TV, YouTube) can have a huge impact on battery life.