How to max out your phone battery

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — We’ve all encountered that panicked moment when we’re away from a power outlet and our cell phone is running out of juice. And everyone knows the sad moment when we realize that our battery only lasts half as long as it used to a year ago.

But how much of this is our fault, and how much is the fault of the device? And what can you do about it? Here’s what you need to know.

To charge or not to charge? Once upon a time, rechargeable batteries functioned best when you fully charged them, and then fully discharged them. But over the years, materials have changed, and so have the rules.

Today’s Lithium-ion batteries function best when perpetually kept between 20% and 80% charge. And while this will help maximize the capacity of the battery over time, it also won’t make such a huge difference that you should become overly preoccupied with it.

Silent but deadly. While many battery issues can be remedied with power-sipping processors, the hardware itself isn’t always the problem. Instead, the length of a phone’s battery life has more to do a phone’s apps.

Messaging apps, in particular, will quickly and quietly slaughter your battery, even when you’re not using them. These apps are constantly checking in with a central server for new messages, which keeps the power-hungry cellular radio active for a longer period of time. And if those apps aren’t optimized particularly well (ahem, Facebook Messenger), your battery is gonna go kaput pretty quickly.

Temperature rising. When it comes to long-term battery life, heat is the great killer. If your device constantly runs hot, you can expect your device to degrade quicker. In the case of cellphones and tablets, there’s not a whole lot you can do about this if you discover issues with heat after buying, but you’ll at least have some idea as to what’s causing those rapid power drains.

What you should do. For long term health, charge your phone frequently, but don’t obsess over it. Your battery capacity is going to taper off no matter what you do. But occasionally, let it run down to zero so that your phone can accurately tell you how much life is left in it.

Keep your brightness as low as works for you, as devices displays use as much battery life as the cellular radio. If your phone allows for apps to work in the background, even if they’re closed, disable this feature for any app that it’s not crucial for.

And if you’re in a pinch, turn off any wireless feature you don’t need, close any unnecessary apps, and turn your screen brightness all the way down. It might only buy you a few minutes, but it could be a few minutes you’ll absolutely need.

By Adrian Covert

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News