How many times have you gotten stuck without your charger and are painfully watching the battery life of your smartphone quickly drain into the dangerous red zone at the most inopportune time...you're walking down a dark alley after a late night at the bar, you are late for an appointment and relying on your phone's gps for directions or expecting that very important phone call about a new job! Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best isn't going to help keep your phone alive. And what good is turning off your phone when you need it so badly! In an ideal world, you always leave your house with a full battery, but let's be real, that doesn't always happen. Plus, with smartphones these days, rarely can you make it a full day without recharging anyway. In any event, by following these few simple rules, you can conserve a few life-saving minutes, perhaps even hours, on your phone when you so desperately need it. Crisis averted.
If you find yourself in this bind, act fast and follow the steps below:
Before You Start:
* Most obvious...you need a cell phone or smartphone. Most of these tips apply to smartphones, but there are a few that will work on a basic model too.
* Make sure your battery will charge. If you can't charge your battery, it might be time for a new one.
Dim the lights. Believe it or not, the brightness level of your phone actually effects your battery, so turn the brightness on your display to the lowest level possible. If your battery warning is on, this should be your first step because everything you touch on your phone lights that puppy right up.
Turn off GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other location services that you aren't using. These features keep your phone in constant connection with cell towers and is a major battery drainer. Unless you are stranded on a dark, deserted road and someone is tracking your location or using the phone's GPS for directions - turn it off. One exception: Wi-Fi is a battery vampire- it sucks the life out of it when turned on but isn't available. However, if you are somewhere with Wi-Fi access, turn it on. This will actually help conserve batter life since you are not relying on cellular data.
Turn off the vibrate feature. Believe it or not, the phone actually uses less battery by just ringing rather than ringing and vibrating or just vibrating.
Download your emails manually. If you are trying to conserve battery, fetching any new data from your phone should be done manually to avoid draining those few precious minutes you may have left. So, turn off your alerts, updates and auto-sync settings, including email notices from social media such as Twitter and Facebook. If this is an emergency, do you really need to know what Becky had for lunch today at this very moment anyway?
Keep your battery cool. Batteries kept at room temperature or cooler are more likely to last throughout the day. Don't leave your phone in a hot car, keep it out of your pocket and never bring it into a tanning bed with you!
Pay for apps. This tip might not be your favorite, but shelling out money for the apps you use most will actually help conserve your battery. Free apps are funded by those annoying pop-up advertisements that you see after every single game of Angry Birds. Those pop-up ads are actually more taxing on your battery than playing the game itself. However, if you are really, truly trying to conserve your phones battery life, stay away from using apps altogether. Words with Friends can wait until you get to your charger.
One way to avoid getting caught with a dead phone is to plan ahead. Carrying car chargers with you or extra batteries is a smart idea, both available at Wirefly.com.
One more cool tip if you find yourself in this predicament and absolutely NEED to access the internet - use Black Google for AMOLED screens instead of standard Google. White backgrounds drain the battery like crazy. Using a black background will allow you search for what you are looking for while also conserving your battery.
With some planning and preparation, you should be able to avoid finding yourself without your wireless lifeline. However, if you need even greater assurance, you can always invest in a phone known for its extended battery life, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note II (Verizon, Sprint & T-Mobile), Windows Phone 8X (Verizon & T-Mobile) or DROID RAZR Maxx HD by Motorola (Verizon).
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