Mobile devices are at a record level of popularity. Laptop computers, cell phones, music players, readers, tablets, and other devices are everywhere. Their prevalence has revolutionized the ability to work, communicate and enjoy entertainment from any location. Service providers are increasing their capabilities and coverage areas to match this increased usage. Since people want to get the most out of their mobile devices, a key issue to look at is battery life.
The days of bulky cell phones is fading fast, replaced by compact smartphones. These new touchscreen smartphones can do virtually anything, from VoIP and regular cellular calls to playing music and movies. Every day, new apps are created for communications, games and other functions. With that variety of applications comes a drain on the battery.
A good way to protect your smartphone’s battery life is by turning off applications that use 3G or 4G networks if you are not in range. Applications that use those networks with continue to search for them when you’re out of range, using battery power. If you know that you’re going to be out of range for a while anyway, best to just turn those applications off. The same holds true for applications that rely on WI-FI connections: when such connections aren’t available, close the applications that use them so they don’t waste power searching.
With telephone communications capabilities and bigger screens for entertainment and gaming combined, tablets may eclipse smartphones as the most ubiquitous mobile device around. Unfortunately, they can guzzle through the lives of their batteries all too quickly. Minimizing unnecessary battery usage is pivotal for extensive tablet use.
The best approach is the most useful: dim the display. If you keep your display on full brightness all the time, that will drain the battery. However, since your tablet won’t be in constant use, consider dimming the display when you set it down from time to time. You can also reduce the brightness when using simple applications that don’t need as much illumination, like email and SMS – or actual calls, which can go on for some time and don’t require you looking at the screen.
Many computer users multitask, with an array of applications open at once. This can be useful when in the middle of work, as you may need to quickly refer to a spreadsheet, a word processor and a web browser in quick succession. Yet, there will be other times when you’ll just be focused on one program, say when dedicating an hour to writing a report about how well your work is going. At those times, it is preferable to close out unused programs and save energy.
You may also want to check your laptop’s Task Manager, which will show you all of the programs, processes and services that are running. There may be some that you didn’t even want to have on and don’t need. Programs running “in the background” can be an energy drain, and closing them out completely can save energy and correspondingly increase the life of your laptop battery.