How to Stretch Your Android’s Battery Life When It Is Critically Low

There’s nothing as disheartening as the ‘boop boop’ noise a phone makes when it’s on low battery. At home it’s not a problem but when you’re on the bus to work, college or school, you know that at best you have an hour’s juice left. Soon you’ll be left without a functioning phone. Not the end of the world but definitely an annoyance; particularly when other people depend on you being available.There are numerous things you can do to get the most out of a low battery to ensure your phone will last the entire day. On top of that, there are a few steps you can take to make sure your phone’s battery will last longer in the first place so you don’t find yourself in that situation.

Stretching a low battery

As soon as you battery is at 10%, it’s time to really start conserving power. The most obvious suggestion is to simply power down your phone and turn it on periodically to check for texts, emails and so on. But that’s kindergarten stuff. First thing’s first; kill off everything that’s eating up power. Go “Settings -> About Phone -> Battery Level -> Battery Usage”. Here you’ll see a list of the services that are eating up juice and just how much they’re using. The main offenders are likely to be Wi-Fi, GPRS, 3G and VoIP services such as Skype. Turn off as many as you can.

Control Running Services and Kill Applications

Applications can also be running in the background without you knowing. These can be a huge drain on power normally, but when your battery is running low, killing them off is critical. Go “Settings -> Applications -> Running Services”. Touch all the running applications you don’t need running. Many are auto-update apps such as Facebook, email, Twitter, RSS readers and instant messengers.

Lower Screen Brightness

Large touchscreens also use plenty of power. One way you can reduce this is to dim the brightness. Either use the homescreen widget or go “Settings -> Display -> Brightness”. While the screen may be slightly harder to see, it will give you extra battery time.

If you’re using your Android phone as a WiFi Hotspot, you should know that it eats power like it’s going out of style. If you need to use your phone as a modem, do so by tethering it to your laptop via the USB cable. It still uses a fair share of battery but considerably less than the hotspot. Obviously tethering via USB will charge your phone too so consider this tip as more of a preventative measure rather than a quick fix!

Condition Your Battery for Longer Life

While a dying battery is a bummer, it can actually be a blessing in disguise. Rechargeable batteries can be conditioned to last longer. The best way to do this is to deplete the battery once every month of so. Do this by using the phone heavily. Leave loads of apps running, maybe leave the media player on along with the GPS and 3G. This heavy depletion (much more than your average day’s use) and the subsequent recharge will condition your battery for heavy use. When it doesn’t receive another dose of intensive power drainage, it will last longer. Some people have reported gains of fifty percent!

So there you have it; some great tips and tricks to save battery on your Android device. Do you have any tricks you use to save battery?

Dean Sherwin
Dean Sherwin

Dean Sherwin is a freelance technology journalist and blogger. He covers several topics including Android, Windows, cinema and literature. You can follow him on Twitter here!

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