Change smart-phone settings to save battery - East Valley Tribune: Business

Change smart-phone settings to save battery

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, March 20, 2010 2:49 pm | Updated: 3:46 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Q. I love my iPhone but hate how quickly the battery goes dead. Any tips on getting more time on a charge? — Marcus

A. Smart phones are prone to shorter battery life because of all of the capabilities built into the phones. The battery in the iPhone is unfortunately not user-replaceable either, so carrying around a second battery isn’t an option.

Q. I love my iPhone but hate how quickly the battery goes dead. Any tips on getting more time on a charge? — Marcus

A. Smart phones are prone to shorter battery life because of all of the capabilities built into the phones. The battery in the iPhone is unfortunately not user-replaceable either, so carrying around a second battery isn’t an option.

The good news is that there are a number of adjustments you can make that will dramatically extend the life of your iPhone battery (or just about any smart phone for that matter).

Start with the brightness setting (settings/brightness) by turning it down to the lowest acceptable level, and make sure “auto-brightness” is turned on.

E-mail can be another huge power-suck on the iPhone, especially if you have it checking multiple accounts and you get a lot of mail. By default, both the “push” and the “fetch” options are turned on, which can be a big power drain.

Push essentially pushes e-mail to your phone as it arrives to your primary e-mail system. Unless you have to get messages that quickly, turn off the “push” option for your e-mail account(s) (settings/mail, contacts, calendars/fetch new data) to conserve lots of power.

While you are in the “fetch” settings, either set the interval to “hourly” or “manually” to conserve the most power. Fetch determines how often your phone goes out to your mail system to check for new mail and is also used for the “find my iPhone” feature in MobileMe. So setting it to “manually” isn’t for everyone.

If you have a special e-mail configuration such as an iMap account, you may have an additional place to choose “push” or “fetch” in the “advanced” section of the “fetch new data” screen.

Push is also used for third-party applications such as Facebook and Twitter for notifications. So minimizing or turning off all notifications (settings/notifications) will also help conserve power.

While we are on the subject of third-party applications, change your notification settings in Facebook, Twitter, etc. from your computer so you don’t get a text message every time an update is posted to your accounts.

Location services for things like maps and restaurant finders are awesome, but they also drain power every time you open any location service-enabled application. You can turn off location services for general usage and only turn it on when you actually need it (settings/general/location services).

Turning off the Bluetooth feature on any smart phone has two potential benefits: it saves power and it’s more secure (Bluetooth can allow unauthorized connections to your phone).

Unless you are one of those cyborg-looking folks who likes to torture whoever is on the other end with lower sound quality, ditch the Bluetooth.

Turning off Wi-Fi until you actually want to use it is another good power saver (settings/Wi-Fi). You may have noticed that every time your phone gets near any new Wi-Fi hot spot, it lets you know — both a power drain and a general pain!

Set your auto-lock interval (settings/general/auto-lock) to the shortest time that works for you (it’s like the sleep option on computers). Also, get into the habit of locking your iPhone as soon as you are done using it — instead of allowing it to go blank on its own — by pressing the thin metal “sleep/wake” button on the top of the phone.

Apple also recommends that you completely power-cycle your phone at least once a month. That means charging it all the way up and discharging it until it dies, as proper maintenance of lithium-based batteries.

If you travel frequently, I suggest getting a sleek attachable battery charger like the Juice Pack from Mophie (www.mophie.com). Mine has saved me (and sometimes the passenger sitting next to me!) many times on trips.

Ken Colburn is president of Data Doctors Computer Services and host of the “Computer Corner” radio show, which can be heard at noon Saturdays on KTAR (92.3 FM) or at www.datadoctors.com/radio. Readers may send questions to

evtrib@datadoctors.com.

  • Discuss

EVT Ice Bucket Challenge

The East Valley Tribune accepts the Ice Bucket Challenge.

'EV Women in Business'

A PDF of the Tribune special section, featuring a mix of sponsored content from our loyal advertisers and newsroom coverage of the East Valley business community.

Your Az Jobs