How to Improve Phone’s Battery Life for Android & iPhone

I think we can all agree that one of the worst feelings is looking at your phone's battery percentage realizing it's either almost dead or when you're out seeing that it's not going to make it through whatever activity you're doing. You're gonna have to just restrict your phone usage. It sucks but there are some things you can do to improve your phone's battery life on a day to day basis. So that's what we're gonna go over now. There's no magic pill to magically double your phone battery life for free or anything like that, unfortunately. There are a set of best practices some of which you probably already know. When you combine these all together then they can make a big difference. 


How to Improve Phone’s Battery Life for Android & iPhone
Photo by Steve Johnson from Pexels

In this article, we're going to go over How to Improve Phone’s Battery Life for Android & iPhone. So how long it will last on a given charge and then afterward we can go over a couple things to improve your phone batteries longevity. Also how well it can hold a charge over time and charge to its maximum capacity that it can as if it was brand new. To start off with how to improve your battery life a couple things you can do that are really obvious. I'm just gonna combine these into one because they're so obvious. 

1. Lower the Screen Brightness:

One of them is to lower the screen brightness. Obviously, your screen uses up a ton of battery so if you lower the brightness it's gonna last longer. The other thing is using the low power mode battery saving mode on Android and iOS that's gonna reduce background usage and improve battery life. I'm sure you know those. This one is way more relevant now because so many phones use OLED these days. If your phone has an OLED screen then use dark mode theme for either iOS or Android that both have dark modes now. To understand why this is you have to understand the difference between an LCD screen and an OLED screen. So with an LCD screen, it typically has an LED backlight and the brightness of the screen that you set will determine how bright that backlight is but what actually determines the colors on the screen. Whether it's white, black, blue, green, red or whatever has to do with some crystals in the display that switch on and off but that backlight stays constant across the entire screen. Even if something on the screen is black then the backlight behind those black pixels is still on. If you have an LCD screen even if the whole screen is black then the backlight is still on. So you're still using as much battery as if the whole screen was white. 

Now with OLED, this is very different where each individual pixel lights itself so if you have a completely black screen that just means that all the pixels are off. If you have a completely white screen that means that all the pixels are on and it is made up of sub pixels red, green, blue. So that means if it's white technically then all three sub-pixels are on but you get the idea. Basically, this means that if you have dark parts of the screen and white parts of the screen then the dark parts of the screen are just gonna have the pixels off. An example theoretically this is a very rough example. It's not going to be exact but say you had an OLED screen where half the image was black and half of it was white that theoretically would use half the power as an LCD screen. No matter what the colors on the LCD screen are but the takeaway of this is if you're using dark mode on your phone then it's going to have way more dark pixels more often which means that much more often it's going to be using less battery than it would if it was the light mode. If you switch to a dark mode on your phone you might notice a big difference and also a lot of apps these days individually have dark modes built-in so you can try enabling it on those as well. so try it out you'll probably see a difference. 


2. Connect to a Wi-Fi Access Point:

You can do it if you have the ability to connect to a Wi-Fi access point instead of just using cellular data do that. Because using Wi-Fi for data use significantly less power than cellular radios. For a lot of reasons including having to broadcast shorter distances from the Wi-Fi access point than some towers really far away because the Wi-Fi access point is going to be producing a stronger signal. A lot of reasons you probably have experienced this yourself in any case, if you are at home or you're at a friend's house ask them for the Wi-Fi password. Obviously, I would not usually recommend using public Wi-Fi hotspots unless it's secure but if you are somewhere that has a secure Wi-Fi hotspot then I would recommend just using Wi-Fi. If you are out somewhere and you don't have any Wi-Fi available and you're just gonna use cellular and you know that then turn off the Wi-Fi antenna using the quick settings both Android and iOS have this option because having that Wi-Fi radio on is obviously going to be using more power than if it was off. So if you know that you're not going to be connecting at any Wi-Fi just turn it off until you get somewhere. You will be using Wi-Fi of course just don't forget to turn it back on when you do get home or whatever.

3. Background Running Apps:

The next thing you do will take a little bit of investigation and that is to figure out which apps are actually using the most battery like in the background. For example, both Android and iOS have the ability to do this. You go into the settings usually the battery settings. You'll be able to see a list of all the apps that have used whatever percentage of battery. Since the last charging cycle, you did. You can look through this and judge for yourself which apps you think have been using more battery than they should. So if you've been using YouTube and watching videos all day and you see it has been using those batteries then that makes sense but if you see Instagram on there or Facebook is another bad one and you have not been using those apps then you can say wait a minute. Those have been doing stuff in the background obviously I don't want those using energies. You can either go into the settings to restrict background usage. Disable notifications or just completely uninstall them but again there's not really any hard or fast rule for determining what battery percentage is too much. Just kind of has to go from experience for what your phone tends to use up for which app because obviously something like YouTube. Where it's doing video encoding is going to use up a lot of more than your email. 


4. Email Notification Setting:

The next thing you can do is go into your settings and change how often your phone checks for new emails. If it checks at all in iOS for example in the passwords and account settings you can choose between push or fetch for all sorts of different accounts. For example, a push is basically like it will be constantly checking for new updates from whatever accounts you're using. When it updates it and receives a new email. It will either notify you or update the email in your account. Whereas if it fetches it will use a schedule. Which is also in the settings at least on iOS. Every 15 minutes or whatever it will go out and fetch the emails only on that schedule. You can set it to manual where only when you go into the emails app and refresh it will it check and that's usually what I do. I don't like getting email notifications I just want to get it when I go into the app. I don't need notifications like I would for a text message so you could just set it for that or any other accounts. Also, most apps have the ability to select whether you want push notifications or not. For that particular app in the settings so if you do notice an app keep sending notifications. It happens to be using a lot of battery. Whatever then you can disable it or even if you notice an app using a lot of background energy even if it's not getting a lot of notifications. Well, I might still be checking for them so you can try to disable push notifications for that and see if that helps at all.

Read also: 11 Amazing Websites You Didn't Know Existed in 2020

5. Avoid Fast Charging:

All lithium batteries that are in phones are going to degrade over time there's no way to avoid that completely. There are a couple things you can do to improve the longevity of them over time. One of these things is to avoid fast charging if you don't need to use it so if you're charging your phone every night. Just use a slow charger or wireless charging or something that charges a little bit slower where you don't need it to be charging immediately. After you fall asleep obviously because fast charging is going to be putting a little bit of extra stress on that battery because it's going to force the chemical reactions to happen faster. It might degrade the battery significantly faster if you use it all the time. Whereas if you just use regular or slow charging then that will help it obviously. I would not worry about using fast charging if like you really do need to charge your phone up before going somewhere, by all means, use the fast charger. It's not going to really make a difference. If you use it even regularly just as long as you're not doing it all the time.

6. Use Optimized Charging:

Another thing you can do at least on iPhone is to try out the newly optimized charging feature. I believe this is still in beta on iOS. Basically what this does is it will learn how your charging habits are especially at night and when you wake up. It will attempt to basically charge your phone up to like 80% and then hold it there and then continue charging the rest of the 20%. So that whenever you wake up again normally it'll be at a hundred percent so basically it makes it so over the life of the phone. It spends less time at 100% charge and may be slightly more time at 80%. Because when phones are at a hundred percent all the time it might degrade a little bit faster so it could make a slight difference. If you have your phone for a very long time but this might not work or be even worth it. If you have an unsteady sleep schedule where you wake up a couple hours earlier or later depending on the day. Whatever then it might not know when to stop or start charging so it might not even do it that's going to be up to your experience. 

7. Replace The Battery:

The most effective thing you can do to improve your phone's battery life depending on how old your phone is and that is to replace the battery. Yes, it's not free so you might not like that but if you have very old phone chances are the battery has degraded over time like all batteries do. You can actually check this in your iOS settings I don't believe Android has a built-in way to do this in any way. On iOS, you can actually check the battery health. If it's below like 85% maybe even 90% or so then that shows you basically how much reduced maximum charge your phone has since it was new. If your phone is Android and it's just really old or if it's an iPhone and you look and see the battery health is really low and you just know. It doesn't hold a charge very well then probably the best thing you can do is to replace the battery. Now with iPhone, it does cost a little bit of money so it's going to be either $50 or $70 to replace it at the Apple store. They'll do it for you and for Android it's really gonna depend on your phone's manufacturer. I know for Samsung which is probably the most popular. You can actually go to some stores like Best Buy is an authorized repair shop for Samsung phones. Some of them at least can do battery repairs so just go on Google and search your phone manufacturer battery replacement authorized for pair something like that or any phone repair shop can probably do a battery of replacement. If you do notice that your phone is not holding a charge as well as it used to then you could probably see a huge difference in battery performance after you replace it.

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