Whether you run a web hosting business or any other type of business, the chances are that you are pretty much running everything through a mobile phone. Arranging meetings, doing deals, contacting customers - everything is done on the move these days. If you are the man or woman in charge, when your mobile phone rings it is important. It is sad then that given these circumstances people still miss important calls because their phone battery is out of juice.
Of course, one way of dealing with your mobile’s battery power is to carry a power bank - they are convenient, don’t take up much space in your briefcase, and they are a godsend when you need them. But if you are anything like me, if you haven’t charged your mobile properly, the chances are your power bank will be out of juice as well.
What we need then is to address the issue at source - we need to tweak our phones to enable them to last a few more hours so we can catch that vital call at the end of the day. Here then, in no particular order, are some tips that will help you extend mobile phone battery life. As WE am an Android user, WE will of course be talking about Android phones.
Tweak your Screen
The chief causes of battery drainage are well known. Although your screen is bright and clear, it’s burning up power, often unnecessarily. You can manage this situation by first changing how long your screen stays ‘alert’ when you are not actively using your phone:
First go to ‘settings’:
Then click on ‘display’:
Then click on ‘sleep’:
Setting your display ‘time out’ time to 1 minute should be fine – if your phone is set for 5 minutes or more, then all it is doing is illuminating your pocket and wasting battery power.
If you are walking around outside in the sun, then you won’t see your mobile’s screen unless it is turned up to maximum brightness. However, sitting in an office you simply don’t need to have an extremely bright screen. You can go into settings to change brightness, but that’s too cumbersome.
If you are using a phone with Android 4.4 or below, you will need to add the ‘Power Widget’ to your screen. Go to the available widgets:
Press on ‘Power control’ until your homepage screen appears and release it:
It sits nicely at the top of your screen, and depending on your situation you can easily click on the last icon to increase or decrease screen brightness. You can also click on ‘Automatic’ which uses the phone’s camera to determine the brightness of the immediate environment and adjust the screen as required.
With an Android 5.0+ plus phone the control is built directly into the interface. Swipe down from the top of any screen and the control panel with the brightness control appears:
Slide the uppermost control left or right to adjust brightness.
Tweak your WiFi
When you are in the office, you probably have your phone connected to your office WiFi. As soon as you walk away from your office, if your WiFi is turned on, Android automatically hunts for new WiFi connections. If you are actively looking for a WiFi connection, then this is a useful function. If not, it runs in the background pointlessly draining battery power.
WiFi Turn ‘off’ and ‘on’
Using the control panels we discussed above you can simply turn off your WiFi connection when you leave the office, and turn it back on again when you arrive. How convenient does that get? Well, it’s great if you remember – if you don’t, you drain your battery!
Automate WiFi Turn ‘off’ and ‘on’
A great little app called WiFi Timer allows you to automate the WiFi on/off function:
WiFi Timer gives you the option to decide how long you want your WiFi on or off for. For example, when you turn your WiFi on, you get this message:
Set your time, and this great little app dutifully turns your WiFi off for you. What’s truly great about this app is, it works – never fails! You can change the settings to get the same option to turn the WiFi after you have turned it off.
This really is a great power saver. It might take you a while to get used to, but basically, you can’t always be looking at your phone and available to pickup messages. You can turn your WiFi on to collect messages at times that are convenient for you and WiFi Timer means you never have to remember to turn your WiFi off!
Tweak your Mobile data
As we said, when you are in the office you use WiFi, but many people have a data package that allows them to receive emails and messages on the move outside the office. Obviously, this is convenient because you get messages anywhere and at any time, but there are times when you simply can’t receive emails (meetings, cinema, on the train, etc.) and having your data connected in the background drains you batteries for no purpose at all.
Where the control panels above fail us is not offering a button that turns our data packages on and off. Luckily Android offers a native solution for this. Go to the available widgets and select the ‘settings’ widget:
Hold down the widget and you will be taken to your homescreen where you can release it. Before you do you will be invited to select which function it should perform. Choose ‘data usage’:
Now when you click on the settings icon on your screen, you will be sent to the data usage page:
Here you can simply turn data on and off:
Tweak your Autosync
To push emails to your inbox, your mobile has an ‘Autosync’ function. This function operates in the background continually looking for any messages that are available. Although useful, there are again going to be times you can’t collect emails and other messages, and at these times its pointless using up battery life with an active Autosync.
You can turn your Autosync on and off from the control panels mentioned above – just click on the icon with circular arrows. If you want something a bit more in your face, CurveFish comes to the rescue:
Download the app and it sits on your homescreen – press it once and your data is on, press it again, and it’s off. There are a number of similar apps available, but we know this one works.
While Autosync collects messages that have been pushed to your phone, it only has a purpose when your wireless or data are turned ON – without wireless or data, you can’t receive anything. I find it curious that this hasn’t been realised by Google – you can’t get email, etc. unless your wireless or data is on, and if they aren’t on, there’s no point in having your Autosync on as it just wastes battery life.
Luckily the smart fellows who created Autosync2 have solved this problem:
There’s a free version and a paid version that costs next to nothing – each version works extremely well!
Simply download the app and click on ‘Mode’:
You come to this screen:
These are the choices it gives you. For instance, click on ‘WiFi’, and Autosync will only be activated when WiFi is turned on. Likewise with Mobile Data and the other options.
The functionality of this app really should already be in Android. It’s an extremely lightweight, highly functional and very inexpensive app to buy, and above all, in conjunction with the solutions you have been shown above, this battery is going to save you HOURS of battery time!
Turn on your Wifi, WiFi Timer asks you when to turn it off. Autosync2 recognizes when your WiFi is on or off and activates or deactivates your Autosync.
That is what we mean by being in charge of your phone!