Hurricane Sandy has touched down on the East Coast leaving power outages in its path. That means, for some people, battery life on a smartphone is even more of a precious commodity than it was before. Here, we outline some basic battery saving tips that will not only help during Hurricane Sandy, but also during power outages caused in other ways.
In this day and age, a smartphone is an important tool to have when facing an emergency, especially one like Hurricane Sandy where traveling and communicating can be extremely difficult. Sadly, we’re not in an age where our smartphones have unlimited battery life and that means that conserving and making that battery last is essential when dire times occur. And for those that are without power in New York and elsewhere, saving battery life becomes even more important.
Fortunately, there are some simple tips that iPhone and Android smartphone (and probably Windows Phone users as well) can follow in order to make sure their phone is ready when you need it most.
Here are ten things to do if you need to conserve battery life if Hurricane Sandy or something else has knocked out your power and you have no way of charging your smartphone.
Shut Off 4G LTE
If you own an iPhone 5 or an Android phone that connects to a 4G LTE network, turn 4G LTE data off. 4G LTE is a battery hog and by turning it off, you will save an immense amount of battery life.
On the iPhone 5, simply head into General in Settings, tap Cellular and toggle Enable LTE to Off.
On Android, head into Settings, tap More… under Wireless & Networks, tap Mobile networks, tap Network Mode and select the option that does not contain LTE.
You will no longer have access to high-speed data but you will see a significant boost in battery life if you toggled off 4G LTE and use an HSPA+ 4G network or CDMA network instead,
Turn Off Cellular Data
If you aren’t using data on your phone, or are using it sparingly, you can turn off Cellular Data altogether which, like turning off 4G LTE, should help to keep battery drain at a minimum.
On the iPhone, head into General in Settings, tap Cellular and toggle Cellular Data to Off.
On Android, head into Settings, tap More… under Wireless & Networks, tap Mobile networks, and make sure Data enabled is not checked.
This will limit data to Wi-Fi if there is a Wi-Fi connection available. If no Wi-Fi connection is available, there simply will be no access to the web, email or notifications. It’s a bit of a price to pay, but it will ensure quality battery life.
Minimize Screen Brightness
The brightness of the screen can be, believe it or not, a major drain on a smartphone’s battery. Just by minimizing the brightness of the screen, you’ll see a significant increase in battery life.
On iPhone, head into General in Settings, go to Brightness and Wallpaper, and adjust the brightness of the iPhone screen accordingly. I have mine set to about the 15-20% level and it has worked well for me.
On Android, go to Settings, tap Display under the Device category, go to Brightness, and adjust brightness accordingly.
This is a small price to pay for ample battery life and we recommend turning screen brightness down in general to help conserve battery.
Turn Off Wi-Fi
By turning off Wi-Fi when you’re not in a familiar area with a known Wi-Fi connection, you can conserve a bit of battery life. Best of all, it’s extremely easy to turn back on should you need to.
On iPhone, go into General, tap Wi-Fi, and toggle Wi-Fi to Off.
On Android, head into Settings and at the very top, toggle Wi-Fi to off.
Keep in mind, if you also have cellular data off, you won’t have any access to data, even when in a place where you have access to Wi-Fi.
Shut Off Push Notifications
Applications on your iPhone or Android device often will send your push notifications alerting you to updates within the application. By shutting these off, even if temporariliy, you can save some battery life on your smartphone.
For iPhone, go to Settings and then Notifications. You’ll then see a long list of applications to choose from. From here, you can either turn on Do Not Disturb which will disable all Notifications or you can manually turn the ones you don’t care about off when tapping on their name.
For Android, go to Settings and under Device, tap on Apps. From there, you’ll need to go through each individual app and uncheck the box that says Show Notifications. It’s a tedious process but worth it.
Restart your Phone
Another extremely easy way to make sure you get good battery life on your smartphone is to turn it off and turn it back on. If you’re like me, you often have your phone on for weeks at a time before powering it down either by choice or by force.
By turning your phone off on occasion, you’ll flush the system and you’ll get some much better results from your device’s battery.
Use Airplane Mode
Airplane Mode isn’t just there for when you’re on an airplane. It’s also a great way to conserve battery life when you don’t need access to calls or data but also don’t want to turn your device off.
On iPhone, head into General in Settings, and toggled Airplane Mode to On.
On Android, tap More… under Wireless & Networks, and make sure you check the box for Airplane Mode.
This is when you’re in dire straits with your phone’s battery as again, it will kill all services including the ability to receive or make calls and texts as well as data.
Make Sure Location Services are Off
Location Services is the feature in iOS and Android that uses GPS and crowd-sourced Wi-Fi to constantly determine your location. This is a particularly useful feature in the Maps application but it also is used by an assortment of other third-party apps. Turning this off could help save battery life.
On iPhone, go into Settings and tap Privacy, then tap Location Services, then toggled Location Services to Off.
On Android, go to Settings, under Personal tap Location services, and uncheck all of the check marks.
If you need to use Maps, you can easily turn the service back on.
Turn Off Bluetooth
Bluetooth can also eat into battery life if you have it turned on. If you use your phone in your car often, then you may just have the setting constantly switched to on. Change that and it will help towards battery life.
On iPhone, go to Settings, tap Bluetooth, and toggle to Off.
On Android, go to Settings, find Bluetooth under Wireless & Networks and toggle it to Off.
Make Smart App Choices
Finally, simple enough, make smart choices when using applications. Don’t play games and don’t watch videos if you don’t need to. Better yet, don’t open and use any applications that you don’t need to.
By making smart choices and using some of these tips, you can better converse battery life during an emergency like Hurricane Sandy.