How's your battery doing? A little run down? Worn out? Out of juice? Yeah, I get it. Have an expresso. It helps.
Oh, and how about your smartphone's battery? Yeah, that gets run down too. Unfortunately, you can't pour a shot of expresso on it. But don't worry. I think I can help.
I'm weirdly obsessive about my phone's battery life. Someday, batteries won't be an issue and when that day comes I will be very happy...but probably dead. So in the meantime, what to do? Here are a few things I do every day to extend my smartphone's battery life and you can too - just Google the specifics.
For God's sake, plug it in. Does this sound too obvious? To me it does. But I know people who only do this when their phone is literally dying. These are the same people who arrive at flights as the door is closing and forget to go to the bathroom until after the movie starts. Look, this is so easy. Just go to Amazon, buy a half-dozen fast chargers (they're cheap) and carry them around in various bags and at home. When you're near an outlet for long period of time, plug the damn phone in and let it charge up. (psst...hey kids, you can even use the phone while it's charging!)
Play with the device's power settings. Both Apple and Samsung know that their phones kill batteries and so they've added new power "features" to their devices. Be careful with these - some of the options are so draconian that they literally turn your phone into a brick. But there are varying degrees of power savings you can choose that will still give you adequate functionality while at the same time extending your battery's life for many hours.
Carry a replacement battery. Why doesn't Samsung and Apple allow us to replace batteries anymore? Oh yeah...money. They want us to just buy new phones then put in new batteries. Touché, Mr. Cook, touché. However, the Internet is still the Internet and knock-off batteries are still sold so if you're willing to follow grainy YouTube videos, take apart your phone, glue it back together and then expect to one day get service from these companies when a problem occurs then be my guest. The evil empires have got me beat on this one, but maybe not you.
Turn off location, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Why are so many companies demanding my location nowadays? Please, it's very flattering but I'm not all that interesting. Stop asking me my location. I'm on my sofa watching Netflix. Now you know. I'm obsessive about turning off my location, Bluetooth and even Wi-Fi settings. It's just a few button clicks to turn everything on again when I need. This way I can complete my secret mission assigned to me by "M" without being tracked. Oh darn, the cat's out of the bag.
Turn down brightness. Your phone's power settings can automatically control your screen's brightness. But you know this thing about technology? Yeah, it doesn't always work that great. What a surprise! So keep an eye on your brightness anyway. Get in the habit of turning down the brightness on your phone, particularly if you're in an office or plane where the lighting doesn't require a shining display.
Limit the display settings. Speaking of display, make sure your settings are turning this off after 30 seconds of non-use. The longer your display is on the more battery it eats up. While I'm on the topic I do admit that your cat is adorable and your toddler is...well...look, just avoid the silly wallpapers and screen savers too.
Put apps to sleep. You'd be surprised how many of your apps are running in the background even if you're not using them. What are these things dong? They say they're checking for info online, getting updates, waiting for you to call on them. I think about just two words: Vladimir Putin. Both Samsung and Apple devices give you the opportunity to put selected apps to sleep. You'll find yourself choosing many and then not only enjoying a little more privacy but a longer battery life.
Turn on airplane mode. You know when you're about to takeoff and the flight attendant asks everyone to put their devices on airplane mode and you wonder if this really makes a difference? Well, it does. Probably not to the airplane. But definitely to your battery. Leaving your phone on during a five-hour flight will kill your battery while it desperately searches for outside contact with the world. Give it a break and put it in airplane mode. Not only will you save batteries but you could save lives. Bless you.
Turn off the phone. Yeah, that's right. Turn the damn thing off. Some will argue that frequently powering down and then re-starting your phone will drain your battery and that's likely true because I feel drained every time I have to get out of bed and I'm sure that's what my phone feels like. But a short nap never hurt anyone and it certainly won't hurt your smartphone.
Use a task killer app. There are many free apps on iTunes and the Play store that will enable you to "kill" tasks. I use these apps. I'm pretty sure they don't do much. But as a soft man in the early 21st century I don't get many chances to kill anything other than my appetite when I watch old people eat. Using this app may not have a huge impact on your battery life, but guys, it will have a dramatic impact on your self-worth.
Use an external power source. You know those little tube things that CVS sells at the counter for $10 that look like mini-versions of the propane tank that exploded in Bruce the Shark's mouth when Brody heroically shot it at the end of Jaws? Yeah, that's it. Well guess what - they work. If you remember to keep them charged (another heroic act for many of us) you can use these devices as an alternate power source for your phone. I keep a few of these around and frequently rely on them.
The takeaways? Watch Jaws. Don't eat with old people. Avoid Vladimir Putin. Extend your battery life. You are welcome.