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Keep Your Phone Juiced

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Smartphones.  They’ve transformed our simple mobile phones into robust mini computers with capabilities matching those of 90’s PCs.  These compact powerhouses give us the ability to do anything from browsing the web to directing us to our favorite eatery.  Unfortunately for the user, these tasks require a lot of power and can drain your battery before you know it.  A few weeks ago we wrote a post detailing a new technology that will recharge your mobile phone just by using it.  This will be great when it’s fully developed and ready for real world use, but until then we’ll have to rely on some simple tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your smartphone battery.

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The first thing you should do is look into how frequently your apps check for updates.  The more often they check for updates, the more often your phone has to wake up and use data.  This means your phone is doing more work, more frequently and is in turn using more battery.  If you’ve never changed update frequency before, there’s a high chance your apps are refreshing pretty often.  Most apps install without battery life in mind and are automatically set to update a few times an hour.  Find your way into your app’s settings and change its update frequency to every few hours instead of every fifteen minutes and you’ll see an almost instant increase in your phone’s battery life.

After you’ve changed the settings of each individual app, you can head over to your phone’s settings and change some of those.  Turning your phone’s WiFi and mobile data off can save your phone tons of battery.  The tradeoff, however, is that no apps will be updated as you have no connection to the Internet. One of the beauties of the Android operating system is the ability to use widgets.  These allow you to quickly turn things like WiFi and mobile data off and on as you need it directly from your home screen.  Widgets can also be used for GPS, Bluetooth, screen brightness, and a slew of other things you can disable or modify to prolong your battery’s charge.

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If you simply must have your apps updated frequently and you can’t live with data turned off, there are other options to keep your phone juiced up throughout the day.  Car chargers give you the ability to charge your phone on the go by plugging into your car’s power outlet (or cigarette lighter for those of you with more aged vehicles).  These are incredibly useful if you have a job that requires a lot of travel or driving around the city for meetings.  If a stationary desk is more akin to your job description, a charging pad might be of more use.  These allow you to wirelessly charge your phone by placing it on a surface that’s plugged into the wall.  The benefit of these is that you can still answer and use your phone as normal without worrying about tangled cords holding you down.  Just pick up your phone when you need to use it and set it back on the pad when you’re finished.  Voilà, your phone will continue to charge!

If you happen to have a job that puts you in the middle of nowhere and away from all wired power sources, you do have the option of carrying multiple batteries with you.  Throwing a few in a pocket or bag will ensure your phone stays up and running for as long as you may need it.  But if you’re in the middle of nowhere without any nearby power sources, the chances of you actually having service are also pretty low.  Those of you who rushed to get a Verizon Apple iPhone also can’t replace the battery when it’s dead.  Instead, Verizon offers a Universal Portable Power Pack that holds a charge until you plug it into your phone.

Smartphones are wonderful devices that offer you the ability to do all kinds of work on the go.  Whether you have an iPhone or a 4G powerhouse like the HTC Thunderbolt, your battery life is as precious as the phone itself.  Use these guidelines to take advantage of every ounce of juice your battery can hold.

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