What good is a smartphone that doesn’t last you long? If your Android phone or tablet’s battery life is poor you’re going to find yourself bound to sockets, wires and adapters. Most Android owners go for the most powerful devices with big displays, but what they don’t often consider is the battery capacity. Today we’re going to share 13 tried and tested battery saving tips for Android which are guaranteed to boost your up-time.
#1. Turn off auto or adaptive brightness
The biggest battery hog in smartphones today is their display; and the ever increasing screen sizes aren’t helping much either. Generally speaking, the brighter you run your screen, the more juice it will require. So, in order to squeeze the most out of your battery, you can simply turn your screen brightness down to the lowest settings.
A lot of people also use auto brightness settings, which basically uses the light sensor on your phone to ascertain how bright the screen should be. While its a nifty feature, if you spend most of your day out in the open or in brightly lit rooms (which is normal), your phone will automatically be running high on display brightness and consuming more battery.
Note: Android Lollipop now has an Adaptive Brightness toggle instead of Auto Brightness which essentially does the same thing but only adjusts the brightness within a certain range of your default setting.
#2. Use themes with black highlights and backgrounds
This step works well for devices with AMOLED screens. If you’re device has an AMOLED display, rendering black backgrounds or wallpapers essentially doesn’t use as much battery as a white wallpaper or background would. If you use a dark theme and night-mode in apps which support it (several readers and browsers do) you’ll notice the difference over hours of use.
#3. Update your Android version
Android updates generally improve device performance including battery consumption. If you’re stuck with an old version of Android you are likely missing out on improvements and tweaks in the latest update. All manufacturers have their own PC companions or suites which can be used to connect your device with your computer and update the firmware over the internet.
#4. Change app polling times
If you’ve configured email or social media apps on your device, those notifications you get when you receive a new message or someone updates something mean that the app is running in the background and constantly checking for new updates. This essentially drains your battery even when you’re not actively using your device.
Instead of setting your apps to get live updates, you can choose to receive new notifications every few minutes or even after an hour, which is more battery friendly for your device.
#5, Reduce number of widgets
One of the things I love about Android is the option to display widgets on your homescreens. Widgets are like mini apps, providing real time information and easy access to it. However, the more widgets you have, the more processing power is used, which ultimately lowers your battery backup time.
If you want to get the most out of your battery you should reduce the number of widgets to the bare minimum you need.
#6. Switch off unnecessary communication options
GPS, Bluetooth and Wifi, all use up your device’s battery and should be switched off when not needed. A lot of people simply keep their GPS, Bluetooth and Wifi on at all times, wrecking havoc on their battery life.
#7. Make use of Airplane Mode
The Airplane mode in your Android device is not just for airplanes. If you are in an area where reception is weak, your phone will constantly search for signals, which can considerably reduce your battery life. Similarly, at night, when you are finally ready for bed, you don’t need your phone to be operational (unless it’s the only way to reach you and you don’t mind being woken up at night). In both these instances it’s a good idea to switch to airplane mode, which really improves your battery backup timing.
#8. Turn off phone vibration
Vibration also consumes a lot of battery, especially when you have it turned on for every keystroke or notification. If you’re constantly getting emails or texts, you might want to switch off vibration and save battery life over the long run.
#9. Uninstall apps you don’t use but run in background
If you view your Android phone or tablet’s battery consumption through the settings menu you can find out which apps use most of your battery capacity. If there are any apps which you don’t regularly use, you should uninstall them. Most Android apps today continue to run in the background, using processing power, clogging your memory and reducing your battery life. Some examples of such apps include messengers and social media apps.
#10. Update apps to more stable versions
A lot of times developers work on improving their apps and fixing performance issues by rolling out new updates. If you regularly use an app which consumes a lot of your battery capacity, you should consider updating it to the latest version to reduce its battery consumption.
#11. Try the battery saving mode
Nearly all Android devices come with built-in battery saving modes, which can actually help with your battery woes. When turned on, the battery saving mode essentially switches of all communication radios, reduces screen brightness and lowers processor usage in order to extend your battery life.
#12. Underclock CPU (Root users)
If you have a rooted Android device you can actually underclock your CPU and reduce it’s maximum frequency to save battery life. While drastic changes are not recommended, you can experiment with small reductions to find a balance between performance and battery backup.
#13. Close apps when done
You can view apps which are running on your device through the Applications option in the Settings menu. From here you can choose to close specific apps which are running in the background and save battery life. However, this is not a permanent measure and you will need to do it again after you restart those apps or reboot your device.
Getting a new battery or using battery packs
If your Android device’s battery continues to run low despite these tips, you should consider getting a new one. Typically batteries start to show their age after about 1.5 to 2 years, depending on your usage. Removable batteries are far easier to change than non-removable ones. You can simply get a new battery off the shelf and replace your old one after removing the back cover. If your device has a non-removable battery you might need to send it to your manufacturer’s service outlet for replacement.
Battery packs have also gotten bigger these days, and if you are a frequent traveler or are often on the move, you should consider purchasing one for additional battery backup when charging your device with a power outlet isn’t possible or practical.
If there are any other battery saving tips you have, please feel free to share them with us by commenting below.