How To: Keep Your Mobile Device Charged and Ready

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Our phones are our lifelines, our libraries, our maps, and of course, our entertainment these days. So, when we start to see the battery life slowly slipping away, panic can set in. But don’t rush out and buy a new battery yet; there are plenty of ways to conserve your battery life so you can play/call/text on!

Charge properly. When and how you charge is critical to maintaining a strong battery life. First, use the charger that came with the phone. (Wireless chargers may be quicker daily, but they end up killing your battery over time.) Next, try not to let the charge drop below 20%. Finally, turn your phone completely off once a week (and unplug your laptop periodically to let it discharge as well).

Update your settings. Lots of settings suck your battery life without giving you much in return. Go to Settings and dim your display. Turn off any “always on” displays and change your wallpaper if it contains any movement. You can also put your phone in “battery saving” or “low power” mode. You’ll lose some functionality or graphic quality, but not much.

Mind your apps. When your battery first starts to falter, swipe until you’ve closed all the apps running in the background. You may be surprised to see how many unused apps are on the loose! You may also consider the “lite” version of common apps like Google Maps that provide similar services but remove some of the flashier functions that drain your battery.

Disconnect. When possible, turn off GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth connections and change email settings to “sync less often.”

Keep it cool. Not only is extreme heat bad for your phone’s functions, it kills your battery. Keep your phone out of direct heat, don’t leave it in a hot car, and keep it in a pocket or cool purse while outside.

The average lifespan for a phone battery is 1 to 5 years, with the disparity attributed almost exclusively to good charging habits. If you’re smart about your charging and mindful of everything running on your phone—especially what’s running in the background—you can extend the life of your battery and enjoy that final episode of THE LINCOLN LAWYER while everyone else has to read the book…

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