Extending your Phones Battery Life

We’ve all been there… sitting at the doctors office or commuting home from work playing your favorite game, or uploading that awesome selfie you just took and you realize your battery is dying! Smartphones have evolved into these powerful little computers that fit into our pockets, but the batteries that power these amazingly awesome devices unfortunately have not. I know to for me personally, I have to carry an extra charge bank with me whenever I leave the house. So what can you do to help you get the longest possible time from your device?

Android Battery Tips

First and foremost you will want to go to your devices settings and click on battery and you should see something like the photo above. This will give you a closer look at what is juicing your battery the most and you can take the appropriate steps in extending your batteries life.

Set your backlight to auto or even minimum

One thing that helps IMMENSELY with my devices is switching the backlight for the display to auto. The screen uses the most amount of battery consumption so this will actually save your phone a considerable amount of life. Wirecutter actually put this to the test 
using the Geekbench utility’s battery – intensive routines for an hour, an iPhone 6s used 54 percent less battery—12 percent of a full charge versus 26 percent—with the screen brightness at minimum compared with maximum brightness. A Moto X Pure Edition Android phone used 30 percent less (21 percent of a full charge versus 30 percent).

I use an app by LIONMOBI called Power Battery, which definitely helps me get the best life possible from my cell phones battery. My current phone is the ZTE Zmax Pro with a battery life of 3,100mAh that sometimes lasts me up to 16 hours with moderate use depending on the apps I have running and my phones current settings.

Android Battery Tips

Trimming apps that are currently running in the background can also help. It can extend your battery’s life by up to a day depending on the applications that are running.

Dump unnecessary home screen widgets and live wallpaper

Just because they’re sitting on the home screen, seemingly inactive, doesn’t mean they’re not consuming power. This goes for widgets that poll status updates in the background, as well as ones that just sit there but look pretty and animated—not to mention animated live wallpaper.

Turn off some wireless features you’re not using

Unless you need them, turn off some wireless features on your device, as they drain your battery. This includes GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, and also Wi-Fi. Or, in a pinch, turn off ALL radios, including cellular connectivity, by selecting Airplane mode and remember your device will charge up much faster in this mode too. Turning off your devices vibration will also help conserve battery life.

Reducing push notifications

On smartphones, reduce or disable push services that notify you of new information or updates such as incoming email, video game updates, or real-time sports scores — as it needs to “ping” a remote server to send you updated info every time. In plain English, this can eat up battery (and data as well!). You probably want push mail, so you’re notified when messages arrive in your inbox, but at least disable push notifications for little-used apps. You can find this in your devices settings.

Other things to keep in mind

Something to keep in mind in the winter months is to try to keep your tech at a reasonable temperature or else it can prematurely drain your battery. If you can help it, don’t keep your gadgets exposed to extreme cold or heat – like leaving it in your car. On an unrelated note, be sure you download the latest software updates for your phone, tablet, watch or laptop, as engineers always try out new ways to improve power management.

 

Android 5.1 Lollipop – All you need to know

Google released Android 5.0 Lollipop in 2014, only to be hit with a large number of complaints regarding bugs and other performance issues. Versions 5.0.1 and 5.0.2 soon followed, addressing a large number of the initial issues, but obviously not enough of them. That’s where Android 5.1 comes into play. Released in March of 2015, the latest update fixes a lot of the flaws found in the 5.0 versions, as well as adding some really cool and new tricks.

The latest update improves on battery life, performance and general stability of Android devices. Although most of the changes are not visible to users, there are several new features that are visual, useful, interesting, and noteworthy.

Device Protection

This ensures that devices that are reported stolen or lost remain locked, even after a factory reset. The device can only be unlocked after the owner signs in with his or her Google account. This would drastically reduce the resale value of stolen handsets, and is definitely a win for consumers.

According to Dave Burke, the VP of Android Engineering, “This feature will be available on most Android phones and tablets shipped with Android 5.1 in addition to the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9”. As a consumer who has lost several Android devices, I welcome this.”

device-protection

Volume slider and Interruptions

Interruptions is a way to specify what manner of notifications your phone/tablet can alert you to. You can specify which contacts can call you (if any), messages and/or events and reminders. Alarms are always priority. From the volume slider, you can now tweak the interruption settings. There are now three possible states, None, Priority and All.

In addition, you can set a downtime, for example between 10:00pm to 5:00am everyday from Sunday to Thursday, and you can now specify the types of interruptions allowed (Priority or None).

Also, if you have an alarm set, you can now specify Priority or None until the next alarm (as long as it’s within 12 hours). With this, it takes just a few taps to mute your device for a given period. Interestingly, you can now also access the Volume/Interruptions slider while playing audio or videos. Simply tap the bell icon.

Also available in Settings → Sound & Notification → Interruptions.

anime_volume-2

 

Heads up notifications

In Android 5.0, heads up notifications had to be acted upon, dismissed with a swipe, or they remained there for a really long time. Now, with 5.1, swiping upwards will hide the notification into the notification tray, while swiping sideways dismisses it completely.

Quick settings

The quick settings panel has received some tweaks from the development (and design) teams. The icons now animate the change of state between on and off. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth now have little dropdowns, allowing you switch between Wifi access points (and Bluetooth devices) right from the menu.

frame-settings

In addition, the quick settings menu can now be accessed from the locked screen, by simply swiping down. The settings available here include Wifi, Bluetooth, brightness and airplane mode.

Improved screen pinning

Ever given a friend your phone for a few minutes to look at or read something, only to find him browsing pictures and other stuff? Screen pinning is a feature that forces the user to a single application.

Android 5.1 has added a few improvements to help users understand the screen pinning feature. The settings to enable screen pinning is in Settings → Security. It is much easier to understand, and, on first use, there is a clear instruction on how to exit/unpin.

screen-pin-animation

Dual SIM and HD calls

Android 5.1 now provides support for dual SIM card usage, this feature was built primarily with Android One in mind. This can prove very useful for international travelers and users in countries where dual sim phones are popular. From the dialer, a user can select what SIM card should be used for a call. There is a very helpful color-coded interface also, which provides easy visual feedback.

Android 5.1 also bakes into the OS support for HD voice calls. However, you will need a supporting network.

Some other visual updates include:

  • Better WiFi connections. 5.1 monitors and remembers which access points provide poor/no access, and favors those with better connectivity.
  • For developers there are new APIs for managing Multiple SIM. Also the org.apache.http classes have been deprecated – you should migrate code to URLConnection.
  • Changed icon indicating no SIM inserted
  • New animations in the clock app. Also, changing the volume (with the device volume rocker while in the clock app) now changes alarm volume.

Google’s Project Ara is a Mobile Computing Breakthrough

The prototype for Google’s Ara modular smartphone is one hell of an instrument, because it lets you pop in the components you actually want. To hold one of these gadgets in your hand is to get a hint about the future of mobile computing. The hardware is personalized, just like the apps on your phone!

Google’s Project Ara is the stuff of dreams… check out the video below to see for yourself!