Gadget Magnet - Data Doctors talk about how to maximize your mobile battery life - Tucson Local Media: Gadget Magnet

Gadget Magnet - Data Doctors talk about how to maximize your mobile battery life

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 2:32 pm

Q: What can I do to get better battery life from my smartphone? It doesn’t even get me through the afternoon on most days. — Ed

A: Smartphones are an amazing bit of technology, but all those features come at a high cost: battery life.

Understanding which features eat up your battery and only using them when or if you need them is the best way to extend the life.

One of the biggest drains on the battery is powering those big beautiful screens, so always turn the brightness down to the lowest tolerable setting and turn off the auto-brightness so you can manually control when the screen gets brighter.

Turn off the ‘push’ setting for your e-mail so that mail is not constantly being sent to your phone whether you are reading your e-mail or not. The ‘fetch’ setting determines how often your phone checks for new mail, so set it to the longest possible interval or better yet, set it to manual so that the only time you will get new messages is when you manually tell it to fetch them.

Location services can be used by many apps, so having the GPS circuit constantly updating your location as you move around will also drain the battery. Turn it off unless you need it (if an app needs it, you’ll be alerted) and start saying no to apps that ask to use location services when you first install them.

Having your phone constantly scanning for a wifi signal or a Bluetooth device can also add to the drain, so turn them off until they’re needed.

If you are constantly getting notifications from lots of apps, you probably aren’t paying attention when you are installing apps. You should turn off notifications for all but the important ones (you’ll probably be more productive as well!) and start saying no to apps asking to send you notifications when you install them.

Using your phone as a hotspot for other devices is a super handy feature but you can kill your battery very quickly by using it. Try to avoid turning on the hotspot feature unless you are plugged into a power outlet.

If you do turn on the hotspot while on battery power, remember to turn it off as soon as you are finished or your phone will be on fumes in a relatively short period of time.

Start getting into the habit of routinely checking for any apps that are running in the background and shutting them down, especially those free games that are constantly loading in the ads that support the app.

Newer Android phones have a power-saving mode that does a really great job of managing your phones resources based on the way you use your phone, so try turning it on.

You can also see which apps are eating up the most power on Android devices, which can help you decide if its time to get rid of some unwieldy apps.

One last major thing to remember: heat is a major killer of batteries and will reduce the batteries ability to hold a charge. Avoid direct sunlight especially in the hot summer months and avoid using the phone until it cools down if it’s hot to the touch.

• Ken Colburn is president of Data Doctors Computer Services and host of the Data Doctors Radio Program, noon Saturdays on KTAR 92.3 FM or at Readers may send questions to

© 2017 Tucson Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Oro Valley Audiology

Oro Valley AudiologyAddress: 2542 E Vistoso Commerce Loop Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85755Phone:(520) ...

Wednesday 02/19/2014

Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale chosen for Google Fiber program Gadget Magnet: Windows XP users: Read this before doing your taxes!

Monday 01/27/2014

Gadget Magnet - Data Doctors - Data Doctors: Sniff out ‘keyloggers’ before it’s tax time

Wednesday 01/08/2014

Apple tops $10 billion in App Store for 2013

Tuesday 12/10/2013

Gadget Magnet: Data Doctor: Why do I look like a spammer?

Wednesday 09/25/2013

Prime Time Review: Grand Theft Auto V lives up to the hype

Wednesday 09/18/2013

Prime Time Review: New iPhone reveals Apple’s ups and downs?

Thursday 09/12/2013

Here there be monsters: Darkout preview

Thursday 08/29/2013

So, this is happening: Nintendo announces 2DS with Oct. 12 release date

Wednesday 08/28/2013

Gadget Magnet - Making new laptops faster

Tuesday 08/13/2013

Ford releases its new sport truck Ford F-150 Tremor

Friday 07/12/2013

Gadget Magnet - Data doctors on getting the most out of your Smart phone while abroad

Thursday 06/20/2013

Video feature brought to Instagram today

Saturday 06/15/2013

Gadget Magnet - Data Doctors on dealing with dead pixels

Friday 05/31/2013

Gadget Magnet - Data Doctors on whether you should turn your computer off every night Encourage Kids to Have Gadget-Free Fun this Summer

Monday 05/20/2013

Gadget Magnet - Data Doctors talk about how to maximize your mobile battery life

Thursday 05/16/2013

Gadget Magnet - Data Doctors: Can I legally copy my DVDs to use on other devices?

Thursday 05/02/2013

Gadget Magnet - Data Doctors: Fake Microsoft phone call scam the rise again!

Friday 04/26/2013

Data Doctors: Parental controls tips in iOS & iTunes

Friday 04/19/2013

Gadget Magnet - Data Doctors: How to Print from your iPhone or iPad (or Android, Kindle, etc.)

Friday 02/01/2013

Gadget Magnet - Ouya: Coming Soon To A Living Room Near You

Wednesday 11/21/2012

Gadget Magnet: Hot gadgets for the holiday season

Thursday 10/18/2012

Gadget Magnet - Are you a Mac or PC?

Thursday 09/20/2012

The iPhone 5: What’s the big deal anyway?

Friday 09/07/2012

Gadget Magnet - I need memory! But, what type?

Monday 08/13/2012

Gadget Magnet: Is the Kindle Fire worth the time?

Wednesday 07/18/2012

Gadget Magnet - Buying a new computer? Consider the processor first

Friday 06/29/2012

Gadget Magnet - Thoughts on Windows 8

Wednesday 04/11/2012

Gadget Magnet - Oh no! They changed Facebook! ...Deal with it!

Monday 02/20/2012

Gadget Magnet - Shooting Accenture - Don't blame the photographer

Tuesday 01/24/2012

Gadget Magnet - Conversation improves without cell phones

Wednesday 01/04/2012

Gadget Magnet -You have a new iPhone, Touch or iPad, now what?

Wednesday 12/21/2011

Gadget Magnet - The Kindle, a pleasant surprise for this Apple man

Wednesday 12/07/2011

Gadget Magnet: Which to buy: a small camera, a medium camera or a large camera


Follow us on Facebook

Online poll