Quick, what's the fastest growing phobia in the world? If you guessed nomophobia, which is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact, congratulations. People with nomophobia fear losing their smartphones, being out of network coverage, or having their smartphone batteries go dead.
A dead smartphone battery can happen to anyone, but it doesn't have to be a regular thing. A few smart changes to your smartphone settings, a few better smartphone habits, and a backup battery can make dead smartphone batteries a thing of the past.
Dim Screen Brightness
The biggest power draw on your smartphone is that big colourful screen. Doesn't matter what make or model handset you have—smartphone screens use power at a fast pace. Chances are your phone is set so it automatically changes brightness to suit outside light levels. But you can manually change brightness. Turn your brightness down to the lowest level you can tolerate. Even if you ignore all our other tips, try this one.
Turn Off Background Apps
Each app you have running is a draw on power. Running multiple apps at once is one of the coolest things about smartphones and there are certainly apps we like to keep running in the background—like our activity tracker—but not every app needs to be on all the time. Turn off apps you aren't using. That'll give your smartphones CPU a break and reduce power usage.
On Android, tap the multitasking button. It's usually the icon on the bottom right of the screen. From there, you can swipe away apps to close them.
On iOS, double tap the home button so that the multitasking screen appears. Then you can swipe apps up to close them.
Turn Off Bluetooth
If you have Bluetooth on, Bluetooth is always searching for a signal, even when there isn’t one. Searching for signals drains power, so when you're not using Bluetooth, turn it off.
Turn Off WiFi
The same rules apply to WiFi. If you have WiFi on, your phone will constantly look for WiFi signals, even if you have no intention of connecting to the ones you find. Since all that searching drains power, it makes sense to turn off WiFi when you're done using it.
Shorten Screen Timeout
Somewhere in your phone settings, you can change your screen timeout or auto-lock. Basically, this governs how long your phone stays lit after receiving input (like a swipe or tap). Put it on the lowest setting so that your screen goes dark immediately after you're done using it.
Change Push Email
Having your phone check email constantly can be a waste of power. Change your settings so that email only gets checked every thirty minutes or so—or even better, set it so you manually fetch mail. After all, if it's really important, they'll call.
Did you know that vibrating takes more power than just a normal ringtone? Vibrating is useful sometimes, but in situations where your phone can be heard, consider during vibrate off. It also may make sense to turn off vibrate when your phone is on silent mode too—we've certainly heard vibrating phones in places like movie theatres.
Every notification you receive—every chime, every screen lighting up, every popup—uses energy. Go to the notifications section of your phone settings and only allow essential apps send you notifications.
Buy a Backup
Okay, you've trimmed your power usage to the bone but you still need more. Well, there's only one last thing to do: get more power. Plugging in to an outlet isn't always practical, so invest in a backup battery. There are a tonne of battery backups out there, and they keep getting more powerful and a lot smaller. In fact, one fits in the credit card slot of your wallet. Or, if you're heading far out of doors and away from charging opportunities, consider a wind-up phone charger.