Key to Saving Cell Phone Battery Is Not Closing Apps

August 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

If you’re an avid cell phone user, preserving battery life can be an all-consuming obsession. You limit your data usage, you only operate certain mobile apps on wifi, and you may even avoid some of the data hogs your colleagues all swear by.

Closing your mobile apps on your cell phone won't necessarily conserve your battery life.

Closing your mobile apps won’t necessarily conserve your battery life.

One thing we’ve always thought about battery extension was that we should close our dormant apps instead of leaving them open.

Turns out, that’s just not true.

According to an Apple support page, “apps that are in a suspended state aren’t actively in use, open, or taking up system resources.”

Android users can also rejoice. According to an ABC News story, David Burke, the vice president of engineering at Android, agrees. “It’s simply not true.”

He says just the opposite occurs when you go to close those apps to conserve power. Closing them actually activates them momentarily which may drain more power than just leaving them in their suspended state.

So, if closing apps is unhelpful, what can you do?

  • Dim your screen. Screen brightness is the single biggest draw on the battery. Just like TVs in stores are set to their most vivid setting unnecessarily, your phone doesn’t have to be at its brightest. Select auto-brightness or install the Twilight app, which lets you lower the brightness level beyond your phone’s default.
  • Set your screen lock timer to 30 seconds. This may help you curb your addiction to those time sink apps like Pinterest and Facebook. Better yet, dump power-hungry apps like Facebook, and use the mobile version on your favorite mobile web browser.
  • Turn off push notifications. They make your screen light up every time you get a text, tweet, update, message, or any other information your phone thinks you need to know Right This Instant.
  • Turn the phone to airplane mode if you only need text and email and don’t need to receive calls. Wifi draws less power than a cell signal.
  • Turn off or limit location services in apps. You know where you are most of the time, but everyone else doesn’t need to! Location services work by pinging a signal off nearby cell towers and wifi routers, which means your phone is always working.
  • Update software as it becomes available. Most battery optimization happens in the operating system, so the updates are crucial for battery savings. For example, Android’s latest operating system, Marshmallow, increased battery life by 30 percent.
  • Switching to low-power mode (which usually happens on iPhones when your battery reaches 20%) will turn off maintenance systems the phone usually performs. You can choose to return to full power each night while charging, and these functions will be performed while you sleep.

How do you conserve battery power on your cell phone? Share your ideas in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: jeshoots (Pixabay, Creative Commons)

Comments are closed.