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How To: Increase Your Smartphone's Battery Life

Tips and Tricks Specific to WP7

Battery Saver

WP7 has an actual option that you can enable in order to conserve power called Battery Saver. It is found under Settings>Battery Saver and can be set to turn on automatically when juice runs low (though it doesn’t tell you, “low” means 20% or less). You can also turn it on manually at any time and it will stay on until the next time the phone is plugged in.

Now before you go running Battery Saver mode 24/7, be aware that it is not some magical switch that reduces battery draw without limiting functionality. For starters, it disables all automatic updates for things like email and calendars. It also prevents any most tiles from being updated. Lastly, it disables background processes, so apps will no longer run in the background.

It doesn’t completely cripple your smartphone, though. You can still make and receive texts and phone calls, check your email, and even browse the internet.

Turning off Xbox Live

Microsoft has gone to great lengths to make sure WP7 integrates perfectly with just about every service they offer. This includes Xbox Live. If you’re an Xbox gamer, this is great news! If you don’t use Xbox Live to communicate with the outside world, it’s nothing more than a leech on your battery.

Xbox Live is on by default, but it can be disabled by opening the Games app and going to Settings where you’ll find a Connect with Xbox Live toggle. Even if you do use Xbox Live to chat, there are a few additional settings there which can reduce battery drain.

Exit Apps using the Back Button

Ever since WP7.5 Mango, Windows Phone has had multitasking capabilities. Full versions of applications don’t actually run in the background, but they will stay there, in a sort of hibernation mode, for you to switch back to later. In general, these background apps don’t use much battery at all, but as they add up throughout the day (or days), the sheer numbers can have quite the impact on battery life.

For users coming from Android or iOS and even those unfamiliar with the inner workings of WP7, the home button has always been the de facto method for leaving an app. In WP7, the home button (aka the Windows Logo button) simply leaves the app open in the background and returns you to the home screen. Sometimes this is useful, but there are also times when you might not want to leave an app open. In order to close an app, you have to use the Back button.

  • fb39ca4
    or, for ios, you can just use springboardsettings -you can toggle stuff while still in an app.
    Reply
  • virtualban
    Project the image directly to the retina for a smaller display and consumption. Or better, tap into the optical nerve and transmit the image directly there.

    - uncalled for -
    I'm going to patent these ideas, even though many people had these in the past, and will allow everybody to use the ideas for free, except apple, who has to pay me, or die.
    Reply
  • quantumrand
    fb39ca4or, for ios, you can just use springboardsettings -you can toggle stuff while still in an app.
    That is a good option, and there are a lot of other apps that can do this as well, but they all require that you jailbreak your iPhone first.
    Reply
  • Thanks for including BlackBerry OS7 phones.... no wonder the brand is dying... people won't even include them in generic non-partisan articles!
    Reply
  • cookoy
    i find turning on flight mode saves a lot of juice. But my boss and my wife aren't particularly happy if i do this.
    Reply
  • quantumrand
    Matt CThanks for including BlackBerry OS7 phones.... no wonder the brand is dying... people won't even include them in generic non-partisan articles!
    There isn't a ton you can do on a BlackBerry to save battery life. Their smaller screens and lower performance processors make for a pretty long battery life to begin with. You can still apply several of the concepts mentioned in the article to a BlackBerry, like training the battery, toggling WiFi/Data, and changing pull/push settings for things like e-mail.
    Reply
  • jgutz2006
    "last longer between charges" thought that might be some sort of male sexual innuendo...
    Reply
  • techy74
    Good article. We all love our smart phones. We dont all love how spend half their life on the charger.
    Reply