More Tricks For General Battery Nirvana
Screen Brightness and Timeout
No matter the smartphone, the screen is almost certainly the biggest battery hog. For users who like to browse the web, watch videos, or read e-books – or do just about anything a smartphone is useful for – curbing the screens appetite is essential.
Screen Brightness: Lowering the display brightness can have a very positive impact on battery life. Ideally, you’ll want to lower it as far as it will go, but using your phone’s auto-brightness feature can help almost as much, and without the crippling effects on outdoor visibility.
Android – Screen brightness settings are found under Settings>Display, though not all versions allow for auto-brightness.
iOS – Go to Settings>Brightness. You can adjust the brightness manually with the slider or enable Auto-Brightness.
WP7 – Under Settings>Brightness, there is a drop-down menu with a few brightness settings as well as a toggle to automatically adjust it.
Screen Timeout: A short screen timeout delay can be a real pain in the ass, but it has the potential to either help or hurt your battery life. If you’re constantly turning your screen back on when using your device, you’re actually draining the battery faster, but if your screen stays on for several minutes after your phone is in your pocket, it’s not doing much good. Balance is key. If you’re diligent about putting your phone to sleep after using it, a longer delay is probably useful, though there’s very little need to go longer than a minute or two.
Android – Screen Timeout/Sleep settings are found in Settings>Display.
iOS – Go to Settings>General>Auto-Lock to select a screen timeout delay.
WP7 – You can find the Screen time out drop down menu under Settings>Lock+Wallpaper.
Features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Location Services, and Haptic Feedback all take a toll on the battery. Wi-Fi, especially, can hurt battery life, even when it’s not connected. It’s best to turn these features off when not in use. Shortcuts and widgets can make this much more convenient.
Android – The Power Control widget includes toggling options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. More widgets can be found in the marketplace. In Settings, you can toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth under Wireless & Networks, GPS settings are under Location & Security (or Location Services for 4.0 devices), Haptic Feedback can be toggled under Language & Keyboard (or Language & Input on 4.0 devices) and selecting the settings for the specific keyboard you’re using.
iOS – Bluetooth settings are found under Settings>General>Bluetooth; Wi-Fi is under Settings>WiFi; and location services are under Settings>General>Location Services. Haptic Feedback is under Settings>General>Keybaord. The iCloud settings in Settings>iCloud can be useful, too. You can create shortcuts to these settings using the URL trick as follows (they are case sensitive):
Bluetooth – “prefs:root=General&path=Bluetooth”
Wi-Fi – “prefs:root=WIFI”
Location Services – “prefs:root=LOCATION_SERVICES”
Keyboard – “prefs:root=General&path=Keyboard”
iCloud – “prefs:root=CASTLE”
WP7 – Similar to Android, WP7 can use tiles from apps like WP Shortcut Tiles as shortcuts to toggle these settings. Toggling them in the settings should be self explanatory for everything except Haptic Feedback which is found in the Settings>Extra Settings.