Posted on November 14, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer

Remember when a cell phone battery to last several days?  Those days are long gone, unfortunately.  I got a new mobile phone this weekend, and although I like a  lot of new features now available on the new Android, one thing I was looking forward to was a new phone battery (my old one was lasting about six hours).  Well, I was disappointed when I learned that the new one is likely to last about eight hours - tops!


Yes, batteries are the one thing that are not keeping up with the technology they power.  Neowin had a write-up last week about the new Lenovo Notebook, which has a dual operating system (to function as both a laptop computer and as a mobile phone device).  But even this fabulously-new innovation has a batter that only lasts about ten hours.


It will probably be a while before battery-makers create longer-lasting batters.  Let's face it; they have a monetary incentive to make the batteries wear out and need replacement at least once during the life of the device.  So, what can we do to make our own batteries last longer before they need charged on a daily (or almost daily) basis?


1) Keep a charger with you, and take advantage of available power sources whenever you can.  If your device has a car charger and you drive a lot, take advantage of that daily commute to re-charge.  Otherwise, use your device's wall charger, and plug it in whenever you can (always getting permission as applicable, of course).


2) Keep the device off, or in power-saving mode whenever you're not using it.  Many devices have applications and processes that run in the background even when the device is in sleep mode, so if you don't need those processes, turn them off. 


3) Disable your Bluetooth whenever you're not using it.  In many cases, this technology is a security risk, and it uses batter power to keep running, so it should not be running all of the time.  Just turn it on when you need it.


4) Data Sync - do  you really need it to be active all of the time?  This is the application that lets you know when you're getting a new e-mail or an update on one of your installed programs or applications.  Some people really need this for their work, but if you are content to just let your device check for updates occasionally throughout the day when you have time to read your e-mail, then turn the auto-sync off. 


5)  GPS - you probably don't need that in your home or office.  The purpose of GPS is to either help you get directions to your destination or make your location-based applications work.  If you're inside your home or the office where you work everyday, your GPS is a little redundant.  Turn it off,  and save that battery.


6) Keep a spare battery and switch them out.  If you're travelling a lot, this can be a good option for those times when you don't have access to your own power source. 


7) Keep your battery as cool as possible.  You can now get fans for laptop computers to increase both your comfort and help keep your laptop cool.  When you are commuting or traveling, be sure to keep your mobile device as close to "room temperature" as possible.  Avoid letting it sit in the sun, or near a heating vent in your vehicle. 


One idea that is often suggested for extending the life of your battery is reducing the "brightness" of your monitor.  I disagree with this one strongly.  Batteries can be replaced.  Your eyes cannot.  Obviously, you don't need your monitor to light up a dark room, but adjust the settings for your own vision, not to extend battery life. 


What other ideas do you have for extending the life of your battery?


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