Preserving Your Smartphone Battery

Let’s face it, we all hate having to wait hours for our phones to charge or are terrified that leaving it plugged overnight will overcharge the battery. A smartphone battery can either last a long time, or they can no longer maintain the same fully charged system. Between myths and obvious warnings, there are ways to better preserve your battery and prolong its life and initially the phone as well. Follow along to find out the different ways to maintain the staying power of your battery.

    1. Brightness – Dimming the brightness on your phone is a great way to help your battery. This also includes using auto brightness. Having large and colorful display is easily the #1 enemy to your battery life. Lowering the brightness uses less power, as well as lowering it to the lowest setting you can tolerate can make a huge difference.
    2. Don’t leave apps running – Another big battery drainer is leaving apps running in the background. This can burn a lot of energy, and some apps are very heavy on battery life such as Facebook and Snapchat. By no longer leaving them running in the back, it will drastically reduce its power consumption, giving you an extra hour or two in battery life.  
    3. Turn off Wi-Fi – Constantly leaving the Wi-Fi still running on apps is a serious drainage to battery life. Rather than leaving it on, turn off your Wi-Fi radio and other apps that still use the Wi-Fi even when you are not using it.

 

  • Battery charge – Try avoiding a full 100% charge. Fully charging it to 100% will shorten the battery’s lifespan. Instead, only do a full battery charge once a month, as it helps recalibrate the battery. With a daily charge, a good range to maintain in is between 40-80%. It is also important to not let the battery drop below 20%.

Following these four helpful tips will help keep your battery from draining in a matter of 3 hours. When combined together, they will make a significant impact on your smartphone.

Saving Your Laptop Battery

It never fails; the moment you need your laptop for a meeting or to complete work, while being away from an electric source, the low battery alert comes on. We have all been there staring at the horror of a battery that is too low to conduct business and, of course, you forgot your power cord. All’s not lost, however. There are still some things you can do to save your laptop battery. The idea is to reduce the amount of power the laptop is using, letting you squeeze in a few more precious minutes before the battery goes dead. In addition, there are some techniques to extent the overall lifespan of the battery. Here are a few techniques that can help you do both stretch your battery in a pinch as well as preventative measures that will help in the future.

 

  • Eco-Mode – If your laptop has an energy saver mode switch that on for long term use.  This will reduce the amount of battery life your computer uses regularly.
  • Adjust Settings – Backlighting can be a huge drain on power so turn it down slightly to reduce power consumption. Reduce the resolution if you are able to or are not using it for detailed images. Finally, adjust the sound. Saving the power from being zapped by the speakers can buy you a few more minutes of battery life.
  • Shut Things Off – Turn off applications you are not using and try not to multitask, which means multiple windows are open at once.
  • Turn Off Wifi and Bluetooth – While this may not be practical if you need internet access, it will stretch your battery life if you don’t need it.
  • Care for your Battery Regularly – It’s a good idea to take your battery out from time to time and care for it. If you have a laptop with a detachable battery, give it a careful wipe with a soft cloth every few months to get rid of any dust, and make sure the contact points are especially clean.
  • Don’t Let the Battery Empty – According to PC World, “Squeezing every drop of juice out of a lithium ion battery (the type used in today’s laptops) strains and weakens it. Doing this once or twice won’t kill the battery, but the cumulative effect of frequently emptying your battery will shorten its lifespan.”
  • Keep It Cool – Heat can break down a battery and shorten its lifespan. Keep vents unblocked and never leave it in a hot car or near a window that gets direct sunlight.

 

Preserving Laptop Batteries

We’ve all been in that position where we’re on a roll working on a project of some sort on our laptops and, almost out of nowhere, the red battery symbol comes up and instantly remember leaving the charger on the outlet next to your bed or office desk. What do you do then? How will you complete the project before the deadline and hour from now? Read on to find out what useful tips you can take into action to help preserve the most battery life possible in a stressful moment like this.

Set on Battery Saving Mode. First thing is first, you want to switch your laptop settings to saving mode and adjust all other setting as well. If your laptop has a backlight on the keyboard, you can lower the dim the light or turn it off completely. By doing this and reducing the display’s brightness to at least 50 percent, or changing the resolution to basic, your battery’s life expectancy can significantly increase.

Disconnect Devices and Ports. This can be any device hooked onto your laptop through a USB cord or Bluetooth. If you are not using them, disconnect them. If you don’t need to use the Internet, disconnect your laptop from the Wifi so that it’s not wasting energy trying to stay connected. To disable ports that are not in use, navigate to your Control Panel and find “device manager.” Skim through the categories and disable all the unused ones by right clicking and choosing “disabled.”

Avoid Multitasking. Try to focus on one thing at a time. When you are opening multiple applications at the same time it can drain your battery more quickly.

Of course, these are quick fixes to help preserve your laptop’s battery life while in a “no charger” crisis, but in order to have an overall healthy, long-lasting battery you have to take good care of it and your device. Make sure you are charging your battery entirely while occasionally allowing the battery to drain completely. If your laptop has an internal fan and is heats up quickly, try to keep it cooled down and in an area where there is enough airflow. Otherwise, the heat will shorten your battery’s life entirely.

For more detailed information on how to preserve your laptop’s battery in general, contact us online or on the phone!

Common Myths About Technology: Part 1

With a world surrounded by technology, we are constantly hearing about the many ways to care for your devices and what the dos and don’ts are when handling them. A lot of the times we can’t help but come across some information that completely contradicts the one we may have just heard about.

We have searched some of the most common myths about technology and decided to share them with you in two parts to help clear some contradicting information for you. Here is part 1 of the common myths:

Macs Are Not Prone to Viruses

One of the most common myths is the one about macs not getting viruses. Perhaps this myth stems from Apple’s claim that their OS X software system is not susceptible to the common viruses targeted towards Windows. Although this is true, it does not mean that apple computers are not susceptible to those viruses created to target Macs.

In fact, the more common these computers become in homes and offices, the more vulnerable they become towards malware.

A Cell Phone’s Battery Should be Drained Before Charging

This is another very common misconception and the reason for this goes back to when NiCd batteries were common in many tech devices. The NiCd batteries suffer from “memory effect” which leads to the battery not being able to recharge up to 100 percent, causing the battery life to drain more quickly.

Since the early 2000s, NiCd batteries have been replaced with Lithium-Ion batteries, especially in all Apple products, which eliminate the “memory effect” issue. Although this is true, though, Apple does advice for the devices to be drained at least once a month in order to help maintain battery life.

More Bars Means Better Service

When we see our signal bars go down, we immediately start moving around to get more signal in order to have better service. Truth is, the bars only show the signal strength to the cell phone tower near you. The service is determined by the amount of tech devices connected to that same tower.

Files are Permanently Deleted Once Trash Bin is emptied

Maybe this is something you never thought of before, but the fact is that after the trash/recycling bin has been emptied in your computer, fragments of those deleted files can be left behind. This means that those fragments can be restored. The act of deleting a file is simply to make space for new ones.

In order to fully delete files on a Mac, you may want to follow up by clicking on “Secure Empty Trash.” If you are a PC owner, it is best to download a secure deleting program.

 

Private Browsing Means Anonymity

Private browsing does not keep anyone anonymous. Using this browsing mechanism simply keeps your computer from saving information about the websites visited and what typed or clicked on while being there. However, files downloaded from private browsing will remain in your device.

Conserving Battery Life of your Mobile Devices

It has happened to all of us at some time or another.  We check our mobile device only to see that the battery life is dangerously low. “How can this be, it’s only 11AM?”  Unless you carry your charger with you, the rest of the day will be a balancing act of only using the device when you really have to.  This is absolutely no good in our tech driven world today.  We can get a man to the moon but our smartphone dies midday?  Here are a few brilliant battery-saving tricks and tips that will help you keep the iPhone’s battery running all day long.

 

  • Low Power Mode – The Low Power Mode isn’t a default option that happens automatically. When you get to lower battery levels you’ll see a warning flash up and the option to turn on Low Power Mode.
  • Tweak the Brightness – We love our big bright screens with great graphics, however, this is a battery suck.  Most phones include an auto-brightness feature that automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness to suit ambient lighting levels. You will get even better results if you tweak the brightness down even further.
  • Timeout – This setting controls how long your phone’s screen stays lit after receiving input, such as a tap. Set your timeout to the shortest available time to save on the battery.
  • Location Services – Apps that use location services or GPS are a huge battery waster.  As a user, you can revoke apps’ access to location services, or set levels (in Android) to determine how much power they use.
  • Close Apps – Don’t leave apps running in the background unless it is absolutely necessary.  These are using battery life even if they can not be seen.  The biggest battery depleters are games.
  • Ring Don’t Vibrate!  – It takes more battery to vibrate than it does to hear a ringtone.  After all, a ringtone only has to make a tiny membrane in your phone’s speaker vibrate enough to produce sound. In contrast, the vibration motor rotates a small weight to make your whole phone shake.
  • Streaming – Cut out streaming videos and games wherever possible.  Not only does it cut your battery life but is data usage time as well.
  • Keep it Cool – Exposing the battery to high temperatures (such as a hot car) can decrease the performance of your battery over time.
  • Turn off Push Notifications – Notifications may be convenient but they take power and should be shut off when not necessary.

Conserving Battery Life

Chip Hart

You’re sitting in a meeting or at the airport waiting to get on a flight and your laptop is dying and for whatever reason you don’t have your power adapter or there is no power outlet and you still have work to do. There are some things you can do to get more time out of your battery so you can respond to that important email. While none of these actions will actually increase the power in your battery they will reduce the amount of power the laptop is using, giving you a few more minutes before the battery dies.

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  • Activate your laptops Battery Saver mode
    • The Battery Saver mode will adjust your laptop’s settings and shift components into low-power states to help the remaining power last a bit longer.
  • Adjust Your Settings
    • Using your keyboard and display you can adjust the settings for both to reduce power consumption.
    • You can turn off the back lighting on the keyboard.
    • The display brightness does not need to be at 100 percent or full resolution. You could reduce the brightness to 50 percent and add a significant amount of time to the battery life. You can also change the resolution to a basic 1366×768.
    • Turning off all sounds that way the speakers will not be using any power.
  • Disable Unused Devices and Ports
    • The best way to reduce power consumption is to turn devices and icons off. Every component in your laptop needs power to function. Start by disconnecting any peripherals you are not using like a USB mouse or external drive. You will also want to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios.
    • Remember only tum off devices that are not in use. You do not want turn off the hard drive that houses the operating systems or the processor that runs the laptop. Only disable devices you comfortable turning off.
    • To disable unused devices, open up your system’s Control Panel and find the Device Manager. In the Device Manager individual components are grouped into categories. Find the device you want to disable and right click the device and select “Disable”. Remember once normal power has been restored you will need to go back into Device Manager and “Enable” these devices.

While these tips will not give you hours of extra battery life they will give you the time you need to send that last email with that important spreadsheet attached. For more information or a walk thru on these steps call us at 866-964-8324.

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How to Improve My Phone’s Battery Life

Mobile phones have grown incredibly sophisticated, with a growing number performing many of the functions of a full-size computer, as well as some things a desktop computer can’t do, such as navigating with GPS or starting a car. A 2011 Pew Internet Project survey found that 25 percent of smartphone owners do most of their Internet browsing on their phones. The dilemma is that the more you depend on your phone, the faster you’re going to drain its battery. While screen, processor and storage technology has advanced significantly, lithium-ion batteries haven’t changed much in 15 years. Incremental improvements in battery efficiency have been far outpaced by processing power and screen size and brightness, as well as 3G and 4G radios, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas, HD cameras, GPS and a variety of other hardware, all of which require power. To conserve battery life on your phone, turn off what you don’t need, optimize what you do and perform a few tasks manually instead of automating them. You can both increase the time between charges and add to your battery’s usable life.

1. Dim your screen to significantly improve your battery’s life. Your phone’s screen is the largest power draw on the device, and the brighter it is, the more power it draws. Dim it as much as you feel comfortable with. The phone’s automatic brightness setting, which dims the screen in low-light conditions, isn’t as effective as reducing the brightness manually.

2. Set a short screen timeout interval to black out the screen when you’re not using it. If the timeout is very short, you may have to periodically touch the screen to keep it from timing out while you read content. However, if you mostly use the phone for short tasks like checking email or sending SMS messages –battery- consuming tasks when you do them frequently– you’ll see significant battery savings when you have a shorter timeout interval.

3. Reduce the frequency of application updates and syncs. For example, set your social-media applications to update manually instead of automatically, so they aren’t constantly running in the background, or while you’re not using your phone at all.

4. Eliminate unnecessary widgets and animations. On many phones, the bells and whistles on the home screen may use significant resources, especially if they’re updating news or weather frequently, or using animations where a static image would suffice.

5. Disable Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS when you don’t use them. Each receiver or transmitter on your phone uses juice even when it isn’t connecting, and both Bluetooth and WiFi periodically search for devices in the background, using up even more battery charge. Some smartphones include a widget that allows you to enable or disable these antennas when they’re not needed. When you’re in an area without 3G or 4G service, consider disabling them as well, to spare your phone the battery-hungry effort of searching for service that isn’t there.

6. Use the Battery Saver or Power Saver mode if your phone’s operating system has one. These features help you to control the functions that sap your battery’s power, including background apps, widgets, animations and screen brightness. Third-party apps like JuiceDefender or Battery Saver for Android may help you conserve even more power.