It is the absolute worst thing when your mobile runs out of juice when you’re out and about. You might need it for work, or just to make sure the husband’s picked up the kids, but the merciless Gods of electric attrition don’t care about your pleas for mercy. The days of getting a week’s worth of power out of a handset went away with Wi-Fi, Facebook and the inclusion of about a dozen other things that normal phones don’t do, so here are several handy tips to help you eke the most out of your mobile.

Sort out your settings

First things first, don’t forget your phone will have a Power Saving setting. There are a number of simple tweaks you can make to your settings that can make a real impact. Adjusting your screen brightness is one of the biggest changes you can make; a lot of phones have settings that adjust screen brightness automatically depending on ambient lighting levels which will help a bit, but the best thing to do is manually set your brightness to the lowest level you’re comfortable with.

Once you’ve done that head over to your screen timeout settings (how long before your screen goes dark) and set it to the shortest amount of time you’re happy with. The longer your screen is lit up the more power it’s using, keep it short. Lastly don’t use vibrate, if you’re in a situation where your phone can’t ring, you probably can’t look at it either, so to save power use silent mode (or better yet, Aeroplane mode) and check it when you get out of the meeting.

App Control

Next take a look at your apps. Most phones let you multi-task, leaving apps running in the background when you aren’t using them, but that can suck power like nothing else. Make sure that you’re turning off apps that you’re not using and remember that some apps like Facebook can have a huge drain on battery life (you could uninstall it and access it through your mobile web-browser).

Next you’ve got push notifications; many apps (like Facebook or email) will constantly be looking for updates or notifications so that they can tell you as soon as they are available. These constant searches are less of a problem if you manage your wireless connection effectively, but you can also cut them off at the source through your phone settings, or within the apps themselves.

Manage your wireless

As we mentioned earlier, smartphones constantly have signals bouncing back and forth, and properly managing the outlets for those signals can significantly increase your mobile’s battery life.

It’s pretty easy to manage, just turn off your Wi-Fi when you aren’t using it – knock it off on your way to the coffee shop and that’s 10 minutes a day at least where it’s not draining your battery. Similarly with Bluetooth, if you aren’t using it, turn it off. That thing is always looking for other signals to pick up.

Other big drains are your GPS and location settings. Different apps can use these to tag you automatically in a location, and keeping a track of where you are at all times uses your battery. You can choose what level at which these operate on Android phones and are able to pick Battery Saving options when you aren’t using them. On all phones though you have the option to deny or revoke access for individual apps.

Everything and anything

Then there are things like making sure you charge your phone while you can, overnight or in the office. Modern batteries don’t need to be drained fully before recharging as best practice, and in fact keeping it topped up is good for them. Also, when possible, keep your phone cool as phone Lithium-Ion batteries discharge more power when hot.