Improving Your Celly's Battery Life in Five Easy Steps

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We spotted this list from UK tech blog Tech Digest and think it contains some useful tips for making sure your Blackberry doesn't quit on you right before that important phone interview for the job you've been eyeing. Or the call from your wife that she's going into labor. Or, you know, when you just really, really want to talk to your sister in Seattle. We've all got different priorities and different emergencies, but we all share something in common: We hate to feel like our gadgets are draining their batteries. Check out Tech Digest's five tips under the jump...

  1. Switch off features you don't use, like Bluetooth or 3G speed, TD suggests. We'd like to add a little side note to this one: Make sure you properly quit applications. Don't just assume that because you clicked backwards out of Google Maps that the program isn't using data.
  2. Don't let it run out totally before recharging. It's a common misconception that you need to fully use up batteries before charging them. (We did a post about it.) Reality is, that was only true with NiCad and NIMH batteries. Most cells today use Li-Ion batteries, which don't operate the same way. In fact, TD suggests charging your phone when it has about 30 percent left.
  3. Don't carry it around in your pants pocket. Heat isn't good for batteries and if you keep your phone snuggled up in your pocket like a baby kangaroo, it just might lose some power. Rather, keep your phone in your bag, in a jacket pocket or on a belt clip.
  4. Turn it off when there's little or no signal, like when you're riding the subway or in a particularly dense building. You know many calls won't make it through anyways, and your phone has to work extra hard to search for a signal.
  5. Cycle your spares, and don't store them with a full charge. If you've read this far, you probably are pretty serious about battery life and might even have a spare cell battery that you carry around with you or leave in a desk at work. TD suggests that rather than having one designated for use and one designated as the spare, you trade them every month or so to keep the spare from going flat. Also, don't lave the spare with a full charge, because it "puts stress on the terminals" (Dunno what that means, but we'll go with them on this one). Instead, they suggest 70 percent to 80 percent charge.

[ Image from _sarchi@Flickr.com ]

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Taryn is a writer, maker, designer, and editor of lifestyle blog Formal Fringe. She lives in an apartment in Atlanta with her fiancé, their Boston Terrier and lots of serving dishes.