Article 27: Saving Battery Life

Conserving Battery Life in your Tech Devices

I hope everyone made it through the hurricane safely. I am wishing everyone a speedy recovery to normalcy. I have been without power for too long now, and Drexel is currently providing me with precious electrons to energize my laptop. Now more than ever it occurs to me that conserving battery life is very important. As I travel from Library outlet to Train outlet, let’s see how adjusting a few settings on your mobile devices can lead to longer times between charges, even if you have power in your home. I’m glad to be back for this week’s Modern Nerd.

Prior Planning Prevents SCREWING UP

 If there is ever a time when you may not have access to power for a while, it is very important to charge your phones, your laptops, your everything that has batteries to make it through the tough times. Be safe; keep your phones on the chargers. Even though every store within 100 miles didn’t have a single D battery, I was able to make it for 3 days with a single charge on my iPhone, a device not known historically for its long battery life. On your to do list while preparing for a big storm or extended travel should be giving all battery powered devices a 100% charge.

When you can’t plug in, you don’t need to be everywhere

Facebook? Twitter? Whining and complaining about how you don’t have electricity, with your precious electricity? This may seem like second nature, but stay off of the data connection on your smartphone when conserving battery power. Do yourself a favor, and just turn off your data completely through the settings menus. The phone won’t waste energy caching files or querying servers when you don’t even have wifi. The basic calling and SMS texting features are enough to stay connected and informed, without draining your battery faster than that last gallon of milk that you won’t be able to keep cold.

 Power Saving Modes and Lower Brightness

Laptops, tablets, and smartphones all have adjustable settings when it comes to screen brightness and/or backlit keys. Turn the monitor levels down to a setting that you can still read, but will save power. When there are no lights anyway, and you need to use it, you’ll be able to read it. Laptops especially benefit from adjusting the Power Consumption settings under the Control Panel. Power saving mode runs the CPU and GPU’s at much lower settings, allows the battery to carry you further, and doesn’t waste unnecessary resources. High Performance modes will drain your batteries about twice as fast as the power saving mode.

Finding an Outlet

When your house, neighbors, friends, and local stores don’t have power, consider using your vehicle with a car charger to get power into your smartphone. Just be sure to be running the engine at the same time, because however unlikely it may be, ­you do not want a dead battery in your car because the phone needed some juice.
Public transportation, specifically the Regional Rail trains have outlets to charge your phone on the way to work. Libraries are another great bet, if they are up and running.

It may be extraordinarily frustrating waiting for your power to be restored, and it may be a huge inconvenience, but I find it best to try to relax. There is nothing you can do anyway, so stressing about it helps nobody. Take the time away from the internet to make sure that your friends and family get through the ordeal safely, together, and without drinking the sour milk. Ugh.

Once again, I wish everyone a speedy recovery to normalcy. This many people without power for so long is indeed a rare thing, and I realize that if you are reading this right now, you are among the lucky in the Philadelphia area. Natural disasters have a way of being the center of attention everywhere for a while. Take care of your families and friends that aren’t so lucky right now. Thanks for reading everyone, and I hope to have you subscribe to our Blog to get more tips and tricks for making the most out of your technology. We update every week, and would love to hear your suggestions for topics and how to improve.


Aaron Krick
Blog Contributor at the Computer Fixer

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