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Tips to save battery power on your cell phone

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Considering how much we rely on our cell phones, having a dead battery can really leave you feeling stranded. But there are ways to save battery power and make your charge last longer.

The screen is the biggest battery drain on your smart phone.

"The brightness on your phone actually occupies 40% of your battery on a day to day basis" according to Robert Sharkey. He manages a Verizon Wireless store in North Tampa.

Sharkey says he frequently gets asked about how to conserve battery power. He says adjusting brightness is a good place to start. He suggests taking it off the auto or 100% setting and sliding it down to a brightness level you are comfortable with.

"If you keep it on 100% you will be running through your battery very, very quickly."

Radios in the phone, which are constantly working, are also big battery wasters. A strong WiFi connection will generally use less power than your cellular connection but you should only use WiFi when you need it.

"If you have WiFi at home and you are always connected to it, when you leave, your phone already has a relationship with that WiFi signal so it's going to constantly be reaching out and looking for its friend. If you're not there, your phone will constantly say where are you, where are you, where are you? If it doesn't answer, it drains the battery because your phone is never connecting and always looking," according to Sharkey.

The same goes for Bluetooth and GPS location services. On iOS phones, you can control when GPS is used on a per application basis. You will want it enabled for maps but perhaps not for a dictionary app.

Sharkey says, "A lot of applications, like Facebook or Twitter, will mark where you are when you post something, if you allow it to. So if you have those applications turned on to use your location settings, your GPS is constantly looking where you are and that's another thing that can drain your battery."

Airplane mode also conserves battery power because the phone is not constantly searching for your cellular provider. But remember you will not receive phone calls when in airplane mode, so don't forget to switch it back when you need to.

Turning off push notifications will also save your battery. In fact, you can disable background data all together. If you do you won't get notified of new email but will instead have to open the email application and check manually.

Closing out your apps is also a good habit.

"All the applications that are open, they're not really running but they're waiting to be used and that keeps them in a kind of queue that will run your battery," Sharkey says.

To close apps on your iPhone just double click the home button and swipe everything up.

Sharkey says, "We get a lot of people that come in here and they have 40 to 50 applications they never even knew were open. We show them how to close it and then they get two, three or even four times the battery life on their phone."

And don't forget about sleep mode. You can adjust how long your phone stays alive before it shuts itself off thus saving power.

A good rule of thumb to remember is anytime you can limit data usage, you will help save battery power.

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    Wednesday, February 19 2014 7:18 PM EST2014-02-20 00:18:07 GMT
    http://www.apple.com/batteries/iphone.html http://www.techradar.com/us/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/12-android-battery-life-tips-and-tricks-697772 http://www.payetteforward.com/why-does-my-iphone-battery-die-so-fast-heres-the-real-fix/ http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/how-to/wp7/basics/battery-making-it-last
    http://www.apple.com/batteries/iphone.html http://www.techradar.com/us/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/12-android-battery-life-tips-and-tricks-697772 http://www.payetteforward.com/why-does-my-iphone-battery-die-so-fast-heres-the-real-fix/ http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/how-to/wp7/basics/battery-making-it-last
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