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Staying Charged: Extending Your Gadget's Battery Life

One of the most important parts of a smartphone or tablet is the battery since it's the power source keeping the device alive. Maintaining perfect battery health can be tough: While some devices are advertised to have batteries that can last nearly all day, many people find that their phone or tablet can't make it past three hours. Every battery in any gadget has only a certain amount of strength that can last for up to a few years, but the way you handle it will help determine how long it'll store and supply electricity. Following a few tips and tricks can help people get the most out of each charge and maximize their battery's ability.

First and foremost, knowing the causes of battery drain in a smartphone or tablet will help you identify why yours may be draining so fast. Batteries are sensitive to temperatures in both extremes; both the heat and the cold can drain the battery without the device even being in use. One of the main culprits of battery drain due to temperature is overcharging, which can happen when people leave a device plugged in overnight. Overcharging heats up the battery, which can perpetuate further drainage.

Other culprits of battery drainage have less to do with the physical environment and more to do with your personal use of the device. Staying on your phone all day long will eat into your battery life, given that it's constantly in a working state while powered on. Overusing your device's battery isn't limited to messaging and phone calls: Features on some devices can drain the battery quicker, and you might not even know that these features are activated. For example, having your location settings turned on uses your battery because the device needs power to interact with GPS satellites and cell towers to track where you are. Location isn't the only setting to drain the battery: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi also drain a device's battery as it constantly searches for the strongest signal. Users should also remember that it takes a lot of energy to power the display on a smartphone or tablet: The brighter your screen is set and the higher the resolution it's displaying, the more power it uses.

Both Android and iOS devices have battery-saving modes that can prolong your battery life, and if you're a heavy phone user and/or are constantly using your email and Snapchat, then it's best to keep your phone in power-saving mode. Another thing you can do to save power is to turn off your location, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth settings when you're not using them. It's also a good idea to keep your screen brightness to a minimum and to use the lowest resolution available.

The next step to help save your battery is to take a hard look at the apps you use, many of which can be battery-intensive. Delete apps you don't use, and look at the ones that put the most strain on your battery to see if you can live without them. Also, clean out your memory, getting rid of old pictures and videos on your device; filling up the memory can make the device work harder to find and store data, which uses more power. When deleting old pictures and videos, it may be helpful to back them up to either iCloud or Google Photos in order to keep them somewhere safe.

In addition, putting your device in airplane mode when you're in a place with a spotty connection can give your battery a break; otherwise, it will constantly be searching for a signal, which rapidly drains the battery. Before putting the device into airplane mode, download some songs, games, and apps that you can use while offline.

Find some additional tips and tricks for saving your phone or tablet's battery as well as information on battery health and specifics for Android and iOS devices from these resources: