Whether you trudged through the streets to get to work or didn’t leave your sweatpants all day, the one thing everyone needs during a New York City snowstorm is a charged cell phone battery. Even if you have your charger with you, a snow storm could most certainly mean a power outage—which is why you should follow these tips to have your phone battery lasting as long as possible.
Turn Off Wifi or Data
You may not be aware, but Bluetooth and Wifi are power eaters—and they run in the background all day, using your phone battery for no reason if you’re not actively using those specific features. Your phone’s software searches far and wide to pick up any Wifi signals it can get, at all times. The mere act of searching takes a lot of power. However, this tactic is only recommended if you have strong LTE and Data signals. If not, your phone will try to switch between whichever signal is stronger, which uses tons of battery. So pick one over the other and choose whichever one is solid and strong.
Disable Push Notifications
Apart from emergencies, there is no need to have push notifications if you’re trying to conserve battery life. Here’s where to start: email, apps, alarms, reminders. (Also switch from push to fetch or manual for your email.) Think of it this way—when you’re not using your phone, it goes into a light sleep, using very little battery. Every push notification jolts it awake, using a bit of battery every time. If you have 5-6 push notifications per hour, this will significantly use up your battery. Turning them off will allow your phone continue in its light sleep mode, and let’s admit it—it would be nice to have less interruptions throughout your day.
Limit Screen Usage
Did you know the screen is the single most power-using part of your smartphone? Think about it: it’s the one thing that gets used every single time we use our phones. The simplest solution? Limit your phone usage. Especially in a snowstorm, where battery life is vital, try to curb your Facebook or Netflix addiction and replace it with the old-fashioned entertainment like a book or crossword puzzle. Another option is turning the brightness down or shortening the delay until your screen turns off when you’re done using it. Here’s how on an iPhone: Settings–>General–>Auto-Lock. For an Android: Settings–>Display–>Sleep.
Movies, TV shows, and more frequently these days—music. Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Radio, they all eat up tons of battery. If you have music saved directly onto your phone, listen to that instead. If you have a computer nearby whose battery you’re not worried about, listen to these streaming Apps on there instead of your phone. Streaming requires constant Data and Wifi, which as explained above, will use a lot of battery. Services like Pandora or Apple Music allow you to download music directly to your phone (for a premium, of course) but this means you can also listen on Airplane mode (during flights) or underground on the subway when there is no signal.
Airplane Mode or Low Power Mode
When you’re on the last leg, it’s time to take extreme action. This is the time when you simply have no other choice than to use Airplane Mode or at least Low Power Mode. Both iOS and Android phones include an Airplane Mode feature which disables Wi-Fi, Cellular Data, and Bluetooth. Of course, as the name suggests, it is meant for travel—to prevent cellular signals from interfering with airline communication, and for those times when you’re outside of the country and don’t want to be charged an arm and a leg in data fees. Turns out, it’s also useful for when you’re inside the country and running low on battery. On Airplane mode, your phone uses very little battery even with regular usage. But we suggest always limiting your smartphone usage when you’re in a battery pinch.