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10 tips for a longer-lasting smartphone battery

1. Adjust your usage. One simple way to save some juice would be to use it less. I know it’s tough. But if you have the willpower to set the thing aside for a period of time without giving in to the urge to check the markets prices or update your Facebook status, you win.

2. Turn the display brightness down. The display sucks battery life more than anything else on your phone. If your phone doesn’t have an auto-brightness feature, dim the display as low as you can, while still being able to read the screen. For Android, tap Settings, then Display, then Brightness and slide the dial to the proper level. For iOS, tap Settings, then Brightness and slide dial.

3. Bluetooth is a big-time battery drain. Many rely on Bluetooth for hands-free operation, among other things, but turning that feature off can potentially mean an extra hour of battery life. For Android, tap Settings, then Wireless & Networks and deselect Bluetooth. For iOS, tap Settings, then Bluetooth and toggle to Off.

4. Quit vibrating. Maybe it’s too loud in your tractor or truck to hear the phone ring, so you switch it over to vibrate. Unfortunately, the vibration uses more power than a ring, so consider switching it when you can.

5. Close unnecessary apps. Whether you realize it or not, your smartphone might be running multiple apps at once, using more battery than needed. For Android, consider the Advanced Task Killer app ($4.99 from Google Play), which automatically kills apps not being used. For iOS, double-tap the Home button until the multitasking tray appears, hold an icon until an X appears, and tap the X to close the app.

6. Turn off GPS. GPS is one of the key components of a smartphone, enabling maps and apps to tack your phone’s location for directions and more, but the radio signals it uses to connect to satellites suck battery life. For Android, tap Settings, then Location, and deselect the GPS options. For iOS, disable GPS by going to Settings, tapping on Location Services, and toggling to Off.

7. Disable push notifications. As you’ve likely noticed, many apps offer push notifications – quick alerts when you receive a new text message, for example. In most cases, this note causes your screen to light up and your sound to chirp, draining battery life. If the notification isn’t essential, consider disabling it. For Android, tap Settings, then Apps, then select the app for which you want to disable notifications. Tap on the check mark box next to Show Notification. For iOS, tap Settings, then Notifications, then select the appropriate app and toggle the Notification Center to Off.

8. No Wi-Fi network. There’s not much sense in leaving Wi-Fi on when you’re away from an Internet signal, so turn the service off when you’re out and about. Then just toggle it back on when you’re near some service. For Android, tap Settings, then Wi-Fi Settings and deselect Wi-Fi. For iOS, tap Settings, then Wi-Fi and toggle to Off. 

9. Switch to Airplane Mode. If you don't need to make a call, but still want to use some of the functions that don't transmit a signal (music, camera, games), enable Airplane Mode. For Android, tap on Settings, then Wireless & Networks and select Airplane Mode. For iOS, tap Settings, then toggle Airplane Mode to the On position.

10. Just turn the phone off. When inactive or in case of emergency such as a natural disaster when battery conservation is vital, consider turning the phone off altogether. Turn it on for brief periods to make phone calls, send text messages, and use other important utility features.

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