The tasks today’s smartphones perform are more demanding than ever. And to accommodate growing needs, processors have become more powerful and screens have gotten larger.
Sadly, lithium-ion batteries haven’t made as much as progress. This leaves you to rely solely on software for longer-lasting endurance unless you want to upgrade to a phone with maximum battery life. Here are some practical tips for improving the battery life on an Android phone.
1. Take Control of Your Location
The most drastic way to improve your phone’s battery life is to shut off the GPS function entirely. In reality, though, that’s not usually practical. Therefore, we instead recommend taking control of how your phone and apps use location.
For starters, unless you have an active navigation on apps like Google Maps, switch to the Device Only location mode (on Android Oreo and earlier). In that state, your phone’s coordinates are determined only through GPS information. On the Battery Saving and High Accuracy modes, the phone employs several other modules including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This consumes more battery life and usually is not necessary.
Head to Settings > Security & location > Location to toggle this option. If you’re on Android Pie, you’ll need to change a different option. Visit Settings > Security & location > Location > Advanced > Scanning and you can disable Wi-Fi scanning and Bluetooth scanning.
In addition, you should also revoke the location permission for apps that don’t require it all the time. That blocks them from using your location in the background. You can do so by heading into Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > App permissions.
Pro tip: To grant Android permissions on a temporary basis, try Bouncer. It can automatically revoke permissions as soon as you leave a particular app.
2. Switch to the Dark Side
If your phone sports an OLED screen, switching to a dark theme helps to preserve the battery. Since OLED displays can disable individual pixels, backgrounds with deep blacks allow them to consume less power.
You can take advantage of this in many ways. You can begin by applying a dark wallpaper, enabling a system-wide dark theme if your phone has one, and enabling the night mode on compatible apps like Twitter, Pocket, and more.
3. Limit Apps Running in the Background
Most apps you use are active even after you exit them. That’s where Android’s app-specific battery tools enter.
With a simple switch, you can completely restrict an app from accessing the battery in the background. Find this at Settings > Apps & Notifications and there, inside the specific app’s page, tap Advanced > Battery > Background restriction.
If you have an older phone, you can also try a third-party app called Greenify. This automatically stop apps from consuming resources in the background. However, we recommend using the native feature on modern devices since it generally works better than third-party solutions.
4. Manage Background Data Access for Each App
Similarly, you can cut off data access for apps you don’t think should use it in the background. To reach this setting, follow the steps in #5 above but instead of Battery, select Data Usage.
5. Monitor Misbehaving Apps
our battery life can take a big hit if an app doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. This could be caused by anything from a bug to a deliberate aggressive background feature. You can check this by heading into Settings > Battery > Menu > Battery Usage to see which apps have drained the most of it.
If there’s an app you don’t use much, you should uninstall it and monitor the battery for a day to see if it improves. You can also force-close the app and give it another shot. If nothing proves useful, get rid of it and switch to an alternative. And make sure you don’t have any of the worst Android battery killers on your phone.
6. Switch to Lite or Progressive Web Apps
Another nifty method that doesn’t require much sacrifice and still extends your phone’s battery life is switching to lite or progressive web apps. These are slimmed-down versions of apps available in a browser. Companies offer them to make the experience better on underpowered phones. They take fewer resources, but you won’t miss out on much.