In an emergency, your smartphone can provide a vital lifeline, which is why it’s so crucial to keep it running as long as possible.
It’s especially true when you lose power. On Monday, more than 1 million homes and businesses were without power after Hurricane Ida pummeled parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.
It’s not clear yet when power will be restored, which means residents could spend days in the dark. It also makes keeping your smartphone charged even more difficult, but there are some steps you can take to get a little extra life from your device.
Whether you use iPhone or Android, try these tips to squeeze some extra juice from your smartphone:
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Reduce display brightness
One of the quickest ways to save battery life is to dim your smartphone screen. Both iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones let you swipe down from the top to pull up display brightness controls.
Cut background app activity
Some apps may run in the background and use up battery life. On iPhones, you can adjust this by going to Settlings, General, then Background App Refresh. From there, you can turn that feature off for specific apps or every app. On Galaxy devices, you can go to settings to uninstall or disable apps eating up battery life.
Turn off notifications
Too many notifications buzzing your device can eat up precious battery life. You can go into the settings on your smartphone and toggle off notifications for the apps you don’t need right now.
Use power-saving modes
On the iPhone, Low Power Mode disables or cuts back on several features, including email fetch and automatic downloads, to help you save battery power. You can toggle Low Power Mode on in Settings or tap the icon in Control Center after you swipe down from the top right corner of the screen. You’ll know it’s on when you see the battery icon in the top right turn yellow. For Galaxy phones, you can turn on Power Saving Mode, which will limit your phone’s performance and close any unused apps. Turn it on by accessing settings, device maintenance, then battery. Power Saving Mode also can be set up to turn on automatically.
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If you need a boost in a pinch
Let’s say you are out of power and your battery is running really low. A charged laptop might provide you a quick boost so long as you have a compatible charging cable handy. Just turn your laptop on and hook up your phone with a USB cable.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.