Wednesday, May 3, 2017

How NOT to save battery life by Karthik Sankar

How NOT to save battery life
            I’ve noticed my friends (and myself) doing things that they thought would save their battery life but ended up doing nothing. In some cases even hurting their battery life. Here are some things that DON’T save battery life:

  1. Grayscale. It sounds like making your screen black and white will save battery life. The problem is that most phones (including ALL the current iPhones) have back panels. It is the thing that draws power. In other words, the black pixels end up using backlighting resulting in no change in battery life. In fact, it will likely get worse because you are putting additional stress on your CPU since it now has to convert everything on your phone to black and white. The exceptions are OLED screens. Those don’t have backlighting and black and white will increase your battery life.
  2. Closing “background” apps. On iPhone, this consists of double clicking the home button and swiping up. On Android, it consists of clicking the recent apps buttons and closing them. I used to do this too and it became a habit. I figured I was saving battery life by preventing my phone from keeping multiple apps open at once. In reality, your phone is very smart. It automatically stops apps for you. The recent apps screen is really just there for your convenience. Even Apple’s lead software engineer said closing background apps is pointless. In fact, this too can actually use more battery life because by closing those apps you are forcing your CPU to kill any RAM associated with it for no reason causing it to work extra hard.
  3. Turning off Bluetooth. Bluetooth isn’t a new thing. Bluetooth 5.0 was recently implemented on the S8. While older versions of Bluetooth did drain your battery life significantly, modern implementations of Bluetooth are very efficient. If you tend to you use Bluetooth in your day, keeping it on won’t hurt you.
  4. “Deep Cycling” your battery. A battery common myth where you are supposed to charge your phone to 100% and then let it drain to 0%. It is supposed to “reset” your battery by reminding it its full capacity. This was true for nickel-based batteries. Your device likely has a lithium ion battery so “deep cycling” does nothing but waste your time

I hope I have helped you with this article!

Karthik Sankar

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