With all the holiday gifts, the New Year tends to mean new gadgets for many so I’m devoting this week’s Gearing Up on Studio 12 (every Tuesday at 5:30 pm) to offering some basic tips to take care of your shiny new toys. Battery life tends to be an area where many people run into problems, so I’m that’s my main focus.
Here’s some quick points on battery life:
– There are heavy users and light users, and so battery life tends to differ from person to person.
– Each gadget tends to have its own rechargeable battery, designed just for it. Read the manual for advice specific to that battery.
– Generally, pressing the power button only puts a device to sleep, it still uses energy. Pressing and holding the power button will completely turn off a device (and reboot it which is good to do every now and then).
– Each time you plug your device into an outlet you begin the recharge process. Batteries can only do this so many times in their lifetime, so best just to let it charge all the way. Plugging and unplugging it each time you use the product, like you would with a toaster or an iron, will only add wear and tear.
– Avoid using your gadget while it’s charging. Draining the battery while it’s trying to replenish its energy only confuses it, adding wear and tear. If you have to take a call or use it for an emergency, unplug it to stop the recharge process, do what you need to do, then plug it back in to start the recharge process again.
– Be aware of apps that will continue to run in the background, often connecting to network services or fetching new ads or notifications from the internet. Spend some time with the settings of your phone and apps to learn which features you can turn off to save power.