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South Africa is a big country. If you’re driving to your holiday destination this year, you could spend up to 12 hours in the car in one day – and not many smartphone batteries will take you that far with frequent usage.
To get as much juice out of your phone as possible while you’re travelling or on the road, read our 6 ways to save power below.
1. Change to power-saving mode
- Get to know your phone’s power-saving mode – it may put everything but the most fundamental functions to sleep, or it may still deliver the smartphone experience you love while only deactivating some background processes that you might not need while you’re in the car.
- Airplane mode can also be a good option to save that last little bit of battery life before you arrive at your destination – but you won’t be able to receive or make calls while it’s on.
2. Change your settings
There are a few functions on your phone that are automatically enabled, but which you might not need, especially while you’re on the road.
- First, shut down all unnecessary apps and hardware, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and make sure to update your apps before you leave home (upgrades really sap battery power).
- Second, consider the screen, one of the biggest power-depleting features of your phone. If you’re serious about this, you can change your wallpaper to a darker one so that your phone won’t need to light up completely every time you check the screen. Change your screen timeout setting to as low as possible (ie shorten the delay between your phone automatically switching the screen off), so your phone spends less time with the screen on, and turn off the automatic brightness function.
- And don’t forget to check your Battery settings to see which apps are sucking the most power, so you can decide if you will need them while you’re travelling – and if not, deactivate them.
3. Install some handy apps
Battery-saving apps: These can be very useful if you don’t want to go through the process of changing your settings manually, as above. They will deactivate the relevant apps for you, and some even give tips on how and when to charge your phone.
Ad blocker apps: These somewhat controversial apps will prevent you from using too much battery power by sparing you pop-up ads. How do they save power? Your phone won’t have to load the text or the images of the ads, not to mention the videos, which will end up sparing you some battery life.
4. Change the way you use your phone
Did you know that two of the biggest battery vampires on your phone are streaming, and push notifications? This means that, if you want to save your battery life for as long as possible, you need to change your smartphone settings – at least until you reach your destination.
- Don’t stream video while driving – rather download videos before you leave, to watch online. (Internet TV service ShowMax lets you download shows to watch later, so this is a good option if you want to stay occupied on your road trip by bingeing on series.)
- Try to do the same with music. You’ll use way less power to play music that’s stored on your phone than by streaming it off the internet. This is because, while you’re streaming, your phone needs to maintain an active internet connection, which uses a lot of juice.
- Similarly, using Google Maps offline rather than using it while connected to the internet will save you a lot of power. See our guideon how to use Google Maps offline.
- And don’t forget to disable Push Notifications. This means you won’t get an automatic alert every time you get a new email, Facebook message or Instagram ‘like’, so you’ll have to manually go into your email and other apps to check for them. But you’ll save a lot of power, because your phone won’t need to constantly be ‘listening’ for new communications.
To make sure you get as much life as possible from your battery, invest in one of these handy accessories:
- Car chargers: There is a wide range of car chargers to choose from - pick one up from your closest Vodacom shop for the simplest way to stay connected, no matter how long you're on the road.
- Battery packs: Battery packs are either external batteries that you can connect to your phone to ramp up your phone’s power, or connect to your phone to charge your battery when you’re away from a power source. You could get hold of a battery pack that’s built into a phone case, but these can be on the bulky side. The simplest solution is a USB battery pack to charge your phone’s battery – and most of them charge other devices, too.