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Tech Spec: Don't die on me now

Batteries begin to rise to the occasion as people try to find way to extend battery life.
Photo by Courtland Jeffrey.
Batteries begin to rise to the occasion as people try to find way to extend battery life. Photo by Courtland Jeffrey.

Batteries begin to rise to the occasion as people try to find way to extend battery life.
Photo by Courtland Jeffrey.

Remember when every toy or gift we received required some size of battery? My house had a battery drawer (it has now become an everything drawer) full of AA’s, AAA’s, C’s, D’s, 9V’s and whatever random watch batteries we would collect over time. Those batteries never had great lives, even after using tricks like storing batteries in the freezer to retain its charge.

But now, even after batteries became device-specific and many of them non-removable, the battery life is still the biggest complaint about devices. Since manufacturers have not perfected battery life, many consumers have come up with tips and tricks to get every extra minute out of their battery.

Junior kinesiology major, Charlie Loots, thinks that devices should not be kept on the charger for long.

“I never let my phone sit on the charger," Loots says. "I’ll charge it to whatever percent before I go somewhere and that’s it. No overnight charging.”

Freshmen journalism student, Alex Sorrell, feels similarly saying, “Only charge when the battery is low."

"This keeps the battery healthier and will keep the overall battery life high,” he says.

Upon further research, it seems fairly difficult to find information regarding overcharging and over-discharging. But according to the informational battery website, Battery University, over-discharging can hurt the battery’s life (leaving the battery drained for weeks at a time).

Another tip that many consumers have is to turn off settings. University of Arizona sophomores Nick Wright and Jen Evans turn just about everything off when their batteries get low.

The students “turn off [cell data] radios, turn down brightness, set auto-lock to a shorter time, close background apps and only check [their device] if necessary."

"Sadly that does not include Angry Birds,” Wired Magazine says.

Technology news magazine, Wired, published a story on how to get the most out of iPhone and iPad batteries, debunking myths about which methods work and which do not. The most interesting myth was in regards to ending backgrounds apps; according to Apple, most of the apps that are on in the background are “frozen,” making it so the apps use no extra battery.

In my personal experience, charging only when low and turning off settings are part of my regular routine with my devices, as well as some other habits. Making sure that all of my software is up to date is another battery saving tip in my arsenal. Surprisingly, consumers did not bring up the fact of updating. Updating operating systems and programs can bring great improvements to battery life, depending on what exactly the updates entail.

If a device seems to be losing more battery than it should, contact the company and see if there is anything they can do to help. The manufacturers sometimes know of ways to help correct software issues; possibly resetting certain caches of information that the laptop or smartphone has saved. While finding concrete facts about conserving electricity on devices is difficult, it is out there, along with all of the tips that float around social groups. Just remember, next time the battery hits that low level, turn off everything unneeded, only use the device when necessary and find the nearest outlet to plug into.


If you have any other tips or questions, message me on Twitter @Court_Jeffrey or via email at Stay charged!


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