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Cell Phone Tips

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

This is a short compilation of tips and tricks I have learned over the years with my Android Phone.  I am not sure if most of them will apply to iPhones.

Battery Drain

I can not always get a cell phone signal at my home, which is something many living in mountainous regions can sympathize with. While working at home, my battery would nearly drain in a day, then I would have to charge it overnight or it would be dead by morning, even with 50% battery charge.

While on a recent holiday to visit family in a large city centre, I forgot to plug in my phone overnight, however the next morning found that the battery was barely drained. Turns out, because of the strong signal available in large cities, my phone didn't have to struggle to find a signal. It's the roaming that uses up a lot of the battery, searching for a signal, and trying to connect with weak ones.

So as an experiment, I turned on Airplane mode on my phone, while at home. And I might have used 5% of my battery overnight instead of the usual 30 to 50%.

So, if you do not need to answer your phone overnight, try turning on Airplane mode. It will automatically turn off your WiFi, but you can turn that back on manually, while keeping Airplane mode on. This can also be useful if you are camping, or traveling through the BC Rockies, where a signal is fleeting.

You can also change the brightness of your screen to save how much battery is used. On Android phones, drag down the top bar twice, and you will see an extended list of options. One may be a brightness slider you can move left and right, as well as your Airplane and WiFi mode buttons.

Data Usage over Cell

Cellular Data - App SettingsCell Data Usage

If you have a data plan with your phone, where you can check the internet over your cell signal if you do not have a WiFi connection, you will undoubtedly be cautious about how much data you use. Once you go over, the price per MB transferred goes up as well.

Many games will use the internet to check for ads or updates. Apps such as Facebook will check for notification updates. If you want to limit what can access the internet over your cell signal, there is a screen for that.

On android phones, go into your phone Settings, then to Data Usage. Here you will see your current usage, and you can even turn off cellular data if you want. Below the graph are a list of applications that have used the cell signal to connect to the internet. Tap one of the apps, and you should see an option called Restrict App Background Data. Be sure to turn that on and it wont automatically check the internet for updates or data through your cell signal. If you happen to start the app, it will use the internet, but it wont drain your usage if it's off.

Games are bad for background data, be sure to turn on Restrict Background Data on those.

 

Push Notifications

App SettingsGAndroid Apps Settingsames and other apps will send notifications to the top of your cell phone, to the status bar that runs along the top of the screen. Some are useful, some are annoying. Most apps will have an option within their own settings called Push Notifications. If you do not want to received notifications, you can turn that off.

If your app doesn't have this option, then you can go into your Android Settings screen to turn it off. Go into Settings > Apps, and scroll down to find the app, tap on it. One of the setting options will say Notifications. Tap on that. You can choose to make notifications a priority, or block all of them. Many games will send updates a few times a day to let you know you have lives or to entice you to play, and can get annoying.

This will help you limit the junk across the top of your screen.

 

 

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