Simple tricks to double your phone's battery life and halve your data usage.


Smart phones are great until your battery dies or data runs out, but technology journalist Stilgherrian has some simple tricks that can double your phone’s battery life and halve your data usage.

Using data and battery life are closely linked, as Stilgherrian pointed out to Vanessa Mills on ABC Kimberley Local Radio.

“When you start getting onto talking about the battery life, the two are interrelated, because your battery life is really about how active your phone is,” he said.

“You can even feel it; the phone heats up in your hand as it’s doing more work.”

Not all ways we use a phone make the same demands on battery and data.

“A good rule of thumb is that video, whether it’s live video or any downloaded video program, is going to be the big one,” he said.

Downloading audio or live-streaming a radio program is the next biggest drag on you phone’s data and battery, according to Stilgherrian.

But some apps can also be a heavy drain on your mobile.

“If you’ve got your map software running, that’s constantly sending data on your position and constantly downloading new little map segments,” he said.

And your phone is as obsessed with social media as most people are.

“Funnily enough, a lot of the social media apps are things which will use a lot of data because they’re constantly checking for updates,” Stilgherrian said.

“I saw an article recently, this was for iPhones so the figure will be different for Android, but just removing the Facebook app improved battery life by 13 per cent.”

Taking control

If you want to go further to reduce your data usage and save your battery, you need to take control of when and where your apps are using data.

“It’s very easy to see which apps are allowed to use data like your mobile data, or which ones can only use data when you’re connected to wifi,” Stilgherrian said.


Left to their own devices, many apps will use data even when you’re not using them, whether you’re connected to wifi or relying on your mobile data.

This is running down you battery and running up your data usage.

But a simple adjustment to the settings can change all this.

“For an iphone it’s under settings, general, and then background app refresh,” Stilgherrian said.

“Android’s a bit trickier because there are so many different versions of it.

“On mine it was under settings, data traffic management, and then network apps, and it said which apps are allowed to use either wifi or the mobile data.

“Just simply turn off all those which you know you’re not going to want to use when you’re out and about on just your mobile data, the one you have to pay for.

“That can cut your bill down a lot.”

Do not skimp on updates

When you start clawing back all the battery life and data usage you can, Stilgherrian warns against skipping software and app updates.

“You do need to install those updates promptly, because most of the time they are security updates,” he said.

“But you can leave it until you get home.”

By making your phone less of a battery and data pig, Stilgherrian said you would notice the difference.

“Those simple tricks can easily double your battery life and halve your data usage without really very much effort.”

This post originally appeared on ABC News

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