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Smartphones & gadgets

One app you should stop if your iPhone keeps dying

You are feeling pretty amazing as you just picked up the latest and greatest iPhone XS as a gift to yourself. A thousand dollars’ worth of technology in your hand and you can’t wait to break it in with a boatload of cool apps. Even with the name Apple and a grand out of your pocket, there’s no guarantee your smartphone can keep up with your use.

Between checking Facebook posts, and other social media multiple times a day and playing a few games, before you know it your battery is drained. And, with your luck, it will occur at an unwelcome moment, most likely when you are chatting with a new flame, or when you just qualified for the last round of HQ trivia.

There is one app that is draining your batter more than any other, and you can stop it to save power now.

Navigation is draining to your battery

Google Maps, the foundation from which Apple Maps and others are built, has generated an entire family of battery hogs. As handy and valuable as your navigation app is when traveling about, it is sucking the life out of your smartphone’s battery. How can that be? After all, you only use it when hitting the road.

As high-tech as your iPhone and its battery may be, a navigation app such as Google Maps and Apple’s own native Map app typically runs in the background of your system. This hidden activity forces your smartphone to search for a GPS signal continuously, thus, pulling energy from your phone’s battery.

The problem with this process of searching for a GPS signal is that it requires data from a variety of satellites to function. And, unfortunately, the rate of satellite data transmission lags behind the capabilities of cable-based devices.

What’s worse than your navigation app running in the background? If you find yourself stranded in a remote area with a poor signal, searching for the best route back to civilization will prove quite a feat. The lack of cell service will have your navigation app working even harder searching for and receiving the necessary data from a satellite.

The best way to keep from using your navigation all the time is to change your settings so you’re not pulling GPS data all the time.

In Google Maps, in Settings, change the Location selection from “Always” to “While Using the App.”

In Apple’s Maps, in Settings change “Location” to “While Using.”

No matter which app you use, this will cut down on the amount of time your phone tries to connect to GPS, and that will save battery power.

Another way is to download maps to use offline, instead of using them live.

For example, you could open your Google Maps app, search for your destination, then tap the address to select Download offline map. Save that map to your phone, and there you are, a map to use without having to engage your GPS.

Smartphone batteries won’t last forever

Even though technology has advanced a cellphone battery from the size of a brick to smaller than a playing card, it still can only handle repeated draining and charging for so long. After a period, your iPhone will display a warning about your battery health and eventually it will no longer perform.

Once your battery is dead and gone, you will be faced with having to visit your local cellphone provider so they can remove it and install a new one. Of course, this comes at a price, either under your insurance coverage (which you pay for) or as an out-of-pocket expense.

Read the fine print for your phone

Although you are told to read the fine print before signing on the dotted line, the majority of consumers don’t bother. To help prevent you from being surprised when your battery needs replaced, understand its limits when buying your smartphone.

If you are outlaying what could be a mortgage payment for your new iPhone XS, you might want to check out Section 7 of the legal mumbo-jumbo. At least reading this prior to purchase you know what to expect for your money. And because an informed shopper is a smart shopper:

“All battery claims depend on network configuration and many other factors; actual results will vary. Battery has limited recharge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced by Apple service provider. Battery life and charge cycles vary by use and settings.”

Legalese aside, downloading maps instead of running them live will help spare your battery from certain demise, and can potentially extend its life. Another bonus, it will also reduce the number of apps on your smartphone that companies use to gather data on you and in turn share or sell to advertisers and other businesses.

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