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Secret ways to extend your phone's battery life and reduce charging time

Secret ways to extend your phone's battery life and reduce charging time
© Siam Sompanya | Dreamstime.com

Your smartphone is your lifeline. You use it for fun, to chat with family and friends, and to post photos on messenger apps. You use it for work and to check emails when you're on the road. And, you use it to call for help when you're in an emergency situation, like being stranded on the side of the road.

So, you know that feeling when your battery's almost dead. Just when you need it most, it seems, you glance down and see that dreaded red battery light. You don't have much juice left.

There's no reason to have a dying phone anymore. You can always add on Apple's giant iPhone battery case if you don't mind the bulk. Or, we've got a better idea, and it doesn't matter if you have an iPhone or an Android phone.

Here's a secret you may not know about to help you extend your battery life: Turn stuff off. On your iPhone, you can set up your phone to do that for you. (For Android, keep reading.)

1. Activate Low Power Mode

When Apple launched its mobile operating system, iOS 9, it included a really cool feature, Low Power Mode (LPM). When your battery charge gets down to 20 percent, LPM automatically kicks in, if you have it activated.

LPM can save you up to three hours of battery life per day. But at a cost. It slows down your iPhone's processing speed and it won't pull in new messages, or automatically refresh apps that are running in the background.

So, you may want to use it only when you have to. In other words, don't keep it on when your battery is all charged up, or keep it charged 80 percent or more to keep LPM turned off.

To use Low Power Mode, you need to activate it, which is really simple. Here's how: Settings >> Battery and turn on Low Power Mode.

Note: If your phone doesn't have Low Power Mode, or you have an Android phone, you can do it on your own. Start by lowering your screen's brightness and turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Turn off GPS, unless you really need it, and use your phone only to make calls.

2. Three ways to charge your phone faster

Many times when your smartphone's battery is dying, it's because you haven't fully charged it. The problem may be that it takes too long to charge it up.

You know how it is. You find yourself in an airport, restaurant, or at a rest stop, trying to quickly charge up your phone. It takes forever. Fortunately, you can seriously speed things up by following these steps.

First, make sure all your apps are closed. On an iPhone, tap your Home button twice. You'll see a small preview of each app. Swipe up to close an app.

Bonus: On an Android phone, try this: Settings >> Apps >> Running and tap on an app, then tap Stop.

Second, use a wall charger instead of a USB charger. Wall chargers that connect directly into a socket charge your phone much faster. Third, turn on your phone's airplane mode, which turns off many of its battery-draining functions. In fact, your battery will charge 50 percent faster.

More tips you can't miss:

How to clean your smartphone, tablet, TV and computer

One setting to protect your privacy on your iPhone or iPad

One setting to protect your privacy on your Android smartphone or tablet

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