Planning a big trip? Take this with you. Our phones have become the central hub for nearly everything we do. Calls, texts, emails, videos, calendars and much, much more. Everything we could possibly need or want to make it through our daily lives can be found on a smartphone. But, have you ever thought about the power being used for the things that you don't need?
There are certain apps and services on your phone that automatically run and update themselves without your permission or knowledge. This can put a significant strain and drain on your phone's battery life and performance. Not only that, but they could be eating up all of your available data. Which could hit your pocketbook hard, especially if you're traveling internationally.
If you're getting ready to travel overseas, you'll need every bit of battery life your phone can afford. In what follows, we'll tell you all about Background Refresh Apps. How they can help. How they can hurt. And how you can turn them off, if you feel that they are not a benefit to you or your phone's battery life.
How is Background App Refresh helpful?
The Background App Refresh feature enables apps on your phone to look for new information, all on their own, even though they are not presently running on the screen. According to Apple, the feature is designed to work with apps that are currently in a suspended state. Meaning, certain apps remain in the background, while still using memory.
OK, now you know what is, but how can it help you? It's important to understand that Background Refresh is made to operate intelligently and won't automatically refresh suspended apps all of the time. After a while, the feature will begin to study usage patterns of your phone to determine the best time to refresh suspended apps.
Once the feature is left on a for a while, you'll begin to notice new content which will appear during what your phone determines to be your down or break time during the day. The whole point behind the feature is to just make life more convenient for the user. While refreshing an app isn't difficult, there are some who simply forget or would just prefer if the phone did it for them.
The disadvantages of Background App Refresh
While Background refresh works to operate during what it designates to be your least busy time of the day, not everyone has such a consistent schedule.
For example, those who may be planning to spend a long period of time traveling overseas (for work or vacation) and need to conserve as much battery/data as they can during that time. Background refresh just doesn't account for these extended periods of usage.
In circumstances such as these, you can't afford to have your phone waste much needed cellular data and battery life on apps you're not using. While the feature itself doesn't drain a great amount of battery life, the combination of using and refreshing at the same time is sure to speed up the process. That's battery life you can't get back until your next charge.
Even if you appreciate and account for the background refresh feature and how it works, you must understand how it can be a detriment to you if you're not getting every bit of the battery life that your phone can hold.
In the end, your battery is more important than refreshing apps. You should be getting the most out of your smartphone throughout your day and travel time. Not the bare minimum.
How to turn off Background App Refresh on your iPhone
Start by going to your settings menu.
Choose the Background App Refresh option.
From here, you'll be brought to a list of your active apps and at the top, there will be an option to turn off the Background Refresh feature. You can choose to have the feature work only when your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
How to turn off Background App Refresh on Android
If you're on an Android device, you'll begin by pulling down the notification bar from the top of the screen to get to your settings. Find the gear symbol and tap it.
Once in the settings menu, choose "Data Usage" from the list.
Under the mobile field, tap the "Mobile Data Usage" option.
A list of your apps will be beneath the usage graph. Select the desired app.
Simply swipe the "Allow background data usage" button to the left to turn off the feature for that specific app.
That's it, you're done. Changing this setting can keep your battery going through the day and help you save some serious coin while traveling.
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