It’s not your imagination: Why your cellphone battery is dying

Most battery-draining settings can be reset or changed in a smartphone\'s settings section. On an iPhone, users need to click into \'General\' and \'Network Settings.\' (WTOP File)

Megan Cloherty,

WASHINGTON – Many smartphone users are noticing a drop in their cellphone batteries. And while some think it may be a conspiracy to entice them to buy the newer model of the phone, Data Doctor Ken “Spanky” Moskowitz says the life of the battery depends on the phone’s user.

He says there are a number of things that may be zapping the life of smartphone batteries, starting with apps.

Just like putting software on a computer, Moskowitz says most users just click “next, next, agree” when the app asks for permissions. He says there’s one big question to say “no” to.

“Everyone of those apps says, ‘Can we use your location data?’ And people blindly go, ‘Yeah, sure, no problem,'” Moskowitz says. “But what happens is, when you’re using your phone, it’s constantly pinging your location. It needs to update where you are.”

The best thing you can do to turn off those constant location updates is to go into the phone’s settings and reset the menu for your network settings. Moskowitz says doing this will force those apps to ask again for permission to use your location.

There are only a handful of apps that need to update the phone’s location, like GPS. Facebook and photos do not, Moskowitz says, unless the user wants locations assigned to their online movements.

Another battery zapper: the brightness of the screen. It’s a simple fix, just dim the brightness of the screen in the phone’s settings.

“If you can get a tan while you’re looking at your phone, that is sucking your battery worse than the Cullen family,” Moskowitz says. “It’s the biggest vampire.”

Another big drain is Wi-Fi. Moskowitz says if a phone is set to pick up only the Wi-Fi networks it knows, like home or office, it won’t constantly check for Wi-Fi options.

Some other battery-draining settings to check: Turn off Bluetooth if it’s not being used, so your phone isn’t constantly looking for it. And stop having your email “push” to your phone. This way, it will only grab new emails when you open your email. Constantly updating your inbox drains battery life.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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