Panache Blog | India's Top Technology Guide

Simple Tips to Increase Mobile Phone Battery Life

by on Jun.18, 2009, under Tips & Tricks

Complaining about our phone's battery dying too soon is so common these days, I’m tired of hearing it and saying it, to be totally blunt. The truth is it’s not like we can’t make it work for us the way we want to. As absurd as it may sound, a little battery coddling is just what the doctor ordered. That was a joke. But here are few simple tips, well I wouldn’t call them tips as I’m sure you already know these things, so let’s just say they’re reminders on how to make your phone’s battery run a bit longer on a single charge.

Animations/ .GIF files
Animated images or .GIF files are essentially a group of images in sequence put together to make a short animation. We all like to jazz up our phones with catchy themes and wallpapers, screensavers etc. and hey, that’s all good. Why shouldn’t we be able to ‘Fashion up’ our mobile phones? Third part apps are a dime a dozen these days (actually most are no dime and two dozen and more). They pose no threat to your battery life if they’re simply images and colors. But a few could cause you to lose valuable battery life.

Screensavers
Most embedded screensavers in mobile phones are quite simple. They’ll display the time and date and usually just move up and down across the screen. This too does consume a bit of your battery. One way to curtail this problem is to go to your settings menu, and under your display settings you can change a few options to help reduce the strain on your battery. For example – you could simply switch off the screensaver. The moment you tap a key it automatically moves to the main screen.

If you still like using screensavers, avoid choosing one that has too much of animation. There are also options in the display settings of most phones that allow you to choose the time your phone goes into standby mode and sometimes screensaver mode as well. Try and keep the timing to a minimum for the phone going into standby. For instance, if you select 1 minute to stand by time, after a minute of idle time the phone will automatically go into standby, thereby shutting down most of the active applications, animations and backlight. You can also use a similar setting for your backlight to be switched off.

Update: Thanks to one of our readers, I was reminded, (thanks dear reader), you might also consider turning down your backlight a bit and switch of the vibration when you don't need it.

Avoid using animated themes and .GIF animated files as wallpapers and screen savers

Wallpapers and Themes
Now I know that most people, myself included, love to experiment with various jazzy themes and color settings and love to have different pictures as wallpapers. Like I said, who wouldn’t. Our phones are like our PCs. And who out there doesn’t like to have a kick ass wallpaper on our PC’s desktop right? Obviously that’s also no problem at all with our mobiles. My advice is though; plenty of phones allow the use of animated wallpapers and themes which tend to keep running when your phone is active. Avoid using these. I know they probably make the normal wallpapers and themes look really crappy but if you prefer battery to style… this is the way to go. There are plenty of jazzy themes and wallpapers out there that aren’t animated. There’s no want for choice. Trust me.

Active Applications
Let me ask you something. Are you one of those many people who prefer to simply press the call end key in order to return the main screen? I’ll bet you are. I know I’m one. Most times we tend to do this in the middle of an application and the newer phones out there actually keep that application running in the background till you return to it. That’s actually a very useful thing that manufacturers have incorporated into their devices. But truth be told, since the application is still running it’s draining your power source. Most times, just like when we’re using our PCs, we tend to open too many applications and most phones don’t shut down those applications if we use the call end key to return to the main screen especially with games and the internet with some devices.

Another application is of course Bluetooth. Not only is it unsafe to keep your Bluetooth on due to various virus threats, but again its a source of battery drain. At least with the internet and Bluetooth an icon is an indicator of it still running. With other applications, unfortunately, only few phones like Windows Mobiles and a few other OS offer settings that allow you to see what’s running in the background and stop them. So just remember to simply hit the options and exit the program.

Those are some of the internal applications that actually cause you to run out of battery juice when on the go. In case someone ever told you about some phones having a reserve battery you could tap into in case of emergencies, using a specific code, that’s actually a whole lot of cow c**p. An urban legend as a buddy once mentioned. There’s no such thing as a reserve battery people.

What about just maintaining your battery to make it last longer so you don’t have to keep buying a new battery all the time? Here are a few useful tips or reminders on how to prolong your battery life.

First off, simply cleaning the battery posts on both the battery and in the phone is always helpful. It ensures that your battery gets all the juice it needs while charging. All you’d need is a dry cloth, preferably one that doesn’t shed (leaves lint) and simply wipe the posts every now and again. Also try to avoid getting your phone wet. That goes without saying.

Secondly – try to stay away from those ‘roadside’ or in colloquial terms ‘nalla’ batteries. They’re trouble with a capital ‘T’. The stories we hear about phone batteries exploding are all true and most are caused by fake batteries. The last thing you want is a phone exploding in your pocket. Wouldn’t you agree boys? The same goes with the chargers. I know the batteries and chargers are expensive, but let’s not take unnecessary risks here. The chances of you having to change a battery is probably once in 18 to 20 months.

Another helpful hint in maintaining the battery life of your phone is to try not to let the battery discharge completely before recharging and also to make sure that you let the phone charge completely before unhooking it. Using it while charging isn’t safe either. It can be done, yes, but try not to.

So these are a few ‘reminders’ on taking care of your battery. If you have any more ideas why not share them with the rest of us by sending your ideas via email or through the comments. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who’d benefit from any ideas you may have. So feel free to share your tips or ‘reminders’. Now if you’ll excuse me my handset needs to be put into its cradle for a little juice. That was another joke. Maybe…

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Import of Chinese Cell Phones Without Identity Code Banned

by on Jun.18, 2009, under News

Import of Chinese mobile phones without unique identity code numbers has been banned, India's commerce ministry announced.

"Import of mobile handsets without International Mobile Equipment Identify (IMEI) number or with all-zero IMEI is prohibited with immediate effect," the Director General of Foreign Trade said in a notification.

IMEI – a unique 15-digit number – helps authorities trace the handset that has been used to make a call.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) had earlier directed telephone operators to disconnect services to subscribers who own handsets that do not have the IMEI code as such phones posed a security threat.

However, since then, the Cellular Operators Association of India has developed a software for embedding genuine identity code – issued by the global association of telecom operators – on handsets without the requisite IMEI numbers.

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Send Free SMS

by on Jun.02, 2009, under Tips & Tricks

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