Nine Smartphone Battery Myths You Can Ignore

Smartphones are a necessary part of our daily lives. We hear about the numerous myths on how to eke out more life from your smartphone battery.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
November 17, 2022

Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS Let’s explore these myths.

This is for smartphones

Dilbert and Listen
Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

Maintain Battery Life Forever

Let’s open with the most persistent overarching myth: that you can somehow baby your phone’s battery to keep it in good health forever.

A smartphone battery is, ultimately, a consumable good. Like a battery in your car, the battery exists to be used and, when it has reached the end of its life cycle, replaced.

Sure it’s a minor hassle to get the battery on your phone replaced, given that many phones have sealed-body designs now. But it’s not particularly expensive to do so. You might have to spend $50-$70 for a new battery.

Kill Apps to Save Battery Life

Your phone was designed to be used the way the vast majority of people use it: opening apps when needed, never actually closing them, and just letting unused apps sit off to the side when moving on to the next app; leaving the original apps to hang out in a sort of suspended state until needed again.

Your phone was not designed with the idea that you, the end user, would force quit an app when you were done using it as if you were closing apps down on a desktop computer. That’s true for iPhones, and it’s true for Android-based phones.

Yes, there are rare instances of poorly coded applications using too much background data or otherwise negatively impacting your battery life. If you have an app you really need to use, and it’s one of those apps, force quitting it when you are not actually using it might be wise.

But for the majority of us, closing apps is a waste of time, and actually hurts the performance and battery life of your phone.

Discharge the Battery to 0% Before Using

The consumer use of lithium-ion batteries is fairly recent. Because of that, many people either have first-hand experience with older (and more finicky) batteries or were given advice by people who did.

Some types of rechargeable batteries suffer from “memory” issues. That’s not the case with lithium-ion batteries. In fact, you should go out of your way to avoid fully draining the battery. In general, your phone battery is healthier when it is being regularly used and charged.

However, once or twice a year it is useful to let your lithium-ion battery drain all the way down before recharging to recalibrate the battery. That does not extend the life of the battery, but it does ensure that your phone software can accurately report the charge of the battery.

While Charging Don’t Use It

This myth is based on the idea that heat is damaging to your phone and to the battery life. That’s not entirely untrue. Your battery is healthier operating near room temperature (and actually works a little better in cooler-than-room temperature conditions). Electronics, in general, do not like heat.

But the little bit of heat introduced by charging and then the extra heat introduced by you using the phone is not a big deal. Should you charge your phone while sitting in the direct summer sun, playing the most demanding mobile game you have? No, probably not. But anything short of those kinds of stress-test conditions is fine.

Third-Party Chargers Will Damage Your Phone

Is it ideal to only use first-party OEM chargers created by the manufacturer specifically for your smartphone? Sure. Is it a huge risk to do otherwise? In most cases, not at all.

There are plenty of really great third-party chargers out there from reputable companies like Anker, Belkin, Spigen, and so on.

What you want to avoid are the poorly constructed and poorly quality chargers you find at gas stations, flea markets, and other places where bargain-basement no-name products are sold. Do not trust your phone to a $4 gas station charger.

Fast and Wireless Charging Will Damage Your Battery

Let’s lump these two together because the basis of the myth is the same. There is a long-standing belief that using a fast charger or a wireless charger damages your battery because it introduces excess heat that degrades the battery circuits.

Technically, it’s true that the brief period of intense charging during the peak of a fast charging cycle introduces more heat than not using fast charging would introduce.

It’s also technically true that the inherent inefficiency of a wireless charger over a wired charger will also introduce extra heat.

Neither of these has an impact significant enough to merit any real consideration, that’s why new cars feature wireless charging.

Charging Overnight Damages Your Battery

Here’s another myth that was significantly more true in the past and barely relevant today: leaving your phone plugged in to charge overnight is bad for the battery.

In the past, smartphones were not smart about battery management. Your phone would charge up to 100%, stop charging, and then after slowly discharging, it would charge back up again. Modern phones have adaptive charging, and they strategically manage the charging window to minimize battery damage.

Having a fully charged and ready-to-go phone in the morning far outweighs any minor wear and tear overnight charging might put on the battery.

Battery Is Damaged by Turning It Off at Night

This myth, depending on who shares it, goes both ways. Some people will tell you turning the phone off is good for the battery. Some people will tell you leaving the phone on all the time is bad for the battery. The truth is, neither state really matters much.

Your phone is designed to be on all the time. Not a single phone manufacturer has designed their device with the intention that you power it down and put it in a drawer when you are not using it.

Sure, you can extend the life of a lithium-ion battery by charging it to roughly 50-60% and then storing it in a cool, dry place. But this is your smartphone, you do not have to put it in storage, instead, you use it every day.

Disable Bluetooth and Other Features

Years ago, disabling features to save battery life was a far more useful tip than it is now. To be certain, any features on your smartphone that require energy such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, background data, and so on, will impact your battery life.

Turning off Wi-Fi when you are on a plane and not using the plane’s in-flight Wi-Fi, for example, is a straightforward way to squeeze out a little battery life if you do not have a charger handy. And disabling background data updates for a particular app that is aggressively polling for data you do not need constant updates about is also a wise decision.

But turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, leaving your phone in Airplane Mode, or disabling all background data is overkill. For day-to-day use, it just makes your phone a pain to use.

The same thing goes for Low-Power Mode. If you are stuck between locations where you can charge your phone, by all means, use it. But keeping your phone in Low-Power Mode just makes it more frustrating to use.

Micro-managing how you charge your smartphone can, at best, only add a tiny amount to the battery’s lifespan and is hardly worth worrying about.

Quote For the Day

The only way to define your limits is by going beyond them.

Arthur C Clarke

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Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app, and version you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

Author’s E-Book

You can access the e-book from a Kindle device, the Kindle App for the desktop or smartphone, which is a free app.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong Vietnam: Events and Aftermath

Five Ways to Damage Your Smartphone Battery

There’s a lot of information out there about how to treat smartphone batteries. We can argue about the best practices, but there are some clearly bad things that can ruin batteries quickly.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
July 26, 2022

There’s a lot of information out there about how to treat smartphone batteries. We can argue about the best practices, but there are some clearly bad things that can ruin batteries quickly. Let’s find out.

This is for the smartphone

Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

Smartphone batteries get worse over time, it’s inevitable. There are systems in place to slow it down as much as possible, but some things speed up that process and can even skip right to the end of it.

Damaged Cables

One of the worst and most dangerous things you can do is use cheap or incompatible cables with your phone. If you have ever heard a story about a phone spontaneously catching fire, it’s usually the fault of the cable.

It’s best to stick with charging accessories from the manufacturer of your phone or trusted brands. Avoid super low-cost accessories that do not have a lot of reviews. iPhone users can look for the Made for iPhone sticker to feel safe. All of this applies to wireless chargers as well. Refer to the below image:

Smartphone Battery 1
Damaged cables

Down to Zero

Charging cycles are what impact the lifespan of a battery the most. The constant cycle of charging and discharging slowly degrades the battery’s health. What makes it even worse is when your phone is frequently starting the cycle from 0%.

It’s best to keep your phone charged between 20-80% as much as possible. Some phones have features to help you do this, but they can only do so much. Shorter charge cycles are better for the battery, so try not to let it get below 20% as much. See the below image:

Smartphone Battery 2

Battery at zero charge

Keeping It Plugged In

It goes the opposite direction, too. Keeping your phone plugged in at 100% all the time is just as bad as letting it get to 0%. Charging your phone overnight is not necessarily bad, but you should not charge it more than you need to.

When the battery reaches 100% charge will protect itself by stopping charging. However, as soon as it drops back down to 99% it will charge back up to 100% again. This small cycle repeats itself over and over and it’s not good for the battery.

The good news is the iPhone and some Android phones now have Adaptive or Optimized charging features to reduce these charging cycles overnight. They keep the battery at around 80% most of the night and then finish the last 20% around your usual wake-up time. See the following image:

Smartphone Battery 3
Plugged in all the time

Extreme Heat

Most electronics do not like heat. This is especially true for batteries, including the ones in your phone. Excessive heat can shorten the lifespan of the battery. That’s another reason why it’s not great to keep your phone plugged in all the time.

Heat can come from other sources as well. Playing games that require a lot of resources, leaving your phone in a hot car, or letting it bake in the sun at the beach. All of these things can overheat your phone and damage the battery in the process. Refer to the below image:

Smartphone Battery 4
Smartphones in extreme heat

Screen Brightness

We have noticed this the most amongst adults, and their phone brightness levels are blinding. They are not only causing hurt to the eyes but also to the humble battery. Screens use the most amount of resources on the phone. That means, the higher the brightness level, the more battery drainage will occur. So, keep your brightness levels to a minimum, but also not to a point where you have to squint! See the below image:

Smartphone Battery 5
Screen brightness

The good news is you probably do not have to worry about ruining your smartphone’s battery. Most of these things are common sense. Stick with name-brand charging accessories, do not overly exhaust or juice up, and keep the device at a comfortable temperature. You will get the best you can out of your battery. Regardless, over time, your battery will slowly deplete, no longer charging to 100%.

Quote For the Day

Globalization, as defined by rich people like us, is a very nice thing… you are talking about the Internet, you are talking about cell phones, you are talking about computers. This doesn’t affect two-thirds of the people of the world.

Jimmy Carter

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Check out TechSavvy.Life for blog posts on smartphones, PCs, and Macs! You may email us at contact@techsavvy.life for comments or questions.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app, and version you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

Author’s E-Book

You can access the e-book from a Kindle device, the Kindle App for the desktop or smartphone, which is a free app.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong Vietnam: Events and Aftermath

Exploring the Line Under the Battery Icon on iPhone Lock Screen

The iPhone has a pretty simple and intuitive interface, but there are still some things that appear with no explanation. One such thing is the line under the cell signal, Wi-Fi, and battery icons on the lock screen.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
July 12, 2022

The iPhone has a pretty simple and intuitive interface, but there are still some things that appear with no explanation. One such thing is the line under the cell signal, Wi-Fi, and battery icons on the Lock screen.

This is not the first mysterious thing to appear in this region of the iPhone screen. iOS 14 and iPad OS 14 introduced little green and orange dots to indicate when apps are using the camera and microphone. Let’s explore this curious UI element.

This is for the iPhone. Screensho9ts are from iPhone XR

Dilbert and Anxiety
Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

It’s a Handle for Opening the Control Center

The Line under the battery was introduced in iOS 11.2 On a basic level, it’s an indicator of where the Control Center can be opened. You can think of it as the handle at the bottom of the Lock screen for swiping up.

Note! If you do not see this Line, try changing your wallpaper and/or font. Even if you do not see the Line, this feature will still work. Your Line will be a different color depending on your screen color.

Refer to the below image:

Line 1
Accessing the Line

The Control Center is a special menu that contains toggles for things such as Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. It can also be used for shortcuts to Flashlight, QR code Scanner, Calculator, and much more.

It’s a Privacy Feature

The Line has a second purpose that may be even more important. It does not just show where the Control Center is, it indicates that the Control Center can be opened from the Lock screen. Why is that important? If you see that Line, anyone can open the Control Center, even if the iPhone is locked. Thankfully, that’s something you can change if it bothers you.

Removing the Line

You can not really permanently remove the Line, but you can make it so the Control Center can not be opened when your iPhone is locked. The Line will still be present when the device is unlocked, though.

First, launch Settings, then tap the Face/Touch ID & Passcode section. See the below image:

Line 2

Accessing the Face/Touch ID & Passcode option

Next, switch the Control Center toggle to OFF, under the Allow Access When Locked section. See the following image:

Line 3
Toggle OFF the Control Center toggle

This is a really small thing, but small things can be confusing sometimes. Apple does not do a good job of explaining why this Line is there, it just is. Now you can explain it to your less knowledgable iPhone friends.

Quote For the Day

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.

Aldous Huxley

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Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app, and version you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

Author’s E-book

You can access the e-book from a Kindle device, the Kindle App for the desktop or smartphone, which is a free app.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong Vietnam: Events and Aftermath

How to See Battery Percentage on iPhone or iPad

iPhone models that have notches in the upper portion of the screen (such as the iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, and their variants) do not have the option to display the numerical battery percentage on the status bar as on older models.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
July 7, 2022

iPhone models that have notches in the upper portion of the screen (such as the iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, and their variants) do not have the option to display the numerical battery percentage on the status bar as on older models. So, let’s explore how to see battery percentage on newer models.

This is for iPhone and iPad. Screensho9ts are from iPhone XR

Dilbert and Anxiety
Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

Instead, you can quickly check the battery percentage by launching Control Center. To do so, first, place your finger on the Battery icon in the upper- right-hand corner of your screen and swipe downward. Refer to the below image:

Battery 1
Opening the Control Center

Next, when the Control Center appears, you will see the battery percentage in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. See the below image:

Battery 2
Your Battery percentage

To return back to your Home Screen, just tap any blank area or swipe up from the lower handle. See the following image:

Battery 3
Return back to the Home screen

It’s also possible to add a widget on your iPhone or iPad called “Batteries” to your Home screen (or Today View) that will let you keep an eye on your battery percentage at all times.

Quote for the Day

Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy.

Pope Paul VI

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I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app, and version you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

Author’s E-book

You can access the e-book from a Kindle device, the Kindle App for the desktop or smartphone, which is a free app.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong Vietnam: Events and Aftermath

How to Save Battery Life by Turning Off 5G on iPhone

Connecting to lightning fast 5G networks, requires a sacrifice: battery life. But Apple baked a Smart Data Mode setting into new iPhones to give you more control over using 5G.

Connecting to lightning fast 5G networks, requires a sacrifice: battery life. But Apple baked a Smart Data Mode setting into new iPhones to give you more control over using 5G.

Apple gives you three options: You can keep 5G on all the time, switch over to LTE and never use 5G, or allow your iPhone to make that decision for you with an auto mode. There is no reason to upgrade to an iPhone 12 just for the 5G feature because the network carriers are behind the iPhone hardware. 6G is already in the works and Apple is planning on using it in its iPhone 13 lineup.

But, if you have an iPhone 12, here is how to easily turn off 5G to save your battery life.

This is for iPhone 12 lineup

Dilbert and Lists
Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

First, open Settings (the gear icon) on your iPhone. Refer to below image:

5G 1
Accessing Settings

Next, tap the Cellular option. See below image:

5G 2
Accessing the Cellular option

Next. tap the Cellular Data Options. See following image:

5G 3
Accessing the Cellular Data Options

Now, tap the Voice & Data option. Refer to below image:

5G 4
Accessing Voice & Data option

Next, select LTE from the list to disable 5G completely. Not shown in the below image are the options 5G On and 5G Auto because the screenshot is from an iPhone XR. See below image:

5G 5
Selecting the LTE option to save draining the battery

The option, 5G Auto, allows the iPhone to automatically deactivate 5G to save battery life when it is not needed.

Now, exit Settings. 5G is now disabled on your iPhone. If you ever need to turn it back on, just revisit the above steps and select 5G On or 5G Auto.

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Check out TechSavvy.Life for blog posts on smartphones, PCs, and Macs! You may email us at contact@techsavvy.life for comments on questions.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath

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