Every tablet owner has been there. You are frantically working on your tablet only to find that you are on borrowed time as your tablet’s battery slowly ticks down to zero. Whether you own an Android tablet such as the Google Nexus, a Surface tablet from Microsoft, or even one of the latest iPads, at some point will you experience the inconvenience of running out of battery. If you are a heavy user, you will find you run into this problem even more often.
Tablet batteries are designed to run for much longer compared to those batteries included on smartphones. They are much larger and are designed to provide not only much more power to the tablets, much to provide that power for a much longer duration before needing a charge. That being said, there are things you can do as a responsible tablet owner that will allow you to get a little more time out of your tablet while you are using it especially if you are running a budget tablet with a smaller battery. This could mean the difference from watching your tablet die as you watch your favorite movie or being able to finish it with just a few percentage points left.
1. Watch the Temperature
You have probably heard that your tablet doesn’t like warm temperatures, just like laptops or desktops. But what you probably don’t realize is that your tablet isn’t all that fun of cold temperatures either. Just like us, a tablet and especially a tablets battery prefers to live in temperatures around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. When a tablet’s battery is exposed to both extreme heat and extreme cold situations, it simply won’t hold up and provide the same amount of charge to your tablet. Continued exposure to these temperatures will also slowly degrade the battery and could even permanently damage it.
2. Adjust the Screen Brightness
Your tablet’s screen is the single biggest power hog on your entire tablet. The screens today provide impressive resolutions and brightness levels that make using a tablet a truly pleasurable and unique experience. However, the brightness on these screens take quite a bit of power to run. So, if you want to greatly enhance the battery power on your tablet, all you have to do is turn down the brightness on your screen. This doesn’t mean you have to make it so dark you can’t read it. Just reducing the brightness by as low as 10 percent can make a huge difference in your battery life. Of course, the dimmer you go, the more battery life you will get back.
3. Turn Off Push Notifications
Push notifications are a great way to receive up to the minute information from all the apps that you use on your tablet. They are convenient as they can keep you from having to open your tablet and entering the app just to see the latest updates. However, this convenience comes with a price. It takes a lot of battery power to continually check all your apps and then push these notifications to your screen. If you want to save on your battery life, try reducing the number of apps that send you push notifications to only those that you absolutely must have such as text messages, for example. After all, you don’t need every single game you play giving you an update about what is going on every minute of every day.
4. Don’t Drain the Battery Dry
Believe it or not, your charging habits can greatly impact the charge on your battery. While the occasional complete discharge is good for your battery, regularly draining the battery dry is not. It is best to begin recharging it when it is about 30 percent of your battery remaining. At the same time, you shouldn’t recharge the battery when you still have most of your battery life remaining. With the cell memory of lithium ion batteries, this can effectively reduce the overall capacity of your battery if you do it too often.
5. Disable Location Services
Being able to use your tablet as a large screened GPS is one of the greatest tools you will find. However, these tools use GPS functions that continually update your location with satellites and can present quite a battery drain on your tablet. If you have multiple apps that use the GPS functions that all check on their own schedule, you can see how this would begin to suck your battery dry. When you aren’t using these apps, disable the location services for the apps so they don’t waste your battery continually checking where you are even when you aren’t using them.
6. Disable Widgets/Animated Wallpaper
Android tablet users will be most familiar with these options, although iOS now provides some fancier wallpaper functions that have the same affect on your tablet’s battery life. These widgets provide easy access to apps, but run all the time draining your battery and the animated wallpaper forces your processor and graphics processor both to run constantly meaning they will be pulling more power from your battery. Try instead of using just basic wallpaper and disable any widgets that you don’t find extremely useful in order to preserve the precious power in your battery.
7. Shorten Auto-Lock Times
After a few minutes of your tablet not being used, you have problem noticed that the screen darkens and when you open it back up you are back at your lock screen. This function is used for both security and power saving. If you want to get just a little more battery power out of your tablet, decrease the amount of inactivity time on your tablet so the screen darkens and the lock screen comes on. This will keep your screen from running longer when you aren’t using it reducing the amount of power it uses while also turning on the lock screen so your tablet is more secure, assuming you use some sort of password, that is.
8. Close Unused Apps
While mobile operating systems are pretty good at minimizing the effects of apps running in the background, they still use a little bit of power – especially if they are running to push notifications to your tablet’s screen. If you aren’t using an app, be sure you completely close it. Windows, iOS and Android all provide different ways for you to quickly quit out of any apps you aren’t using. This will not only reduce the amount of power you use, but it will also free up a lot of your system’s resources so it can run the apps you do need much faster.
9. Make Better Use of Airplane Mode
Airplane mode essentially turns off all the various networking and connectivity features of our devices. This includes wireless networks and any cell carrier networks as well. However, you don’t have to be flying the friendly skies in order to make use of airplane mode. Your tablet continues to check for networks even if there isn’t one nearby. If you are traveling and don’t need access to any networks, turn on airplane mode so your tablet’s battery doesn’t drain simply by searching for wireless networks.
10. Turn Off Auto-Sync
Chances are you have your email, calendar, and more connected to your tablet. These features then sync to your tablet so you have access to the most recent calendars and emails on all your devices. In practice, this is great. However, it is hard on your battery life. In most cases, you can specify how often these apps sync with their servers or you can even completely disable auto-sync entirely, meaning you have to tell it to sync. By just increasing the time between syncs, you can gain some battery life. If you turn it off completely, you will see the biggest benefits to your battery life but you will have to manually sync the apps before and after you use them to make sure you have the latest version across all of your devices.
While the above tips and tricks are a great way to extend the battery life of your tablet so you are guaranteed to get a full days use out of your tablet, for some it still may not be enough. How much battery power you use also comes down to how you use it. If you are playing games or watching a lot of videos you will drain your battery more quickly meaning all the tips in the world won’t help you.
If all of the above tricks still don’t give you enough battery power for your needs, you could always try boosting your battery life by simply adding a second battery. For almost every tablet made, there are extra battery packs that you can buy that will either charge your battery while you are on the go or add a second battery to it to give you a little more life out of your tablet before it needs a charge.
Getting the most out of your tablet’s battery should be a priority for everyone, as its battery is its life. By taking just a few, easy to do steps, you can easily extend the life of your battery much longer than it was initially designed enabling you to use it for much longer. It is also better on the battery overall, so you can be sure it is properly cared for so it will last you for the entire life of your tablet.
Remember, it isn’t hard to practice good battery ownership, and with just a few minutes of your time you could quickly be on your way to truly getting the most out of your tablet’s battery. This will allow you to use your tablet for longer between charges making it especially useful for those times when you have to travel with your tablet.