On a recent business trip, I was away from a power point most of the day. Unfortunately, the external battery pack I chose to take for my phone was a light weight one which started playing up during the trip. So, it was touch and go. The following tips and tweaks helped me make it home without running out of battery (though I only had 7% to spare)

1 Check what is using your battery

Does your phone let you view what is using your battery?
If so, use it! The prime suspects in my case were not the guilty parties. I blamed a GPS based app I’d downloaded to track public transport in the area I was visiting.
As it turned out, the main user was the screen application.
Look at your phone’s settings and look for something like Battery or Battery usage. On IOS 8 or above or on Android devices, you will find a page which lists the top users of your device battery. Detailed instructions on how to do this can be found here for IOS http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/26/ios-8-tells-you-what-app-is-draining-your-iphones-battery
and here for Android http://www.wikihow.com/Find-out-What%27s-Draining-the-Most-Battery-in-Android

2 Check your screen settings
In my case, the screen was set quite bright and setting it to auto-adjust itself significantly reduced its power consumption.
3 Check the other top power consumers
For each one that you judge as significant, consider if you need it to be on all the time. Maybe you can shut the app down and just open it when needed. If you use it a lot, examine its settings to see if there is anything you can change. Does it constantly “phone home” to check for updates etc? If so, that could also be eating into your mobile data allowance. You might want to turn that off or increase the interval between checking.
In my case , I changed the location method on Facebook. Again, GPS and location services are often responsible for high battery use so they are always worth checking.
4 WiFi and Bluetooth
Are these on? If so, do you need them? In particular, if WiFi is on and you are not near an access point, your phone will be constantly looking for one. It is well worth turning it off when you are not planning to connect.
I turned WiFi off and now keep it off unless I’m at home or near a hotspot and want to connect.
5 Power Saving Mode
Some phones have a power saving mode. If you really need to preserve battery until a power cut is over or you get home, these restricted modes are effective.

Without using power saving mode, I’m now getting several hours more out of my phone with the same usage. I haven’t noticed any unwanted effects so far, such as finding it hard to read the screen because of auto – brightness. I did use the ultra power saving mode to make sure I lasted the day on Monday and it did prove effective.

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