Airplane Mode is a quick way to turn off all cellular and WiFi connections. When in Airplane Mode, you won't be able to receive calls and messages or use apps that transmit. Your camera, music, and GPS app should all work just fine. All iPhones with the iOS 8.3 update and most Android phones will run the GPS chip even while in Airplane Mode. If you only do one thing to save battery, this is it!
iOS: Settings > Airplane Mode
Android: Google Settings > Connections > Airplane Mode
If you want to keep your phone connected to the cellular network then the next best option is to turn off all your app location services except for your GPS app (if you are using it). Location services allows applications to track your position, even when apps are running in the background. Android and iOS user have found location services can drain up to 50% of their battery per cycle.
iOS: Settings > Privacy > Location Services
Then either turn all location services off or select the apps individually
Android: Google Settings > Location > Location Button
Baseline battery drain is a measurement of how much power your phone will use when powered on, but asleep. Alan Dixon has a fantastic article outlining GPS use while backpacking. According to his research, each phone has a baseline battery draw of 3% - 10% (depending on the make and model). Turning off your phone at night cuts out 1/3 (8 hours) of this draw time, potentially saving you some power.
Turn it off when you aren’t using it!
The lithium ion batteries found in phones perform best when charged and used in room temperature conditions. As the heat goes up, capacity drops, and the same happens when temperatures drop.One study shows that a battery at -17°C will lose 50% of its capacity, while a battery at 40°C will lose 40%.
Sleep with your phone to keep it warm at night and make sure it isn’t left sitting in the sun.
You can save over 5 hours of battery time by reducing screen brightness, according to a study Wired performed. It can be challenging to see a dim screen in full sun, so it might not always be possible to leverage this tip. But when conditions are appropriate, turn down the brightness to the lowest level that is still usable.
iOS: Settings > Display & Brightness > Adjust the Slider
Android: Google Settings > Display > Brightness > Adjust the Slider
In the backcountry there is no need for a long screen timeout since the smartphone is being very selectively used. Each extra minute your phone's screen is on wastes precious battery. Adjust your settings to be the shortest timeout possible for easy battery savings.
iOS: Settings > General > Auto-Lock > Set to 1 Minute
Android: Google Settings > Screen Timout > Set to anywhere from 15 seconds to 1 minute
Keeping your software up-to-date might seem like a strange recommendation, but there have been some great battery saving additions in recent updates. iOS 9 and Android 6.0 both have a low power mode which helps manage battery performance by reducing animations, screen brightness, and overall efficiency. If your device is compatible, make sure you get the latest update.
Follow these seven steps to keep your smartphone running longer than ever. Remember, even with these tips you'll need a way to charge your devices if you're on a long trip .