Maximize Battery Life in the Field
Tips to maximize battery life in the field for your mobile devices
You’re in the field collecting data on your smartphone, and suddenly the low-battery warning comes on. With Magpi, you know your already-collected data is safe, but if your device runs out of power you may have to extend the fieldwork; an expensive and time consuming delay.
The things on your phone or tablet that use up battery life are mostly either the transmitters – for wifi, bluetooth, GPS, and cellular – and the screen. The best way to deal with low-power is to prevent it, and in this post we’ll tell you the best ways to do just that.
Keep screen brightness minimized
When in the field you’ll need to see the screen, of course, but to maximize battery life make sure you don’t have the screen set to a higher brightness than needed. For iOS you can do this in the control panel, and for Android you’ll need to jump into Settings:
Use airplane mode when possible
If you are not going to be downloading forms, uploading data, or determining your location using GPS, then the best approach is to simply switch your phone to airplane mode. That will turn off all or most transmitters (on iOS, receive-only GPS and NFC, or near-field communications, stay on) and save all the power they are usually consuming.
Android: on most Android devices, pressing and holding the Power button is an easy way to bring up the flight mode setting. Read about other ways to put an Android device in flight mode.
iOS: on all iOS devices you can swipe UP from the bottom of the screen to bring up the control panel, which also has both a general flight mode button and also individual buttons for wifi and bluetooth.
Use low power mode
The latest iOS and Android versions both allow for a low-power model which turns off things like automatic checking of your email, screen brightness and animations, and other power-intensive activities – without much affecting Magpi operations. Not all Android phones have this, but if they do you’ll find it in settings, and it greatly helps maximize battery life.
Bring a battery pack
Another great must-have accessory for any field worker is an external battery pack. These will usually completely charge your mobile device once or twice, and are great for emergencies. You can click here for some recommendations from Tom’s Guide, or check out these highly-rated chargers from Amazon:
Other tips and tricks
For more information about how to reduce power consumption on Android and iOS, check out these links:
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