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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

November 7, 2016 | by Patrick Icasas

5 Sneaky Apps that Kill Your Battery (and How to Fix Them)

Device charging

Mobile device manufacturers are attempting to improve their battery capacity as much as they can with every new model, but they’re having a heck of a time keeping up with the apps. As apps become more advanced and use more graphics or processing power—like say, videogames or video sharing apps like Vine—they tend to drain the battery faster and faster.

Here are apps on our danger list and what you can do to at least reduce their effects:

1. Google Maps

Google Maps is pretty much the go-to app for any Android user (and even many iPhone users) and is a must if you’re going anywhere new. But while Google Maps is helping you get where you need to go, it tends to suck up your battery life like a sponge, which kind of puts you in a difficult position once you actually get there.

How to fix it:

Turn off GPS. Google Maps uses GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile data to determine your location, but you can take GPS out of the equation entirely. And you know what? Battery Saving Mode conveniently turns GPS off already and just uses Wi-Fi and mobile data to navigate—which is all you really need.

Disable location reporting. Google Maps is constantly sending your location out, which takes power. So go to your Settings and turn off Location Reporting until you get to charge up. Keep in mind turning off Location Reporting affects how you use social media and Google Now apps.

Clear cache. Caches are used for faster performance, and clearing them might slow down the app, but it frees up system resources and preserves battery life. So clear your Google Maps cache and see if that helps any.


2. Snapchat

For many people, Snapchat isn’t an app, it’s a lifestyle. It’s probably one of the best and most convenient ways of staying connected “in the moment” when nobody else is there with you. But Snapchat is also a selfish battery hog that will consume your entire phone if you let it.

How to fix it:

Enable “Travel Mode”. Go to your Settings and go to “Manage” under Additional Services. Turn on the Travel Mode option to reduce data usage and conserve power.


3. Netflix

I admit, this one is kind of a no-brainer. You’re steaming a video for an extended period of time, so your phone is constantly downloading data and using the screen. That’s a lot for your battery to keep up with. But while the YouTube app experiences the same challenges, the videos on YouTube aren’t nearly as long.

How to fix it:

Change data usage settings. You can reduce the amount of data Netflix uses by going into the company website (not via the app) and changing your profile’s data usage settings to “Low” (0.3 GB/hr).

Reduce screen brightness. It’s a drop in the bucket, sure. But if you’re in an environment where screen brightness doesn’t matter as much, do it anyway. Every little bit helps.


4. Amazon Shopping

Wait, what? Amazon uses up battery life?

That’s right. I did say sneaky, right? Part of the problem is that the Amazon Shopping app isn’t really optimized for Android, and so uses a lot more power than it should. The other part is that Amazon is constantly updating itself in the background with new promos and deals (and Amazon has a lot of them).

How to fix it:

Update to the latest version. The Amazon Shopping version that comes pre-loaded on the phones isn’t always up-to-date. Later versions have better performance, so update as soon as you can.


5. Pokemon GO

Love it or hate it, Pokemon GO definitely puts the “mobile” in mobile device. This popular game has you running all over the city looking for cuddly monsters to collect and challenge. Problem is your battery will be just as exhausted as you will!

How to tame the beast:

Turn off AR. Augmented Reality mode uses your camera to insert Pokemon into your surroundings, but it’s also a huge power drain. Turn this mode off to make your quest last longer.

Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Pokemon GO only needs GPS and mobile data to work, so you can afford to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in order to squeeze every last drop of energy.

Power-saving Option. The game also has its own “Power Saving Option,” which basically dims the screen while in use and turns the screen off entirely when you put it face down (or in your pocket) while it runs in the background.