I hate limiting my phone usage to save battery life

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| August 20, 2014

I love my smartphone. It's always with me, and it does pretty much everything I need, or want, it to. It's my connection to people all over the planet thanks to social media, it's my music player, it's my camera, and it's an easy way for me to make sure that I've got a game to play without having to bring any other pieces of technology with me. Sure, sometimes I miss a GameBoy, but the majority of the time my smartphone is more than enough to make me happy.

Throughout most days, I use my phone quite a bit, but I wouldn't say that I use it all the time. If anything, it's for quick moments, like to check Twitter, or to read an email, and then it's back in my pocket or set down on a table. If I'm using my phone on a consistent basis, then it usually means that I'm using it to play music.

The trouble is, most of the things I want to use my phone to do kill the battery.

Actually, they all do.

My mom stayed away from smartphones for awhile, but when she finally came over to the light side, one of the first things she wanted to do was play a bunch of different games. That meant that she was playing whatever stock titles were on her HTC One X out of the box (she wouldn't discover the Google Play Store for a few months), so I'm assuming something like <em>Solitaire</em>.

But one of the things she immediately noticed is that the more she played her games, the faster her phone died. It didn't take long before she realized that if she wanted her phone to make it through a work day, she had to leave the games at home, so to speak. And so that's what she does now -- she only plays <em>Candy Crush</em> when she's home, and now she doesn't use her phone unless she absolutely has to when she's at work.

Essentially, that means she's stopped using her phone just to make sure that it doesn't die in the middle of the day. And, for the record, this is a tactic that's she carried over to her new phone, too (which is something from Samsung, I don't remember what she picked up).

Unless I'm listening to music on my phone, I know that I've started doing the same thing. It's been a slow process, one that's been learned over the years, but I've become accustomed to the fact that if I want to make my phone make it through the day, I've got to minimize my usage of it. So, even if I really want to just hang out on Twitter and see what's going on, I can't do that. I can check it a few times, for a few seconds, here and there, but that's about it.

And games? Well, we all know what happens then. And movies, or smaller videos all do the same thing (though, admittedly, video viewing has gotten drastically better). These awesome media consuming situations are great, and we've got more phones than ever that can really take advantage of it, but our batteries are still so lacking that sometimes using or consuming media just doesn't make it worth it.

I'm curious to know if you're the same way. Have you simply succumbed to the truth of the battery life in our phones? Or have you found a way around it? Keeping your phone plugged in at work to make sure it's always topped off? Let me know.