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6 Apps You Need To Try This Week

Each week, The Digital Hype takes a look at some of the hottest and trending apps you should know about. This week includes a couple music related apps along with screen sharing and a text utility. Let us know your favorite iOS or Android apps in the comment section.

Find on Apple Music

Not a mobile, Find on Apple Music is a Chrome app (extension) which will simplify your life. Using it from a desktop, you’ll be able to right click, or search a page for an easy link to open a song in Apple Music.

Wandle

Specifically for Android, Wandle will try and help curb notifications during unwanted times. From the website, “Wandle determines when you’re in a meeting, driving or sleeping, and blocks notifications, messages and calls at this time.” It’s like a smarter and more robust Do Not Disturb mode for you to configure.

Text Case

Text Case is a simple, dedicated utility that will change text to different cases–title case for example. It seems a little too simple until you run into a time you need it. Simple apps often become people’s favorite.

Can’t Sleep

Here’s an app to help you get to sleep faster. Can’t Sleep plays music, specifically aimed at helping you fall asleep faster and more easily. If you already can’t sleep, there’s no harm in trying another app.

Gigroad

Gigroad has been described as the AirBnB of live shows. It lets you set up a show nearly anywhere, including a living room, backyard, or other venues that aren’t typically venues.

Droid Cast

iOS has AirPlay which makes screen sharing to an Apple TV very easy. Android devices don’t have the same standard option and so Droid Cast is looking to fill the gap and make it as easy as possible.

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The Best Apps To Download This Week

Looking for a few new apps to try? We’ve rounded up some new ones which may be helpful in your day-today use, or just a fun new social network to try. Be the first of your friends to be in the know!

No Twitter ads

Advertised as Twitter without all the junk, Readme is a streamlined Twitter experience that cleans out the ads, the moments, and trends. Readme is for those looking for a limited and more focused Twitter.

Productive links

For the marketers out there, JotURL is packing features into one shareable link. Bit.ly had been the previous king of short and custom links, but JotURL looks to be trying to out do the incumbent with all types of analytics and ways to add value.

Android to-do

There’s no shortage of to-do apps, but it’s always tempting to try a new one, right? Beezee is only for Android right now and aims at cutting all the cruft. It’s designed to be super minimal and focus on the tasks at hand.

Social movie-goer 

MustApp is like Facebook or Twitter, but just focused around movies. Niche social networks are a hard nut to crack, but MustApp is well designed and focuses on tracking movies you want to see, movies you’ve seen, and sharing that information with others.

Safer web browsing

Keepsafe just announced its new browser which it says will block online ad trackers, social networks, and analytic companies. The app will also provide a more private experience than the default browsers will incognito tabs and a security pin to lock it. The new app is available on both iPhone and Android.

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Cut The Cord: Wireless Portable Batteries That Charge By Touch

Portable batteries are a utility we hope ultimately becomes obsolete. But, for the time being, they’re pretty crucial when we need extra juice, and enable us to do a lot of things that weren’t possible before.

But beyond saving us when we’re in a power pinch, portable batteries are becoming gadgets in their own right–going wireless. Meaning: you don’t need any cables or cords in order to use it.

What’s so cool about a wireless portable battery?

No more cord clutter

These wireless-charging portable batteries mean that you no longer need to carry a lightning cable to charge your iPhone, and a Micro USB cable to charge the portable battery.

Freedom from outlets
– Wireless chargers are neat, but they still need to be plugged into an outlet to get power. These wireless portable batteries mean you can truly charge your phone anywhere.

Meta charging

A wireless portable battery can also be recharged wirelessly. Instead of needing to plug the battery into an outlet to recharge, you can place it on a wireless charging pad.

Multiple charging options

Perhaps the best thing about these new portable batteries is that you can still charge with a cable if you want. Wireless portable batteries are not getting rid of their ports, they’re just adding the wireless charging capability into the mix. They’re becoming super batteries.

It’s not all rainbows and ponies, but don’t worry

Consider these things.

Added size and weight

Right now, wireless portable batteries tend to be a little thicker and heavier than non-wireless batteries because of the extra hardware required inside.

No stow-and-go

With a charging cable, you can tether your phone to the battery and drop it in a purse or backpack. Not so with wireless portable batteries. The phone will slide around and not stay planted on the induction charging point.

Slower charging

Wireless charging can be slower than charging with a cable. iPhones can currently only charge up to 7.5W, which makes it just a tad faster than charging with the (minimum) 5W plug that comes with the phone.

But don’t let these minor sticking points deter you. Wireless portable batteries are still far more useful and interesting than non-wireless ones.

 

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Listen To These Podcasts If You Have No Clue Where To Start

In case you thought podcasts only meant This American Life, think again. Here are some brand new podcasts, as well as a few that you may have never heard of, to fresh up your listening list or help you break into that podcast game. Go to the search box of whatever podcast listening app you use and search these shows.

apple podcasts

Start here

  • NPR’s Up First – a daily 10-15 minute show which covers the 2-3 most pressing news items that day. 
  • Revisionist History – Malcolm Gladwell explores different topics and events, but always from an unexpected angle. The show is conducted in “seasons” and season 3 was just released. 
  • Converge – Gamify everything they said, so Casey Newton, writer at The Verge is making interviews with tech people into a gameshow. It works and it’s fun. 
  • The Indicator from Planet Money – a bunch of money related topics and ideas, but in super short chunks. Get smarter in the time it takes you to wait through a long traffic light. 
  • Westworld: The Recappables – Westworld is back in 2018 (and just conclucuded) and while you can find a podcast about any TV show, Westworld is one of the few that needs an accompanying discussion just to keep up with what’s going on. This podcast from The Ringer site does recaps and theories and mostly stays on topic.

  • Balanced Bites – this one is all about natural health, wellness, and eating, from a primal/paleo perspective. 
  • NPR’s How I Built This – if your a fan of the soothing voice of Guy Raz and you love inspiring documentaries that make you want to quit your day job and join that #sidehustle life, then this is the podcast for you. It features the stories of how powerhouse companies like Airbnb, Five Guys, and Cliff Bar started from the bottom and made billions. 
  • You Can Make This Up – of course Netflix has a podcast about the behind-the-scenes dealings of its shows. This show is the chaser to the binge.

Interested but have no idea how to actually listen to a podcast? Check out The Digital Hype’s guide to getting started in just six steps.

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5 Totally Unexpected Ways To Use A Portable Battery

Usually when people think of a portable battery (also called power bank) they think about charging phones. That’s great, but portable batteries are compatible with nearly any device that uses USB for power.

If you don’t own a portable battery yet, it essentially moves the wall outlet into your pocket or bag and enables more things not possible before.

Electrify your couch

Getting comfy on a couch typically requires being too far from an outlet to plug in and watch TV at the same time. Take a portable battery and stick it between your couch cushions to enable a completely charged Saturday of binge watching.

Pedal power

Have you ever noticed the bike icon on Google Maps while your getting driving directions? There’s more ways to get somewhere besides driving and walking. If you do spend a few hours riding a bike with GPS navigation on (and probably playing music too) you’ll want to be plugged in.

Strap a portable battery to your bike frame and make sure your phone is full when you reach your destination.

Gaming the gaming headphones

Wireless headphones let you sit comfortably on the couch while playing Xbox or PlayStation, but, unfortunately, most don’t have great battery life. Don’t wait for them to die before charging. Connect a portable battery and you can sit where you like, for as long as you want.

Separately (but still on video games), Nintendo’s Switch console uses USB Type-C for power, and hooking it up to a portable battery will keep it going for more than the few hours delivered by its internal battery.

Don’t let the music stop

When you go camping, hit the beach all day, or spend a weekend in your own backyard, you can easily extend the life of your Bluetooth speaker by adding a portable battery.

Sit anywhere at Starbucks

Did you know that if your laptop has a USB Type-C port you can most likely charge your laptop from a portable battery? There are a few requirements to consider, but carrying a portable battery for your laptop instead of needing to be parked in that one seat in Starbucks can be a lifesaver (or work-saver).

If your laptop doesn’t have USB Type-C, there are also a few portable batteries which will have an AC plug for more general use like this one from Jackery. Warning: these batteries with AC outlets aren’t cheap.

If you’re unsure of the different USB connectors and cable types, check out our super simple guide.

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6 Apps That Solve Your Small But Super Annoying Problems

Ever have a small, but important need and wish there was an app to address it without a bunch of extra bells and whistles? Here are 6 single purpose, dead simple apps that address those small but super annoying issues.

Shades: Selfie reflections in your sunglasses be gone

The problem: taking a sun glasses selfie without a reflection. Shades removes the reflection and all is right again. This is a single function app, with no tricks, just super useful.

Dreams: Mobile TV for the easily bored

The problem: TV on my phone quickly. Dreams is trying out Snapchat with a new vision of mobile TV. Open the app, and swipe through the “channels.” Some of the channels even include just clouds floating by with music. But maybe this is what you need to fill six minutes of your day.

Sticky: Auto crop people in photos

The problem: how do I crop the background out of this picture and keep the people? Sticky uses AI to automatically crop people from the picture they are in. You don’t have to do anything. You can then add a solid colored background or delete the background completely. Hint: this is great for creating GIFs  and stickers.

Fast: Check your internet connection speed

The problem: web pages or videos are loading slow and you don’t know why. Fast will tell you what speed the cell or Wi-Fi connection is coming to your device.  Simple as that. It’s an app and a website.

Tailor: Stitch mobile screenshots together

The problem: taking a screenshot of a long page on your phone. Tailor takes a bunch of screenshots and will stitch them together automatically using, of course, AI, to figure where they line up.

Background: New wallpaper for your phone

The problem: the wallpaper on your phone gets stale. Background is an app full of wallpapers for your phone. No ads, no pop ups, no annoying junk. If you want to save one, hold on the picture and it saves to your photo library. If you want to search or bookmark favorites, you can upgrade to the paid version, otherwise it’s a curated flow of nice looking photos to choose from.

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Apple News vs Google News: Which Is The Better App?

news

How do you get your news currently? Because both Apple and Google are coming for you with their revamped news reading apps.

Apple News and Google News are going head-to-head in the news category trying to become dominant players before apps from China like Toutiao make their way to the U.S. market. It’s not just news though, each will also be serving up your favorite blog posts and salacious gossip stories as well.

Let’s lay out the differences between the two apps and name our favorite of the two.

The foundation is similar

Apple News is only available on iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch), but Google News is available on Android and iOS.

While both of the apps have their unique taste and flair for how news is gathered and presented, each follows a similar pattern. You tell it what publications and topics you like and the app will learn what stories it should show you.

The name of the game isn’t just random stories with these apps. Each wants to personalize the reading experience to keep you coming back often, throughout the day.

Apple News – a practical approach to news

Apple News is broken into five sections along the bottom: For You, Spotlight, Following, Search, and Saved.

The app always opens to the news for you. It refreshes automatically in the background so each time you open it, throughout the day, it’s ready with the latest information. First with the most important and slowly fading to the more benign, grouping articles by publication or topic.

The Spotlight section changes depending on the time of day, so, if you open it in the late afternoon it could say, evening digest, or something else. This section spotlights one story at the top, curated by humans. This section is meant to be the most important or best story of the day, unlike the For You section which dumps an endless list of stories around your interests.

Since everything is personalized, the Digest story also won’t necessarily be the same one for everyone.

Under Following it will show the channels and topics you’re following as well as new suggestions it gets from your web browsing and stories you’ve previously read.

Search and Saved are both obvious and straightforward. It’s a little peculiar that there’s a dedicated search button when you can search in the Following section as well. Saved will show both stories you wanted to read later as well as read history for quick access to past stories.

Swiping left on a story throughout the app will give you the options to save, share, or love it, while swiping right will let you dislike or report it.

There’s not much about Apple News that can be classified as bad because it gets to the heart of what you’re there for and strips the rest away. However, some may count its default notification settings – which can be a little aggressive – as bothersome.

Beyond those few extra sliding controls, Apple News is, pretty much, what you see is what you get. It has plenty of polish, but it’s on the minimal side, getting out of the way for the content you’re interested in consuming.

Google News – a news app with layers

On the flipside, Google News is a little more clever and comprehensive about the news and stories it provides to the reader. It has a more depth, but shouldn’t be overwhelming.

Google News also starts with a For You section on the bottom left, but as part of that section it also shows the current weather in the top right of the screen and breaks down what it thinks are the five most important stories for you.

Under the five defined stories, it continues to break out more stories it thinks you’d like and groups multiple publications around one story. When there’s something noteworthy you can swipe left to see how other publications are telling the same story.

The other three sections across the bottom are: Headlines, Favorites, and Newstand. There is a persistent search icon in the top left if you do need that function.

Headlines will give you more freedom in the stories you see as it breaks out different sections like business, technology, and entertainment, among others.

Favorites not only holds your saved stories, but will show locations, sources, and topics that you can follow, or that it has found for you.

One thing about Google News that gives it a little more depth is the use of moving imagery and videos. Google is trying to pull in more multimedia than Apple is by default and it likely will lead to more consumption.

Newsstand breaks out possible topics, categories, and publications you may be interested in, but aren’t currently following.

In the settings you can have Google News email you the daily news once in the morning. You can also change the push notifications you are seeing, similar to Apple News.

And the winner is…

Apple News is a good app, and may be convenient with its prominent place on iPhones, but I’ve seen Google News surface more relevant content, more often, after living with both for several weeks. And, ultimately, isn’t that what you want out of a news app?

It helps that Google News works on a wide range of devices and that it delights with little touches like the current weather when you open the app. Neither is a slouch, but Google News edges out Apple News just slightly as of now.

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The Top 6 Apps Every Music Lover Needs To Download

music

Whether you’re a musician or just a lover of music, here are six apps that you can use to create music, move around playlists, or just keep track of bands you like, all on your phone.

Record Bird – never miss a new song

Record Bird lets you know anytime an artist you like puts out new music. How? The app scans your music library, your Spotify account, or another music service you use and then creates a personalized list of new music releases. Beyond new music, Record Bird can keep you informed when bands from your library do interviews, release new music videos, and even when they put out vinyl records.

Hum – capture those song ideas

Charlie Puth has been talking about his new album Voicenotes and how a lot of the songs started as little ideas he recorded on his phone to remember later. Hum is like the default Voice Memos app on iPhone, but designed with musicians in mind. You can tag entries with the song key, tempo, and add lyrics alongside the audio recording. Think of Hum as a digital napkin to capture those song ideas.

humapp

Music Memos – record a demo on-the-go

Music Memos is similar to Hum, but more involved. Not only will the app record song ideas from, but it will analyze the music it hears to you the key the song is in, and can automatically add accompanying instrumentation based on the that key and tempo. Music Memos falls somewhere between Voice Memos being able to record audio, and Garageband which is a full recording studio app.

Songshift – transfer playlists between music services

Songshift helps cuts the chains of various music streaming services. If you want to try Apple Music, but have dozens of playlists already created in Spotify, for example, this app will help you move all those over to the new service.

The pro version of Songshift can also do some cool things like automatically keep playlists across different services in sync. That means that you could keep a YouTube music playlist updated whenever you add music to your Spotify playlist.

song shift

Figure – play an instrument, even if you don’t know how

Figure will let anyone make music. Seriously, anyone. Whether you’ve never touched a musical instrument in you life, or not, you can use the Figure app. Figure features bass, percussion, and synth sounds which can all be mixed with each other. This is the type of app that could even be used in a band setting, playing along with other people. Match the key and everything you play will sound great.

You should try it; it’s super fun.

figure app

8Tracks – radio-like playlists for every occasion  

Pandora is fine, but it’s all automated by computers and the music choices it selects can get stale. 8Tracks music can solve that problem.

Instead of computer suggested songs, 8Tracks is playlists created exclusively by humans. Because of this, you’ll find a playlist and music for your situation. Want chill music for a rainy day to do homework to? You’ll probably find a radio-like playlist someone made for it. 8Tracks is a community of music lovers, making music more social than even Spotify.

8tracks

If you like music, be sure to check back each Friday for our Fresh Friday coverage of new music and movie releases each week.

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All The Things Apple Just Announced At WWDC 2018

wwdc 2018

Apple just announced a bunch of new software features for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and the Mac. There was no new iPads or laptops, just a bunch of coming software features. While there was quite a few items Apple talked about, a lot of it can be skipped over. Here’s what you need-to-know, along with all the rest if you’re curious.

Here’s what’s new and cool

iOS 12

  • Group FaceTime – talk and see to up to 32 people in a single group video call, working across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. You can also put a live-moving emoji over your face during the video call.
  • Siri Shortcuts app – a new way to easily automate multiple tasks. For example, you can say “heading home,” and it will pull up directions, send a ETA text message to someone, play a radio station, and turn on a Homekit connected fan or home device, all with a single voice phrase.
  • Animoji/Memojitongue’s will be detected in Animoji, so it will track more of your face. Plus, there will be new Memoji which you can make personalized emoji that track your face–think Bitmoji from Apple.

 

Apple Watch

  • Walkie-Talkie app – connect with a specific person, tap and hold to talk, let go and the audio message is sent to them. It’s a mix of audio and text messaging, made super quick directly from the watch.

Apple TV

  • Screensavers – although minor, aerial screensavers have long been a loved part of Apple TV. They soon will gain titles so you know the location, and there will be photos taken directly from the International Space Station. 

Mac computers

  • macOS Mojave – there will be a dark mode which will ight mode

Here’s what’s boring

As a quick disclaimer, these things may still be neat, useful, or crucially important for cool things in the future, but as of right now, we’re counting them as snoozers compared to the other announcements.

iOS 12

  • Photos improvements – new search suggestions, a new For You section with smarter recommendations for sharing, as well as surfacing old photos. 
  • Siri improvements  – new shortcuts with quick actions to Siri, from your custom phrases.
  • Updated old apps – Apple News refreshed, Stocks refreshed, Voice Memos coming to iPad, and iBooks becoming Books with both audio books and ebooks.
  • Do Not Disturb improvements – it can be turned on based on location or calendar event so your phone will be muted just during a meeting.
  • App limits – set a usage limit for a certain app and then once the limit is reached, it deters you from using the app.
  • ARKit 2.0 – more ways to use augmented reality, like being able to see the same thing through your phone that other people see through theirs.
  • Performance – iOS 12 will focus on making older phones and iPads feel faster and work better.

Apple Watch

  • Workouts – more functionality for workouts, including tracking Yoga.
  • Better notification – enhanced notifications, including web content formatted for your wrist.

Apple TV

  • *crickets* – there wasn’t a whole lot new here…. Did we mention screensavers?

Mac computers

  • Camera continuity – just like you can click over to bring up web pages or messages on your Mac that you’re currently browsing on your phone, you’ll be able to use your phone’s camera to instantly capture photos for your computer–like adding photos to a presentation, for example.
  • iPhone and iPad apps coming to the Mac in 2019 – this was a sneak peek, but developers will be able to more easily bring their phone apps to macOS, which means you’ll have more app choices in the next few years.
  • New apps – Apple News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home, are all coming to the Mac

When is this stuff coming?

Most of these new features will be coming in the fall when iOS and macOS are released to the pubic. In a few months you’ll be able to take advantage of all these things mentioned here.

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How To Listen To Podcasts In 6 Easy Steps

podcasts

Here’s a quick start guide to go from hearing people talk about podcasts to listening to them yourself.

Follow the steps associated with whichever type of device you have.

iOS (iPhone)

  • Open the “Podcasts” app. This is a default app which comes on all new iPhones. If you’re using an older model you can search the App Store and download it for free.
  • Tap the third icon on the bottom titled “Browse.”
  • Tap “Featured” and select something that looks interesting. You can delete this podcast later if need be.
  • Looking at the show’s page, tap “Subscribe.”
  • That show is now in the “Library” section. You can find it by tapping on the icon on the bottom of the screen.
  • In the “Library” section tap “Episodes” to see all the episodes from the show you’re subscribed to. Touch the top one to start listening.

apple podcasts

You are now subscribed to a podcast, meaning, each time that podcast has a new episode, it will show up automatically. You can listen at your convenience in the car, while exercising, or at home; all through your phone.

Android

  • Open “Google Play Music.” This is an app that should come on your phone by default. If not, you can download it in Google Play app store.
  • Tap on the menu icon in the top left corner. It looks like three horizontal lines.
  • Select “Podcasts” from that list.
  • That will bring you to featured podcasts. Find one that looks interesting and tap on it. You can delete this podcast later if need be.
  • Looking at the show’s page, tap “Subscribe.” You will get a pop up with multiple options. Make sure notifications are selected on the pop up so you will know when a new episode comes out.
  • You can find that podcast you subscribed to at the top, under “Your Podcasts.” Tap it to start listening.
google play podcasts
photo via Ars Technica

That’s it. You’re officially a podcast listener. Congrats. Now comes the fun part of sorting through the thousands of shows that might interest you. There are plenty of good ones out there.

If you do want to try a new podcast app on iPhone, you should check out Overcast. It has something super special about it.

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If You’re Addicted To Your Phone, Try This Gray Hack

gray phone face

You’re addicted to your phone and want to to do something about it, but are still having a hard time disconnecting. Well, there might be a way to trick yourself into not overusing your phone on a daily basis.

The hack is to turn your phone grayscale, and it works simply because it makes your phone less appealing.

According to the New York Times, app makers are actually working with companies to scan “electrical activity of the brain while a consumer is interacting with a phone, such as texting and scrolling Facebook.”

They know that using certain colors can help draw you to tap on their app over a different one, and your attention is extremely valuable to them.

Turning your phone gray effectively makes scrolling through Instagram about as visually appealing as scrolling through your work email.

gray home

Going gray will be a punch to the eyes

When I first said goodbye to color and enabled grayscale, my first reaction was: Wow, this is surprisingly relaxing. It’s awesome to see an iPhone X with bright, vivid colors, but, on the flip side, grey tones can be very calming and pleasant on the eyes.

Additionally, the playing field is leveled. Each of the apps on your homescreen is now equal to the one next to it. In that way, it’s a bit jarring that no one app is luring your eyes more than another.

After activating grayscale, I was constantly reminded that I was using my phone. I felt a lot less compelled to aimlessly browse and poke around with the dull shades, versus a bright and stimulating array of color.

gray map

As relaxing and interesting as the phone is to look at through grayscale eyes, I think it’d take a very long time ignore the lack of color.

Interestingly, Google just announced its focus on digital wellness, which included a bunch of uses of gray to help people disconnect easier. One it will be implementing is  Wind Down which fades your phone screen from color to gray once it reaches a preset bedtime.

I have a feeling we’ll begin to see a new, obvious trend in how companies use color, or a lack thereof; and how they acknowledge the importance of being able to disconnect.

What to give gray a go?

Here’s how:

Settings app > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Color Filters > toggle Color Filters on > select Grayscale from the list underneath

(Should you have a visual disability, this may also serve as a reminder that selecting between the available color filters may help you see your phone better in general.)

Note: this feature is just a filter for what you’re seeing. It does not affect how the phone normally behaves. For example, if you take a send a picture, it’s still taken in color. If you take a screenshot, it’s still in color. You’re not forcing others to live the grayscale lifestyle too.

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The Everyday Guide To Preserving Your Phone’s Battery

power time

True or false, if you use the wrong app, you could damage your phone’s battery? This is false, but there are still a lot of questions about how you should charge your phone and what things may lessen the longevity of a battery’s life.

Battery questions have long been in the back of people’s minds, but Apple brought this more to light with iOS 11.3 and the addition of its battery-health indicator which measures the long term health of your phone’s battery and tries to maximize its performance and life.

Let’s dig into some of these questions and see if you should change any of your battery behaviors.

Is there anything my phone’s battery can’t handle?

Your battery doesn’t like physical damage, like being tossed into a fire or something else crazy. But in terms of general phone usage, your battery is resilient to refreshing Instagram thousands of times.

Play all the video games you normally would, leave your phone plugged into a charger if you feel like it, and don’t worry about letting your phone hit 0%. Your battery should be fine for years.

How do I get my phone’s battery to last through an entire day?

There are a few things you should watch out for to make sure you aren’t losing unnecessary battery life on a daily basis. One thing you should NOT be doing, though, is force quitting all apps on your phone after each use. That WILL NOT help and could be using more battery life. (What does this mean? Check out why that is…)

If you think your daily battery should be lasting longer than it is, your first visit should be to the battery section in the settings app. Both iOS and Android provide details on how much battery different apps are using.

Warning: be prepared to have your eyes opened if you’re scrolling Instagram for hours a day.

Keep an eye open for unusual activity such as long usage in the background (continued use, while not visible on screen) which could be taking unnecessary battery life.

If everything looks normal in the battery section of the settings app you can tweak a few other settings, such as lowering the brightness of your screen and turning off a notifications (which can light up your screen everytime they come in). [screenshot]

If you’re constantly running out of battery life despite taking these precautions, you may just be a “power user,” in which case, there’s a simple solution: pick up a portable battery to recharge your phone between the early morning and late night. This won’t tie you to an outlet and can provide as much extra battery life as you’re willing to pay for.

Say I want to live the ideal battery lifestyle, how would I do that?

So you want your battery to #liveitsbestlife on a daily basis and prolong the health of your phone’s battery long into the future? More power to you. Here are some of the key points that manufactures like Apple recommend in prolonging the life of their phone’s battery:

  • Keep it comfy – Batteries like to be comfortable and that means keeping your phone (and its battery) between 32-95 degrees fahrenheit. Basically the same temperatures that work for humans. (Don’t leave your phone in a hot car!)
  • Update! – Stop ignoring those reminders and keep your phone’s software up-to-date. Both iOS and Android devices heavily manage the phone’s hardware through its software and having the most up-to-date version means that your phone will have the latest tips and tricks to keep it running smoothly.
  • Disconnect – When you phone doesn’t have a strong connection to a cellular connection (like when it goes back and forth between one bar and “no signal”) it then works the hardest to search for a better signal. Avoid areas with poor connectivity to your provider or turn off cellular in your phone’s settings to avoid a big power drain.
  • Locate – Most people have used GPS to navigate somewhere and understand it is a heavy user of battery life. Just be aware that apps that constantly use your location like maps and Uber are a bit more heavy on the battery and shouldn’t be planned to used for hours without a backup charging plan.
  • Certify – Anything electrical you plug into your phone  should be good quality. For Apple, that means MFI certified (Made for iPhone, iPad, iPod). For others, it should be sold by a reputable reseller–probably not that rando gas station in the middle of nowhere. While modern phones are extremely safe, plugging them into a janky charger could definitely cause explosive issues.
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Why You Don’t Need To Compulsively Quit All Your Phone Apps

quit apps

True or False:  
* After you use an app you immediately double-tap the home button and swipe the app away
* You always swipe away all or most of your open apps so they don’t keep running
* You believe that if you don’t quit an app on your phone it will burn your battery quicker

If you answered ‘True’ to one or more of those statements, it’s time for some myth-busting.

In a nutshell, modern mobile apps are built to be paused when the app is not in use. Both iOS and Android are modern operating systems made for mobile devices, they know that they are running on phones with limited battery. Conserving power is job number one.

Phone apps are not desktops apps

In the past, apps designed for desktops (or computers constantly plugged into the wall), weren’t concerned with power consumption, they were more concerned with speed and getting things done fast.

But what about that time when…

Let me guess, there was a time when an app was visibly draining your battery and you quit it and everything was magical again? Every once in a while that is the case. In fact Apple has a guide and instructions to show users how to force quit an app. They also say, “You should force an app to close only when it’s unresponsive.”

Android is the same. Here’s a response from Google’s SVP of Platforms & Ecosystems for Android, Chrome, and Chrome OS, Hiroshi Lockheimer responding on Twitter.

Time to blow your mind

It takes a certain (very tiny) amount of power and battery life to launch an app. Once the app is running, it takes even less energy (battery) to leave it paused in the background than it does to relaunch the whole thing from a cold state each time.

You’re likely using MORE battery life to quit your apps after each use and re-open them, especially if the apps are ones you open a bunch of times everyday.

Just keep this in mind if you’re trying to live that full-battery lifestyle. Feel free to share this info with other people as well.

In the end…

Of course, apps like Spotify and Google maps don’t completely pause when you switch to a different app. You’d be upset with your phone if couldn’t listen to Spotify and browse Facebook at the same time.  

Running these more battery-hungry apps all day will take a certain amount of juice, but all of this to say, you should not be worrying about using all the apps on your phone. Go about your normal day, use the apps you need, and don’t spend the mental energy worrying about your phone’s software. It’s fine. It’s all fine.