In the wake of the storms on the East Coast, we’d like to help our readers with tips on how to keep your smartphones running. We hope everyone is well and we bid a quick ” go away” farewell to Hurricane Sandy and the predicted Monster Storms.
As cell phone operators prepare for Hurricane Sandy and the storms to follow, Edmunds.com’s Director of Mobile Web Products, Mike Woods, offers these three ways your smartphone may be affected and tips to save your battery life for when you need it most:
- Networks are up, but may degrade. Widespread power outages will not post a threat to cell phone networks because they use backup power systems ranging from batteries to gas-powered generators. After several hours, however, these backup systems may degrade and eventually fail after several days without main power, especially if it is difficult to get people to service them and refill fuel to keep the generators running. In addition, wind, flying debris or falling trees could knock down or damage some of the towers, reducing coverage and capacity.
- Highly populated areas may overwhelm the system. In highly populated areas such as New York, Northern New Jersey and Washington, D.C., the combination of reduced network capacity and high traffic often overwhelms the remaining network and it may be difficult to actually place a call or connect to a Web site.
- Smartphone batteries will lose power. The most fragile part of the system would most likely be people’s cell phones. Many smartphone batteries barely last a day under normal usage. Turn off all automatic data services, push notifications, and e-mail in order to save the battery for the times that you specifically need to use the device. Putting an iPhone into “airplane mode” is an easy way to save on battery use.
More Tips To Keep Smartphones Charged
- The #1 simple way to keep your smartphone charged is turn it off and use it only when you have to. Keep usage down to a bare minimum during outages.
- Turn the display brightness down much as you can while still being able to make things out. The dimmer the better. Also turn the volume down
- Don’t use a Bluetooth device, play music, games, video or radio over your phone. These are major power drainers.
- If the power is out. The Wi-Fi isn’t going to connect. Turn the Wi-Fi button off.
- Turn off all GPS location aps and devices on the phone.
- Turn off push notifications, too. People will understand if they’re not getting immediate e-mail responses from you right now. This includes all social media: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- If you can switch your phone from 4G to 2G, do it. Go back to 2G. Staying on 3G, 4G or LTE drains a battery faster than 2G.
- If you have power, as long as you have power, keep everything plugged in and charging: laptops, phones, etc. Work on them or with them while they are plugged in. Do not unplug them until or if the power goes out.
One Final Thought
Remember, once upon a time, people did live without electricity, phones, smartphones, internet, cable, etc. We don’t like it. It’s inconvenient. However, how often does this happen? If you need it, you want it to be there for you.
If you don’t have to use it, don’t. Save your smartphone for emergencies only. Everyone knows what is going on and email, social networking, entertainment via the phone & web can wait.
Have a few games, candles, flashlights, lantern, books, magazines and other things to entertain and pass the time available. Hopefully, these storms will pass quickly and all will return back to 4G normal.