Mobile phones are the most popular method of communication. If you have a smartphone you are connected to anyone in the world, you can play games, read, spend time, chill or even work. However, when we are tapping away at the screen, our moms would often yell at us to get off the phone and interact, etc. We have heard many evils surrounding mobile phones. Thus, this week’s FYI decided to debunk them to give you some peace of mind.
Myth: Apps running in the background should be closed to save battery and avoid slowdowns
Fact: Apple and Android both allow applications to run in the background for more efficient multi-tasking. This myth seems as if it could be legitimate due to the idea that any additional processes use system resources, and the more programmes you have running, the slower the device will be.
However, both operating systems limit just how much these apps can do while they’re running in the background; Android, less so than Apple. But the amount of drain to your battery is quite minimal, and as far as slowing down your phone is concerned, it’s unlikely that multi-tasking is the culprit.
A side effect of this myth has been the myriad of task killer apps that litter both marketplaces. These apps are essentially useless, and while they do their job by closing background apps, they aren’t actually saving much in the way of resources, or battery life. You see, both Android and iOS will automatically kill a task when more memory is needed and neither will show a noticeable difference without any apps running in the background.
Myth: You should let your battery drain completely before recharging
Fact: Lithium-ion batteries actually perform better when they remained charged. Older NiCAD and NiMH lasted longer when you let them fully drain before charging back to 100 percent. Modern batteries don’t face this same sort of problem because they don’t have ‘cell memory’ like the older NiCAD and NiMH rechargeables. Learn more about how a battery works and what you’re doing to ruin it, then dive into more Android battery tips.
However, there is still some truth to this rumour. While it doesn’t make your battery last any longer, some experts agree that you should be doing a 0-100 cycle – that is, letting it drain completely before fully recharging – every three months, or after 40 partial cycles. It’s not to increase the life of your battery, but instead it’s called a ‘calibration’ and it helps the reading that shows on your display to remain accurate.
Myth: The only charger you should be using is the one that came with your phone
Fact: To some extent, this myth exists solely to put money in the pockets of the phone manufacturer’s. While smartphones have razor thin profit margins, the accessory market makes up a good deal of a company’s revenue. As such, they are highly motivated to keep you buying $30 to $50 OEM chargers.
The truth of the matter is that any charger built to manufacturer’s specs are safe to use with your phone. What most consumers don’t understand is that there is a difference between a quality third party charger, and that of a cheap Chinese knock-off. Quality manufacturers, such as Belkin, Amazon and others are completely safe to use with your smartphone, as they are built to the original specs of the Apple charger.
The knock-offs, on the other hand, have been shown to be rather dangerous.
Myth: Bluetooth/Wi-Fi Direct kills your battery
Fact: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct enable you to transfer huge files or other data from device to device in rapid fashion. While we can debate which one is better, the truth is that they’re both pretty useful and remarkably similar. But do they kill your battery? No.
Newer generations of Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi Direct drain little-to-no power while they’re not in use. Once you enable another device and begin transferring files, that’s when they’ll start eating your battery. Until then, just having them enabled isn’t going to cause any noticeable battery drain.
Myth: Charging your phone overnight kills the battery
Fact: This is another myth that was true at one point, but as battery and charging technologies have improved, it’s now completely false. Older batteries weren’t smart enough to realize when they’re full, and overcharging them consistently led to decreased battery life over time.
Today’s charging mechanisms are smarter. Once your phone is fully charged, it stops drawing electricity. It’s completely acceptable to charge your smartphone while you sleep.
Myth: Automatic brightness settings save battery
Fact: This is completely false. The idea is, by using the on-board light sensor of a smartphone, it can automatically calibrate the ideal brightness setting to save power.
The reality is, this might save you a bit of battery by dimming your screen when appropriate, but that pesky light sensor actually uses more power over the course of the day by constantly pinging your CPU to process the data it collects and decide if a lower (or higher) brightness setting is appropriate.
Myth: The open source nature of android makes it more prone to vulnerabilities
Fact: Open source software is by its very definition, well, open. Giving access to the inner workings of the operating system could lead to exploits, but you might be surprised to know that Android as an operating system is remarkably secure.
What’s not secure are the apps. The open nature of the app marketplace, and the ability to run apps outside of the centralized Google Play marketplace makes Android phones more susceptible to malware exploits than Apple with its somewhat heavy-handed app store.