The Federal Aviation Administration recently announced that they will expand the use options for travelers and their portable electronic devices. This long-standing policy restricted use of electronics during takeoff and landing, and were originally put into place in the 1950s; but studies done on the advanced systems show no evidence that the consumer electronics could cause a disruption.
This expanded use will increase the available time for in-flight productivity. Integrating a couple of simple habits will save the battery life on your mobile device.
- An airport lobby is also a great place to work on projects, and is also an ideal time to check your battery status. Have your charger and a USB cable with you. Many airports offer free charging stations with power outlets and USB ports. A power source may also be available on the flight, but could have voltage restrictions. Utilizing the charging station before your board will ensure you are ready for the duration of the flight.
- When not using the device, place in standby mode. The screen display is the largest consumer of power.
- Close all applications that you are not using. Leaving the app open in the background will use up the power supply and you won’t even realize it.
- Turn off the phone vibration function. When the vibration is activated, a special device in the phone uses power to operate the feature.
- Turn off GPS. When the GPS receiver is active it will continually look for satellites, but the information isn’t needed when not navigating.
- Turn off Wi-Fi. The networking transmitter uses quite a bit of power – even when the device is not connected to a network. When Wi-Fi is turned on it will continue to look for a network.
- Turn off Bluetooth. For the same reasons you turn off Wi-Fi, this is a simple power-saving trick.
- Set your screen timeout to the shortest length possible.
- Decrease the screen brightness.
- Turn to Airplane Mode when on board. The loosened requirements show that having the phone on and searching cell towers will not have an effect on safe plane operation, but it can be a fast drain to your battery. Even with the FAA changes, a call can still not be made in-flight. Using airplane mode is the quickest way to disable all the services that you don’t likely need – Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, data and cellular service.
Installing a power management app can bring all device controls to one area. Allowing you to activate and deactivate the various systems, such as the radio, screen, data or GPS. Some apps will also guide you through pre-set options based on how aggressively you need to control power usage. Keep in mind, if you don’t need the device on standby the best way to save power is to turn it off.