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Six ways to maximize smartphone battery life

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The image of a red battery bar indicating a smartphone is rapidly dying induces a universal feeling of helplessness in every user. Smartphones, like the 4G LTE iPhone 6, are mini miracle devices, and while people appreciate that, battery life, or a lack thereof, still causes widespread frustration among many users. Luckily, a few tips, accessories and a busted myth can help drastically in the fight against smartphone batteries struggling to keep up with their users.

With access to a 4G LTE network and U.S. Cellular's national coverage, people are using their smartphones for everything from keeping in touch to online banking to downloading movies, so it's easy to see the challenges smartphone batteries face. However, a few simple tips and accessories can prolong your smartphone's battery to help simplify and enhance your life.

1. Stay powered on: Turning a smartphone off in order to save the battery actually has the opposite effect. It takes more energy for the device to power back on than it does to keep it in sleep or lock mode. If users need to save more battery power, switch the phone to airplane mode; this will disconnect its cellular network connection and prevent calls, texts, emails and other notifications from being received, which will save battery life.

2. Be aware of the temperature: Be conscious of a smartphone's environment in regards to temperature, especially when it is extremely hot or cold outside. Overheating the device can cause permanent damage to the battery. On the opposite end, using the phone in exceptionally cold temperatures drains battery life as it works harder to stay warm enough to power up and respond to commands.

3. Turn location services off: Location services, such as the ones that allow Facebook and Google Maps to know users' locations, drain battery life even when the apps are not running. Resist Facebook check-ins, and if a map app is not needed while traveling users may want to turn the location service function off to reserve battery life.

4. Say no to push notifications: Push notifications, the alerts that do things like inform users of a Facebook comment or a turn in Trivia Crack, are the bane of a battery life's existence. Avoid the temptation to use push notifications for every app. Choose those that are most important, such as email, text message and bank apps. Keep push notifications on for these, and consider turning them off for other apps.

5. Charge anywhere: Invest in a battery pack, like the Random Order Portable Power Bank for $24.99, and charge on the go. Portable batteries come in handy when traditional outlet charging is unavailable. Mobile battery packs are small enough to fit in purses, backpacks and coat pockets, so a smartphone can always get some extra juice.

6. The myth of overcharging: Years ago, technology did not allow for a cell phone to be charged for long after it reached 100 percent. Fortunately, times have changed, and it is no longer harmful for a smartphone to remain plugged in for extended periods of time. Take advantage of this busted myth and create a charging schedule that utilizes overnight charging. However, do not charge for more than 24 hours, because it may cause the battery to overheat.

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