The apps draining your battery life

One of the biggest must-haves when buying a new smartphone is a long-lasting battery. Battery life is one of the most important things about a device, but can drain surprisingly quickly when you need to use your phone, say for a call, an Uber, or for GPS. One of the biggest detriments to healthy battery life are battery-intensive apps – and unfortunately, many of the most popular applications for your phone are also the biggest battery-draining culprits.

In this guide, we’ll be running through how you can save battery life by deleting unnecessary apps, or simply restricting what they can do on your phone.

Which apps drain the most battery?

Apps that use up a lot of your phone’s processing power (like Facebook, Gmail, and Pokemon GO) are typically the biggest battery-draining applications. We’ll be going through some of the biggest offenders below, along with some short points about getting the best battery life out of these apps.

Facebook battery consumption

The world’s most popular social media website is one of the most popular apps, and is often at the top of people’s lists when it comes to battery consumption – and for good reason. Facebook requires quite a lot of storage space on your device, and if you’re using it for long periods of time, it will eat away at your battery. The app also uses location services, and typically runs in the background of your phone unless you disable certain features.

  • Consider turning off video autoplay, so videos on your Facebook feed don’t chip away at your battery.
  • Consider turning the Facebook app off in the background, as it will eat away at your battery even when you’re not using it.
  • If you’re using Facebook to just stay in touch with friends and family, consider limiting your time on it, or using it on the computer more often.

Gmail battery consumption

Although Gmail released an update in October 2020 addressing battery consumption, you might find the app still takes a toll on your smartphone’s battery. Gmail can store some data on your phone locally, including photos and emails, that could be draining your battery in the background.

  • Disabling auto-sync in settings will save your battery life with Gmail installed.
  • Consider limiting your use of Gmail and only having it open at certain intervals, rather than open in the background throughout the day.
  • Disable the “Download attachments” setting, so you’re not downloading files automatically and chewing up your battery.

Facebook Messenger battery consumption

As one of the world’s most popular messenger apps, and a sister-platform to Facebook, Facebook Messenger can be seen as a battery hog. Because the app can have a fair amount of locally-saved data, uses location services, and can be running in the background, it could be chipping away at your battery. You can disable some battery-intensive services in the settings of the app.

  • Consider disabling background app refresh, so your app isn’t constantly refreshing even when it’s off.
  • Don’t use too many of the apps battery-intensive features, such as video calling or photo filters.
  • Try to turn the app off in the background, and instead check it occasionally for messages.

Google Maps battery consumption

It comes as no surprise that maps software can chew into your phone battery quite severely. When you’re using it, consider having it plugged into your car (if driving). Consider turning off background app refresh in this app, and maybe using only one GPS app instead of several.

  • Try to only have Google Maps open when you’re using it; having it open in the background can drain a battery quickly.
  • If you’re using Google Maps while driving, have it plugged in and charging.
  • Try to not have any other apps open while you’re using Google Maps.

Uber battery consumption

Uber is almost a must-have app for city living, but it can put a heavy strain on your battery life. Relying heavily on GPS technology, you can expect this app to chew away at your battery life if you’re a regular user.

  • If you’re a driver or rider, consider plugging your device into your vehicle so the battery doesn’t completely deplete.
  • If you’re a passenger, consider turning off background app refresh.
  • If you’re waiting for an Uber, have the app open as you wait.

Pokémon GO battery consumption

Take it as a general rule that most high-performance phone games will suck up lots of phone battery. Pokémon GO uses a lot more than most – location services, GPS services, background app refresh, and camera services. Because of the basic functionality of the game, there’s little you can do to wind down the battery consumption.

  • Consider disabling background app refresh – this doesn’t really need to be enabled, because if you’re using Pokémon GO, you’ve got it open over everything else.
  • Turn off AR when trying to catch a Pokémon.
  • Consider bringing a portable charger on your PokémonGO pursuits.

Snapchat

This photo-based messenger service will drain your battery if you let it. Relying heavily on your phone camera, your location data, your storage data and your processing data, Snapchat is a top battery offender. Luckily, there’s a lot of things that you can do.

  • In the settings, there’s an option to enable ‘Ghost Mode’ which disables the live location feature, saving you from a major battery drain.
  • You can also disable unnecessary notifications, and disable location services.
  • Consider enabling ‘Travel Mode’, which uses less data and battery.

Netflix

Netflix is an app many would file to the ‘essentials’ category, but you don’t necessarily need it on your device if you usually watch on the big screen. But if you do use Netflix on your smartphone – such as on the daily commute or on your lunch break – there are some things you can do to cut down on its battery usage.

  • If you’re going to be watching Netflix on your phone, consider downloading the content you want to watch, so you’re not relying on a constant stream while watching.
  • If you have to stream the content, disable high-quality streaming.
  • Finally, if you’re watching Netflix for hours on end, keep a portable battery charger handy.

Using your phone a lot? Get a phone plan to match

If you find yourself always on your device, you might want to pick up a phone plan with a lot of data. Phone plans are constantly changing, and plans might be different from the last time you shopped around. Check out the table below for prepaid and postpaid plans.

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Try using our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

How to see which app is draining your phone battery

In the settings of your iPhone or Android phone, you’ll see battery settings (it may just be called ‘Battery’ like it is in iOS). In this area, you’re likely to find stats, graphs, and performance data on apps, including which apps are the top offenders in using up all your battery life.

How to stop apps from draining battery

There are a few things you can do to prevent apps from draining your phone’s battery.

  • Uninstall apps that are intensive on your battery. They could include apps that your phone has identified as battery draining (a common feature on Android devices) or apps featured in this list.
  • Turn off notifications for unnecessary apps.
  • Turn airplane mode on when not using your phone, provided you’re not waiting on any necessary calls or texts.
  • Disable location services on apps that don’t need them.
  • Disable background refresh on your apps.
  • Turn down your phone brightness.
  • Enable low-power mode.
  • Consider getting a phone with a larger or more efficient battery.

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