GPS-Enabled Apps and Your Phone Battery
Smartphones have been built to make life easier in many ways. They come with several features that allow us to do different things easily, and they keep advancing. As much as phone makers and app creators keep releasing more of such useful features, the concern phone users have is battery life to allow them to enjoy these numerous functions.
GPS makes life easier, but kills your phone battery
One such very useful feature we have on our phones is the GPS function that allows the phone to keep track of the user’s location at each point in time. You will agree that this has been a life saver feature.
Your phone’s ability to track your location serves many purposes. The most notable one is for navigation. Imagine a world without GPS and maps on our phones; we would find it harder to move about and explore unfamiliar territories like we do now. But beside navigation, several other apps use the location service for other purposes. Mostly, these apps are designed to use this information to customize the experience of the user.
For instance, Google would use your location to give you search results that are tailored to the region where you are at the moment. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc, use it to tag your pictures and show where you are posting from. There’s even the geo-tagging feature on phone cameras that take note of the location where a picture was taken.
What all this means is that there is a lot of demand on the location information of the phone at each time. Hence, your phone will by default always keep trying to obtain the latest information about where you are. And if you’ve used your map before to navigate, you must have observed how your battery gets drained by this constant tracking.
How does it happen?
The GPS feature comes with your smartphone in the form of an antenna and a small chip built inside it. By connecting to the nearest cell towers or satellites, the phone is able to obtain information about the exact location of the user. However, it requires Internet services to be able to download this data. If you’ve observed, you would have noticed that your map requires cellular data or WiFi to function and give you the right direction. You can consider this as a double drain on your battery; firstly, Internet services would normally use more battery power, then add location services to that, and you can tell why your battery drains faster when that is turned on.
What happens is that as long as your location services are turned on, your phone will keep trying to tell the exact place you are by constantly searching for and receiving signals. This continuous search for signals requires battery power.
Something else to note is that the easier it is for your phone to get these signals, the less work it has to do searching. What that means is that if you are in very open areas, your GPS feature will easily communicate with the satellites and determine your location faster. However, if you are in an enclosed area, like a building covered with a metal roof or underground, connecting with satellite signals will be harder, hence, your phone will remain in a search mode, which consumes more battery.
The stronger the signal, the lesser the battery consumed. Research has shown that while poor signal strength can consume over 35 percent more battery, your phone won’t lose more than 13 percent where there is a strong signal.
What will happen to your phone battery?
With location services turned on, because of the constant search and refreshing going on, your phone won’t be able to go to sleep. Receiving signals from one satellite takes some seconds, could be as much as 30 seconds; and when it attempts to connect with several signals, that could take some minutes (up to 12 minutes or more).
Another factor to consider is the fact that when using each of these apps that require the GPS feature, you are probably doing some other things, and they all add up to the battery drain. For instance, when using a map app for navigation, apart from the constant tracking and relaying of your location information, your screen would most likely be on so you can keep looking at the map as you navigate. That adds screen brightness and Internet services to the equation. So, there is no reason for us to blame only the GPS feature for the battery drain.
What to do to save your phone battery?
For those who are constantly worried about their battery, the default way to deal with this is to turn off location services completely. The other option is to turn it off for certain apps and leave only those that are vital. But beyond that, you also want to check apps running the background; they are another culprit in the battery life issue. Also remember to keep your phone brightness in check; that, too, burns your battery.
Whilst all of these are good ways to preserve battery life, what happens when you really need to make use of the location feature even though your battery is running down? It could be a critical situation like being in an unfamiliar area and needing to find your way around. This is why it is always good to have a backup plan for your battery: a power bank.
How to improve situation with phone battery?
Every phone user’s dream would be for that time to come when batteries would last for as long as possible despite heavy usage. But until then, we should be grateful for the power bank technology that always saves the day. Having a portable charger such as the Okirobo power bank, will keep your phone running all day and allow you to use just about any feature you need.
The Okirobo wireless power bank, with its sleekly designed portable charger, can recharge your smartphone severally. Where need be, it can charge two of your devices simultaneously with its wireless charging pad and its USB-A connector. It charges faster than any other portable chargers. So, when thinking of calming your battery concerns, you’d be better off with a power bank.
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