How can I maximize my battery life?
I've written about maximizing physical battery life in the past, but I'm curious what the most clever techniques you've come up with to reduce the number of cycles you put on your battery. Making each cycle last longer clearly has a huge impact.
My best tip? I found BashFlash a couple weeks ago, and it's made a HUGE difference in my battery life. My machine doesn't run nearly as hot, either.
These are a few basic tips I stick to:
1) don't let it get too cold, if your battery gets too cold it will lose charge, this is why your phone will magically die even though you just charged it when you're outside in the winter. If your battery ever ends up getting rather cold, try to warm it (just taking a phone battery in your hand and rubbing it works fine- I guess this doesn't apply to iPods/iPhones though because of no removable battery)
2) this is pretty much a no-brainer, but don't block your fans
3) Some people say don't overcharge it, this mainly is an issue with older 90s era electronics, but doesn't factor in now as as I'm sure you more than know, electronics are so much smarter today
4) Clean it/make sure it doesn't get dirty, this is actually really good when applied to cars, cleaning corrosion on the terminals of a car battery can add up to a year or more to the battery's life. Periodically check all batteries, especially when hidden inside like with iPods, for cleaning.
5) Only use good chargers, don't try messing with strange 3rd party who knows what chargers, I do my best to avoid them, some people like saving money, others like not taking risks with batteries (and strong electric currents in general!).
6) Common sense: Should I see what noise this battery makes when dropped from different heights?
Number six is key.
Battery life is all about two things: screen and hard drive access. Reduce them and your battery life will increase.
Turn the brightness down. It's tough to get used to a dim screen at first but you will literally add hours to your battery life.
Hard drive access can be reduced by increasing the RAM and managing programs that hit the hard drive a lot. Set your email program to check every hour and your calendar to only sync every hour. Set your backup software (backblaze, carbonite, etc.) to only run when plugged in or at night. Run less programs at startup.
My biggest issue is that I like to install all kinds of fun programs and try them out - but many applications leave daemons running that suck down the battery...
Because Lithium batteries don't have the memory problems that Ni-Cad batteries have, we don't have to worry about 'battery memory'. There is one thing that we do need to pay attention to, though. One of the biggest causes of reducing Lithium battery life ( how many months or years the battery is actually useful to you) is leaving the device ( smartphone / laptop etc ) plugged in while the device is "on". Because many of these devices are doing 'work' while they're in asleep and not turned "off", the battery is constantly being charged at the top end of its range because the device is consuming power. This is not good for the Lithium battery. You are best, if possible, to power the device off and then charge it. When you do this the charging process stops when the device is 100% fully charged. Doing this will prolong the life of your lithium battery.