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Tips For Increasing Battery Life

Ask a Geek Girl: How Can I Make My Battery Last Longer?

That's certainly one question that stumps (and annoys!) this geek girl all the time. A recent piece in The New York Times hits the spot with a guide to increasing your gadgets' battery life. Among the article's suggestions are to turn off WiFi and Bluetooth functions, and check your "push" function at the door — it's a battery drainer for sure.

But I also have a few suggestions of my own. To find out what they are, just read more.

  • Use a cotton swab — Swipe a cotton swab dipped in alcohol across the battery contacts (make sure it's not dripping with alcohol) to maintain good connections. This will help your battery go the distance.
  • Fashion a DIY battery pack — If you're in the mood for a geeky project, you can purchase a kit that includes all the electronic parts necessary to build your own battery pack that will charge any gadget with a USB port.
  • Keep your MacBook alive — I have plenty of tips to keep your MacBook alive and chugging for hours, like dimming the display, disabling startup items, and making sure your battery is optimized from the get-go.
  • Get some help — I recently talked about a case that keeps your iPhone juiced up — it's worth the cost if you're a battery hog, since you can't replace the battery in your iPhone!
  • Toss it out responsibly — If it's time to get a new battery (it happens), be sure you properly recycle or dispose of it, instead of tossing it in the garbage!

The NYT article also gives us a helpful reminder: lithium-ion batteries (found in most new gadgets) don't suffer the same battery "memory loss" that batteries of yore suffered, so no need to worry about overcharging.

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