Battery Drain and Mobile Devices

battery drain

Battery Drain ! Oh, No!

How dependent we have become on the use of mobile devices for communication, use of apps for organization, navigation with GPS, taking photography/videos – just to name a few. And – all those functions being dependent on battery life of the device being used, whether handhelds or computers. How often do you start your device, only to find the battery drained and unable to perform the task desired? Grrr…

During recent travel, my phone and iPad Mini were the mode of email communication, navigation, photography, and Internet resources for flight, museum schedules, ticketing, contact information and more. How frustrating when my battery drained, causing an inability to access information needed or take pictures (alright, I did have a camera but limited uploading pics to Facebook)! Certainly the battery issue is not isolated to traveling. It can be a daily frustration when using my device(s) for work at school or when working in the community.


Managing settings such as Airplane Mode, turning on/off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, Battery settings, Notifications, Display and Brightness and closing open apps (to name a few) are important to maximize the battery life. There were still times of battery drain, requiring use of my handy power pack and cord (see suggestions below), to juice up my device and access information.  I found myself changing many settings to reduce the drain – and my frustration level.

What are some of the main ways to manage battery life on devices? Here is a great article providing 10 tips on managing battery life for mobile devices:

How to Make Your Phone’s Battery Last Longer

Here are the recommendations for managing battery life in a nut shell:

  1.  Dim the screen brightness. This applies to any mobile device including tablets and computers.
  2. Keep screen timeout short.
  3. Turn off BlueTooth
  4. Turn off Wi-Fi ( use Airplane Mode ) whenever possible
  5. Use GPS and Notifications sparingly
  6. Don’t leave apps running in the background
  7. Don’t use vibration
  8. Turn off non-essential notifications (most communication and reminder apps have some type of notifications – your notifications app list may be very long).
  9. Manage push email settings
  10. Explore / enable Power Setting Modes

With the constant changes, installation of new apps and updates of the devices OS it’s good to peruse some of the settings such as Notifications periodically to see what settings are turned on and essential.

Portable Powering Up Tools

When battery life becomes a drain here are my favorite charging/power tools. Weight and compactness are extremely important for the ergonomics of what I often and carry for my OT and AT work.

MyCharge Power Bank (29.99) – a little on the expensive side but I have purchased several others and they don’t charge as well, are heavier, bulkier and have not preferred. This 3000mAH power back can charge two devices (phone or tablet) while being charged with an attached USB cable. It is lightweight (2.4 oz.) and measures 3.5″ x 1.5″. A charging cord is needed.  I can carry this in my purse or brief case with little added weight or bulk!

MyCharge power bank

Smaller and larger sized My Charge power banks are also availagleble(2000mAh and 6000mAh ).

Retractable charging cords:

Retrak Lighting USB charging cord – This retractable USB cord available for Lightning and micro USB (Android devices) ports is one of my favorite accessories. No tangled cord, lightweight and easily carried, stored, connected and retrieved from my purse, brief case. Thus far this has been very durable for traveling and daily use.

Retrak Lightning USB Charging Cord:

Retrak cord for lighting

Retrak Micro USB Charging Cord:

Retrak for micro USB

What are your tips and tricks for maintaining battery life on your mobile devices? Do you have a preferred power bank that is easy to manage?

More for your OT eTool Kit!







About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in Accessories, Android, Android Management, Assistive Technology, iPad, iPad Management, iPhone, iPod, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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