If you want to save battery power, you might force-close apps on your smartphone.
Makes sense, right? Why divert processing power to those apps if you’re not using them?
Well, apparently, there’s a good reason to keep those programs running. Both Apple and Google have confirmed that their mobile operating systems work more efficiently if you refrain from closing your apps.
Here’s why: When you’re not using an app, the operating system suspends its operation. That means that, while it’s sitting in your phone’s memory, it’s not consuming any resources that could be used by other apps. Your apps aren’t drawing battery power, so there’s no point in closing them.
In fact, you might be doing more harm than good. As Wired reports, your smartphone’s algorithms run memory management. Your phone knows which apps require more memory, and by keeping the apps open the phone will manage available resources so that you don’t use more than necessary.
“You’re far, far better off letting the system work for you rather than forcing it to re-open and re-start everything every time,” writes David Pierce for Wired. “Battery questions aside, it makes your phone slower and less coherent.”
Granted, you probably won’t notice a drastic difference either way, but the bottom line is that your phone doesn’t need your help. If you manually close your app, you won’t notice an improvement, so there’s no sense in wasting your time.
If you’re concerned about battery power, there are a few things you can do.
First, don’t charge too often. As we’ve covered before, modern phones use lithium-ion batteries, which retain their charges quite effectively when you keep them in the 40–80 percent range.
You should also avoid ultra-fast charging, according to Consumer Reports.
“Don’t always charge even a fast-charging phone at a fast rate,” says Rich Fisco, the publication’s lead smartphone tester. “Ultrafast charging could cause undue battery stress, ultimately reducing the number of times the phone can be recharged. If you’re charging overnight, use a slower charger, which you should be able to get from your phone’s manufacturer or any other seller it authorizes.”
To get more from your battery, you can also dim the screen and turn off unnecessary connectivity features. The exception is Wi-Fi; your phone uses much less battery power to access your home Wi-Fi than it uses to connect to cellular data networks.
Finally, keep your apps updated. Generally speaking, newer versions of apps are more likely to use processing power efficiently.
You should also restart your smartphone regularly.
This is more effective than force-quitting, since it clears all of the open apps out of your phone’s memory, essentially wiping the slate clean. It also allows the operating system to perform some essential cleanup which gets rid of app remnants.
“Sometimes these remnants are incompatible or improperly removed after installation or un-installation,” said tech consultant Bob Motamedi to Reader’s Digest. “Restarting your phone will eliminate most of these issues and will get your phone working better.”
You may not need to restart your phone every day, but you should try to get into the habit of rebooting at least once per week.