battery life

How can I maximize battery life in my Android phone?

Battery

Episode 1128

David from California

David got a Google Nexus 5 phone and he's concerned about battery life. Leo says that's the main problem with modern mobile phones -- they don't last through the day, which is why he likes phones that have removable batteries. What about killing programs and tasks that are running? Leo says that today's modern phone operating systems don't require task management anymore.

Will the new iOS "Hey Siri" feature kill my battery?

iPhone 6 and iOS 8

Episode 1119

Daniel from Glendora, CA

Daniel wants to know how "Hey Siri" in iOS 8 can affect battery life. Leo says it always listens, so it's going to affect battery life, which is why it only works when the phone is plugged in. The good news is, he can turn it off. But it doesn't listen how he thinks it does -- it's comparing wave forms and if the wave form matches the wave form of "hey siri," then it wakes up. So it's not really eavesdropping on him, per se.

Why am I getting an error message that my iPad doesn't support the charger?

Tablet

Episode 1109

Dave from Victorville, CA

Dave has a generation 1 iPad and he's getting a message that the iPad doesn't support the charger that came with it. Leo says that it could be a short in the cable, so he should try another one. Or it could also be the connector itself. Connectors take a lot of wear and tear and it may be starting to wear out. Since it's an iPad 1, the battery is likely about to fail as well since they only have a life of 500 recharges. It's past time to upgrade. The chatroom says that Costco has some great deals on iPad Airs.

Why can't I charge my iPad with my Mac Mini?

Apple Mac Mini

Episode 1103

John from Murrieta, CA

John has a Mac Mini with a USB hub, but he can't charge his iPad with it. Leo says that the iPad requires 10 watts to power and re-charge it. Standard USB ports have about 5 volts, but the amperage varies. Apple broke the standard for charging with the iPad. The older ports won't charge iPads because they don't get 10w or power. Apple's own chargers work fine, and if he has a late model iPad Air, he should be able to. But for now, get an 11w charger and that'll do the job.

Why won't my Android phone hold a charge?

Empty Battery

Episode 1101

Jeff from Lancaster, CA

Jeff's old Android phone is dying really quickly. Leo says it's likely because it's nearing the end of it's rechargeable life. Phone batteries have a limited number of charge cycles, at about 500. After which, it will die pretty quickly and won't take a charge anymore. That's why it's best to leave the phone plugged in all the time unless he's out. It will preserve that limited amount of charge cycles, and it's perfectly safe to do so. If it's not holding a charge, it's worn out and the battery needs to be replaced.

Does it hurt to leave my phone plugged in after it's finished charging?

Episode 1075

Tiff from Redding, PA

Tiff wants to know if it hurts the phone to keep it plugged in after it's done charging. Leo says it actually doesn't hurt it at all. Cellphones use Lithium Ion batteries and there's a limited number of full charge cycles. Keeping it plugged in when it's not being used preserves and improves the lifetime of the battery. It also has circuitry that prevents overcharging.

Why is Carbonite killing my laptop battery?

Episode 1074

Tommy from Birmingham, AL

Tom has a Carbonite account and when he runs it, it really drains the battery. Leo says that could be because that initial backup will keep going and not allow the laptop to go to sleep. But once it does, it may not be as drastic. Leo also says that the battery indicator isn't exactly accurate either. It's more a general idea and Leo thinks it gets better over time.

Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor.

Why does my laptop get such poor battery life?

Dell XPS laptop

Episode 1068

Jeff from Redondo Beach, CA

Jeff is having trouble with his Dell XPS laptop because he can only get an hour and a half of battery life. Leo says that the XPS is considered a "desktop replacement," and an hour and a half really isn't that unusual. It's likely that if he looks for the "fudge words" in the ad, he'll see that his mileage may vary. That's why Leo advises never to buy a new piece of hardware without reading legitimate reviews. An ad is always going to stetch the details.