Common Smartphone Myths You Need To Stop Believing

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The guys at Lifehacker have put some research into uncovering some of the more popular smartphone myths that you hear floating around, for instance, one of the more common ones that I hear is that charging your phone overnight ruins your battery - wrong.

Check out the truth behind some of the other common smartphone myths.

Read Also: 10 Tech Myths You Need To Stop Believing

Myth: You Should Completely Discharge Your Battery Before Plugging It In

Batteries used to be stupid. Older batteries would “forget” their full capacity, so they wouldn’t be able to fully charge again. So, you’d have to let a battery discharge all the way to 0% before charging it again. That’s not the case anymore, and it hasn’t been for a long time.

Smartphones today have lithium-ion batteries, which don’t suffer from the memory problems of older nickel cadmium and nickel-metal hydride batteries. Similarly, lithium-ion batteries count charges differently than older batteries, so you don’t need to worry about discharging it completely. 

Myth: Charging Your Battery Overnight Kills the Long-Term Battery Life

In the same vein as calibrating your battery, it used to be possible to ruin a battery by “overcharging,” or leaving it plugged in all the time. When you plugged in your phone for long periods, older lithium-ion batteries could overheat (or explode, in rare cases), which in turn just reduces the charge capacity and long-term life of the battery.

These days, chargers and smartphones are smart enough to prevent this from happening. That said, leaving your phone plugged in all the time can still lead to degradation, but it’s not enough that you’ll even notice. 

Myth: Closing Apps Improves Battery Life

We like to think of our smartphones as little computers, and we treat them like so. On your laptop, having a bunch of apps open at once—especially ones that connect to the internet—strains your battery, so it makes sense that your smartphone would work the same way, right? Wrong. That’s not how smartphones work.

In the case of iOS, apps do not stay open the same way they do on a computer. When you leave an app, it’s frozen, doesn’t do anything, and doesn’t require any resources. Closing them does nothing for your battery— except it costs CPU power and battery to close everything.

Myth: You Should Only Use “Official” Chargers with Your Phone

Smartphone manufacturers want you to use the official charger that comes with your phone. Look at any box or manual and they’ll often say it’s “highly recommended” that you don’t use any other charger. However, while you shouldn’t use cheap, sketchy knockoff or counterfeit chargers, affordable off-brand chargers are fine.

Modern USB chargers are standardized and while you’ll see different charge time results with different chargers, that doesn’t affect the battery itself at all. Ken Shirriff took a look at various chargers a number of years ago and found that while the time it takes to charge a device varied from charger to charger, doing so with a third-party charger has no effect on the battery itself.

Myth: Disabling Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Location Services Saves a Ton of Battery Life

It seems like every new feature added to smartphones, whether its background App Refresh in iOS or Google Now On Tap on Android, is a serious threat to your smartphone’s battery life. While that’s true, you don’t have to go through and toggle every new thing to “Off,” nor is there any use in disabling basic system services like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi just to save battery.

For example, MacWorld took a look at the toll system services take on an iPhone’s battery and found that many don’t have a huge effect. For example, leaving location services on for an app you’re not actively using has almost no effect on the battery life whatsoever. Similarly, turning on Airplane Mode, which cuts cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and location services, only squeezed out an extra 30 minutes of life,

What usually kills your battery the fastest is the screen. So if you’re really worried about battery life, just turn the screen off and put the phone in your pocket until you really need to use it.