Extending BlackBerry 6 and BlackBerry 7 battery life

How-To

I want to share some battery saving tips to help you get the most of your BlackBerry smartphone – for both BlackBerry 7 and BlackBerry® 6. Listed below are several tips I use that you can start taking advantage of today.

If you’ve got a tip on how to extend battery life, leave a comment and let us know as we may feature your tip in an upcoming post. Let’s get started…

Closing Apps and Games

Running multiple apps and games is something I do daily, whether it’s switching between my email and a game of Solitaire, or using it to move between the BlackBerry® Maps app and BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™) so I can tell friends where I am. Something to keep in mind, however, is that apps and games left open when you are not using them can sometimes use up battery life.

An easy way to see which apps or games are open is to press and hold the Menu key, which causes the App Switcher to appear. You can then switch to the app or game you are not actively using and, after pressing the Menu key, select the “Close” option to exit the app or game.

Turn off network connections you aren’t using

A quick way to save some battery life is to review and turn off any network connections you are not currently using. For example, at work I always have a mobile network connection in addition to using the Wi-Fi® functionality built into my BlackBerry smartphone. If I’m traveling, I don’t have access to a Wi-Fi network, so to save some battery life, I turn off the Wi-Fi network connection since I am not in range of any Wi-Fi networks I have access to.

To review and modify network connections on a BlackBerry smartphone, click the connections area along the top of the home screen, or select the “Manage Connections” icon from the home screen. You can then enable and disable network connections by checking or clearing the checkboxes.

Use a Wi-Fi network connection in areas of low cell coverage

If you are in a location that has poor cell coverage such as a basement, use the Wi-Fi functionality built into the BlackBerry smartphone to connect to available Wi-Fi networks. This will help improve battery life and is recommended if you are doing lots of web surfing, for example.

Use a holster or pocket

If you don’t already have one, I strongly recommend purchasing a holster or pocket for your BlackBerry smartphone, as it’s a really easy way to save battery life. When you place a BlackBerry smartphone in a holster or pocket, the screen will automatically shut off if desired. Grab a holster or pocket from http://www.shopblackberry.com today if you don’t already have one!

For those that already have one, review the user guide for your BlackBerry smartphone to learn how you can customize how your BlackBerry smartphone works with a holster or pocket. For example, a setting I like is how I can automatically open an email I’ve just received when I take my BlackBerry smartphone out of my holster.

Get a Charging Pod

Another thing to pick up while visiting http://www.shopblackberry.com is a BlackBerry® Charging Pod as it’s a great way to ensure you are always charging the BlackBerry smartphone battery which can extend battery life. I have two of these, one at work and another at home (the Flip Clock makes a great alarm clock face). A new feature built into BlackBerry 7 is support for Smart Accessories such as the Charging Pod. This means that when you put your BlackBerry smartphone in the Charging Pod, it can enable different profiles or settings on what’s displayed while it charges. Check out the user guide for your BlackBerry smartphone to learn more.

Automatically turn your BlackBerry smartphone on and off

Instead of using battery life while you sleep, you can set your BlackBerry smartphone to automatically turn on and off. Data you receive while the BlackBerry smartphone is turned off will be received automatically as soon the BlackBerry smartphone turns on again. You can experiment with the Auto On and Off capabilities by completing the following steps:

  1. On the home screen or in a folder, select the “Options” icon
  2. Select “Device” followed by Auto On/Off
  3. In the “Weekday” section, select the “Enabled” checkbox if desired
    • Specify the times when the BlackBerry smartphone should turn on and off on weekdays
  4. In the “Weekend” section, select the “Enabled” checkbox if desired
    • Specify the times when the BlackBerry smartphone should turn on and off on weekends
    • Press the Menu key and select “Save”

Review backlighting options

An easy way to see improved battery life is to customize the backlighting settings on a BlackBerry smartphone. You can optionally change the brightness, the amount of time the backlight stays on, and one of my favorite settings, the ability to automatically dim the backlight. Review and customize these settings using the following steps:

  1. On the home screen or in a folder, select the “Options” icon.
  2. Select “Display” followed by “Screen Display”
  3. Do any of the following:
    • To change the brightness of the backlight for the screen, change the “Backlight Brightness” field
    • To change the length of time that the backlight stays on when you’re not touching your BlackBerry smartphone, change the “Backlight Timeout” field
    • To stop the backlight from adjusting to lighting conditions, clear the “Automatically Dim Backlight” checkbox
  4. Press the Menu key and select “Save”

Keep battery connections clean

A simple thing you can do to help maintain the life of your battery is to use a cotton swab or dry cloth to clean the metal contacts on the battery and the BlackBerry smartphone every few months.

Keep an eye out for more battery saving tips in the near future, and if you have a tip you’d like to share, leave a comment and let everyone know!

About Ty Williams

Community Content Manager & Blogger @ BlackBerry. Follow me on Twitter or Google+

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