Smartphones are an intrinsic part of our lives, and we’ve all developed certain habits around them.
We’re here to tell you which smartphone habits you can do without, because they don’t accomplish anything other than feed silliness.
- Stop shutting down background apps
Whoever started this myth needs to be publicly shamed, because it doesn’t make sense. Part of it dates back to digital relics and force of habit from the PC era, where you constantly needed to hit Refresh on your Windows 98 / XP computer to free up RAM, but that problem doesn’t exist on smartphones. Apps in the background do take up RAM, no doubt, but they aren’t “on” — unless something’s using the phone’s location actively — residing in a “suspended” state which is nothing but a tiny snapshot (which is what you see while flipping through your phone’s multitask action). If Apple and Google were worried about background app eating up RAM and battery, they would’ve taken steps to fix the problem — if it existed at all.
- Using dark themes or inverting menu to black saves battery life
This will work only on phones with OLED or AMOLED screens, reducing their impact on a phone’s battery — this is because every pixel gets its own light on these OLED panels, where a black pixel actually doesn’t light up. But this isn’t the case with 90% of phones sold in the market that have LCD screens, where the entire screen receives backlight — even when it’s displaying a completely black colour. So in short, absolutely zero battery saving on LCD screens.
- Stop disconnecting your phone from the wall socket at night for fear of overcharging
This is another relic of the digital past, where battery tech wasn’t yet perfected. Smartphone batteries have become a lot more sophisticated — not only with respect to packing in more juice in shrinking form factors, but also in terms of safety for electric spillage and overcharging (apart from the, umm, Galaxy Note 7 events). Lithium-ion batteries do heat up while charging, no doubt — it’s simple physics — but if you allow the phone to “breathe” and discharge excess heat through vents (that may be blocked by phone cases), there shouldn’t be any danger. Whether it’s a laptop or phone, the minute the battery hits 100% charge — and if it’s still connected to the wall socket — the electrical circuit inside it stops charging the battery in order to preserve its life span.
- Draining a brand new phone’s battery to zero before charging it up fully
Again, stop doing this. There’s no need to do it. Older Nickel-Cadmium batteries needed to be drained fully before charging, but newer Li-ion and Li-Polymer batteries found in smartphones don’t suffer from this issue. So please stop doing this, please?
- Stop putting screen protectors on your smartphone
Three things on this point — screen protectors make phone screens look dull, they don’t really do a 100% fullproof job of saving the screen in the event of a phone falling down, and if your phone has the latest Gorilla Glass screen, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice by opting for a screen protector on top of it.
- Stop using the phone’s original charger to charge it all the time
Technically, this is a good thing to do. But it’s also a bit silly, if you insist on using ONLY your phone’s original charger to recharge it every single time. If you lose your phone’s charger, what then? Buying original replacements can be expensive. But good quality, reliable third-party phone chargers are now available on ecommerce sites — look at Amazon Basics, for instance. If this were true, powerbanks wouldn’t exist. So take a chill pill on this one, please.
- Stop trusting “free” Wi-Fi
Just because something’s free doesn’t mean it’s safe. In an age where access to data and the Internet is at its lowest, don’t just connect to any random public network searching for free Wi-Fi. You may never know who may be eavesdropping on your network traffic (hint: hackers, scammers). That’s a slippery slope you don’t want to go down through.