The sudden death of a field service tablet or phone is at best inconvenient and inefficient. At worst, it may cost your business a customer. Fortunately, you have a best friend in the rechargeable lithium-ion battery, a marvel of the cell-phone age.
Educate your workforce on good battery charging practices and replace myths with facts. Your field service mobile phones and tablet batteries should provide daily full-shift service and last as long as two years.
Adjust device settings to conserve battery life:
- Recharge daily. (See below for facts about charging lithium-ion batteries.)
- Set screen brightness at the lowest level you can tolerate. Second best: set it at auto-brightness.
- Set a short screen timeout (on an iPhone, see Settings/General/Auto-Lock)
- Turn off Bluetooth when you aren’t using it. (Swipe up (iOS) or down (Android) to toggle
- Close background apps (iOS double tap the Home button, Android tap the multi-task button on bottom right of screen)
- Use a ringtone, not vibrate.
- Turn off non-business notifications. (Facebook, anyone?)
- Reboot the phone every few days.
Be cautious about power-saving strategies that interfere with location services:
- Turning off Wi-Fi will reduce battery use but will also reduce accuracy of location services.
- If your phone has a battery-saving mode, it may reduce accuracy of location services.
Plan ahead, treat your batteries well
- Replace aging batteries before they die on the job. Life expectancy of a battery is about 24 months, half as long if it works around the clock.
- Keep spare batteries on hand.
- Protect batteries from temperatures above 100° and sunlight.
- Wipe terminals clean before charging.
Know the facts about charging lithium-ion batteries.
Unlike nickel batteries, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are remarkably tolerant of charging methods:
- There is no reason to drain the battery before charging.
- There is no need to fully charge each cycle.
- It makes no difference if a charge is fast or slow (within manufacturer’s specs).
- You do not need a first-use 24-hour charge – your device was shipped partially charged.
- It does no harm to leave a fully charged device on a charger
Do you have any advice on mobile devices and battery life? Share your thoughts with our readers.