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Five free apps to get more battery life out of your phone

"My phone is about to die."

Thanks to my job, this harrowing low-battery experience is something I am used to and always prepared for. I take my charger with me everywhere I go and keep an extra one at work.

Yes, our smartphones are "smart" and enable us to video-chat, play games, take pictures and navigate the world. Unfortunately, battery life has yet to catch up with the rest of the technology.

If you also have trouble making it through the day without charging up, you can do the basic tricks such as reducing screen brightness and disabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. One of the biggest power drainers, in my experience, is the vibrate function. And consider switching off key tones. You can also set your ringtones to a low volume to save extra juice.

Beyond that, here are five free apps that can also help extend battery life.

Battery saver: Does your iPhone or iPod Touch feel a little sluggish? The Battery Saver app can accelerate it by automatically clearing up memory.

The app estimates the amount of battery life you have left on your iOS device so you can get more juice out of your phone. What is great about this app is that it shows how much your phone's power will be extended if you disable various functions such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The app also includes notifications for when you should begin and end charging cycles, system information, and loads of optimization tips.

Clean Master: Apps that help you save battery power can also help you save memory. Like on a desktop computer, programs and apps on a phone gradually eat up memory and the life of your device as its cache fills up. To clean that out, the Clean Master app for Android devices finds the cached files generated by the apps that are hogging your storage, and it helps get rid of them.

There are graphs showing how much used and unused space is on the device's onboard storage and SD card, but most of the important information is in the History section of the Clean Master app.

Battery Doctor Pro: The app monitors your iOS device usage and lengthens battery life by shutting off apps you are not using at that moment. Its main page has a graph showing current battery charge and a grid of icons that activate submenus.

The app has several nice little touches, such as a Task Clear button to quickly get rid of running apps, a Usage list that tells you which of your apps uses the most power, and a System Status page that gives estimates of how much talk time your battery offers at that moment and how much you have in video playback.

Another useful feature is the “maintain” submenu, which recommends how far to let your battery run down before a recharge to get the maximum life out of the battery. Charging too often actually shortens battery life overall.

Easy Battery Saver: This Android app is another tool to speed up the device. The app has multiple power-saving modes that try to minimize power-gulping activities like accessing wireless networks.

Its best feature is its main dashboard, an optimization tool that keeps track of running apps, reports battery status and allows one-tap access to turn off or adjust Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, mobile data and screen brightness.

The app also shows graphically which apps seem to be using the most power and prompt you to turn off especially power-hungry apps you may have forgotten are running, such as a live wallpaper app.

Du Battery Saver: The Android app helps extend and improve battery life with its easy-to-use preset modes and one-touch controls. The app automatically finds power-hogging apps, unused services (such as Bluetooth and Account Sync), and potentially overlooked settings that can make your phone run out of power fast.

Du Battery Saver claims it can increase battery life by up to 50%.

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Twitter: @JessicaNaziri

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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