Five ways to make your BlackBerry battery last longer

Never get caught short again

Frustrated that your BlackBerry battery seems to die at a crucial point in the day? Well check out our five tips to squeeze every last bit of juice out of your device.

2. Examine your notification profiles

The notification alerts that you use to signal new phone calls or messages can have a significant impact on your BlackBerry battery life. For example, if you set your call notification to vibrate three times and then ring loudly, your battery is going to drain faster than if you turn off the vibration and reduce your ring tone volume to low.

If you use a custom ring tone, you're also using more battery life than with a traditional ring. The most energy efficient way to employ call or message notifications? Set your ring tone to the lowest volume you can and reduce or eliminate the use of vibration alerts.

We all need to set our devices to vibrate occasionally while in meetings or other locales that require quiet, but you can modify your vibrations settings. To reduce the number of times that your device vibrates when a new call or message is received, go to your device's icon screen and click the Profiles icon. (It looks like a speaker.)

From there you can adjust your various profile settings — Loud, Vibrate, Quiet, Normal and Phone Off — and access Advanced settings. Scroll down and click the Advanced option, and you'll see another list of the same profile settings. To modify these settings, just highlight one, hit your BlackBerry menu key and click the Edit option.

This displays all the various applications and services with notification options, such as your phone, email inbox, text message inbox, IM application and more. To change notification settings for an app or service, simply click one and select whether you want your device to both ring and vibrate when you receive a call or an email message and how many times for each.

If you use an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) holster from RIM, you can also set different notification options for when your device is holstered. (RIM's newer holsters have built-in magnets that let your device know it's secured.) These options can save precious battery life, as well, because you can set your device to remain silent and still while holster and then revert to normal settings when it's removed.

As a general rule, the fewer times your BlackBerry rings or vibrates, the less battery life your notifications use.

3. Adjust your screen backlight

Newer BlackBerry devices enable you to heighten or reduce your display's backlight brightness. The brighter your screen, and the longer that screen stays lit, the more battery life you're using.

To modify backlight settings, go to your BlackBerry icon screen and click on the Options icon that looks like a wrench. Then click the Screen/Keyboard option and set your Backlight Brightness to the lowest level you can stand without needing to struggle to see your display. Then set your Backlight Timeout (how long your screen will stay on before going black) to the shortest time period you can handle.

An OEM BlackBerry holster can also reduce the amount of time your screen stays lit regardless of your settings, because it blacks out your display whenever the device is holstered.

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Al Sacco

PC Advisor (UK)

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