Five ways to make your BlackBerry battery last longer

Never get caught short again

We've got five top tips that will help you ensure your BlackBerry battery lasts as long as possible, so you'll never be caught short at a crucial moment.

4. Use power-hogging applications wisely

The larger the number of BlackBerry applications you use, the more power you're going to need. If you constantly use a couple of apps, say the Viigo RSS reader and Facebook for BlackBerry, you need to consider how much power those specific applications employ. If battery life is of the essence, you probably want to use them sparingly.

Some applications eat up power only when in use. For example, the Google Maps mobile application for BlackBerry drains significant battery life when you search for directions or satellite images of a specific locale, but it doesn't use much power when not being employed.

But, many BlackBerry applications drain battery life even when you're not using them by pulling in new content or updates. Viigo, a mobile RSS reader for BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices, for instance, pulls in content from whatever feeds you select.

If you use Viigo and you're receiving articles from 30 feeds, the application is going to eat up a good chunk of your battery, even when you're not reading the stories it's collecting.

Or take the Facebook for BlackBerry application: Depending on your Facebook notification settings, you could be receiving BlackBerry alerts every time a Facebook Friend sends you a message, writes on your wall, pokes you, or interacts with one of your widgets. All of that back and forth activity takes a lot of power.

So be aware of how much battery your BlackBerry applications need, and why, and be selective.

5. Keep battery connections clean

Over time, the battery connections within your device can gather dust and other particles and impede the transfer of power to your hardware. Every few months, it's a good idea to remove your battery and wipe clean the small sections of metal through which battery power is transferred, as well as the metal prongs inside your device's battery slot that connect to the power supply.

Those prongs are delicate, however, so you should be very careful cleaning them. Cotton buds and cleansing wipes made specifically for electronic gadgets work well, though they can leave residue, so you should ensure both surfaces are clear before replacing your battery.

Finally, your battery will become less efficient over time, so it is occasionally necessary to buy a new one. If your battery is a year or older, and you've determined that its poor performance can't be attributed to a poor connection, a power-hogging app or a similar issue, you may need to replace it.

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Al Sacco

PC Advisor (UK)

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