Quick Tip: Beware the Widgets

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Hi, this is a new type of post that we are going to test out.  We will give you a quick little tip on using your phone, tablet, or app.  I’m not sure how this will be received…it may not last very long but we’ll give it a shot.

Today we’re talking about widgets for your Android folks.  We love the widgets, there are tons of kinds of widgets.  Weather widgets, media widgets, social widgets, etc.  In fact when you purchase your phone, it usually comes preconfigured with many widgets on many screens.

Well, I want to warn you about the widgets.  You see, when that widget is running, it is using battery.  And usually, for a widget to be useful, it must have a data connection and periodically update itself.  What does this mean to you?  It means that your battery can go bye bye very quickly if you don’t pay attention to what’s going on.

Now, I want to point out that many widgets are very efficient and don’t overly drain your battery.  But there are occassional widgets that are battery hogs.  For instance, I installed a weather app recently (Accuweather).  It is an awesome app and is very beautiful.  But there was one problem, it drained my battery drastically.

I had a widget on my home screen with the weather and it was draining my battery.  Usually, I unplug my phone around 5am and it goes until 9pm-ish until I need to plug it back in.  With Accuweather, my phone died…yes DIED at 3:30pm…and I hadn’t been using it at all.  I removed the app and the problem was fixed.

The point I want to make is to ensure that you can adjust the update frequency of any widget that you install.   The built-in weather widget for the Galaxy S3 doesn’t update automatically…you have to manually update it.  I love that, I just hit the little refresh button and there is my weather.

So, if you are having battery issues, check out your widgets.  Any other tips for battery life?

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Ben is a follower of Christ, a rabid computer geek, small business owner, and breaker of things. He is married way above his station in life and has three wonderful children who have made driving him insane their mission in life.

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