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How often should you charge your iPhone?

By Staff | Feb 1, 2018

Last month, Apple admitted to secretly slowing down batteries on older iPhones in the name of “overall performance and prolonging the life.”

Apple has already admitted it slowed down iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S models with degraded batteries in iOS 10.2.1 and applied the same process to the iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2. After an uproar, Apple said it would offer battery replacements for these phones for $29, down from the usual $79 fee, from now until Dec. 31.

There’s been a lot of coverage lately about whether you should leave your smart phones plugged in overnight. Is it bad for the phone? How much should you charge your phone? When’s the right time to plug in? Should it go down to 0 percent every time? Up to 100 percent? How do you get the longest life out of a battery inside a smart phone?

Wow, that’s a lot of questions to answer, so don’t freak out, roll your four-day-old aku inside this issue and throw it away just yet! Once the internal Lithium-ion battery hits 100 percent of its capacity, charging stops because there are chips inside that tell it to stop charging. If you leave the smart phone plugged in overnight, it’s going to use a bit of energy constantly recharging the battery every time it falls to 99 percent. That is eating into your phone’s lifespan, so once it reaches 100 percent, you should pull the plug.

Running a smart phone until it’s dead – a full discharge – every time is not the way to go with modern Lithium-ion batteries. Don’t even let it get that close to 0 percent; that wears out a Lithium-ion battery even faster than normal.

Partial discharge is the way to go. Best thing to do is plug it in when the phone is between 30 and 40 percent. Phones will get to 80 percent pretty quick if you’re doing a fast charge. Using a high-voltage charger can put some strain on the battery. In fact, fast charging isn’t great for a Lithium-ion battery, but Apple iPhone batteries support “fast charging,” so they’ll get to 80 percent pretty quickly. After 80, you’ll see the capacity increase slowly, some of which is to prevent heat build-up, and that extends battery life.

Ok, so I’ve totally confused you, and you’re ready to send me death threats. Best thing to do: if you are going to charge overnight, don’t fast charge. Use a slow charge. That means your charger should be lower voltage. Phone batteries measure their lifespan in charge cycles. Expect iPhones to have a lifespan of 400 to 500 charge cycles.

Scammers have found ways to get around the “Do Not Call” list. Downloading and installing robocall-blocking apps like True-Caller, RoboKiller, Mr. Number, Hiya, and Nomo-Robo onto your phone is also recommended. Some like YouMail will stop your phone from ringing when it suspects a robocall and deliver a message that your number is out of service. Many apps are free, but some upgrades will cost you. But robocallers are getting trickier; some show your local area codes now in what’s known as the “neighbor scam,” where computer software mimics the first six digits of your phone number, making you think a nearby friend or business is calling you.

Watch what you say! If the caller calls and asks, “Can you hear me now?” and you say, “Yes,” they’ll use your voice signature for fraudulent charges.

Send your computer-related questions to mauimist8669@yahoo.com.