More about batteries, and a handy tip if you’re looking for a phone number online

By | February 10, 2020

A few people have been in touch about the email I sent last week on ways to charge your phone…

Mr Nixon pointed out a fantastic use for wireless charging – and that’s for people who only have the use of one hand.  Plugging a cable into a phone one-handed is awkward to say the least, so a charging mat that someone else can set up for you must be a god-send!  (It’s always great to hear of a genuinely good use for technology like that.)

Christine asked about using a USB bank for charging her devices – they plug into the wall and have several USB sockets on them that you can plug lots of things into at once.  They’re fine to use for charging pretty much anything (they won’t overheat your battery) but you won’t be getting the fastest charge either.

And finally, W F N Wood asked how much and how often you should charge your battery to keep it in the best of health.  Well, the standard advice is to try and keep the level of charge in your phone battery between 20% and 80%. So, as a general rule, don’t charge it all the way to 100% or let it run all the way down to nothing.

In practice, it’s hard to do that all the time.  And although it’s good for the battery itself to never go to the extremes, the little bit of software in your phone that keeps a check on the battery level needs a full charge up and a full drain every so often to calibrate it.

You’re also not supposed to use the phone very much while it’s plugged in – although I still do it.  It’s because you put more load on the battery that way and you can make it overheat. I’d suggest that you just use your judgement – if the back of your phone starts to feel hot, put it down and wait for it to finish charging, or unplug it while you use it and then plug it back in again.

A handy tip when you’re using the internet on a smartphone

I don’t know about you, but I quite often use my phone to look up addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for businesses.  Say if I want to ring up a plumber, or book a table at a restaurant.

I usually find the easiest way is to search for them on Google and find their phone number or email address that way – rather than searching through a paper phone book or scrabbling around looking for a business card I know I’ve got somewhere!

What you might not have realised is that, once you’ve found the phone number on their website, you don’t have to copy it down and then type it into your phone. 

If you’re using Chrome (on an Android phone), you can just tap and hold on the phone number and a set of options will pop up. The first option is to “Call” using your phone app (if it’s a phone number) or “Email” using your email app if it’s an email address.

It’s even easier on an iPhone. All you need to do is tap on the phone number, email address or whatever, and the option will pop up to call them.

Saves a bit of time and faffing about!

Before I go – just a quick reminder…

Just a quick reminder, before I toddle off, about the Smartphone online course – Smartphones Made Simple.  We’re about half-way through the time when the course is open for enrolments.  

On Wednesday, I’ll let you know a bit more detail about the specific things that are covered in the course.  But in the meantime, if you want another look at the information about the course, you can read it here.

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