February 18th is National Battery Day, where we celebrate the humble battery, a device that many of us would struggle to live without.
Batteries power our cars, laptops, torches, cameras, smartphones and tablets.
Tablets are fantastic devices for browsing the internet, watching movies and one of the few irksome things about them is that their battery life is often shorter that most of us would like. It's certainly no fun getting a 'battery low' alert when you're hitting a high score on Candy Crush or halfway through purchasing your dream pair of trainers on Amazon.
Thankfully there are ways in which you can eke a bit more life out of your tablet's battery without impacting on the day-to-day use of your mobile companion.
Check out the video above for more battery tips, we've used the Tesco Hudl 2, but the tips apply to most Android tablets.
If you are an iPad user check out our guide: Extend your iPad's battery life
Step 1: Check what's sapping your tablet's power
Android provides a quick and easy way to see what's draining most of your tablet's power. Go to Settings - Battery. This will show you a bar graph of the different hardware, apps and processes that are putting the most drain on your battery.
The greatest drain is almost always the screen, as powering the backlight for your tablet's large display uses a lot of energy.
Step 2: Turn the screen brightness level down
Adjusting the brightness level of your tablet’s screen can save a lot of battery power. To do this, open Settings – Display - Brightness. A pop-up window will display a slider which you can use to change the brightness level. If the slider isn’t visible untick the box marked Automatic Brightness. Reduce the brightness to a level that's less intense but still comfortable for you to read text on your screen without straining your eyes.
Step 3: Reduce the screen time out
Reducing the amount of time your screen stays lit after you've stopped interacting with your tablet is another good way of slowing battery drain. Return to the Settings - Display menu and select Sleep. Reducing this setting tells your tablet to turn off the screen after a set period of inactivity. The shorter the time you select, the less power your display will use. Try changing it to a setting of two minutes.
Step 4: Turn off unwanted connections
Wireless network technologies such as wi-fi and Bluetooth also consume quite a bit of power, so if you're not using them it's best to turn them off. This is especially true of Bluetooth, which many people never use on their tablet yet still leave it turned on.
Go to Settings and select Bluetooth under the Wireless & Networks heading. Flick the switch to Off to disable Bluetooth.
If you're using your tablet on a long bus or train journey – or anywhere there's no wi-fi reception, you should also turn off wi-fi to save power. Open Settings and switch the wi-fi toggle switch to Off.
Step 5: Avoid using live wallpapers and widgets
Android's Live Wallpapers and Widgets require processing and graphics power to run so put extra drain on your battery. It's a relatively minor amount, but if you do want to absolutely maximise your tablet's battery life you may want to get rid of them.
Delete widgets from your homescreen by tapping and holding on them before swiping them up to the Remove icon. To change your wallpaper, tap and hold on an empty part of your homescreen and choose Wallpaper from the pop-up menu.
Step 6: Fully discharge the battery
The lithium ion batteries used in almost all Android tablets don't suffer the over-charging problems of older Ni-Cad batteries, so they don’t always need to be run down completely to stay at their best. However, to keep the battery's power meter correctly calibrated it's still a good idea to let your tablet run out of battery power after every 30 or so charges.
Step 7: Turn off Auto-sync
There are various apps and services on your tablet that automatically sync data with online servers, for storing contact information, providing Facebook alerts and sending email to your tablet. These syncing processes can drain power, especially if they’re pulling in a lot of information.
You can see which accounts are set up to auto-sync by opening Settings and choosing Accounts and Sync. If there are any you don’t want or need to sync in the background just tap on their name and untick the Sync option.