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Cut down on battery drain apps

Smartphone apps inform, entertain, educate and make life a lot easier – until your battery dies.

There are some obvious culprits sapping the power.

One World Labs tech expert Rick McCloskey said apps that use GPS, programs that constantly update, and free games that have scrolling advertisements are all big battery drains.

One way to figure out what apps are zapping your phone is a free program called Carat, developed by researchers at University of California, Berkeley.

Carat identifies energy hogs and energy bugs on your individual device.

“An energy hog is an app that, across most devices, seems to use more energy than a typical app,” said Adam Oliner, one of Carat’s creators. “An energy bug is an instance of an app running on a particular device that uses far more energy on that device than on most other devices.”

The most common power drains are email and Facebook apps. McCloskey found out he had apps running in the background even when they weren’t in use.

Once you identify what’s zapping your battery, the solution can be simple: If you don’t use it, lose it. The same goes for GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Turn these off when you don’t need them.