What is the one warning that absolutely no one follows?
Speaking from personal experience, it's that q-tips are not meant to be put in your ears.
Really, it says so on the box.
But a close second is the warning that the employee at your phone provider gives when they hand you a new smartphone: don't charge it overnight.
Do we listen? No way (at least I never have).
But should we? Absolutely, because how you charge your phone can make or break the battery.
Is overcharging a phone dangerous?
Some people get the idea in their head that you can charge a phone "past 100%," and that this is somehow dangerous.
This idea is wrong, but still pretty close to the truth.
Your phone will never "overcharge," and it's not dangerous to keep charging your phone once the battery reaches 100% - at least it won't explode or break.
But it's still a bad idea to charge your phone longer than you need to.
Is charging overnight harmful?
I use my phone as an alarm clock, so like most people I leave it plugged in all night long.
But this habit ruins your phone's battery life in the long run.
As soon as you turn on your phone for the first time, its lithium-ion battery and the lead acid case around it begin to degrade.
Charging overnight will just make your battery wear out even faster.
So if you want your phone to last for years, learn how to charge it the smart way.
What's wrong with charging overnight?
Your phone is smart enough to stop taking in energy from your charger once it reaches 100%.
But as soon as it dips to 99%, it will "top off" by taking in more power.
As your phone charges overnight, energy keeps trickling in slowly.
This increases your phone's temperature and puts a strain on its battery, both of which add up over time.
Think of it this way: if you charge your phone every night, that's three or four months of the year it spends plugged in.
It's a sure way to wear out your battery. So keep the phone unplugged until it's at the right level.
When should I charge my phone?
Experts say you should wait until your battery is low, but not empty, to start charging it.
Like "trickle charging" overnight, charging the battery from 0% every time is hard on your phone.
For best results, wait until your phone hits 30 or 40%, then plug it in.
It helps to take the case off as well, because the phone will stay cool, which is better for the battery.
While we're learning about our phones, there are a few more handy tips you should know.
What does a smart outlet do?
If you're still paranoid about your phone dying in the middle of the night (like I was) is a smart outlet good investment?
This programmable gadget lets you turn off the juice at a certain time, so your phone won't be stressed out by constant charging.
If your phone plan replaces the gadget every few years, you shouldn't worry too much about charging overnight.
But to make your phone last for years, you need to be smart about charging the battery.
Simple iPhone tips and tricks
Here are a few more clever ways to make the most of your iPhone:
- There's a built in bubble level in your phone's Compass app. Swipe left on the screen and your phone will display whether it's sitting level. This is handy for all kinds of DIY projects.
- To delete a word quickly, just shake your iPhone back and forth - it may ask if you meant to do that. Shaking the phone again will "undo," and bring the word back.
Do you charge your phone overnight? Will you change your habit after reading this?