Does your phone die too fast? It may be your own fault, but you can fix it.

You’ve been here before: You’re in the middle of an important call in some remote area without a charger because you tend to wander when you talk, then your smartphone flashes “low battery.”

But was it really all your ranting that drained the phone’s power? Or all those useless apps that you downloaded, used once, then never closed? It could be both.

Mobile app developer KS Mobile measured the Top 10 “vampire” apps sucking up Android battery life worldwide and released it during the 2014 Mobile World Congress. The apps that made KS Mobile’s list were ranked by how often they triggered battery warnings for users, and they’re almost all available on iPhones too.

The usual suspects, gaming and messaging apps, took six of the top 10 spots. But the top three belonged to apps with functions most of us consider essential: camera, email, and weather. The latter two are constantly running in the background, but not the number one app on this list. Camera360 Ultimate is the most downloaded and used camera app in many countries, according to their Google Play page, with anywhere from 50 to 100 million installations.

“We want to empower our users keep their smartphones operating smooth and efficient. That’s why we want them to know which apps they enjoy the most might be draining their battery life more than they know,” Adam Morley, product manager for KS Mobile’s Clean Master app said in a press release. “Eliminate the frustration of being left with a dead smartphone by practicing smart battery preservation on your Android and being selective about which apps you use.”

Worst Battery-Draining Android Apps
1Camera360 UltimatePinGuo Inc.Camera
2Outlook.comMicrosoft + SEVENMail
3EZ Weather Forecast & WidgetEZMobsWeather
4Viki: Free TV, Movies & NewsViki, IncMedia
5Zello PTT Walkie-TalkieZello IncMessaging
6Temple Run 2Imangi StudiosGames
7Imo free video calls and textimo.imMessaging
8Racing MotoTop Casual GamesGames
9Fruit NinjaHalf Brick StudiosGames
10Candy Crush SagaKing, LtdGames

But it’s not enough to close apps when you’re not using them. analyzed lists compiled by the Los Angeles Times, CNET, and Lifehacker, to bring you other tips that make sense.

1. Use apps that manage others

Everybody has their own list of the best apps to save battery life. Clean Master made the LA Times list for Android apps, while both Clean Master and KSMobile’s BatteryDoctor app made the list for iPhones. (Why do you think KSMobile did this research?)

Although using battery power to download and open an energy-saving app seems counter-intuitive, it helps in the long run because these apps do more than monitor your battery usage, like clearing memory.

2. Delete old, unused, or temporary files

When those relics called “desktop computers” proved too sluggish, people freed up PC memory by quitting unnecessary software. Smartphones are no different: Saving memory is saving battery.

Deleting all the temporary files kept in a phone’s “cache,” like your web browsing history, is another way to free up memory. Don’t know how to do any of that? Don’t worry. Clean Master handles all that for Android users, while KS Mobile’s BatteryDoctor also shuts down wasteful background apps and dims the phone screen for iPhoners.

3. Apply energy-conserving settings

After city court judge Robert Restaino jailed 46 people for not admitting whose phone rang in his New York courtroom, app developer Two Forty Four A.M. created Locale so Android users never have to worry about the same thing happening to them. But it’s $10. Ain’t nobody got money for that? Check’s free recommendations.

KS Mobile also released a list of recommended settings and practices to improve smartphone battery life:

  • Disable automatic time zones/time and the clock manually otherwise your device will constantly be requesting location/time data and its almost entirely unnecessary.
  • Reduce the push frequency of email/weather/social media.
  • Disable wi-fi/data while playing offline games which present ads, for many apps they will be unable to push you ads during gameplay without a connection.
  • Try to charge the battery before it falls below 20%, it’s not good to run them completely dry.
  • Use the official chargers for your devices, an aftermarket charger may not charge at the correct voltage or have other deficiencies.
  • Charging via a power outlet is often times much more effective than charging via USB.
  • When you are done with an app try to actually shut it down instead of pushing it to run in the background.
  • Try to avoid playing graphically intense games while charging.
  • Try to run a full charge from around 20% to full at least once a month.
  • Disable giving location based information to your apps unless necessary (i.e. Maps, Dating, etc.)
  • Turn off your GPS whenever not needed.
  • Reduce screen brightness.
  • Avoid leaving your phone plugged in once fully charged.
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Article last modified on April 3, 2014 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Free ways to improve smartphone battery life - AMP.