I don’t have to tell you that our smartphones are amazing and only getting better with new capabilities, features, and functions every year.
Yet, for a device that’s often called “mobile,” it sure relies on cables pretty often. Specifically, the cable that plugs your smartphone into a power source, like your computer or a power outlet.
What’s the solution? Bigger batteries, of course.
New battery technology that lasts a whole week while keeping a slim form would be better, but that’s just not possible at the moment. What we have is the best we’ve got for now.
But we’re not willing to mae our smartphones much thicker to accommodate larger batteries. And if phones do get thicker, it’s mostly to fit in new features. Just take the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, for example. They’re slightly thicker than their predecessors, but their batteries are actually smaller. The extra millimetres of thickness were necessary for new features, like the new pressure sensitive 3D Touch display.
And that’s great. We want more features like 3D Touch displays, but we want decent battery lives too. But to get any decent, meaningful bump in battery life, smartphones would need to get thick. Really thick. Think battery case thick.
As a result, we’ve become obsessed with extending smartphone battery lives, especially if we want to keep our smartphones’ sleek and slim designs. The internet is full of battery-saving tips and tricks, but many of them focus on limiting and reducing almost everything our smartphones can do like turning off Bluetooth or enabling a power-saving mode that can slow down performance.
You’re not exactly getting the most out of your smartphone if you abide by all these tips.
And if you know you’re not going to be close to a power outlet for another 24 hours, or you don’t have a couple hours to charge it, you better put the Bluetooth headphones away. And forget about streaming music. Don’t even THINK about using Netflix, or anything that needs your screen to be on, like browsing social media. Don’t know the way to the nearest electronic store to get an external battery? Don’t open that maps app, you’ll activate the GPS antenna which destroys the battery! Ask for directions instead.
In fact, it’s generally best to just leave your phone alone. In aeroplane mode.
And the same goes for pretty much everything with a battery, not just smartphones. Think cars, planes, and even houses! One of the main reasons we’re not using solar energy more than we are is because our current batteries aren’t very good at storing enough power in a commercially feasible way.
There are a lot of smart people out there trying to fix the problem, but for now, we’re limited by the laws of physics.
Our electronics are so advanced and can do so many things, but the batteries powering them just can’t keep up. And the time will come when companies will have amazing new features ready to be built into our next mobile devices, but they won’t be able to because batteries today just aren’t good enough.
Get THE MID-YEAR SMARTPHONE MARKET REPORT now! A comprehensive look at the global smartphone market from BI Intelligence by platform, vendor, country and more. Insights into the power struggles between the biggest platforms and the underdogs. Get the Report Here »
NOW WATCH: How to supercharge your iPhone in 5 minutes
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.