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Sustainability

I’m still smarter than my smart phone

So my smart phone is supposed to make me more efficient right? I think it does, I make a lot of notes on it rather than on scraps of paper I might lose. And I can quickly check my email and social media without turning on a computer. But what can I do to make my smart phone more efficient?

I’m off to a pretty good start – I rarely enable data on my phone. I rely on wifi and if I can’t get onto wifi it probably wasn’t necessary for me to look up or do right at that moment. This saves a chunk of power as evidenced by the fact that it is the first thing targeted by energy efficiency apps.

I have tried a few different apps in the last couple days, and I have yet to find one that really benefits me. I have one installed that I’m still hopeful for and will write about in a few days. Juice Defender would have been great if I was on data, but from what I could find in the settings, if I wanted it to do anything with my wifi I was going to have to pay for an upgrade. IamGreen’s Battery Defender was a two thumbs down. Don’t tell me you have a free version if the moment I open it I have to upgrade to the pay version in order to have any functions.

Then I thought, there are probably some features in the phone already that I can access to save power, and subsequently energy and money. And there were. The ES Task Manager has a feature in it to save power. It tells you what is recommended and what your current setting is. You can optimize but that turns everything off, or you can go through and choose individual aspects to turn on or off. Things that I have now turned off are screen auto-rotate (we’ll see how long this lasts) and always vibrate. I also always have my phone on auto screen brightness.

Of course the other aspect of this is my own use. It’s fine to set things to turn wireless and data on and off depending on what you are doing but you still need to decide whether or not you need to be using your phone at that moment. I know this might be surprising to some but there used to be a time when we could not check our email 24/7. You remembered your friends’ phone numbers. You talked to the people in the room instead of texting, or worse not interacting with each other at all because you are individually playing games. And when you didn’t hear back from someone within an hour you didn’t freak out that something was wrong.

I am still smarter than my smart phone. I can make choices as to how and when I use it. That doesn’t mean that I won’t use it, but perhaps I will go to the library and borrow a book tomorrow instead of searching for random things to do on my phone. In the meantime, I’m going to make a shopping list on my phone and pick up groceries tonight.

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About Peyto

I am passionate about making science, sustainability, and sport accessible through engaging information and activities. Peyto is a reference to Bill Peyto who was an outfitter, trapper, and eventually a park warden in Banff National Park. Peyto Lake and Peyto Glacier are both named after him. He is also a distant relative of mine.

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