Snapchat is a very popular app for iOS and Android, but it can also be very battery hungry. How does one mitigate this and what causes the battery drain?
That’s what we’ll look at on this article about Snapchat’s battery usage, which features use more power and how to improve battery life.
Why does Snapchat use so much battery
Part of the problem is some of the features offered by Snapchat and the they have been implemented.
The camera view:
Using the camera uses more power than normal and Snapchat defaults to that view. If you open Snapchat lots of times, you also end up enabling the camera lots of times, which results in higher drain even if you don’t take a snap.
The camera also remains activated in the background for a few seconds after switching to a different feature (eg: stories). They do this so there’s no delay if the user switches back to the default camera view, but it also increases the energy usage.
If you use this mode to take snaps/pictures/videos, that will use even more battery.
Videos and Voice:
Recording or playing videos or voice memos/notes are more energy intensive that just sending or viewing text, so if you use video or photos for streaks, talk with your friends using voice, spend a lot of time looking at Stories or Spotlight, that might be why your battery is draining fast.
Sharing your location with your friends may be funny and even useful, but that means that the app will check and update your location every couple of minutes. For this to happen, the app needs to be active and running in the background, which results in higher battery consumption.
Gaming is usually battery intensive because games force your phone’s processor to work harder.
How to improve battery life while using Snapchat
While Snapchat is probably one of the main reasons for your bad battery life, there are a few things that you can do to make your battery last longer.
Use text when possible:
Since normal text messages use less power, if battery life is important, consider using text instead of videos instead of pictures/snaps, voice notes or normal voice or video calls when chatting with someone else.
Avoid media in general, especially videos:
When compared to text or photos, playing videos is a more resource intensive task. If you spend a lot of time watching videos from stories or spotlight, your battery won’t last as long as it could.
Don’t share your location:
This applies to all apps, not just Snapchat. Guessing your location increases battery consumption a lot because your phone looks at everything from WiFi networks around you to signals from satellites orbiting the earth. Since it needs to repeat the process every couple of minutes, it adds up.
Unless you really need it, don’t share your location with Snapchat (or any other app). This will improve your privacy and battery life.
Gaming is a resource intensive task, so the more you play, the higher battery usage will be.
Sadly the only real fix for this is play less games or simply stop playing games at all.
Battery saving mode:
Most phones have a battery saving mode which restricts everything from background checks to how fast the phone’s processor/SoC runs. Try it!
Depending on the phone, battery saving mode can give you an extra hour or so of usage.
Lower your screen brightness and volume:
The display is responsible for a big chunk of energy use, so lowering the brightness always helps. This is not always possible (eg: if you’re outdoors in a sunny, bright day), but can be done if you’re indoors or in bed.
Playing sounds / music loudly also uses more battery. Keeping it low also helps with battery life.
Stop the app from running in the background:
You should only do this if you don’t mind missing notifications, but it can really help with all apps, not only Snapchat.
All you have to do is stop Snapchat from running in the background. Usually it’s always trying to check for new messages and sharing your location, even when you’re not using the app.
This is available on iOS, iPadOS, and Android:
Use a battery case:
If you’re okay with the extra bulkiness and weight, consider getting a battery case.
These cases are usually cheap and on top of offering extra protection against drops, they also have a built in battery that allows you to expand the original battery capacity.
The alternative is to get a normal power bank, however that requires you to carry it (and a cable) around separately.
These suggestions should help your phone’s battery last longer when using apps like Snapchat, but at the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do.
If you use your phone a lot, consider getting one with a bigger battery or something that expands the built-in battery. If you have access to fast charging, that may also help with the higher drain from apps like Snapchat or TikTok as you can get as much as 50% in less than 30 minutes.
If you have any other ideas, leave a comment to help other users too!