Smartphones are quickly becoming the one mobile gadget we increasingly rely on to do just about everything we need. However, the more you do with your device -- from streaming movies and music to playing graphics-rich games to shooting and sharing videos and photos, as well as calling and texting -- the more power it guzzles up. When it comes to battery life, the mobile gadgets we love don’t always love us back, and it can get frustrating to run out of juice just when it’s needed. By following these 5 hacks, you can get more battery life out of your smartphone, pad or tablet.

Smartphone Battery Cases

(Photo Courtesy of Mophie:

One of the best ways to keep your phone alive until a charging opportunity is available is a phone case designed with built-in supplemental rechargeable batteries. The cases feature built-in batteries that are always connected to your device, and they recharge while you charge your phone. While the battery cases add a bit to the size and weight of your phone, it’s not much, and it’s offset by the added measure of protection they provide. For example, the Mophie Juice Pack for Samsung Galaxy S features a cordless charge force power case that allows your device to charge on the spot when placed on any wireless charging base. It is compatible with wireless technologies like Qi, enabling you to charge your phone wherever the technology is available, such as cars and cafes. For Apple users, there’s the Mophie Space Pack for iPhone 5/5s.

Axe Non-Essential Apps and Functions

When you are stranded miles away from any charging station, conserving what little battery life you have left in your device is imperative. Turning off things like your GPS, notifications and the vibrate feature, and disabling WiFi and Bluetooth functions can help preserve what little juice your phone has left. All of these things drain your phone’s battery, similar to leaving a leaky faucet turned on.

Use the Airplane Mode

Even if you aren’t hopping on an airplane, switching your smartphone to airplane mode can help you extend your battery life. The radios on your mobile devices use a lot of power by continuously scanning for and trying to connect to nearby WiFi networks, communicating with cell towers, periodically checking your location veia GPS, and waiting for incoming Bluetooth connections. Turning on your device’s airplane mode allows you to quickly disable your phone’s battery-draining radios, which is especially useful if you are using your pad or tablet as an offline eReader.

Portable External Power Banks

(Photo Courtesy of DigiPower:

No matter what your power needs, there is an external power bank suitable for your mobile device. USB battery packs, also called power banks, keep your smartphone charged when you can’t get to an AC outlet. For something to top up your phone that is compact enough to slip into your pocket, check out the TravelCard Charger. The mini powerhouse is available as a lightning cable or integrated Micro-USB. For something that packs a bit more juice, consider the EasyAcc 6000mAh Ultra Slim Power Bank. For charging your device more than once, or to charge dual devices, such as a tablet and smartphone, pop the AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank 16,100 mAh into your backpack or bag. If you need to power up your phone 100 percent each day during an extended trip, or have multiple devices that need charging, the RAVPower 26800mAh Xtreme Portable Charger can handle the task.

Subdue Your Screen

The brighter you have your screen brightness set, the more it drains your battery, so conserve your battery life by adjusting your screen’s brightness display to the lowest possible setting. Likewise, your cool, animated wallpaper is a custom touch, but it required more battery power. Instead, disable your dynamic background and switch out with a simple static option from your “Wallpapers & Backgrounds” menu.

There isn’t much point in fussing over your smart device’s low battery reserves if it has a scratched or cracked touchscreen. Since even light use can result in wear and tear that negatively affects your smartphone’s touchscreen surface, protecting your device with a screen protector is a smart idea. Visit the Ultimate Shield website to find out more about how The Ultimate Shield Screen Protector guards your smart gadgets from damage caused by shocks, falls, bumps and scratches.