As you probably already know, this weekend is likely super hectic in just about any area in the U.S. due to the fact that the next major holidays to fall upon us all generally revolve around gift-giving. All kinds of retailers across the country are encouraging people to shop and save lots and lots of money with their Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings. Here at PhoneDog, we also encourage you to save - but instead of saving money (well, we want you to do that too) we want to help you save on something else very precious - battery life!
Over the past several months I’ve become increasingly more conscious about how long my phone’s battery lasts (or, in some cases, how long it doesn’t last). In an effort to make any attempt that I could to squeeze as much juice out of my phones as possible, I’ve come across a multitude of ways to conserve energy and stretch my battery to last a noticeably longer amount of time. I’ve had experience with each platform over the past year, so today starts article one in my small series of battery saving tips. Today, we start with iOS.
For a period of time, I was using an old iPhone 4S, which was a device I was previously extremely fond of largely in part of its “good battery life”. Come to find out, good battery life is a hard way to describe a 3-year-old device with a non-removable battery, so a lot of tweaking needs to be done in order to make a battery in an iPhone 4S last. Even now that I’ve properly switched to the iPhone 5s for the time being (a story for another day, maybe) I’ve noticed that there are a lot of ways that I could preserve battery life in iOS. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Turning off Siri
This is a sketchy one, because Siri is arguably one of the most useful features on iPhones 4s and above. Still, I find that I hardly ever use her, so if you’re like me you can shut that know-it-all tart down and enjoy the extra battery life that she was previously sucking up like a virtual vampire of sorts.
Settings > General > Siri > Toggle Off
Tip: If you’re unsure whether you use Siri enough to justify keeping her on and you ask Siri whether you should turn her off or on, you should probably just keep her on.
2. Turning off the paralax effect
With iOS 7 came this neato feature called a “paralax” effect, which gives off a sort of 3D vibe when you tilt your phone. Does it look cool? If you don’t have motion sickness, heck yeah it does! But it also sucks up some battery life, and it’s completely unnecessary. Turning off the paralax effect can save you a bit more juice in the end.
Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion > Toggle On
3. Keeping Wi-Fi on
Well, sort of. If you’re constantly around a Wi-Fi signal that you can connect to, you should use Wi-Fi over your own cellular data. Not only are you saving precious data (which is virtually meaningless if you have an unlimited data plan, but whatever) but you’re also saving battery life because Wi-Fi uses less battery than cellular data does.
It’s also a good idea to turn Wi-Fi off if you’re nowhere near a Wi-Fi signal so that your phone can stop wasting its precious time. What is it, your personal servant or something?
Control Center (swipe up) > Toggle Wi-Fi On/Off
4. Screen brightness
Normally, I like to automate my screen brightness because my environments seem to change brightness quite often. However, if you’re a person who can handle the lowest brightness (or a relatively low brightness) on a consistent basis, it’s not a shabby idea to constantly keep it as low as possible. Otherwise, automated brightness is the next best thing - just don’t make the mistake of keeping your screen as bright as the sun all the time, because that’s going to be a huge battery burner.
For Mail, Contacts, and Calendars, your phone may be constantly looking for new stuff that comes in - which can, of course, drain your battery if it’s constantly looking for new data to push to you. If you have a lot of important e-mails or whatever coming through to you consistently throughout the day, it’s probably best to have this set up to accomodate that. But if you’re like me and get e-mails sparingly (and vastly unimportant ones at that) then you may want to consider having your phone push the notifications less frequently. The less often your phone looks for e-mails, the more battery life you get.
Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data > Push > Toggle
Additionally, if you scroll down a little you’ll notice an area that helps you schedule when to “fetch” new batches of data - I have mine set to every hour, but you can also choose from 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or manually.
6. Editing Notification Center
I love the Notification Center, but there are a couple of things on there that I just don’t really care about. For instance, if I want to know the weather, I will simply step outside of the house or building that I’m in. I could also try and gauge I don’t need my Notification Center to tell me what the weather is like.
I also give zero bothers about Stocks, so I usually turn that off as well. Either way, the point is that you can take things out of your Notification Center if you find that there’s something there wasting space.
Pull down Notification Center
Make sure you’re on the “Today” screen
Scroll to the bottom
Edit to your heart’s content
7. Turn off automatic App Updates
It’s very nice of Apple to automatically update your applications for you, but if you’re looking to preserve battery life, it’s a good idea to politely decline. You can manually check and update them in the App Store yourself at your earliest convenience.
Settings > iTunes & App Store > Updates > Toggle Off
8. Location, location, location
Turn it off. If an app needs your location for something (such as using GPS) then it will prompt you at the beginning to please turn it on. Otherwise, it’s just constantly tracking you. Alternatively, you can just turn off some location services and not all of them if you use a certain app frequently.
Settings > Privacy > Location Services
There are a lot of options here. Just toggle which ones you think you will use and which ones you won’t. Also, don’t worry about not being able to use Find My iPhone - with iOS 7 or greater, if you put your phone in ‘Lost’ mode, Location Services will automatically turn on until your turn ‘Lost’ mode off.
9. Turn off 4G LTE
If you don’t need or plan on using 4G speeds for a while, you don’t need to keep it on. 3G uses considerably less battery life. With that being said, you’re probably paying for 4G speeds, so this is really just a preference thing. It’s nice that the option is there, though. I know I don’t always need LTE.
Settings > Cellular > Enable LTE > Toggle
10. Turn off AirDrop - and Bluetooth, too
If AirDrop is a feature on your phone and you don’t have many friends with iPhones that you share a bunch of things with, you might as well turn it off.
Bring up Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen
Press and hold down “AirDrop”
And while you’re in Control Center, you might as well turn off Bluetooth if you’re not using that either.
So, there you have it. 10 ways to help you preserve battery life in your iOS device. Obviously these tweaks won’t work for everybody, and it’s in no way trying to ruin the whole purpose of buying an iPhone for you. However, for many people (myself included) a lot of the nifty features that Apple has included in the iPhone aren’t being used anyway - so why keep them on? I’d rather use those resources for better battery life.
Stay tuned for more battery saving tips on other platforms over the next couple of weeks!