Tips to improve iPhone battery life and maximize its overall lifespan
The iPhone is arguably one of the best smartphones on the market today, if not the best. After all, that’s the reason you bought one, right? It has a great camera, a swath of applications and its interface is so easy to navigate that even children can use it. However, a few of you iPhone users seem to be plagued with one major problem - poor battery life.
You’ve tried dimming your screen, turning off Wi-Fi, turning off push e-mail and you may have even resorted to prayer. And yet at the end of the day you find yourself with an almost-dead smartphone. What on earth is going on?
When iOS 5 was released, many iPhone 4 and 4S users started to see real battery issues. Some users claimed that the smartphone would lose 15-20% of its power while on standby, others say they can’t make it more than five or six hours without a charge. Because Apple is working on a software fix, we know it’s not entirely the hardware’s fault. Until that fix comes, here are a few tips that have worked for us. We’ve seen seven to eight hours of usage time along with 20-22 hours of standby time, so clearly something is working.
1. Dim your screen, turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use
This should seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people ignore these simple battery-saving habits. You don’t need to set your iPhone so bright that it illuminates your face in broad daylight, so dim it down to 50% or less. And when you aren’t using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, turn those off, too. However, do consider using Wi-Fi when you’re using data-intensive apps - it uses up less power than the wireless network radios.
2. Turn off notifications you don’t need
We’re not telling you to turn off all notifications. That’s just ridiculous and we know that there are some applications and services you’d like to receive notifications for. Go into Settings > Notifications and look through the apps you’d like to remove from the notifications center, and keep the ones you want. Be judicious!
3. Turn off Location Services for apps that don’t need them
Unless a game or photo app absolutely requires use of location services, don’t allow the apps to use your iPhone’s GPS. Like Notifications, you can manually select which apps get to use Location Services. Go into Settings > Location Services and pick and turn off the apps that don’t need to know where you are. Again, use your best judgment: location-based apps definitely need to access your iPhone’s GPS, but news and photo apps, for example, can live without it.
For iOS 5 users, you may also want to take things a step further and turn off System Services. Go to Settings > Location Services > System Services (scroll down to the bottom to find this) > Turn everything off. I’ve found that my phone works perfectly fine with all of these services off. I’d turn on the time zone and cell search options when traveling, however.
4. Turn off Ping
Some users claim that Ping was a cause for poor battery life, and since you likely aren’t using the iTunes social networking service, go ahead and turn it off. Go to Settings > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions > Set your passcode > Turn off Ping.
5. Restore your iPhone
This is a very dramatic, time-intensive last resort for the desperate. But when your iPhone isn’t keeping its charge for more than just a few hours, there could be some corruption causing the issues. This kind of problem seems to arise after a software update, but it can happen any time. The best fix, and the one that works almost every single time, is to restore the iPhone and set it up as new. That means you will have to reinstall all of your apps, photos and music. You’ll also have to log into your e-mail and applications all over again. You will have to arrange your apps to your liking, and so forth. It’s basically the same as setting up a new iPhone.
Plug your iPhone into iTunes, and click “Restore.” Once your iPhone is restored, do not restore from backup; instead, restore it as a new iPhone. Again, this is extreme, but I guarantee that it will solve any serious or major battery issues for the majority of you who are reading this.
Lastly, take care of your battery. How do you do this? Charge it often and don’t let your battery drain completely before you decide to plug it into the charger, but try not to let it get below 20% (the red battery icon) too often. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to top up (i.e. you don’t need to plug in for a few minutes while rushing out the door to get that extra 4% battery life). Also, try not to use power-hungry applications for long periods of time - they may cause the battery to overheat or to become strained. And, as much as you can help it, keep your iPhone at or close to room temperature. Don’t leave it sitting out in the sun, and please don’t stick it in your freezer for kicks.
For more advice on battery care for your iPhone, visit Apple.com