Battery life has always been a primary concern for smartphone owners, many of whom struggle to make it through a single day without needing to recharge their devices. With the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple has made significant strides in improving the overall battery life of their phones, but there are times when we still find ourselves perilously low on power at an inopportune moment. If you find that your iPhone struggles to make it through a day on a single charge, here are some tips that can help you to improve performance and stretch that precious power just a bit further.
Discover Which Apps are Draining the Battery
With the release of iOS 8, Apple included a tool to help us discover which apps are actually putting the biggest hit on our battery. To find out which of your apps is draining power the fastest go to Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage where you’ll find a list of the apps that are having the biggest impact on your phone’s battery life. If any of the apps listed are currently running, double tap the Home button to enter multitasking mode and swipe up on each of those apps to shut them down. This feature comes in handy for understand exactly which apps are the most power hungry, and can help you manage their impact better.
Manage Location Services
The location services features of iOS are incredibly useful, allowing your phone to use its GPS capabilities to keep tabs of where you are at all times. This is very helpful for quickly finding directions and for displaying contextual information based on your current geographic location. But the GPS is also a major power hog that is capable of draining your phone’s battery very quickly. That’s why it is important to manage just which apps have permission to use location services, as one of them could be tracking you in the background, and eating into your battery life without you even realizing it.
Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services to view a list of the apps that have the ability to access the GPS on your phone and turn off the ones that you don’t deem necessary. It is also possible to shut off Location Services completely under this menu, but that will prevent you from using Siri and Maps to find your way around easily.
Manage Notifications, Alerts, and Widgets
The past couple of releases of iOS have improved Apple’s notification system dramatically and added widgets to the notifications screen too. This functionality can be incredibly useful in helping us to stay organized, providing reminders of things that we need to do, and alerting us of upcoming events and appointments. But these notifications and widgets can also drain battery life significantly if they are not managed properly.
To find out which apps have permission to send you notifications go to Settings > Notifications. You’ll find a list there of all the apps installed on your phone that are capable of sending you a notification of some type. You can manage exactly how those notifications appear (banners, badges, sounds, etc.) and determine which apps are allowed to share notifications at all. Turn off alerts from any app that you don’t want to receive notifications from to help lower the impact on battery life.
Similarly, widgets can be turned off and on from the Notifications Center, which is accessed by sliding down from the top of the screen. At the bottom of the Notifications Center you’ll find an option labeled “Edit” which will display a list of the currently installed widgets, as well as any that are available for installation. Remove any widgets that you don’t use or need as they too can drain your battery life. This is particularly true of widgets that update dynamically with sports scores, weather info, news headlines, and so on.
Manage Background App Refresh
One of the handy features of iOS is background app refreshing. This feature analyzes the way you use your phone, and then updates the apps you use most in the background. Over time, your iPhone learns when and how you use those apps, and then refreshes them in a timely manner so that the most recent information is ready to be displayed when you go looking for it. This can save you a lot of time, and it is an efficient way of handling multitasking, but as you can probably imagine, it also drains your battery more quickly too.
You can turn off background app refreshing under Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Alternatively, you can also tell iOS which apps it is okay to update in the background, and which ones it should ignore. That way your most important apps will be ready when you need them, but the ones you don’t care about won’t update until you switch to them again.
Adjust Screen Brightness
There is no question that the Retina display on the iPhone is amongst the best screens available on any smartphone today. It is also probably the single biggest culprit in terms of draining battery life too. Of course, we need the screen to be turned on and working in order to use our devices, but there are ways to minimize the impact it has on power consumption. For instance, you can turn on Auto-Brightness to have the iPhone automatically lower or raise the screen brightness as needed based on the conditions in the room in which you are using it. In a darker setting, the screen will dim as not as much light will be needed, while in a brighter room the screen will also be brighter to help compensate for the extra light. This setting is a simple toggle-switch which can be found in Settings > Display & Brightness.
Alternatively, you could also turn Auto-Brightness off completely and manually set your screen brightness using the slider bar found at the same location. This will set your phone’s brightness to a single, constant level no matter the surroundings that it is being used in, delivering more consistent battery performance over time. Screen brightness can also be adjusted from the Control Center, which is accessed by swiping up on the screen at any time.
Turn Off Unnecessary Features
Our iPhones come with a lot of built-in technology and features that you might not ever use. Some of those features can have an impact the life of your battery too, shortening its lifespan each day. For instance, Bluetooth technology is great for wirelessly connecting to other devices, but if you’re not using it on a regular basis it is an unnecessary drain on power. Go to Settings > Bluetooth to turn it off completely. Similarly, other features such as Personal Hotspot, AirDrop, Handoff, and Dynamic Backgrounds can all have a negative impact on battery life, even if it is somewhat minimal. If you don’t care about any of those features, you can save some power by switching them off too.