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How to Improve Battery Life On Your iOS Device

Posted in How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod on 23/03/2012 by J. Glenn Künzler

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Apple’s iOS devices typically have very good battery life, especially compared to competing products. But sometimes people experience problems, like the battery drain issues in iOS 5, or just want to squeeze every last bit of life from their batteries. This guide provides a number of practical tips to help you make the most of your battery life.

Lower the Screen Brightness

Not only can reducing the brightness of your screen be much easier on the eyes, it can also help significantly increase your battery life, as the display uses more power than almost any other part of your device. You can adjust the brightness by double-tapping the home button and swiping to the left.

Disable Bluetooth

If you aren’t actively using a Bluetooth headset or other Bluetooth device, turn off Bluetooth. When Bluetooth is enabled, it is constantly looking for devices to connect to, which drains precious battery life. Tu turn off Bluetooth, go into Settings, then tap General > Bluetooth, and flip the toggle switch to the off position.

Turn Off Notifications

Notifications can be important. But many apps use notifications when the really aren’t necessary – games can be really bad about this. Turning off notifications for apps (find this in Settings > Notifications) that you don’t use them with can help you save some battery life, as well as prevent apps from annoying you unnecessarily.

Turn off LTE and Personal Hotspot

It’s no secret that ultra-fast LTE mobile data uses a lot more battery power than traditional 3G or 4G data – and fortunately, there’s a simply way to disable LTE in favor of somewhat slower data to save battery life. Simple launch Settings, then navigate to General > Network, and flip the “Enable LTE” switch to the off position.

Likewise, many people with their carrier’s WiFi hotspot feature may find that their iPhone’s WiFi network is enabled, despite the fact that they may not be using it at any given moment. Disabling the “personal hotspot” can greatly improve your battery life – just open Settings, tap the “personal hotspot” pane, and turn the toggle to the off position.

Use Airplane Mode

 This applies mainly to the iPod touch and the iPad. When you aren’t doing something that needs internet access, setting your device on airplane mode can save battery life by preventing your device from searching for wireless signals. Airplane mode can be enabled by entering Settings, and tapping on Airplane Mode.

Disable Location Services

Many apps, including Apple’s standard camera app, can retrieve location information while you are using your device. Determining your location takes battery power, so if you don’t need your apps to have access to this data, you can turn location services off. You can also disable location services for each app you have installed by entering Settings, and tapping on Location Services.

Change The Frequency of Receiving Mail

Depending on which email service or services you use, different default settings can apply to your mail. Some services, such as iCloud, use push, which delivers messages to your phone the instant they are received in your inbox. Other services, such as Gmail, are set to retrieve email messages less often.

By setting your email preference to “fetch,” which only downloads messages when you enter Mail.app, can save a lot of battery life by preventing Mail from constantly connecting to the internet or downloading mail. This is done through the Mail, Contacts, Calendars pane in Settings (Settings > Mail > Fetch New Data.)

Disable Diagnostic & Usage Reports

Sending out usage and diagnostic reports can help Apple to improve iOS and make the user experience better. However, this also uses data, and causes some background activity. So to get the very best out of your battery, disabling this might be a good option. You can find this in Settings > General > About > Diagnostic & Usage > Don’t Send.

We hope this will help you squeeze a bit more valuable use time out of your iOS devices! Know of any tips that we missed? Let us know!



  • http://twitter.com/dtrotzjr David Trotz

    Killing Apps in the task bar will not have any affect on battery life unless it is an app that is currently collecting GPS points, or is streaming music.

    • http://MacTrast.com J. Glenn Kunzler

      That’s not necessarily true. Apps that have saved their state and remain in the multitasking bar do still use some system resources in iOS. Just not anywhere near as many resources as when they were running in the foreground.

      • techymarc

        They are suspended in memory, they are not consuming any CPU cycles therefore no effect on battery life. Trust me, zero CPU cycles.

        If iOS needs the memory for another app it will unload the suspended apps anyway. Whether you do it manually or let the system do it automatically, it will make no difference.

  • http://www.sullysrants.com Sully

    Might as well just turn off the phone… 

  • Jeff Mosawy

    Good. I’m gonna try them. Thank you Mactrast! :-)

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  • Neilbri

    You don’t need to turn of all notifications, just turn it off for the apps you are not interested in, similarly with location services.

  • cyberb0b

    Basically, shut it all down… It might as well be a fkn Android then…

  • Bruno Coelho

    have you tried turnning off your iDevice? it really saves a lot of battery life!

    what you’re advicing people to do here is to turn their iDevice into a brick with a great screen.
    and to put things even worst, some of the your adivces doesn’t give a second more of battery life.

    my adivce: if you have an iDevice use it as it is supposed to be used: full power.
    you don’t loose you iphone and discover you’re able to find where you lost just because you turned off the location services to save 5 minutes of battery, right? :)

  • ajendus

    “Quiting” apps is completely unessesary. It will not help your battery life unless iris a GPS or music app actually in use and this, would end that task. Other apps can not work more than 10 minutes before the OS puts that task on hold.

  • guest

    the first tip about brightness is complete bogus.  you can’t “double-tap the home button and swipe to the left” to adjust brightness without a jailbreak and software from cydia.  without that, the only home button/swipe option you have is adjusting the volume.

    • http://MacTrast.com J. Glenn Kunzler

      It works on the iPad, but not the iPhone.

  • Cyberhusky

    No need to shut down apps in the task bar.
    I only did suspend some unnessary functions which don’t work europe. But to switch to flightmode during night (when I sleep I don’t want or need to be disturbed by phone calls or other infos NO info is so important to be awaken)
    This way the iPhone only looses 1% battery during night!

J. Glenn Künzler

Author

J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.