It’s well-known that, with the release of iOS 5, battery life has been less than exemplary. I’ve been slammed with it, too, and am feeling the repercussions when I’m only halfway through the day and I get that dreaded low battery warning on my iPhone — not only my iPhone, but any iDevice has been struck hard for those of us who have updated. Apple has been actively pursuing a solution to the problem and even called complaining owners personally to have them install diagnostic tools for troubleshooting. Since then, iOS 5.0.1 has been released to combat the problem a little bit, with a full solution promised in an iOS 5.0.2 release soon.
While we wait for a solution to come from Apple on the dire battery issue that has left many of us buying external battery packs or even carrying around our chargers with us everywhere we go. Some solutions have been found by tweaking location settings and app preferences. These are temporary solutions and do nothing to fix the power sucking issue with iDevices; they only hinder it by turning off some features to save on the power. In reality, we shouldn’t even have to turn off these features and should have sufficient battery life. This isn’t the case, though. If you’re like me and find your device constantly running out of power, take a look at these tips to slow down the power consumption monster.
What You Can Do on the Phone
Disable location services. The GPS is one of the biggest power hogs out there; it sucks power to provide a wide array of apps from Foursquare to Maps to path your location when it isn’t needed or wanted. To kill this at the source, under Settings and Location Services, you can manually go down the list and disable a specific app from accessing your location or you can take them all out in one punch. An advantage to this is added privacy from apps that are trying to track your location, but direction-based apps that you might rely upon are going to be left in the dark when you switch them all off.
Disable notifications from unnecessary apps. If you’re an app junkie like me, you’ve probably downloaded an app here or there and, when you first started it, you obviously pressed the allow notifications button when it asked so it could alert you. On some applications like Twitter, it’s perfectly fine, but on other apps it isn’t necessary. By disabling push notifications from less-used apps, you can add just a bit more battery life because your device won’t be constantly going to the application and asking if it has any updates to push to you.
Disable push emails. Instead of letting your phone check in like an antsy child for new emails the second they arrive in your inbox, try turning this feature off to only check for emails manually. This will save a considerable amount of battery life, but will mean that you won’t get emails the second that they’ve been sent. It’ll require you to go into the Mail app and hit the refresh button. This can combat battery life and give you a break from your inbox. If it isn’t a mission critical mailbox, go ahead and turn it to manual — or you can even increase the time between automatic checks. Checking your inbox every minute isn’t that necessary, is it?
Download from Wi-Fi rather than a 3G connection. If you’re downloading anything and it’s a large file size, your best bet is to stick with Wi-Fi to download the package. Wi-Fi generally downloads faster, unless you’re in a hotel room, than your standard 3G connection. It’s also generally known that the 3G antenna is greedy about getting power from your battery and will consume a lot more juice than Wi-Fi. It might also save you money on your data plan; if you’re downloading too often on 3G, you might meet your data cap earlier than expected or desired.
Clean out your multitasking apps if they’re open. With the introduction of multitasking on your device, it’s all too often that you’ll open up an application and hit the home button thinking you’ve fully closed out of the application, but it’s still running in the background. Apps will run in the background and consume battery if they’re like the Facebook and Foursquare apps that, by default, check for updates constantly. Just double tap that home button and hold down the button on an open app to make the removal button appear; now close out of all the apps that you aren’t actively using at the moment. Right there, you’ve saved so much battery life. It’s also wise to clean out your multitasking queue because apps can get stacked up there and take up all your RAM, causing apps to run sluggishly.
If you’ve tried all of the above solutions and still find your battery being depleted before the day is over, we have a couple of solutions for you. Even when our devices run fine without power sucking apps, it’s always nice to have a backup plan, like an extra battery. But the iPhone is special because, unlike other phones, it doesn’t have a battery door that is easily accessible. This has left manufacturers with only one choice when providing external power to an iPhone: an integrated case and power pack that uses the dock connector on the iPhone to constantly provide power to the device. The Mophie Juice Pack is an excellent example of innovation that has come out of designing a stylish, slim power pack for the iPhone. The design is phenomenal, sleek, and doesn’t give too much extra bulk to the device. This is the best bet for anyone who needs more power to their iPhone to almost double its power’s lifespan.
If getting a battery case for the iPhone is a bit too much for you, or you’re attracted to your phone case too much, then there’s only one option for you. That’s always having a charging cord on you. You can get everything from one that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter to the USB cable that can plug into your computer or a wall power adapter.
These are just a few of the many options to save battery and power your device for longer. If you have anything else that saves you battery life on your phone, let us know your tips and tricks.