Don’t let your iPhone conk off
Published on April 1, 2014
Apple’s latest iPhones still don’t pack as much battery life as some of their nearest competitors. However, by applying a few system tweaks, you can improve your iPhone’s battery life. Here’s how you can conserve your mobile’s power.
TURN OFF AIRDROP
AirDrop is available for iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c devices running iOS 7, allowing you to share files and photos over the air when they are in close proximity. However, its use take a heavy toll on the battery. Swipe up from your home screen to bring up the Control Centre, then tap AirDrop. Select Off when you’re not using it.
LIMIT APPS FROM CHURNING UP DATA
You can now limit which dormant apps download data and consume power in the background. To change this setting, tap through to Settings > General > Background App Refresh, then deselect apps that you do not want to update in the background when they’re not in use.
DISABLE AUTO APP UPDATES
iOS 7 will now update your apps and music in the background if you’re connected to Wi-Fi networks. However, this consumes data and power. To disable this, tap the Settings icon, scroll down to iTunes & App Store and turn off the Updates and Apps settings. Another quick power (and data) saving tip: You can allow updates when you’re on Wi-Fi only by deselecting Use Cellular Data at the same time.
BLOCK PERSISTENT CALLERS
Calls significantly drain your battery metre, even if you don’t pick up incoming calls. If you get the same persistent person calling, you can now block them from reaching you. To do this, head back to Settings and scroll down to Phone. Scroll down further to Blocked and select the contacts you wish to automatically refuse access. While this feature blocks the call coming through, it doesn’t prevent the caller from leaving you a voicemail.
NO ‘LEARNING’ FREQUENT LOCATIONS
Your iOS 7-powered iPhone from the get-go records where you go so it can pick out nuggets of information that may help you. It updates the Today section in your notification centre. While it’s a handy feature, it is far from necessary. Buried deep down in the device’s settings, you have to navigate to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services, then switch off the Frequent Locations option. You can also delete any data collected by tapping Clear History at the bottom of the screen.
TURN OFF ‘PARALLAX’ MOTION
If you slowly jiggle your iPhone in your hand, you may notice the “parallax” effect of three-dimensional icons sitting on top of your wallpaper. This effect uses internal hardware to sense the direction, speed, and motion of your movements. This, as you might expect, will drain the battery. Though flashy and visually quite cool, it’s not wholly necessary if you’re a power user. To disable the “moving wallpaper” feature, head to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion, then flick the switch in the on position.
DISABLE SIRI’S ‘RAISE TO SPEAK’
Siri can be activated by holding your iPhone close to your face, as though you’re having a face-to-face talk with the intelligent assistant. But the proximity hardware sensor is always checking to see if you are nearby. This may impact the battery. Head to Settings > General > Siri, then disable the Raise to Speak button to disable the feature. You can still hold down the home button to speak to Siri.
PREVENT SPOTLIGHT SEARCH
Spotlight needs to index your entire phone’s contents regularly so that it can serve up the best results. This may not use up a whole lot of processing power, but it’s helpful in the long run by removing items from the list that you don’t use. You can select which areas of your phone to index by heading to Settings > General > Spotlight Search and tapping any item you wish to exclude from the search index.
TAME YOUR NOTIFICATIONS
Notifications alone don’t cause battery drainage, but the sheer act of activating the backlit display will. It’s wise to set some notifications to “silent” mode, but this requires some tinkering about in the settings. Head to Settings > Notification Center, then scroll down. Under each category of notifications that you would like to mute, such as low-priority features like Photos or Game Center, tap through to each setting. Under Alert Style, simply tap None (the left-most graphic). Repeat for each setting
NO ‘DYNAMIC’ WALLPAPERS
iOS 7 now comes with dynamic wallpapers that adjust based on your hand movements, such as bubbles that float around the screen depending on which way you hold your iPhone. These moving backgrounds consume far more battery power than regular static wallpapers. To select a “still” wallpaper, go to Settings > Wallpapers & Brightness and scroll down, then tap your existing wallpaper under Choose Wallpaper. Either select a background from the Stills category, or a static photo of your own choosing.
TURN OFF AUTO-BRIGHTNESS
The best practice seems to point to disabling the auto-brightness. Go to Settings > Wallpapers & Brightness, then reduce the brightness to 10-25 percent, or whatever feels comfortable.
NO LOCATION SYSTEM SERVICES
Location services use GPS for location-aware apps and services. While it’s useful knowing where you are on Google Maps, what you don’t see is what is going on behind the scenes. ADs are being displayed based on your location, and traffic data is updated — meanwhile, your iPhone is always pinging out to see where you are to keep an eye on which time zone you’re in. All of these things are unnecessary. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services.
When On, scroll down to System Services, then uncheck all of these items. When you’re not using Location Services, such as GPS, then simply turn it Off.
SWITCH OFF WI-FI, BLUETOOTH
If you are not near or not using a Wi-Fi hotspot, or sending items to other devices using Bluetooth, these can (and should) be turned off. Under the swipe-up Control Center, tap the Wi-Fi button (second in from the left) off, and the Bluetooth button (middle) also off.