With IOS 7 being recently released, and with it, the barrage of complaints about iPhone battery life, it’s time to take a look at just how many applications and other features an iPhone, or any other smart phone for that matter, attempts to run at once, and just how much of an impact this has on the device’s battery life. After all, a phone packed with new features is rendered completely worthless if it’s only able to function for a few hours away from a wall socket!
Whether you’re disappointed with the performance of your post IOS 7 iPhone, or you’re looking to squeeze a few more hours between charges on your Android or other device, here are a few tips on how you can optimize your battery life by reducing the number of energy-draining functions your phone performs.
Background app updates
Background app updates run automatically, keeping your apps up to date without you even noticing. They automatically search for the newest versions of your apps and update them when the newest version is found. This can be useful, especially if having the most recent version of apps is important to you, but is worth switching off if you are happy to search for updates manually.
Apps also update their content in the background, making sure that everything from maps to social media streams are kept up-to-date in real time. Some apps are worth keeping constantly updated, whilst others are less important. You can toggle these app updates on/off individually, allowing you to choose which ones update in the background, saving you battery power.
Bluetooth and other file-transferring tools
Bluetooth, and other file-transferring tools such as the iPhone’s Air Drop can be highly useful in sharing files with other devices including phones, laptops, tablets and even games consoles. But these features don’t need to be left on constantly in order to do their job, and in fact, doing so can see your battery life drop considerably. Toggle Bluetooth on and off under the wireless/network settings, or install an on/off switch as a widget on your phone’s home page. Air Drop can also be toggled on or off on the control centre of your iPhone.
GPS has revolutionised the way we use our phones, turning them from simple communication devices to interactive maps, and ways to discover new venues and services in the local area. But your phone’s location settings can vary in importance and usefulness, meaning it can be a good idea to switch off some of the less useful ones in order to save battery. Using GPS to operate Google maps can be a valuable feature, while location tagging on Facebook or Instagram is less essential. Switch off GPS on all of your apps using your phone’s location settings, or switch off location tagging on individual apps using their own settings pages.
Phones may have developed HD screens and use vibrant colours, but are those bright screens always necessary? Turning down your display brightness is one of the simplest ways to make your phone battery last longer. Start by switching off “auto brightness”, then turn down to a brightness that allows you to still see the screen. Chances are you’ll be surprised at how low the brightness can be for your phone to still be perfectly useable. Brightness can usually be adjusted under your phone’s “wallpaper and brightness” or “display” settings, and is a great first step to take if you notice your battery is getting low. Remember, your screen doesn’t need to be bright enough to light up the whole room, that’s what the torch app is for!
While you probably have a fairly hefty data allowance, your phone’s wifi capabilities can often be a useful way of saving money on your phone bill. But chances are, you only use your phone’s wifi where you have a reliable signal- at home or at work. But keep your wifi switched on and your phone could be wasting battery by trying to search for and connect to whichever weak wifi networks it can find, whether you want to use them or not. Keep your wifi switched off and only turn it on when you want to connect to a reliable network. This helps to make your phone battery last longer by stopping the sending and receiving of signals between your device and the hundreds of wifi networks it comes into contact with every day.
One of the things that makes iPhones and other smart phones so visually appealing is their wide range of animated backgrounds which bring your home screen to life. But while these animated and even interactive backgrounds might look great, they use far more energy than the standard, static background image. Animated backgrounds can usually be found alongside conventional wallpapers under your phone’s display settings. To save battery life, choose a non-animated background. It needn’t be boring, there are plenty of stylish images to choose from, or make your display more personal by using one of your own photos as a wallpaper.
Image sourced: Gonzalo Baeza Htagselectronicsgadgetsgreen livinggreen technology