Over the last few years we have seen numerous astonishing improvements in our mobile devices – in many respects the phones and tablets we use are becoming as powerful as current generation laptops and ultra books. Sadly, there is still one area in technology that’s lagging behind and could do with a couple of breakthroughs – batteries. Although new devices may offer longer battery lives, those improvements are the result of chip sets with higher efficiency and larger form factors that accommodate bigger batteries. So until new kinds of batteries come to market, we’ll have to optimize our devices for longer battery life by cherry-picking the features and services we need and switching off all the unnecessary ones. So let’s run through 10 of the most power-hungry features that come with your iPhone or iPad.
1. Turn On Airplane Mode.
If you’re not using your cellular connection and you don’t expect that you’ll be receiving calls, turning on Airplane Mode is one of the easiest and most impactful ways to improve your battery life. To enable Airplane Mode, turn it on in Control Center or in the Settings app.
Tip: You can turn on Wifi and Bluetooth while you’re in Airplane mode, so you won’t be completely cut off from the world and your device’s accessories!
Another Tip: You’ll notice a considerable charging speed increase for devices that charge while in Airplane Mode.
2. Turn off Background App Refresh.
This technology allows apps to refresh their contents in the background. For example Twitter and Facebook take advantage of Background App Refresh to regularly update their timelines so you don’t have to wait for new content when you launch your social media app. To see which apps to refresh themselves in the background, go to Settings, tap on General and choose Background App Refresh. Here you can disable the entire background app refresh system by off Background App Refresh. You can also pick and choose which apps should take advantage of this technology via their respective toggles.
3. Disable Lock Screen notifications.
Not many people realize it, but having yourdevice’s screen light up every time you receive a notification has a huge impact on your battery life. Therefore, recommend keeping lock screen notifications only for essential apps that are really important to you. To adjust lock screen notifications for apps, go to Settings and choose Notifications. Now tap on an app and find the Show on Lock Screen toggle. If the app is nonessential, turned this toggle to the off position. Repeat this process for all nonessential apps on your device.
4.Turn off Bluetooth, Wifi, LTE, 3G/4G, Vibration.
We’ll look at those separately:
Bluetooth, Wifi – if you don’t use any Bluetooth devices with your iPhone or iPad, you can safely turn Bluetooth off either from Settings or from Control Center. By the same logic you can turn off Wifi if you’re not using it either from Settings or from Control Center.
LTE, 3G/4G – if you are in an area with bad cell reception, your phone or tablet will try to connect to the technology that offers the highest speed. And if that technology’s coverage happens to be spotty, your cell radio will use up your battery like nobody’s business. Therefore, we recommend turning off the offending technology. If that’s LTE, go to Settings, tap on Cellular and turn off LTE. If 3G/4G is causing you problems, go to Settings, tap on Cellular and turn off 3G.
Tip: It may seem logical to turn off as many cell technologies as possible in order to save battery life, but if you’re using your cellular connection on a regular basis, this is actually not the case. In nearly all scenarios, you will use up more energy by loading a website using a slower network technology when compared to loading the same website on the fastest network possible.
Vibration – it turns out, it takes a good deal of energy to shake a phone. If you feel that you do not need this feature, you can safely disable it by going to Settings and choosing Sounds. At the top you’ll see two toggles for Vibration – one for Ring and one for Silent. Turn both toggles off if you want your phone to be completely vibration-free, or choose a different setting combo depending on your preferences.
5. Review battery statistics to find out faulty and not optimized apps.
iOS 8 comes with a very powerful battery usage screen that allows you to see how much each app has cost you in terms of battery life. Navigate to this screen by opening Settings and tapping on General, Usage and Battery Usage.
It is important understand that seeing an app with a high percentage next to it is not necessarily a cause for alarm. For example, if you’re using the Facebook app for a few hours every day, it is completely normal to see a high battery usage for Facebook. It may even be your most energy-hungry app. What you should be looking for are apps that you haven’t opened recently that still show up high on the list. If you find such an app, you can quit it or delete it.
6. Lower your screen’s brightness.
Big devices have big screens. And big screens require a lot of energy to light up. Save some of that energy by lowering your screen brightness either from Control Center or from the Display section in Settings.
7. Quit running apps.
Although varied, quitting all running apps will have a positive impact on your battery life. It will even cause a noticeable performance improvement on the older-generation devices. To quit running apps, enter the multitasking view by pressing the Home button twice and swipe up every app to quit it.
8. Disable Location Services.
Another way of ensuring a short battery life is to have your GPS tracking you all the time. Go to Settings followed by Privacy and Location Services to see all the apps that use your location. You can improve your battery life, and your privacy, by going through each app that doesn’t necessarily need to know where you are and limiting its GPS access by tapping on it and changing the Location Access rights.
9. Turn off Push Notifications and disable fetching of emails.
We’ll break this one down into two parts:
Turn off Push Notifications – Applications know when there is something they need to tell you, by keeping a constant connection to a server even when the app is not actively running. Needless to say, this doesn’t help your battery situation. You can disable notifications for nonessential apps by going to Settings and choosing Notifications. Here you need to tap on each nonessential app and turn off Allow Notifications.
Turn off push email and disable fetching – if you have several email accounts on your device that are constantly checking for new messages, you may want to consider turning off the automatic mail checking for email addresses that don’t receive time-sensitive emails. To do so, open Settings and go to Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Choose Fetch New Data and tap each email that receives messages that are not time-sensitive and choose the Manual option. All manual emails are checked only when you open the Mail app.
Tip: In the Fetch New Data screen, you may have noticed that some email registrations push notifications to you, while others fetch them. You can lower the Fetch frequency by scrolling to the bottom of the page and choosing an option such as Hourly. You may also choose Manually if all services fetching you data are not time-sensitive.
10. Reduce special effects.
iOS 8 comes with a lot of eye candy. Unfortunately, this eye candy also impacts battery life. You can reclaim a small portion of your battery by going to Settings and navigating to General, followed by Accessibility. Here you can tap on Reduce Motion and switch it on in order to decrease the parallax effect on the home screen and on modal notifications. Another option you can disable is the blur and transparency effect by going to Increase Contrast and turning Reduce Transparency on.