You love your iPhone, but you don’t love its wimpy battery. It’s frustrating that such a beautiful and useful piece of technology doesn’t have enough battery life to survive an entire day’s use.
One answer is to simply use your iPhone less. For most of us, that is not an acceptable solution. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with “use it less” as an answer.
In this post, I share 11 tips for dramatically increasing the battery life of your iPhone… and one “cheat” maneuver that can double your battery life.
- Lock your screen. I notice many iPhone users make the mistake of not locking their screen. In other words, after making a call, checking their email, or using their iPhone for some other purpose, they leave the screen active. When you do this, you risk accidentally activating an app, making a phone call, etc. This can be embarrassing, but also drains battery life. When you are finished using your iPhone, tap the button on the top right of the phone and turn the screen off.
- Set a shorter Auto-Lock time. Just in case you forget to lock your screen, iPhone will do it for you. Setting this Auto-Lock feature to the shortest possible time preserves battery life. Go to Settings, General, Auto-Lock, and choose 1 Minute.
- Turn off email fetching. One good way to murder your iPhone battery is to have it frequently and automatically check your email account. Save and extend your battery life by going to Settings, “Mail, Contacts, Calendar”, Fetch New Data, and select “Manual”.
- Turn off Bluetooth. If you don’t regularly use Bluetooth, or you’re not using it right now, keeping it on is a waste of precious battery life. Disable it by going to Settings, General, and Bluetooth.
- Turn off Location Services. This may not work for you if you’re in a foreign country, or if you frequently use your iPhone as a GPS unit. However, if you completely turn off Location Services, many believe this significantly extends your battery life. You can always turn it back on if you need to use Maps, etc. Go to Settings, General, Location Services, and click “Off”.
- Shutdown apps when you finish using them. Many don’t realize that when you use an app on your iPhone, and then switch to another app, the first app remains active in the background. Each app consumes precious battery life while it is running in the background. To shut them all down, double-click the iPhone’s Home Button (that big round button at the bottom of your iPhone’s front face). A row of running apps will appear across the bottom of your screen. Touch and hold one of them until they all begin to wiggle, then tap the red X in the corner of each app to shut it down. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to shut them all down at once.
- Turn off Push Notifications. Push Notifications make those little alerts pop-up on your iPhone screen, telling you that you have a text message, that your friend Alice just checked in on Foursquare at Trader Joe’s, that you just earned a new star by giving Starbucks another five dollars, etc. I don’t like push notifications purely from a productivity standpoint. They’re almost as bad for your productivity as automatically checking email. Push notifications also dramatically decrease your iPhone’s battery life. Go to Settings, Notifications, and then manually disable notifications for the noncritical apps. That should be most of them. Only leave this feature on for apps you absolutely must be notified by (such as your home security system app, etc).
- Turn off Auto-Brightness. There is a lot of conflicting advice about this feature. Some argue that turning on Auto-Brightness. allows your iPhone to automatically adjust to the lighting conditions of your current location, dimming the screen when appropriate, and thereby saving battery power. My own practical experience tells me this is not true. I get better battery life by turning off Auto-Brightness., and setting the brightness of my screen to the lowest level I can tolerate. If I am in a particularly bright location, such as outdoors in sunlight, I can always turn up the brightness temporarily. To turn off Auto-Brightness, go to Settings and then Brightness & Wallpaper.
- Turn off Wi-Fi (most of the time). Leaving Wi-Fi on drains your battery, because your iPhone constantly seeks to connect with every Wi-Fi network it encounters.
If you don’t actually need Wi-Fi, turn it off by going to Settings, Wi-Fi.
- Keep your software up-to-date. You should regularly make sure your iPhone’s operating system software is up-to-date. Frequently, Apple issues updates to the software that improve the battery life of your phone (or fixes bugs that have been draining the battery life, in some cases). To make sure your software is up-to-date, go to Settings, General, Software Update.
- Pick up your iPhone less. Every time you pick up your iPhone to check for new emails, text messages, the time, etc. you consume battery life. The mere act of activating your screen, and then putting it back to sleep consumes battery power. You might be surprised as you begin to notice how often you reflexively engage in this behavior. Pick up your iPhone less, and extend its battery life.
The “Cheat Maneuver” That Doubles iPhone Battery Life
Buy an external battery for your iPhone.
There are a few options available, but I personally recommend the Mophie Juicepack. This external iPhone battery is actually an iPhone case that is beautiful and elegant, protects your iPhone from drops and bumps, and serves as your secret weapon in the battery wars.
When your iPhone drops into the red zone, you simply flick a little switch on the Juicepack, and Mophie goes to work restoring your iPhone power level to 100%.
I like the way this case looks on my iPhone. I frequently get questions and complements about it when I use it in public. One of the best features is I never have to take the case off. I can charge the iPhone and the Juicepack simultaneously each night.
While I use all the tips I listed earlier, I am a heavy iPhone user. I travel frequently, spend lots of time at seminars, conferences, and meetings, and need to know my iPhone is powered up and ready to use at all times. The Mophie Juicepack makes that happen.
Put these tips to work, and enjoy your iPhones’s newfound battery life.
Question: what “tricks” do you use to extend the battery life of your iPhone? Leave your tips in the comments below.