When I asked my readers what iPhone improvements they wanted to see in 2010, lots said better battery life was among their iPhone wishes. Understandable. My fully-charged iPhone battery rarely makes it through the day.
But the problem is not that the iPhone has a weak battery, it’s that when you’re constantly browsing the web; checking Mail, Twitter and Facebook; and running iPhone app after iPhone app, OF COURSE you’re going to drain the battery.
If you want to run the most powerful mobile device on the market, you’re going to have to accept a heavy toll on your battery life. You can’t have it all.
Nevertheless, there are things you can do to conserve your iPhone battery life. Here are 7 ways to make your iPhone battery last a little bit longer. Some of these solutions may prevent you from using your iPhone to its full potential, but all are great for those times when you are running low on battery and you want to make sure your iPhone makes it through the day.
- Turn OFF the “Ask to Join Networks” feature. By constantly searching for a nearby Wi-Fi network, iPhone places a heavy burden on your battery. You can tell it not to look for available networks by turning OFF “Ask to Join Networks” in Settings under Wi-Fi. You will still be able to join available Wi-Fi networks manually.
- Lower the screen brightness. The lower the brightness, the lower the demand on your battery. To lower the iPhone’s screen brightness, go to Settings >> Brightness.
- Turn off Notifications. If you have enabled Notifications, your iPhone is constantly searching for updates from certain apps. For example, Facebook notifies me when someone posts on my wall, Twitter notifies me when someone mentions me, and the Words With Friends game notifies me when it is my move. Turning off notifications under Settings >> Notifications will save you lots of battery.
- Turn off the data Push and Fetch features. Under Settings >> Mail, Contacts, Calendars, the Push and Fetch features instantly send new data to your iPhone (Push) and search for it at periodic intervals (Fetch). For example, Google Calendars pushes new calendar items I’ve added from my computer onto my iPhone instantly, and the iPhone’s Mail app can be set to fetch new mail every 15, 30 or 60 minutes. Turning off Push and setting Fetch to “Manually” will save you some precious battery life.
- Shorten the Auto-Lock time. You can set your iPhone display to turn off after 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 minutes of inactivity, or to never turn off. By having your display auto-lock after 1 minute, you are ensuring that your display is off more often and thus using less battery. Go to Settings >> General >> Auto-Lock to set your preferred auto-lock time.
- Disable 3G. 3G uses more battery than Wi-Fi or EDGE, so if you can afford to turn it off in times of low battery, using EDGE or Wi-Fi instead will prolong your charge. To disable 3G, go to Settings >> General >> Network and toggle the button to the OFF position.
- Enable Airplane Mode. Enabling Airplane Mode in Settings will disable all network connections, including your cellular signal, 3G, EDGE and Wi-Fi. It is a drastic move, but if you’re low on battery and all you want to do is listen to some music or use an app that doesn’t require an Internet connection, then Airplane Mode is a good idea. Also, if I don’t have access to my charger overnight, I’ll put my phone on Airplane Mode while I sleep, leaving my phone turned on so I can wake up with an alarm.
My prediction is that iPhone’s battery will always seem “weak,” no matter how hard Apple tries to improve it. They will introduce the next iPhone and it will no doubt sport a better battery, but it will also feature powerful new capabilities that will drain that battery. Did you really think you could run those killer augmented reality apps without killing your battery life? But the tips noted above will help you conserve battery life when you need it the most.
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