iOS 6 battery saver tips for the iPhone and iPad

iOS 6 battery saver tips for the iPhone and iPad

Summary: Have you updated your iPhone or iPad to iOS 6? Do you feel that you're not getting the same battery life that you were? Here are ten tips to help you bring battery consumption under control and get more work time between recharges.

TOPICS: iOS, Apple, iPhone, iPad, Mobile OS

It's that time again.

Apple releases a new version of iOS, and the complaints that battery life on updated devices is no longer what it used to be start flooding in. I've heard it all before. I heard this from iDevice owners when iOS 3 was released, and again when iOS 4 came out. Then exactly the same thing happened as soon as iOS 5 was made available to the masses.

Now that iOS 6 has been out for a few days, and installed its way onto millions of devices, the Hardware 2.0 mailbox has started to fill up with battery-related commentary.

The pattern is so predicable that I'd be willing to bet the farm that when Apple releases iOS 7, people will reminisce about how good battery life was under iOS 6, and start asking me for tips to get more from their lithium-ion cell.

Fortunately, there's a lot you can do to help you squeeze more out of each recharge. Here I'm going to take a look at a few things you can do to save the milliwatts in exchange for a few more minutes of usage time.

(I've tested every single one of these options and each one does seem to have a positive impact on battery life. I'm not suggestion you employ all of them, but turning off what you don't use makes a lot of sense.)

1. Battery life is probably not as bad as you think it is

My first tip is actually an anti-tip, a tip that suggests you do nothing.

Most people seem to overestimate the impact that a new iOS release has on their battery life and start to get into a mad panic over nothing. This happens as a result of a combination of factors:

  • Paying more attention to the iDevice because of the new operating system;
  • Using the device more;
  • Playing with new features.

It's also worth remembering that if your device is older than a year, then the battery life with naturally degrade over time, at a rate of about 10 percent, give or take, each year. This means that an iPhone 4 that started out life with a standby time of about 300 hours will see that cut to about 270 hours after the first year, to about 240 hours by the end of the seconds year, and to about 220 hours after the third year.

That's just how lithium-ion battery technology is. No matter how much you want it, we can't change the laws for physics quite yet.

2. Drop the screen brightness

One of the easiest ways to improve battery life on the iPhone is to drop the screen brightness. When I updated my iPhone 4 from iOS 4 to iOS 5, Apple jacked the brightness up to a gratuitous supernova level, and the same thing happened when I moved up from iOS 5 to iOS 6.

Unless I'm outdoors and in bright sunshine -- which is rare for me, living in the dark depths of Britain -- I usually keep the screen pretty dim.

Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper

3. Kill background apps

While most background apps don't have any effect on battery life, some apps -- such as those that use the GPS for navigation -- can chew away at the battery when your iDevice is doing nothing.

An Apple Store genius recommend shutting down all background apps every so often. To do this double-tap the Home button to bring up the multitasking bar and then press-and-hold one of the apps so they start to jiggle and the close icon appears. Once this is up, tap each icon in turn to close the app before hitting the Home button one last time to bring things back to normal.

4. Update your apps

I've noticed updating apps is a good way to improve iOS battery life. Seems that while apps designed for earlier iOS releases seem to work fine, they're not as efficient as ones compiled specifically for the new iOS release. This means that you should check for updated apps, and install them regularly.

Click on the App Store icon and then on Update in the menu then Update All.

5. Auto-Lock the screen

Another tip that makes a big difference is to lock the screen after a short interval. This helps conserve battery life because it turns the screen off when your handset is not in use. Set it to go off after a minute or two. This not only saves on the battery, but also protects your device from those that might want to snoop through it.

Settings > General > Auto-Lock

Topics: iOS, Apple, iPhone, iPad, Mobile OS

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  • unlock the iphone

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  • Sucks to be a business guy

    I still don't quite understand how it is the people who use it the most (i.e playing with the new features/apps/etc). Business men still use them a hell of a lot and going off this, they may be better off with an android if apple products are such eaters.

    My iTouch has gone considerably worse since the update. I rarely use mine apart from the alarm and checking social media sites on my lunch.

    Before the update, I got the best part of a week before charging. After the update, I'm lucky to get a day out of it until it needs charging again.

    I'm sorry but I'm not gonna buy this article quoting that its the users error if people like me rarely use it at all.
    • Wild west

      I don't think Android is a solution to problems with power drain. Android is like the wild west and plenty of apps will drain battery severely in the background, especially for people that got no clue.

      Background downloads, checking mail, and the things mentioned in the article is a choice the user can make between function, convenience and battery time. Since we got different preferences, not all user will be happy with the default. I don't mind charging a smart phone each night. I also got a small portable battery that can be used to charge smart phones, iPods etc. It weigh similar as an iPhone and can charge the iPhone 3 times before itself need recharge. I find it handy to have that battery on travels, since then I dare to use my devices more. Very nice to recharge on the table or in the bag without looking for power outlets.
  • the best solution

    If you don't use your phone, just turn it off please. That solves WhatEverYourSmartphoneBrandIs battery issue. /sarcasm
    Ram U
    • re: the best solution

      Yes, it also solves the WifeIsCallingAndWantsYouToBringHomeDinner problem, as well, SheWantsToKnowWhenYouWillBeHomeSoThatYouCanTakeCareOfTheKids. As soon as those problems go away, your life is great again. //sarcasm //youthink?

      if HappyWife == HappyLife;
      then NoBatteryLife == UnhappyWife ==MiserableLifeWhenYouGetHome;
  • Battery Life

    Yes the battery life issues are real. No there isn't a resolution, there are work arounds, such as this article but it really isn't and probably won't be fixed. I have just gotten in the habit of keeping a charger at home and a charger at work. It's really the only way I have found to make it through the day. Anyone else?
  • Battery life

    I am amazed at what the standby battery life is supposed to be. My device is 10 months old and it is a given that it gets charged at bedtime and mid-day, everyday! I don't keep apps running in the background with the exception of Pandora, but Pandora takes forever to get going again if I close it. I work so I only check for messages periodically throughout the day, but that's it! Maybe I got a bad battery or maybe I didn't condition it correctly....but what I would give if I could get through 24 hours without charging! Well........truthfully, I wouldn't give it up for an Android!
  • Android answer

    I am a brand new iPhone 5 user and just came from the world of Android. I have all Apple products including Apple TV, iMac, iPad. No brainier getting the iPhone. Anyway, to even suggest an Android phone would be a better battery choice makes me laugh. Some days it was fine. Others dead after 4 hours without even using it. All cell phone makers battery life claims are ridiculously optimistic. This one gets me thru the day fine and charge at night.
    Brian Pex
  • battery only problem in iphone

    Yes the battery life issues are real. No there isn't a resolution, there are work arounds, such as this article but it really isn't and probably won't be fixed. I have just gotten in the habit of keeping a charger at home and a charger at work. It's really the only way I have found to make it through the day. you have run behind the battery realy problem only bettery.