Five popular apps that kill iPhone battery life

There are some apps that simply seem to suck away the iPhone's battery life. Real-world testing of a raft of popular apps uncovers which have the biggest impact on battery life.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

While there are all sorts of tricks that you can do to squeeze extra battery life out of your iPhone, at the end of the day, any apps you use are going to start eating at your battery life. But it seems that some apps are more battery-heavy than others.

See also: Five iPhone battery-saving tips that really work (and five that are useless)

But which apps are the worst offenders for killing battery life?

Here I take some 50 of the most popular apps for the iPhone (I've excluded gaming and camera apps because it's hard to test these in any meaningful way), and use the built-in battery usage monitor (Settings > Battery) to keep an eye on the battery consumption.

Since this is real-world testing, and your real-world is likely to be different to mine (your usage is going to be different, as are other variables such as Wi-Fi strength and such), your mileage will undoubtedly vary.


Without a doubt the biggest battery hog I've seen. Not only does it tear through the battery when it's actively being used, but it's also a huge hog when it's in the background too.

I knew that this would be a battery-heavy app from past experience. I'm not a particularly heavy Facebook user and find it annoying, so I can't imagine how bad it must be for people who are on Facebook a lot.

My advice is to either close the app when it's not in use, or prevent it from working in the background (Settings > General > Background App Refresh). Alternatively, you could access Facebook via a browser.

Google Chrome

I like Google Chrome, but I'm paying a huge battery penalty for choosing it over Safari. Apple has done a good job of optimizing the code in its apps. Google, on the other hand, has a long way to go. Chrome is a solid browser, but it uses many times more power than the built-in browser. Yes, you read that right. We're not talking about a small difference here.

If you want the best battery life, use Safari.


Here's another app that not only rips through battery life while you're using it, but it's also continually polling for new tweets when in the background. The more people you follow, the harder the app works and the more it hits the battery.

My advice is to either close the app when it's not in use, or prevent it from working in the background (Settings > General > Background App Refresh).

Google Maps

Another example of being hit with a penalty for using a third-party app over the stock app. But since the Google Maps app offers a great deal more functionality compared to Apple's Maps app, it's not surprising that it's such a battery hog. After all, there's no such thing as a free lunch.


Here's another app that not only burns through battery life during use - it's the heaviest app of its kind that I tested - but it also continues to hammer at the battery when it's in the background.

You could disable the app in the background, but then you're only going to be available when the app is in the foreground. Alternatively, you could try to convince your family/friends/colleagues to use iMessage and FaceTime instead.


  • Stock apps are the better choice if you want to get the most from your battery.
  • Social media apps are hard on the battery
  • Certain apps running in the background can be a real drain on the battery, so consider shutting off their access using the Background App Refresh setting.
  • To find out how your apps are behaving, keep an eye on the battery usage information (Settings > Battery).

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