iOS 14 on iPhone: Three guaranteed ways to improve battery life

iPhone battery problems under iOS 14 -- even the latest iOS 14.1 release -- continue to cause headaches. But here are three ways to make the battery last longer (along with a bonus tip that will add hours to your battery).
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

iOS 14 has been out for six weeks, and seen a few updates, and battery issues still seem to be at the top of the complaint list. The battery drain issue is so bad that it's noticeable on the Pro Max iPhones with the big batteries.

The battery drain issue is no real problem if you have access to a charger or power bank (except for the long-term battery wear that the excess charging is causing), but what about times when you are away from a charger?

Is there anything that you can do to extend precious battery life and keep it out of the yellow -- or red! -- zone?


Must read: How I changed the way I charge my iPhone and Android smartphones to reduce battery wear

Using iOS 14 to diagnose battery drain

#1: Keep the screen brightness down

This makes a massive difference. Yes, I know that brighter displays are nicer to look at, but it's a huge drain on the battery.

Reducing the screen brightness (either from the Control Center screen or going Settings > Display & Brightness) makes an appreciable difference. And the more you use the handset, the more battery you're saving.

If you have a newer iPhone with the OLED displays, then switching over to Dark Mode (again, you can do this from Control Center screen or going Settings > Display & Brightness) is another good way to save power.

Sure, Dark Mode isn't for everyone, but needs must, right.

#2: Keep your iPhone face down on your desk

Your iPhone -- as long as it is an iPhone 5s or later -- can now use the ambient light detector to tell if it is face down on a surface (or in a pocket or such), and it will not light up the display when you get a notification in.

This, in turn, saves battery life. And the more notifications you get in, the more battery life you save.

For me, this one tip has a huge positive impact on battery life.

If you handle your iPhone a lot when not using it -- some people use them as fidget spinners and all sorts -- then you can also disable Raise to Wake (you can find this in Settings > Display & Brightness) as this again helps keep the display off when you're not actually using your iPhone.

#3: Poor cellular signal

Here's another big drain. Being out of cellular signal makes the iPhone hunt for a connection, and this in turn is a massive drain on the battery. And under iOS 14, this seems to put a big load on the battery.

So, is there anything you can do? It's not like you can build your own cellular transmitter.

There are some things you can do.

  • Put the iPhone into Airplane Mode
  • Change cellular providers
  • Keep a charger when you are in a poor signal zone

Bonus tip

Another thing you can do is to flip your handset into Low Power Mode, but this does disable some features, so you might want to limit it to more dire situations. But this will literally add hours to your battery life, and the sooner you activate it, the more additional hours you'll get.

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