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iPhone battery

20 battery-saving tips for your iPhone 5S

An iPhone with a battery that drains faster than a speeding bullet is nothing new for thousands of iDevice owners. Recently though, Apple said that a limited number of iPhone 5S’ had a manufacturing issue which caused the battery to drain faster than usual. There are ways to counteract this and to improve or extend the battery life of your iPhone. Here’s how:

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  1. Turn off WiFi when it’s not needed. WiFi sucks the life out of any battery, not at a devastating rate mind you, but if you’re constantly streaming information your iPhone’s battery will be significantly degraded.
  2. Keep the phone at room temperature. Apple itself suggests that iPhones should be kept at a temperature below 35-degrees (95 Fahrenheit) because that’s “ideal”.
  3. Turn down the brightness. The display of any phone affects the battery the most. Keep it on “auto” or keep the brightness slider near to the end. Go to Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper to change this or just drag up the quick settings slider on iOS 7.
  4. When there’s no signal, turn your iPhone into an iPod Touch. Go to Settings > Airplane Mode or set it on the quick settings slider. Airplane mode turns off all incoming and outgoing data packets which will turn your iPhone into an iPod Touch and save on battery at the same time.
  5. Who needs vibration? The vibration feature uses a small rotational motor that’s powered by the battery. Go to settings > sounds > vibrate and turn it off.
  6. Shorten screen timeout. The faster your phone dims, the quicker you save on battery life. Go to Settings > General > Auto Lock and select the shortest possible timeout.
  7. Turn off or reduce the amount of apps using Location Services. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and turn off each app selectively or all at once. Apps that use this, like Facebook, are a battery drain.
  8. Switch off Bluetooth. Unless you’re paired to a Bluetooth headset all day, this radio service is better off deactivated. Go to Settings > Bluetooth and toggle it off.
  9. Make adverts sad. You can limit ad tracking on iOS 7 by going to Settings > Privacy > Advertising and changing it there. Anything that is resident in the background is bad for the battery.
  10. Disable LTE. 4G radio kills batteries. To disable it, go to Settings > Mobile and turn LTE to off.
  11. Reduce the amount of background apps. Double click the Home Button to see all active apps. Apple “pauses” apps in the background and dedicates a small amount of battery life in keeping them up and running. When you’re not using an app, just open up the multitasking menu and swipe up on the open app to end it. On anything under iOS 7, double tap the home button, long press on an open app until it wiggles and tap “x”.
  12. Reduce Data Fetching. The constant pushing and pulling of data kills any phone, not just the iPhone. To reduce data fetch time, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data and change the settings to either “manually” or “hourly”. Or, turn it off altogether if you want to feel very lonely indeed.
  13. Use GPS less. Triangulating your position is a power-intensive task. But turning it off will cause almost every app to beg for it to be turned back on. The solution is to use GPS as little as possible, so only pull out Google Maps if you really need to. As a rule of thumb, you could always start blocking new apps from using GPS.
  14. Reboot. Sometimes the battery will drain for no seeming reason at all. In this case, reboot the iPhone for a fresh start and the hope that most of the battery draining issues will reset.
  15. Keep iOS and apps updated. Keeping your iPhone and apps updated is one of the easiest and most time-savings ways of maximising battery life. Developers are constantly working on ways to tune the battery drain of their apps, so update whenever possible.
  16. Why not try a battery case? Battery cases like what Mophie offers costs under R1000 (US$100) and can in some cases double your battery life. Sure, the phone grows a little in width but what it provides is almost 80% more power.
  17. Keep Siri turned off. Go to Settings > General > Siri and toggle it to “off”. Siri is always running in the background, so it’s definitely draining your battery.
  18. Don’t use Parallax Motion. That fancy new iOS 7 effect, called Parallax, is constantly using the motion sensors, another battery hog. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion to turn it off.
  19. Disable notification centre apps you don’t use. iOS 7 gives us a brand new look to our notifications, but a lot of us don’t need Stock or Reminder on, as an example. To limit the amount of notifications go to Settings > Notification Center > and under “Today View” toggle off whatever you don’t need to see.
  20. If all else fails, reset as new. If your iPhone is still draining constantly and there’s no obvious solution, your best and most extreme bet is to format the device. First back it up and then go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content And Settings. As we said, this is the last option if nothing else works. So back up, format and hopefully enjoy better battery life. If your iPhone continues to drain after this, send it in for repairs or take it to an Apple Store.

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  • RickCarson

    Thanks for the great tips. I’ve changed settings and would love to see my iphone last longer between charges. On no#16 – I’d like to suggest also a portable charger instead of a battery case. I hate to make my iphone any bulkier or heavier than it needs to be. I have both battery case and portable chargers and finds the portable chargers much more practical – instead of adding extra thickness/weight to the iPhone which I constantly, having a portable charger in my bag provides the extra power only when I need it. Apple stores carries Mophie which are a good portable chargers but very pricey ($50-$100). I’ve used other solid and economical chargers such as Pocket Boost chargers by Nextek Energy and Astro chargers by Anker. You can typically get a 4000mAh charger which is enough to fully charge iphone twice over for under $30.

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