While your iPhone’s new operating system comes with plenty of advantages, iOS 7’s not without its drawbacks. Battery life just ain’t quite what you’d want it to be, but we’ve got some tips to squeeze the most out of that sucker and stay juiced all day long.
Many of iOS 7’s fancy new features are handy if you need/want them. If you don’t, they’re just eating away at that precious battery life behind the scenes, and give you exactly zero help for your trouble. So shut ’em down.
Keep it cool
It’s easy to worry about bad charging habits thanks to the training we’ve had from old rechargeable batteries, but lithium-ion batteries have a worse enemy: heat. Your smartphone’s battery will degrade much much faster when it’s hot, regardless of whether it’s being used or just sitting around doing nothing.
At an average temperature of 32 degrees fahrenheit, a lithium-ion battery will lose six percent of its maximum capacity per year. At 77 degrees, that number jumps to 20 percent, and at 104 degrees it’s a whopping 35. Sure, it’s not exactly practical (or sane) to keep your phone in the fridge, but it’s worth going out of your way to prevent long stays in hot cars and the like.
Avoid wireless charging
Wireless charging is can be incredibly convenient if your phone can do it, but it’s not without its disadvantages. The inductive, wireless chargers out there today have this nasty habit of generating a fair bit of waste heat. And while wasted energy is just a bummer in general, that heat will also toast your battery in the process. That’s no bueno. It’s a little less convenient, but standard plug-in charging is going to keep your battery in better shape, especially if you’re some place warm to begin with.
Never go to zero
Obviously, using your battery is going to make it degrade. But it’s going to slowly die even if you just leave that iPad in the closet for a bit. There’s a trick to minimizing that inevitable aging though: leave it a little bit of juice.
If you’re going to be shelving any lithium-ion battery for a long time, try to leave it with at least 40 percent battery power to tide it over. Lithium-ion batteries don’t hemmorage power at 30 percent a month like nickel-metal-hydride batteries do; they’ll lose maybe five to ten percent of their charge each month.
And when lithium-ion batteries get too low—like, literally zero percent—they get seriously unstable, and dangerous to charge. To prevent explosion-type disasters if you do try to charge one, lithium-ion batteries have built-in self-destruct circuits that will disable (read: destroy) the battery for good, if it reaches rock bottom. And sure, that’ll save you from a face full of battery-acid, but it’ll also leave you short one battery.
Don’t sweat it too much
It’s easy to get protective of your battery, but it’s also easy to get lazy. And that’s fine, because as long as you’re not a complete idiot, you’ll be OK. Typically, a lithium-ion battery lasts for three to five years, and chances are you’re going to want to swap out your gadgets sometime in that window anyway. The slight damage of a technically bad idea like leaving your phone plugged in all night every night, or using wireless charging, might be worth the convenience.
Still, it’s pretty easy to keep your battery reasonably healthy just by avoiding particularly egregious torture like letting your phone discharge from full to zero every single day, or leaving it in a hot car all the time. And the next time you make it back home with power to spare, you’ll thank yourself for it.
Turn off parallax
Parallax is fun, but it’s the definition of “extra.” And maybe it even makes you dizzy. Who needs it? Not you. You can turn it off in accessibility settings, by going toSettings>>General>>Accessibility and setting Reduce Motion to on.
Turn off AirDrop/Bluetooth if you’re not going to use it
AirDrop is great when you are AirDropping. The rest of the time it’s just fidgeting in its seat, looking for another device to play with. Turning it off is easy, just swipe up your Control Center, and hit the toggle.
Stop searching for Wi-Fi
There’s no need to have your phone searching for Wi-Fi when there’s no trusted network in sight. You’ll save yourself some trouble if you get in the habit of turning of Wi-Fi from the Control Center when you leave the house. Alternatively, you can go to Settings>>Wi-Fi and turn Ask to Join Networks to off. This way your phone will hop on Wi-Fi networks it knows, but won’t look around for more without direct orders.
Disable location services (for apps that don’t need it)
Google Maps needs to know where you are, yes. But Facebook? Hop over toSettings>>Privacy>>Location Services to get a full list of the apps that are asking about where you are. You can probably turn off about half, and cut down on a lot of GPS polling.
Turn off background app updates
Immediate app updates are rarely a huge deal, but having enough battery always is. Go toSettings>>iTunes & App Store and then scroll down. You’ll see Updates under Automatic Downloads. Turn it off. Just don’t forget to stop by the App Store and update manually now and then.
Turn off background app refreshing
The brutal downside of good multitasking is running things in the background (duh). But if you go to Settings>>General>>Background App Refresh, you can disable background-runnin’ for the apps that aren’t important. Or all of them if you want to go all the way.
Chances are, auto-brightness keeps you more well-lit than you need to be. You can shut it off and get your mood-lighting on by going to Settings>>Wallpapers & Brightness and flipping the toggle. While you’re there, crank that backlight alllll the way down, or as far down as you can handle. If you step outside, that’s what the Control Center is for.
Go on a push notification diet
Not every app needs to push its notifications; that stuff takes power. Go toSettings>>Notification Center and scroll down to the Include section. Then go on a toggling spree.
Don’t push; fetch
If your email isn’t that important, or you have a couple of accounts, go turn the low-priority ones to Fetch instead of Push, which means your phone will go retrieve mail at set intervals instead of having it pushed to you every single time Uncle Harry or a spambot blasts you. This one is pretty dependent on how often you get emails and how crucial they are, so you’ll have to feel it out, but you can set to fetch in Settings>>Mail, Contacts and Calendar>>Fetch New Data
Turn off Siri’s “Raise to Speak” feature
If you want Siri to eat less of your precious battery, turn off his or her Raise to Speak feature in Settings>>General>>Siri>>Raise to Speak. Or, if you’re really not fond of the dude/lady turn him/her off to go dream of electric sheep.
Turn off 4G (if times are tough)
Disabling 4G is going to hurt a little but, but desperate times can call for desperate measures and LTE is a battery-burner. You can choke off the data-hose by going toSettings>>Cellular>>Enable LTE/Enable 4G