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07-16-2014, 02:22 PM #1
Ten Tips for Improving the Battery Life on Your iOS 7 Device
Your iOS device goes with you everywhere, and sometimes "everywhere" consists of an all-day affair. With that being said, our device's battery life is important to us. Unfortunately, no battery is infinite, and at some point, it's going to need to be charged back up again.
In this post, we will share with you 10 handy tips on how you can maximize your battery life on any of your iOS 7 devices, whether it's an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. Most of these tips can help you whether you're jailbroken or not, so read on either way!
Tip 1: Limit Your Location Services
If you're constantly pulling your GPS location for each of your applications or system services, then you're using more battery life than you need to be. You can turn off location services for applications that don't need to use your location, and leave location on only for applications that actually need it, such as your mapping applications, or your Compass. Obviously, your games really don't need to be drawing your location, and neither do music-tagging applications, messaging applications, billing applications, or other applications that promise "additional perks" if you share your location with them.
From Settings > Privacy > Location Services, you can enable or disable Location Services completely, enable or disable Location Services on a per-application basis (recommended), and control what system services are allowed to use your location. It is recommended that you turn off everything that you absolutely don't need, and you can save battery life this way.
Tip 2: Keep Your Display Brightness Down
You would be surprised what a huge negative impact your back-lit LED display can have on your battery. The difference in battery life between a device with the brightness cranked all the way up and a device with the brightness turned all the way down is phenomenal. Most of the time, we turn our display brightness all the way up for maximum display visibility, but most of the time, we would be fine leaving it at around 50% brightness or lower. Keeping your display brightness much higher than it needs to be can drain your battery more quickly for no good reason.
From Settings > Wallpaper & Brightness, you can manually change your brightness level with a slider, but Apple also includes a feature called "Auto-brightness," which can be used to automatically change your display's brightness depending on the lighting conditions around you. We recommend using the automatic brightness feature because in low-light conditions, your brightness will remain low, where you want it to be to save battery life, and in higher-light conditions, your display will automatically compensate for the light by increasing brightness until you go back to low-light conditions. Overall, the impact on battery from automatic brightness is much less than leaving your display brightness on high all day long.
Tip 3: Manage Your Cellular Radios Proactively
Your cellular radios can also have a large impact on your battery life because they're always transmitting data. You should enable only the cellular radios that you need, or enable the ones that offer the best performance. In our experience, LTE is less power-hungry than 4G HSPA+, so if you have a device capable of LTE, we would recommend enabling it so your device can use it whenever possible. If you're using a device that isn't capable of LTE, we have found that using 2G (also known as Edge) can offer better battery life than using 3G or 4G HSPA+, so that's something to keep in mind for when you don't really need faster speeds – such as when you're only text messaging.
From Settings > Cellular, you can manage what cellular radios are enabled for your device. If you're using an iPhone 5 or later, we would recommend enabling LTE so that you can use the less power-hungry cellular radio. You'll also see better performance on LTE than you will with 4G HSPA+, so it's a double win. When you don't need cellular signal at all, you can enable Airplane Mode, or disable cellular data entirely until you need it again to prevent unwanted battery drain.
Tip 4: Manage Your Device's Notification Vibrator
The vibrator mechanism in your iPhone is designed to give you a little haptic feedback whenever you receive a notification from one of your applications, but each time your vibrator has to turn, your battery needs to spin the little motor inside of the vibrator mechanism. If you're a chronic text messager, or you use other applications that use your device's vibrator to notify you, then the constant BZZ BZZ BZZ that you're getting can be draining your battery life at an unwanted rate. You can better control when your device vibrates, such as disabling vibrate while in silent mode and on ring, in order to prevent unwanted battery drain. Your notifications will still be there when you're ready to look at your phone, but you won't waste any battery while being notified.
From Settings > Sounds, you can enable or disable "Vibrate on ring" or "Vibrate on silent" in order to better control when your device vibrates for notifications. For our setup, we like only turning off "Vibrate on silent," because that way we can easily use the ringer switch to choose when we want to let our device consume more battery life, or when we would rather have the convenience of a better notification experience. If you limit your vibrations completely, you'll prevent your vibrator motor from draining any of your battery life at all.
Tip 5: Manually Configure the Applications That Can Notify You
If you're using an iOS 7 device, then you've also got access to the greatest App Store in the world, so chances are, you have a lot of applications installed on your device. We've noticed that even applications that have no real reason to notify you of anything will still try to present you with unnecessary push notifications. The more applications that you have trying to notify you of things all the time, the more your device needs to connect to the Internet and alert you of those notifications; that, in turn, negatively affects your battery life. You can configure what applications are allowed to notify you, and this can help you better conserve your battery life without wasting it on applications you don't use that much.
From Settings > Notification Center, you can choose what applications are to be included in Notification Center and what applications are not to be included. You can also tap on any of the applications to open up an interface that lets you choose what kinds of notifications you want from that application. If it's an application you don't want to be notified from, we recommend setting the Alert Style to "None," turning off Badge App Icons, turning off "Show in Notification Center," and turning off "Show on Lock Screen." You can also disable AMBER alerts or Emergency alerts if you'll never use them. By disabling unwanted notifications, your device doesn't have to call home with the notification servers for those applications, and in the long run, you save battery life.
Tip 6: Disable Background Refreshing for Applications
You also have the option to allow applications to refresh their content in the background in iOS 7, but this requires your device to constantly allow applications to perform processes in the background, which as you probably guessed, eats your battery. You can disable background refreshing for applications altogether, or you can configure it on a per-application basis. Monitoring what applications are allowed to refresh their content in the background is a great way to protect your battery life from escaping your grip.
From Settings > General > Background App Refresh, you can choose to disable the feature outright, or allow it for only certain applications and not for others. iOS will want to allow this feature for applications like Weather and Stocks, so that the information is updated in the background for when you launch the application next time, but since it will refresh the very next time you open the application anyway, there's really no need to refresh the information until you're ready to see it. We would recommend disabling this feature entirely.
Tip 7: Stick With Still Wallpapers
iOS 7 comes with some really nifty dynamic wallpapers that move while you move your device, but since they're always moving, they're also calling on the device's power source to provide you with entertainment. Luckily, iOS 7 also allows you to stick with still wallpapers (or wallpapers that don't move), which is probably the wisest choice if you're trying to save your battery life. Without any movement to speak of, there is very little your device needs to do to to display a still wallpaper for you compared to a dynamic wallpaper that is always moving.
From Settings > Wallpapers & Brightness > Choose a New Wallpaper, you can switch to any still wallpaper, or Photos application image instead of using a dynamic wallpaper, which is always moving. You can set the still wallpaper as your image for both the Lock Screen and the Home Screen for the maximum battery life saving results.
Tip 8: Reduce Motion-based Animations
Your iOS 7 device also comes equipped with eye-catching animations that respond to the way you hold your device, called Parallax. This can be demonstrated in alert boxes across the operating system, such as the one for entering your password to download an application from the App Store, or the way that your application icons seem to move across your Home Screen wallpaper on your Home Screen when you tilt your device. While these animations can be really cool, they're also calling upon the motion chip in your device, as well as the GPU to provide you with cool graphics, which eats into your battery life. If you want to save battery instead of seeing these animations, we would recommend turning them off.
From Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion, you can enable the "Reduce Motion" setting that will prevent your device from displaying any complex animations or motion-based animations that would normally eat into your system resources. Doing so can also provide you with a snappier-feeling device, as the lack of animations helps lighten up the load on your system resources, so this can be a double win for the user.
Tip 9: Take Advantage of Do Not Disturb
During all hours of the night, unless you have your iOS device(s) powered down, your display is going to light up multiple times and your device might even vibrate if you didn't already take our earlier advice about turning the vibrator off whenever you get notifications from applications. Yes, your device is still using battery life by connecting to the Internet for applications to receive your notifications, but by enabling Apple's built-in Do Not Disturb feature, you can prevent your device from lighting up all night long as your notifications come in, and you'll also get the added benefit of sleeping better. You can manually enable Do Not Disturb, or you can configure a schedule for when you would normally sleep (recommended).
From Settings > Do Not Disturb, you can configure whether you want Do Not Disturb enabled manually for a period of time, or you can configure a schedule for when Do Not Disturb will enable and disable itself on a daily basis. You can even make it so that important people can still get in touch with you in case of an emergency, just to prevent unimportant notifications from continually turning your display on and off all night long. All in all, Do Not Disturb can help in protecting your battery life overnight, so we would recommend setting it up if you haven't already!
Tip 10: Keep Your Installed Jailbreak Tweaks to a Minimum
This one is going to sound like a downer for eager jailbreakers, but in all truth, the more jailbreak tweaks you have installed on your device, the more system process hooks you have, which take more processing power, and therefore eat up more battery life. Ultimately, when you mod something out, you're altering the way something was intended to work out of the box, and this generally has negative impacts because the hardware that comes with the device was intended to work an entirely different way than the way that the new software is forcing it to work.
Think about it this way – when you get a new truck and everything is how it was intended to work from the factory, you might get 20 miles to the gallon, but as soon as you throw bigger tires on there, heavy metal bumpers, towing equipment, and other aftermarket equipment, you're suddenly down to 12-15 miles per gallon. Our iOS device's battery life works the same way.
From Cydia > Installed, you can see a list of all of the jailbreak tweaks and other add-ons you have installed on your device. You can prevent horrid battery life by only installing jailbreak tweaks that you really, truly want, and not just installing everything in the world just because you think it's cool.
Don't forget that keeping yourself on the latest version of iOS and updating all of your applications when updates are available can also help you with battery life. iOS 7.1.1 and later have been found to significantly improve battery life for users.
With all of this in mind, you should now have enough information to improve your battery life by up to 30%. We recommend going through your iOS device's settings and double-checking everything so that you can get the best battery life performance possible, and we wish the best of luck to you – feel free to report your results in the comments!
Last edited by Anthony Bouchard; 07-16-2014 at 03:40 PM.
07-16-2014, 02:29 PM #2
Just learned u can hold over the text in and article and it turns into a zoomed in reader inside the mmi app. Pretty sweet.
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07-16-2014, 03:33 PM #3
Wait, I thought LTE drained more battery than 3G or HSPA+...
07-16-2014, 03:34 PM #4
Jailbreak tweaks really do cut into battery life. I've paired it WAY down and I'm getting much better battery life now.
07-16-2014, 03:35 PM #5
Check this out.
Last edited by Anthony Bouchard; 07-16-2014 at 03:43 PM.
07-16-2014, 05:04 PM #6
Good tips and #11 is turn off push email and use timed email checks instead.
07-16-2014, 06:08 PM #7
07-16-2014, 06:29 PM #8
Actually let me tell you my experience. I had horrible battery life. Turns out the battery was just wear and tear and getting old. September 28th will be my 2 years. I went and got it replaced at apple for $79. Now my heavy usage I can't kill my phone in a single day. From 7am to midnight I'm at 16% using my phone like I always do. Normally I could kill my phone within 5 hours.
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07-16-2014, 06:48 PM #9
07-16-2014, 07:34 PM #10
I can't see disable WIFi and Blutooth when not in use. Using lot of power :P
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07-16-2014, 07:37 PM #11
07-16-2014, 07:50 PM #12
Blutooth 4.0 use low power, new info for me. Good to know. WIFI use a lot of power when broadcasting for networks all the time when not in use.
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07-16-2014, 09:59 PM #13
I have springtomize 3 and it has the option to turn the icons to black and white. My wallpaper is "still" and black and white also. Dies it improves battery life?
07-17-2014, 05:38 AM #14
07-17-2014, 07:45 AM #15
Ten Tips for Improving the Battery Life on Your iOS 7 Device
For me -turning off push email and Bluetooth were my biggest battery savers.. And all the system services location service buttons. You don't need any of those except traffic. And all traffic button does is report YOUR position (as part of total traffic volume) to others using Maps.app..
Good article, Anthony.. I practice "safe battery" usage for years now.
But push email should indeed be near the top of the list. HIUUUGE drain..Here to help if I can. If I can't, I know someone who can!
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07-17-2014, 07:09 PM #16