It’s two o’clock in the afternoon, and your iPhone’s battery is already heading towards the red zone. What do you do?
There are no end of “tips and tricks” out there for making your iPhone battery last longer. I’ve seen them all. Bit more importantly, I’ve also tested them all (well, OK, not some of the really crazy ones like wrapping your iPhone in tinfoil, but most of them), and found that most of them do little to improve your battery’s lifespan, and many compromise your iPhone’s features so badly as to make is pretty much unusable.
So, after a lot of testing, and spending a lot of time running my iPhone’s battery flat, I’ve come up the with two best ways of making your iPhone battery last all day. And the nice thing is that both of these methods and quick and simple, and don’t involve making huge changes to iOS.
The first one the simplest one, but also the most effective, and that is to switch on Low Power Mode.
As the name suggests, activating this setting puts your device into low power mode. And it really does work, giving you about three hours of extra battery life. If you are worried about your battery not making it through the day, this is the setting to activate.
However, it achieves this by turning off or reducing mail fetch, background app refresh, automatic downloads, and some visual effects.
Here’s a list of what Low Power Mode reduces or affects in order to increase battery life:
- Email fetch
- “Hey Siri”
- Background app refresh
- Automatic downloads
- Some visual effects
- Auto-Lock (defaults to 30 seconds)
- iCloud Photo Library (temporarily paused)
iOS pops up a notification offering to turn on Low Power Mode when your battery goes below 20 and 10 percent, and will automatically switch it off when the device is charged back up to 80 percent.
You can also turn this on manually, either from the Control Center panel, or from Settings > Battery.
One thing that I do if I know I have a long day ahead of me away from a charger is to switch over to Low Power Mode as soon as I start my day. I find that this gives me the longest possible battery life.
The other thing I find that dramatically improves battery life is turning down the screen brightness. OK, don’t go bananas with this one and turn it down to the point where the screen is unreadable, but knocking it down when you are indoors or not in bright sunlight really makes a huge difference to how long your battery will last.
You can either drop the brightness from Settings > Display & Brightness or from the Control Center screen.
Bonus tip: I think that life’s too short to worry about my iPhone’s battery life, which is why I carry around with me a portable battery power bank. These days, power packs are so small ( here’s the Anker PowerCore 5000 that’s marketed as being “lipstick sized”) that you can pop them in a pocket and not think about them, and yet they pack enough of a punch to add hours to your iPhone’s battery life.
What I do these days is carry a power bank with me, and if I think that’s not going to be enough to get me through the day I activate Low Power Mode. Fiddling with other iPhone’s settings (such as notifications and messing with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) in order to try to get a bit more battery life is, in my opinion, tedious and there’s a risk that I’ll forget to undo the settings later, so from now on I won’t be doing it.