How to Maximise The Battery Life of Your iPhone or iPad - iOS 11

The number one complaint I hear about smartphones is their battery life, or rather lack of it. Gone are the days when a phone could be ignored for two weeks and still be alive. Luckily, there are several ways to eke out extra life from your battery - other than reducing the amount of time you play Angry Birds 🙂 Here are my top 10 tips, updated for iOS 11.

Note: You DON'T NEED TO LET IT RUN OUT to charge it. In the old days, batteries had “memories” and you needed to fully drain them before charging or you'd shorten the battery life, but the new lithium ion ones don't have memory so you can charge them no matter what percentage they're at. However, it's still bad to let it run completely out of battery, and will shorten the life if done repeatedly. As a personal rule, I charge mine every night, and try not to let it drop below 20%. Heavy users may need to charge it more often. If you aren't going to use it at all for several days, you may prefer to shut it down (press and hold the power button and when the prompt comes up, slide to power off) and turn it on when you need it again. Apple recommends if storing it for a long time, shut it down with the battery charged 50%, and keep it away from moisture or extreme hot or cold temperatures. For more info, see Apple's article:

1. Reduce Screen Brightness

Screen brightness is a main culprit for chomping your battery. Turn on Auto Brightness by going to Settings – General – Accessibility – Display Accommodations – Auto-Brightness ON. I have auto-brightness on AND I often turn brightness down manually.

While you're at it, turn off the parallax screen background (makes the apps shift slightly as you tilt the phone, cool but power-hungry). This is in Settings – General – Accessibility – Reduce Motion – turn it ON.

To manually change brightness, swipe up for Control Center and drag the brightness down. If you don't want to use Control Center, you can also go to Settings – Display and Brightness – and adjust it there. You can also turn on Night Shift there to make your screen “warmer” for night use, which is supposedly better for helping you sleep (though best is to turn off your devices at least an hour before bed).

2. Fetch Mail Less Frequently

Fetching mail too often can impact your battery. Go to

Settings – Accounts and Passwords (above Mail) – Fetch New Data – and turn off Push.

Push means your iPhone will constantly ask the server if it has new mail. This is great if you are a business professional and need instant emails, but most of us don't need it. Each email account has a choice of Manual (mail will be “fetched” when you open the app and/or refresh the app) or Fetch (mail will be fetched at a specified interval). I would suggest setting it to Fetch. Then press the back arrow to go back to Fetch New Data and at the bottom of the list of your email accounts, you will see the Fetch Schedule. I have mine set to Hourly most of the time, or more frequently when I'm expecting an email. Less frequent = better battery. 

3. Reduce Location Services

Way too many apps track us for the purpose of better targeting ads. It's not necessary, it eats your battery, and it's a little creepy.

Go to Settings – Privacy – Location Services

- and make most of the locations accessible only While Using the app (or Never, if you don't need that app to have your location). I keep Location Services on for things like Google Maps, Safari, anything that's helpful for searching for things near you.

Next go to: Settings - Privacy - Location Services - System Services

and turn off Location-Based Alerts, Location-Based Apple Ads, Location-Based Suggestions, Significant Locations – Off (this remembers places you've been frequently), and Popular Near Me – Off.  You can also choose to turn off Share My Location (which enables friends and family to see where you are via the Find my Friends app or the Family Sharing settings in General - your Apple ID - set up Family Sharing). 

4. Turn Off Background App Refresh

Background App Refresh allows apps such as Facebook to update themselves even while not in use, but it means that they are using data and battery to do that.

Go to Settings – General – Background App Refresh

and either have it on but limit the number of apps that use it, or turn it off entirely. I keep mine off. 

5. Reduce Notifications

Go to Settings – Notifications

– and turn most of the applications to Off. I keep things like Skype, Google Maps, Mail, Messages, Messenger, etc. on, things that need my instant attention, but the rest of them (including Facebook) are off and if I have a notification, I'll see it when I open the app.

6. Turn Off "Hey Siri"

Go to Settings - Siri and Search – and turn off “Listen for 'Hey Siri'”

Don't worry, Siri can still be accessed by pressing and holding the home button as long as Press Home for Siri is on, this just stops the phone constantly listening.

7. Turn Off Bluetooth

Turn off Bluetooth if you don't need it – you can turn it back on by swiping up to the Control Center, but to turn it off completely you need to go to

Settings – Bluetooth – and toggle it Off.

Turning it off in Control Center only stops new devices connecting, it doesn't completely turn it off. FUN TIP: You can tell Siri to do this for you! Just hold the home button to activate Siri, tell it "Turn off Bluetooth" and voila! 

8. Delete Unnecessary / Unused Apps

Delete apps that you don't use / don't want. Do this by pressing and holding on an app until they all start to “dance” and an X appears at the top corner. Click on the X to delete an app. Press the Home Button to stop the dancing and return to normal. Note: The apps and their data will be permanently removed so be sure it's not an app you need. You can redownload it from the app store but it won't have any previous data.

9. Check Your Battery Usage

Check your battery usage under Settings – Battery. It will show you what's been using your battery the most. The iPhone also has a feature called Low Power Mode which reduces mail fetching, background app refresh, etc. Turn it on if you know you won't be able to recharge your phone for awhile and you don't need the above features. 

10. Buy a Power Bank / External Battery

Buy an external battery charger, aka a "power bank." They're small, cheap, and can often charge your phone from flat to full two or three times before needing to be charged themselves. I have the Anker Power Bank (purchased from Amazon for about £15) and it's fantastic, but they are sold at all major stores including larger grocery stores.

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