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24 ways to increase your iPhone's battery life

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24 ways to increase your iPhone's battery life

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus promise up to 14 hours of video playback and 24 hours of talk time, but your results may fall disappointingly short of those numbers. If they do, it means your settings might be jacked up (or out of whack, if you prefer the more technical term).

Since the inception of iOS 9, there are several new features that are switched on by default, with settings you can tweak to make your new iPhone last all day. By the time you've made your way to the end of this article, you'll be surprised at how long the battery can actually last.

You know what they say, every little bit goes a long way.

Right your battery sins. Slide to unlock these settings for iPhone battery salvation
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Use Low Power Mode

Low Power Mode

Low Power Mode is the most miraculous part of iOS 9 for people who want to stretch the battery life of their iPhones out as much as possible. Pre-iOS 9, you could only watch on helplessly as the 20% low battery warning flashed up on your iPhone before depleting completely. Low-power mode works by turning off various sensors and disabling notifications, in addition to dimming the screen and turning off background app updates.

Do this: When your iPhone’s battery levels dip dangerously low (20% emergency bells), it will automatically prompt you to activate Low Power Mode. Do it and your battery will change from red to yellow. You don't even need to wait till you're down to 20%; should you expect a long day ahead, you can activate it at any point without crippling your phone. Just go to Settings, Battery, and tap that Low Power Mode. You’ll be surprised at how long your iPhone can last in this power mode

Stay in Low Power Mode

Stay in low power mode

Low Power Mode is at your disposal 24/7, but when you start charging your phone in this mode, it will automatically turn itself off when battery is charged to 80%. You don't have to let your iPhone call the shots though, stay in Low Power Mode for as long as you like. 

Do this instead: When that Low Power Mode Turned Off notification shows up on your lockscreen, just swipe to the left to hit Enable Again, saving you from having to remember to enable Low Power Mode later. 

Don't share your every move

Don't share your every move

iOS 9 brings with it the ability to share your location with your friends in Messages, via the little Details tab. It’s an occasionally useful feature, but you don’t really need it switched on the whole day, unless you want people to know your every move in detail.

Do this: Go to SettingsPrivacyLocation Services, and Share Location From to disable it. Sorted.

Disable Handoff

Disable Handoff

iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan present a whole world of convenience by allowing you to move seamlessly from iThing to iThing while you’re doing your work. But if you're not one for writing up Important Business Documents on the go, it's a feature you'll probably hardly ever use.

Do this: Hit up Settings, click on Handoff & Suggested Apps and turn off Handoff. You can always turn it back on again if you need it.

Turn off app suggestions

App suggestions

App suggestions might be helpful, but they certainly won’t help battery life. This setting uses your location to push app suggestions to you at the bottom left hand corner of your Lock screen. For example, bringing up an airline-related app if you’re at the airport. But at least you have the option to turn it off.

Do this: Again, tap on SettingsHandoff & Suggested Apps and switch off either My Apps (to not get alerts based on the apps you have) or App Store (to not get app suggestions based on what you don’t already have). Thanks, but no thanks.

Image: BGR

Kill hungry apps

Kill hungry apps

Ever been so sick of your iPhone dying on you that you just close every app in desperation? Now you don’t have to. This insight is brought to you by iOS 9 under the new dedicated Battery tab, which names and shames the apps - like Facebook - that are lapping up most of your battery juice

Do this: Go to SettingsGeneralUsage and finally Battery Usage to pin point the greedy apps and discharge them accordingly. Begone now, you evil energy-sapping app. (We’ll have you back when our iPhone battery is recharged)

Stop apps refreshing in the background

Stop apps refreshing in the background

Unbeknownst to you, your iPhone is killing its own battery by ensuring your apps are constantly refreshed when you’re on Wi-Fi or your mobile network - essentiall, all the time. Do you really need breaking lists from BuzzFeed pushed to you the second they're published? We didn’t think so. 

Do this: Tap on Settings, General, and lastly Background App Refresh. Turn the entire thing off if you, or disable it on an app-to-app basis.

Nullify notifications

Nullify notifications

It’s nice having your phone vibrate like you’re the most popular person in the world - whether it's an achievement unlocked on a game, a new messages on Facebook or a new Tinder match - but it’s best to keep notifications just for the essentials. Otherwise you're just whittling down your battery life every time an app tells you there's a new colourful hat for your characters to wear.

Do this:: Go to Settings, Notifications Centre, and then Customisations and disable all the notifications for non-essential apps. You’ll be surprised at how many you’ve unwittingly enabled.

Don't close every app

Don't close every app

Surprise! Closing apps can actually make your battery life worse, as iOS 9 has been designed to intelligently handle apps that are in the background. On the flipside, every time you load an app from scratch, it drinks up more battery life than if you were to wake a sleeping app up.

Do this: Keep your apps running unless you know it’s something you won’t be using in a long while. If you keep on returning to WhatsApp, it might be worth your while to let it slumber in the background.

Use Wi-Fi wherever possible

Use Wi-Fi wherever possible

Some people think that turning Wi-Fi off will improve battery life, but turning it off can actually drain your iPhone's battery. That's because the amount of power required to communicate with Wi-Fi base stations is minimal compared to using mobile data.

Do this: Simple. Whenever possible, use Wi-Fi. Under Settings, make sure Wi-Fi is switched on, and connect to any network you have access to. Obviously turning both Wi-Fi and mobile data off will be even better for your battery.

Use Airplane Mode in emergencies

Use Airplane Mode in emergencies

That little airplane icon is underused. Leaving your phone's radio on when there's no Wi-Fi reception and no signal is rather pointless, and all it does is drain your battery for no reason.

Do this instead: In dead zones with zero coverage or when you’re overseas without roaming enabled, turn on Airplane Mode. You can get to it right from Control Centre by swiping up from wherever you are on your iPhone without having to weave your way around the workings of your iPhone. Otherwise, access it from Settings, then Airplane Mode.

You can still play games, read books and listen to music, and your battery life will increase by a massive amount. Airplane mode is also ideal for events like festivals, where you're stuck without a power source for a few days.

Dim that screen

Dim that screen

It’s really tempting to blitz the brightness all the way up on the iPhone's gorgeous LCD screen, but if you do it'll take a large chunk out of your battery.

Do this instead: Head to Settings, then Wallpapers & Brightness, and switch on Auto-Brightness. Your iPhone will figure out the best level of brightness that won’t put a strain on your eyes or your battery.

Like all smartphones though, auto-brightness isn't perfect. If you could handle a dimmer screen then feel free to manually tweak the brightness it to save even more juice.

Kill Parallax

Kill Parallax

While iOS 9's parallax effect brings a nice visual touch to your iPhone, it keeps your phone's motion sensors in play, which doesn't do the battery any favours.  

Do this: Switch off the parallax effect. It’s not going to drastically alter your experience, unless you're forever getting lost in the hypnotising (or for some, nauseating) effect of the movement-sensitive wallpaper. Go to SettingsGeneralAccessibility, and lastly, Reduce Motion to turn it on.

Don't neglect updates

Don't neglect updates

Updates contain bug fixes which can include improvements in efficiency, which in turn use up less battery. We know it can be a pain to constantly update apps, but it's worth it in the long run.

Do this: Make sure you get on those update as soon as possible, instead of leaving them languishing in a lonely forgotten corner of the App Store.

Tame search

18 ways you're unknowingly killing your iPhone battery

Your iPhone is a thorough searcher by default, with Spotlight Search going through everything on your phone to find what you want. If it’s Angry Birds you’re looking for, is it really necessary to look through VideosMusic, and Reminders? No, it's not, so do your iPhone a favour.

Do this: Fine tune your search boundaries to get faster results and lessen the strain on your battery life. Click on SettingsGeneral, then Spotlight Search to uncheck the categories which you know are definitely not going to turn up the results you're after.

Put those emails to sleep

Put those emails to sleep

Most people (us included) can’t live without having emails pushed directly to their inboxes in real-time. But when your iPhone’s perpetually searching for new emails, it's going to hit your battery.

Do this: Fetch your email manually instead of having your iPhone push it. To do this, click on Settings, then Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Fetch New Data. Make sure Push is off and you can either set an interval for your phone to Fetch your new emails or do it Manually, so that new email is only Fetched when you bring the app up.

Or you could just, you know, not check your email outside of office hours. Easier said than done though.

iPhones need rest too

18 ways you're unknowingly killing your iPhone battery

Those who choose Never on their Auto-Lock settings are wasting precious battery life. If you're not interacting with your iPhone, then there are very few reasons for its screen to remain on.

Do this: Go to Settings, then General, and finally to Auto-Lock. Choose the shortest time possible (one minute) which should be more than enough for most people.

Kill pesky ads

18 ways you're unknowingly killing your iPhone battery

Who doesn’t hate ads? iOS 9 has a built-in Advertising feature to help you stop advertisers from serving you targeted ads and slurping up your battery life along the way.

Do this: Make sure you’re one step ahead of mindless ads by clicking on Settings, then Privacy, and scrolling all the way to the bottom to the Advertising tab. Swipe the tab to the right to Limit Ad Tracking and resume browsing independence.

Geotag no more

18 ways you're unknowingly killing your iPhone battery

We know it’s fun to keep track of all the places you’ve been in your life, but is it really necessary? You’d be surprised at how Location Services has been activated for apps that don’t really need it. Leaving Location Services on, even when you’re walking to catch a bus, is a waste of limited battery life. You don’t really want everyone to be able to keep tabs on your whereabouts anyway, do you?

Do this: Do a clean-up by going to Settings, then PrivacyLocation Services and turn off everything to only activate Location Services when you need them, like geotagging a photo at a certain spot, or when you’re about to head off on a run. Otherwise, you can customise the apps which have Location Services because apps like WhatsApp and your local banking ones don't really need the function enabled.

Let Siri go

18 ways you're unknowingly killing your iPhone battery

As smooth as its voice is, you might not use Siri that often, so why keep it running in the background, sipping on your battery life?

Do this: Give Siri a break by going to SettingsGeneral, and then Siri’s tab. If you feel insecure about not having your mobile personal assistant on standby, at least disable the Raise to Speak function.

Ditch automatic date & time updates

18 ways you're unknowingly killing your iPhone battery

Your iPhone is a thoughtful little creature which automatically changes your time settings according to the country you’re in, using Location Services. But if you leave the country only twice a year, is there really a need to keep this feature on? The answer is no.

Do this: You can activate the function when you get around to traveling. But if you’re in one country most of the time, head on over to SettingsGeneralDate & Time to make sure Set Automatically is turned off.

Stop repeated message notifications

18 ways you're unknowingly killing your iPhone battery

Your iPhone can be quite a nag. When you don’t attend to a message immediately, your iPhone finds the need to light up the display to bring your attention to a Message received again, leaving your battery rather distressed from the repeated notifications.

Do this: To help your iPhone quit being a nag, go to SettingsNotification Centre, and find Messages in the Include list, Repeat Alerts and set it to Never. We appreciate the thought, but once is enough, thank you very much. 

Vibrate, off

18 ways you're unknowingly killing your iPhone battery

Keeping your iPhone on vibrate mode is one of the biggest strains on your battery life, and it's often unnecessary when it's in your hands or in plain sight.

Do this: Disable vibration alerts by going to SettingsSounds and then turning off both Vibrate on Ring and Vibrate on Silent.

Stop sharing

18 ways you're unknowingly killing your iPhone battery

Are you sharing files over AirDrop and Bluetooth 24/7? No? Then there's no need to keep both these features on and needlessly sipping away on your battery.

Do this: Deactivate AirDrop and Bluetooth by swiping up on your phone to bring up the Control Centre and making sure the Bluetooth and AirDrop symbols are not highlighted anymore.

Quit sending feedback to Apple

18 ways you're unknowingly killing your iPhone battery

Yes, doing this helps Apple churn out timely updates for smoother working systems, but it's all at the expense of your battery life, because your iPhone is sending daily usage reports back to Apple HQ. It's fine when your iPhone is fully charged, but if it’s on the brink of flatlining, be less philanthropic.

Do this: You can disable reporting by going to SettingsGeneralAboutDiagnostics and Usage to activate Don’t Send mode. Feel free to switch it back to Automatically Send when you have more battery life to spare.

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