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Top 5 ways to boost your iPhone's battery life

By danwarne     Filed under: Apple, iPhone, smartphones, WiFi, 3G, iPhone 4, Tech, bluetooth, travel tips, travel tech, batteries, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, battery-life, Mophie Juice Pack Air, 2G, push email, Energizer Energi to Go, Kensington Mini Battery Pack for iPhone, Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation, Padacs, Mophie

Does your iPhone suffer from the low battery blues at the end of a busy day? Here are five fast ways to keep the iPhone's battery alive for a bit longer. They're especially handy when you're travelling overseas and don't have chargers dotted around you in convenient places.

1) Disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

If you're not using a Bluetooth headset or connecting your phone to a Wi-Fi hotspot (or your jerry-rigged hotel room Wi-Fi internet connection), you should disable Bluetooth and WiFi on your phone as a power saving measure.

First, go to settings in the iPhone's main menu:

Then select the Wi-Fi menu...

Tap the Wi-Fi slider to switch it to "off".

Once you've done that, you can either click the "settings" link at the top of the screen to go back to the top page of settings. Then tap on "general"

Now, select the Bluetooth menu.

Tap the Bluetooth slider to turn Bluetooth off.

Now, your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth should be disabled, which will save you power when you're out and about. You can re-enable them using the same process.

2) Disable 3G

This is the big power-saving tip: 3G sucks a lot more power than the old 2G/GSM telephony. Most 3G phones (including the iPhone) can be switched back to using 2G, and you'll still be able to make voice calls and receive email as normal.

Web browsing is, of course, slow on 2G, but you you can always turn 3G back on when you need it (as a side issue, slow data can be a good thing when you're paying global roaming charges anyway, since the faster the internet, the faster you will burn through megabytes at $10-$20 per megabyte at global roaming rates -- and of course, you're best off disabling data altogether when roaming and only using Wi-Fi hotspots).

In the main iPhone home screen, tap on the settings icon.

Then select the "general" menu.

Now, tap the "network" menu.

Tap on the "Enable 3G" slider to turn off 3G.

Now, your iPhone will only use 2G networks, which are just as good as 3G networks for voice calls. The exception is in Japan, where you need to have 3G enabled to connect to the mobile network at all.

You can re-enable 3G by following the same steps.

3) Turn down screen brightness

Another big power sapper on smartphones is their big, bright screens. Turning down the brightness from full to half often makes very little difference in legibility but can contribute to considerably longer battery life.

In the main iPhone home screen, tap on the settings icon.

From the settings menu, tap "brightness".

Use the slider to adjust screen brightness to the minimum level you can tolerate.

You can turn your screen brightness up at any time by following the same steps, but keeping brightness turned down saves a lot of battery life.

4) Turn off push email and services

"Push" technology -- where email and notifications are sent to your phone instantly rather than your phone retrieving them on a timed schedule -- saps your battery, because the phone has to keep a live connection to the net at all times.

In the main iPhone home screen, tap on the settings icon.

Tap on the "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" menu option.

Select the "Fetch new data" menu option.

Tap on the "Push" slider to turn push email/notifications off. Also, under the "Fetch" section, we suggest selecting the "Manually" option, which means the phone will only download for email when you actually open the email app and check for email. This will save battery life and minimise data charges, because you can check email when you are connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot.

You can easily re-enable push and/or change the frequency that the phone will fetch new email on a timed schedule by following the same steps.

5) Consider a beefed up battery-pack

If you still don't get the battery life you need with all of the above tweaks applied, you might consider getting a third party battery pack to top your phone up.

For iPhone, there are two main types:

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About danwarne

Dan is a tech enthusiast who frequently qualifies for enhanced airport security screening due to the number of cords and gadgets stuffed into his cabin bag.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 25/10/11 by lazybones1987

Dan, if I can be frank, you are trying a little too hard with your tech articles here.

I just don't understand this statement:

"as a side issue, slow data can be a good thing when you're paying global roaming charges anyway, since the faster the internet, the faster you will burn through megabytes at $10-$20 per megabyte at global roaming rates".

It doesn't matter if it takes 1 hr to download a 20 mb file or 2 mins to download the same file, you will still be charged the same amount of money.

I agree with the rest of the article though.

1 on 26/10/11 by John

The thing is this: if you pull down your mail via IMAP or POP on 2G, you'll get the headers first without downloading the whole lot. That means you can delete or archive the ones you don't need before you incur more data charges.

So because it's slow, you end up using less data.

(Plus, after 3G, 2G feels slow, so I end up wanting to use it less.)

1 on 26/10/11 by lazybones1987

I don't completley agree with you on that one John.

An average user reading this article would (probably) assume that slow 2g data speeds meant less $ and 3g meant more $ (which is not true)

The example about the email headers is a good one though. (But it wouldn't work when you are just surfing the web)

 

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