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How to Maximize Your iOS Battery

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Any user that upgraded from an older iPhone to the iPhone 4 will most certainly notice the improved battery life that the new device offers. You really notice in the end of the day when you look at the battery meter and is surprised that it still breezing with say 20-30% of battery. Not to mention for those of us that own an iPad and enjoy it’s crazy long battery life.

I thought it would be a good idea to review some ideas to get the most of your battery life. Users of older iPhones models will appreciate this even more.

The first thing is to be sure to have the most updated version of iOS (currently v4.1). At every iteration iOS is getting noticeably better and better at power management.

The obvious ways to improve battery life is to turn off certain network services in the settings. Primarily 3G, WiFi or Bluetooth. If you know you won’t be using one of them just turn it off and it will improve your battery life. But realistically who is gonna turn off 3G? Bluetooth on the other hand is something I have it on in a need to use basis. It is mostly off for me.

Now WiFi, I leave it on, but if you are commuting or traveling and will be relying solely on 3G, turning off WiFi will of course help. A setting that by default is ON in iOS is the “Ask to Join Networks” option inside the WiFi settings. This pops up a notification window when the iPhone is trying to connect to the available WiFi networks around you and shows you the options. I always leave this setting OFF. When I want to join an unknown WiFi, usually I am going to tap into the settings pane anyway. My suggestion is to turn this off, since it will always be looking for WiFi networks around you, all the time. Big battery use here.

Screen brightness is a big drain when turned really high. I find that the “Auto-Brightness” setting seems to go for the more is better approach. In low light conditions it doesn’t really go as dark as it should. My suggestion: leave it ON and set the brightness to about 60-70% level. You won’t notice it, until you are under bright sunlight and the screen will seem shaded to you, then you need to pump it up.

Less obvious ways to safe battery life are to:

1. Disable Vibrate alerts. It takes energy to run the motor that vibrates the phone. Personally I really like it because usually the phone is in my pocket and it comes handy when I can’t really hear it in the street.

2. Disable the Equalizer (EQ) function inside the iPod settings. It takes juice for the real time EQ to run.

3. Be sure to have auto-lock set to the system’s default of 1 min.

4. Turn off Location services, that is the GPS.

5. Use the Airplane mode when in low or no coverage areas or your iPhone will keep trying to connect to the network and use a LOT of battery trying to do so. Use EDGE in these situations.

6. Be aware of Skype! The current version of the skype app (v2.1.1) runs in the background and it will kill your battery fast! Although I would really like to mostly use skype to make and receive calls, the current implementation of the app just makes this impossible. Apple really had a reason to do multitasking the way the did it and I always sign off of it or kill it in the app switcher if I won’t be using it.

The simple solution is to keep a charger around. At home, at work, in the car. Just keep chargers around you. I tend to always have with me a 7cm USB to dock connector cable like the CableJive’s iStubz. The iPhone’s lithium based battery does not have memory issues, you can charge it when it’s empty, half full or close to full without damaging the battery’s capacity.

What other ways have you found to save battery life? Let me know in the comments below!

I’m a new contributor to the iPhone in Canada website and will focus on the iOS how to’s. Excited to be part of team with other Apple products fans. You can connect with me for through twitter @RodChristiansen and RodChristiansen.net.

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