15 Tips To Save Battery Life On The iOS 5 Firmware Generation

It seems like battery life problems are springing up left-right-and-center after the release of the iOS 5.0 firmware. Apple did try and fix most of these battery life issues with the release of the iOS 5.0.1 firmware, but they neglected to fix a few select problems that are still effecting users. Thus, it has been predicted that Apple may indeed end up releasing the iOS 5.0.2 firmware in the coming weeks.

Although these battery life issues are definitely due to problems with the iOS 5.0 firmware generation, I think a lot of users are complaining about battery life issues that could be fixed (or at the minimum greatly improved) by some simple setting changes. It is for this reason that I have decided to write an article covering some battery life saving tips, which you can read below.

Battery Life Saving Tips

  1. Reduce Screen Brightness: The brightness of your iDevice’s screen can greatly effect your battery life. Play around with your screen brightness settings and you will be surprised at how much you can improve your battery life. Find: Settings > Brightness
  2. Turn Off Bluetooth: It is no question that Bluetooth is handy in transmitting data to things such as wireless headsets. If you are not using Bluetooth, however, ensure that you turn it off! Find: Settings > General > Bluetooth
  3. Keep WiFi Off: This is a big one. A lot of people leave WiFi enabled while they are home, but they forget to turn it off while they are out. If you are going out and will not have an active WiFi connection make sure you turn WiFi off. Otherwise, your iDevice will be constantly searching for a WiFi connection, and this drains battery life. Find: Settings > Wi-Fi
  4. Disable Location Services: Although a neat feature to the iPhone is location services, this feature fetches data through your 3G cellular connection. If you do not have use for Location Services, or know you will not be using them for the time being, make sure you turn this feature off. If you do not want to completely disable location services, we suggest trying the next tip which only partially disables location services. Find: Settings > Location Services
  5. Disable System Location Services: A known bug with the iOS 5 firmware generation has been that location services are burning through battery life more than intended. In fact, three pesky settings are predicted to be causing the problem. If you go into the System Services tab (shown inside the Location Services Tab) we suggest turning off: Setting Time Zone, Location-Based iAds and Diagnostic & Usage. Find: Settings > Location Services > System Services
  6. Turn Off EQ: If you have an EQ (equalizer) enabled such as bass boost, it is important to keep in mind that this requires additional battery power to apply this modification to the song. Turn of EQ if you are wanting to conserve battery life. Find: Settings > Music > EQ
  7. Fetch Data Less Often: The more you contact your cellular network data, the more you consume battery power. If you are looking to increase your battery life you will need to keep fetching data to a minimum (set your data to only be fetched manually for best results). Find: Settings > Mails, Contacts, Calendars  > Fetch New Data
  8. Sync Less Things With iCloud: If you have set up iCloud you are currently syncing data on your iPhone such as Contacts, Reminders and Bookmarks. This means whenever you add a new contact for example it is being also added to the cloud, which requires transferring data through the internet. If you minimize the amount of things you are syncing to the cloud this will help conserve battery life. Find: Settings > iCloud
  9. Disable Photo Stream: Using iCloud to sync photos to all of your iDevices is a useful functionality, but if you think you can go on without it, disabling this feature will improve battery life. Find: Settings > Photos
  10. Minimize iPhone Vibrations: Every time your iPhone vibrates your battery is powering a small motor that makes your iPhone vibrate. Disabling iPhone vibration or at least minimizing iPhone vibration and instead using sound notifications/simply leaving your iPhone on silent mode will help free up additional battery life. Find: Settings > Sounds
  11. Switch To AirPlane Mode: Perhaps the biggest use of data (as explained in the tips above) is your cellular network connection. Whenever you are in an area with low reception your iDevice is constantly using battery power to search for the lost connection. If you are going to be in areas of low connection for long periods of time, simply put your iDevice into Airplane mode. This will greatly conserve battery life. Additionally, if you are going to be somewhere where you know you cannot check your iDevice, putting your iDevice into Airplane mode until you can will help you get more life out of your battery (you will not miss any notifications by putting your iDevice into Airplane mode). Find: Settings > Airplane Mode
  12. Auto-Lock Sooner: While by default your iDevice is set to Auto-Lock within one minute, if you have changed this settings you should always keep the time your iDevice stays on after being waked to a minimum. Thus, setting your iDevice to Auto-Lock sooner is a good idea if you are looking to conserve battery life. Find: Settings > General > Auto-Lock
  13. Wake/Sleep Less: The more you wake your iDevice the more battery life you are consuming as you are turning on the screen. A lot of people wake their iDevice for no reason (it becomes a nervous habit). If you find yourself doing this, make sure you focus on waking your iDevice only when you are going to be doing something useful on it.
  14. Do Less Intensive Tasks: Perhaps the biggest use of battery life on your iDevice is playing 3D games from the AppStore and watching movies. If you find yourself needing to get the most out of your iDevices battery ensure you do not do memory intensive tasks.
  15. Properly Cycle Your Battery: One of the most important things you can do to increase battery life is to properly cycle your iDevices battery. This means using your iDevice until it reaches less then 10% (ideally until it dies) and then recharging it to 100%. Simply doing this a few times when you first purchase your iDevice, and then occasionally doing a full cycle, will get your battery to maintain this perception of when it is full and when it is almost empty. If you do not do this and start always recharging your iDevice when it gets to around 50%, your battery will begin to think the 50% mark is when it is getting low and thus you will not have as much battery life compared to someone who cycles their battery.

I know the biggest thing people complain about after reading a post about conserving battery life is “If I do these changes what is the point of getting a smartphone?” The point of this article is not to say “carry out every single one of this tips,” it is to give you some ideas on areas you can improve on. Even following just a few of these tips, can greatly improve your battery life; choosing which tips to follow, however, is up to you!

Please leave your questions or any additional tips in the comments section below…

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  • Vitaliy T

    I really liked this post, – very informative indeed!

  • Jssatwinder

    very helpful tips thanks bro

  • James00

    Do you guys even research this crap before posting?????

    #1…also turn off auto brightness…having your brightness set to 45% to 50% is good enough in most situations.

    #3…also turn off “ask to join networks”…not only is that notification annoying, but it’ll save battery as well.

    #4…don’t listen to these amateurs…location services doesn’t need to be turned off “if you know you won’t be needing it”….as the iPhone will only activate location services when required and will automatically disable itself when not needed.

    #5…above and beyond the service location features, go into settings>>mail/contacts/calender and also shut off “time zone support” at the very bottom.

    #15…never power cycle your battery after initial purchase more then once…use it right out of the box, let it completely die out, charge over night and you’re good to go…always attempt to never let your battery go below 20%  before charging….only let it die out to 0% once per month, doing it 12 times per year. Our iPhone batteries don’t have a memory…battery life decreases after time due to crystallization forming within the battery.

  • Anonymous

    What we call memory effect, is limited to old nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries and does not exist on Nickel Metal Hydrate (NIMH), Lithium Polymer or Lithium Ion batteries which most smart phones, notebooks and most battery powered electronics have been using for the past 4 years or so. Running a power cycle does not stop the battery from dying prematurely. It does however, optimize the life of the battery to it’s miximum designed period by improving the flow of the electrons (not to reduce memory effect like in NiCad). Doing a power cycle (running the phone down to 20-25% and then charging it to at least 30 minutes after it shows 100%) once a month reconditions the battery to it’s optimum condition. It is not something that needs to be done, but doing it ensures your phone will have a healthy battery for years.

  • Anonymous

    Contrary to NiCad batteries,that need to be drained on every charge, NiMH and Lithium should be topped up every night and only allowed to drain when a charge cycle is due.

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  • Mark@Disqus

    Thanks for the post.