Greetings Quogue Library Patrons! For my first Blog, I think we should start with the iPhone. Most everyone has an iPhone and the number one question I'm asked as IT Coordinator is: "Russ, how can I get more battery life out of my new iPhone?"
It is indeed possible to squeeze more life out of the fixed battery inside your iPhone. This first blog will show a few basic settings that can be adjusted on your iPhone to maximize your battery life and quite possibly speed up your iPhone. Now, before we begin, I have to list the disclaimer:
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Let's continue by talking about battery life. Today's iPhone is basically a computer that has telephone capabilities and as such requires power to do its job. Gone are the days of the simple "flip phone" that just made calls and perhaps a text or two. Those old "flip phones" could keep a charge for 12 hours or more, where today' iPhone if used heavily may not even make 6 hours of use.
So... how can we get more out of the battery? The following are a few tips you can try.
*IMPORTANT* : The following information is for users that have updated to the LATEST operating system from Apple for the iPhone. The newest is iOS 10.2
If you are using an OLDER version of the software, or are unsure, then the following information will NOT pertain to you and/or you may not have screens, functions, settings that are the same. In that case, please do NOT proceed with the reading until you update. And if you are not sure how to update, that will be covered in a future blog entry.
1. On the Home screen, find the SETTINGS app and tap it once to open it
2. Once you've opened the Settings app, your screen should look like the image below. Please then tap on GENERAL:
3. Near the bottom of the "General" settings screen, you will see BACKGROUND APP REFRESH. Please tap that to enter that screen.
4. Near the top is the "master switch" to turn on or off BACKGROUND APP REFRESH. If it's on, it will show green like this:
If it is OFF, it will look like this:
We want this "master switch" to be OFF. The reason is that if it is on, regardless of whether you use your iPhone or not, the apps that are listed at the bottom of this Background App Refresh section will constantly be updating themselves, thereby draining your battery at an accelerated rate. For most users, having this OFF is ideal since we only use programs when we tap on the app icon to start them.
The exception to this would be for a person, let' say, who trades in stocks/bonds and needs up to the SECOND information. This person would then turn back ON Background App Refresh's "master switch" and then enable (turn on) the apps at the bottom that pertain to stock quotes, etc., while leaving all other apps off.
But.. like I said previously, most of us don't need this memory and battery "hog" of a program running. So turn it off.
Next we have the BATTERY settings. On the main setting screen (to get back, tap the blue <SETTINGS at the top left of the screen you were just on.
This will take you back to the main SETTINGS screen.
Scroll down until you see: BATTERY.
Tap it and it should show you this:
Firstly, at top portion is a switch for LOW POWER MODE. This should only be engaged (turned on) when your battery level is at or near 25% left. Activating this function will reduce power because it will:
Stop retrieving mail;
Stop all downloads/updates;
Stop the "Hey Siri" funtion (we will discuss this in a future blog post);
Turn off all fancy visual effects, sound effects, etc.
Keeping LOW POWER MODE off is the standard setting. Leave it there until you run low on battery.
Secondly--- speaking of battery. The next setting: BATTERY PERCENTAGE should be turned ON (green showing) as in the above image. This is VERY handy to have because it shows in numerical format the amount of power left in the battery. No more guessing by looking at the graphic. In the image above, you can see that the battery power level is at 91%. Plenty left. But.. if it drifted downward towards 50%, then we need to start worrying.
Thirdly--- REDUCE BRIGHTNESS is a feature that will save battery life by dimming down the display. If you don't need your display to "light up a room" with its brightness, then turn it down. The lower it goes, the more battery life will be saved. BUT.... keep in mind, you still need to SEE what's on the screen....so please don't turn it too low!!
Fourthly--- the bottom section: BATTERY USAGE
This is *VERY* handy. It shows what apps are using the most battery power to run. And sorry folks.... the FACEBOOK app is the worst offender!! Yes, even with "Background App Refresh" turned OFF, the Facebook app still gobbles up TONS of battery life!!!
You don't need the Facebook app to access Facebook. Instead, why not use the Safari browser and create a shortcut to Facebook. (www.facebook.com). Log in with the browser when you need to check your Facebook. It's the same. PLUS... you will save TONS of battery life.
There are other apps that may be listed as "gobbling up battery power". In the image above, we can see that the second offender is the "USA Today app". This user was accessing USA Today a lot to read news and watch news videos. The more you use an app, the more power it uses. So, if you balance your use, you shouldn't have a problem. Unlike Facebook as mentioned above... that ALWAYS sucks power!
Check on the other apps you see. If there is one that you don't need to use a lot, you may wish to delete it from your phone.
Other power savings. If you go back to the General settings page (remember, click the blue <SETTINGS at the top of the page to go back to the general settings page, you will want to visit the DISPLAY & BRIGHTNESS page.
We read earlier that we can reduce the screen brightness to save power (here's another screen to access that function). But, we can also use NIGHT SHIFT and AUTO-LOCK.
NIGHT SHIFT is a function that reduces the brightness of your display slightly and also tilts the color spectrum more towards the RED end. This "warmer" color is great for nighttime use of your iPhone because your brain will not be triggered to stay away by the blue spectrum of light and you will sleep better. Plus, it uses less power.
AUTO-LOCK is a GREAT way to reduce power. This means that it will shut off your screen if you leave the phone for a while. A lot of people leave it set at "never". This means that the screen will NEVER go off until you manually and purposely press the sleep/wake button on the top (or side) of your iPhone. This drains considerable battery power. So... TURN IT ON... set it for 2 minutes... or 1 minute. That way, if you put your phone down and get distracted, it will turn off the screen and save you battery power.
RAISE TO WAKE is a convenience function. This means that when you lift up your phone, it will turn on the screen so you can see what's on it. BUT.... this function will also WASTE LOTS OF POWER because your screen will go on, even if you bump the phone, move the phone, etc. So... turn it OFF. Before this lasted iOS update, we all got used to pressing the HOME button or the SLEEP/WAKE button to turn on our phones, we can still do that ... AND save battery power!!
That's it for this first Blog. I hope some/all the information was helpful.
Stay tuned... next week will be another entry.