By now you’re either in love with iOS 5, Notification Centre and vastly improved page rendering times – or you’re banging your head against a brick wall wondering why your device no longer lasts a day without a charge. Apple has acknowledged that some (particularly iPhone 4S owners) are experiencing issues, and for severe battery drain you might want to try re-installing iOS 5 again. However, as with each new update your device is now doing more than ever and that’s bound to suck up more juice than ever before.
After much tinkering, scouring and charging we’ve come up with a plan for those with unforgivable battery drain.
Disable GPS-Based Time Zone Detection & Others
This is a very useful feature for those who travel, or are thinking of travelling and don’t want to miss that all-important connecting flight. For anyone else who doesn’t regularly switch timezones it’s a fairly useless feature that (according to iOS 5’s settings) regularly queries for a location fix.
Use of GPS on any device is going to drain the battery, that’s why if you’re using navigation software in your car it’s always best to keep your phone charging via an in-car adapter. If you don’t do this you might find that when you reach your destination you’re going to have a fairly flat battery.
You can disable this setting in Settings, Location Services and then System Services. In this menu you will notice a few other services that you might like to disable, such as Location-Based iAds (oh Apple!) and Traffic data. The less your phone, tablet or media device uses GPS, the more battery you’ll have at the end of the day.
Keep A Lid On Notifications
With each new update, Apple have added more and more notifications and options to their mobile OS. These are great for keeping track of your oft-used services, but some are simply unnecessary. The more pings you receive on your device, the more battery is being eaten up.
Notification Centre is by far one of the best new features of iOS, and whilst it’s lovely to swipe from the top of the screen to see the weather, each time you do so engages GPS and then pulls weather data to your phone. Similarly the default stocks app also pulls data with each swipe of Notification Centre, so if you don’t really use these two do yourself a favour and turn them off.
For those experiencing abhorrent battery drain, one user on Apple’s support forums reckons that Calendar alerts in Notification Centre are causing some serious problems. If you’d like to test this theory you can disable Calendar notifications via Settings, Notifications then Calendar.
Steer Clear Of Location-Based Reminders & Ditch Your Friends
One new feature that sounds great in theory is the ability to set reminders based on your location, for example “Get milk” when you’re near the supermarket. Handy, right? The only problem with these reminders is that your phone is doing a lot of work checking whether you’re near the supermarket or not before notifying you accordingly.
For those who have yet to set a location reminder the option will not appear in the Location Services menu under Settings. If you have been making use of the new feature then you’ll probably want to turn it off and opt for regular time-based reminders instead.
Similarly, Find My Friends is a great app for those who like to stalk their nearest and dearest, but each time someone queries your location your device must receive the push notification, acquire a GPS fix and then send the results back to the server. iMessage is a credible alternative considering it is completely free, built for iOS and far more social. You can even share your location directly from Maps.
Get Rid Of Push
This one will be a last resort for many, hence its inclusion at the end of this article. Interestingly enough, it’s one of the few “battery saving tips” to come straight from Apple too. Mail push caused some serious problems for users upgrading to iOS 3 many moons ago – now it seems to be linked to battery drain in iOS 5.
Configuring iOS 5 to manually receive email can be done via Settings, Mail… then Fetch New Data. Disabling Push and choosing a regular “fetch” time will minimize background activity. Disabling other notifications must be done manually for each service in Settings then Notifications.
Hopefully these tips will help save some juice, though if you’re going to be away from a charger for a while you might want to consider turning virtually everything “off” – including 3G, mobile data, location services (except Find My Phone, which is essential should your device go walkies), wireless, Bluetooth and anything else that eats up battery.
Hopefully a quick fix from Apple will resolve some problems experienced by customers. For more tips on saving Android or iPhone battery life, check out our other article.
Have you had battery drain issues since updating to iOS 5? Do you own an iPhone 4S? Anything else you can think to save battery? Rant, advise and share your woes in the comments below.