iPhone Battery Life: Three Tips for Getting More Juice
The much maligned iPhone battery has led to a few tips on how to improve it. But some tips aren't very user friendly.
Tue, July 21, 2009
CIO — The new iPhone's battery life, or lack thereof, has been a growing concern for users in recent weeks, leading to a smorgasbord of "tips" on how to breathe more life into the misbehaving battery. Sure, most of the tips will save juice—but some solutions don't prove too convenient.
Here are the upsides and downsides to the three most popular tips circulating now:
Tip No. 1: Disable Power-Hungry Features
The tip: Turning off power-sapping features such as Wi-Fi, Notifications and Location Services will save iPhone battery life. If you insist on keeping them on, though, make sure the apps that use these features are not left "open"—that is, the iPhone has another app open or is in home. These apps reach out to the 3G radio and consume power.
A more drastic measure:put the iPhone on Airplane Mode to disable all wireless features. This means you can't make calls, send text messages, surf the web, or check for new e-mail.
The trouble: Turning off features or using them infrequently (such as checking e-mail hourly) saves power, but it doesn't make sense for most people.
One reader from Japan says that he gets annoyed whenever he reads about this particular tip. In Japan, 3G is the only network, so if he switches it off, there would be no connectivity. It would be like paying for an iPod Touch with a minimum two year contract at $50 a month, he says. As for push notifications, "I use my phone for business, and push mail through Exchange server is essential."
Tip No. 2: Don't Forget Your Battery Pack
The tip: Get an add-on product to ease the battery pain. Michael Scalisi, an IT manager, wrote an opinion piece in PCWorld Online about buying the Mophie Juice PackAir. It's a battery pack in the form of a case for the iPhone. Mophie claims that it doubles the battery life.
The Juice PackAir charges the iPhone. When the Juice PackAir is empty, you'll start tapping into the battery on the iPhone. An added bonus: The casing covers the iPhone connector and replaces it with micro-USB.
Scalisi, who was running into battery life problems, writes that the Juice PackAir indeed increases iPhone battery life. "Today, I breathe a sigh of relieve knowing that I can use my iPhone the way I like without having to dive for a charger at the nearest opportunity," he writes.