Smartphones are meant to make us feel more connected, but some days the only thing we feel connected to is the charger cable. In the space of four Tinder (okay fine, low storage) notifications, we’ve gone from half full to almost flat – how did that happen? Luckily, there are a few ways to boost your battery without needing to be that person who asks to put their phone behind the bar. Here are the 10 most-effective tips for holding on to your Apple juice.
Turn On Low Power Mode
Apple finally listened to our whinging and introduced Low Power Mode as part of the iOS 9 update. It turns off automatic mail fetch, Siri, automatic downloads, background app refresh and some visual effects. While it won’t save your bacon if your battery is already low (annoyingly, it only turns itself on at 20 per cent battery levels), you can turn it on manually at any point via Settings.
Turn Down The Volume
Using headphones rather than the speaker obviously reduces battery usage, but if you look into Settings > Music, you can also set a volume limit and turn off EQ. It might only save you a tiny bit of power, but you never know – it might let you send that one last message before the wheel of death appears.
Turn Off iCloud
Auto-backup can be handy for storing pics you don’t want to lose (just make sure the password is secure – but that’s a different issue). Unfortunately, like all things that are useful, it can also zap your battery quicker than you can say ‘anyone got a charger?’ One of the reasons it’s so draining is that some apps have auto-backup on by default, so if you don’t need everything up in the cloud, make sure you’ve toggled off anything you’re not using under Settings > iCloud.
Stop Closing All Apps
There was an old saying way back in, erm, 2015, that if you double-tapped the Home button and swiped all the apps up, it would save your battery. Well if you’re still doing it, stop. The vast majority of apps are developed to not do anything when not in use, and you’ll actually end up saying bye to more battery by doing the double-tap-and-quit.
Switch Push Email Off
Getting every email as soon as it comes in might be useful if the world rests on your shoulders. However, if you value your battery over minute-by-minute spam updates, switch your email settings from Push to Fetch or Manual by tapping Settings > Mail > Accounts. You can set timings to check for new emails, and with Manual it will update each time you take a look.
Kill Push Notifications From Apps
Phone buzzing every time your lives have renewed on Super Mario Run? Switch off the notifications you don’t really need by heading to Settings > Notifications and toggling off any that you can live without.
Reduce Screen Brightness
A bright screen will drain your battery faster than any other functionality so dimming it down will have an immediate effect. Your iPhone handily comes with auto-brightness, which is great when you need it to be responsive in the bright sunshine or pitch black, but for day-to-day life, slide it to the lowest setting that’s readable.
Enable Airplane Mode
Developed to stop your phone interfering while mile high, Airplane mode can be a magical fix for your battery woes (providing you don’t need to actually use your phone). Disabling Wi-Fi, 4G, 3G and Bluetooth, it can extend your battery life and actually uses up less power than repeatedly switching the device on and off.
Opt For Wi-Fi (But Keep Wi-Fi Off When Not In Use)
There’s no sign you’re home like the Wi-Fi connecting automatically. Using a recognised Wi-Fi network will save more juice than using your 4G, but if you’re out and about having your iPhone constantly scanning for something to tether to will Siri-ously sap your battery.
Same Goes For Bluetooth And Airdrop
If you’re into wearable tech and usually decked out in more devices than the Batmobile, having Bluetooth on is a bit of a non-negotiable. But if you’re not using Bluetooth regularly (and let’s face it, unless it’s for a fitness tracker, there hasn’t been much use for it since about 2011), then turn it off. As with Wi-Fi, your phone will constantly be scanning for things to connect to if you don’t.
Turn Off Automatic Downloads
Updating your music and apps automatically is obviously a useful tool, but it will take a bite out of your battery life (and a chunk of your data, too). You can go halfway and switch these to use Wi-Fi only under Settings > iTunes & App Store, or go the whole hog and switch off automatic downloads. Just don’t forget to update it manually or god forbid, you might still be listening to 2016’s greatest hits.
Get A Battery Test
You can do this yourself at home, but as with all vital operations we recommend you don’t. Instead, head to your nearest Apple Store, where the geniuses can run a test to ensure your battery is at full health. If it’s not, there’s a whole range of things that could be causing it and they’ll be able to sort it out.
Get An External Battery
If Apple has sent you on your way with a fully-functioning battery, and not using your phone isn’t an option, an external battery might just be your only solution. Luckily, we’re not talking about the kind everyone had to carry around in the 1980s. For longer journeys, festivals or mammoth fitness events, snap on a phone case with a built-in juicer, most of which can provide up to five rounds of full charge.