Remember our previous article on how to get the maximum battery life out of your device on previous iOS versions? Well we’ve adapted it for iOS 8 in an attempt to once again help you squeeze the most juice out of your iOS 8 device.
If you find yourself running low on battery half way through the day, why not give these battery saving tips a go and let us know how they work for you in the comments section below? We personally experienced up to 30% more battery life when performing the following optimisations. Your results may vary depending on other factors such as usage , but what is there to lose?
iOS 8 Battery Life Saving Tips
1) Turn off Push
Location: Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data
First of all, you’ll want to turn Push off.
What it does: With Push enabled, as soon as a mail is received you get a notification on your phone. Convenient, but a battery drainer. Once push is disabled, the Mail app will only check for new mail when you open the Mail app. This gives you more control over your battery life.
2) Set Email To Manual Retrieval
Location: Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data > [Mailbox Name]
In the same settings section as above, set each mailbox to “Manual” mail retrieval, as opposed to fetch.
What it does: Setting a mailbox to “manual” retrieval as opposed to “fetch” will tell the email account to only check for new email when you tell it to, saving you battery life as a result.
3) Disable Background App Refresh
Location: Settings > General > Background App Refresh
Turn Background App Refresh off. – See note below.
What it does: A feature introduced iOS 7, which allows the contents of apps to refresh in the background. For example, if you receive a push notification, the app contents can be updated before you open the app, ready for your viewing pleasure. Cool idea, but drains battery unnecessarily.
Note: It may be becessary to leave this enabled for certain health apps that track your activity in the background. You can do this by finding it in the list of apps and leaving it turned on. You can turn the rest off.
4) Disable Handoff & Suggested Apps
Location: Settings > General > Handoff & Suggested Apps
Turn Handoff off, as well as Suggested Apps. – See note below.
What it does: A new feature in iOS 8, Handoff lets you start something on one device, and finish it on the other, using your iCloud account to sync the two devices. Cool feature, but again, drains our precious battery if we’re not going to be using it. As of right now, none of us can use it with OS X as the new version of OS X, “Yosemite”, has not yet been released. This is required to use this feature with OS X.
Note: While it might not work with OS X yet, it will work between multiple iDevices using the same iCloud account. You may want to leave this on to benefit from this feature if this is the case. Also, to receive calls on your iPhone on your iPad, you’ll want to leave this enabled.
5) Turn off unnecessary location services and system Services
Location: Settings > Privacy > Location Services
Turn off any location services you do not require by selecting the app, and selecting “Never”, or “While Using the App” for the best battery life.
What it does: Location services contain a list of apps that have requested your location for some reason or another. Obtaining your location requires additional processing power, which in turn equals less battery life.
Location: Settings > Privacy > System Services
Turn off all System Services you do not require. The only one we recommend to leave on is Find My iPhone – in the even the device gets stolen, you will be able to track it.
What it does: System services attempt to add convenience to the user through retrieval of the users location for various system tasks. Convenience is great, but poor battery life isn’t. Turning off the services that are of no value to you could improve your battery life.
6) Turn off Siri
Location: Settings > General > Siri
Turn Siri off. – See note below.
What it does: We all know Siri. Great for the odd party trick, but many of us rarely use it for everyday tasks. If you fall into the this category, you’ll want to disable it now. Having certain Siri features on in the background drains resources. If you wish to keep Siri enabled, then disable the “Raise to speak” and “Allow Hey Siri” features if available which are the main culprits of the battery drain.
7) Disable Spotlight for unwanted content
Location: Settings > General > Spotlight
Turn Spotlight off for all content you do not wish to index the data of.
What it does: Spotlight attempts to index all of your data on your device, so that it’s available for quick and easy access via a system-wide search. It’s great when you need to find something in a hurry, but if you don’t need it to index that specific data, you’ll definitely want to disable it. Indexing in the background consumes system resources, which in turn may reduce your battery life.
8) Disable Diagnostics Data
Location: Settings > Privacy > Diagnostic & Usage
Set Diagnostics & Usage to “Don’t Send“.
What it does: Apple devices attempt to improve their software and devices by automatically gathering and sending daily diagnostics and usage data to Apple, which may include location information. This, along with the logged location information can affect our battery life, so we would recommend turning this feature off.
9) Disable Ad Tracking
Location: Settings > Privacy > Advertising
Turn “Limit Ad tracking” on.
What it does: Ad tracking is a new piece of code introduced from iOS 6 onwards, which attempts to collect data which advertisers use to target adverts to a specific audience. This can be information such as browsing history and cookies which is shared with advertising companies in order to target relevant media to you. Luckily, we have a kill-switch for this, so you’ll want to keep this on and hopefully save some battery in the process.
10) Decrease Brightness
Location: Settings > Brightness, iOS Control Center
– Turn Auto-brightness on, or
– Turn auto-brightness off and keep the display brightness as low as you can, while still being able to see what you are doing.
You can adjust the display brightness in iOS Control Center by swiping up in any app, or alternatively in the brightness settings in the stock Settings app.
What it does: Lowering your screen brightness can dramatically improve your battery life . With such powerful displays in our Apple devices, powering them on requires quite a bit of juice! Luckily we have a built0in, hidden light sensor near the front facing camera on our devices which detects ambient light levels and adjusts the display brightness accordingly to make sure you can see your screen. For example, if you’re facing bright sunlight, the brightness will be automatically shifted to maximum so that you can still make out what’s on your display. It’s a great feature, but
11) Turn off unnecessary wireless radios
Location: iOS Control Center, Settings
When you are not using them, turn your wireless radios off. This includes 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
To disable wireless radios, access the iOS Control Center by swiping up from within any app on your phone and tap on the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth icon.
4G: Settings > Cellular. 4G is super fast internet i.e. LTE. When you are not using it, for example where you do not have 4G coverage, or if 3G is fast enough for you already, you might want to keep this off and save some battery.
Wi-Fi: If you are in an area where there is no Wi-Fi, then turn off the Wi-Fi radios to save some power. You can do this in the iOS Control Center by swiping up from within any app on your phone and tapping Wi-Fi icon, or alternatively from Settings > Wi-Fi.
Bluetooth: As with Wi-Fi above, turn off Bluetooth when it is not in use. You can do this in the iOS Control Center by swiping up from within any app on your phone and tapping Bluetooth icon, or alternatively from Settings > Bluetooth.
As of iOS 7, you can no longer independently disable 3G, but rather only cellular data on the whole. Disabling Cellular Data entirely is not recommended, as services such as iMessage, FaceTime, and other services will not function unless you have a working Wi-Fi connection, for example when you are out and about.
This includes AirDrop.
What it does: Wireless radios are the hardware devices which send and receive wireless signals in order to communicate with other wireless devices. For example, in order to use W-iFi networking, you need to enable the Wireless radio on your device. When you are not using these wireless radios, it’s best to turn them off to save some juice. Rather activate them only when you require them, and turn them off again afterwards.
12) Disable unnecessary Notifications
Location: Settings > Notifications
Disable any unnecessary notifications. The less notifications the OS has to present to the user, the more battery life it has at its disposal. Simple as that.
iOS 8 makes this easy with an “Allow Notifications” toggle. Turn if off for the apps you do not wish to receive battery-draining notifications for.
What it does: Notifications notify the user of any actions that have occurred in the app for which it is enabled. By disabling notifications for that app, you will not receive any alerts when an action has taken place. For example, if you disable it for Whatsapp, you will not get a notification when you receive a Whatsapp message. So you’ll probably want to leave that one on. With Facebook or Instagram on the other hand, you might not need to know exactly when you receive a post or like on your picture, so you can either disable notifications entirely, or tweak these notification settings in the actual app itself, so you only receive notification for certain events.
13) Reduce Motion
Location: Settings > General > Accessibility
Turn Reduce Motion on.
What it does: Reduce motion reduces effects and transitions which are included as part of the user interface by default. These may eat up extra resources, so you may want to enable this option.
How to check your battery usage
Checking your battery usage, and finding that battery hog has never been easier in iOS, with the arrival of iOS 8.
A new battery usage interface exists at Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage, which gives you useful information such as Usage, Standby, and a percentage of battery usage allocated to each app/task you have run on your device in the last 24 hours, or 4 days. This can be particularly useful for tracking down those apps which are the battery hog culprits!
Turn Battery Percentage On
As side note, we recommend keeping Battery Percentage indicator on, so you can take note of exactly when your iPhone is running low on juice, and exactly just how low.
To enable to battery percentage indicator, turn in on in Settings > General > Usage > Battery percentage
Heat – Lithium Ion batteries do not like heat. Always try to leave your iDevice in the coolest possible area so that it can stay cool. For example, do not leave it in the heat of your car as this will affect your battery life.
Full Charge Cycle – You may want to perform a full charge cycle once every few months. In other words draining the battery fully and charging it up again. This ensures that the battery life reported by the OS is accurate. You might not want to do this too often though or risk damaging your battery.
Reserve Initial Judgement – You just got your first ever iPhone or other iDevice, or just upgraded to the latest and greatest iOS version. Naturally, you are going to be playing around with the device more than usual in order to explore new features and changes. Over time, this “playing” time will decrease, and as a result, your battery life will be more representational of normal usage.
Keep Apps Updated – Developers are constantly improving apps, and as such, such changes often include battery life improvements. Keep your apps up-to-date.
Other battery life related information
– Battery Life Myths:
Wired.com have a nice write-up dispelling common battery life myths which is worth a read:
Myth 1: Killing Background Apps Extends Battery Life
Killing background apps will not extend your battery life. Those apps are effectively “frozen” in the background and, according to Apple’s own support documents, multitasking does not put unnecessary strain on the battery. The exceptions to this rule are apps which use ambient location services (aka “Geofencing”), background audio playback (the play symbol will appear in the status bar when audio is playing even if the volume is off), and background downloads in Newsstand. As we’ll see, however, you can turn these background features off selectively without quitting the app.
Myth 2: Calibrating Improves Battery Life
It’s impossible to physically measure how much power remains in a battery. Because of this, mobile device manufacturers have developed sophisticated algorithms to estimate the remaining charge. Still, over time the reading will begin to drift away from the actual value.
Calibrating (using the phone until it dies then charging to 100%) helps snap these readings back into place. It does not, however, extend battery life; it mainly makes the indicator more accurately reflect the battery’s state. Apple advises users to calibrate monthly, but any more often is overkill. While there are some ancillary electrochemical benefits to running full charge cycles, in practice you shouldn’t have to worry about this too much if you’re using your phone regularly.
Myth 3: Overcharging and Overdischaring Damages Batteries
While overcharging or undercharging is a concern for gadgets that use lithium ion batteries, Apple has built-in protections to keep these things from affecting iOS devices. As All Things Digital recently reported, when the battery fills up, the phone will let it drain to 99%, then fill back up. This cycle will repeat as long as the phone is charging, although the battery indicator will report “full” rather than reflecting the actual fluctuating charge to avoid distracting users.
Likewise with letting the battery “die” too often. (I use quotes around the word “die” because all lithium ion batteries will actually shut off with a bit of charge remaining as a safeguard against damage from overdischarging.)
What will damage batteries, however, is letting the phone die and then tossing it into a drawer for two months. Batteries lose charge over time even when not in use, and letting the battery sit with little to no charge will cause it to lose capacity.
Myth 4: iPad Chargers Charge iPhones Much More Quickly
iPad chargers deliver twice the current as iPhone chargers (2 amps instead of 1 amp). Both are five volts, but the iPad charger has double the wattage as well. (Remember Physics? Me neither. Current, measured in amps, is equal to Wattage divided by Voltage.)
But wait! Current isn’t the only factor in charging time. Batteries charge in three stages: The first stage, constant current, is the only one where the battery might use the maximum amount of current that the charger can deliver. But even then, most devices with lithium ion batteries will limit the current to only what they need via software controls.
What this means in practice is that while you will get a quicker initial charge from an iPad charger due to the higher current, the extra current won’t be drawn throughout much of the charging cycle. And since batteries charge much more quickly at first, slowing down as they reach the final 20% of capacity, you probably won’t notice much difference unless you’re running really low.
In addition, it means that if you’re in a hurry you should avoid charging your device through your laptop. Newer MacBooks will detect iPhones and iPads and deliver half the current as the device’s equivalent wall adapter. Gizmodo did a side-by side comparison of different power sources that illustrates the difference nicely.
We hope these battery saving tips will save you some juice and make your iDevice last longer than ever! If you have any tips to add, please do not hesitate to share them with us in the comment section below.Share This: