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iOS 7 battery life problems – how to fix iPhone battery drain

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iOS 7
iOS 7

iOS 7 is a significant upgrade to the iPhone series’s software and launched with the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. But some people have found it drains their iPhone's battery faster than before

Web browsing stamina tests have shown that it’s not just in our minds, either. iOS 7 really is a more power-hungry system than iOS 6.

However, there are ways to mitigate iOS 7 battery drain. Follow these iOS 7 battery tips and tricks for better iPhone battery life.

1. Make sure you're not just using your iPhone more

If you've only just updated, consider if you're actually using your phone as you would normally. It's very common for people to use their phones far more often when they get a new one, or update the software, as they try out all the new features. If you think this is likely, give it a few days before you panic too much.

Also, immediately after you update to iOS 7, your phone will spend a fair amount of time downloading apps and photos from your iCloud backup. This can keep going on even when you don't know, particularly when you're connected to Wi-Fi. You can stop iCloud, or choose what actually get's backed up by going to: Settings > iCloud and deselecting the items you might not care about backing up.  

2. Turn off Cellular Data

This is a more drastic measure when you're seriously low on power, but it's a good way to inch a little more life out. It means you won't be able to browse the internet without Wi-Fi, but will also mean apps won't access the internet in the background. Go to Settings > Cellular and select the 'Cellular Data' option. This will turn off any feature that uses the internet, though, including Siri and email.

3. Restore the phone as a new device

The most certain way to solve any true battery life problem is by restoring your iPhone as a 'new phone'. Having to reinstall apps is a pain, but this move helps to solve all manner of performance and battery life issues. To factory reset the phone from the handset itself, go to Settings > General and scroll all the way down to the 'Reset' option at the bottom.

There are options to reset all settings and reset the phone completely. The latter is more drastic, but is sure to flush out any gremlins.

4. Turn it off and on again

It’s a bit The IT Crowd, but it’s amazing how often we hear people complain about their iPhone misbehaving without even having tried to properly reset the thing. Rogue apps doing things they shouldn’t is a key reason for battery life issues in any phone, and a proper reset will fix this in many cases.

iPhones aren’t really designed to be turned off all that often – and much as we expect you know how to do it, a long press on the power button (around three seconds) brings up a power off slider that turns the phone off properly. For a ‘hard’ software reset, press down on both the Home and power buttons until the screen goes black.

5. Use the quick function toggles, a lot

Turning off additional features is the top tip of any frugal battery fiend. iOS 7 makes this much easier than ever before.

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and you’ll bring up the Control Center. At the top of this pop-up is an array of five circular icons that toggle features on and off – Airplane mode, Bluetooth,Wi-Fi, Do Not Disturb and auto-rotate.

Most people barely use Bluetooth – switch that bad boy right off – and turn Wi-Fi off when out and about unless you really need it. iOS 7 intermittently searches for new Wi-Fi networks, which is a drain on the battery.

6. Turn down screen brightness

As standard iPhones use automatic brightness, taking readings from an ambient light sensor on the phone’s front to determine how bright the IPS screen’s backlight need to be. However, you can still manually determine the base level of brightness while still using this clever sensor.

You’ll find the slider (and the auto brightness toggle) in the Wallpapers & Brightness menu of Settings, and also in the Control Center menu, accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

7. Turn off AirDrop

AirDrop is one of iOS’s brand new features.  It lets iPhone and Macs talk to each other directly, using Wi-Fi Direct.

It’s a neat idea, but it drains battery by searching for nearby iPhones. In iOS devices that support the feature, you’ll find an AirDrop toggle in the Control Center pop-up menu, accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

8. Turn off elements of the Notifications menu

Another new bit in iOS 7 is the pull-down notifications menu. As well as new emails, texts and so on, it can pull in stock market info.

This requires the phone to pull it from the net, so it will drain a wee bit of battery. Plus, who really wants stock market info anyway?

To turn off stock info within the Notifications bar, go to Settings > Notification Center. Here you’ll find toggles for calendar info, reminders and the stock ticker.

9. Ease up on Mail notifications

Push email is one of the joys of the modern smartphone, but easing up on the frequency of email checks will reduce strain on the battery.

For the best battery stamina of all, turn off push emails and make the iPhone only search for new data when you manually search. You’ll find these options in Settings > Mail > Fetch New Data. Alternatively, you can set iOS 7 to search for mail every hour, every 30 minutes or every 15 minutes.

10. Invest in a desk dock charger or power case

So simple it seems almost offensive to mention it, but charging your phone more often is a must with iOS 7. However, the key to this is making it easier to do so. We recommend investing in a desk charger dock if you work in an office, as it’ll make keeping your phone charged much less of a pain.

Belkin makes a lovely-looking Lightning port charger dock that costs around £24 (search for 'Belkin Lightning dock' on Amazon), and will take an iPhone or iPad. Alternatively, if you can splash out a bit more and want a dock for the bedroom, the dinky Philips D3205 speaker dock - £80 from the Apple Store – is well worth a look.

Alternatively you can buy a case that has it's own battery to supplement that of the iPhone's. This can double battery life, but does come at the cost of keeping that svelte iPhone design. The Mophie Juice Pack is one such case and costs around £70. 
 

In short…

Apple is likely to improve battery efficiency of iOS 7 in future updates. However, it does appear to be simply a more power-hungry than iOS 6, requiring a bit more careful use if you want your phone to last more than a day.

Next, read our top iOS 7 tips and tricks

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