Apple’s iOS 11 release in September was exciting. We were all looking forward to it in great anticipation. After all, the company had made the update look like a very rewarding experience. There is no denying that iOS 11 brings some exciting features. But, nothing seems to stand in comparison to the effect it has on the battery life. You will start noticing the problem only a few hours after the upgrade. Many phones that could run continuously for several hours on a single charge experience an overwhelming decline in the battery life cut down to less than 2 hours. This, to the say the least, is pretty annoying. While Apple is pulling up its socks, we can’t wait for our iPhones to have a near-normal battery life. Here are some immediate fixes that will certainly help reduce the power consumption on your device. Take a look!
— Michael Caldwell (@michaelcaldwell) October 8, 2017
— Mike Volk (@MikeVolk26) October 9, 2017
1.The Battery Checks to Look Out For
Every time you upgrade to a newer version of iOS, an app (or two) gets buggy and starts acting up in the background. A simple battery check could restore the order among such apps and save you a significant amount of power. So, open Settings and select Battery.
Once you are in Battery, scroll down to the very bottom where you can see two different stats for Standby and Usage modes. The number depicted in the Standby is supposed to be considerably higher than the one in Usage. However, if that’s not the case congratulations! You are halfway into detecting the problem. Here is how you can remedy it.
Note down the statistics for both Usage and Standby. Now, press the lock button of the device. Keep your phone locked for at least 5 minutes. Go back to Settings > Battery again and check the stats again. Even if Standby number is five to ten minutes higher than the Usage number, you are doing fine. However, if the Usage stats have spiked, that’s where the problem is. Your phone is doing more work than it should while resting.
There are some apps (or at least one) doing more work in the background than they should even when they are not in use. That’s where the power leakage is happening. This usually happens with the emails that keep syncing and fetching the data continuously. Go to Settings >> Accounts & Passwords >> Fetch New Data. Change the settings so that it fetches the data in an interval of 20 or 30 minutes. You could also switch to the manual mode where the data is fetched only when you command the app to. Make sure you change the settings for all the email accounts.
If this doesn’t solve your problem, there is a fair chance there are other apps toiling too hard in the background. Jump to the next remedy to fix it.
2.The Unbridled Apps
Some apps keep running in the background on iOS 11 even when you have no need for them. They have a significant impact on power consumption.
Go to Settings >> Battery. Here, you will see the list of all the apps on the device and their effect on the battery. You will clearly see that some apps eating up more battery than the others. If you could simply get rid of these apps, you would end up extending the battery life quite considerably. But, we can’t always do that. We have some apps on our phone because we need them. Thankfully, you can manipulate the settings to ensure such apps do not exploit the battery as much as they did before.
Go to Settings >> General >> Background App Refresh. Here are some options you could use to conserve device power. One option is to turn this features off for all apps. But, you might need some apps to refresh in the background. Alternately, you can turn the background refresh off for apps individually, keeping those you need to refresh turned on and turning off those you do not. You may also choose to use the background refresh when connected to both Wi-Fi and Cellular or just Wi-Fi. I would recommend keeping background refresh on for both Wi-Fi and Cellular and disabling it individually for each app.
There is another option, which I may never personally use. But, it would be remiss of me to not make you aware of it. It is called ‘Low Power Mode’ and you can turn it on by navigating to Settings >> Battery. I don’t like this option because when it is enabled, it also turns Fetch on for all the email accounts. At the same time, it turns Siri off (yes you can’t use Siri with Low Power Mode). It completely turns the Automatic Downloads, kills the automatic background refresh for all apps, and reduces the visual quality.
Alternately, instead of tweaking any settings, simply locate the culprit app, uninstall it and reinstall it. Restart your device. This might take care of the problem.
Also Read: Top 10 Battery Saver Apps For Android
3.The Location Services
Technology has gifted the mankind a gift in the form of location services, which we seem to can’t live without. But, location services could be a big battery bummer too. The location service on iOS makes use of GPS, Wi-Fi, cellular tower positions, a crowdsourced wi-fi hotspot and even Bluetooth to pinpoint your location. When all or many of them are working together, the battery is bound to take the hit.
You could go to Location Services (Settings >> Privacy) and customize the Location settings for the apps. The more the services an app uses to find your location, the more power it will consume. You can decide whether an app would use all the services to locate your position, only some of them or none at all. For instance, for an imaginary app named X you can keep GPS and Wi-Fi turned on to spot your location and turn the rest off. You can do that for each app individually. Or, you can turn Location Services off for all the apps altogether, but that may not be the best solution. Also, note that the apps that need to use Location Services will mostly set ‘Always’ as default. This is why when you install a new app you will need to change its Location settings separately. You may need to do the same to the app you just updated.
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4.Screen Brightness, Auto-Lock, and Siri
The brighter the iPhone screen, the more power hungry it is. In fact, increased screen brightness could easily be the biggest power eater. So, I would suggest you to bring down the brightness and you will see more than a just noticeable increase in the battery life.
Swipe up from the bottom of the screen when the phone is unlocked to bring up Control Panel. Move the slider to the left to reduce the brightness. Alternately, you may also go to Settings >> Display & Brightness to reduce the screen illumination level.
Setting the screen to Auto-Lock in a reduced time will also bump up the battery life. My screen auto locks in 30 seconds. I have gotten used to it. But, for some it could be a little annoying. You could set the Auto-Lock to come into effect in a minute or a little more. That should also be good enough. And, if you really need to keep the elevated brightness, shorter is better.
Siri is always up on its feet waiting for you to say ‘Hey Siri’. The moment you greet Siri, it launches itself. You may turn off Siri’s listening to enhance the battery life. It may not have a huge impact, but when battery life is such a trouble, anything can help.
Apple made many shiny promises with iOS 11 and I am confident it is living up to many. But, what good are the advanced features when you can’t use them freely? It’s been less than a month since Apple started rolling out the public version of iOS 11 and battery issues have started emerging from every nook and corner, so much so that it is now being called a ‘known issue.’ Well, I am sure Apple must already be scrambling about to patch this glitch. But, in the meantime, we must also improvise and make the best of what we have. I am hopeful that this article will give you some respite from the iOS 11 battery woes.