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Monday, December 12, 2011

Six tips for better Apple iPhone 4S battery life

Apple will soon patch those widely-reported iPhone 4S battery life bugs. Meanwhile, here's six tips to help most smartphone owners achieve better battery life from their mobile devices.
Switch off your Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi's great, but only when you're on a network, otherwise that Wi-Fi radio's just sucking out your power every time it looks around for a network. It stands to reason that if you switch Wi-Fi off when you aren't using it you'll get better battery life from your device.
You can switch off Wi-Fi in Settings inside your iPhone. Settings>Wi-Fi>Toggle on-off switch to "off".
While you're at it, you might as well switch off your Bluetooth, too, unless you're using it. You can disable this in Settings>General>Bluetooth.
Reduce screen brightness
A bright screen is a power-hungry screen. If you want to get more battery life from your device then reducing that brightness will inevitably extend battery life. Enter Settings>Brightness. Set the scrollable brightness level to a setting you can handle and disable Auto-Brightness if you want to stop the iPhone automatically adjusting your display brightness.
[ABOVE: If you want a visual guide, try this one.]
Give Push the push
Push Notification is fantastic if you want to be kept up-to-date with incoming messages, but if you're out on the road without the ability to recharge your iPhone, you should switch these notifications off.
To do so, go to Settings>Notifications and set Notifications to Off. Don't worry -- you won't lose any incoming data, you'll just have to launch the relevant application to see it.
If you have a push email account such as Yahoo! or Exchange then you can disable it to preserve battery life. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data and set Push to Off.
Know your name, not your location
Location services quietly consume battery life. True, if you are in a new place and need a map and local advice, it helps to have location services switched on. Otherwise, you can disable location services, as follows: Settings > General > Location Services or use location services only when needed.
Take the data diet
When battery life becomes the priority, do you really need to check your mail and other data as frequently? The more often an application fetches data the faster your battery may drain.
To fetch new data manually, from the Home screen choose Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data and tap Manually.
To increase the fetch interval, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data and tap Hourly.
(These are universal settings which apply to all apps that don't support push services).
[ABOVE: Because sometimes everybody needs an irrelevant but pretty cool dancing robot.]
AirPlane Mode
The sad truth is that mobile coverage is low or non-existent in some areas. If you are in such an area, then your iPhone will continue to attempt to connect to the network, and this demands battery life. If you know you are in such an area, and recognize that calls are unlikely to reach you because of this, then switching your smartphone to AirPlane Mode will reduce battery drain. You can't make or receive calls, but when you need to do so you just switch back to normal mode and hope to find some reception.
To turn on Airplane Mode, go to Settings>Airplane Mode>Off/On.
I hope these tips help you get better battery life from your device. I use these tips when I'm tragically trapped at one of Europe's music festivals. There's one more, of course, one every festival veteran knows about: text, don't call. You use a lot of power making a voice call, but far less using SMS. Of course, many of these tips will work on your iPad, iPod touch or other mobile device.

This post is sponsored by:Dr Mobiles Limited
1 Huron Street, Takapuna, North Shore 0622
Tel: (09) 551-5344 and Mob: (021) 264-0000
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