The biggest complaint from Smartphone users is about the battery life. This is true for iPhone users as well as Android users. With the Apple iPhones you are pretty much stuck with the battery it came with. You can’t buy an extended iPhone battery. In fact, you can’t easily replace the battery at all. Sure you can take it into an Apple store and they will replace it for you, or you can do it yourself with a 25-step process that will also void your phone’s warranty. But most of the time it isn’t that you have a bad battery in your iPhone; you just aren’t using it to its best capabilities.
David Pogue, NYTimes, has some great advice to extend the charge in your iPhone. David’s article lists 4 ways to extend the charge in your iPhone’s battery. Many of these tips I have covered in my blog Tips to Extend Your HTC EVO Battery but it is nice to see an iPhone owner giving us a list. As an Android user, I am not as familiar with the steps on an iPhone. According to David’s article, his friend Nicole was having problems with her iPhone 3GS and the battery drain. Nicole’s iPhone was down to 5% charge at 5 pm, after being fully charge overnight. They went into an Apple store to have the battery replaced but the technician there told them her battery was fine. The tech gave them some valuable tips on how to extend the battery charge. Those 4 tips are:
1. Push e-mail. This, I believe, was the big one. My friend has seven e-mail accounts, and her phone was checking each of them every 15 minutes. If you turn off the “Push” feature, and set it to Manually instead (in Settings->Mail, Contacts, Calendars->Fetch New Data), then your iPhone checks for e-mail only when you actually open the e-mail app. Your battery goes a lot farther. (If you have a corporate Exchange account, your calendar and address-book data will similarly be updated only when you open those apps.)
2. GPS checks. In Settings ->General->Location Services, you’ll see a list of all the apps on your phone that are using your phone’s location feature to know where you are. (It’s a combination of GPS, cell-tower triangulation and, on some phones, Wi-Fi hotspot triangulation.) All of that checking uses battery power, too. My friend had dozens of apps with Location Services turned on, many of which didn’t really need to be on. She turned most of them off.
3. Notifications. Similarly, in Settings -> Notifications, you see a list of apps that are allowed to display pop-up notifications (those blue text bubbles that look like text messages). To do that, they have to monitor what’s going on with your phone – and that takes juice. Turn off the ones you don’t really need.
4. Background apps. Nicole the Genius discovered that my friend had a huge number of apps open – maybe 40 of them. She maintained that they were using battery power, too, in the background.
After Nicole had successfully removed 40 apps, she put the iPhone to the test. After charging the phone all night, the next day at 5 pm Nicole’s battery was showing 80% full. Wow! What a huge difference!! Thanks to David for passing this info along. And extra thanks to the Apple store tech for giving these free tips out instead of just replacing the battery.
There is another option for iPhone owners. I found a great holster case for the iPhone 4 that has a battery built into it. You charge up the battery in the holster case and when your iPhone battery gets low, the holster battery automatically kicks in and you get another 5 hours of talk time. You can buy this Apple iPhone Rechargeable Battery Case at batteries4less.com and never have to worry about a low battery again. I haven’t found that kind of battery case for the Droid X I have, so I bought a Droid X extended battery instead. It makes all the difference in the world in talk and stand-by time. But for the iPhone owners, I think the rechargeable case is a great idea.
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